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Tropic of Cancer  北回归线-第七章第二节

Afternoons there are always a few cronies from the pearl market dropping in to pay him a visit. They're all very suave, butter tongued bastards with soft, doelike eyes; they sit around the table drinking the perfumed tea with a loud hissing noise while Nanantatee jumps up and down like a jack in-the box or points to a crumb on the floor and says in his smooth slippery voice – "Will you please to pick that up, Endree." When the guests arrive he goes unctuously to the cupboard and gets out the dry crusts of bread which he toasted maybe a week ago and which taste strongly now of the moldy wood. Not a crumb is thrown away. If the bread gets too sour he takes it downstairs to the concierge who, so he says, has been very kind to him. According to him, the concierge is delighted to get the stale bread – she makes bread pudding with it.

下午总有几个从珍珠市上来的老朋友到家里拜访他,全是温文尔雅、满口甜言蜜语的狗东西,全有一对母鹿般含情脉脉的眼睛。他们围坐在桌旁喝花茶,嘴里发出很响的嘶嘶声。这时纳南塔蒂像一个自负的小官吏一样上窜下跳,或是指着地板上的一点点灰尘用油滑的腔调对我说—“请你把它敛起来好吗,安德里?”客人们一到他便故作殷勤地走到橱柜那儿取出干面包片,那还是他一星期前烤的,吃起来有一股强烈的腐烂木头味。哪怕一点儿面包屑也不能扔掉,如果面包变得太酸了,他便拿下楼去给那个看门人,据他自己说这人对他一直很好。也是据他自己说的,这个看门人得到陈面包很高兴,要用它做面包布叮。

One day my friend Anatole came to see me. Nanantatee was delighted. Insisted that Anatole stay for tea. Insisted that he try little grease cakes and the stale bread. "You must come every day," he says, "and teach me Russian. Fine language, Russian … I want to speak it. How do you say that again, Endree – borsht? You will write that down for me, please, Endree…" And I must write it on the typewriter, no less, so that he can observe my technique. He bought the typewriter, after he had collected on the bad arm, because the doctor recommended it as a good exercise. But he got tired of the typewriter shortly – it was an English typewriter.

有一天我的朋友阿纳托里来看我,纳南塔蒂很高兴,一定、要挽留阿纳托里喝茶,一定要他尝尝干巴巴的小油饼和陈面包。他说,”你一定天天来教我俄语。很好的语言,俄语……我想学会说俄语。那话是怎么说的—波什特?请你替我把它写下来,安德里……我一定要用打字机把它打出来,叫他看看我的技术。”他在收到撞坏他胳膊的人付的赔偿费后买了这部打字机,医生推荐说这是一种很好的锻炼。不过没过多久他就对打字机腻味了,因为这是一部英国造的打字机。

When he learned that Anatole played the mandolin he said: "Very good! You must come every day and teach me the music. I will buy a mandolin as soon as business is better. It is good for my arm." The next day he borrows a phonograph from the concierge. "You will please teach me to dance, Endree. My stomach is too big." I am hoping that he will buy a porterhouse steak some day so that I can say to him: "You will please bite it for me, Mister Nonentity. My teeth are not strong!"

他听说阿纳托里会弹曼陀铃,便说,”太好了!你一定天天来,教我玩这种乐器。等生意好一点儿了我也要买一只曼陀铃,这对我的胳膊是有好处的。”第二天他从看门人那儿借了一部留声机,”请你教我跳舞,安德里。我的肚子太大了。”我倒希望他有朝一日买一块上等牛排,这样我就可以对他说,”请你替我咬一口,无足轻重先生。我的牙不大好!”

As I said a moment ago, ever since my arrival he has become extraordinarily meticulous. "Yesterday," he says, "you made three mistakes, Endree. First, you forgot to close the toilet door and so all night it makes boom boom; second, you left the kitchen window open and so the window is cracked this morning. And you forgot to put out the milk bottle! Always you will put out the milk bottle please, before you go to bed, and in the morning you will please bring in the bread."

我刚才说过,自从我来后纳南塔蒂就变得格外挑剔了。他说,”昨天你犯了三个错误,安德里。第一,你忘了关上卫生间的门,里面嗡嗡响了一夜;第二,你让厨房窗子开着,结果今早窗子打破了;第三,你还忘了把奶瓶放出去!睡觉前一定想着把奶瓶放出去,到了早上一定记着把面包端进来。”

Every day his friend Kepi drops in to see if any visitors have arrived from India. He waits for Nanantatee to go out and then he scurries to the cupboard and devours the sticks of bread that are hidden away in a glass jar. The food is no good, he insists, but he puts it away like a rat. Kepi is a scrounger, a sort of human tick who fastens himself to the hide of even the poorest compatriot. From Kepi's standpoint they are all nabobs. For a Manila cheroot and the price of a drink he will suck any Hindu's ass. A Hindu's, mind you, but not an Englishman's. He has the address of every whorehouse in Paris, and the rates. Even from the ten franc joints he gets his little commission. And he knows the shortest way to any place you want to go. He will ask you first if you want to go by taxi; if you say no, he will suggest the bus, and if that is too high then the streetcar or the metro. Or he will offer to walk you there and save a franc or two, knowing very well that it will be necessary to pass a tabac on the way and that you will please be so good as to buy me a little cheroot.

他的朋友凯皮每天来看看有没有来自印度的客人,他等纳南塔蒂出了门便匆忙奔向食品橱,吞下藏在一只玻璃罐里的一条条面包。他坚持说面包已经不新鲜了,不过仍像老鼠一样很快吞下去。凯皮是个小偷、寄生在人身上的虱子,他把自己牢牢地附着在哪怕是最穷的同胞的皮肤上。根据凯皮的观点,这些同胞全是大富豪。为了一支马尼拉雪前和买一杯酒的钱他愿意舔随便哪个印度人的屁股。记住,印度人的屁股,英国人的可不行。他有巴黎每一家妓院的地址,还有价目表,甚至从十法郎一回的下等妓院中他也能得到一笔小小的佣金,他还知道到你想去的地方的最近路线,他先问你愿不愿坐出租车去,如果你不愿,他就提议坐公共汽车,如果觉得车费太贵就坐电车或地铁去。他或许会主动提出步行送你去,节省一两个法郎,因为他很清楚途中一定会路过一家烟铺,你只好给他买一支雪茄。

Kepi is interesting, in a way, because he has absolutely no ambition except to get a fuck every night. Every penny he makes, and they are damned few, he squanders in the dance halls. He has a wife and eight children in Bombay, but that does not prevent him from proposing marriage to any little femme de chambre who is stupid and credulous enough to be taken in by him. He has a little room on the Rue Condorcet for which he pays sixty francs a month. He papered it all himself. Very proud of it, too. He uses violet-colored ink in his fountain pen because it lasts longer. He shines his own shoes, presses his own pants, does his own laundry. For a little cigar, a cheroot, if you please, he will escort you all over Paris. If you stop to look at a shirt or a collar button his eyes flash. "Don't buy it here," he will say. "They ask too much. I will show you a cheaper place." And before you have time to think about it he will whisk you away and deposit you before another show window where there are the same ties and shirts and collar buttons – maybe it's the very same store! but you don't know the difference. When Kepi hears that you want to buy something his soul becomes animated. He will ask you so many questions and drag you to so many places that you are bound to get thirsty and ask him to have a drink, whereupon you will discover to your amazement that you are again standing in a tabac – maybe the same tabac! – and Kepi is saying again in that small unctuous voice: "Will you please be so good as to buy me a little cheroot?" No matter what you propose doing, even if it's only to walk around the corner, Kepi will economize for you. Kepi will show you the shortest way, the cheapest place, the biggest dish, because whatever you have to do you must pass a tabac, and whether there is a revolution or a lockout or a quarantine Kepi must be at the Moulin Rouge or the Olympia or the Ange Rouge when the music strikes up.

从某种意义上讲,凯皮是个有意思的人,除了每夜同女人睡一觉之外,他根本没有别的野心。他挣的钱少得可怜,却把每一文都掷在舞厅里面了。他在孟买有一个妻子和八个孩子,不过这并不妨碍他向又蠢又没有心眼、上了他的当的女仆求婚。他在孔多塞街有一问小房子,每月付六十法郎房租。墙壁是他自己裱糊的,为此他很自豪。他的钢笔里灌的是紫罗兰色的墨水,因为这种颜色持久些。他自个儿擦皮鞋,熨裤子,洗衣服。为了一支雪茄,你芳称其为”方头雪茄”也行,他乐意领着你走遍整个巴黎。你若站下看一件衬衣或是一颗衬衫领扣,他便马上来精神了。”别在这儿买,”他会说,”他们要价太高。我带你去一个便宜些的铺子。”你还来不及想,他便把你匆匆拉到另一个橱窗前,还是同样的领带、衬衣和衬衫领扣。也许还是原先那间铺子,只是你看不出。凯皮一听到你打算买点儿什么便活跃起来,他问你许多问题,把你拽到许多铺子里去,最后你会不可避免地口渴,只好请他喝一杯。接着你会惊奇地发现又置身于一家烟店里了—也许仍是原先那家—凯皮又油腔滑调地低声说,”请你行行好给我买支雪茄吧!”不论你打算做什么,哪怕只是走到前面拐弯处,凯皮都要帮你省劲儿,他要指给你最近的路,东西最便宜的铺子、菜给得最多的饭馆,因为不管你打算干什么都非经过一家烟店不可。爆发一场革命也好,工厂停工也好,实行检疫隔离也好,晚上舞曲一奏响凯皮一定得赶到”红房子”,”奥林匹亚”或”昂热•鲁日”舞厅去。

The other day he brought a book for me to read. It was about a famous suit between a holy man and the editor of an Indian paper. The editor, it seems had openly accused the holy man of leading a scandalous life; he went further, and accused the holy man of being diseased. Kepi says it must have been the great French pox, but Nanantatee avers that it was the Japanese clap. For Nanantatee everything has to be a little exaggerated. At any rate, says Nanantatee cheerily: "You will please tell me what it says, Endree. I can't read the book – it hurts my arm." Then, by way of encouraging me – "it is a fine book about the fucking, Endree. Kepi has brought it for you. He thinks about nothing but the girls. So many girls he fucks – just like Krishna. We don't believe in that business, Endree…"

那天他带来一本书让我看,书中讲的是一位神职人员和一家印度报纸的编辑之间一场广为人知的官司。似乎是编辑公开指责神职人员生活堕落,还进一步指控这位神职人员有性玻凯皮说准是梅毒,纳南塔蒂却断言是淋病,在纳南塔蒂口中,一切都得稍微添油加醋一番。究竟是什么病谁也无从得知,纳南塔蒂开心地说,”安德里,请你说说书上讲些什么。我没法看,我的胳膊痛。”接着,为了给我鼓劲儿他又说,”这是本讲睡女人的好书,凯皮是为你拿来的。他什么都不想,专想姑娘,他睡过那么多姑娘—正像克里什纳一样。我们不大相信这件过一会儿他带我上顶楼去,这儿塞满了从印度运来的锡罐和破烂,裹在粗麻布和厚纸里。他说,”我把姑娘们带到这儿来。…接着又郁郁不乐地补充道,”我跟女人睡觉不太拿手,安德里。

A little later he takes me upstairs to the attic which is loaded down with tin cans and crap from India wrapped in burlap and firecracker paper. "Here is where I bring the girls," he says. And then rather wistfully: "I am not a very good fucker, Endree. I don't screw the girls any more. I hold them in my arms and I say the words. I like only to say the words now." It isn't necessary to listen any further: I know that he is going to tell me about his arm. I can see him lying there with that broken hinge dangling from the side of the bed. But to my surprise he adds: "I am no good for the fucking, Endree. I never was a very good fucker. My brother, he is good! Three times a day, every day! And Kepi, he is good – just like Krishna."

现在我已不再跟她们睡了,只是搂着她们说说那些话,现在我只愿说那些话了。”没有必要再听他说下去了,我知道他又要讲起他的胳膊了,我看到他躺着,撞断的胳膊在床的一侧荡来荡去。叫我吃惊的是他又添了一句,”我睡女人没有多大本事,我从来就不是一个好嫖客。我兄弟才叫棒呢!每天三次,天天如此。凯皮也不错—同克里什纳一样。”

His mind is fixed now on the "fucking business." Downstairs, in the little room where he kneels before the open cabinet, he explains to me how it was when he was rich and his wife and the children were here. On holidays he would take his wife to the House of All Nations and hire a room for the night. Every room was appointed in a different style. His wife liked it there very much. "A wonderful place for the fucking, Endree. I know all the rooms…"The walls of the little room in which we are sitting are crammed with photographs. Every branch of the family is represented, it is like a cross section of the Indian empire. For the most part the members of this genealogical tree look like withered leaves: the women are frail and they have a startled, frightened look in their eyes: the men have a keen, intelligent look, like educated chimpanzees. They are all there, about ninety of them, with their white bullocks, their dung cakes, their skinny legs, their old fashioned spectacles; in the background, now and then, one catches a glimpse of the parched soil, of a crumbling pediment, of an idol with crooked arms, a sort of human centipede. There is something so fantastic, so incongruous about this gallery that one is reminded inevitably of the great spawn of temples which stretch from the Himalayas to the tip of Ceylon, a vast jumble of architecture, staggering in beauty and at the same time monstrous, hideously monstrous because the fecundity which seethes and ferments in the myriad ramifications of design seems to have exhausted the very soil of India itself. Looking at the seething hive of figures which swarm the façades of the temples one is overwhelmed by the potency of those dark, handsome peoples who mingled their mysterious streams in a sexual embrace that has lasted thirty centuries or more. These frail men and women with piercing eyes who stare out of the photographs seem like the emaciated shadows of those virile, massive figures who incarnated themselves in stone and fresco from one end of India to the other in order that the heroic myths of the races who here intermingled should remain forever entwined in the hearts of their countrymen. When I look at only a fragment of these spacious dreams of stone, these toppling, sluggish edifices studded with gems, coagulated with human sperm, I am overwhelmed by the dazzling splendor of those imaginative flights which enabled half a billion people of diverse origins to thus incarnate the most fugitive expressions of their longing.

现在他的思想都集中在这件”嫖的事情”上。到了楼下那间小房子里,他跪在敞开的食品橱前向我讲述一度有钱、他太太和孩子们都在这儿时的情景。每逢假日他便带太太到万国宫租一个房间过夜,每间房子的式样都迎然不同,他太太很喜欢那儿。”那是一个嫖的好地方,安德里,我知道所有的房间我们正呆在里面的小房间的墙上贴满了照片,家族中每一分支都有照片,严然是印度国的缩影。这个家系图上的大部分成员看起来犹如枯萎的树叶,女人们都显得弱不禁风,目光里有一种战战兢兢、担惊受怕的神情,而男人却显得机警、聪明,一副受过教育的黑猩猩的派头。他们全在这儿了,大约有九十人,照片上还有白色的阉公牛、牛粪饼,他们枯瘦的腿、老式眼镜,偶尔人们还在照片背景上看到一片干燥的土地、一截就要倒坍的墙、一座胳膊弯曲的神像,那是一种人形的蜈蚣。这幅人物群像有一种十分怪诞、非常不谐调的气氛,看到它的人不可避免地会想起从喜马拉雅山脉一直延伸到锡兰山巅的一大串寺庙。这是一大批建筑物,美得叫人惊叹不已,同时却又显得很可怕,是丑恶的恐怖。这是肥沃的土地引起的联想,已耗尽印度国土的无数阴谋使这片土地也变得动荡不安。瞧瞧这些寺庙前熙熙攘攘的纷乱人群,一个人便会受这些黑皮肤的英俊民族的极大感染,这些民族在过去三千年或更长的时间里通过性交将自己的家谱神秘地同别的民族融合在一起。这些赢弱的男女的目光炯炯有神,从照片里射出来,他们像那些英武有力的塑像投下的消瘦影子,这些石塑的、壁画上画的人物遍布整个印度,以便让在这儿相互融合的各个种族的英雄神话传说永远长存,留在同胞们心中。我看到的只是这石雕的广阔梦境的一个片断,这些就要倒塌的呆板的大厦上装饰着宝石,凝聚着人类的精液。这令人眼花综乱的种种奇思遐想叫我全然沉溺于其中,也使不同人种的五亿人民表现出他们最微妙的渴求。

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