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Tropic of Cancer  北回归线-第八章第二节

The Danish cunt seems to have electrified him. He's lost all his sluggishness now. His eyes are popping out of his head. And of course one thing reminds him of another. He wants to get out of the fucking hotel because the noise bothers him. He wants to write a book too so as to have something to occupy his mind. But then the goddamned job stands in the way. "It takes it out of you, that fucking job! I don't want to write about Montparnasse… I want to write my.life, my thoughts. I want to get the dirt out of my belly… Listen, get that one over there! I had her a long time ago. She used to be down near Les Halles. A funny bitch. She lay on the edge of the bed and pulled her dress up. Ever try it that way? Not bad. She didn't hurry me either. She just lay back and played with her hat while I slugged away at her. And when I come she says sort of bored like – 'Are you through?' Like it didn't make any difference at all. Of course, it doesn't make any difference, I know that goddamn well… but the cold blooded way she had… I sort of liked it… it was fascinating, you know? When she goes to wipe herself she begins to sing. Going out of the hotel she was still singing. Didn't even say Au revoir! Walks off swinging her hat and humming to herself like. That's a whore for you! A good lay though. I think I liked her better than my virgin. There's something depraved about screwing a woman who doesn't give a fuck about it. It heats your blood…" And then, after a moment's meditation – "Can you imagine what she'd be like if she had any feelings?"

这个丹麦娘儿们似乎叫他兴奋起来了,那股懒散劲儿一扫而光,眼珠都快要从脑袋里凸出来了。当然,一件事情使他联想起另一件。他想从这家鬼旅馆里搬出去,因为这儿的吵闹声叫他心烦。他还想写一本书,这样脑子里就有事情可想了。然而那件见鬼的工作在碍事儿。“这件鬼工作叫你浑身没劲儿!我不想写蒙帕纳斯……我想写我的生活。我的思想,我想把肚子里的脏东西弄出来……听着,把那边那个娘儿们弄来!很久以前我跟她睡过,她曾在中央菜市场附近祝是个很有意思的婊子,她躺在床边上,拉起裙子。那样试过吗?还不坏。她也并不催我,只是躺着玩她的帽子,我却从容不迫地在她身上使劲儿。等我达到高潮,她好像不耐烦了- ‘完事了吗?’好像这根本无所谓似的。当然啦,是无所谓,这一点我他妈的清楚极了……只是她那种冷血动物的样子……我还真有点儿喜欢……那样子很迷人,知道吗?起身去擦自己身上时她唱起来了,走出旅馆时还在唱,连‘再见’都不说一声。她挥舞着帽子、哼着歌儿走掉了。这是能整治你的婊子!睡起来倒还不错,我想我喜爱她还要胜过我的处女呢。可跟一个对此根本无动于衷的女人睡觉是一件邪恶的事情,直叫你的血发热……”沉思了一会儿他问,“若是她有点儿感情,你能想象出她会是怎样的?”

"Listen," he says, "I want you to come to the Club with me tomorrow afternoon… there's a dance on."

他又说,“听着,我要你明天下午跟我一道去俱乐部……那儿有一场舞会。”

"I can't tomorrow, Joe. I promised to help Carl out…"

“明天不行,乔。我答应要帮卡尔帮到底……”

"Listen, forget that prick! I want you to do me a favor. It's like this" – he commences to mold his hands again. "I've got a cunt lined up… she promised to stay with me on my night off. But I'm not positive about her yet. She's got a mother, you see… some shit of a painter, she chews my ear off every time I see her. I think the truth is, the mother's jealous. I don't think she'd mind so much if I gave her a lay first. You know how it is… Anyway, I thought maybe you wouldn't mind taking the mother… she's not so bad… if I hadn't seen the daughter I might have considered her myself. The daughter's nice and young, fresh like, you know what I mean? There's a clean smell to her…"

“听我说,别管那个讨厌的家伙!我要你帮我一把,是这么回事,” -他又用双手比划开了- “我搞到了一个女人……她应允在我不上班的晚上来跟我过夜。可我还没有完全掌握住她,她有一个母亲,你知道……算是一个画家之类的货色。每一回见面她都要唠叨个没完,我想实情是当妈的吃醋了。若是我先跟这个妈睡一觉她就不会介意了,你明白这类事情……总之,我想你也许会乐意要这个妈的……她还不错……若是没有看见她女儿我自己也会考虑要她的,女儿年轻漂亮,一副水灵样儿—你明白我的意思了?她身上有一股纯洁的气息……”

"Listen, Joe, you'd better find somebody else…"

“你听着,乔,你最好还是找别人去……”

"Aw, don't take it like that! I know how you feel about it. It's only a little favor I'm asking you to do for me. I don't know how to get rid of the old hen. I thought first I'd get drunk and ditch her – but I don't think the young one'd like that. They're sentimental like. They come from Minnesota or somewhere. Anyway, come around tomorrow and wake me up, will you? Otherwise I'll oversleep. And besides, I want you to help me find a room. You know I'm helpless. Find me a room in a quiet street, somewhere near here. I've got to stay around here… I've got credit here. Listen, promise me you'll do that for me. I'll buy you a meal now and then. Come around anyway, because I go nuts talking to these foolish cunts. I want to talk to you about Havelock Ellis. Jesus, I've had the book out for three weeks now and I haven't looked at it. You sort of rot here. Would you believe it, I've never been to the Louvre – nor the Comédie Française. Is it worth going to those joints?

“唉,别这样!我知道你对此怎么想,我只是请你帮我一个小忙。我不知道怎样才能甩掉那个老女人,我想先喝醉酒再躲开她- 可我认为那年轻的不会高兴的。她俩都是缠缠绵绵的女人,从明尼苏达州还是什么地方来的。好了,明天过来叫醒我,行吗?否则我会睡过头的,另外,我要你帮我找一间房子,你知道没有人帮我。给我在离这儿不远的一条僻静的街上找一个房间,我只有呆在这儿了……这儿,让我赊帐。你得答应帮我做这件事,我会时常给你买顿饭吃的。无论如何你得来,跟那些蠢娘儿们说话急得我要发疯,我要跟你谈谈哈夫洛夫洛克•霭理士。老天,我已把那本书找出来三个星期了,结果一次也没看过。人在这儿就跟烂掉差不多。你信不信?我从来还没有去过卢浮宫,也没有到过法兰西喜剧院。这些地方值得去吗?

Still, it sort of takes your mind off things, I suppose. What do you do with yourself all day? Don't you get bored? What do you do for a lay? Listen… come here!

不过我看这也能多多少少叫人别胡思乱想。你整天干什么来着?不觉得无聊?为了跟女人睡觉要干什么?听我说……到这儿来。

Don't run away yet… I'm lonely. Do you know something – if this keeps up another year I'll go nuts. I've got to get out of this fucking country. There's nothing for me here. I know it's lousy now, in America, but just the same… You go queer over here… all these cheap shits sitting on their ass all day bragging about their work and none of them is worth a stinking damn. They're all failures – that's why they come over here. Listen, Joe, don't you ever get homesick? You're a funny guy… you seem to like it over here. What do you see in it?… I wish you'd tell me. I wish to Christ I could stop thinking about myself. I'm all twisted up inside… it's like a knot in there… Listen, I know I'm boring the shit out of you, but I've got to talk to someone.

先别走掉……我很孤独呢。你知道吗?这种状况再持续一年我就会发疯的,我一定得离开这个鬼国家,我在这儿无事可做。我明白现在在美国叫人不痛快,反正都一样……可在这儿人会疯掉的……那些下贱的蠢货整天坐着吹嘘他们的作品,所有这些人都一文臭钱不值。他们都是潦倒失意的人,这才是他们来这儿的原因。听着,乔,你想过家吗?你是一个有意思的家伙……你好像还喜欢这儿。你在这儿发现什么了?但愿你能告诉我,我真心希望能不再想自己的事情。我心里乱极了……好像那儿有一个结……我知道我快要把你烦死了,可我一定得找个人谈谈。

I can't talk to those guys upstairs… you know what those bastards are like… they all take a byline. And Carl, the little prick, he's so goddamned selfish. I'm an egotist, but I'm not selfish. There's a difference.

我不能同楼上那些家伙谈……你知道那些狗东西是什么货色……都是写署名文章的人。卡尔,那个小滑头,他自私透顶了。

I'm a neurotic, I guess. I can't stop thinking about myself. It isn't that I think myself so important… I simply can't think about anything else, that's all. If I could fall in love with a woman that might help some. But I can't find a woman who interests me. I'm in a mess, you can see that can't you? What do you advise me to do? What would you do in my place? Listen, I don't want to hold you back any longer, but wake me up tomorrow – at one thirty – will you? I'll give you something extra if you'll shine my shoes. And listen, if you've got an extra shirt, a clean one, bring it along, will you? Shit, I'm grinding my balls off on that job, and it doesn't even give me a clean shirt. They've got us over here like a bunch of niggers.

我是一个利己主义者,可我不自私,这是有区别的。我想我是一个神经病患者,我无法不想着自己,这并不是我认为自己重要……只是我无法去想别的事情,就是这样。如果能爱上一个女人或许会好一些,可是我找不到一个对我感兴趣的女人。我心里乱糟糟的。你看出来了,是吗?你说说我该怎么办?如果你处于我的位置怎么办?听着,我不想再强留你了,可你明早得叫醒我—一点半—怎么样?你若替我擦皮鞋,我还会多给你一点儿。还有,若有一件干净的替换衬衣,也把它带来,行吗?见鬼,那件活儿都快把我累趴下了,却连一件干净衬衣都挣不来,他们对待我们像对待一群黑鬼一样。唉,算了,见鬼!

Ah, well, shit! I'm going to take a walk… wash the dirt out of my belly. Don't forget, tomorrow!"

我要去散步……把肚子里的脏东西冲出来。别忘了,明天!”

For six months or more it's been going on, this correspondence with the rich cunt, Irene. Recently I've been reporting to Carl every day in order to bring the affair to a head, because as far as Irene is concerned this thing could go on indefinitely. In the last few days there's been a perfect avalanche of letters exchanged; the last letter we dispatched was almost forty pages long, and written in three languages. It was a potpourri, the last letter tag ends of old novels, slices from the Sunday supplement, reconstructed versions of old letters to Llona and Tania, garbled transliterations of Rabelais and Petronius – in short, we exhausted ourselves. Finally Irene decides to come out of her shell. Finally a letter arrives giving a rendezvous at her hotel. Carl is pissing in his pants. It's one thing to write letters to a woman you don't know; it's another thing entirely to call on her and make love to her. At the last moment he's quaking so that I almost fear I'll have to substitute for him. When we get out of the taxi in front of her hotel he's trembling so much that I have to walk him around the block first. He's already had two Pernods, but they haven't made the slightest impression on him. The sight of the hotel itself is enough to crush him: it's a pretentious place with one of those huge empty lobbies in which Englishwomen sit for hours with a blank look. In order to make sure that he wouldn't run away I stood by while the porter telephoned to announce him. Irene was there, and she was waiting for him. As he got into the lift he threw me a last despairing glance, one of those mute appeals which a dog makes when you put a noose around its neck. Going through the revolving door I thought of Van Norden…

同这个叫伊雷娜的阔女人的通信一直持续了六个多月。最近我天天都向卡尔汇报,好叫这场恋爱开始,因为在伊雷娜那方面这件事可以无限期地发展下去。最近几天来双方都写了雪片似的大批信件,我们寄出的最后一封信几乎有四十页厚,是用三种语言写的。这最后一封信是一个大杂烩;其中有旧小说的结尾,有报纸星期日增刊上摘抄下来的片言只字,有重新组织过的给劳娜和塔尼亚的旧信,还有从拉伯雷和彼脱罗尼亚作品中胡乱音译过来的片断,总之我们都把自己累坏了。最后伊雷娜决定要同这个通信人谈谈了,她终于写了一封信通知卡尔在她的旅馆里碰头。卡尔吓得屁滚尿流,给一个陌生女人写信是一码事,去拜访她、同她做爱却完全是另一码事。到赴约前最后一分钟他仍吓得发抖,我不由得想自己恐怕不得不代他去了。我们在伊雷娜住的旅馆前下了出租车,卡尔抖得很厉害,我只好先扶着他沿这条街走了一会儿。他已经喝下了两杯茴香酒,一点儿作用也没有。一看到旅馆他便快垮了,这是一个富丽堂皇的地方,有一个又大又空、英国女人可以呆呆地在里面坐好几个钟头的大厅。为了提防卡尔溜掉,服务员打电话通报他的到来时我一直站在他身边。伊雷娜在家,正在等他。他跨进电梯时又绝望地瞥了我最后一眼,当你用绳索勒住狗的脖子时它作出的正是这种无言哀求。穿过旋转门出来,我想到了范诺登……

I go back to the hotel and wait for a telephone call. He's only got an hour's time and he's promised to let me know the results before going to work. I look over the carbons of the letters we sent her. I try to imagine the situation as it actually is, but it's beyond me. Her letters are much better than ours – they're sincere, that's plain. By now they've sized each other up. I wonder if he's still pissing in his pants.

我回旅馆去等电话,卡尔只有一小时时间,他答应在去上班前先告诉我结果如何。我又翻检了一遍我们写给她的那些信的复写件,我试图想象这究竟是怎么回事,可就是想不出。她的信写得比我们好得多,显然信是真诚的。现在他们搂在一起了,不知道卡尔还尿不尿裤子。

The telephone rings. His voice sounds queer, squeaky, as though he were frightened and jubilant at the same time. He asks me to substitute for him at the office. "Tell the bastard anything! Tell him I'm dying…"

电话铃响了,他的声音有些古怪,有点儿尖,既像是被吓坏了,又像是很开心。他让我代他去办公室,“给那个狗杂种怎么说都行!告诉他我快死了……”

"Listen, Carl… can you tell me…?"

“喂,卡尔……能告诉我……”

"Hello! Are you Henry Miller?" It's a woman's voice. It's Irene. She's saying hello to me. Her voice sounds beautiful over the phone… beautiful. For a moment I'm in a perfect panic. I don't know what to say to her. I'd like to say: "Listen, Irene, I think you are beautiful… I think you're wonderful." I'd like to say one true thing to her, no matter how silly it would sound, because now that I hear her voice everything is changed. But before I can gather my wits Carl is on the phone again and he's saying in that queer squeaky voice: "She likes you, Joe. I told her all about you…"

“你好!你是亨利•米勒吗?”是个女人的声音,是伊雷娜,她在问我好呢。她的声音在电话上非常悦耳……悦耳。一刹那间我变得茫然不知所措,不知道该对她说什么。我想说,“喂,伊雷娜,我认为你很美……我认为你美极了。”我想跟她说一件真实的事情,不管听起来这有多么傻,因为我现在听到她的声音后知道一切都已经变了。可是不等我镇定下来卡尔又接过了听筒,扯着古怪的尖细嗓子说,“她喜欢你,乔。我把你的事全告诉她了……”

At the office I have to hold copy for Van Norden. When it comes time for the break he pulls me aside. He looks glum and ravaged.

在办公室里我只得替范诺登读要校对的稿子。到了休息时间他把我拉到一边,脸色阴沉沉的,很难看。

"So he's dying, is he, the little prick? Listen, what's the lowdown on this?"

“这么说这个小滑头快死了是吗?喂,这里面有什么名堂?”

"I think he went to see his rich cunt," I answer calmly.

“我想他是去看那个有钱的女人了。”我平静地说。

"What! You mean he called on her?" He seems beside himself. "Listen, where does she live? What's her name?" I pretend ignorance. "Listen," he says, "you're a decent guy. Why the hell don't you let me in on this racket?"

“什么!你是说他去找她了?”他显得很激动,“喂,她住在哪里?叫什么名字?”我假装一无所知,他又说,“我说,你是个不错的人。你为什么不早点几告诉我这件风流韵事?”

In order to appease him I promise finally that I'll tell him everything as soon as I get the details from Carl. I can hardly wait myself until I see Carl.

为了安慰他,我最后答应一从卡尔那儿打听到细节就全部告诉他,我自己在见到卡尔之前也急不可耐呢。

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