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泉——贾平凹

The Fountain by Jia Pingwa

刘晓峰 英译

Introduction:

The Fountain created by Jia Pingwa, since its publication, has experienced a dramatic change of genres with the elapse of time. At the outset, this composition, treated as a novel, had been published on the magazine Anhui Literature in 1980. Afterwards, it was labeled as a model essay by several publishing houses and even was selected as a reading comprehension material in the Chinese test of 2008 Senior High School Entrance Examination. In February 2014, The Fountain was awarded the first Prize of the 11th Annual Best National Mini-novel. It could be safely assumed that this award eventually reveals the true features of The Fountain to the public.

The Fountain is a typical example of the delicate and fresh writing style in the earlier literary creations of the author Jia Pingwa, who, through his longing for the old Chinese scholar tree, expresses his nostalgia to the fullest extent. Meanwhile, his conversation with his kid enhances the theme to a piety towards nature and life and highlights the constant complex of hometown passing down from generation to generation.

汉英对照译文:

我老家的门前,有棵老槐树,在一个风雨夜里,被雷击折断了。家里来信说:它死得很惨,是拦腰断的,又都列开四块,只有锯下来,什么也不能做,劈成木柴烧罢了。我听了,很是伤感。后来,我回乡去,不能不去看它了。

In front of my old family house in my hometown, there grew an old Chinese scholar tree, which, one stormy night, was struck by lightning and split. Subsequently, a letter from my family reported that the miserable tree had suffered a tragic fate as the thunderbolt snapped it in two halfway up and split it into four portions. Accordingly, the wretched tree could be used for nothing but firewood. Naturally, this message made my heart sink and I felt obliged to pay it a special visit when next I came back to my native land.

这棵老槐,打我记事起,它就在门前站着,似乎一直没见长,便是那么的粗,那么的高。我们做孩子的,是日日夜夜恋着它,在那里落秋千,抓石子,踢毽子,快活得要死。冬天,世上什么都光秃秃的,老槐也变得赤裸,鸟儿却来报答了它,落得满枝满梢。立时,一个鸟儿,是一片树叶;一片树叶,是一个鸣叫的音符:寂寞的冬天里,老槐就是竖起的一首歌子了。于是,他们飞来了,我们就听着冬天的歌,喜欢得跑出屋来,在严寒里大呼大叫。

According to my vague memory from childhood, this old Chinese scholar tree was already standing in front of the house, with its length and size withstanding the passage of time. In scorching summers, all the kids from the neighborhood would be attached to it day and night, as it provided us a perfect paradise for such joyful games as swings, pebbles and shuttlecock. In severe winters, as the whole world fell into bleakness, the tree fought against the fierce wind with its bare arms. On such an occasion, flocks of birds would hover and perch on its stark branches so as to reward it for the shady shelter it offered in summer. All at once, the old tree conducted a lively melody in the desolate winter, each singing bird turning into a lively leaf and each leaf representing a musical note. Upon hearing the song of winter, initiated by the animated birds, all the kids nearby all rushed out of their houses and yelled gaily in the wintry outdoors.

如今我回来了,离开了老槐是多年的游子回来了。一站在村口,就急切切看那老槐,果然不见了它。进了院门,我立即就看见了那里那老槐,劈成粉碎片,乱七八糟地散堆在那里,白花花的刺眼,心里不禁抽搐起来。我大声责问家里人,说它那么高的身架,那么大的气魄,骤然之间,怎么就在这天地空间里消灭了呢?!如今,我幼年过去了,以老槐慰藉的回忆再也不能做了,留给我的,就是那一棵刺眼痛心的树桩了吗?!我再也硬不起心肠看这一沧桑的残酷,蕴藏着一腔对老槐的柔情,全然化作泪水流下来了。

I now returned to my hometown after being absent from the old Chinese scholar tree for ages. With longing eyes, I searched in vain for its umbrella-shaped crown from the moment I approached the entrance of the village. It really was gone! After stepping into the yard, my gaze immediately focused upon the old tree, the trunk of which had already been chopped into a messy pile of firewood. Its glistening whiteness hurt my eyes and made my heart race. At the top of my lungs, I bellowed to my family: “How could this tree, with its gorgeous frame and splendid air, vanish from the world so quickly?” Gone, together with the vanished tree, was my sweet childhood memory of its company. Eventually, nothing was left but a dizzy and distressed stump. No longer could I be so hard-hearted when confronted with such a cruel scene of vicissitudes. My overwhelming tenderness towards it naturally turned into tears which trickled down my cheeks.

夜里,我无论如何都睡不着,走了出来,又不知身要走到何处,就呆呆地坐在了树桩上。树桩筐筛般大,磨盘样圆,在月下泛着白光,可怜它没有被刨了根去。那桩四周的皮层里,又抽出了一圈儿细细的小小的嫩枝,极端地长上来,高的已经盈尺,矮的也有半寸了。

That night saw me sleepless. Not knowing where to stroll, I sat listlessly on the stump in the yard. Since the root of the tree had not been dug out yet, the remaining stump-which was as huge as a sieve and as round as a millstone-stood there, glistening with a silvery light under the moon. Around the bark of the stump sprouted a ring of tiny, tender twigs, the firm length of which ranged from half an inch to a foot.  

小儿从屋里出来,摇摇摆摆的,终伏在我的腿上,看着我的眼,说:“爸爸,树没有了。”

Later, my little son, waddling out of the house, rested his head on my lap and looked at me right in the eyes, sighing: “Papa, the tree is gone.”

“没有了。”

“爸爸也想槐树吗?”

“Yes, it’s gone!”

“Are you missing it too?”

我突然感到孩子的可怜了。我的小儿出生后一直留在老家,在这槐树下爬大,可他的幸福、快乐并没有尽然就霎时消失了。

All of a sudden, his childish question awoke my sympathy for him. Immediately after his birth, my little son had been nursed in my hometown. Thus, it could be safely assumed that the aged Chinese scholar tree had witnessed his growth from a crawling infant to a walking kid. However, in a flash, his frolicking moment of childhood in the company of the tree had disappeared before he could fully savor it.

“爸爸,”小儿突然说,“我好像又听到那树叶在响,是水一样的声音呢。”

“Papa,” my little son blurted out, “I seem to hear rustling leaves whispering again like the murmuring water!”

唉,这孩子,为什么要偏偏这样说呢?是水一样的声音,这我是听过的,可是如今,水在哪儿呢?

Oh, my naughty boy, why did you utter such sentimental words which would trigger my long-cherished memory of that water-like melody in my childhood? Now it really was a pity that this water-like sound would never be heard again.

“爸爸,水还在呢!”小儿又惊叫起来,“你瞧,这树桩不是一口泉吗?”我转过身来,向那树桩看去,一下子使我惊异不已了:真是一口泉呢!那白白的木质,分明是月光下的的水影,一圈儿一圈儿的年轮,不正是泉水绽出的涟漪吗?我的小儿,多么可爱的小儿,他竟发现了泉。我要感谢他,他真有发现了新大陆的哥伦布一样的伟大!

“Papa, the water is still there!” my son marveled, “look, isn’t the stump exactly a fountain?” As I turned around, the sight of the stump immediately astonished me: indeed it was a fountain! Under the moonbeam, the snow-white woodiness did indeed become the water-shadow while the round growth rings were actually ripples springing out of the fountain. How adorable my little son was to have discovered the fountain. My heart was filled with gratitude for him. In my eyes, he was as great as Christopher Columbus, the explorer and discoverer of the New World.

“泉!生命的泉!”我激动起来了,紧紧握住了我的小儿,想这大千世界,竟有这么多出奇,原来一棵树便是一条竖起的河,雷电可以击折河身,却毁不了它的泉眼,它日日夜夜生动,永不枯竭,那纵横蔓延在地下的每一根每一行,该是那一条一道的水源了!

Bubbling over with enthusiasm, I held my son close to my chest and exclaimed: “This fountain is a fountain of life!” It is true that the facts of the world are in reality more diverse than fictions in the mind . A tree is actually a vertical river, the streams of which can be blocked by a thunderbolt. Meanwhile its spring may gush out an inexhaustible supply of fresh water day and night. Each of the extending crisscrossing roots running deep underground truly is a spring the headwaters!  

我有些不能自已了。月光下,一眼一眼看着那树桩皮层里抽上来的嫩枝,是多么的精神,一片片的小叶绽了开来,绿的鲜鲜的,深深的:这绿的结晶,生命的精灵,莫非就是从泉里溅起的一道道水坝柱吗?那锯齿一般的叶峰上的露珠,莫非是水溅起时的泡沫吗?哦,一个泡沫里都有了一个小小的月亮,灿灿地,在这夜里摇曳开光辉了。

On this moonlit night, I gazed at the twig sprouting vigorously from the bark of the stump, with each leaflet bursting forth into bright greenness. My mind began to run wild: the green crystals, the angels of life, are they not the water pillars spilling from the fountain? Are the dewdrops on the sawtooth-shaped leaves not foam left behind by the splashing water? Alas, within every bit of foam there is a little moon, which sheds shiny flickers of splendor at night.

“爸爸,这嫩枝儿能长大吗?”

“Papa, could the tender branch finally grow up?”

“能的。”我肯定地说。

“You bet.” I answered him in an affirmative tone.

我说完了,我们就再没有言语,静止地坐在树桩的泉边,谛听着在空中溅起的生命的水声。

Afterwards, the quiet night saw us sitting wordless beside the fountain. We were listening attentively to the splashing water of life in the air.

译者简介:

    刘晓峰(1985-),男,山西临汾人,西安求学七年,毕业于西北大学外国语学院,师从胡宗锋教授攻读硕士,于2010年获英语语言文学硕士学位,现执教于天津市中国民航大学外国语学院,讲授本科课程包括《英汉翻译》、《汉英翻译》、《文学翻译与译作赏析》、《欧洲文化入门》、《英美经典名诗导读与鉴赏》、《汉英实用修辞》,授课之余致力于文学翻译实践与理论研究,先后在美国《新文学》(New Letters)杂志和中国《英语世界》发表译作,参与《欧洲文化精要问答》,《陕西作家中篇小说英译》和《中国当代诗坛群雕108首诗歌英译》等书籍的编译工作,其中合译作品《贾平凹中篇黑氏英译》荣获西安市社会科学优秀成果一等奖。



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