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2012年10月20日 星期六

[短文閱讀] 一件紀念品 part 6

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A RELIC


By Max Beerbohm





Dimly, the initial paragraph of my tale floated in my mind. I — not exactly I myself, but rather that impersonal je familiar to me through Maupassant — was to be sitting at that table, with a bock before me, just as I had sat. Four or five short sentences would give the whole scene. One of these I had quite definitely composed. You have already heard it. 'Down below, the sea rustled to and fro over the shingle.'

故事的首段模糊地浮現在我心裡。這個我-並非真實的我,而是那個我從莫泊桑學到的那個,不帶感情的自我-坐在那張桌前,讀著書,如當時一樣。四五個短句帶出整個場景。其中一句,我寫得相當確定,即你們已聽到的那句:「在其下,海水沙沙作響地來回拍打著岸石。」。

These words, which pleased me much, were to do double duty. They were to recur. They were to be, by a fine stroke, the very last words of my tale, their tranquility striking a sharp ironic contrast with the stress of what had just been narrated. I had, you see, advanced further in the form of my tale than in the substance. But even the form was as yet vague. What, exactly, was to happen after Mlle. Ange'lique and M. Joumand (as I provisionally called him) had rushed back past me into the casino? It was clear that I must hear the whole inner history from the lips of one or the other of them. Which? Should M. Joumand stagger out on to the terrace, sit down heavily at the table next to mine, bury his head in his hands, and presently, in broken words, blurt out to me all that might be of interest?... '"And I tell you I gave up everything for her — everything." He stared at me with his old hopeless eyes. "She is more than the fiend I have described to you. Yet I swear to you, monsieur, that if I had anything left to give, it should be hers."

這些字詞頗得我心,具有雙重責任,我將反覆用之。我會以細緻的筆觸,將其用在故事的最終數語。其寂靜意態能產生尖銳諷刺對比而強調出我敍述的故事。如你所見,我寫故事先考慮形式,才思考實質內容。即使談形式也還很模糊。究竟Ange'lique 小姐和 Joumand先生(我暫時給他起的名字)匆匆經過我而回到賭場之後發生了何事?顯然我得從其中之一的嘴裡聽到之前的內幕故事。哪一位?Joumand先生會搖搖晃晃地走到露台,在我的桌旁重重坐下,將頭埋在他的手裡,很快地,他突然脫口,用斷斷續續的話講出所有我想知道的事。「我告訴你,我為她放棄所有一切,一切。」他用蒼老無助的眼睛盯著我。「她比我對你講述的那個惡魔還可怕。但是先生,我向你發誓,若我還有任何東西去付出,都會全部給她。」

dimly [記憶法] [`dɪmlɪ; 'dimli] 模糊地
paragraph [記憶法] [`pærəˌgræf; 'pærəgrɑ:f, -græf] (文章的) 段,段落,節
tale [記憶法] [tɛil] n. 故事, 謊言, 謠言, 陳述, 敘述 [法] 虛語, 誹語, 謠言 相關詞組: tell its own tale tell the tale a tale of a tub
float [記憶法] [flot; flout] <幻想等> 浮現 [在眼前] [before]; 浮現 [於心中等] [thr ough,in]
impersonal [記憶法] [ɪm`pɝsnl; im'pə:snl] 不摻雜個人感情的,客觀的
duty [記憶法] [`dutɪ, `dju-; 'dju:ti] 任務,職務,職責
recur [記憶法] [rɪ`kɝ; ri'kə:] <事件、問題等> 再發生; 重複
tranquillity [træŋ'kwɪlɪtɪ] n. 寧靜,安靜
narrate [記憶法] [næ`rɛt, `nærɛt; nə'rɛit] 敘述,講 (故事) ,說明
substance [記憶法] [`sʌbstəns; 'sʌbstəns] (東西的) 實質,實體,內容
provisionally [記憶法] adv.暫時地, 臨時地
stagger [記憶法] [`stægɚ; 'stægə] 搖搖晃晃,蹣跚
blurt [記憶法] [blɝt; blə:t] 突然說出…,脫口說出…
fiend [記憶法] [find; fi:nd] 惡魔,魔鬼
monsieur [mə`sjɝ; mə'sjə:] [相當於英語 Mr.,Sir; 用作敬稱] …先生,…君,…兄 (略作 M.,pl. MM.)