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2012年11月17日 星期六

[短文閱讀] 罪行 part 2

網路摘錄文章:

THE CRIME 1920.


By Max Beerbohm


出處

I sat down before that blaze. Despair had been warded off. Gloom, however, remained; and gloom grew. I felt that I should prefer any one's thoughts to mine. I rose, I returned to the books. A dozen or so of those which were on the lowest of the three shelves were full-sized, were octavo, looked as though they had been bought to be read. I would exercise my undoubted right to read one of them. Which of them? I gradually decided on a novel by a well-known writer whose works, though I had several times had the honour of meeting her, were known to me only by repute.

我坐在那堆火焰前。縱然避開了絕望心境,但陰鬱難免,且有增無減。我覺得任何人的想法都好過我的,所以起身回到書櫃前。最下三層書架擺放了約莫十二本標準八開本的書,看似買來供人閱讀之用。我打算挑一本來實行無庸置疑的閱讀權利,但該哪一本?我費了點時間決定讀一本知名作家寫的小說,雖我甚有榮幸見過她幾次,但對其作品的了解僅止於名氣。

I knew nothing of them that was not good. The lady's 'output' had not been at all huge, and it was agreed that her 'level' was high. I had always gathered that the chief characteristic of her work was its great ' vitality.' The book in my hand was a third edition of her latest novel, and at the end of it were numerous press-notices, at which I glanced for confirmation. ' Immense vitality,' yes, said one critic. 'Full,' said another, 'of an intense vitality.' 'A book that will live,' said a third. How on earth did he know that? I was, however, very willing to believe in the vitality of this writer for all present purposes. Vitality was a thing in which she herself, her talk, her glance, her gestures, abounded. She and they had been, I remembered, rather too much for me. The first time I met her, she said something that I lightly and mildly disputed. On no future occasion did I stem any opinion of hers. Not that she had been rude. Far from it.

對於那些作品,我沒聽過任何不好的。這女士的「產出」絲毫算不得大量。她的「程度」公認很高。對於她的作品主要的特色,我得知評價多在其偉大「活力」。我手中的是她最近一本小說的第三版,書末附有許多的報紙評介,我略瞥一眼而得證。「巨大的活力,」没錯,其中一位如是評論。「充滿」另一位說,「一種強烈的活力。」「一本有生命的書,」第三位說。究竟他如何得知?然而此刻的我非常樂見此作者真能創造活力。活力充滿在她本人的話語,眼神,手勢中。在我們初次的會面,她談到某事時我略有小小的異議。但在那之後,我就再不敢對她的任何意見做抵抗。這並不是因為她無禮,完全不是。

She had but in a sisterly, brotherly way, and yet in a way that was filially eager too, asked me to explain my point. I did my best. She was all attention. But I was conscious that my best, under her eye, was not good. She was quick to help me: she said for me just what I had tried to say, and proceeded to show me just why it was wrong. I smiled the gallant smile of a man who regards women as all the more adorable because logic is not their strong point, bless them! She asked — not aggressively, but strenuously, as one who dearly loves a joke — what I was smiling at. Altogether, a chastening encounter; and my memory of it was tinged with a feeble resentment. How she had scored! No man likes to be worsted in argument by a woman. And I fancy that to be vanquished by a feminine writer is the kind of defeat least of all agreeable to a man who writes.

她只是用一種兄弟姊妹般的方式,甚或是如晚輩般地期盼我解釋我的看法。我盡最大努力而為,她也全神貫注。但我自覺我的最大努力在她眼中遠遠不夠。她很快地開始幫我,講出我試著想說的,接著指出其謬所在。我帶著男人勇敢的微笑,視女人之所以可愛是因為邏輯非其強項,願天保佑她們!她用一種並無侵略性,卻非常努力的方式,如同一個人深深地喜愛一個笑話似地問我,我在笑什麼。一切成了折磨的遭遇;而我記憶裡那還帶著些微憤恨的氣息。她大獲全勝!沒有男人喜歡在與女人的爭論中失利。在我的想像中,被女性作家打敗,跟輸給男性作家相比,是最不愉快的。

A 'sex war,' we are often told is to be one of the features of the world's future — women demanding the right to do men's work, and men refusing, resisting, counter-attacking. It seems likely enough. One can believe anything of the world's future. Yet one conceives that not all men, if this particular evil come to pass, will stand packed shoulder to shoulder against all women. One does not feel that the dockers will be very bitter against such women as want to be miners, or the plumbers frown much upon the would-be steeple-jills. I myself have never had my sense of fitness jarred, nor a spark of animosity roused in me, by a woman practising any of the fine arts — except the art of writing. That she should write a few little poems or pensées, or some impressions of a trip in a dahabieh as far as (say) Biskra, or even a short story or two, seems to me not wholly amiss, even though she do such things for publication.

我們常聽到的「性別之戰」是將來世界的一樣特色-女人要求做男人工作的權利而男人拒絕,抗拒,反擊。這看似足夠。一個人可以相信未來世界的任何事。然而他知道,不是所有男人,當此特別之罪惡真的來臨時,會擠成一團併肩對抗女人。有人不覺得對想當礦工的女人來講,碼頭工人會太辛苦;就像對想當高空女作業工人的女人,去做水管工,眉頭也不會皺一下。我本人從未有因為女生練習任何精緻藝術而刺激到我的適宜感或喚起我內心的憤慨-除了寫作的藝術。若她只是寫幾首小詩,或随想,或搭乘小船旅行,最遠不超過Biskra,而寫些遊記印象,甚至一兩個小故事,對我都不算太不妥,就算付梓也行。

But that she should be an habitual, professional author, with a passion for her art, and a fountain-pen and an agent, and sums down in advance of royalties on sales in Canada and Australia, and a profound knowledge of human character, and an essentially sane outlook, is somehow incongruous with my notions — my mistaken notions, if you will — of what she ought to be.

可是她竟然是個持之有恆的專業作家,擁有對她作品的熱情,一支鋼筆和經紀人,預支在加拿大和澳洲銷售的版稅,對人物角色有深刻認識,基本上神智清楚的長相,在在跟我對她應有的形象理解不一致,我錯誤的理解,若你想這麼講。

despair [記憶法] [dɪ`spɛr; di'spɛə] 絕望
octavo [記憶法] [ɑk`tɛvo; ɔk'tɛivou] 八開本
exercise [記憶法] [`ɛksɚˌsaɪz; 'ɛksəsaiz] 行使權力
undoubted [記憶法] [ʌn`daʊtɪd; ʌn'dautid] 無庸置疑的
repute [記憶法] [rɪ`pjut; ri'pjut] 名氣
characteristic [記憶法] [ˌkærɪktə`rɪstɪk; ˌkærəktə'ristik] 特質,特性,特色
vitality [記憶法] [vaɪ`tælətɪ; vai'tæləti] 活力
immense [記憶法] [ɪ`mɛns; i'mɛns] 無限的, 巨大的
critic [記憶法] [`krɪtɪk; 'kritik] 評論家
abound [記憶法] [ə`baʊnd; ə'baund] 豐富,大量存在
lightly [`laɪtlɪ; 'laitli] 輕輕地,輕微地
dispute [記憶法] [dɪ`spjut; di'spju:t] 有異議,爭論
stem [記憶法] [stɛm; stɛm] 抵抗 <時代潮流等>
rude [記憶法] [rud; ru:d] 不禮貌的
filial [記憶法] [`fɪlɪəl; 'filiəl] (作為) 子女的
gallant [記憶法] [`gælənt; 'gælənt] 英勇的
adorable [記憶法] [ə`dorəbl, ə`dɔr-; ə'dɔ:rəbl] 可愛的; 迷人的
strenuously [記憶法] adv.奮發地, 費力地
dearly [記憶法] [`dɪrlɪ; 'diəli] 由衷地,深切地,深深地
chasten [記憶法] ['tʃɛɪsən] 改正, 磨練
tinged [記憶法] 淡色的
feeble [記憶法] ['fɪ:bəl] 微弱的
resentment [記憶法] [ rɪ'zɛntmənt ] 憤恨,惱怒
fancy [記憶法] [`fænsɪ; 'fænsi] 幻想
vanquished [記憶法] [`væŋkwɪʃt; 'væŋkwiʃt] 被征服的; 被擊敗的
feminine [記憶法] [`fɛmənɪn; 'fɛminin] 女的,婦女的
defeat [記憶法] [dɪ`fit; di'fi:t] 打敗
packed [記憶法] [pækt] 擠得滿滿的,擁擠的
docker dock.er 《源自 dock》<<可數名詞>> 碼頭工人,船塢工人 (longshoreman)
steeple [記憶法] ['stɪ:pəl] 尖塔,尖閣
fitness [記憶法] n. 適合, 合宜, 合理, 恰當, 健康 [醫] 適合性, 適應性
jar [記憶法] [dʒɑr; dʒɑ:] 震動, 刺激
animosity [記憶法] [ˌænə`mɑsətɪ; ˌæni'mɔsəti] 敵意,憎惡; 仇恨
rouse [記憶法] [raʊz; rauz] 激起, 挑動, 惹起
practice [記憶法] [`præktɪs; 'præktis] 練習
poem [記憶法] [`po.ɪm; 'pouim] 詩; 韻文
habitual [記憶法] [hə`bɪtʃʊəl, -tʃʊl; hə'bitjuəl, -tʃul]習慣性的,慣常的
sane [記憶法] [sɛn; sɛin] 神志清明的,頭腦清醒的