尼葛的叶子

鄧嘉宛 2020-05-11 18:34:00

今天翻译完了〈尼葛的叶子〉。真是太喜欢托老这个短篇故事了。贴几段跟大家分享。

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矗立在他面前的是“那棵树”,他的树,已经完成了。如果你能用“已经完成”来说一棵活生生的树的话;它的叶子舒展,它的枝条在风中生长和弯曲,这风过去尼葛常感觉到或揣测到,却经常无法传神描绘出来。他凝视着那棵树,慢慢地举起手,张开双臂。

Before him stood the Tree, his Tree, finished. If you could say that of a Tree that was alive, its leaves opening, its branches growing and bending in the wind that Niggle had so often felt or guesses, and had so often failed to catch. He gazed at the Tree, and slowly he lifted his arms and opened them wide.

“这是上天所赐的礼物!”他说。他指的是他的艺术天份,也指的眼前完成的作品;不过他的意思也纯粹就是字面上的“上天所赐的礼物!”

‘It’s a gift!’ he said. He was referring to his art, and also to the result; but he was using the word quite literally.

他继续看着那棵树。他费心描绘过的叶子都在那里,模样都是他心里所想象的,而不是他当时所画出来的;还有其他一些是只在他心里抽了芽,还有许多是他当时要是有时间的话也会在他心里抽芽的。叶子上什么也没写,它们就是精致美丽的树叶,但却像日历一般有清楚的日期。那些最美丽的,也就是最有特色、最完美展现出尼葛的风格的叶子,看来是与派瑞许先生一同合作完成的——没有更贴切的说法了。

He went on looking at the Tree. All the leaves he had ever laboured at were there, as he had imagined them rather than as he had made them; and there were others that had only budded in his mind, and many that might have budded, if only he had had time. Nothing was written on them, they were just exquisite leaves, yet they were dated as clear as a calendar. Some of the most beautiful – and the most characteristic, the most perfect examples of the Niggle style – were seen to have been produced in collaboration with Mr Parish: there was no other way of putting it.

鸟儿在这棵树上筑巢。令人惊叹的鸟儿:听听它们唱得多好啊!就在他看着它们的时候,它们在交配,在孵化,在长出翅膀,也在唱着歌向森林飞去。他现在也看到森林了,森林从两边向外延展,直到远方。远方的群山闪着微光。

The birds were building in the Tree. Astonishing birds: how they sang! They were mating, hatching, growing wings, and flying away singing into the Forest even while he looked at them. For now he saw that the Forest was there too, opening out on either side, and marching away into the distance. The Mountains were glimmering far away.

过了一会儿,尼葛转身面向那片森林。不是因为他看腻了那棵树,而是他似乎已经将那棵树清清楚楚地纳入他心里,即使他没有看着它,也能感受到它的存在,知道它在生长着。随着他向前走,他发现一件奇怪的事:当然,这片森林是一片远方的森林,但是他可以接近、甚至走进这片森林,不会让它失去特有的魅力。在此之前,他从未能走到远方而不把远方变成只是寻常的周遭景物。这确实给乡间漫步增加了相当大的吸引力,因为,随着你往前走,新的远方又铺展开来;因此,现在你面前有了两倍、三倍、四倍的远方,它们是两倍、三倍、四倍的迷人。你可以一直走一直走,在一个花园,或一张画里(如果你喜欢这么称呼它的话)走出一整片乡野来。你可以持续一直走下去,不过大概不能永远走下去。远方的背景是群山。群山确实慢慢地接近了。它们似乎不属于这幅画,或只是通往另一个东西的链接,是透过树林的缝隙瞥见的某种不同的东西,另一个境地——另一幅画。

After a time Niggle turned towards the Forest. Not because he was tired of the Tree, but he seemed to have got it all clear in his mind now, and was aware of it, and of its growth, even when he was not looking at it. As he walked away, he discovered an odd thing: the Forest, of course, was a distant Forest, yet he could approach it, even enter it, without its losing that particular charm. He had never before been able to walk into the distance without turning it into mere surroundings. It really added a considerable attraction to walking in the country, because, as you walked, new distances opened out; so that you now had double, treble, and quadruple distances, doubly, trebly, and quadruply enchanting. You could go on and on, and have a whole country in a garden, or in a picture (if you preferred to call it that). You could go on and on, but not perhaps for ever. There were the Mountains in the background. They did get nearer, very slowly. They did not seem to belong to the picture, or only as a link to something else, a glimpse through the trees of something different, a further stage: another picture.

鄧嘉宛
作者鄧嘉宛
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