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双语欣赏:一件红毛衣

(2007-07-02 13:54:29)
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郭新中

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翻译

双语欣赏

 一 件 红 毛 衣

 

By Ruth Nestvold

 

翻译/郭新中

 

上个世纪中叶,在遥远的阿拉斯加州罗林卡小镇长大的维多利亚埃斯基从来就不知道如何离家外出。在阿拉斯加西部的苏厄德半岛上,外出并不是一件容易的事情。方圆几百里,看到的只是一望无际的大海、冰雪覆盖的土地、几个爱斯基摩居住的小村子和以前淘金者留下的小镇。唯一能够外出的方式就是乘坐飞机,当然了,即使冬季可以乘坐狗拉雪橇外出,维基也从来没有经历过。尽管有三百哩长的道路有罗林卡通向其它地方,也只是将这些个北极小镇一个个连接起来。

 

毛衣由红毛线线头编制而成,毛线有好有坏、颜色深浅不一,有马海毛,有生丝,有棉的,由亚麻的。针脚的样式各有不同,有横的,有敞开的,有波纹形的,有蝶形的。尽管这件羊毛衫已有十年了,可维基记忆犹新,那时在她上大学之前,母亲把它作为高中毕业的礼物送给她。

 

“我不想离开罗林卡”维基说,抱着她瘦削的双腿,看着毛衣针在母亲的手上飞快的来回交织着,一针一线逐渐见雏形,

 

两针并一针,加一针,一针下,加一针,下滑一针,一针下,一行完。“你要想拿到大学文凭,你必须得离开罗林卡”。

 

“大学文凭又有什么用呢?“贡纳逊先生答应给我一份金店的工作”

 

上针,向上滑一针,七针上。“你真的一辈子要当售货员了?”

 

维基当然不会——哪个女孩儿会把售货员当成人生目标呢?可她还是不愿离开家。

五针下,两针并一针,加一针,一针下,加一针,滑一针,一针下,又一个花形。

 

“如果你害怕到外面去,你可以在罗林卡一直呆下去。”

 

维基从来没有承认过害怕。在毛衣织好以前,她已经同意参加华盛顿大学一次英语活动。

 

她穿着红毛衣,登上了飞往安克雷奇的飞机,然后转机到西雅图。她穿着红毛衣从西雅图飞回罗林卡参加母亲的葬礼。她穿着红毛衣离开了华盛顿大学, 在那儿,第一个青年男子向她求婚。

 

那是六十年代后期文化革命以前的事,那个时候,男子在向女子求婚以前,总要买些耳环之类的首饰。维基盯着餐桌上红色首饰盒里的钻石说:“不”。

 

罗恩盯着维基,胆怯的微笑从脸上消失。“不同意?”

 

“是的。不同意。”

 

“可是我们相处差不多一年了。”

 

维基点了点头,说:“我也非常喜欢你,罗恩。我们在一起也很开心。但我要到奥斯丁读研,而你要去波特兰读研。”

 

“你可以跟我一块去,共同完成我们的学业。”

 

维基的态度非常坚决,波特兰没有那所学校有合适她的专业,这事儿不值得再提。 说着,维基把钻戒推给罗恩。“我真的非常开心但我们之间没什么结果。”

 

罗恩将钻戒又推了过来。“能不能再想想?”

 

维基摇了摇头,在一次将钻戒推给罗恩,说:“我主意已定。”

 

罗恩握住维基的手,将钻戒给她戴上。“给你买的,维基。收下吧,权当作个礼物吧。”

 

“我不会改变主意的。”

 

罗恩耸了耸肩,笑着说:“我明白。你戴它的时候,也许会想起我。

 

于是维多利亚 埃斯基便收起了这枚订婚戒指。

(To be continued)

 

原文

Growing up in remote Rolynka, Alaska, in the middle of the last century, Victoria Askew never really learned the trick of how to leave. Leaving was not an easy thing to do on the Seward Peninsula. There was nothing within hundreds of miles except ocean and tundra and a few Eskimo villages and former gold-rush towns. The only way out was by plane or dogsled, and the latter, of course, only in the winter—not that Vicky had ever left that way. There were three hundred miles' worth of roads leading from Rolynka, but they all led in an incestuous circle from one small subarctic town to the next.

 

Perhaps that was why leaving worked better with the leaving sweater.

The leaving sweater was made of scraps of leftover red wool—many different shades of red. And many different qualities of yarn, from mohair to raw silk to cotton and linen mixes. And many different stitches, from ribbed to open work to waterfall to butterfly. Although it had been a decade now, Vicky could still remember watching her mother make it as a present for Vicky's high school graduation—before she was to go away to college.

"I don't want to leave Rolynka," Vicky had said, her arms wrapped around her skinny legs as she watched the needles fly in her mother's hands and the strands of wool take shape.

 

Knit two together, yarn forward, knit one, yarn forward, slip one, knit one, pass slip stitch over. "You have to if you want to get a college degree, Victoria."

 

"What do I need a college degree for? Mr. Gunnarson's already offered me a full-time job at the Golden Nugget."

 

Purl, slip one purlwise, purl seven. "Are you sure you want to be a waitress for the rest of your life?"

 

Of course she didn't—what girl had "waitress" as life goal? But she didn't want to leave home either.

 

Knit five, knit two together, yarn forward, knit one, yarn forward, slip one, knit one, pass slip stitch over. "Of course, if you're afraid of going to the Outside, you can always stay in Rolynka."

 

Vicky would never have admitted to being afraid. Before the sweater was finished, she had been accepted to the English program at the University of Washington.

 

She wore the red sweater when she boarded the plane to take her to Anchorage and from there to Seattle. She wore the red sweater when she boarded the plane in Seattle to bring her back to Rolynka for her mother's funeral. She wore the red sweater when she left the University of Washington—and the first young man who had begged her to marry him.

It was before the cultural revolution of the late sixties, in an era when men always bought rings before popping the question.

 

Vicky stared at the diamond in its little red box on the restaurant table and said, "No."

 

Ron stared at her, the nervous smile wiped from his face. "No?"

"That's right. No."

 

"But we've been dating for almost a year!"

 

Vicky nodded. "I like you a lot, Ron, and we've had a lot of fun. But I've been accepted to graduate school in Austin, and you're going to medical school in Portland."

 

"You could come with me and continue studying there."

 

She decided it wasn't worth mentioning all over again that there were no schools in Portland with appropriate programs. She shoved the ring across the table. "I'm very flattered, really. But I don't think it would work out."

He pushed it back. "Won't you reconsider?"

 

She shook her head, shoving the little red box over to him again. "My decision is made."

 

Ron took her hand and slipped the ring on her finger. "I bought it for you, Vicky. Consider it a present."

 

"I'm not going to change my mind."

 

He smiled and shrugged. "I understand. Maybe you'll think of me sometimes when you wear it."

 

And so began Victoria Askew's collection of engagement rings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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