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比尔.克林顿《我的生活》中英对照 第二章(1)

(2009-05-26 06:44:19)
标签:

克林顿

文化

英语学习

自传

杂谈

分类: 学习

TWO

母亲这边的亲戚们 (0到4岁)

 

I was born on my grandfather’s birthday, a couple of weeks early, weighing in at a respectable six pounds eight ounces, on a twenty-one-inch frame. Mother and I came home to her parent’s house on Hervey Street in Hope, where I would spend the next four years. That old house seemed massive and mysterious to me then and still holds deep memories today. The people of Hope raised the funds to restore it and fill it with old pictures, memorabilia, and period furniture. They call it the Clinton Birthplace. It certainly is the place I associate with awakening to life, to the smells of country food; to buttermilk churns, ice-cream makers, washboards, and clotheslines; to my Dick and Jane readers, my first toys, including a simple length of chain I prized above them all; to strange voices talking over our party line telephone; to my first friends, and the work my grandparents did.

我的生日和外祖父的是同一天。我早产了两个星期,出生时体重不得了,达到6磅8盎司(大约6斤),身长21英寸(大约53厘米)。母亲带我回到了霍普镇赫维街上她父母的家中。在那里,我度过了四年时光。那时,在我眼里,这幢老宅看上去又大又神秘,至今它还深深印在我脑海中。霍普镇的百姓筹款恢复了房子的原貌,并在里面挂上了老照片,摆放了各种纪念品以及当时的家具。他们称之为“克林顿诞生地”。毫无疑问,我睁开眼睛、拥有生命的第一天就和这个地方结下了不解之缘。在这里,我第一次闻到了乡村食物的香味,第一次看到了乳酪搅拌机、冰淇淋机、洗衣板、晾衣绳;在这里,我第一次看到了《迪克和简》读物,拥有了我的第一批玩具,其中包括一根普普通通的链条,那是我当时最喜欢的东西;在这里,我第一次通过家里的共线通信电话听到了陌生人的声音;在这里,我结交了第一批的朋友,看到了外祖父母干的活儿。

 

After a year or so, my mother decided she needed to go back to New Orleans to Charity Hospital, where she had done part of her nursing training, to learn to be a nurse anesthetist. In the old days, doctors had administered their own anesthetics, so there was a demand for this relatively new work, which would bring more prestige to her and more money for us. But it must have been hard on her, leaving me. On the other hand, New Orleans was an amazing place after the war, full of young people, Dixieland music, and over-the-top haunts like the Club My-Oh-My, where men in drag danced and sang as lovely ladies. I guess it wasn’t a bad place for a beautiful young widow to move beyond her loss.

过了一年左右,母亲决定回新奥尔良的“慈善医院”工作。她曾在那里接受过部分的护士培训,学做一名护理麻醉师。从前,麻醉工作由医生自己完成,因此对这种相对较新的工作存在需求。这份工作会给母亲带来更高的地位,给我们带来更多的钱。然而,要离我而去,母亲心里准不好受。但从另一方面看,战后的新奥尔良是一个非常不错的地方,到处是年轻人,到处是迪克西兰爵士乐,到处是“至爱吾爱”夜总会那种人们频繁光顾的地方。在那里,男人穿上女人的服饰,像个可爱的女人般唱歌、跳舞。我觉得,对于一位漂亮的小寡妇来说,要忘却丧偶的悲痛,那儿还真是个不错的地方。

 

I got to visit Mother twice when my grandmother took me on the train to New Orleans. I was only three, but I remember two things clearly. First, we stayed just across Canal Street from the French Quarter in the Jung Hotel, on one of the higher floors. It was the first building more than two stories high I had ever been in, in the first real city I had ever seen. I can remember the awe I felt looking out over all the city lights at night. I don’t recall what Mother and I did in New Orleans, but Ill never forget what happened one of the times I got on the train to leave. As we pulled away from the station, Mother knelt by the side of the railroad tracks and cried as she waved good-bye. I can see her there still, crying on her knees, as if it were yesterday.

我去新奥尔良看望过母亲两次,每次都是外祖母领我坐火车去的。那时我只有三岁,不过有两件事我至今记忆犹新。第一件事是我们住的地方,那是荣格酒店中较高层的一个房间,该酒店就在法国移民区运河街酒店的正对面。这是我第一次见到真正的城市,第一次住在超过两层楼高的房子里。夜幕降临后,我从旅馆俯瞰城市的万家灯火,当时那种震撼的感觉至今令我难以忘怀。至于我和母亲在新奥尔良做了些什么,我已经不记得了,但有一次我登上火车准备离开时的情景,是我一辈子也忘不了的。当火车缓缓离开车站时,母亲跪在轨道旁,一边挥手道别,一边放声痛哭。她当时跪在那里哭泣的情景,至今历历在目,就好像是昨天的事。

 

For more than fifty years, from that first trip, New Orleans has always had a special fascination for me. I love its music, food, people, and spirit. When I was fifteen, my family took a vacation to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, and I got to hear Al Hirt, the great trumpeter, in his own club. At first they wouldn’t let me in because I was underage. As Mother and I were about to walk away, the doorman told us that Hirt was sitting in his car reading just around the corner, and that only he could let me in. I found him—in his Bentley no less—tapped on the window, and made my case. He got out, took Mother and me into the club, and put us at a table near the front. He and his group played a great set—it was my first live jazz experience. Al Hirt died while I was President. I wrote his wife and told her the story, expressing my gratitude for a big mans long-ago kindness to a boy.

50多年来,从第一次到新奥尔良起,我就一直对那座城市特别入迷。我喜欢那里的音乐、那里的食物、那里的人、那里的活力。15岁那年,我们全家前往新奥尔良和墨西哥湾度假,我非常想去一个俱乐部,里面有一个了不起的小号手叫阿尔.赫特,我想听他的演奏。起先,他们不让我进去,因为我没有达到可以进入会所的年龄。就在我和母亲准备离去时,门房告诉我们,赫特就坐在街角处自己的车内看书,只有他才能让我进去。我在他那辆宾利车里找到了他,敲了敲窗子,跟他说明了情况。他走下车,领着我和母亲进入俱乐部,在靠近舞台的地方给我们找了个座位。他和他的乐队演奏了一组极为好听的曲目——这是我第一次在现场听爵士乐。我当上总统时,阿尔.赫特已经过世。我给他妻子写了封信,向她讲述了上面这段故事,为一位大人物多年前对一个小孩子的好意表示感谢。

 

 

When I was in high school, I played the tenor saxophone solo on a piece about New Orleans called Crescent City Suite. I always thought I did a better job on it because I played it with memories of my first sight of the city. When I was twenty-one, I won a Rhodes scholarship in New Orleans. I think I did well in the interview in part because I felt at home there. When I was a young law professor, Hillary and I had a couple of great trips to New Orleans for conventions, staying at a quaint little hotel in the French Quarter, the Cornstalk. When I was governor of Arkansas, we played in the Sugar Bowl there, losing to Alabama in one of the legendary Bear Bryants last great victories. At least he was born and grew up in Arkansas! When I ran for President, the people of New Orleans twice gave me overwhelming victory margins, assuring Louisianas electoral votes for our side.

上中学时,我曾用次中音萨克斯独奏过一首关于新奥尔良(也叫月牙城)的曲子,叫做《月牙城组曲》。我一直认为,我演奏得比别人更好,因为演奏时,我脑海里一直浮现着我第一次见到这个城市时的景象。21岁那年,我在新奥尔良荣获了罗兹奖学金。我觉得面试时自己表现出色,在某种程度上是因为我有一种在家里的感觉。在成为一名年轻的法学教授后,我和希拉里曾几度来到新奥尔良参加会议,住在法国区一家叫做“玉米秆”的很特别的小旅馆内,旅途非常愉快。在我当上阿肯色州州长后,我们曾在那里参加“糖罐杯”橄榄球赛,输给了亚拉巴马大学队,那也是传奇教练贝尔.布莱思特获得的最后几次伟大胜利之一。但至少,他是在阿肯色州出生并长大的!当我竞选总统时,新奥尔良人民两次让我赢得了压倒性多数的选票,保证了路易斯安那州的选票投向我们一方。

 

Now I have seen most of the worlds great cities, but New Orleans will always be special—for coffee and beignets at the Morning Call on the Mississippi; for the music of Aaron and Charmaine Neville, the old guys at Preservation Hall, and the memory of Al Hirt; for jogging through the French Quarter in the early morning; for amazing meals at a host of terrific restaurants with John Breaux, Sheriff Harry Lee, and my other pals; and most of all, for those first memories of my mother. They are the magnets that keep pulling me down the Mississippi to New Orleans.

至今,我已经出过世界上大多数大城市,但新奥尔良总是与众不同——那里有密西西比河上“叫早”餐厅的咖啡和煎馅饼;那里有阿隆和沙蒙.尼维尔的音乐,音乐圣地典藏厅的老歌手,还有对阿尔.赫特的回忆;在那里,我们清晨慢跑穿过法国区;在那里,我们和约翰.布鲁、谢里夫.哈里.李以及其他一些伙伴遍尝了众多一流餐馆里令人垂涎欲滴的饭菜;最重要的是,那里有我对母亲最初的记忆。所有这些好比磁铁般,始终吸引着我沿密西西比河顺流而下,去新奥尔良。

 

While Mother was in New Orleans, I was in the care of my grandparents. They were incredibly conscientious about me. They loved me very much; sadly, much better than they were able to love each other or, in my grandmothers case, to love my mother. Of course, I was blissfully unaware of all this at the time. I just knew that I was loved. Later, when I became interested in children growing up in hard circumstances and learned something of child development from Hillary’s work at the Yale Child Study Center, I came to realize how fortunate I had been. For all their own demons, my grandparents and my mother always made me feel I was the most important person in the world to them. Most children will make it if they have just one person who makes them feel that way. I had three.

母亲在新奥尔良期间,由外祖父母负责照料我。他们非常周全地照顾着我。不幸的是,他们爱我远胜过爱他们彼此,就我外祖母来说,爱我还胜过爱我母亲。当然,对于这些,充满幸福感觉的我在当时是一无所知,只知道他们都疼爱我。后来,我开始关心在艰苦环境下长大的儿童,并从希拉里在耶鲁儿童研究中心所做的工作中了解到儿童发展方面的一些情况,那时,我才意识到我是多么幸运。尽管他们之间互有心病,外祖父母和母亲总是让我感觉到,在这个世界上我对他们是最重要的。多数儿童只要有一个人给他们这种感觉就足以让他们健康成长,而我则拥有三个。

 

My grandmother, Edith Grisham Cassidy, stood just over five feet tall and weighed about 180 pounds. Mammaw was bright, intense, and aggressive, and had obviously been pretty once. She had a great laugh, but she also was full of anger and disappointment and obsessions she only dimly understood. She took it all out in raging tirades against my grandfather and my mother, both before and after I was born, though I was shielded from most of them. She had been a good student and ambitious, so after high school she took a correspondence course in nursing from the Chicago School of Nursing. By the time I was a toddler she was a private-duty nurse for a man not far from our house on Hervey Street. I can still remember running down the sidewalk to meet her when she came home from work.

我外祖母伊迪丝.格里森姆.卡西迪,身高仅5英尺多一点,体重却有约180磅。外婆脑袋灵活,待人热情,说起话来有点儿冲,显然也曾经漂亮过。她笑起来爽朗大方,生起气来则怒发冲冠,有时又心灰意懒,有时又对她不太明白的事太过执着。在我出生前后,她把脾气都发在我外公和母亲身上,但是,基本上她都不会在我面前发难。她喜欢学习,抱负远大,高中毕业后即开始函授学习芝加哥护理学校的护理课程。我开始蹒跚学步时,她正为赫维街离我家不远的一个人做私人护理。我还记得,每当她下班回家时,我会跑过人行道去迎接她。

 

Mammaws main goals for me were that I would eat a lot, learn a lot, and always be neat and clean. We ate in the kitchen at a table next to the window. My high chair faced the window, and Mammaw tacked playing cards up on the wooden window frame at mealtimes so that I could learn to count. She also stuffed me at every meal, because conventional wisdom at the time was that a fat baby was a healthy one, as long as he bathed every day. At least once a day, she read to me from Dick and Jane books until I could read them myself, and from World Book Encyclopedia volumes, which in those days were sold door-to-door by salesmen and were often the only books besides the Bible in working people’s houses. These early instructions probably explain why I now read a lot, love card games, battle my weight, and never forget to wash my hands and brush my teeth.

外婆为我设立的主要目标是,多吃多学,整洁干净。我们吃饭时总坐在厨房窗户旁的餐桌前。我的高椅子面对着窗子,外婆则在吃饭时用大头钉把扑克牌一张张地钉在木头窗框上,好让我学习数数。每次吃饭,她总要让我吃撑了肚子,因为当时的传统观念认为,只要天天洗澡,胖娃娃就是壮娃娃。每天,她至少要给我念一次《迪克和简》里的故事,直到我自己能看懂为止。她还一卷卷地念《世界图书百科全书》给我听。那时,这类书是推销员挨家挨户地上门销售的。在劳动阶层家庭,除了《圣经》外,这往往是惟一的书。这些早期教育也许说明了为什么我现在喜欢读书,喜欢打牌,热衷于减肥,从不忘记刷牙和洗手。

 

I adored my grandfather, the first male influence in my life, and felt pride that I was born on his birthday. James Eldridge Cassidy was a slight man, about five eight, but in those years still strong and handsome. I always thought he resembled the actor Randolph Scott.

我崇敬我的外祖父。他是对我生活产生影响的第一个男性形象。我为自己和他同一天生日而感到自豪。他叫詹姆斯.埃尔德里奇.卡西迪,身体纤瘦,身高5英尺8英寸,但在那个年代里,仍然显得强壮英俊。我总觉得他长得像演员伦道夫.司各特。

 

When my grandparents moved from Bodcaw, which had a population of about a hundred, to the metropolis Hope, Papaw worked for an icehouse delivering ice on a horse-drawn wagon. In those days, refrigerators really were iceboxes, cooled by chunks of ice whose size varied according to the size of the appliance. Though he weighed about 150 pounds, my grandfather carried ice blocks that weighed up to a hundred pounds or more, using a pair of hooks to slide them onto his back, which was protected by a large leather flap.

当外祖父母搬离只有百来人的博德科镇,来到大市镇霍普镇时,外公在一家制冰厂找了份活儿,赶马车送冰。那时的冰箱真的就是冰盒子,得靠一块块的冰来制冷,冰块的大小根据容器的大小而各不相同。尽管外公只有150磅重,却得扛一百多磅的冰块。他首先在背上垫一块大皮垫,然后用一副钩子拖动冰块,使之滑到他背上。

 

My grandfather was an incredibly kind and generous man. During the Depression, when nobody had any money, he would invite boys to ride the ice truck with him just to get them off the street. They earned twenty-five cents a day. In 1976, when I was in Hope running for attorney general, I had a talk with one of those boys, Judge John Wilson. He grew up to be a distinguished, successful lawyer, but he still had vivid memories of those days. He told me that at the end of one day, when my grandfather gave him his quarter, he asked if he could have two dimes and a nickel so that he could feel he had more money. He got them and walked home, jingling the change in his pockets. But he jingled too hard, and one of the dimes fell out. He looked for that dime for hours to no avail. Forty years later, he told me he still never walked by that stretch of sidewalk without trying to spot that dime.

外公是个非常心地善良、慷慨大方的人。大萧条时期,人人都没钱,他总是主动让小孩子们跟他一起送冰,只是为了不让他们在街上瞎混。他们一天能挣到25美分。1976年,我在霍普镇竞选检察长时,和那些小孩子中的一位——约翰.威尔逊法官拉了拉家常。他长大后成为了一名非常出色、成功的律师,但对那些日子却始终记忆犹新。他告诉我说,有一天干完活儿后,外公给了他一个25美分的硬币,他问是否可以给他换成两个10美分的和一个5美分的,好让他感觉挣了不止25美分。在如愿以偿后,他开始往家走,一边在口袋里晃荡那几个硬币。但他晃得太厉害了,一个10美分的硬币掉了出来。结果他花了好几个小时寻找那个硬币,却一无所获。40年过去了,他告诉我说,每当走到那一段人行道旁边时,他总免不了要瞅一瞅地上有没有那个10美分硬币。

 

It’s hard to convey to young people today the impact the Depression had on my parents and grandparents generation, but I grew up feeling it. One of the most memorable stories of my childhood was my mother’s tale of a Depression Good Friday when my grandfather came home from work and broke down and cried as he told her he just couldn’t afford the dollar or so it would cost to buy her a new Easter dress. She never forgot it, and every year of my childhood I had a new Easter outfit whether I wanted it or not. I remember one Easter in the 1950s, when I was fat and self-conscious. I went to church in a light-colored short-sleeved shirt, white linen pants, pink and black Hush Puppies, and a matching pink suede belt. It hurt, but my mother had been faithful to her father’s Easter ritual.

美国大萧条时期对我父母和外祖父母那代人的生活影响巨大,对此,现在的年轻人是无法理解的,我在成长过程中却感受颇深。孩提时代一个最难以忘怀的故事是我母亲讲给我听的。那是大萧条时期的一个受难节(复活节前的星期五,被基督教徒作为耶稣受难节予以纪念),外公干完一天活儿回家后突然放声大哭,说自己连给她买件复活节新衣的一美元都拿不出来。这件事母亲总记在心上,因此小时候无论我要不要,她每年都会给我买一套复活节新衣。我记得在20世纪50年代的某一年的复活节,那时自己很胖,觉得难为情,去教堂那天又穿了件浅色短袖衫和白色亚麻裤,足蹬一双粉色带黑色的暇步士鞋,腰里扎了条相配的粉红色仿麂皮腰带。这套装束弄得我很难堪,但母亲却信守了她父亲的复活节习俗。

 

When I was living with him, my grandfather had two jobs that I really loved: he ran a little grocery store, and he supplemented his income by working as a night watchman at a sawmill. I loved spending the night with Papaw at the sawmill. We would take a paper bag with sandwiches for supper, and I would sleep in the backseat of the car. And on clear starlit nights, I would climb in the sawdust piles, taking in the magical smells of fresh-cut timber and sawdust. My grandfather loved working there, too. It got him out of the house and reminded him of the mill work he’d done as a young man around the time of my mother’s birth. Except for the time Papaw closed the car door on my fingers in the dark, those nights were perfect adventures.

在和外公生活的日子里,他有两件工作让我十分喜欢:他白天开一家小杂货店,夜晚则替一家锯木厂看门,补贴家用。我很喜欢晚上和外公一起待在锯木厂里。我们总是带上一纸袋的三明治当晚饭,夜里我就睡在车后座上。在星光灿烂的夜晚,我会爬上锯木堆,大口吸进新锯开的木头和锯屑散发出来的不可思议的气味。外祖父也很喜欢那里的工作,因为这份工作让他得以走出家门,让他想起年轻时在磨坊干活儿的情景,当时我母亲才刚出生。那些夜晚的经历都异常激动人心。除了有一次,外公在黑暗中关车门时夹住了我的手指。

 

The grocery store was a different sort of adventure. First, there was a huge jar of Jackson’s cookies on the counter, which I raided with gusto. Second, grown-ups I didn’t know came in to buy groceries, for the first time exposing me to adults who weren’t relatives. Third, a lot of my grandfather’s customers were black. Though the South was completely segregated back then, some level of racial interaction was inevitable in small towns, just as it had always been in the rural South. However, it was rare to find an uneducated rural southerner without a racist bone in his body. That’s exactly what my grandfather was. I could see that black people looked different, but because he treated them like he did everybody else, asking after their children and about their work, I thought they were just like me. Occasionally, black kids would come into the store and we would play. It took me years to learn about segregation and prejudice and the meaning of poverty, years to learn that most white people weren’t like my grandfather and grandmother, whose views on race were among the few things she had in common with her husband. In fact, Mother told me one of the worst whippings she ever got was when, at age three or four; she called a black woman Nigger. To put it mildly, Mammaw’s whipping her was an unusual reaction for a poor southern white woman in the 1920s.

在杂货店的生活则是另一种激动人心的经历。首先是柜台上那个巨大的罐子,里面装满了杰克逊点心店做的甜饼干,我时不时地会从中拿饼干吃。其次是那些来店里买东西的,我不认识的大人,除了亲戚外,他们是我最初见到的大人。第三是外公的许多顾客都是黑人。尽管那时南方实行着严格的种族隔离,但在小城镇中,不同肤色人的交往在一定程度上也是免不了的。然而,要从未受过教育的南方人中找出一个骨子里没有种族偏见的人来是相当不容易的。而我外祖父正是这么一个人。我看得出来,黑人看上去是不一样,但外祖父对待他们就像对待其他人一样,问候他们子女如何,询问他们工作如何,所以我觉得他们和我没什么不一样。偶尔,黑人孩子也会到店里来,我们会一起玩。我过了许多年才了解什么是种族隔离、什么是偏见、什么是贫穷,好多年后我才了解到多数白人都和我外祖父母不一样。外祖母和外祖父很少意见统一,但在种族问题上却持相同的态度。事实上,母亲告诉我,她挨打挨得最重的一次是在她三四岁的时候,原因是她称一位黑人妇女为“黑鬼”。说得婉转些,对于20世纪20年代一个南方穷苦白人妇女来说,外婆责备我母亲是一种非同寻常的反应。

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