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伊丽莎白 勃朗宁和《葡萄牙人的十四行诗集》(二)

(2009-07-25 21:29:16)
标签:

browning

罗伯特

伊丽莎白

勃朗宁

英语诗歌

翻译

情感

分类: WhentheNightLightsGlow

     收到罗伯特热情洋溢的信后,伊丽莎白既欣喜,又痛苦。欣喜的是,自己能够得到一位诗人的赞赏,和一位年轻人的爱慕。痛苦的是,自己39岁,瘫痪卧病在床。无论罗伯特多么爱慕她的才华,一旦罗伯特见到自己的真实面目,一定会大失所望。

伊丽莎白在收到了罗伯特的来信后,回信道:

(回信很长,我做了节选,附上我自己的翻译,欢迎大家讨论指正)

 (sympathy这个词我翻译得一直不满意,大家有什么建议吗?同情?契合?默契?)

(感谢"八级",讨论过后我们一致认为用“理解”,sympathy在这里可能更多指的是诗人之间的惺惺相惜和共鸣)

I thank you, dear Mr. Browning, from the bottom of my heart. You meant to give me pleasure by your letter--and even if the object had not been answered, I ought still to thank you. But it is thoroughly answered. Such a letter from such a hand! Sympathy is dear--very dear to me: but the sympathy of a poet, and of such a poet, is the quintessence of sympathy to me! Will you take back my gratitude for it?--agreeing, too, that of all the commerce done in the world, from Tyre to Carthage, the exchange of sympathy for gratitude is the most princely thing!

我从心底里感谢您,勃朗宁先生。你希望藉由您的来信为我带来愉悦——即便这个目的没有实现,我也应该感谢您。但是您的目的完全达到了。如此的来信出自如此的一双手!理解对我总是很珍贵的——非常地珍贵:但是来自一位诗人的理解,却是所有理解之中的极致!您是否能接受我对您的感激?——同时也同意,在这世界上所有的商业中,从提尔到迦太基,理解与感激之间的交换是最为高贵的!

 

What I was going to say--after a little natural hesitation--is, that if ever you emerge without inconvenient effort from your 'passive state,' and will _tell_me of such faults as rise to the surface and strike you as important in my poems, (for of course, I do not think of troubling you with criticism in detail) you will confer a lasting obligation on me, and one which I shall value so much, that I covet it at a distance.……

 我想说的是——在稍许犹豫之后——如果您并不费力气地打破了您的“被动状态”,并且告诉我您在我的诗歌中所看到的、并且您认为是重要的缺陷,(当然,我决不会想到麻烦您写作详细的批评),您从此便对我负有了这批评的义务,而我如此珍视您的批评,即便身处遥远也会妄想能够获得。

 

Is it indeed true that I was so near to the pleasure and honour of making your acquaintance? and can it be true that you look back upon the lost opportunity with any regret? _But_--you know--if you had entered the 'crypt,' you might have caught cold, or been tired to death, and _wished_ yourself 'a thousand miles off;' which would have been worse than travelling them. ……

难道我真能有如此地荣幸与您相识?当您回顾您错失的那次机会,您真的如此地懊悔?但是您要知道,如果您当初真的进到了“地下室”,您也许会因此而感冒,或者劳累得要死,比远行了一千英里更为糟糕。

 

I am writing too much,--and notwithstanding that I am writing too much, I will write of one thing more. I will say that I am your debtor, not only for this cordial letter and for all the pleasure which came with it, but in other ways, and those the highest: and I will say that while I live to follow this divine art of poetry, in proportion to my love for it and my devotion to it, I must be a devout admirer and student of your works. This is in my heart to say to you--and I say it.

我已经写得太多,——尽管我已经写得太多,我还想再写一件事情。我想说我欠着您的债,不仅仅因为这封热忱的来信和这封来信所带来的愉悦,还因为我很多方面都欠着您的债,比如说:尽管我此生一直追求诗歌这一神圣的艺术,我对您作品的虔诚却毫不亚于我对诗歌的热爱和专注,我是您作品的忠实学生。这是我内心对您的诉说——现在我就说出来

 

                                                  Your obliged and faithful

                                       ELIZABETH B. BARRETT.

 

在后来的数封通信中,伊丽莎白和罗伯特开始了广泛而有趣的讨论,我摘录了一些我喜欢的片断。当读到如此浩如烟海的大量信件,真的为这两位诗人精神上的锲合而深深感动。

 

其中有伊丽莎白在信中对自己性格的描述:

When I had an Italian master, years ago, he told me that there was an unpronounceable English word which absolutely expressed me, and which he would say in his own tongue, as he could not in mine--'_testa lunga_.' Of course, the signor meant _headlong_!--and now I have had enough to tame me, and might be expected to stand still in my stall. But you see I do not. Headlong I was at first, and headlong I continue--precipitously rushing forward through all manner of nettles and briars instead of keeping the path; guessing at the meaning of unknown words instead of looking into the dictionary--tearing open letters, and never untying a string,--and expecting everything to be done in a minute, and the thunder to be as quick as the lightning.

多年前,我曾师从一位意大利的大师,他说有一个英语无法发音的词语准确地描述了我的性格,而在他自己的语言中他可以说出这个字,在我的语言中却不能——testa lunga。当然了,这位先生所说的就是——急躁!——尽管现在我也许已经被稍微驯服,人们认为我能够在自己的围栏中静静站立片刻。但是您看我却静不下来。我以前急躁,现在仍然急躁——不愿循着小径向前,却鲁莽地冲向形形色色的荨麻和石南;猜测一个生词的意义而不去查字典——直接撕开信封而不是小心解开上面的系带,——期待着每件事情瞬间便能完成,期望雷声能够快如闪电。

 

他们还交换了各自对文学批评的看法,伊丽莎白谈到了她对罗伯特的一部作品的喜爱,他们共同的朋友 Mr. Kenyon,伊丽莎白喜欢的作家丁尼生(Tenyson),和卡莱尔(Carlyle),而罗伯特正巧是卡莱尔的亲密好友。还谈到了他们各自童年的写作和学习的经历。讨论了罗伯特在计划中的一部作品。

 

伊丽莎白在信中恳请罗伯特来信中不要矫饰自己的情感,不要强作欢颜。

I can read any MS. except the writing on the pyramids. And if you will only promise to treat me _en bon camarade_, without reference to the conventionalities of 'ladies and gentlemen,' taking no thought for your sentences (nor for mine), nor for your blots (nor for mine), nor for your blunt speaking (nor for mine), nor for your badd speling (nor for mine), and if you agree to send me a blotted thought whenever you are in the mind for it, and with as little ceremony and less legibility than you would think it necessary to employ towards your printer--why, _then_, I am ready to sign and seal the contract, and to rejoice in being 'articled' as your correspondent. Only _don't_ let us have any constraint, any ceremony! _Don't_ be civil to me when you feel rude,--nor loquacious when you incline to silence,--nor yielding in the manners when you are perverse in the mind.

我能读懂任何手书,只要不是写在金字塔上的那些。如果您能承诺对待我_en bon comarade [安妮注:好像是法语,“如好同志一般”]_,不带有那些“女士们先生们”的陈词滥调,不要顾及您的句子(也不要顾及我的),不要顾念您的涂改(也不要顾念我的),不要担心您的直言不讳(也不要担心我的),或者您的拼写错误(或我的),如果您承诺一旦您有了想法便把这断断续续的想法递送给我,而不要任何的客套或者整理,虽然也许您认为有必要但其实没有必要——那么,我便准备好与您签署这样的协议,欣喜地成为您“受雇”的笔友。只是_不要_让我们有任何的束缚,任何的客套!当您想要粗鲁的时候,不要对我礼貌,-当您希望沉默的时候不要滔滔不绝,-当您头脑暴怒的时候也不要遵从繁文缛节。

 

在伊丽莎白的一封信中,她提到罗伯特家里的骷髅头和蜘蛛网。罗伯特的回信很可爱,我喜欢:

 

Who told you of my sculls and spider webs--Horne? Last year I petted extraordinarily a fine fellow, (a _garden_ spider--there was the singularity,--the thin clever-even-for-a-spider-sort, and they are _so_ 'spirited and sly,' all of them--this kind makes a long cone of web, with a square chamber of vantage at the end, and there he sits loosely and looks about), a great fellow that housed himself, with real gusto, in the jaws of a great scull, whence he watched me as I wrote, and I remember speaking to Horne about his good points. Phrenologists look gravely at that great scull, by the way, and hope, in their grim manner, that its owner made a good end.

是谁告诉您有关我的骷髅和蜘蛛网的——是Horne吗?去年我的确是豢养了一只上好的宠物,(一只_绿色_花园_蜘蛛——这里才是奇妙之处,——这个小小的家伙在蜘蛛里面算是聪明的了,而蜘蛛都是_如此地_“英勇和狡猾”,所有的都是——他们通常织出一张锥形的大网,网的末端是个长方形的密室,然后他便占据这有利的地位,悠闲地等待和张望),而其中一位杰出的家伙,真的很有品位,占据了一个大骷髅的下巴作为他的密室,当我写作的时候它便从那里望出来,我记得我向Horne说起过他的好处。相面师严肃地审视了那个大骷髅,顺便说一句,然后用他们那种狰狞的面貌,说希望这具骷髅生前的主人有个好的结局。

 

伊丽莎白在她的信中暗示,罗伯特周围也一定不乏追求者,于是罗伯特在信中写道:

I never was without good, kind, generous friends and lovers, so they say--so they were and are,--perhaps they came at the wrong time--I never wanted them--though that makes no  difference in my gratitude I trust,--but I know myself--surely--and always have done so, for is there not somewhere the little book I first printed when a boy, with John Mill, the metaphysical head, _his_ marginal note that 'the writer possesses a deeper self-consciousness than I ever knew in a sane human being.' So I never deceived myself much, nor called my feelings for people other than they were.

我从来不乏优秀、友善而慷慨的朋友和情人,据他们说——他们曾经如此现在仍然如此,——也许他们在一个错误的时间到来——我从来不曾渴望过他们——虽然我不论如何都对他们心怀感激,——但是我知道我自己——确信——而且一直都知道我自己,当我还是孩子的时候,我和John Mill,一个满脑子玄学的孩子,共同出版的一本小书,_他的_边注是“本书作者的自知之明之深,我从未在其他任何正常的人类身上见到过。”因此我从未欺骗过自己,也从不向人夸大我对他们的感受。

 

 (信件原文由annie选自 The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett, 翻译 annie)

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