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《没有“中国制造”的一年》第五章:一个小小的建议 (三)

(2011-05-09 10:08:12)









分类: 胡译赏析

《没有“中国制造”的一年》第五章:一个小小的建议 <wbr>(三)

                                             A Year without Made in China

Sara Bongiorni



                                胡宗锋  苦丁  (译)

                                                   CHAPTER   FIVE      A Modest Proposal

                                                             第五章           一个小小的建议(三)

         The Chinese girl on the cover of Newsweek (May 9, 2005) is drop-dead gorgeous and smiling like she’s got the world by the tail, which, in many ways, she has.


      “China’s Century,” declares the cover in banner letters above actress Ziyi Zhang’s pretty head. The magazine tells me she is the face of new China. It’s a very pretty face, with intelligent, shining eyes. If this is the face of new China, we have nothing to worry about.


      I flip inside to the special report on China. It gets right to the point: China is big, and fascinating to Americans, but as it gains wealth and influence “the very size and scale that seemed so alluring is beginning to look ominous. And Americans are wondering whether the ‘China threat’ is nightmarishly real.”


       The story proceeds with a series of mind-bending statistics, all interesting, but I find they don’t rattle me much. My worry over China has reached a saturation point. The boycott reminds me daily of China’s deep reach into my life—into my former life, that is—and just in case I take the day off from worrying, inevitably some friend calls to relay some China-related news. This week, for instance, I am sitting at my computer and sweating a deadline when a friend calls to tell me how disappointed she is in the merchandise at Cost Plus World Market.


“They say World Market, but it seemed like almost everything in there is from China,” she says.“They need to change the name to Cost Plus Chinese Market. You’d have a hard time shopping there.”


          I think about China on all manner of occasions. After reading a story in the newspaper about a series of home-invasion robberies in our neighborhood I decide we should get a “Beware of Dog” sign for our back gate, maybe one with a snarling Doberman on it, but I worry that we won’t be able to find one from any place but China. I am pleasantly surprised when Kevin brings home a metal “Beware of Dog” sign made by a firm in Northfield, Ohio.

       任何情景我都能联想到中国。在读过报纸上有关我们社区遭暴力入室盗窃后,我觉得我们应该给后院买一只 “电子狗”,或许是那种会叫的杜宾犬模样的,但是我担心我们除了中国制造的什么也找不到。当凯文带回来一个俄亥俄州诺思菲尔德一家公司制造的金属 “电子狗”时我着实感到又惊又喜。

When Kevin takes a two-day trip to Cincinnati, he struggles to find souvenir toys for the kids. He buys T-shirts instead.

“I couldn’t find anything else in the airport gift shop that wasn’t from China,” Kevin tells me, apologetic.

Wes doesn’t hide his disappointment. When Kevin leaves the living room, Wes whispers in my ear.

“I was hoping for a car,” he confesses.





       I think about China during Wes’s swimming lessons at the YMCA. After his first lesson he tells me the teacher wants to dunk him under the water when I’m not looking.

         维斯在基督教青年会学游泳的时候我想到了中国。第一节课后, 他告诉我老师在我不注意的时候想把他按进水里。

“He’s not a good guy, Mama,” he says.

“He’s a nice young man,” I insist. “And I won’t let him dunk you. I’ll jump in the pool and pull you out if I see your teacher try anything like that. But I promise he’s not going to try it.”



       Wes looks unconvinced, so I try bribery. I tell him I’ll buy him a kickboard like his cousin’s and a pair of swim goggles if he’ll continue with the lessons. He sees an opening.

“Can I have two kickboards?” he asks. “Two blue ones?”



         At precisely that moment, some other mother, somewhere out in the universe, must have been having an out-of-body experience and decided to descend into my body to seize control of my vocal cords. I can’t see any other explanation for what I hear my voice say next. It is something one of those appeasing mothers would say, the ones who end up feeding their children M&M’s for breakfast and buying them every toy they see on television because they don’t have the good sense to say no to their children. I am so very different from them, always have been. So it’s quite astonishing to hear the voice—my voice—say, “Yes, you can have two.”


         I can’t believe how weak I’ve become. Maybe I’m worn down from saying no too often. Or just worn out in general.

“What about two goggles?” Wes wants to know next.

I scrimp together leftover bits of backbone from an earlier era and hear myself say no.






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