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Dark Angle(翻译连载二)

(2009-08-11 09:07:46)
标签:

翻译

连载

小说

文化

分类: UNCLE赵&他国际事务部的同事们

(续上)

Wexton, whose attitude to poetry was pragmatic, did not. He gave his lecture; he hunched himself into a human question mark over the unreliable microphone. He pummeled, as was his habit, the great folds and crevasses of his face. He tugged at his hair, so it stood up in wild tufts. He looked like a huge and benevolent bear, bemused that these words of his should produce on his audience the effect they did.

 

Once the lecture was over, he strolled down from the platform, attended the formal reception in his honor, and annoyed his Embassy hosts by avoiding all the most celebrated guests. He talked for a great deal of time to Mr. Gopal, an earnest and excitable man whose position at the university was a minor one. He talked even longer to the Maharani, a woman of great good nature, mountainously fat, whose days of social eminence were over. The next day, to the consternation of his hosts, he left. Wexton loved trains; we went to the station and, for no very good or planned reason, took a steam train to Simla.

 

From Simla to Kashmir and a houseboat on the lakes, with curry-scented curtains and a wind-up gramophone. From Kashmir to the Taj Mahal, from the Taj Mahal to a baboon sanctuary where Wexton became beguiled by baboons, and Mr. Gopal, by then a disciple, caught up with us.

 

“Very brave man, your distinguished godfather,” he remarked to me as Wexton fixed the baboons with a benign gaze. “These creatures give a very nasty bite.” From the baboon sanctuary to the beaches of Goa, from Goa to Udaipur; from there, with numerous side visits to temples, fortresses, and railway stations, we returned to Delhi.

 

 

(译文)

而以务实眼光看待诗歌的Wexton并没有这种感觉。他演讲时,总喜欢高耸着双肩,从侧面看他就像一个大大的问号,立在那个细小的话筒上方。他讲话时,总习惯性地“翻动”他脸上那深深的褶皱,可能他认为这可以使他的表情显得更加丰富。他甚至还会向上拉扯自己的头发,让它们变得像野草丛一样直立而且杂乱。总之,他看上去就像一头巨大而又憨厚可爱的熊,时刻在担心着自己的每一句话是否能真正被听众所理解。

 

一次演讲结束后,他慢步走下讲台,然后参加校方为了向他表示敬意而举行的招待会,但是由于他不乐意与那些声名显赫的嘉宾见面并交谈,大使馆主办方感到非常不满。但是,他却与学校中职位较低但待人真诚的Gopal先生很谈得来,他们交谈了很长时间。而他与Maharani女士的交谈时间更长,这是一位有着辉煌过去的女人,身材肥胖但是性格却非常的温顺。第二天,让主办方感到惊惶失措的事情放生了,Wexton不辞而别了。他钟爱乘坐火车;于是我们去了火车站,在没有任何好的理由和计划的情况下,登上了一列前往印度西姆拉城的蒸汽火车。

 

从西姆拉到喀什米尔,一路上我们看到了湖上的船屋,拥有咖喱香味的窗帘以及上发条的留声机。从喀什米尔到泰姬陵,再从泰姬陵出发,我们又来到了一处狒狒保护区,在这里,Wexton对这些狒狒着上了迷,而此时,我们的朋友Gopal先生也赶上了我们,他是要去寺庙进行朝圣。

 

“你尊贵的教父真是一个勇敢的人,”他对我惊叹道,原来他发现Wexton与狒狒们相处得竟然是如此融洽,“要知道,这种动物是很凶恶的,而且还会咬人。”从狒狒保护区到果阿海滩,从果阿到乌代布尔;一路上我们参观了许多寺庙、城堡和火车站,最后我们返回了德里。

------王旭

 

 

The pace was frenetic, which cheered Wexton enormously.

 

“Just what we need,” he would say, settling back in another compartment in yet another train. “New places. New faces. Something’s bound to happen eventually.”

 

Something did, of course, once I’d been to see Mr. Chatterjee – but neither of us knew that then. I would embark on a very different kind of journey. I had been preparing for it, I think, for some time, without being aware of it. My uncle Steenie, and certain things he had said to me when he was dying – things that alarmed me – had pushed me closer to the journey. But it was Mr. Chatterjee who provided the final impetus.

 

Wexton, when he discovered my intentions, resisted. It was a mistake, he said, to explore the past – that was dangerous territory. He was being evasive, and we both knew why. My past involved Winterscombe (that was fine, Wexton said, though he was wrong). It also involved New York, where I grew up (that was all right, too, provided I did not dwell on the question of a certain man, still living there). Finally, it involved another godparent, in this case a woman. In this case, Constance.

 

Constance’s name was one Wexton now refused to pronounce. She was his antithesis, of course, and I think he had never liked her. Wexton disliked very few people, and if he did dislike them, he preferred not to discuss them, since he was devoid of malice.

 

I had once heard him, in discussion with Steenie (who adored Constance) describe her as a she-devil. Such intemperate language from Wexton was exceptional – and it was never repeated. When I was to tell him of my visit to Mr. Chatterjee and the decision I had reached, Wexton never once used her name, although I knew she was uppermost in his thoughts. He became, for him, very gloomy.

 

“I wish I’d never listened to Gopal,” he said. (Or was it the Maharani?)” I might have known it would be a mistake.” He fixed me with a pleading gaze.” Think a little, Victoria. One hundred rupees on it, any bet you like: Chatterjee’s a charlatan.”

 

I knew then how keen Wexton was to convince me. He was not a betting man.

 

快节奏的行程让Wexton兴高采烈。

 

“这正是我们需要的,”在另一趟火车的另一节车厢中坐下时他说道:“新的地方,新的面孔。肯定有什么(激动人心的)事情最重要发生。”

 

当我后来去拜访Chatterjee先生时确实有事情发生了,但是此时我们两人都没有意识到。那是一个完全不同的经历。虽然我此前没有明确地意识到,但是潜意识里我对此有隐隐约约的预感。我叔叔Steenie临终前对我说的一些事情让我有所警惕,并让我离这段经历更加接近。但最终还是Chatterjee先生让我走上这段旅程。

 

当发现我的意图后,Wexton表示了反对。“对过去的探究是一种错误的举动,这是一个危险的领域。”他说。他在这件事上含糊其辞的原因,我们两个人都心照不宣。因为我的过去关乎Winterscombe(Wexton说这方面没问题,但是他错了)。我的过去还关乎我长大的地方纽约(只要我不去对还住在那里的某个男人的问题冥思苦想,这方面也没问题)。但是,我的过去还关乎我的教母。关乎Constance。

 

Constance是Wexton拒绝提及的名字。她是他的死对头,而且我认为他从来没有对她有过任何好感。Wexton不喜欢的人少之又少。但一旦摊上这种人,他全不记恨的天性使他采取决口不提的方式。

 

Steenie叔叔非常喜爱Constance。我曾经听到Wexton跟Steenie叔叔交谈,把Constance形容为女魔头。这种话从Wexton嘴里说出来是绝无仅有的例外,他也绝对不会说第二次。当我把我拜访Chatterjee的想法以及我的决定告诉他时,他一次都没有提及她的名字。但我很清楚,他脑子里最先想到的就是她。而他也开始郁郁寡欢起来。

 

“我真希望我没有听信Gopal(或者Maharani),”他说道:“我早该知道这是个错误。”他恳求地凝视着我说:“好好考虑一下吧Victoria。我跟你打赌100卢比,或者赌什么都行,Chatterjee是个江湖骗子。”

 

我意识到Wexton是多么希望说服我,因为他向来不是一个发誓赌咒的人。

 

------吴昱宏

 

Mr. Chatterjee did not look like a charlatan. It had to be said, he did not look like a fortuneteller either. He was a small man of about forty, wearing a clean nylon shirt and freshly pressed tan pants. His shoes gleamed; his hair oil gleamed. He had confiding brown eyes of great gentleness; he spoke English with an accent inherited from the days of the Raj, the kind of accent that, in England it self, had been out-of-date in 1940.

 

His shop, compared to that of some of his rivals in the bazaar, was difficult to find and self-effacing. Over its entrance was a painting on cardboard of a crescent moon and seven stars. A small hand-lettered sign said: THE PAST AND THE FUTURE-RUPEES 12.50. This was followed by an exclamation mark, perhaps to emphasize Mr. Chatterjee’s bargain rates; his rivals were charging upward of rupees 15.

 

Inside, Mr. Chatterjee’s premises were austere. There was no attempt to evoke the mysterious orient. There was one elderly desk, two clerk’s chairs, a metal filing cabinet, and, on the wall, two poster portraits. One was of the present Queen of England, the other of Mahatma Gandhi; they were fixed to the wall with tacks.

 

The room smelled of the pastry shop next door and, slightly, of sandalwood. There was a multicolored plastic fly-curtain across a doorway, and from beyond that came the sound of sitar music played on a gramophone. The room resembled the bolt-hole of some minor civil servant, perhaps a railway official—and I had seen many of those the past weeks. Mr.Chatterjee sat down behind his desk and assembled charts. He gave me an encouraging nod and a smile. I was not encouraged. Mr. Chatterjee looked amiable, but as a fortuneteller he did not inspired confidence.

 

Not at first. Mr. Chatterjee took his task very seriously; it was lengthy, and at some point—I am still not quite sure when—he began to win me over. It was when he touched my hands, I think. Yes, probably then. Mr. Chatterjee’s touch, cool, dispassionate, like that of a doctor, had an odd quality. It made me a little giddy—a tipsy feeling, the kind you get when you drink a glass of wine on an empty stomach and finish it too quickly.

 

I cannot now remember all the details of his routine, but it was both fluent and curiously moving. Herbs were involved—I remember that, for my pal, were rubbed with a pungent substance, during which there was much discussion of birthplaces (Winterscombe) and birth dates (1930).

 

The stars were involved, too—that was where the charts came in. Mr. Chartterjee examined the charts closely; he put on a pair of spectacles. He drew linking patterns of lucid beauty, joining destinies and planets with a lead pencil that kept breaking. There patterns seemed to displease Mr. Chatterjee; more than that—they seemed to perturb him.

 

Chatterjee 看上去不像个吹牛的人,应该说他看起来一点也不像是算命的。他是个40来岁长得比较矮小男人,穿着尼龙衬衫和压烫齐整的裤子,头发和脚上的鞋一样闪闪发亮。他那双褐色眼睛充满温情让人不自觉就会产生信任。而且还说着一口早已过时的Raj时代口音的英语。

 

他的小店就在集市上一个并不显眼的角落里,跟其他竞争对手挤在一起。在入口处上方有一副新月和七星的画,一个小牌上面手写着:通晓过去预知未来——12.50卢比。后面还跟着一个惊叹号,大概是想强调Chatterjee的要价比同行更具竞争力——同行的要价都在15卢比。

 

Chatterjee的房间陈设十分简单,不像其他的地方那般故弄玄虚。里面只有一张老旧的桌子,两把椅子,一个金属文件柜还有钉在墙上的两张人像海报。其中一张是现时的英女王,另外一张则是甘地。

 

房间里还能隐约闻到隔壁的面包店传来的香气混杂着檀木的味道。门口是一副彩色的塑料隔断帘,帘后传来从留声机淌出的锡塔尔琴声。整个房间就像一个小市政官员的避难所一样,大概是铁路官员这一类的,在过去的几周我已经见过无数。Chatterjee就坐在桌子那头收集表格,他朝我微笑并点点头以示鼓励。但是我不但没觉得受到鼓励,反而觉得Chatterjee因为显得太和蔼可亲,对他作为一个算命先生反而没什么信心。

 

Chatterjee认真地做着他的工作,那是相当冗长的工作,而且不知在什么时候我渐渐地信服他了。大概就在他碰到我的手的时候吧。是的,应该就是那个时候。Chatterjee的接触让我觉得他极为地冷静,就像一个医生一样,并且带有一种奇怪的感觉。我觉得眼前有点缭乱,就像空腹时猛喝酒了一大瓶后一样。

 

我不太记得他当时具体都做的了些什么,但那是既熟练又奇特的行为。我记得就在我们谈论出生地(Winterscombe)和出生时代(1930)时他还给我的同伴用了香草,就涂在一种刺鼻的东西上面。

 

他还用了星星——这就是那些表格的作用。Chartterjee戴上眼镜仔细地看过那些表格,用一把不停折断的铅笔在上面把命运和行星连起来,画出各种各样的清晰图案。可是那些图案似乎让Mr. Chartterjee感到不快甚至是不安。

 

------ 

 

(待续)

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