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第二次世界大战:永远改变这个国家的六年(二之一)

(2009-08-31 23:24:24)
标签:

英国

二战

The Second World War: six years that changed this country for ever (Part 1 of 2)

(Robert McCrum,英国《观察家报》,2009年8月23日)

 

When I was born in 1953, just after the coronation of Elizabeth II, I had a ration book. This flimsy, red cardboard log now looks like a passport to another country. Many things about that postwar Britain have become unrecognisable: cod liver oil, steam trains, rag-and-bone men, bobbies and telegram boys on bicycles and standing to attention for the national anthem at the end of cinema programmes.

当我在1953年出生时,就在伊丽莎白二世加冕之后,我拥有一本配额册。这本薄薄的、红色的纸板记录本如今看起来像一本通往异国的护照。许多关于战后英国的东西都已变得不可辨认:鱼肝油、蒸汽火车、收破烂的、骑着自行车的电报男孩,以及在电影结束后立正唱国歌。

 

Looking back, the black-and-white postwar images seem appropriate. Life in peacetime Britain was grey, threadbare, dreary and hopeless. There was a national sense of "Was this what we fought for?" As one American commentator put it, the British certainly believed they had won the war, but they behaved as though they had lost it.

往回看,那些黑白的战后影像似乎很适当。和平时期英国的生活是灰色、乏味、沉闷并且无望的。当时举国存在着一种感觉是:“我们是为此而战的吗?”根据一名美国评论员所说的,英国人绝对相信他们赢了这场战争,但是他们表现得俨如他们输了。

 

Seventy years have gone by since the Second World War began and 64 since it ended. That dwindling minority of Britons, some 3 million, who lived through those six extraordinary years remember them as the most vivid moment in their lives and still refer to "the last war". So do the 11 million baby boomers and the 20 million over 60. Even some of their grandchildren will articulate this instinctive reflex. Britain has fought in some dozen wars and "emergencies" since 1945, but it's the Second World War that casts the longest shadow. As the D-Day anniversary celebrations indicate, this is one war that has not gone away.

自从第二次世界大战的开始已经过去了七十年,结束也过了64年。在那日益缩减的300万名经历了那不平凡的六年的少数英国人的记忆中,那是他们生命里最真切的日子。他们还将之称为“上一次战争”。1100万个婴儿潮时期出生的人以及2000万名60岁以上的人也使用同样的称呼。甚至连一些他们的孙辈也会本能地这么说。英国在1945年后参与了大约十来个战争以及“紧急事件”,但留下最长阴影的仍是第二次世界大战。如诺曼底战役纪念日的庆祝活动所示,这是一场尚未逝去的战争。

 

Seventy years on, the experience and memory of wartime boil down to perhaps five myths that continue to condition our responses to everyday life.

七十年后,战时的经历与记忆可以被归纳为五个还在持续左右我们日常行为的神话。

 

First, Dunkirk. This has come to stand for the idea that in any national endeavour, especially sporting or military, Britons are almost certain to pluck defeat from the jaws of victory.

首先,敦刻尔克。(译者按:敦刻尔克是法国东北部的一个港口城市。1940年5月在德国的进攻下节节败退的英军在这里从欧洲大陆成功撤离了近20万名英国士兵以及近14万名法国士兵。)它已代表了一个观念,即英国人,尤其是在运动与军事方面,几乎肯定能反败为胜。

 

At the same time, for millions of British children, separation and loss became the defining experience of total war – evacuation, a trauma that lies at the heart of a classic like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The evacuation to the countryside links to a third, pastoral element of Britain's wartime inheritance, expressed in the phrase "Dig for Victory". This was the idea that by the sweat of honest brows, the British could somehow survive. Shovels and spades would also be deployed in the cities, to rescue the victims of the Luftwaffe's bombardment.

与此同时,对于百万英国儿童来说,分离与失去成为在全面战争中最具代表性的经历——撤离,这个位于经典作品如《狮子·女巫·魔衣橱》中心的精神创伤。往郊区撤离也联系着英国从战时继承的第三个、田园式的元素,正表达在短语“为胜利而挖掘”中。这个观念认为通过诚实的汗水,英国人总有办法可以生存。铲子和铁锹在城市里同样被发遣,来拯救德国空军轰炸的受害者。

 

The Blitz, fourth, is an essential element of Britain's wartime legacy. After the 7/7 bombings in London, the "spirit of the Blitz" was referred to ad nauseam by press and public. In contrast to the near-hysteria of many Americans after 9/11, many Britons from generations born decades after the Blitz proudly advertised the stoical repression of their feelings in a fierce display of national character.

伦敦大轰炸是英国从战时传承的第四个主要元素。在伦敦七七事件后,报纸与公众都过度地提起“伦敦大轰炸的精神”。对比许多美国人在九一一事件后的近乎歇斯底里,许多在伦敦大轰炸已过去了几十年后出生的几代英国人都把他们感情的坚忍表现标榜为一种国民性的强烈表现。

 

The fifth and final inheritance of war – perhaps the ultimate peace dividend – is the sustained sense of moral superiority derived from standing alone against fascism. Roosevelt's secretary of state, Cordell Hull, wrote in his memoirs: "Never have I admired a people more than I admired the British in the summer and autumn of 1940. Even the children seemed to realise that upon their indomitable spirit depended not only their own fate, but also that of the whole democratic world."

第五以及最后一个从战争传承下来的——或许是和平最大的奖赏——是一种由对法西斯主义的孤立无援的抗争中得来的长期的道德优越感。罗斯福的国务卿科德尔·赫尔在他的回忆录中写道:“我从来没有像崇敬1940年的夏天与秋天的英国人那样崇敬任何一个民族。就连儿童也仿佛明白,仰赖他们永不言败的精神的不仅是他们自己的命运,也是整个民主世界的命运。”

 

When the war actually ended, these five strands were not yet fully encrypted into the national myth. Britain was on its knees. Wartime, and its immediate aftermath of cold and hunger, was literally a moment of deepest winter. December 1947 was the coldest of the century, another source for the frosty wastes of Narnia. Slowly, a great thaw began. By the mid-50s, green shoots were poking through. Soon there would be an age of plenty, and any amount of Turkish Delight.

当战争终于结束时,这五种观念还未完全铭刻在国家的神话中。英国当时步履蹒跚。战争时期以及紧随其后的寒冷与饥饿真正是最严酷的冬天。1947年12月是整个世纪最冷的,也是纳尼亚里冰霜荒地的出处。缓慢地,一个大型的解冻过程开始了。到了50年代中期,绿苗正在萌现。很快就会出现一个物质充裕,要多少土耳其软糖就有多少的年代。

 

The landscape would not heal so fast. I remember seeing London "bomb sites" as a child and hearing the stories of the Blitz from my grandfather, who had been a civil servant with the Ministry of Supply. A range of peculiar British institutions with first and second wartime origins continued to shape the contours of daily life: British summer time, pub closing hours, and poppy day. It was perfectly normal to see veterans in wheelchairs at bus stops or with missing limbs in railway station waiting rooms.

城市景观并不会这么快痊愈。我记得孩提时代参观伦敦的“轰炸废墟”,并从我曾在军需部任职的祖父那里听到关于伦敦大轰炸的故事。一行起源于第一次与第二次世界大战的独特的英国机关继续影响着【英国人的】日常生活:英国夏时制、酒吧的打烊时间,以及国殇纪念日。在公车站或火车站的候车间看到坐着轮椅或失去手足的退役军人是再正常不过的事。

 

As children, we had a nourishing, but dreary, diet of shepherd's pie, toad in the hole, bangers and mash, fried fish and the occasional roast chicken. Institutional menus inevitably featured Spam, corned beef, lettuce and "salad cream". Powdered eggs were commonplace and so was "bread and dripping". Kia-Ora orange squash was one kind of juvenile luxury that anyone over 50 will remember, but water usually came from the tap.

作为孩子,我们营养但乏味的饮食包括牧羊人派、“洞里的蛤蟆”、香肠配薯泥、炸鱼,以及偶尔的烤鸡。(译者按:“洞里的蛤蟆”即香肠在约克郡布丁一起烤。)学校里的菜单无可避免地有着午餐肉、粗盐腌牛肉、生菜,以及“色拉酱”。蛋粉和面包涂脂肪也同样普遍。Kia-Ora榨橙汁是任何一个50岁以上的人都记得的儿时奢侈品,而水通常来自水龙头。

 

Anyone who can recall these and other mundane details of everyday life, or who can remember the moment Kennedy was assassinated, is not only a citizen of postwar Britain, but is also likely to have been shaped by the age of austerity and the aftermath of total war. Broadly speaking, it amounts to the contemporary British establishment. It's quite a roll call. Let's see: the Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George Windsor), born 1948; the prime minister (Gordon Brown), born 1951; the former poet laureate (Andrew Motion), born 1952; the head of the home civil service (Sir Gus O'Donnell), born 1952; the Archbishop of Canterbury (Rowan Williams), born 1950.

任何能够记得这些以及其他日常生活中的沉闷细节的人,或者那些记得肯尼迪被暗杀的那一刻的人,都不仅是战后英国的公民,也很可能深受简朴年代以及全面战争余波的影响。总的来说,这些人构成当今英国的权势集团。这是一个了不得的名单。我们来看看:威尔士亲王(查尔斯·菲利普·亚瑟·乔治·温莎),生于1948年;总理(戈登·布朗),生于1951年;前桂冠诗人(安德鲁·姆辛),生于1952年;文官处首长(格斯·奥唐奈爵士),生于1952年;坎特伯雷大主教(罗恩·威廉斯),生于1950年。

 

Who else? Many senior figures of the British literary establishment are postwar babies: Martin Amis (1949), Julian Barnes (1946), and Ian McEwan (1948). Many vice-chancellors; several business leaders; Adair Turner of the FSA (1955); various thespians and public figures – Patrick Stewart (1940), Ian McKellen (1939), Derek Jacobi (1938); Joanna Lumley (1946), Esther Rantzen (1940), Ann Widdecombe (1947).

还有谁?许多英国文坛的资深人士都是战后的小孩:马丁·艾米斯(1949)、朱利安·巴恩斯(1946)、伊恩·麦克尤恩(1948)。许多副大法官;几位商界领袖;金融服务管理局的阿代尔·特纳(1955);几位演员及公众人物:帕特里克·斯图尔特(1940)、伊恩·麦凯伦(1939)、德里克·雅克比(1938);乔安娜·拉姆利(1946)、埃丝特·兰森(1940)、安·威德克姆(1947)。

 

These names represent the 20 million for whom "the last war" continues to be an essential psychic landmark, established in everyone's mind by German Stukas screaming out of Polish skies in September 1939.

这些名字代表了2000万人,对于他们来说“上一次战争”仍是一个主要的心理里程碑——由1939年9月呼啸过波兰的天空的德国斯图卡战机在每个人的心中奠下的里程碑。

 

1939 will not mean much to an American, a Japanese or a Russian. For Britons of that generation, however, it's a date that sets off a cacophony of signals.

1939年对于一个美国人、日本人或俄罗斯人来说都意义不大。但对那个年代的英国人来说,那是一个有着复杂意义的日期。

 

Adam Phillips, the writer and child psychotherapist, was born in 1954. How does he assess the psychic cost of war? His father, who died in 1998, fought with tanks in North Africa and apparently "loved the war". Phillips warns against glamorising the conflict, but concludes that anyone over, say, 50 is probably "more haunted than they realise by their parents' experience of war".

亚当·菲利普斯,作家及儿童心理学家,出生于1954年。他如何评估战争的心理损害?他的父亲卒于1998年,曾在北非与坦克作战,并声称“热爱那场战争”。菲利普斯反对将战争美化,但总结说任何50岁以上的人都“比他们想像的还要被他们父母战时的经历所困扰”。

 

This haunting takes many forms, says Phillips. In the immediate aftermath of conflict, there's the extraordinary transition from states of fear and exhilaration to the routines of civilian life. Having a family and raising children in peacetime inevitably took place in "a highly disturbed emotional atmosphere". We must remember, says Phillips, that "for those who survived, the war was incredibly exciting and really unrecoverable from. There's a radical incompatibility between wartime and peacetime existence. Coming home from the war meant adjusting to the fact that the rest of your life is going to be incredibly boring".

这种困扰能有许多形式,菲利普斯说。在战争刚结束后,有一个非同寻常的从恐惧以及狂喜到规律性的平民生活的过渡。在和平时期成家并养育子女无可避免地发生在“一种极度不安的情绪环境”中。菲利普斯说,我们必须记得“对那些幸存者来说,那场战争无比刺激并且很难从中恢复过来。战时与和平时期的生活有着根本上的不相容性。从战场归来意味着适应你的余生将会无比沉闷的事实。”

 

At the same time, the wartime generation had learnt to adjust to separation, isolation and loss, and – something they would pass on to their children – to "not feeling hurt when you were hurt". To be equipped for conflict, according to Phillips, requires "self-anaesthesia", which he sees as a dominant motif in postwar British life.

与此同时,战争时期的那一代已经学会去适应离散、孤独与失去,以及一个他们将传承给他们下一代的东西——“在受伤的时候不感到悲伤”。根据菲利普斯所说,为了应对战争需要“自我麻痹”。他认为这是战后英国生活的主要基调。

 

Summarising the traumatic dividends of the Second World War, Phillips concludes that the postwar generations were "either envious of people who had fought in the war; or strongly identified with the dead (and no longer found life worth living); or felt they were living a kind of 'death in life'; or would ask obsessively, 'Where's the excitement?'"

概括第二次世界大战遗留下来的创伤,菲利普斯总结说战后的几代人或羡慕那些参与战争的人;或认同那些死者(并失去生存的意义);或感觉他们活在一种“生命中的死亡”中;或不断地问:“刺激在哪里?”

 

As a result, Phillips contends, post-war Britons are either obsessed by loss and grief, which expresses itself in nostalgia, or obsessively pleasure-seeking, or unbearably triumphalist. When you cast your mind back over Britain's recent national landmarks, events like the Jubilee, the World Cup, royal weddings and funerals, VE Day and Armistice Day parades, you find that the dominant mood is a bittersweet mixture of pride and regret, patriotism and embarrassment, a longing to escape the curse of war mixed with the thrill of its memory, tangled up with an anxiety about the legacy of imperialism.

因为如此,菲利普斯分辩说,战后的英国人或执念于失去与悲伤,其表达为怀旧;或专注于享乐;或成为难以忍受的胜利主义者。当你回顾英国近期的标志性事件,例如千禧年、世界杯、皇室婚礼与葬礼,以及第二次世界大战欧战胜利纪念日和第一次世界大战休战纪念日的游行活动,你都会发现突显的情绪是一种苦乐参半的混合体,包含了自豪与遗憾、爱国精神与窘迫、逃离战争魔咒的渴望与对其记忆的刺激感,并穿插着对于帝国主义遗产的一种忧虑。

 

The shadow of "the last war" looms over the wider English-speaking world. William Cran, an award-winning documentary film-maker, was born in Australia in 1946 and came to this country as a small boy on the SS Otranto. He makes the point that not only was he growing up among adults whose conversations about the recent war were intensely vivid and influential, but also that, from the beginning of the Depression and throughout the war, more than a decade, there had been very little progress. Britain was not just in thrall to the cost of its victory, but it seemed somehow frozen in time.

“上一次战争”的阴影也笼罩着更广大的讲英语的世界。威廉·克伦,一位备受赞誉的纪录片制作人,于1946年出生在澳大利亚,并在他还是个小男孩时乘坐奥特朗托号来到了这个国家。他认为,他不但在他的成长期里被成年人关于刚结束的战争的极度真实并具影响力的谈话所包围,而且这个现象从大萧条开始直到战争结束这十几年里都没有什么进展。英国不仅被她胜利的成本所束缚,也似乎不知何故地在时间里被冻结了。

 

Everywhere, there was bomb damage, abandoned houses and the hangovers of wartime: old newsreel footage on the BBC, ration cards and the routine disciplines of the home front. "We were incredibly thrifty," says Cran. "To this day, I can never leave food uneaten on my plate. When my mother died, I found drawers stuffed full of old envelopes she'd saved for reuse."

到处都有轰炸造成的破坏、废弃的房屋,以及种种战争的遗物:BBC上的老新闻片镜头、配额卡,还有大后方的日常纪律。“我们无比节俭。”克伦说:“直到今天,我还无法将未吃完的食物留在我的盘子里。在我母亲死后,我发现她收起来以备重复使用的满满一整个抽屉的旧信封。”

 

Cran admits that the wartime mentality lingered in other strange ways. "I used to say, 'I'm not going to go on holiday to Germany.' Italy and France, yes, but Germany, no. My big thing was not buying a German car. When I finally bought an Audi a few years ago, I had to think about it very hard." He laughs in mild self-amazement. "So you could say my war ended in 2002."

克伦承认战时的心理以其他奇特方式残留下来。“我过去会说:‘我不去德国度假。’意大利和法国行,但德国不行。我把不买德国车当作一件大事。几年前当我终于买了一辆奥迪时,我可是想了很久的。”他稍稍对自己感到惊奇般地笑道:“因此你可以说我的战争结束于2002年。”

 

Looking back, Cran remembers the early 50s as "a happy time, but rather dull. Then there was this flashbulb moment – rock'n'roll. I remember Bill Haley and the Comets… " This was 1956; he was 10. "In my school, we used to have playground fights about the relative merits of Bill Haley and Elvis Presley versus Tommy Steele. I remember the Archbishop of Canterbury preaching a sermon against rock'n'roll. So then you knew that good things were happening."

在克伦的记忆中,50年代初期是“一段快乐的时光,虽然有些无聊。然后突然一切亮了起来——摇滚乐。我记得比尔·海利与彗星合唱团……”那是1956年;克伦10岁。“在我的学校里,我们常为了比尔·海利、埃尔维斯·普莱斯利和汤米·史提尔孰优孰劣的问题虚斗一场。我记得坎特伯雷大主教在一场布道会里批评摇滚乐。于是你就知道好事发生了。”

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