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《旁观者》No.62(下)

(2011-01-09 15:13:13)
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杂谈

分类: 翻译练习

The SpectatorNo. 62  《旁观者》62 (下)

      [Ture and False Wit]  [真机智与伪机智]

      Joseph Addison约瑟夫·艾迪生

  : 甜甜

 

The reader may observe in every one of these instances, that the poet mixes the qualities of fire with those of love; and in the same sentence speaking of it both as a passion, and as real fire, surprises the reader with those seeming resemblances or contradictions that make up all the wit in this kind of writing.Mixed wit therefore is a composition of pun and true wit, and is more or less perfect as the resemblance lies in the ideas or in the words: its foundations are laid partly in falsehood and partly in truth: reason puts in her claim for one half of it, and extravagance for the other. The only province therefore for this kind of wit, is epigram, or those little occasional poems that in their own nature are nothing else but a tissue of epigrams. I cannot conclude this head of mixed wit, without owning that the admirable poet out of whom I have taken the examples of it, had as much true wit as any author that ever writ and indeed all other talents of an extraordinary genius.

从这些例子中的任何一个读者都可能观察到诗人把火与爱的质混淆;而且在相同句子里提及的激情就如提及真正的火是一样的,那些看似相似或矛盾的地方带给读者惊奇感,构成了这种写作所有的机智。因此混合机智是双关和真正的机智的组合,或多或少都如寄存在观念群或词汇群中的相似性一样地完美:它一半基于虚假,一半基于真实:推理要求占一半,虚夸要求占另一半。这种机智唯一使用范畴就是隽语,或是那些短小临时创作的诗歌本质上就是一些警句。没有令人钦佩的诗人拿来当例子,我是不能推断混合机智如任何一位作者创作中里的正确的机智,以及确实是杰出天才的天赋。

It may be expected, since I am upon this subject, that I should take notice of Mr. Dryden's definition of wit; which, with all the deference that is due to the judgment of so great a man, is not so properly a definition of wit, as of good writing in general. Wit, as he defines it, is a 'propriety of words and thoughts adapted to the subject.' If this be a true definition of wit, I am apt to think that Euclid was the greatest wit that ever set pen to paper: it is certain there never was a greater propriety of words and thoughts adapted to the subject, than what that author has made use of in his elements. I shall only appeal to my reader, if this definition agrees with any notion he has of wit: if it be a true one, I am sure Mr. Dryden was not only a better poet, but a greater wit than Mr. Cowley; and Virgil a much more facetious man than either Ovid or Martial.

自我开始论述这个题材开始,或许都期望我能留意一下德莱顿对机智下的定义;顺从此意只是归因于这是大师级的判断,却不是如他通常的佳作一样,对机智下了一个合理的定义。他是这样定义的,机智,是语言和思想的适合于所创作主题。倘若这是对机智正确定义,我倾向欧几里德在用笔写作的人中最为机智的作家。确实再没有出现过比他更能使语言和思想适合于创作主题的作家。我仅仅诉诸于我的读者,若这个定义与他拥有机智的概念达成共识:也就是说若这是一个正确的定义,我确信德莱顿不仅仅是一个不错的诗人,也要比考利更为机智;而且维吉尔比起奥维德或马舍尔也要诙谐的多。

Bouhours, whom I look upon to be the most penetrating of all the French critics, has taken pains to show that it is impossible for any thought to be beautiful which is not just, and has not its foundation in the nature of things; that the basis of all wit is truth; and that no thought can be valuable, of which good sense is not the groundwork. Boileau has endeavoured to inculcate the same notion in several parts of his writings, both in prose and verse. This is that natural way of writing, that beautiful simplicity, which we so much admire in the compositions of the ancients; and which nobody deviates from, but those who want strength of genius to make a thought shine in its own natural beauties. Poets who want this strength of genius to give that majestic simplicity to nature, which we so much admire in the works of the ancients, are forced to hunt after foreign ornaments and not to let any piece of wit of what kind soever escape them. I look upon these writers as Goths in poetry, who, like those in architecture, not being able to come up to the beautiful simplicity of the old Greeks and Romans, have endeavoured to supply its place with all the extravagances of an irregular fancy.

伯阿沃斯,在我看来是法国批评家中最为尖锐的,费尽苦心去揭示任何被认为是美的都是合理的,都基于事物的本质;所有机智的基础是真理;若判断力不做根基,这样的想法是没有价值的。波瓦洛竭力在他的散文和韵文的作品里的某些部分反复灌输相同的概念。这就是自然方式写作,完美简洁,这是我们对古典著作中所极为推崇的;也是无名小卒所偏离的,但那些想要拥有天才能力的人会思考使其自然美发光。想要拥有我们在古典著作推崇的让崇高简洁趋于自然的天才能力的诗人,被迫追随外来的装饰,添加了不管任何种类的机智。我把这些作家看作诗歌里的哥特人,就如建筑学里的那些人,因为不能达到古希腊和古罗马的美丽简洁,就竭力用不合理的幻象胆大妄为地代替。

Mr. Dryden makes a very handsome observation on Ovid's writing a letter from Dido to Aeneas, in the following words: 'Ovid (says he, speaking of Virgil's fiction of Dido and Aeneas) takes it up after him, even in the same age, and makes an ancient heroine of Virgil's new-created Dido; dictates a letter for her just before her death to the ungrateful fugitive; and, very unluckily for himself, is for measuring a sword with a man so much superior in force to him, on the same subject. I think I may be judge of this, because I have translated both. The famous author of the art of love has nothing of his own; he borrows all from a greater master in his own profession, and, which is worse, improves nothing which he finds: nature fails him, and being forced to his old shift, he has recourse to witticism. This passes indeed with his soft admirers, and gives him the preference to Virgil in their esteem.'

德莱顿对奥维德的狄多给埃涅阿斯的一封信进行仔细观察,他这样说奥维德(他说,说起维吉尔的小说《狄多与埃涅阿斯》)跟随他开始着手,甚至同一年,也开始塑造维吉尔的新型的古代女英雄狄多;他帮她给那忘恩负义的逃跑者口述了一封信;他自己也十分不幸,同一个比他高超许多的人在同一个主题上竞争。我认为我可以如此评判,是因为他们都被我都翻译过。写《爱的艺术》的著名作者自己却没有爱情。他从那位比他更为高明的作者借来所有作为己用,而且更糟的是,也没对其提高。毫不自然的写作是他的败笔,迫使他拾起腐朽,依赖于写一些俏皮话。他的那些心软的崇拜者或许可以接受,比起维吉尔更偏爱他。

Were not I supported by so great an authority as that of Mr. Dryden, I should not venture to observe, that the taste of most of our English poets, as well as readers, is extremely Gothic. He quotes Monsieur Segrais for a threefold distinction of the readers of poetry: in the first of which he comprehends the rabble of readers, whom he does not treat as such with regard to their quality, but to their numbers and the coarseness of their taste. His words are as follow: 'Segrais has distinguished the readers of poetry, according to their capacity of judging, into three classes. (He might have said the same of writers too, if he had pleased.) In the lowest form he places those whom he calls les petits esprits, such things as are our upper-gallery audience in a playhouse; who like nothing but the husk and rind of wit, prefer a quibble, a conceit, an epigram, before solid sense and elegant expression: these are mob-readers. If Virgil and Martial stood for parliament-men, we know already who would carry it. But though they make the greatest appearance in the field, and cry the loudest, the best on't is they are but a sort of French Huguenots, or Dutch boors, brought over in herds, but not naturalised; who have not lands of two pounds per annum in Parnassus, and therefore are not privileged to poll. Their authors are of the same level, fit to represent them on a mountebank's stage, or to be masters of the ceremonies in a bear-garden: yet these are they who have the most admirers. But it often happens, to their mortification, that as their readers improve their stock of sense (as they may by reading better books, and by conversation with men of judgment) they soon forsake them.'

若我没有被像德莱顿那样的权威认同,我不应该冒险评论大多数英国诗人的品味同读者一样,都是极为哥特式的。他引用塞格雷对诗歌读者的三重区分:第一种是那种乌合之众的读者,这并不是评论他们的品格,而是指他们的数量和他们粗糙的品味。他的原话是,根据鉴赏力,塞格雷区分了三个层次的诗歌读者。(若他高兴的话,他这话同样在说作家)他认为最低层次的是那些小心眼的读者,就如在儿童游戏室般欣赏画廊的观众;套上机智的外壳,在那些崇高优雅面前,他们只会说些俏皮话,妄想,警句:这些都是粗俗的读者。如果维吉尔和马舍尔代表议员,我们就已经知道谁会获胜。但尽管他们在这个领域最为抛头露面,高声宣扬,但他们却只是法国的胡格诺派,荷兰的农民,虽然大量涌入,却没有加入国籍;他们在帕纳塞斯山没有每年两榜的土地,因此也就没有选举的权利。他们支持的作者同他们是一个等级,在这个招摇撞骗的讲话作为代表,成为这个嘈杂场所举办典礼的主人:拥有最多的崇拜者也是他们。但也经常发生的是,一旦他们的读者提升了鉴赏力,(当他们阅读了更好的书籍,与有判断能力的人们交流)他们很快抛弃了他们。

I must not dismiss this subject without observing, that as Mr. Locke in the passage above mentioned has discovered the most fruitful source of wit, so there is another of a quite contrary nature to it, which does likewise branch itself out into several kinds. For not only the resemblance but the opposition of ideas does very often produce wit; as I could show in several little points, turns, and antitheses, that I may possibly enlarge upon in some future speculation.

通过评述我必须对此题目作结语了,源于前文提到洛克发现了关于机智解释,我对此提出另外一个相反的本质,如同给它做了分支形成不同种类。因为不仅仅是概念群的相似之处,而且相异之处也能产生机智;正如我用一些要点,转折,对照所揭示的那样,或许这对以后的研究能有所引申。

 译后话:

终于译完了,有种小成就感,但又有些怅然若失。总体只是想把握其中的意思,没有精力考究句子。感觉艾迪生是那种冷静,沉稳,调理强,文章充斥着冷幽默。很多词汇不是很准确,毕竟受水平和文化限制。最主要的是中心词“wit”:目前发现的几种解释有,1机智;2智巧;3文采;4诙谐;5戏谑。单个意思是不能涵盖wit一词,而感觉最正确的解释是汇这5种意思之和,但翻译是很难做到。

 

 

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