双语美文:致我们终将逝去的纯真

作者:chenhan发表时间:2018-06-08浏览:485
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  童年渐渐远去,随之消逝的还有那无法言说的纯真。纯真究竟是什么?是伴随着好奇心的无知,是天马行空的想象,还是对荒诞离奇的深信不疑?纵使纯真终将逝去,它仍将在我们心底留下一片永久的温存。


  What is it that is most appealing about children? Is it simply their physical beauty? Is it their openness to loving and being loved? Their playfulness, their innate humor? Beyond these things, in my view, children are beautiful because they possess something that we have all lost—the quality of innocence.

  儿童最吸引人的是什么呢?仅仅是他们的外表可爱?还是他们对爱与被爱都毫无掩饰的率真?是他们喜欢嬉闹的天性,还是他们与生俱来的幽默?撇开这些不说,在我看来,儿童之美在于他们拥有一种我们都已失去的品性——纯真。


  Innocence is not merely lovely; it is heartbreaking because it represents Housman’s “blue remember’d hills” … the “happy highways where I went/and cannot come again.”

  纯真不仅可爱,还使人忧伤,因为它代表着豪斯曼笔下“记忆中的碧绿青山”……“我曾经走过的快乐公路/却永不再来”。


  The gap between innocence and experience is endlessly explored, like a gap in a tooth, by artists and writers. I have felt in exile ever since childhood—not as a result of some traumatic experience, but the simple, slow dimmer switch (调光器;亮度调节开关) of time passing and imagination coarsening (变粗糙).

  艺术家和作家不厌其烦地探索着纯真与经验之间的距离,就像在不停地舔牙齿上的牙洞那样。自童年之后,我就一直有一种流落异乡的感觉——不是因为我曾遭受过某种创伤,而是因为荏苒的时光和丰富的想象力就像装上了调光器,就那样慢慢地黯淡下去。


  But what is innocence? Like St Augustine on the subject of Time, “If you do not ask me what time is, I know it; if you ask me, I do not know.”

  但到底什么是纯真呢?正如圣奥古斯丁在谈及时间时所说的那样:“何谓时间?你若不问,我倒还知道;你若问我,我反而不知。”


  When I watch my youngest daughter, Louise, playing for an hour with Sylvanian Families (“森林家族”系列动物玩偶), singing to herself, I know I see it. When I watch my 10-year-old, Eva, dancing as if no one is watching, I know I am also seeing it. But it is ineffable (言语难以表达的).

  当我看到我最小的女儿露易丝一边哼着歌,一边摆弄森林家族的玩偶,一玩就是一小时,我知道那就是纯真。当我看到我十岁的女儿伊娃旁若无人地跳着舞,我知道那也是纯真。但纯真的确难以言表。


  It is, at one level, a rarefied (脱离普通人和现实生活的) quality of ignorance. To not grasp imaginatively that death will come. To believe in the irrational—Santa Claus, fairies, monsters under the bed. And, of course, the myth of the infinite power and goodness of parents.

  从某一层面来说,纯真是一种常人难懂的无知。即不去富于想象地认为死亡终会到来,而去相信那些荒诞的东西——圣诞老人、仙子,还有床底下的怪物。当然,还有相信父母具有无所不能的力量,是慈爱善良的化身。


  This is perhaps the hardest part of all innocence to let go of. My eldest, Jean, nowadays seems perpetually disappointed in me and I can only ascribe this to the fact that I have let her down by proving unable to either be perfect or protect her against the world. After all, she was forced to face the separation of her parents when she was only six years old. But I feel, self-defensively perhaps, that her disappointment is more about her particular loss of what we all must lose.

  这也许是一切纯真最难以割舍的东西。我的大女儿吉恩近来似乎不断对我失望,而我只能将其归结于一个事实,那就是我通过证明自己既不完美,也不能保护她免受这个世界的伤害而让她失望了。毕竟,她在只有六岁的时候就不得不面对父母的分居。但我却认为,也许这样说是在为自己辩解,她的失望更多是因为她失去了我们每个人都必定会失去的东西。


  Innocence goes deeper than ignorance. It is some mysterious operation of the imagination, the part that can enter into mental universes from which one is soon to be forever excluded. I have my own particular recollection of this.

  纯真不仅仅是无知。它是想象力的某种神秘运作,人们能够凭其进入某种精神世界,但很快就将被这一世界永久地拒之门外。对此,我有自己独特的记忆。


  Every year from when I was of reading age, I was given a Rupert the Bear annual for Christmas and every Christmas day I fell upon it with a passion, losing myself in the mysterious tales of wizards and sea-gods and wood sprites. Then one year I picked up the annual and could not “get into it.” It was just a book with pictures and a story. I could no longer enter its portal and inhabit its world.

  从我能读书时起,每年我都会收到一本《鲁珀特熊》的年刊作为圣诞礼物,而每年圣诞节我都会兴致勃勃地拿起这本书,沉浸在由巫师、海神和森林精灵组成的神秘世界中。然而有一年,我拿着那本年刊却无法“读进去”。它成了一本带插图的普通故事书。我再也无法进入它的大门,生活在其中的世界。


  Even now I remember the sting of disappointment. My wife thought I was mad when last year I bought a large painting of Rupert from the artist Mark Manning (who has done a series depicting scenes from Nutwood (纳特伍德村,小熊鲁珀特的居住地)). But I suppose therein lies the explanation.

  即使现在,我仍然记得那种失望的刺痛。去年,我从画家马克·曼宁那里购买了一幅鲁珀特熊的大幅油画(他画了一系列取材于纳特伍德的油画),妻子觉得我疯了。但我认为这就是最好的解释。


  Innocence is also the growth of self-consciousness, perhaps the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” referred to in the story of Adam and Eve. Perhaps you are thrown out into a world bled (使褪色) of color and meaning and spend your life trying to regain it.

  纯真也意味着自我意识的增长,也许这就是亚当与夏娃的故事里所说的那棵“能使人分辨善恶的智慧树”。也许你被抛入了一个逐渐失去色彩与意义的世界,而你一生都在试图将其找回。


  But can you regain it? Not in its original form, certainly. But sometimes, now I am growing older, I feel shadows of my ancient innocence in the night sky, in the song of birds, in the earth’s breathing out of white and pink blossoms.

  但你能找回吗?当然再也无法找回其原来的样子。但随着年岁的增长,有时我会感受到那久已失去的纯真的影子出现在夜空,出现在鸟儿的歌声里,出现在土地上绽放的洁白的、粉红的花朵里。


  I am unlearning all the things I have been taught in life, and perhaps this, as well as the more tragic meaning, is what Shakespeare talked of when he wrote that the final age of man is:

  我正在抛却生活所教给我的一切,而这一点及其所蕴含的更具悲剧性的意义,也许就是莎士比亚在作品中谈到人生的最后阶段时所说的:


  “Last scene of all,

  “最后一场,

  That ends this strange eventful history,

  结束了这出奇怪多事的史剧,

  Is second childishness and mere oblivion (遗忘).”

  是重来的童真,全然的遗忘。”


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