译前词: 之所以翻译鲁迅的这篇经典之作,是缘于最近的一个新闻. 听说现在中学的语文教材要进行大改革, 鲁迅的大量经典之作将会被删除, 包括<<祝福>>, <<药>>, <<从百草园到三味书屋>>, <<孔乙己>>等. 听到了这个消息, 我感到一阵莫名的沉重. 我忘不了祥林嫂一遍又一遍地向别人诉说她的儿子被狼叼走的情景, 忘不了<<药>>里面的血淋淋的馒头, 忘不了百草园里传说中的赤练蛇, 更忘不了最后不知所踪的孔乙己…… 所有的这些形象都深深地刻在了我们的脑海里, 将当时的时代背景形象现实化, 让我们如同身临其境. 这一篇篇赤裸裸血淋淋的文章, 鞭笞着我们的思想, 让我们 “敢于直面惨淡的人生, 敢于正视淋漓的鲜血”(鲁迅<<纪念刘和珍君>>)!
然而时代在变, 人的思想也在改革, 新一代的青年人也需要接受更多符合这个时代的思想与理念, 所以语文课本内容的改革也无可厚非. 毕竟我们不可能一直沿用原来的教材. 但是从另一方面来讲, 我也为现代的学生感到惋息, 因为他们失去了鲁迅如此经典的作品, 失去了对那个时代的品味, 这是不得不说是人文教育的一大缺失! 非常希望教育部可以把删去的经典的文章都印成阅读资料发给学生看, 而不要彻底地将它们遗弃了!
从前我不喜欢鲁迅的文章, 然而上了高中以后我就慢慢地感受到了这些文章的内涵与魅力, 也就越来越喜欢. 到了现在, 有空时我仍然会登陆一些中文阅读网去读读他曾经写过的东西, 感慨良多.
前天在网上再次看到鲁迅的<<药>>, 心血来潮,便断断续续地花了几天功夫把它翻译了出来, 以作纪念. 希望光临我空间的朋友在欣赏到这篇经典之作时, 可以同时和我交流一下翻译的心得.由于时间仓促而且文章篇幅太大, 个别翻译不准确或者拼写错误的地方请大家见谅, 欢迎大家不吝赐教! 同时由于文章太长和系统限制, 无法用一篇日记将全文发表, 只能分为两篇, 望读者谅解.
借此机会我想感谢一直支持我空间的广大同学, 朋友, 亲人还有来自各大英语网站的网友和英语爱好者们! 我之所以能一路坚持下来写英文日记以及做英语翻译, 很大一个原因是你们的大力支持! 当我稍微几天没写日记或者没有在英语网站上发表文章时, 就会有网友们催促我. 这使我不管在多忙的情况下仍然会定期更新日记. 看着空间人气旺盛, 评论活跃, 我觉得自己的一切努力都是值得的! QQ空间成了我练习的园地, 也成了我和大家交流的天堂! 再次感谢大家的支持!
It was late in an autumn night when the moon had faded away while the sun was still beneath the horizon, leaving a dark blue sky to be seen. Except some night-lively insects, everything was in deep sleep. An old man named Mr Hua rose from his bed all of a sudden and struck a match to light up an oily lamp that cast green and white light through the two rooms inside the teahouse.
“Are you going there, Hua?” An old woman asked. Inside a small room next to her echoed sounds of cough. “Yes.” Hua answered, putting on his clothes and stretching his hands to his wife, saying, “please give me the money.”
His wife searched the pillow for quite a while for a small bag of coins and handed it to Hua. Hua took it and put it inside the pocket, and then pressed his pocket for confirmation. After that, he lit up a lantern and blew off the lamp, walking towards the small room. After his son calmed down from coughing, Hua whispered to him, “Dear son, do not get up! Your mother will take good care of you and our business in the shop.”
Hearing no response from his son, Hua guessed he must have fallen into sleep, so he left the house and walked in the street. It was entire dark in the street and nothing other than a grey road could be seen. The road lamp light was cast to his two legs that were walking alternatively. Sometimes he would meet some dogs, but none of them barked to him. It was way colder outside than in the house, but Hua felt quite gleeful, as if he had become a teen again who was full of ginger. He made quick and large stride. The road became clearer and clearer with the sky turning bright.
When Hua was walking attentively, he was stunned at a cross he saw in the street. He then went backward for a few steps and saw a closed shop. He was leaning by the door under the roof. After a while, he felt chilly.
“哼，老头子。” “倒高兴……。” 老栓又吃一惊，睁眼看时，几个人从他面前过去了。一个还回头看他，样子不甚分明，但很像久饿的人见了食物一般，眼里闪出一种攫取的光。老栓看看灯笼，已经熄了。按一按衣袋，硬硬的还在。仰起头两面一望，只见许多古怪的人，三三两两，鬼似的在那里徘徊；定睛再看，却也看不出什么别的奇怪。
“Damn old man!” “You seem to be happy.” Some people said to Hua, which made him feel shocked. He saw a few men passing by him, one of whom was still turning round and staring at him. This man seemed like being hungry for a long time and seemed to seek the food he liked, giving off a sharp and cruel expression in his eyes. Hua looked at his lantern that had been slaked. Then he pressed his pocket again to confirm his coins were still there. Then he was looking around, only to see a lot of weird people haunting around. But when he tried to see what was going wrong, he could barely find a clue.
After a while, several soldiers came. Among them was a prisoner wearing a big round white board on his neck that could be seen clearly even though it was far away. Close to them, you could even see the prisoner wearing a piece of clothing numbered 3 in dark red. In a short time, a large group of people flocked to them, including those weird guys in two or three. All the people moved forward like waves pushing ahead. But when they were approaching the cross in the street, they stopped suddenly and gathered into a semi-circle.
Hua was looking at the crowd, only to see a lot of shoulders and backs. The spectators were all stretching their necks like ducks being pinched upward. After being quite for a while, there seemed to be some sounds again that moved the crowd. After a big sound “bang”, all the people retreated backward to where Hua stood, almost pushing him to the floor.
“Hey! Give me the money and I will give you what you want!” A man in black shouted to Hua, his eyes like two sharp knifes that frightened Hua to contract his body. The man laid out a big hand to him while holding a bloody bun in the other. The bun was still dripping blood.
Hua hurriedly took out his money and wanted to give the man, but he dare not receive the bun. The man felt irritated and shouted, “What the hell are you afraid of? Take it!” Hua was still hesitating, while the man took his lantern and torn down the paper to wrap the bun for him. Then he took the money away and cursed Hua, “Damn old man!”
“Who is ill and needs to be treated with the bun?” some people asked Hua. But he did not reply and kept focusing on the bun as if it was a precious baby that was handed down ten generations. Now he was intended to convert this “new life” to his home. The sun had risen up. Before him was a large avenue that led to his house. Behind him was a broken tablet carved with four dark golden characters hanging on a shop in the crossing of the street.
When Hua reached his shop, it had been completely cleaned. Rows of tables and chairs were mirroring light. But there were no guests. Only his son was sitting by a table and having a meal, drops of sweat falling down his forehead. His sweater was tightly attached to his back and his shoulders rose high. Seeing this, Hua could not help frowning. His wife came out from the kitchen in a hurry with her eyes real open and lips shaking.
“Is it done?” his wife asked. “Yes.” Hua answered. They went into the kitchen and discussed for a while. Then Hua’s wife went out. Before long, she took a lotus leaf back and spread it on the table. Hua opened the lantern paper and wrapped the bloody bun with the lotus leaf. His son had finished the meal then, but his mother kept him from coming up. After lighting up the oven, Hua put the bun as well as the broken lantern into the oven. After the fire died down, the shop was filled with a special aroma.
“It is so aromatic! What desserts are you eating?” a young man with a hump came in the shop. He often spent his day in the shop and first came and last left. But now no one was available to answer his question. Then he asked, “May I have some porridge?” There was still no response. Later Hua came out hurriedly and brought him a cup of tea.
“Come in, my dear son!” Mrs Hua called in her son and asked him to sit on the bench. Then she took a tray of round dark stuff and told gently his son, “Eat it and you will recover soon!” Her son picked up the stuff and looked at it curiously, feeling it extremely weird. He carefully pinched the bun into two and within seconds he had swallowed it totally without even knowing the taste, leaving an empty tray on the table. His father and mother were standing by him on either side, staring at him attentively as if they wanted to get something out of him. it made their son felt extremely nervous and take great breath, coughing constantly.
“Go to have a sleep and everything would be fine.” His mother said. So he went in room and slept with cough. His mother gently covered him with a patched sheet afterwards.
A lot of people were staying in Hua’s shop, so he was very busy, taking a large copper kettle to serve customers with tea to and fro. His two eye orbits were dark black.
“Are you ok, Hua? Are you sick?” an old man with white beard asked.
“No? I also think you are not sick from your smiling face.” The old man cancelled his original guess.
“Hua is just busy. But if his son……” Before the young man with a hump finished his remarks, a strong man with a fat face broke in, dressed in a red shirt that was casually binded with a mere red girdle without fastening the buttons. He exclaimed to Hua upon arrival, “Has your son eaten the bun? Has he recovered? It is your luck to get the bun and without my timely information, you would never have got it……”
Hua listened to him with smiles, a kettle in one hand and the other hanging down obediently. Other present people were also listening respectfully. With black orbits around eyes, Hua’s wife was also smiling, presenting the a bowl with tea leaves and an olive inside to the man. Hua came to pour hot water into the bowl.
“Your son will surely recover! It is unique! You should ask him to eat when it it hot!” Then man spoke loudly.
“Yes, indeed! Without your kindly help, we could not get the bun……” Hua’s wife felt grateful to him.
“No worries! He will surely recover soon! Eat it when it is hot. Such a bloody bun can cure pneumonia!”
When she heard “pneumonia”, her face turn grey and she seemed to be unhappy. But in a second, she put up smiles on the face again, chatting and going away. But the man with a fat face did not realize the suble changes in Hua’s wife’s face. He still kept shouting with a high voice, awaking up Hua’s son coughing nonstop.
“Your son should encounter such a good luck! His illness will be gone soon. No wonder you have been smiling all day.” The old man with white beard said to Hua. But meantime he came up to Hua and asked in low voice, “Hua, it is said that a prisoner has been executed today. He is the child in a family surnamed Xia. Who is he on earth? What has happened?”
“Who? He is exactly the son of the fourth wife in Xia Family. The young pad!” The man with a fat face spoke loudly with the flesh on his face seeming to explode. “He almost did not want to live. But it is his own business. This time I did not get any benefits from him. Even the clothes he wore had been taken away by another jailer. The first good thing is that Hua had his luck today to get the bloody bun. The second is that I was awarded with twenty-five liang(Monetary unit in ancient time) silvers by the young pad’s third uncle.”
Hua’s son came out of the room slowly, with his hands pressing the chest, coughing nonstoop. He went to the kitchen and fetched a bowl of cold rice, pouring hot water inside and eating by himself. Hua’s wife followed him all the time and asked him gently, “Are you feeling better now? Are you still hungry?”
“He will recover soon!” the man with a fat face glanced at little hua and said. “The pad’s third uncle is really obedient. If he did not report his nephew to the government officials, all his families would be executed. Now he used money to settle everything. The yound pad was really rebellious. Even though in the prison, he tried to persuade the jailer to rebel!”
“Oh, Damn God!” a young man of twenties in the rear row claimed angrily, “The jailer was to ask him his context, but he talked with the jailer and claimed that the Qing Dynasty belonged to all of us. It is really nonsense! The jailer had known the yound pad had an old mother, but he had never imagined that the yound pad would be so poor without any money. The jailer felt very irritated at the yound pad and slapped his face twice!”
“Oh, the jailer was very strong, so the two slaps must have made the young pad suffer tremendously!” the young man with a hump became happy.
“He was a such a fuck that deserved all the penalties! ”
“There is no pity to feel about him.” the old man said.
“You did not catch my words. I mean the jailer is piteous to slap such a fuck guy!” The man with a fat face said coldly, looking down on the old man.
People who were hearing these remakrs felt confused and numb, keeping speechless halfway. The little Hua had finished the rice and went out sweating.
“The jailer was piteious? It’s crazy!” The old man shouted.
“Yes, it is crazy!” the man of twenties also said.
People in the shop then became lively againd and started to talk. Hua’s son kept coughing constantly. The man with a fat face came up to him and patted his shoulders, saying, “You will surely recover soon! Stop coughing!”
“Yes, it is crazy!” The young man with a hump still said, nodding his head.
There was a governmental area by the city wall in Xiguan, in the middle of which there was a small path which was caused by people who would like to take a shortcut. On the left of the path the deceased dying of death sentence were buried, while the right of the path there were poor people’s tombs. Both sides were full of rows of tombs, which seemed like a bun used to celebrate birthday in a better-off family.
It was considerably icy on the Tomb Sweeping Day this year. The willow just sprouted little then. Short after dawn, Hua’s wife had been sitting next to a new tomb, laying down four dishes and a bowl of rice on the ground and crying miserably. After burning the “momey”( here the money means the fake money that is used in the underworld), she ketp sitting there dully as if waiting for somebody. But she had no idea whom she was waiting for. A breeze came to her and touched her short hair, which seemed more grey than last year.
Another woman came along the small lane with half of her hair grey, dressed in a shabby clothing. She took a broken red basket and some fake money, walking painstakingly. Suddenly, she saw Mrs Hua sitting on the ground and felt kind of tentative. A sense of guilt appeared on her pale face. But at last she still walked to another tomb on the left and put down her basket.
The tomb was exactly lining along with the Hua’s son’s while there was a small path in between. Hua’s wife saw the woman putting down four dishes and a bowl of rice, crying and burning the fake money, she knew the death in the tomb was also the woman’s son. The old woman walked and looked around, hands and legs shaking. Then she staggered a few steps backward with her eyes staring at something dully.
Hua saw this scene and worried that she would be too sad to be crazy. Therefore, she could not help standing up and walked past the small path and whispered to her, “Don’t be so sad. Let’s go.” The old woman nodded her head with her eyes still staring upward. Then she stammered, “Look! What’s that?”
Mrs Hua looked to the direction of her finger and saw the tomb in front. The grass had not grown up from the earth yet and there were patches of yellow soil which were totally urgly. When they looked at the tomb carefully, they felt astounded at what they saw: there was a ring of red and white flowers on the round top of the tomb.
Their eyes had suffered from presbyopia from long, but they could still see the flowers on the tomb that were arranged in a ring in order, though not many. Hua’s wife looked at her son’s and other people’s tombs with only small flowers, feeling kind of empty. But she did not think too much about it.
The old lady came nearer and examined the tomb carefully, saying, “The flowers have no roots and are not blooming naturally. Who have come to the tomb and put the flowers on it? Kids would not like to come here, nor would my relatives. What has happened?” She thought for a while and could not help tearing again, speaking loudly, “My dear son, they have wronged you! Are the flowers the proof that you would like to tell me this?”
She looked around and saw a crow resting in a trees without leaves. She then said, “I know, my dear son. You were wronged by them and they will have their ends in the future. God knows all these. I hope you can calm down in another world. If you are really here and hear me, please let me know by asking the crow to fly on top of the tomb.”
The breeze had disappeared long before. The dried grass stood up sharply as if cooper teels. The old woman’s shaking voice vanished in the air. It was dead still around. The two women were standing in the grass and looked to the crow, which was standing upright like an iron steel in the tree with its head shrunk. With time passing by, more and more people came and some old people and kids were walking by the tombs.
Hua’ wife felt a relief and wanted to go. She soothed the old woman, “We had better go.” The old woman sighed and collected the dishes. After hesitating for a while, she finally walked away, whispering, “What has happened to my son’s tomb?”
After they walked away for about twenty meters, they heard the scream of the crow. They looked back, only to see the crow patting its wings and flying to the sky far as if an arrow.