2014.06.13【英译中】The Inner Ring 内圈(节选)(2)

等待狸猫 (狸猫) 译人小成
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发表于:2014-06-13 17:03 [只看楼主] [划词开启]

前文请戳:2014.06.10【英译中】The Inner Ring 内圈(节选)(1) 

前文提要:作者借托尔斯泰战争与和平中的一个小片段,提出了内圈的观点,这个内圈与正规的系统平行存在,无形且不成文。那么,只有在军队中才有这样的圈子吗?


Badly as I may have described it, I hope you will all have recognized the thing I am describing. Not, of course, that you have been in the Russian Army, or perhaps in any army. But you have met the phenomenon of an Inner Ring. You discovered one in your house at school before the end of the first term. And when you had climbed up to somewhere near it by the end of your second year, perhaps you discovered that within the ring there was a Ring yet more inner, which in its turn was the fringe of the great school Ring to which the house Rings were only satellites. It is even possible that the school ring was almost in touch with a Masters’ Ring. You were beginning, in fact, to pierce through the skins of an onion. And here, too, at your University—shall I be wrong in assuming that at this very moment, invisible to me, there are several rings—independent systems or concentric rings—present in this room? And I can assure you that in whatever hospital, inn of court, diocese, school, business, or college you arrive after going down, you will find the Rings—what Tolstoy calls the second or unwritten systems.

也许我的描述很糟糕,但我希望你们能够辨别出我所描述的东西。你们当然是没在俄国的军队中待过,可能也没在任何军队待过。但你们都见过内圈这一现象。在第一学期结束之前,你在室友中发现了一个内圈。而当你在第二学期末好不容易接近了这个圈子时,也许你会发现,在这个圈子中还有一个更小的圈子,而这个圈子又只处于偌大的校园圈的边缘,对于这个巨大的圈子来说,宿舍中的圈子不过是个小卫星罢了。其实,你不过是在刺穿洋葱的层层表皮。在你们的大学也是一样,我假设,现在在这个房间里就存在着多个看不见的圈子,存在着独立的各个体系和同中心的圈子,我的假设不错吧?并且我可以肯定地与你们说,毕业后在你去的任何一个医院、律师学院、教区、学校、商界或专科学校中,你都能发现内圈的存在,也就是托尔斯泰所说的第二或不成文体系。

 

All this is rather obvious. I wonder whether you will say the same of my next step, which is this. I believe that in all men’s lives at certain periods, and in many men’s lives at all periods between infancy and extreme old age, one of the most dominant elements is the desire to be inside the local Ring and the terror of being left outside. This desire, in one of its forms, has indeed had ample justice done to it in literature. I mean, in the form of snobbery. Victorian fiction is full of characters who are hag-ridden by the desire to get inside that particular Ring which is, or was, called Society. But it must be clearly understood that “Society,” in that sense of the word, is merely one of a hundred Rings, and snobbery therefore only one form of the longing to be inside.

所有的这一切都十分显而易见。我在想你们能不能猜到我接下来要说什么。我相信在所有人生命中的某些时期,以及在许多人从婴儿时期到白发苍苍的整整一生中,他们最主要的生活内容之一便是对进入自己身边圈子的渴望以及对被遗落在圈外的恐惧。这种渴望的某种形式确实在文学作品中得到了充分的体现。我说的这种形式便是势利。维多利亚时期的小说中,这样的人物比比皆是,他们渴望着进入那个被称作阶层的特定圈子,并深受渴望的折磨。然而你们必须清楚理解“阶层”的含义,在这层意义上,它不过是无数圈子中的一个,因此势利也不过是这种进入渴望的形式之一。

 

People who believe themselves to be free, and indeed are free, from snobbery, and who read satires on snobbery with tranquil superiority, may be devoured by the desire in another form. It may be the very intensity of their desire to enter some quite different Ring which renders them immune from all the allurements of high life.

那些相信自己不势利,也确实不势利的人们,以及那些带着平静的优越感读着讽刺势利的文字的人们,可能会被另一种形式的渴望所吞噬。也许它们有着另一种强烈的渴望,渴望进入某个与势利之人截然不同的圈子,以使得他们能够不受奢华生活的诱惑侵扰。


未完待续。




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