2014.07.12【英译汉】New fiction新小说上架 Remembrance纪念过去(二)

ydyinglluk (Erin) 译坛新秀
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发表于:2014-07-12 10:36 [只看楼主] [划词开启]

The title is a clue. “TheNarrow Roadto the Deep North” is the English name for “Oku no Hosomichi”, a prose-and-verse epic by an 18th-century Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho, about a dangerous and lonely journey on foot into the heart of Edo-periodJapan. Most Japanese can recite one line: “Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.”


“Oku no Hosomichi” has been described by one poet as so important that it is “as if the very soul ofJapanhad itself written it”. It is one of the most revered texts in Japanese literature, as emblematic of Japanese wisdom as the savagery meted out to the prisoners on the Line was characteristic of a particularly Japanese cruelty. The fanatical dedication to the emperor, the willingness to subsume personal ego for the greater good of society; few cultures have subscribed to those beliefs as strongly as that of mid-20th-centuryJapan. And yet Mr Flanagan strives to show just how both the Japanese and their captives survived the war—and were changed by the experience.


Despite the book’s setting, Mr Flanagan has been careful not to conjure up the spirit of “Bridge on the River Kwai”. Not for him the jaunty moustache of Alec Guinness as he whistles “Colonel Bogey”, a goody to the core. Mr Flanagan’s Japanese camp commander is a tyrant and a drug addict. But he is also a patriot, a loving father and, ultimately, a survivor. Mr Flanagan’s Australian soldier-hero marshals his men, giving away small caches of his own food. Even so, he emerges from the Line a burned-out husk of a man, unwilling to share and unable to love.


A journey of loss and discovery, this is a novel replete with scenes that stay with the reader long after the final page. In clear prose that is never sentimental or overwritten, Mr Flanagan explores human reactions, large and small. How tiny kindnesses matter a lot in survival, and how forgetting, ignoring or simply dissembling helps people get over the effects of war, whether victor or vanquished.


“TheNarrow Roadto the Deep North” was the book Mr Flanagan was born to write. His father, who inspired it, died the day he wrote the last page.




分类: 英语
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