20140719【佳译品尝】当采石工的第一天(曹明伦教授)

汪德均 (老顽童) 译坛新宠
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发表于:2014-07-19 08:29 [只看楼主] [划词开启]
第二届“《英语世界》杯”翻译大赛参考译文(曹明伦教授)
2011-9-22 16:06| 来自: 《英语世界》博客
 
                                                       当采石工的第一天
                                         〔英〕休·米勒1
                                          曹明伦 译
   
      到刚过去的那个2月,距我天不亮就动身去初识受束缚的劳工生活就整整20年了。自那之后我几乎从未有过比那天早晨更沉重的心情。当时我还是个身子骨不够结实的瘦小伙子,喜欢美妙而缥缈的浪漫传奇,喜欢大睁着眼睛做白日美梦。但时过境迁,悲哉!那天我要去干的是彭斯在其《两条狗》2中作为所有行当中最不如人愿的一种来举隅的行当——在采石场干活。在那之前,除有时因觉得前景黯淡而感到焦虑之外,我生命中已逝去的岁月从来都比一般人过得快活。我曾遨游于山岩之间,徜徉于树林之中,阅读我能弄到手的各色奇书,随处收集古老的传说故事。可这下我却要用我所有的梦想和乐趣去交换那样一种生活——那种每天拼命干活是为了能有饭吃,而每天吃饭则是为了能拼命干活的生活。
   
  我干活的那个采石场坐落在一个壮观的内陆海湾南岸,确切地说是坐落在一个河口湾3的南岸。采石场一侧有条清澈的小溪,另一侧有片茂密的冷杉树林。石场开在那个区域的老红砂岩石壁上,石壁上方覆盖着厚厚的洪积土层,土层在有些地方几乎厚达10米。在我去干活的那个时候,由于刚经历过一场严寒,凡表面裸露的土层都被冻裂,摇摇欲坠。一大堆松动的土块从上方塌下,把石场的采掘面堵塞,而我那天干的第一份活就是清除那些土块。锹柄很快就把我的手掌磨出了水泡,不过疼痛倒不太厉害。我干得很猛,也干得很欢,因为我想看看土块下那些显得坚不可摧的巨大岩层是怎样被切开并被搬走。工友们使用镐头、楔子和撬棍,这时我发现,对这些我以前习惯于认为很简陋的工具,我得花很大功夫才能学会使用。不过这些工具的效率不高,工人们还得在岩壁的某个亚关键层4钻孔,用炸药实施爆破。这过程对我来说完全陌生,因此我觉得非常有趣,而且值得一说的是,这爆破与泛舟和登山一样伴随着一定的危险,所以除新鲜之外,还别有一番趣味。我们进行了几次猛烈的爆破,炸得岩土碎片横飞,一大堆洪积土轰然塌下,随之落下的还有两只死鸟,想必它们是为躲前不久的一场暴风雨而钻进了深深的岩缝,结果在那个庇护所丧生。我当时又产生了观察那两只鸟的兴趣。有一只是漂亮的雄性金翅雀,其朱红色羽冠和它因之而得名的镶有金黄色斑的翅羽都干净而光滑,仿佛是为博物馆收藏的标本;另一只多少有点罕见,羽色淡蓝和灰黄间杂,属于啄木鸟一类。怀着一种也许再年长10岁就不会那么浓烈的伤感,我忘情地欣赏着那两个可怜的小家伙,脑子里想着它们夏日绿荫栖息地的温馨欢愉与末日岩缝避难所的凄冷阴暗形成的反差,这时我听见采石场老板叫工人收拾工具。我抬起目光,见太阳正从采石场旁边茂密的冷杉树林后缓缓下坠,长长的树影朝海岸边慢慢延伸。
   
   
   
  注释:
   
  1、休·米勒(1802~1856),苏格兰地质学家,17岁时曾跟一石匠当学徒,干过采石工、银行会计和报纸编辑。他写的关于地质学的著作曾引起公众对地质历史的兴趣,其代表作有《老红砂岩》(The是
  Old Red Sandstone, 1841)、《造物主的足迹》(Footprints of the Creator, 1849)和《岩石作证》(The 
  Testimony of the Rocks, 1856)。这次参赛选文即《老红砂岩》第1章第3-4段,选文标题由The Oxford Book of 
  English Prose的编者所加。
   
  2、彭斯于1786年写的一首200余行的叙事诗,诗中通过地主家和农民家的两条狗的对话,对富人和穷人的生活进行了鲜明的对照。
   
  3、此内陆海湾即北海马里湾向内陆延伸的克罗默蒂湾,高地郡境内的数条河流均汇入这个狭长的小海湾,故作者又称其为河口。作者的家乡克罗默蒂城就在此海湾南岸。
   
  4、“亚关键层”是岩石力学术语,与之对应的是“主关键层”(the key strata)。


 附录:


His First Day as Quarry-Boy


By Hugh Miller (1802~1856)


It was twenty years last February since I set out, a little before sunrise, to make my first acquaintance with a life of labour and restraint; and I have rarely had a heavier heart than on that morning. I was but a slim, loose-jointed boy at the time, fond of the pretty intangibilities of romance, and of dreaming when broad awake; and, woful change! I was now going to work at what Burns has instanced, in his ‘Twa Dogs’, as one of the most disagreeable of all employments,—to work in a quarry. Bating the passing uneasinesses occasioned by a few gloomy anticipations, the portion of my life which had already gone by had been happy beyond the common lot. I had been a wanderer among rocks and woods, a reader of curious books when I could get them, a gleaner of old traditionary stories; and now I was going to exchange all my day-dreams, and all my amusements, for the kind of life in which men toil every day that they may be enabled to eat, and eat every day that they may be enabled to toil!

The quarry in which I wrought lay on the southern shore of a noble inland bay, or frith rather, with a little clear stream on the one side, and a thick fir wood on the other. It had been opened in the Old Red Sandstone of the district, and was overtopped by a huge bank of diluvial clay, which rose over it in some places to the height of nearly thirty feet, and which at this time was rent and shivered, wherever it presented an open front to the weather, by a recent frost. A heap of loose fragments, which had fallen from above, blocked up the face of the quarry and my first employment was to clear them away. The friction of the shovel soon blistered my hands, but the pain was by no means very severe, and I wrought hard and willingly, that I might see how the huge strata below, which presented so firm and unbroken a frontage, were to be torn up and removed. Picks, and wedges, and levers, were applied by my brother-workmen; and, simple and rude as I had been accustomed to regard these implements, I found I had much to learn in the way of using them. They all proved inefficient, however, and the workmen had to bore into one of the inferior strata, and employ gunpowder. The process was new to me, and I deemed it a highly amusing one: it had the merit, too, of being attended with some such degree of danger as a boating or rock excursion, and had thus an interest independent of its novelty. We had a few capital shots: the fragments flew in every direction; and an immense mass of the diluvium came toppling down, bearing with it two dead birds, that in a recent storm had crept into one of the deeper fissures, to die in the shelter. I felt a new interest in examining them. The one was a pretty cock goldfinch, with its hood of vermilion and its wings inlaid with the gold to which it owes its name, as unsoiled and smooth as if it had been preserved for a museum. The other, a somewhat rarer bird, of the woodpecker tribe, was variegated with light blue and a grayish yellow. I was engaged in admiring the poor little things, more disposed to be sentimental, perhaps, than if I had been ten years older, and thinking of the contrast between the warmth and jollity of their green summer haunts, and the cold and darkness of their last retreat, when I heard our employer bidding the workmen lay by their tools. I looked up and saw the sun sinking behind the thick fir wood beside us, and the long dark shadows of the trees stretching downward towards the shore.           


Old Red Sandstone


(文章选自THE OXFORD BOOK OF ENGLISH PROSE, 658-660, Oxford University Press, London, first published 1925, reprinted 1958.)



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