2015.02.01【英译中】爱伦·坡《本能与理性——黑猫》1840社论(上)

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发表于:2015-02-01 17:15 [只看楼主] [划词开启]
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Instinct vs Reason — a Black Cat.
本能与理性——黑猫

    The line which demarcates the instinct of the brute creation from the boasted reason of man, is, beyond doubt, of the most shadowy and unsatisfactory character — a boundary line far more difficult to settle than even the North-Eastern or the Oregon.
动物的本能与人类自夸的理性之间的界线,毫无疑问性质最为模糊暧昧、不足为用——这条边界甚至比东北俄勒冈的还要难以确定。
× 东北边界:美国独立战争(American Revolutionary War)结束(1783年,以巴黎条约——Treaty of Paris为标志)以来的历史遗留问题
× 俄勒冈:米国的某地,1840~1846米英在俄勒冈共管区问题上争端升级
The question whether the lower animals do or do not reason, will possibly never be decided — certainly never in our present condition of knowledge. 
低等于人类的动物是否会思考的问题,可能永远都不会有定论——肯定不能以我们的现有知识水平解决。
While the self-love and arrogance of man will persist in denying the reflective power to beasts, because the granting it seems to derogate from his own vaunted supremacy, he yet perpetually finds himself involved in the paradox of decrying instinct as an inferior faculty, while he is forced to admit its infinite superiority, in a thousand cases, over the very reason which he claims exclusively as his own. 
一方面自恋与傲慢会促使人类坚持否定动物的思考能力,因为承认它让人感觉有损自身那自我鼓吹的优越,另一方面人类却不断地发现自己深陷这个悖论:他将本能贬为低等机能,却不得不成百上千次承认它无限地超越他自诩独有的理智。
Instinct, so far from being an inferior reason, is perhaps the most exacted intellect of all.
本能——远不止为次等理性,可能就是最准确的万物之智慧。
It will appear to the true philosopher as the divine mind itself acting immediately upon its creatures.
真正的哲人会将它视作神的思想直接作用于其造物之上。

    The habits of the lion-ant, of many kinds of spiders, and of the beaver, have in them a wonderful analogy, or rather similarity, to the usual operations of the reason of man — but the instinct of some other creatures has no such analogy — and is referable only to the spirit of the Deity itself, acting directly, and through no corporal organ, upon the volition of the animal. 
对于人类理性的通常运作,在蚁狮、水獭和许多种蜘蛛的习性中,有一种奇妙的模拟类比,或更确切说是相似性(但另外一些生物的本能并没有这种模拟性类比),这种相似性只能联系至圣灵自身——神性,不通过任何肉体器官,直接作用于这些动物的意志。
× spirit of the Deity:此处本人采用三位一体(圣父、圣子、圣灵)概念理解翻译
Of this lofty species of instinct the coral-worm affords a remarkable instance. 
作为这种高尚的本能之体现,珊瑚虫算得上是个值得一提的例子。
× 此句高能,建议参考美国传统辞典(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)进行多方位理解
This little creature, the architect of continents, is not only capable of building ramparts against the sea, with a precision of purpose, and scientific adaptation and arrangement, from which the most skillful engineer might imbibe his best knowledge — but is gifted of prophecy. 
这种微小的生物乃大陆的建筑师,它不但能够建造抵御大海的堡垒——这项工事目标实现精准,调整和安排布局科学合理,连最技艺精湛的工程师都会从中汲取知识的精华;而且还有预知的才能。
It will foresee, for months in advance, the pure accidents which are to happen to its dwelling, and aided by myriads of its brethren, all acting as if with one mind (and indeed acting with only one — with the mind of the Creator) will work diligently to counteract influences which exist alone in the future. 
它能在数月前就预见到将发生在它居所的纯粹意外事件,通过它的无数同胞的协助——就像依照同一意志共同行动(实际上只会有一个意志——造物主的意志),它将勤奋地致力于应对独自孤立地存在于未来的影响。
There is also an immensely wonderful consideration connected with the cell of the bee. 
蜂巢中也存在着非常奇妙的考量。
Let a mathematician be required to solve the problem of the shape best calculated in such a cell as the bee wants, for the two requisites of strength and space — and he will find himself involved in the very highest and most abstruse questions of analytical research. 
让一个数学家奉命来解决蜂巢单元形状的问题,为满足蜜蜂对空间与强度的要求而寻找最优解——他定会发现自己确实身陷最高级最深奥的分析研究。
Let him be required to tell the number of sides which will give to the cell the greatest space, with the greatest solidity, and to define the exact angle at which, with the same object in view, the roof must incline — and to answer the query, he must be a Newton or a Laplace.
让他计算出能令巢房最宽广、最坚实的边数,精确演算出符合相同条件的顶棚角度——为解答这些,他必须为牛顿或拉普拉斯再世。
× 拉普拉斯:皮埃尔-西蒙·拉普拉斯侯爵(Pierre-Simon marquis de Laplace,1749年3月23日-1827年3月5日),法国著名天文学家和数学家,以将分析学应用于天体力学闻名
Yet since bees were, they have been continually solving the problem. 
但蜜蜂自诞生以来就不断解决着这个问题。
The leading distinction between instinct and reason seems to be, that, while the one is infinitely the more exact, the more certain, and the more far-seeing in its sphere of action — the sphere of action in the other is of the far wider extent. 
本能与理性间的首要区别看起来是:其中一方更为精密、更为明确,在它的行动领域中更为有远见——另一方的行动领域范围更广。
But we are preaching a homily, when we merely intended to tell a short story about a cat.
但我们将传道解惑,即使原本只是单纯试图讲述一只猫的简短故事。
最后编辑于:2015-02-05 22:57

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