经典双语散文欣赏:美人鱼的传说

易说堂 (易说堂英语) 路人甲
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发表于:2014-08-13 13:56 [只看楼主] [划词开启]

Stories of mermaids have been told for centurie be it in the form of folklore, legends or fairy tales. Images of this creature have plagued artists and writers in their efforts to bring to life themystery, beauty, and, ye eroticism of the mermaid to their audiences. Some still claim, even today, that they exist. 
  美人鱼的故事不管是在民间传说、传奇故事,还是在童话故事里,都已经流传了数百年。无数艺术家和作家都煞费苦心地通过艺术形象和文字向大众还原美人鱼之谜、美人鱼之美,还有美人鱼的情挑一面(千真万确!)。直至今天,仍然有人声称世上有美人鱼。

  The mermaid and merman legends begin with the worship of god as have many mythologies. The earliest representations and descriptions of these now well-known creatures can be traced back as far as the eighth century BC, where merfolk got their beginnings as pagan water deities andsupernatural female water beings.

  如同众多神话一样,关于雌性和雄性美人鱼的传奇故事始于天神崇拜。对如今这一广为人知的生物的最早描述可以追溯到公元前八世纪,在那个时代,人们最开始视其为原始水神和具有超自然能力的雌性水怪。

  The Babylonians were known to worship a sea-god called Oanne or Ea. Oannes was reputed to have risen from the Erythrean Sea and taught to man the arts and sciences. In the Louvre today can be seen an eighth century wall-scene depicting Oannes as a merman, with a fish-like tail and the upper-body of a man.

  古巴比伦人敬奉一个名为“奥尼斯”或“伊亚”的海神。据说,奥尼斯从厄立特里亚古海上升起,向人类传授艺术与科学知识。如今在卢浮宫里,人们还可以看到一幅创作于八世纪的壁画,画中的奥尼斯是一条雄性人鱼,上身为人形,长着一条貌似鱼尾的尾巴。

  The Syrians and the Philistines were also known to have worshiped a Semitic mermaid moon-goddess. The Syrians called her Atargatis while the Philistines knew her as Derceto. It is notunusual or surprising that this moon-goddess was depicted as a mermaid as the tides ebbed and flowed with the moon then as it does now, and this was incorporated into the god-like personifications that we find in their art and ancient literature. Atargatis is one of the first recorded mermaid and the legend says that her child Semiramis was a normal human and, because of thi Atargatis was ashamed and killed her lover. Abandoning the infant she became wholly a fish.

  众所周知,叙利亚人和腓力斯人敬奉一位闪米特美人鱼月神。叙利亚人称她为“阿塔哥提斯”,而腓力斯人则把她叫作“得塞托”。潮水随着月亮的阴晴圆缺而涨退,古今皆如此,所以美人鱼被那个时代的人称为月神也很正常,不足为奇,而美人鱼也因这一点在古代腓力斯艺术创作和文学作品中被诠释为神的化身。阿塔哥提斯是最早被记载的美人鱼之一。传说称她的第一个孩子斯米拉米斯是一个普通人,她因此感到羞愧不已,先杀死了情人,后抛弃了还是婴儿的孩子,自己完完全全地变成了鱼形。

  In Japanese and Chinese legends there were not only mermaids but also sea-dragons and dragon-wives. The Japanese mermaid known as Ningyo was depicted as a fish with only a human head. Polynesian mythology includes a creator named Vatea who was depicted as half-human and half-porpoise.

  日本和中国的传说故事里不仅有美人鱼,还有海龙王和龙母。日本的美人鱼叫“人鱼”,有着人头鱼身的形象。玻利尼西亚神话里则有一个名叫“维提”的半人半海豚形怪物。

  Greek and Roman mythology is often placed together as the two are very similar, and it is in the literature from these cultures that one finds the first literary description of the mermaid and, indeed, mermen. Poseidon and Neptune were often depicted as half-man and half-fish, and Homer mentions the Sirens during the voyage of Odysseu although he fails to give a physical description.

  因为古希腊和古罗马神话非常相似,因此人们常常把两者放在一起讨论。对于雌性美人鱼与雄性美人鱼的文字描述最早便出现在这两种文化的文学作品里。古希腊海神波塞冬和古罗马海神尼普顿常常被描述成半人半鱼的形象。荷马在讲述奥德修斯的海上征程时提到了塞壬,只可惜他并没有对其外形作具体描述。

  The British Isles too had their fair share of merfolk mythology. The Cornish knew mermaids as Merrymaids; the Irish knew them as Merrows or Muirruhgach and some sources write that they lived on dry land below the sea and had enchanted caps that allowed them to pass through the water without drowning. While the women were very beautiful, the men had red nose piggy eye green hair and teeth, and a penchant for brandy.

不列颠群岛也不缺美人鱼的传说。康沃尔人把美人鱼称为“梅丽少女”,而爱尔兰人则称之为“梅尔萝”或者“梅如加”。有资料称,这些美人鱼住在海底干燥的陆地上,因为头戴魔帽而不会在水中溺毙。雌性美人鱼都异常惊艳,而雄性美人鱼则是红鼻小眼,绿发青牙,还酷爱喝白兰地。

  Germanic mythology has the Meerfrau, the Nix and the Nixe who were male and female fresh-water inhabitant and it was believed that they were treacherous to men. The Nixe lured men to drown while the Nix could be in the form of an old dwarfish character or as a golden-haired boy and, in Iceland and Sweden, could take the form of a centaur. The Nix also loved music and could lure people to him with his harp; if he was in the form of a horse he would tempt people to mount him and then dash into the sea to drown them. While he sometimes desired a human soul he would often demand annual human sacrifices. There was also the more elven-like Nixies that would sometimes appear in the market; she could be identified by the corner of her apron being wet. If she paid a good price it would be an expensive year, but if she paid a low price the prices for that year would remain cheap. In the Rhine were to be found the Lorelei from which the town took its name. The Germans also knew the Melusine as a double-tailed mermaid as did the British heraldry as well.

  梅尔弗、尼克斯和尼斯则是日尔曼民族神话中的美人鱼,他们是生活在淡水中的雄性和雌性美人鱼,据说对人类奸诈凶险。雌性美人鱼会把男人引诱到水中使其溺毙,而雄性美人鱼则会变成年迈的侏儒或者金发男孩引诱人类;在冰岛和瑞典,他还会以人首马身的样子出现。雄性美人鱼喜爱音乐,会弹奏竖琴以诱惑人类。如果他以马的形象出现,他就会诱人骑到马背上,再冲到海里,把人淹死。有时候,他想要获得人的灵魂,于是就要求人类每年以活人作为供品。雌性美人鱼有时会以类似小精灵的形象在集市上出现,围裙一角湿答答的就是她。如果她支付了大价钱,那这一年集市的商品价格就会走高;而如果她出了低价,那这一年的价格就低。在莱茵河流域,其中一个小镇的名字就是源自美人鱼罗日雷。日尔曼人还知道“梅尔露辛”是条双尾美人鱼,而英国的纹章上也有双尾美人鱼。

  With the growth of science, the fantastic became childish amongst the writers of the growing educated, especially during the eighteenth century, but began to flourish again with theRomantic Movement at the turn of the century. It was also the time, however, for the scientifically-minded to do their utmost to dispel the myth of the mermaid, claiming that all the recorded sightings were simply men who’d been at sea too long and wanting to believe, and so, when a seal, porpoise, dugong or manatee was spotted from the ship, they’d swear they’d seen a mermaid.

  随着科学的日益发展,对于学识日渐丰富的作家来说,那些稀奇古怪的说法显得幼稚可笑,这一点在十八世纪尤为突出,但这些关于美人鱼的说法在十八世纪末的浪漫主义运动中却又重新抬头了。但也正是在那个时候,有科学头脑的人力求尽最大努力去解开美人鱼之谜。他们称,所有记录在案的美人鱼目击事件,只不过是因为人在海上漂流的时间过长,没有精神寄托,于是,当他们在船上看到一只海豹、海豚、儒艮或海牛时,他们就信誓旦旦地宣称自己看到了美人鱼。

  It is not until the twentieth century that the mermaid is tossed back and forth between those that believe, or want to believe, and those that stand behind their logic and scientific proof that a creature such as the mermaid simply cannot exist. A wonderful film of these two meeting is the film Splash, with Daryl Hannah and Tom Hanks. No matter how the mermaid is used or what role she plays she will always retain her mysterious air. Perhaps the next move is a more feminine one, bringing back the myth of the mermaid protecting women, or the soul of the woman drowned before her natural time of death…

  到了二十世纪,美人鱼存在与否一直是一个争论不休的话题。相持不下的双方是笃信者——或者那些想要相信的人——和那些以逻辑和科学实证为原则、坚称像美人鱼这样的生物根本不存在的人们。由达丽尔·汉纳和汤姆·汉克斯主演的电影《美人鱼》让双方的争论得到了很好的表现。不管美人鱼被如何利用,或是扮演着怎样的角色,她身上的神秘感仍将挥之不去。在传说中,美人鱼守护女性,或者那些在正常死去前就被溺死的女性的灵魂。也许这个争论的下一步发展会体现出更多的女性关怀,让这个女性守护者的传说重获新生……

分类: 杂货铺

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