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beg your pardon, transplanted from this src:
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《天桥》试读:序 (熊式一)
一个三十年来在海外以卖英文糊口的人,一朝回到了居民十九都是同胞的香港来,自然不免要想重新提起毛笔,写点中文东西。回想三四十年前,我在国内以卖中文餬口的时候,并无想在英美文艺界争一席地的野心与计画。到了伦敦之后,偶然听了伦敦大学一位朋友,聂可尔教Professor Allardyce Nicoll的劝告,用英文写了《王宝川》一剧,一切事便出人意表。最初是舞台方面的权威人物,都说它的文学意味太高,绝不能得到广大的观众;换句话说,不是生意经。他们劝我,既然写得出如此的英文剧本,何不写写小说,书局一定会欢迎的。后来《王宝川》的剧本由伦敦麦勋书局出版,极得佳评,因此人民国立剧院,把它搬上舞台,结果竟大受观众的赞赏,三年不辍。我因得此鼓励,便跃跃欲试,预备写《天桥》这本小说。
当初我还在起腹稿的时候,有一位好朋友,极力劝我为人不可不成“家”。他说你专写剧本,自然算是戏剧家——我因此便写了《大学教授》,《财神》,《孟母三迁》,《西厢记》等剧——若写小说,非但不成“家”,反变为杂牌军队,万应紫金锭,同仁堂的老鼠矢之类的东西了。这么一来,许多年也就过去了。最后一方面是经不住一位出版家朋友的鼓励——也可以说是利诱——一方面到底是我自己想多辟门径,认为许多大著作家都兼长诗歌戏剧小说,我未尝不可尝试尝试写小说的滋味,于是便毅然决然的闭门造《天桥》了。
《天桥》由英文小说而变成中文小说在香港出版,也是由于我这种喜欢走新路的老脾气。从前在国内以写作为生,卖了十几年的文——也有文言,也有语体文——到了英国之后,除了写作之外,绝少提起毛笔,专门以英文写作为生,不觉又是二十多年了。现在到了香港,有了机会,自然不知不觉的又做了下车的冯妇。
我最初把自己改编的《王宝川》译为中文话剧出版,随后又依照我所译的《西厢记》英文本,校订为中文本,在香港出版;这两出戏都在香港电台广播了,而且又搬上了舞台,在艺术节时和香港的观众相见了。去年我又编了一出社会讽刺喜剧《梁上佳人》出版,大大的和香港各种风头人物开玩笑。在舞台上,在电视上,在香港广播电台,都受到了香港观众和听众极大的鼓励,后来又由本地电影界的名手,把它改编改写,变成香港最通行的电影形式,搬上了银幕,使我相信我并没有变成一个完全不通中文的华侨。今年我又把这一本自己的英文小说,写成中文小说。谁都知道在香港卖文,难求一饱。我的《王宝川》,《西厢记》,《梁上佳人》三本书,在香港出版,并没有收到半文版税;但我仍是再接再励,一本书一本书继续的出版,希望总有一天,大家努力合作,明白杀死生金蛋的鹅,并不是致富捷径;把文艺一事,扶到轨道上去。
《天桥》在英国出版的时候,蒙文艺各界,一致予以好评。可是我心中最引以为荣幸的,是这三个人的重视:一是当今英国桂冠诗人(Poet Laureate)梅斯菲尔(John Masefield)的代序诗,二是大文豪威尔斯(H.G.Wells),在他的著作中对《天桥》的评论,三是清华大学历史系教授陈寅恪读后的赠诗。梅氏的代序诗不易翻译,威氏的评论如次:
“我觉得熊式一的《天桥》是一本比任何关于目前中国趋势的论著式报告更启发的小说,从前他写了《王宝川》使全伦敦的人士为之一快,但是这本书却是绝不相同的一种戏剧,是一幅完整的、动人心弦的、呼之欲出的图画,描述一个大国家的革命过程。”(见威著《近年回忆录》“A Contemporary Memoir”八十四页。)
陈氏的诗,其中有两首绝句,其一:
海外林熊各擅场,卢前王后费评量,
北都旧俗非吾识,爱听天桥话故乡。
其二:
名列仙班目失明,结因兹土待来生,
把君此卷且归去,何限天涯祖国情。
此外还有一首七律:
沉沉夜漏绝尘哗,听读伽卢百感加,
故国华胥宁有梦,旧时王谢早无家。
文章瀛海娱衰病,消息神州竞鼓笳,
万里乾坤迷去住,词人终古泣天涯。
诗中一用“听”,一用“听读”、不用“阅”或“阅读”,是因为陈氏那时双目已失明。“海外林熊”一语,是指曾作英文小说《京华烟云》的林语堂氏。“旧时王谢早无家”一语,是因为《天桥》中述及戊戌政变事,陈氏之祖湖南巡抚陈宝箴,陈氏之父吏部主事陈三立,都在政变时遭了革职永不叙用的处分,无怪他老先生百感交加了。
《天桥》在英国美国出版之后,马上就有法文、德文、西班牙文、瑞典文、捷克文、荷兰文等各种文的译本,在各国问世。虽然风行一时,翻译得如何,我却没有如此渊博的语文学问来评判。可是我真万万没有想到,最后还要由我自己把它翻译成中文来。当时我以为在我把整本书完全翻译了之后,我想我自己可以很容易的看得出,到底还是英文本,抑是中文本,比较差强人意一点。但是今天把这两种本子比较,这才发现文学作品是不能比较的。用某种眼光来看,英文本中不妥之处,在所不免:用另一种眼光来看,中文本中也有不少的毛病。我真要诚心诚意的请教精通这两种文学的读者,尤其是对于这两种文字的文学作品,有湛深研究的博学家,不吝赐教。
当这篇小说,自元旦起,逐日在《星晚》上刊登时,常常有爱护我的读者,或写信或打电话到报馆中,意在指正我这小说中的错误。虽然其中并不是我的错误,而大半是读者忘了这是清季的背景,许多地方和官衔,甚至于有的普通名词,都和民国初年绝不相同,可是我仍是衷心感激他们,足见他们重视我的著作,这等于他们认为白圭之上,最好是洁白无玷的意思,我觉得这真是第一件我最荣幸的事。
后来又有许多读者,以及朋友,不断的询问我,李大同这个人何以不见于历史?也有人说,李大同是不是康有为,或者是不是谭嗣同;竟有人说,李大同是不是熊式一夫子自道!
我在这儿只能说,康有为是康有为,谭嗣同是谭嗣同,李大同是李大同,熊式一是熊式一。李大同是书中主角;康有为和谭嗣同在书中都一再提到过;熊式一是本书的作者,书中没有提过他;他的名字,只是在书封面上印着。康有为生于前清咸丰戊午八年二月初五日(阳历一八五八年三月十九日),死于民国十六年(一九二七年),三月三十一日(阴历丁卯年二月二十八日),谭嗣同生于前清同治乙丑四年二月十三日(阳历一八六五年三月十日),死于光绪戊戌二十四年八月十三日(阳历一八九八年九月二十八日),李大同生于前清光绪庚辰年庚辰月庚辰日庚辰时,即光绪六年三月十三日(阳历一八八〇年四月二十一日),他比康有为小二十二岁,比谭嗣同小十五岁。日子过得真快!当年大同诞生的时候,我还记得清清楚楚的,那是应该由我负完全的责任。不觉得眨一眨眼,他已是八十开外的老人了!
读者关心史实,不断的询问,我现在只好在这儿作一个总答复:我所写的《天桥》,是一部以历史为背景的社会讽刺小说,并不是正史,也不是想要补充历史中所语而不详,或是遗漏了的事实。历史注重事实;小说全凭幻想。一部历史,略略的离开了事实,便没有了价值;一部小说,缺少了幻想,便不是好小说。不过许多读者,把我的小说当做历史一般去研究,这是重视我的著作,我根本就不应该去争辩。这成了第二件我感觉最荣幸的事。
当初我写这部小说的时候,觉得西洋人不知道也不明了中国近几十年的趋势,近代的历史,和人民的思想生活近况等等,所以我要以真实的历史为背景,而且小说中尽量的放许多历史人物进去,尤其是外国人所知道的人物,如袁世凯、慈禧、光绪、以及英国的传教士李提摩太。那知道我写完了大半部之后,于无意中发现写得大错特错,全功尽弃,只得另起炉灶,几乎要重头再写。
我从前觉得西洋出版关于中国的东西,不外两种人写的:一种是曾经到过中国一两个星期,甚至四五十年,或终生生长在中国的洋人——商贾、退职官员或教士——统称之为支那通,一种是可以用英文写点东西的中国人。后者是少而又少,前者则比比皆是。他们共同的目的,无非是把中国说成一个稀奇古怪的国家,把中国人写了成荒谬绝伦的民族,好来骗骗外国读者的钱。所以这种书中,不是有许多杀头、缠足、抽鸦片烟、街头乞丐等的插图,便是大谈特谈这一类的事。近来还有一位老牌的女作家,用了她同行冤家的笔名,写一部英文的自传,除以杀头为开场之外,还说她父亲有六个太太,她自己便是姨太太生的。
我不能否认他们所根据的是事实,他们有照片为证,这位作家有她自己本人为证,但是我在英美讲演时,总是告诉他们现在中国人大多数都不抽大烟,不缠足,不留长辫儿,不蓄妾,不杀头,但是这有甚么用?我在荷兰时,曾亲眼看见一条小街上,坐着一个青田女人,用一块方布盖着脚。过路的人,给她一点钱,她便揭开方布让那人看一看她一双赤着的三寸金莲!我在意大利船上,碰见过一位德国教授,特别在香港买了一枝鸦片枪带回国去示人:而且现在鸦片烟灯,仍是香港畅销的旅行纪念品。还有那位女作家,她也到四处去讲演,好让人家鉴赏鉴赏姨太太女儿的丰彩!
所以我决定了要写一本以历史事实、社会背景为重的小说,把中国人表现得入情入理,大家都是完完全全有理性的动物,虽然其中有智有愚,有贤有不肖的,这也和世界各国的人一样。因此我一定要找两个西洋人,放在里边。我有一部陈恭录教授所著,商务印书馆出版的大学丛书教本——大学丛书委员会的委员,包括蔡元培、蒋梦麟、张伯苓、马寅初、冯友兰、郑振铎、王世杰、朱家驿、翁文滪、顾颉刚、胡适等五十五人,中国的名流学者,应有尽有,几乎不缺半个——皇皇巨著《中国近代史》,我在其中发现了到中国来传教的西洋人,有一位英国教士李提摩太(Timothy Richard),真爱中国,真是好人。还有一位美国教士林乐知( Young John Allen),陈教授在他的书中上卷第十篇(变法运动)中,说他们都是开明之士,非常的爱护中国,对于中国维新变法,极有帮助,极有影响。
好了,既然是有这种人,我便把李提摩太写成书中的洋主角,帮助中国的正主角李大同求学,做事,救国,反衬一位标准心地狭窄的传教士马克劳。我又到了伦敦的中国内地会(China Inland Mission),去打听打听李提摩太的体态和生平,不幸毫无结果。后来偶然和塞夫人(Lady Hosie)讲起此人,她说她的父亲,前牛津大学中文教授苏提尔是李提摩太的好朋友,用了他所遗的文件,写了一本《李提摩太传》,现在虽绝版,不过她马上就送了我一本。我仔仔细细一读,写了三百多页的小说稿,只好把它扔了!我也不必骂陈教授误人,我只说后来我所描写的李提摩太,他的性格,他对光绪上的维新条陈,都是根据了苏氏的《李提摩太传》,不是和陈教授一样捕风捉影的。
我得了这一次教训之后,对于历史上的人物,以及他们的语言和行为都特别小心,总是先要有了可靠的根据,才肯落笔。这虽是一部小说,有关史实的地方,总不可以任意捏造,使得读者有错误的印象。不过一个人的学问有限,经历更是狭小,这本书中想必未尽完善之处很多很多,还要希望爱我的读者,见闻渊博,多多指正。

Howdy, how y'all doing?! God has risen. Amen.

14 Apr 2017 (updated 14 Apr 2017 at 23:32 UTC) »

note

Selina Sarah Tayler, (maiden name Peel, b.1881 Chorlton ) and her husband Bernard were missionaries in China; they were the parents of Gladys Yang
(b. c.1919, Peking) who, along with her husband, was a translator of Chinese literature. Selina died in 1970 on the Isle of Wight; one of her sisters, Annie Isabella Peel, who was my husband's paternal Grandmother, had an ironmonger's shop in Stretford. I'm given to understand that there was a family connection to Robert Peel but, so far, I've drawn a blank..


http://www.nytimes.com/1985/08/11/nyregion/ida-pruitt-96-who-fostered-friendship-with-the-chinese.html

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NJ Law Journal reports

魏尔伦《月光曲》 梁宗岱译

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
你的魂是片迷幻的风景
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
斑衣的俳优在那里游行,
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
他们弹琴而且跳舞——终竟
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.
彩装下掩不住欲颦的心。

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
他们虽也曼声低唱,歌颂
L'amour vainqueur et la vie opportune
那胜利的爱和美满的生,
Ils n'ont pas l'air de croire à leur bonheur
终不敢自信他们的好梦,
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,
他们的歌声却散入月明——

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
散入微茫,凄美的月明里,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
去萦绕树上小鸟的梦魂,
Et sangloter d'extase les jets d'eau,
又使喷泉在白石丛深处
Les grands jets d'eau sveltes parmi les marbres.
喷出丝丝的欢乐的咽声。
https://www.douban.com/note/489092495/

25 Feb 2017 (updated 25 Feb 2017 at 15:16 UTC) »

glad to see Masters out and about... I am here looking for an old post of mine... translation on 'dirty and quick'... connected with Maria the other day. She's editor of www.hypergridbusiness.com/category/metaverse ... Maria, I'll be watching you!

24 Jan 2017 (updated 25 Jan 2017 at 14:20 UTC) »

Kurt TUCHOLSKY (1890–1935) said it clearly, in German: Man kann alles übersetzen - man kann nicht alles übertragen . I, as a French amateur translator, put it into French as : Tout peut être traduit, mais tout ne se traduira pas.
I am looking forward to seeing a translation of Tucholsky's aphorism into English.

HenryR: You can translate anything but can't convey everything.


Harvey Sollberger Strawberry Point, IA January 31, 2014
Wonderful article Mr. Shugaar. As a musician who has recently translated Italian flutist Severino Gazzelloni's autobiography, I can say that there's definitely a parallel between realizing a musical score and "performing" a piece of writing from one language into another. And complimenti on translating Walter Siti's "Resistance is Futile". I'm just finishing reading his earlier "Troppi paradisi" ("Too Many Paradises") and have been asking myself what it would take to translate it. Aside from a plethora of terms having to do with body-building, gay sex and Roman "borgata-speak", this novel-memoir-autobiography assumes extensive knowledge of Italian television, politics and intellectual life. Certainly it can be translated, but without the context (or extensive footnotes or an appendix to establish it), what can it mean for most English speakers? I'd be interested in your opinion. Beyond that, many thanks for translating Siti, whose voice is indeed unique. I'll use your translation as my "crib" when I read "Resistere non serve a niente."

From commentaries on article:
https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/william-weaver-and-translation-as-a-performing-art/?_r=0


http://augustinecollective.org/grasping-for-grace-the-strangeness-and-difficulty-of-faith-in-t-s-eliots-ash-wednesday/

"grasping for grace the strangeness and difficulty of faith

http://earlywashingtondc.org/people " O Can you see..."

http://www.rochester.edu/College/translation/threepercent/index.php?id=9432

Using William Weaver’s passing as a launching point, Italian translator Antony Shugaar wrote a really informative, interesting op-ed on translation issues for Monday’s New York Times.
There are a lot of great bits I could quote—like the description of FMR magazine, its espresso and prosciutto orders, the celebrities that visited the magazine’s offices—but I think the main thrust of Shugaar’s piece starts with his bit about Gadda’s masterpiece, That Awful Mess of Via Merulana:
I remember one specific comment on translation technique that was pure Weaver. The great white whale of Italian postwar literature is “Quer pasticciaccio brutto de via Merulana,” by Carlo Emilio Gadda. It’s a big, ungainly philosophical treatise of a murder mystery, interlarded with rich seams of dialect of all kinds: Roman, Neapolitan and various minor subdialects of the areas between those two cities. Gadda was an austere Milanese scholar, the opposite in personality and style of these overemphatic, swaggering, loud forms of speech. But Gadda was an acute observer and a gifted mimic. And the “Pasticciaccio” — “That Awful Mess,” in Weaver’s rendering — takes gleeful delight in lampooning, personifying and ultimately embracing these dialects, Italy’s equivalents of Brooklynese, Bronxese and perhaps Boston’s Southie accent.
“What did you do about the dialect?” I asked him, at one of our lunches. He laughed, and replied, “Oh, I just left it out!”
At first glance, it’s a little like translating “Moby-Dick” and leaving out all references to boats. But I understood. Weaver explains it better in his introduction to the English edition: “To translate Gadda’s Roman or Venetian into the language of Mississippi or the Aran Islands would be as absurd as translating the language of Faulkner’s Snopeses into Sicilian or Welsh.” Weaver asks the reader, therefore, “to imagine the speech of Gadda’s characters, translated here into straightforward spoken English, as taking place in dialect, or a mixture of dialects.” In other words, supply the boats yourself. [. . .]
The dialect problem is the reductio ad absurdum of translation. There are workarounds, but basically, when a translator runs into this kind of issue, she simply leaves it out. And the reader is none the wiser.
But the translator is. And though I remember Weaver’s good-humored resignation every time I have to do it, it’s bitter: a little like losing a patient. Translators don’t bury their mistakes, but they do get to sort of white-out their shortcomings.
God rest his soul and all that, but I have to say that Weaver’s translation of this book isn’t one of my favorite translations.1 But the point he made is true—you can’t map dialects from one country onto those of another without making the characters sound like total assholes. A hillbilly accent for a rural Frenchman? Just, no.2
But the point is bigger than this, as Shugaar points out—it’s not just about translating words, or dialects, but translating a whole world view.
People talk about untranslatable words, but in a way, there’s no such thing. It may take three words, or an entire sentence, or even an interpolated paragraph, but any word can be translated. Short of swelling a book into an encyclopedia, however, there is no way of dealing with the larger problem: untranslatable worlds.
In an interview with The Paris Review, Bill said something very fine: he explained that as a professor at Bard, he was sometimes asked what other departments his classes could be cross-referenced to, and he suggested performing arts. After all, a translation is a performance (whether in another medium or another language) of a written text. And that is what Bill, who died a few weeks ago at age 95 and is greatly missed, did so well: he conjured up worlds and made you see them.
The metaphor of translation as performance has been bandied about for years, but it’s one of the ones that I prefer: it gives the translator the proper credit as an artist, as the one in the spotlight while also emphasizing that their performance is one possible rendition of a work; the original work is the driving force, the thing that you come to witness, but you can’t witness it without the translator bringing it to life.
Anyway, go back to Shugaar’s essay for some really illuminating examples of the difficulties of translating culture. (I particularly like the one about not parking on the sidewalk.)
1 Since I have it right in front of me, here’s a bit of the opening of Gadda’s book in Weaver’s translation:
Everybody called him Don Ciccio by now. He was Officer Francesco Ingravallo, assigned to homicide; one of the youngest and, God knows why, most envied officials of the detective section: ubiquitous as the occasion required, omnipresent in all tenebrous matters. Of medium height, rather rotund as to physique, or perhaps a bit squat, with black hair, thick and curly, which sprang forth from his forehead at the halfway point, as if to shelter his two metaphysical knobs from the fine Italian sun, he had a somnolent look, a heavy, lumbering walk, a slightly dull manner, like a person fighting a laborious digestion; [. . .]
Weaver was one of the best Italian translators of the past century (see his translations of Eco and Morante and Svevo and Calvino and many others), which to me indicates that this Gadda novel is a beast. For a bit of insight into the difficulties of translating Gadda, here’s an essay Weaver once wrote on the subject. And here’s a sample of that paper that illuminates the crazy-making of translation:
Here, in Italian, is the Gadda paragraph:
“Un’idea, un’idea non sovviene, alla fatica de’ cantieri, mentre i sibilanti congegni degli atti trasformano in cose le cose e il lavoro è pieno di sudore e di polvere. Poi ori lontanissimi e uno zaffiro, nel cielo: come cigli, a tremare sopra misericorde sguardo. Quello che, se poseremo, ancora vigilerà. I battiti della vita sembra che uno sgomento li travolga come in una corsa precípite. Ci ha detersi la carità della sera: e dove alcuno aspetta moviamo: perché nostra ventura abbia corso, e nessuno la impedirà. Perché poi avremo a riposare.”
And here (without any subsequent cosmesis) is the absolutely first draft of the translation, complete with doubts, alternative solutions, puzzlements. This is the raw material:
“An idea, an idea does not (recall/sustain/aid/repair), in the labor of the building sites, as the hissing devices/machinery of actions transform things into things and the labor/toil is full of sweat and dust. Then distant gold(s) and a sapphire, in the sky: like lashes, trembling above compassionate/merciful/charitable gaze. Which, if we cast it, will still keep watch/be wakeful/alert. The pulses/throbbing of life, it seems, can be overwhelmed/swept away by an alarm, as if in a (precipitous race/dash. The charity of the evening has cleansed us (We are cleansed by the…: and where someone is waiting, we move: so that our fate/lot may proceed, and no one will block/impede/hinder it. Because then/afterwards/later we will rest/be able to rest/have our rest./”
First thoughts: the passage contains several words I hate.
2 Michael Henry Heim’s advice was to create a unique dialect through a combination of contractions, grammatical mistakes and the like. That by creating a sort of speech pattern that’s not distinctly southern or whatever, you could still get across the core information that would be contained in that dialect in the original, such as whether the character is poor, overly snooty, a farmer, etc.


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21 Jan 2017 (updated 24 Jan 2017 at 20:53 UTC) »

an excerpt from " Original/Translation: by Lucas Klein The Aesthetic Context of Kenneth Rexroth’s presented by BigBridge.org Translations of Du Fu and Li Qingzhao"

In “Mocking Birds”, Rexroth displays his plain-language combination of poignant, startling, and seemingly ordinary imagery as it envelops his open-nervous system themes of memory, love, and the rub between nature and psychological realities. He also lands on tree frogs, fourteen years before publishing Wang Hung Kung’s poem is Love and the Turning Year:


In mid-March in the heart of
The night, in the center of
The sterile city, in the
Midst of miles of asphalt and
Stone, alone and frustrated,
Wakeful on my narrow bed,
My brain spinning with worry,
There came to me, slipping through
The interstices of the
Blowing darkness, the living,
Almost imperceptible,
Faint, persistent, recurrent
Song of a single tree toad—
A voice sweeter than most birds.
Seven years ago we lay
Naked and moist, making love
Under the Easter full moon,
The thick fragrant light shaking
With the songs of mocking birds.


http://www.wenku1.com/news/2EA99099D8732CCE.html


  沉樱(1907―1988)写小说的时间不长,作品也不算多。她以处女作《回家》刚刚在文坛亮相,就得到茅盾等名家褒扬。从1929年到1935年,沉樱出版了《喜筵之后》、《夜阑》、《某少女》、《一个女作家》、《女性》五个中短篇小说集,此后不再涉笔小说,但那几年她极受读者欢迎。她说:“物以稀为贵,人何尝不是如此?女作家简直应接不暇,我的小说大都是编辑催逼下写出来的。”
  从她的小说里,可以寻出某条脉络,好像有一个女孩在渐渐长大。
  中篇小说《某少女》以十六岁少女的五十多封信,串起一段朦胧也热烈的初恋。情窦初开,一厢情愿,梦绕魂牵,抽刀断水……这爱恋戛然而止,动人而伤感;《下雪》里的同居男女,还沉醉在自由恋爱的甜美里,欢情未减。但无钱付房租、无法买船票回家的种种窘迫,凉水般寒沁沁地漫上来,虽然暂时还未伤及感情,却也不免让心境低沉萧索。
  《生涯》写女大学生的彷徨与闲愁。有关爱情和前程的梦想,触碰到灰色的现实:女友钰跟原来的未婚夫解除婚约,从大学退学并疏远了家庭,跟男友�同居,日子却并不如预想的美满:钰对文学仍有满腔热诚,但家务烦杂与经济拮据,还有男友的慵懒冷漠,都很消磨和损耗她。“我”心痛于钰的无奈无趣和某种程度上的遇人不淑,自己既依恋男友、有被爱的幸福,心底却依旧空虚迷惘,似乎对未来还若有所待。
  《旧雨》里琳珊的几个中学同学遭遇各异。结了婚的,成为只知享乐的贵妇人,或老气横秋的少奶奶。琳珊和另一位大学女生忍不住悚然心惊:“什么自命不凡的新女性,结果仍是嫁人完事……什么理想也没有了。”“女子结了婚,就像囚起来似的……连心都像给折磨得死了似的。”她们虽然叹息旧梦渐残,却也不知希望何在。
  《妻》里的小两口,同样抱着对文学的野心,每日不间断地读书、写作。“有一个梦境的憧憬在鼓舞着我俩的心”。但妻子却突然怀孕了,她担心陷入做母亲的“牢笼”无所作为,坚持去做了人流手术。女人生儿育女的天职与个人抱负的冲突初露苗头;《爱情的开始》那一对青年,“急促地陷入恋爱”,牺牲学业和前途,不管不顾地同居了。但才过半年,他习惯性的不忠和欺骗,已让她每时每刻被痛苦啃噬,沉入痛苦的无底深渊。爱情竟然那么快就终结了?她每次心生期冀,有心修复,都屡屡被进一步的侮辱、伤害戳得满心死寂。
  这些少妇有相近的处境:云里雾里、发热发狂的恋情渐渐退了烧,不染人间气息的浪漫,跟柴米油盐难以接轨、无法兼容;家务的琐碎,情感的淡漠,经济的压力……种种不如意,堆积成莫名的失落感。
  沉樱晚年“深悔少作”,并不喜欢自己年轻时“幼稚的”、“模仿的”作品,自觉它们“只能算是历史资料而已”。她在台湾绝少提起旧作。其实,她的小说固然比较单薄,格局不大,但也不时有动人之处。像《欲》中叔嫂间心慌意乱的吸引,《中秋节》里表面逞强的“剩女”在节日中的敏感乖戾、落寞惆怅,《喜筵之后》的茜华想用旧情人报复有外遇的丈夫,结果难掩失望……那些女子恼人的遭遇、烦乱的心境,以及曲折微妙的情思,她都捕捉得玲珑剔透,描写得细微新巧。
  沉樱的小说跟庐隐等人相近,涉及“五四”之后知识女性的生存状况和情感困境:她们既有新女性的骄傲自得、自醒自觉,又不得不在新旧夹缝里跋涉。婚姻自主和妇女解放是“五四”运动的一脉强音,包办婚姻在知识阶层虽然逐步解体,但婚姻制度本身的局限和人性的弱点、人际关系的难度,却不可能因为自由恋爱和女子受了教育就随风消散。旧式妇女的苦水并非轻而易举便拧得干的;新愁新恨因而也层出不穷。
  跟同时代的好些女作家一样,沉樱的小说里能依稀看到个人生活的某些影子。
  沉樱是山东潍城人,在山东省立第一女子中学毕业后,考入瞿秋白等执教的上海大学。两年后学校被封,她转到复旦大学借读。洪深教授指导学生们排演话剧,沉樱与马彦祥为男女主角,他俩在马彦祥从复旦毕业不久就结婚。马彦祥一生结缘戏剧,当过演员、导演,也是戏剧理论家,上世纪五十年代任文化部艺术局副局长。
  马彦祥的父亲马衡担任过几所大学的考古学教授和西泠印社社长、故宫博物院院长。他希望儿子毕业后研究学问或去大学教书,但马彦祥欲投身戏剧,令马衡担忧且失望。他中断对儿子的经济支持,马彦祥一度没有固定职业,生活困难。
  沉樱与马彦祥生有一女,他们早先太年轻也太漫不经心,连女儿的生日都没记住。婚姻仅维持了两年,1931年离婚,女儿由奶奶抚养。马彦祥将分手原因归结为婆媳不和,但他的堂妹后来告诉林海音,是马彦祥的不忠导致沉樱与他分道扬镳。
  两年后,马彦祥与话剧新秀、后来红极一时的影星白杨有一段情缘,白杨早期参演的电影《黎明之前》即为马彦祥导演。此后他曾三次结婚,林斐宇是他在南京国立戏剧学校的学生,云燕铭、童葆苓都是京剧名伶。
  后来,沉樱邂逅北大法文系主任、教授梁宗岱。梁宗岱是现代文学史上有影响的诗人、翻译家、学者,生趣盎然,睥睨众生,有名士派头、狂狷风度。他的唇枪舌剑,曾被好脾气的沈从文形容为“江北娘姨街头相骂”。梁宗岱曾经跟好友罗念生(研究、翻译古希腊文学的学者)因辩论新诗的节奏,各不相让,打成一团。他翻译有《莎士比亚十四行诗》、《蒙田试笔》、歌德的《浮士德》、里尔克的《罗丹论》、罗曼・罗兰的《歌德与贝多芬》等。
  1934年,梁宗岱、沉樱同赴日本,巴金目睹过他们的欢悦:“在松林的安静的生活里,他们夫妇在幸福中沉醉了。我在他那所精致的小屋里看到了这一切。”
  次年他俩回天津结婚,梁宗岱任南开大学教授,沉樱在中学任教,创作较少。抗战期间,沉樱夫妇居于重庆,梁宗岱任复旦大学(当时迁至重庆北碚)外文系主任。1937、1941年,两个女儿思薇、思清相继出生。
  1942年,梁宗岱去广西百色料理父亲的后事,看粤剧《午夜盗香妃》后,痴迷女伶甘少苏,情牵意惹,诗兴大发,频频写词给甘少苏(后辑成词集《芦笛风》)。甘少苏的前夫曾聚众狂殴梁宗岱,一段绯色风波轰动广西。但梁宗岱欲罢不能,筹集巨资三万元为甘少苏赎身,后来还登报与她结婚。
  他那厢忘乎所以“救风尘”,这厢沉樱得知噩耗,携女儿和未出世的儿子转身离去,从北碚迁居重庆南岸海棠溪。
  抗战胜利后,沉樱先后在上海实验戏剧学校和复旦大学中文系任教。1948年,沉樱携三个子女与母亲、弟弟前往台湾,好友赵清阁和方令孺曾经劝阻,她却表示要走得远远的,永世不再见到梁宗岱。
  后来,沉樱一直在台湾苗栗县和台北任国文教师,独自以微薄收入养育孩子。在朋友印象中,她轻言细语,似乎与世无争,不食人间烟火。
  二
  沉樱写下小说里那些年轻女子的时候,她也同样年轻。那些女学生或少妇忧郁困惑,思绪纷纭,才下眉头又上心头……但无论怎么烦乱,愁绪都还是薄雾轻愁似的。就算有伤有痛,也只触及皮肉,并未伤筋动骨。她们对未来虽然满怀狐疑,却也是有无限憧憬的。
  到了真正直面人生的残酷时,沉樱反倒搁笔,不再写小说了。
  要说少年不识愁滋味,稍显武断。少年的愁闷自然也是浓郁、苦涩的,甚至有可能陷入无边之暗。但回头望去,年轻时再怎么黯然神伤,因为有青春的蓬勃、鲜绿垫着底,未来也还有许多想象有待展开,总归是生机无限的,好比“青青园中葵,朝露待日�”;而成年人的哀愁则沉重密实得多。本已“�黄华叶衰”,渐入凋零,加之更易触碰到人性和人生的昏黑、幽微、荒寒,那才真是欲说还休。然而,成年人的力度和旷达也正在此,不纠缠于低迷往事,不徘徊于霜风惨雾,日子总是要朝前走的,还要尽量走得有滋有味。
  所以,沉樱常说:“我不是那种找大快乐的人,因为太难了;我只要寻求一些小的快乐。”她善于布置居室,爱跟女作家林海音、琦君等欢聚,喜欢做椅垫、手帕等工艺品,还有一手巧折纸花的绝技。她退休后还在工作了七年的苗栗乡间建起三间小屋,大自然的花草枝叶、溪流虫鸟都令她愉悦,常从台北来此小住。
  沉樱六十岁退休后,潜心翻译外国文学,更是其乐无穷:“如果体会出一点言外之意,或是表达出一点微妙情调,简直像是自己创作一般得意。”1967年,她自费印刷出版了自己翻译的茨威格小说集《一位陌生女子的来信》,结果竟格外畅销,连续加印几十次,打破了台湾翻译作品的发行记录。此后,沉樱一鼓作气,出版系列译文丛书,翻译了茨威格的长篇小说《同情的罪》,赫尔曼・黑塞的《悠游之歌》、《拉丁学生》,以及毛姆、屠格涅夫、左拉等人的作品。晚年在翻译和出版上的意外成功,既带给沉樱经济回报,也令她收获精神劳作的喜悦。她恰好说过:“人生的快乐有两个来源:一是创造,一是人与人之间的关系。”
  夫妻关系也是人与人之间关系之一种。沉樱年轻时,无疑曾经在近乎灭顶的漩涡里挣扎过,最后却漂亮干脆地击水上岸。虽然与梁宗岱没有正式离婚,但她才三十多岁,已经事实上结束了两次婚姻。她绝口不提马彦祥,对梁宗岱倒是爱恨交织。给朋友的信件,寄信人都写着“梁陈瑛”(她本名陈瑛),算是以梁太太自居。别人提起梁宗岱的逸事,她也听得津津有味,很受用。1986年,几位台湾女作家为沉樱贺寿,给报纸写一个专版,林海音去信要沉樱、梁宗岱的合影。沉樱连忙催促孩子:“赶紧找出来挂号寄去。”
  沉樱曾对女儿说:“说来你父亲其实不错,但实际上他要负大责任。”梁宗岱移情别恋,是他们分手的导火索,但这段婚姻,之前已经磕磕绊绊。赵清阁还记得在重庆时,“沉樱热情好客,朋友们都喜欢接近她。为了家务之累,她不能常写作了,心里不免烦恼,常和宗岱闹脾气。宗岱性情耿直,也不谦让……”
  跟旁人的猜测有出入,与梁宗岱共同生活四十年的甘少苏不仅文化很低,也并不漂亮。夫妻的搭配真是没有一定之规,像钱锺书和杨绛那样,才情、志趣、性格都严丝合缝接榫的,的确是天作之合。梁、沉也相互倾慕才华,性格冲突却让他们难以长期同路。女儿回忆,小时候常听到父母亲吵架,母亲看不惯父亲爱吹嘘的性格,有时不免说他,于是吵嘴。口头禅为“老子天下第一”的梁宗岱显然更乐意被人翘首仰望、拍手喝彩。而以沉樱此后独自抚育子女的强韧性格看,她不可能俯首低眉、百依百顺的,所以会碰撞得火星四迸。她说自己有山东人的脾气,“他很有钱,是一个有双重性格的人。我只有离开他,才能得到解放……我是一个不驯服的太太,决不顺着他!”
  两岸隔绝,音书渺茫。上世纪七十年代末,小女儿回国见到父亲,沉樱、梁宗岱才恢复通信。时间能磨掉很多东西:仇绪恨意,性格尖角,年轻气盛……他们往日毕竟有过浓密情意,还有三个子女;过来人的仁恕、公允也占了上风;甚至我们还不妨猜测,沉樱离开梁宗岱后,再没有经历过印痕如此深刻的感情。所以,她写给他的信既心平气和,也有隐约温馨:“时光的留痕那么显明,真使人悚然一惊。现在盛年早已过去,实在不应再继以老年的顽固……”“在这老友无多的晚年,我们总可称为故人的。我常对孩子们说,在夫妻关系上,我们是怨偶,而在文学方面,你却是影响我最深的老师……”她的几本译书也想请梁宗岱过过目,因为“至今在读和写两方面的趣味,还是不脱你当年的藩篱”。
  七十年代初,沉樱随在美工作的子女移居美国。1982年,她曾回国与巴金、赵清阁等老友相聚,但不知为何与梁宗岱未见面,当时她还萌生过回国定居的念头。1988年,沉樱病逝于美国。
  沉樱的小说,只写到主人公们遭遇感情失意、丈夫不忠,便戛然而止,她们几乎都还没有来得及做母亲。她自己风雨交加的一生,却将故事续得浓烈饱满、元气淋漓。两次婚姻失败,有多少伤情伤怀可堪流连?她却不是惊慌失措、只会自怜自伤的无助女子。携子女远走高飞,既是负气、逞强,还有一点点对负心人的报复,却也有独自教养子女的自负和能耐。沉樱到底是成长于民国的新青年、知识女性,就算跌入过情感或人生的低谷,可能一度踉跄、迷茫,却不会一蹶不振,终究有本事独自上路,而且走得又远又稳。

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