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      英語世界
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      Half a Day
      發布時間:2021年07月01日     王鑫昊 譯  
      來源: 英語世界
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      字號 簡體 繁體 打印

      Half a Day

      晨昏一日


      By Naguib Mahfous1

      文/納吉布·馬哈福茲


      I walked alongside my father, clutching his right hand. All my clothes were new: the black shoes, the green school uniform, and the red cap. They did not make me happy, however, as this was the day I was to be thrown into school for the first time.


      我走在父親旁邊,緊緊牽著他的右手。我一身全新穿戴:黑色鞋子,綠色校服,一頂紅帽。但這些并不令我開心,因為那天,我第一次被扔進學校。


      My mother stood at the window watching our progress, and I turned towards her from time to time, hoping she would help. We walked along a street lined with gardens, and fields planted with crops, pears, and date palms2.


      母親站在窗前望著我們前行,我不時回頭看她,希望她會幫我。我們走在街上,兩邊排列著花園和田地,田里種著莊稼,栽著梨樹和海棗樹。


      “Why school?” I asked my father. “What have I done?”


      “為什么要去學校?”我問父親,“我做錯了什么?”


      “I’m not punishing you,” he said, laughing. “School’s not a punishment. It’s a place that makes useful men out of boys. Don’t you want to be useful like your brothers?”


      “我不是在懲罰你?!彼χf,“上學不是懲罰,學??梢园涯泻⒆优囵B成有用的男子漢。你不想像哥哥們一樣,成為有用的人嗎?”


      I was not convinced. I did not believe there was really any good to be had in tearing me away from my home and throwing me into the huge, highwalled building.


      我不信。我覺得把我從家扯出來,扔進這個四面高墻的大樓肯定不是什么好事。


      When we arrived at the gate we could see the courtyard, vast and full of boys and girls. “Go in by yourself,” said my father, “and join them. Put a smile on your face and be a good example to others.”


      到了校門口,我們看到了院子,十分寬敞,滿是孩子?!澳阕约哼M去吧?!备赣H說,“加入他們。笑一笑,給別人做個榜樣?!?


      I hesitated and clung to his hand, but he gently pushed me from him. “Be a man,” he said. “Today you truly begin life. You will find me waiting for you when it’s time to leave.”


      我猶豫不決,緊緊抓著他的手,但他輕柔地推開了我?!白鰝€男子漢?!彼f,“今天你的人生真正開始了。放了學你會發現我在等著你?!?


      I took a few steps. Then the faces of the boys and girls came into view. I did not know a single one of them, and none of them knew me. I felt I was a stranger who had lost his way. But then some boys began to glance at me in curiosity, and one of them came over and asked, “Who brought you?”


      我走了幾步。男孩女孩的面龐映入眼簾。我一個人也不認識,也沒人認識我。我感覺自己像個迷路的外地人。但接著,幾個男孩開始好奇地打量我,其中一個過來問:“誰帶你來的?”


      “My father,” I whispered.


      “我爸爸?!蔽业吐暤?。


      “My father’s dead,” he said simply.


      “我爸爸死了?!彼苯亓水數卣f。


      I did not know what to say. The gate was now closed. Some of the children burst into tears. The bell rang. A lady came along, followed by a group of men. The men began sorting us into ranks. We were formed into an intricate3 pattern in the great courtyard surrounded by high buildings; from each floor we were overlooked by a long balcony roofed in wood.


      我不知道該說什么。校門此時關上了。一些孩子突然哭了起來。鈴聲響了。一位女士走了過來,后面跟著一群男士。男士們開始把我們分成幾排。在這個高樓圍繞的大院子里,我們被排成復雜的隊形;抬頭就能看到每層樓那長長的木頂陽臺。


      “This is your new home,” said the woman. “There are mothers and fathers here, too. Everything that is enjoyable and beneficial is here. So dry your tears and face life joyfully.”


      “ 這是你們的新家?!迸块_口道,“這里也有爸爸媽媽。一切快樂和有趣的東西都在這里。所以擦干眼淚,歡快地面對生活吧?!?


      Well, it seemed that my misgivings4 had had no basis. From the first moments I made many friends and fell in love with many girls. I had never imagined school would have this rich variety of experiences.


      好吧,我的擔憂似乎毫無根據。一開始我就交了許多朋友,喜歡上了許多女孩。我以前從未想過在學校會有這么豐富多彩的經歷。


      We played all sorts of games. In the music room we sang our first songs. We also had our first introduction to language. We saw a globe of the Earth, which revolved and showed the various continents and countries. We started learning numbers, and we were told the story of the Creator of the universe. We ate delicious food, took a little nap, and woke up to go on with friendship and love, playing and learning.


      我們做各種各樣的游戲。在音樂室,我們第一次唱了歌。我們還第一次上了語言入門課。我們見到了地球儀,它旋轉著,展現出各個大陸和國家。我們開始學識數,聽了宇宙創世主的故事。我們品嘗美味的食物,小睡片刻,醒來繼續交友,繼續暗戀,玩耍,學習。

       光陰

      Our path, however, was not totally sweet and unclouded. We had to be observant and patient. It was not all a matter of playing and fooling around5. Rivalries could bring about pain and hatred or give rise to fighting. And while the lady would sometimes smile, she would often yell and scold. Even more frequently she would resort to physical punishment.


      然而,一路上并非全然快意,一片晴空。我們得守規矩、有耐心。這里并非全是玩鬧嬉戲,無所事事。這里有競爭,會帶來痛苦、怨恨,或引起打架。那位女士偶爾微笑,卻時常叫嚷、叱責。訴諸體罰甚至更是家常便飯。


      In addition, the time for changing one’s mind was over and gone and there was no question of ever returning to the paradise of home. Nothing lay ahead of us but exertion6, struggle, and perseverance. Those who were able took advantage of the opportunities for success and happiness that presented themselves.


      除此之外,改變想法的時間已過,我們不可能再回到家的天堂。擺在我們面前的除了努力、奮斗、堅持外,別無他有。有能力的那些人抓住了出現在他們面前的機會去獲得成功和幸福。


      The bell rang, announcing the passing of the day and the end of work. The children rushed toward the gate, which was opened again. I said goodbye to friends and sweethearts and passed through the gate. I looked around but found no trace of my father, who had promised to be there. I stepped aside to wait. When I had waited for a long time in vain, I decided to return home on my own. I walked a few steps, then came to a startled halt. Good Lord! Where was the street lined with gardens? Where had it disappeared to? When did all these cars invade it? And when did all these people come to rest on its surface? How did these hills of rubbish find their way to cover its sides? And where were the fields that bordered it? High buildings had taken over, the street was full of children, and disturbing noises shook the air. Here and there stood conjurers showing off their tricks or making snakes appear and disappear from baskets. Then there was a band announcing the opening of a circus, with clowns and weight lifters walking in front.


      鈴聲響了,宣告一天的流逝、學習的結束。孩子們沖向再次打開的校門。我向朋友和心儀女孩道別,走出校門。我環視四周,卻沒發現父親的蹤影,他先前保證過在那兒等著。我走到一旁等待。等了很久,徒勞無功,我決定自行回家。走了幾步,我突然停下,錯愕驚訝。天哪!兩邊有花園的街道哪兒去了?消失在了哪里?這些車輛何時侵占了街道?街上這些人是從哪兒冒出來的?這些成山的垃圾怎么蓋滿了路邊?還有街邊的田地哪兒去了?高樓已經取而代之,街上滿是孩子,空中充斥著嘈雜的噪音。變戲法的到處都是,或炫耀把戲,或操弄著蛇在籃筐中時隱時現。接著,一支樂隊宣布馬戲表演開始,許多小丑和大力士走在前面。


      Good God! I was in a daze. My head spun. I almost went crazy. How could all this have happened in half a day, between early morning and sunset? I would find the answer at home with my father. But where was my home? I hurried towards the crossroads, because I remembered that I had to cross the street to reach our house, but the stream of cars would not let up. Extremely irritated7, I wondered when I would be able to cross.


      天哪!我茫然若失,頭暈目眩,幾近瘋狂。一個白天,清晨到日落,這一切怎么發生的?我要回家問父親尋找答案??杉矣衷诤翁??我朝十字路口匆忙走去,因為我記得,要穿過這條街才能到家,但街上車水馬龍,川流不息。我氣憤至極,心想何時才能穿過街去。


      I stood there a long time, until the young boy employed at the ironing shop on the corner came up to me.


      我佇立良久,直到在街角熨衣店工作的那個小伙子走了過來。


      He stretched out his arm and said, “Grandpa, let me take you across.”


      他伸出手臂,說道:“大爺,讓我攙您過去?!?


      (譯者單位:北京語言大學外國語學部)


      注釋:

       

      1. (1911—2006),埃及作家,1988年諾貝爾文學獎獲得者,代表作《我們街區的孩子們》(Children of the Alley, 1959),被譽為“阿拉伯文學之父”。

       

      2. date palm 海棗(樹)。

       

      3. intricate 錯綜復雜的。

       

      4. misgiving 顧慮;擔憂。

       

      5. fool around 閑耍;虛度光陰。

       

      6. exertion 努力;盡力。

       

      7. irritated 生氣的;惱怒的。

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