山际见来烟,
竹中窥落日。

But my sins are my strength, he thinks; the sins I have done, that others have not even found the opportunity of committing. I hug them close; they're mine. Besides, when I come to judgment I mean to come with a memorandum in my hand: I shall say to my Maker, I have fifty items here, possibly more.

在微博跟人讨论了一下《狼厅》系列第三本延期的消息,又去翻了第一本。这本里的Cromwell真是完美地戳中了我的苏点,一想到第三本要把他写死就要酝酿情绪准备哭了(人都死了快五百年了,我给自己加什么戏

其实我现在也大致上知道他的结局会怎样,他死前写的信和临刑演说的内容都有记载,Mantel也已经剧透过结尾会怎样呼应第一本的开头了。但我真情实感了五年,小说、有声书、纪录片、史书、传记、电视剧、话剧、作者访谈一样都没落下,萌过cp,卖过不止一份安利(全都没反馈),翻译过同人,跟同好零交流也出不了坑,就我而言可以说是长情得可怕了,想到这横竖都要来的一刀怎么也没法面对(




孤陋寡闻了,还有这种操作?

 @俗人晚星 原书是Peter Barry的Beginning Theory: An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory,你微博上转的那个片段是出自这本书的第一章Theory before 'theory' – liberal humanism里的第一节The history of English studies。一般来说,我记性绝对没好到看过的书里随便节选个片段再翻译成中文还能一眼看出出处,不过这书作为一本文学理论入门教材确实很不错,而且正好节选的还是开头,看见就想起来了……

简略地概括一下前文,The history of English studies开头说十九世纪二十年代前,英国的高等教育被教会垄断,只有牛津剑桥这两所大学,教授的科目也只有希腊语/拉丁语经典、神学和数学。到了十九世纪二十年代,英国高等教育才迎来了改革。1826年,UCL成立。1828年,UCL开了英语这门课,不过教的是作为一门语言的英语,不是英语文学。1831年,KCL开了英语文学这门课。然后就切入你转的那段了。

In 1840 F. D. Maurice was appointed Professor at King's. He introduced the study of set books, and his inaugural lecture lays down some of the principles of liberal humanism; the study of English literature would serve 'to emancipate us … from the notions and habits which are peculiar to our own age', connecting us instead with 'what is fixed and enduring'. Maurice regarded literature as the peculiar property of the middle class and the expression of their values. For him the middle class represents the essence of Englishness (the aristocracy are part of an international elite, and the poor need to give all their attention to ensuring mere survival) so middle-class education should be peculiarly English, and therefore should centre on English literature. Maurice was well aware of the political dimension of all this. People so educated would feel that they belonged to England, that they had a country. 'Political agitators' may ask what this can mean 'when his neighbour rides in a carriage and he walks on foot', but 'he will feel his nationality to be a reality, in spite of what they say'. In short, learning English will give people a stake in maintaining the political status quo without any redistribution of wealth.

后面还有两段还挺relevant的,顺手附上不用谢。

You can see from this that the study of English literature is being seen as a kind of substitute for religion. It was well known that attendance at church below middle-class level was very patchy. The worry was that the lower classes would feel that they had no stake in the country and, having no religion to teach them morality and restraint, they would rebel and something like the French Revolution would take place. The Chartist agitation of the 1830s was thought to be the start of this, and the first English courses are put in place at exactly the same time.

The conventional reading of the origins of the subject of English is that this kind of thinking begins with Matthew Arnold in the 1850s and reaches its height with the publication of the Newbolt Report on the Teaching of English in England in 1921. It is evident from material like Maurice's inaugural lecture that this was happening much earlier. However, I do not accept the simplistic view that the founders of English were motiviated merely by a desire for ideological control. This was undoubtedly one of their motives, but the reality was much more complicated. There was, behind the teaching of early English, a distinctly Victorian mixture of class guilt about social inequalities, a genuine desire to improve things for everybody, a kind of missionary zeal to spread culture and enlightenment, and a self-interested desire to maintain social stability.

关于翻译这门学问的碎碎念

这两天在看阿摩司·奥兹的《黑匣子》,前面虽然时有云里雾里之感但都凑合着看下去了,看了一半左右出现了一句“你是不是渴望在米晒勒自己的游戏中打击他”才觉得忍不了了……译者钟志清老师不知道beat someone at his own game的意思也没什么,为什么不动手查一下呢?(虽然这个版本据说是从希伯来语直译过来的,但因为我十分怀疑希伯来语里有字面意思一模一样的用法,碰巧核对了英文版以后发现那边写的就是Was it really just because you were dying to beat Michel at his own game,所以推测译者此处是参考了英译本的译法。)



You probably recall the famous statement at the beginning of Anna Karenina, in which Tolstoy, donning there the cloak of a calm village deity and hovering over the void full of benign toleration and loving kindness, declares from on high that all happy families resemble one another, while unhappy families are all unhappy in their own way. With all due respect to Tolstoy I'm telling you that the opposite is true: Unhappy people are mainly plunged in conventional suffering, living out in sterile routine one of five or six threadbare clichés of misery. Whereas happiness is a rare, fine vessel, a sort of Chinese vase, and the few people who have reached it have shaped and formed it line by line over the course of years, each in his own image and likeness, each in his own character, so that no two happinesses are alike. And in the molding of their happiness they have instilled their own suffering and humiliation. Like refining gold from ore. There is happiness in the world, Alec, even if it is more ephemeral than a dream. Indeed in your case it is beyond your reach. As a star is beyond the reach of a mole. Not "the satisfaction of approval," not praise and advancement and conquest and domination, not submission and surrender, but the thrill of fusion. The merging of the I with another. As an oyster enfolds a foreign body and is wounded and turns it into its pearl while the warm water still surrounds and encompasses everything. You have never tasted this fusion, not once in your whole life. When the body is a musical instrument in the hands of the soul. When Other and I strike root in each other and become a single coral. And when the drip of the stalactite slowly feeds the stalagmite until the two of them become one.

换了英文版才发现前头乍看没看出是翻译错了的地方也问题不少。所以说不懂作者在说什么其实不是我理解能力有问题,是“托尔斯泰在那段独白中,给冷静的村神蒙上了一层覆盖物,将笔锋滞留在充满善意忍受和善良的虚空中”本来就跟作者的原话差了十万八千里啊……

说起来我一直很想吐槽很多人喜欢说的“翻译最讲究的不是外语水平,而是中文水平”这话。首页有好些人称赞过钟志清老师翻得优美流畅,我自己对她的中文水平也没什么意见。问题是错的就是错的,再优美流畅也救不了。

喜欢强调对于翻译来说中文水平比外语水平更重要的人往往是太小看外语阅读了。绝大多数翻译(是的,我觉得我可以放这个地图炮)的外语水平都没到能把原文从头到尾完全读通了的程度。不是说文学批评意义上的读通(那本来就是不可能的),就单单说字面程度上的理解,国内我真的没有见过多少翻译能确保每个句子都比较准确的。经常见的错误除了长句复杂句翻得乱七八糟狗屁不通和不认识成语俚语就瞎翻之外,还有见了个常用词就以为“哦,我知道是什么意思嘛”,没想到这个词还有些比较冷僻的用法。

总是有人以为英语学得差不多就行了,生词难词可以查。但看上去简单的东西不一定有那么简单。因为你不知道有这么个句式,所以你看不出门道来就不知道自己应该去查。因为你不知道这个简单词还有别的意思,所以你想不到要去翻字典。不在外语上下苦功到底还是不行的。看都看不懂的东西,还去想要怎么更好地转换成中文,无异于路都走不稳就开始琢磨着怎样跑更快。

不举贾六级这种例子了,就说我自己吧。早几年刚考完GRE的时候觉得自己英语不错了,满分340,考了336,闲着没事就在论坛上加了组,做了一阵子翻译。当时还没改掉好为人师的毛病,还经常给人校对改错。隔了一年之后,我打开我之前翻译的文档一看,发现翻错的地方非常多,非常多……简单粗暴的翻译错误。非常明显的没读懂还自作聪明地以为自己get了。特别羞耻play。想起自己之前还自以为是地去指点别人,恨不得立马销号。

还是没舍得销号,于是我赶快把翻错的地方都改了。再隔了一年之后我又去看,发现错得比之前少,但还是没少到能够不刺激我羞耻心的程度。这还只是同人。简直可怕极了。(没有对同人不敬的意思,但我觉得同人常用的句式和词汇确实是比较简单的。十七世纪的莎剧和一句话四五行的学术论著都啃下来好些了,我没有想到我翻个同人都能出这么多错。显然我之前读那些书其实也没怎么读懂,只是我苏格拉底看得少,不懂得自己什么也不懂而已。)总之为了避免受到持续伤害,后来我再也没翻译过东西,连之前要的授权都坑了。

当然我不是说叫大家都别翻译了,翻译的意义无需多言。我是希望一些人不要太小看了外语。掌握一门语言不是那么简单的事。不要老以为自己看懂了。一篇文章从头到尾能比较顺畅地看下来和细节上不出差错绝对是两个层次的事。看到不太拿得准的句子的时候Google一下总是不会有坏处的。另外《黑匣子》这本书超棒的,相见恨晚。


 - Hans Blumenberg, Shipwreck With Spectator: Paradigm of a Metaphor for Existence

难怪《神话研究》的中译本在豆瓣被吐槽,Blumenberg这文风跟汉语相性太差了……想了半天也不知道要翻译成中文的话得怎么整才能让读者搞明白他在说什么_(:з」∠)_

In the rest of the play, Hamlet, in every way possible, puts obstacles in his own path. He develops fits of melancholy, contemplates suicide, seeks proofs where he needs none, tempts his uncle to take action against him, drives his fiancée to suicide, kills an innocent, if garrulous, father-figure, allows himself to be shipped abroad, arranges to murder two erstwhile friends, and finally does what he must do in an inordinately complicated way involving a great deal of happenstance. Like Oedipus, Hamlet seeks to avoid doing what he swore to do, but both proved powerless to halt the march of fate they evoked in their vows.

When discussing Hamlet, and especially the forces that shape his actions, we should understand the significance of the revenge motif in human life as well as a dramatic theme in Elizabethan England. The very essence of revenge is its disproportionateness, its excess beyond the offense. Revenge is characterized by escalation. Talion justice demands no more than an eye for an eye; revenge demands two eyes or more. For Hamlet to refrain from killing Claudius, as he easily might have done as he watched Claudius pray, speaks not only to Hamlet's indecisiveness, but also to his awareness that the obligation his father placed on him was for revenge, not merely justice. In Hamlet's words, a quick dispatch of Claudius at the earliest moment would be no more than "hire or salary," not revenge.

. . . 

While Hamlet hesitates about avenging his father and contemplates the alternative paths his revenge might take, the work of sworn vengeance  proceeds inexorably. Although Hamlet delays acting on his father's charge to take vengeance against Claudius while sparing his mother ("leave her to heaven"), he manages to become the agent of destruction of another woman, Ophelia, onto whom his hatred for womankind has become displaced, and of another father, Polonius, who stands in his way to her. Whatever other purposes the deaths of Polonius and Ophelia might serve in the play, they also demonstrate the characteristic helplessness of man in the grip of a vow-become-compulsion. Delay as Hamlet may, his vow fulfills itself as much through his efforts at avoidance as by his more direct actions and sweeps the innocent and the guilty, agonists and bystanders before it.

In support of the theory that Hamlet could not acquit his obligation to avenge his father's murder simply by bringing Claudius to justice, notice that at the very end of the play Hamlet finally achieves justice. After Laertes stabs him with a poisoned sword, and Hamlet dispatches him in turn, Hamlet turns the sword on the King as well. Now Claudius's death is assured and justice is served, but Hamlet's revenge is not, inasmuch as he could have slain Claudius in the same way while Claudius was kneeling at prayer. As Hamlet himself is dying, he becomes the avenger in the true spirit of that role by forcing the poisoned wine between the lips of the already-dying Claudius. Thus Claudius dies twice: once in an unpremeditated and ironic way with the poisoned foil he had prepared for Hamlet, and again in acquittal of the premeditated vengeance that Hamlet held in mind for him throughout the play. Hamlet's reluctance to be the avenger persists to the end; constrained by unconscious guilt, he does not act the avenger until he too is about to die, and until the murder he has planned and delayed has become redundant.

Once Hamlet, like Oedipus, has reached the point of no return, there is no way out but to allow his promise to animate him, come what may, until its ultimate resolution. We cannot imagine Hamlet, or the hero of a Greek tragedy or of a grand opera for that matter, prudently changing his mind once he had sworn upon a course. The driving force and meaning of the work of art would be lost. The dramatic power of the work rests on the audience's expectation that, come what may, the hero will become the instrument of his vow and will fulfill his promise, in spite of all obstacles and in spite of his own reservations.

. . .

Ella Freeman Sharpe (1948) commented on Hamlet's procrastinating that "the organic functional basis of the whole play is revealed, for example, in the fact of Hamlet's procrastination. If we disregard for the moment the more familiar Oedipal explanation in relation to the killing of Claudius and consider only the effect of procrastination and its final result, we get both a simple pattern of bodily functioning as such and a basis for Aristotle's recognition of the cathartic function of great tragedy."

. . .

Sharpe reminds us about the infantile source of procrastination that: "An infant's emotional and bodily discharge is immediate and spontaneous and procrastination plays no part in it. The ability to procrastinate, which is so distinctive of the play as a whole is a memorial to a later emotional situation which resulted, not in return to heaven, but in dethronement and banishment.

A young child who has acquired sphincter control may revert to incontinence under emotional stress. . . In other words, a child may procrastinate by withholding his bowel contents until evacuation can no longer be prevented and a 'catastrophe' occurs."

In that passage, Sharpe refers to some fundamental facts about human development that are important in understanding promising. She reminds us that procrastination, that is, the capacity to delay, is not part of the psychology of early infancy. . . It also is the beginning of mastery over impulse, of the development of thinking independent of acting, and of the development of the sense of autonomy from parents and from instinct. The ability to say "no" in the first instance when the infant turns his face away from the breast carries with it the beginning of a sense of having will. In holding that the development of autonomy is first manifested in the ability to delay, with roots in anal psychosexuality, Sharpe bids us notice that the autonomy achieved is, by this very source, limited. It is a relative delay, a relative autonomy. What the bowel has promised it must sometime deliver. Likewise, the separation of thought and action so based is limited. That which must come must come. That which shall be shall be.

 - Herbert J. Schlesinger, Promises, Oaths, and Vows: On the Psychology of Promising

Theatre Impressions

For me a tragedy's most important act is the sixth:

the resurrecting from the stage's battlegrounds,

the adjusting of wigs, of robes,

the wrenching of knife from breast,

the removing of noose from neck,

the lining up among the living

to face the audience.


Bows solo and ensemble:

the white hand on the heart's wound,

the curtsey of the lady suicide,

the nodding of the lopped-off head.


Bows in pairs:

fury extends an arm to meekness,

the victim looks blissfully into the hangman's eyes,

the rebel bears no grudge as he walks beside the tyrant.


The trampling of eternity with the tip of a golden slipper.

The sweeping of morals away with the brim of a hat.

The incorrigible readiness to start afresh tomorrow.


The entry in single file of those who died much earlier,

in the third, the fourth, or between the acts.

The miraculous return of those lost without a trace.

The thought that they've been waiting patiently backstage,

not taking off costumes,

not washing off makeup,

moves me more than the tragedy's tirades.


But truly elevating is the lowering of the curtain,

and that which can still be glimpsed beneath it:

here one hand hastily reaches for a flower,

there a second snatches up a dropped sword.

Only then does a third, invisible,

perform its duty:

it clutches at my throat.


 - Wislawa Szymborska (trans. by Krynski & Maguire)



至少十年没翻开过《娜娜》了吧,心血来潮重读了几十页,非常惊讶地发现每一个角色登场我都还能立刻想起他/她的命运。娜娜的确是one of a kind,她大概就是我遇到的第一个larger than life的女性角色吧……遗憾的是已经没法向在我十岁生日那天送了这本书的同学表达我的谢意了(

Kekulé dreams the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used. The Serpent that announces, "The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning," is to be delivered into a system whose only aim is to violate the Cycle. Taking and not giving back, demanding that "productivity" and "earnings" keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity—most of the World, animal, vegetable and mineral, is laid waste in the process. The System may or may not understand that it's only buying time. And that time is an artificial resource to begin with, of no value to anyone or anything but the System, which sooner or later must crash to its death, when its addiction to energy has become more than the rest of the World can supply, dragging with it innocent souls all along the chain of life. Living inside the System is like riding across the country in a bus driven by a maniac bent on suicide… though he's amiable enough, keeps cracking jokes back through the loudspeaker, "Good morning folks, this is Heidelberg here we're coming into now, you know the old refrain, 'I lost my heart in Heidelberg,' well I have a friend who lost both his ears here! Don't get me wrong, it's really a nice town, the people are warm and wonderful—when they're not dueling. Seriously though, they treat you just fine, they don't just give you the key to the city, they give you the bung-starter!" u.s.w. On you roll, across a countryside whose light is forever changing—castles, heaps of rock, moons of different shapes and colors come and go. There are stops at odd hours of the mornings, for reasons that are not announced: you get out to stretch in lime-lit courtyards where the old men sit around the table under enormous eucalyptus trees you can smell in the night, shuffling the ancient decks oily and worn, throwing down swords and cups and trumps major in the tremor of light while behind them the bus is idling, waiting—passengers will now reclaim their seats and much as you'd like to stay, right here, learn the game, find your old age around this quiet table, it's no use: he is waiting beside the door of the bus in his pressed uniform, Lord of the Night he is checking your tickets, your ID and travel papers, and it's the wands of enterprise that dominate tonight… as he nods you by, you catch a glimpse of his face, his insane, committed eyes, and you remember then, for a terrible few heartbeats, that of course it will end for you all in blood, in shock, without dignity—but there is meanwhile this trip to be on… over your own seat, where there ought to be an advertising plaque, is instead a quote from Rilke: "Once, only once…" One of Their favorite slogans. No return, no salvation, no Cycle—that's not what They, nor Their brilliant employee Kekulé, have taken the Serpent to mean. No: what the Serpent means is—how's this—that the six carbon atoms of benzene are in fact curled around into a closed ring, just like that snake with its tail in its mouth, GET IT?

 - Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow

品钦老师八十岁生日快乐。当世最伟大的作家,(应该)没有之一。

García Lorca on duende, or my favorite speech ever

Whoever travels the bull's hide that stretches between the Júcar, Guadalfeo, Sil and Pisuerga rivers (not to mention the tributaries that meet those waves, the colour of a lion's mane, that stir the Plata) frequently hears people say: 'This has much duende'. Manuel Torre, great artist of the Andalusian people, said to someone who sang for him: 'You have a voice, you understand style, but you'll never ever succeed because you have no duende.'

All through Andalusia, from the rock of Jaén to the snail's-shell of Cadiz, people constantly talk about the duende and recognise it wherever it appears with a fine instinct. That wonderful singer El Lebrijano, creator of the Debla, said: 'On days when I sing with duende no one can touch me.': the old Gypsy dancer La Malena once heard Brailowsky play a fragment of Bach, and exclaimed: 'Olé! That has duende!' but was bored by Gluck, Brahms and Milhaud. And Manuel Torre, a man who had more culture in his veins than anyone I've known, on hearing Falla play his own Nocturno del Generalife spoke this splendid sentence: 'All that has dark sounds has duende.' And there's no deeper truth than that.

Those dark sounds are the mystery, the roots that cling to the mire that we all know, that we all ignore, but from which comes the very substance of art. 'Dark sounds' said the man of the Spanish people, agreeing with Goethe, who in speaking of Paganini hit on a definition of the duende: 'A mysterious force that everyone feels and no philosopher has explained.'

So, then, the duende is a force not a labour, a struggle not a thought. I heard an old maestro of the guitar say: 'The duende is not in the throat: the duende surges up, inside, from the soles of the feet.' Meaning, it's not a question of skill, but of a style that's truly alive: meaning, it's in the veins: meaning, it's of the most ancient culture of immediate creation.

This 'mysterious force that everyone feels and no philosopher has explained' is, in sum, the spirit of the earth, the same duende that scorched Nietzche's heart as he searched for its outer form on the Rialto Bridge and in Bizet's music, without finding it, and without seeing that the duende he pursued had leapt from the Greek mysteries to the dancers of Cadiz and the headless Dionysiac scream of Silverio's siguiriya.

So, then, I don't want anyone to confuse the duende with the theological demon of doubt at whom Luther, with Bacchic feeling, hurled a pot of ink in Eisenach, nor the Catholic devil, destructive and of low intelligence, who disguised himself as a bitch to enter convents, nor the talking monkey carried by Cervantes' Malgesi in his comedy of jealousies in the Andalusian woods.

No. The duende I mean, secret and shuddering, is descended from that blithe daemon, all marble and salt, of Socrates, whom it scratched at indignantly on the day when he drank the hemlock, and that other melancholy demon of Descartes, diminutive as a green almond, that, tired of lines and circles, fled along the canals to listen to the singing of drunken sailors.

For every man, every artist called Nietzsche or Cézanne, every step that he climbs in the tower of his perfection is at the expense of the struggle that he undergoes with his duende, not with an angel, as is often said, nor with his Muse. This is a precise and fundamental distinction at the root of their work.

The angel guides and grants, like St. Raphael: defends and spares, like St. Michael: proclaims and forewarns, like St. Gabriel.

The angel dazzles, but flies over a man's head, high above, shedding its grace, and the man realises his work, or his charm, or his dance effortlessly. The angel on the road to Damascus, and that which entered through the cracks in the little balcony at Assisi, or the one that followed in Heinrich Suso's footsteps, create order, and there is no way to oppose their light, since they beat their wings of steel in an atmosphere of predestination.

The Muse dictates, and occasionally prompts. She can do relatively little since she's distant and so tired (I've seen her twice) that you'd think her heart half marble. Muse poets hear voices and don't know where they're from, but they're from the Muse who inspires them and sometimes makes her meal of them, as in the case of Apollinaire, a great poet destroyed by the terrifying Muse, next to whom the divine angelic Rousseau once painted him.

The Muse stirs the intellect, bringing a landscape of columns and an illusory taste of laurel, and intellect is often poetry's enemy, since it limits too much, since it lifts the poet into the bondage of aristocratic fineness, where he forgets that he might be eaten, suddenly, by ants, or that a huge arsenical lobster might fall on his head – things against which the Muses who inhabit monocles, or the roses of lukewarm lacquer in a tiny salon, have no power.

Angel and Muse come from outside us: the angel brings light, the Muse form (Hesiod learnt from her). Golden bread or fold of tunic, it is her norm that the poet receives in his laurel grove. While the duende has to be roused from the furthest habitations of the blood.

Reject the angel, and give the Muse a kick, and forget our fear of the scent of violets that eighteenth century poetry breathes out, and of the great telescope in whose lenses the Muse, made ill by limitation, sleeps.

The true struggle is with the duende.

The roads where one searches for God are known, whether by the barbaric way of the hermit or the subtle one of the mystic: with a tower, like St. Teresa, or by the three paths of St. John of the Cross. And though we may have to cry out, in Isaiah's voice: Truly you are a hidden God,' finally, in the end, God sends his primal thorns of fire to those who seek Him.

Seeking the duende, there is neither map nor discipline. We only know it burns the blood like powdered glass, that it exhausts, rejects all the sweet geometry we understand, that it shatters styles and makes Goya, master of the greys, silvers and pinks of the finest English art, paint with his knees and fists in terrible bitumen blacks, or strips Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer stark naked in the cold of the Pyrenees, or sends Jorge Manrique to wait for death in the wastes of Ocaña, or clothes Rimbaud's delicate body in a saltimbanque's costume, or gives the Comte de Lautréamont the eyes of a dead fish, at dawn, on the boulevard.

 - Federico García Lorca, Theory and Play Of The Duende

 @啊韭 上次说到的西班牙语里的one-word poem!拖了这么久是因为我无法决定该节选多少,可以说恨不得上全文了(。

我没法说自己很喜欢洛尔迦的诗歌和戏剧,但对我来说他毫无疑问就是代表西班牙的作家。他真的特别好,希望更多人爱他。

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