J·阿尔弗瑞德·普鲁弗洛克的情歌

J

前日看到《外国现代派作品选A》中对艾略特知名诗篇《J·阿尔弗瑞德·普鲁弗洛克的情歌》的分析以及查良铮的中文译本,被那篇诗歌含义解析吸引,但中文译本读来了无趣味,于是当日立即去看了英文原作The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,无心之举,随便看看,却发现原诗十分顺畅优美,很有韵味,并不难读,诗中氛围很容易感受到,描绘生动形象,意境略带悲凉,雾蒙蒙中,不相配的日常琐碎中,消失的生命,众生了无生机的生活,敏感和矛盾。很美的诗。令人费解的是普及率很高的查良铮译本多处破坏原诗意境,错误比较多,尤其前半段,翻译比较多的依靠译者自己的理解,既有破句又有单词翻译错误。于是寻觅其他译本,但网上基本都是查良铮译本,并且存在引用中新增错误或者漏句 的情况。只是新找到汤永宽的译本,改善些,但还是不能完全透出原貌。原来此诗中文译本所起作用只是类文言文的现代文翻译,帮助理解用,省去一些翻字典的时 间,然后就是抛开中文译本,直接体会原诗。现摘录原诗于下。有兴趣的不妨点击以下地址:http://www.bartleby.com/people/Eliot-Th.html,可以看到T.S. Eliot诸多精彩诗篇。

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock //作于1915年,收录于<Prufrock and Other Observations> (1917),早期作品。加粗为好句。其实有很多好段落,整体上十分统一,真是可以一读再读的诗,令人相见恨晚。下划线为我认为比较难翻译的句子。

S’io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s’i’odo il vero,
Senza tema d’infamia ti rispondo.  意大利文,引自《神曲》。

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
//这句是相当精妙的比喻。夜幕在天空慢慢铺展开来,就像被麻醉的病人舒展开来的样子,不仅形态上像,麻醉后的意志是麻痹的,人是从有感慢慢转到无感的,那种状态也很传神。
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats 5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
//环境。这三行查良铮的翻译乱七八糟。
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question … 10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo. //查良铮刻意加上“画家”米开朗基罗,不合适。

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, 15
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes

Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, 20
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes; 25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands

That lift and drop a question on your plate; 30 //翻译难点。
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
//注意visions、revisions是名词,for要翻出来。
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go 35
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair— 40
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”] My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”] Do I dare 45
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, 50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all— 55
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways? 60
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!] It is perfume from a dress 65
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets 70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
//floors怎么翻呢?一般做法是不翻,但没有此词少很多乐趣。
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully! 75
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis? 80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker, 85
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while, 90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”— 95
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while, 100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen: 105
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”
. . . . . 110
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use, 115
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old … 120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me. 125

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

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