钱鍾书译艺举隅

钱鍾书(1910-1998)一生未能多译,但极善译。五十年代国内组织一批著名学者参与《毛泽东选集》英译,钱鍾书、金岳霖诸前贤均忝列其中。一次,负责《实践论》英译的金岳霖叩向钱鍾书“吃一堑长一智”如何翻译为好。钱稍加沉吟答曰:“A fall into the pit again in your wit”。金闻后,极为赞赏,认为此译“真是再好也没有了”。又英国作家穆尔(Thomas Moore)某文中有此一句:When I remember all the friends so link' d togetherI' ve seen around me fall like leaves in winter weather。钱氏将其译为“故友如冬叶,萧萧四落稀”。(参观《谈交友》一文)窃以为纵是译界斫轮老手,亦未必能出此译之右。然则钱氏一生所译多散见于《谈艺录》、《管锥编》这两部煌煌巨制之中,现不妨将内中英文译句举隅如下。

1O One glimpse of the human faceand shake of the human hand is better thanwhole reams of the cold thin correspondence etc.

得与其人一瞥面、一握手,胜于此等枯寒笔墨百函千牍也。噫! (英国文学家兰姆致友人语《谈艺录》第320)

此译句序与结构较之原文大致相仿,其中以“此等枯寒笔墨百函千牍也”译wholereams of the cold thin correspondence实为神来妙笔,其中以thin作枯,cold为寒,reams化作百和千,correspondence则分别变成笔墨、函、牍,堪称无一字无来历。一个感叹词O译作“噫”,兼以其位置的挪动,无论是意境还是神韵,原、译二文,何其相似乃尔。

2Why at the height of desire and human pleasure-worldly social amorousambitious or even avaricious does there mingle a certain sense of doubt and sorrow

入世务俗,交游酬应,男女爱悦,图营势位,乃至贪婪财货,人生百为,于兴最高,心最欢时,辄微觉乐趣中杂以疑虑与忧伤,其故何耶。(英国诗人拜伦语 《谈艺录》第438)

此例原文,以常规语法绳之,实为Why does there mingle a certain sense…?其迥异处在于whydoes之间,插入一个以at开路的介词词组群,大诗人的龙蛇走笔自是与凡人不同。且看大学者译此语是如何经之营之的。首先是将原文疑问词why易为“其故何耶”置于译文末端。其次是将at词组中de-sirehuman pleasure的五个释语即world-ly social amorous ambitious avaricious分别译作汉语四字结构“入世务俗”、“交游酬应”、“男女爱悦”、“图营势位”、“贪婪财货”,可谓既信且达尤雅。复次以“于兴最高,心最欢时”再现at the height of desire and human pleasure,亦是最恰切不过。再次以“辄微觉乐趣中杂以疑虑与忧伤”表达there mingle a certain sense of doubt and sorrow,其中“微觉”二字无疑是从a certain sense化来,译者觉察原文之细腻,由此可见一斑。只是“人生百为”四字似乏依托,若仔细推敲,旋觉不可或缺。

3Everything is the same but you are not here and I still am. In separation the one who goes away suffers less than the one who stays behind.

此间百凡如故,我仍留而君已去耳。行行生别离,去者不如留者神伤之甚也。(拜伦致情人语《谈艺录》第541)

原文朴实无华却情意缠绵,相思之情,无不溢于言表。译文亦复如此,其中的“百凡如故”、“神伤之甚”,特别是“行行生别离”五字令人有拍案称奇之慨。译者曾有《围城》之作,颇谙男女私淑之情,故有此佳译,而不露纤毫斧凿痕迹。

4When I am assailed with heavy tribulations I rush out among my pigsrather than remain alone by myself. The human heart is like a millstone in a millwhen you put wheat under it it turns and grinds and bruises the wheat to flour if you put no wheat it still grinds on but then is itself it grinds and wears away. So the human heart unless it be occupied with so employment leaves space for the devilwho wriggles himself in and brings with him a whole host of evil thoughts temptations and tribulations which grind out the heart.

吾遭逢大不如意事,急往饲牧吾猪,不欲闲居独处。人心犹磨坊石,苟中实以麦,则碾而成面;中虚无物,石仍转无己,徒自研耳。人心倘无专务,魔鬼乘虚潜入,挟恶念邪思及诸烦恼以俱来,此心遂为所耗蚀矣。(马丁·路德《语录》 《谈艺录》第599)

此例原文由三长句构建,译者以顺译法依次转换成汉语,其妙处全在词句的移译。如句1中以“大不如意事”译heavy tribulations,以“急往饲牧吾猪”译I rush out among my pigs,以“闲居独处”译remain alone by myself,堪称酣畅润达。又如句2中的when you put wheat under itif you put no wheat分别被译为“苟中实以麦”与“中虚无物”可谓恰似原文又胜似原文,尤其是it turns and grinds and bruises the wheat to flour一句被译为“碾而成面”。一个“碾”字,囊括了turns grinds bruises三层意思,汉语包容量之大以及钱公选词之妙,由此可见一斑。再如句3,以“倘无专务”译unless it be occupied with so employment,以“魔鬼乘虚潜入”译leaves space for the devil,变原文的被动状为译语的主动态,可谓“入乡随俗”,与译语行文习惯极为吻合,尤其是将who wriggles himself in and brings with him a whole host of evil thoughts temptations and tribulations译为“挟恶念邪思及诸烦恼以俱来”,更令人叹为观止,其中“挟……以俱来”尽含wrigglesbrings之意,而将evil temptation thoughts译为“恶念邪思”可令人赞其准确而不嫌其繁,将tribulations译为“烦恼”亦可使人叹其贴切不责其简。或问a whole host of附于何处?君不见“诸”、“俱”二字中均有此意乎!最耐人寻味的是原文中曾三现grind一词,译者分别译作“碾”、“研”或“耗蚀”,一则显示了译者对原作意会之深,二则表明译者或可有其弟子许渊冲先生宣示的“与原作者竞赛”之念。

5I would have broke mine eyestringscrack' d them but/To look upon him till the diminution/Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle /Nay followed him till had melted from/The smallness of gnat to airand then/Have turn' d my eyes and wept.

极目送之,注视不忍释,虽眼中筋络迸裂无所措;行人渐远浸小,纤若针矣,微若蠛蠓矣,消失于空蒙矣,已矣!迥眸而啜其泣矣!(莎士比亚剧中女主角惜夫远行语 《管锥编》第79)

原文为莎士比亚剧中女主角惜夫远行语。钱公此译与上述译例略呈不同,完全是一种“得意忘形”的译法,且说话者亦异于原语,似由第一人称改作了第三人称,钱公本意旨在比较中西文学作品中送别时“眼力不如人远”的描述,故译文中减了几分主观的情感,而添了些许冷静的说明,但仍不失为上乘之译。且看“极目送之,注视不忍释”其意无疑源于To look upon him till,以及followed him till;“眼中筋络迸裂”则源于broke mine eyestrings crack ' d them;其余如“行人渐远浸小”、“纤若针”、“微若蠛蠓”、“消失于空蒙”、“迥眸而啜其泣”等皆各有出处,堪称纤毫毕肖。即便是“已矣”二字亦是由and then二词变化而来。

6It seems to me the general effect of a laborious cultivation of talent in any one definite form [is] to weaken the sense of the work of other forms.

专攻则局于特长而生偏见。(鲁滨逊论华兹华斯语 《管锥编》第1054)

此译可称作化繁为简的典型。译者基于对原文的透彻理解,以纯正的译语文字表述之而丝毫无伤原意。A laborious cultivation译作“专攻”,talent in any one definite form译作“局于特长”,to weaken the sense of the work of other forms译作“生偏见”。原文可以24词计算(除却It seems to me),而译文短至11字。繁复的西文化作了精练的汉语,唯有钱公一辈人才有如此驾轻就熟、笔下生辉的能力。

7No lines can be laid down for civil or political wisdom. They are a matter incapable of exact definition. But though no man can draw a stroke between the confines of day and night yet light and darkness are upon the whole tolerably distinguishable.

明于人事治道者,不必限断井然。虽然,日与夜之间诚难一截以判彼此,而光明与昏黑固可区辨不淆。(十八世纪某政论家语 《管锥编》第1057)

此例原文为三句,译者将第一句与第二句合二而一,具体运作乃是将for civil or po-litical wisdom译作主语:“明于人事治道者”,然后将No lines can be laid downThey are a matter incapable of exact definition译做谓语部分即“不必限断井然”。第三句为一复合句,译者先将从句的day and night译为“日与夜之间”置于句首,而后将no man can draw a stroke between the con-fines译为“诚难一截以判彼此”,主句则按原文顺序依次译之。通观全句,不枝不蔓,言简意赅,其中尤以“明于人事治道者”的译法给人印象最深。

8Just as we see the bee settling on all the flowers and sipping the best from each so also those who aspire to culture ought not to leave anything untasted but should gather useful knowledge from every source.

独不见蜜蜂乎,无花不采,吮英咀华,博雅之士亦然,滋味遍尝,取精而用弘。(古希腊某文学家语 《管锥编》第1251)

原文是关连词asso穿针引线而形成的一种复合句,其结构无疑是格外紧凑的,但译者并未为这种外在形式所拘囿,而是直探全句深层意蕴并以明达条畅,自然工丽的译语表达之。且看settling on all the flowers and sipping the best from each被译作“无花不采,吮英咀华”,those who aspire to culture被译为“博雅之士”是何等贴切而典雅,而以“滋味遍尝,取精而用弘”来译ought not to leave anything untasted but should gather useful knowledge from every source又是何等简括有法,迂徐有致。

9now reigns/Full-orb' d the moonand with more pleasing sight /Shadowy sets off the face of things-in vain /If none regard.

圆月中天,流光转影,物象得烘托而愈娱目,然了无人见,平白地唐捐耳。(语出《失乐园》《管锥编》第1349)

且看名人弥尔顿名作《失乐园》中的此语是如何被钱公译成汉语的。显而易见,“圆月中天”出于原句的now reigns Full-orb' d the moon,以“中”字译动词reigns,意境相通也;“流光转影,物象得烘托而愈娱目”所表达的是with more pleasing sight shadowy sets off the face of things所含之意。其中:流光-sight,转影-shadowy,物象-the face of things,烘托-sets off,愈娱目-more pleasing,接下来又以“然了无人见”译If none regard,以“平白地唐捐”译in vain,“唐捐”意为“落空”、“虚耗”。钱公译此句可谓一字一语,毫发无遗。细细吟咏之,实在是流畅自然至极,泯去了种种斧凿痕迹,将此句誉之为名译当不过耳。

10In summer I' m disposed to shirk /As summer is no time for work. /In winter inspiration dies/For lack of outdoor exercise. /In spring I' m seldom in the mood /Because of vernal lassitude. /The fall re-main. But such a fall /We' ve really had no fall at all.

炎夏非劬之时;严冬不宜出户游散,无可即景生情,遂尔文思枯涸;春气困人,自振不得;秋高身爽,而吾国之秋有名乏实,奈何!(当代一美国人小诗《管锥编》第1408)

原文为一小诗,译者以散文译之然尽得原诗之意境与韵味。译者手法或则直述,或则添加,或则颠倒,或则阐释,或则概括,既能做到谨而不拘,严而能纵,又能做到离形得似,剪裁合度。以“炎夏非劬之时”译In summer I' m disposed to shirk /As summer is no time for work分明用的是直述手法,而将In winter inspiration dies/For lack of out door exercise译做“严冬不宜出门,无可即景生情,遂尔文思枯涸”,无疑用的是添加法,倘若译文省去“无可即景生情”六字,至少从汉语的视角观之,上下衔接则不顺,即构不成顺理成章的逻辑关系,是故译者的添加是得其所哉而决非无中生有。“春气困人,自振不得”显然用的是拨逆为顺,先因后果法,而“秋高身爽”则是对The fall remains的精确阐释,“吾国之秋有名乏实”无疑是将原文的反面感喟演变成译语的正面惊叹。“奈何”二字看似信手拈来,实则包含了such a fall!与really以及noat all的惋惜情感。

钱氏《谈艺录》、《管锥编》的语体均为文言,其所引外文自当以文言译出。人或问,钱氏的文言译文足可与严复、林纾诸人比肩,然则其现代语体译文是否亦臻上乘呢?笔者近在辽海出版社出版的《一寸千思——忆钱鍾书先生》中观得钱公一篇译文,题为《精印本<堂·吉柯德>引言》。原文作者系德国诗人海涅,译文原载19561月出版的《文学研究集刊》第2期。我将此文吟诵再三,深感钱公的现代语体译文和其文言体译文均可称之为一流秀物。钱氏素来主张文学翻译的最高理想为“化”,而所谓化,按其诠释,便是将原语转移成译语时,译本既无生硬牵强的痕迹,又能完全保存原作的风味。以上所引诸例可谓例例都是这种入于化境的译作。毋庸置疑,这也是钱氏译艺卓绝的有力佐证。是为举隅。

 

[作者简介]郑延国(1945-),男,长沙交通学院外语系教授。(长沙交通学院外语系,湖南长沙410076)

 



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