短篇翻译:绝望的浪漫主义

最近网上的事有些让人心烦,翻篇文平静一下,如果还平静不了,那就再翻一篇。

选这篇镇圈文主要还是从翻译练习的角度考虑的:其篇幅短小,故事完整,适合我这种没时间又低产的人;文字深厚凝练,也特别适合逐字逐句慢慢揣摩。

未授权,仅一篇练习,也纪念我被深深虐到的看文经历233333。有些段落我也不是特别有把握,应该会有更好的表达方法吧,以后想到会再改哒。


原作《绝望的浪漫主义》

作者 恋爱脑与乌托邦


Despairing Romanticism

 

In 1978, Ming Lou went back to Shanghai to receive a surgery.


Before this one, he had had three surgeries, among which one was extremely dangerous. After being brought out from the Tiger Bridge Prison in Nanjing to a characterless local hospital in Yangzhou, he was cut out one thirds of his liver when it was minus seven or eight degrees Celsius outside, and even his bedding was tidied by a child of one of Jinyun's friends in Shanghai. He braved countless dangers in his youth, and so did he as getting aged. Nothing could defeat him, neither man nor gods. 


Being staunch to such an extent was unreasonable. He got off the train while torrential rains fell. "A man will neighbor ghosts as he turns to seventy", but with an umbrella in his hand, he looked austere, neither dispirited nor aggrieved.

 


He had no home to go back - The old house of the Ming had already dismantled to only a few tiles and bricks. Even if the whole house had been there, it would have been meaningless to Ming Lou. The concept of family had been dispelled decades ago. In those early years, when studying in France, Ming Cheng was fond of symbolist poems and always let a book called "Invitation to the Voyage" be with him: It almost became a prophecy, for they indeed traveled all their life and never had a home to go back.


Before the Anti-Rightist Movement, Ming Lou had provisionally worked in Beijing for over a year. He studied economics again at a college, while Ming Cheng stayed in Shanghai, working at the municipal government. At that time, they had no time to miss each other, for the new life only revealed a part of its scenery as small as a tablecorner, and they were all those who would throw themselves into the work. The last time they met each other was when Ming Cheng came to Beijing to attend a conference. Ming Lou took him to a student canteen on campus for a meal. When taking away a dumpling from the bowl in Ming Lou's hand, his well-dressed partner looked endearing yet complacent. Ming Cheng, though getting aged, smiled like a child, bright and beautiful, boundless and promising.

 

After that, the wind turned its direction. Taking his biographical data into consideration, Ming Lou was futile to distance himself. His crimes were too numerous to be listed, and from that moment he lost the tidings of Ming Cheng. Over more than a decade, although he doubted whether his partner was still alive, he never gave up hope so long as there was no convincing evidence. He worried about his two younger brothers while suffering in the prison. At the beginning, he was more commanding, keeping trying to protect them. But latter, when he learned Ming Tai died of an illness in the southern wild, expecting Ming Cheng to be blessed, to lay low himself and bide his time, and to be less suffered became the most ingrained and life-threatening will in Ming Lou's life, for Ming Cheng had been his only remained connection with the world.

 

 

After arriving in Shanghai, Ming Lou first went to the hospital to go through the formalities and sign the documents, and then the Shanghai Municipal Records Service. He wanted to know whether Ming Cheng was still alive.

 

Most of the staffs working in the Data Room were young. They asked Ming Lou to sit down and brought him some tea as they noticed his dignified appearance, but they told him that the archives cannot be accessed at will if there is no written order from a higher authority.

 

Ming Lou remembered this house. In the past, when he was in Shanghai, it was once a famous place. At that time, the occupation of Hong Kong resulted in that many left-wing scholars retreating from there came to Shanghai, and among the scholars some were his friends. Ming Lou was unable to bring them home, so he asked Ming Cheng to rent this place to facilitate their discussion on issues. He remembered Ming Cheng called this three-storey building "Liu Gu Tang", which was derived from a Chinese poetic line "The running river surrounds a lonely village." At that time, Ming Cheng was young and always accompanied him like the rising sun. As getting old, memory became like a labyrinth while the consciousness was clear. Ming Lou knew that Ming Cheng was in this memory. 

 

Ming Lou said that he is not going to access to the archives but just looks for a man.

 

  

When Ming Cheng worked at the Shanghai Trust Bureau, his position was not low, so it would not be very difficult to inquire about his information. Having been invited to an office room, Ming Lou was told a story.

 

The story was not complete. If taking out the beginning and the end, it only told what happened in a year. Ming Cheng went alone to the north in May, 1959, at which time Ming Lou was, however, on the way of being taken to Nanjing under escort. Ming Cheng had no choice but turned back, but as he came back, the situation continued deteriorating. His relationship with Ming Lou, which was like contiguous tendons attached to the broken bones, made him difficult to stay out of the situation. In August, he was still able to say something on the meeting for criticizing and struggling, as it turned to September, however, jeeps were drove directly into the Trust Bureau and he was taken away. Then, rummage began. Trunks and boxes were overturned. Ming Cheng's manuscripts, including his diary and the poems he translated at leisure, were all taken away.

 

Since then, no one had seen him. It was said that having been imprisoned for a year, he was fetched for interrogation. Ming Cheng was so adamant that even during the interrogation he was imposed by many brutal means aiming to force him to provide only a bit of materials for exposing Ming Lou's crimes, he wrote nothing until he died. 

 

  

Ming Lou was quiet. He, wearing gold-rimmed glasses, in a clear Chinese tunic suit, asked after one to two minutes of silence, "Is there anything he left?"

 

The staff who told him the story went out for half an hour and brought him an envelope when he returned. There was only a key in the envelope. It was said that there was nothing in the pocket of the clothing he wore before his death, but only this key. No one knew which case it can open.

 

"Do you know where he was buried?" asked Ming Lou. The man shook his head, saying that maybe he was buried in a cemetery. But except that it was happened long time ago, there were many cemeteries with disordered management. It would be impossible to find it out.

 

Ming Lou still expressed his thanks and went downstairs gradually with the key held by his fingers, looking lonely and helpless. There was a man to pick up him to the hospital. He thought a while and felt that going adrift was all what he could do. 

 

 

The day of doom is ultimately something one cannot go beyond. He survived in a circumstance as harsh as that of a frozen and snow-covered world, in a situation as dangerous as being under knives, guns, and sticks, and in the humiliation and trample, but lost his last bit of energy in the end.

 

The surgery at that night was not successful. He passed even without a word, as if he were a sword falling in the sea, leaving no trace after all.

 

 

The Commission for Funeral Arrangement found the key when they were tidying the remains of Ming Lou. While a man identified that it was a key for opening an HSBC safe, others were excited as if they found out a treasure. They tried in turn and finally found that safe, but in the safe there was neither gold nor silver, but only a painting. They took apart the frame and felt disappointed for there was neither a letter nor a manuscript placed in between.

 

It was only a painting with fine strokes, a weak sense of layer, and bright colors. In the picture, there are forests and a house nearby, which looks like one of the most common places having exited in the mighty torrent of the eon.

 


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