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星期四, 18 4 月, 2024
HomeChinese QuotesEileen Chang: Love-- 张爱玲《爱》 with English Translations

Eileen Chang: Love– 张爱玲《爱》 with English Translations

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Eileen Chang


This is real.


There was once a daughter of a tolerably well-off family in the country who was very lovely and sought out by many matchmakers, although nothing had come of their efforts. That year, she was only fifteen or sixteen years old. One spring evening, she stood by the back door, hands resting on a peach tree, she remembered that she was wearing a moon-white tunic. She had seen the young man who lived across the way, but they had never spoken. He walked toward her, came to a halt close by, and said softly: “So you’re here, too?” She did not say anything, and he did not say more. They stood for a moment and then went their separate ways.


That was all.


Later, the girl was abducted by a swindler in the family and sold as concubine in some far-off town, then sold several times more, passing through any number of trials and ordeals. When she was old, she still remembered that incident and often spoke of that evening in spring, the peach tree by the back door, that young man.


When you meet the one among the millions, when amid millions of years, across the borderless wastes of time, you happen to catch him or her, neither a step too early nor a step too late, what else is there to do except to ask softly: “So you’re here, too?”

(Andrew F. Jones 译)


Zhang Ailing

This is a true story.

There once lived a beautiful girl from a well-to-do family in a village. Many people came with matchmaking proposals but nothing came out of them. She was no more than fifteen or sixteen that year.

One spring evening, she was standing by the back door, her hand resting on a peach tree next to her. She remembered that she had on a moon-white blouse. There was a young man who lived across the road. They had seen each other before, but had never greeted each other. He came over and stopped at a place not too far from her. He said softly, “Oh, you’re here too?” She did not say anything in particular. Neither did he. They stood there for a while, and then went about their own business.

That is it.

Later, the girl was abducted by a relative and sold elsewhere as a concubine, after which she was sold three or four more times. She still remembered in her old age the incident that had taken place so long before, though she had lived through a life of numerous terrible upheavals. She often talked about that spring evening… the peach tree by the back door… the young man.

When, among the tens of thousands of people you might have met, you meet the very person you were meant to meet, and when, among the tens of thousands of years in the boundless wilderness of time, you arrive at just the right spot at just the right moment, not a step too soon, not a step too late, there is nothing else you can say, but to ask softly, “Oh, you’re here, too?”

(Tam King-fai 译)

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