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HomeModern Chinese EssaysFeng Jicai's Essay: -- modern chinese literature 冯骥才《富人区》

Feng Jicai’s Essay: — modern chinese literature 冯骥才《富人区》

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The Wealthy Quarter

Feng Jicai

In Los Angeles,an American friend of mine drove me to an affluent quarter for a visit.It was a place inhabited by the rich.Americans like to take their guests to see it as if on a sightseeing tour.Standing before me were houses and courtyards of a great variety of shapes,looking elegant,quiet and comfortable like in an earthly paradise.I suddenly put this question to him,“Don’t you feel jealous of guys living in beautiful houses like these?”

He looked at me in astonishment and said,

“Jealous?Why?They live here because they’ve met with a good opportunity.If I should also find a good opportunity in the future,I can do even better.”

The answer he gave was typical of Americans.Americans set great store by an opportunity.

Later,when I was in Japan,a Japanese friend of mine said he would take me to a nearby wealthy quarter and show me around.So,Japanese and Americans shared the same inclination to visit a wealthy quarter.Japanese houses were small,quiet and exquisite,and each was like a beautiful jewellery box.I put to him the same question as I had asked the American,

“Are you jealous of the rich people living in these beautiful houses?”

After pondering for a moment,he shook his head and said,“No,never.”Then he explained,“When a Japanese finds somebody superior to himself,he’ll contact him on his own initiative,make friends with him,learn from him,and try to excel him after learning all the strong points from him.”

Ah,the Japanese were a real aggressive sort!I was absorbed in thought.

Not long ago,a friend of mine called on me on his arrival from southern China.While chatting together,he told me how,like in foreign countries,wealthy quarters had appeared in his own city in the wake of its fast development.When I,out of curiosity,demanded to hear more details of them,he mentioned their fountains,garages,security personnel guarding the gates,wolfhounds,etc.Then I asked him the same question as I had asked my American and Japanese friends,

“Do people visit the wealthy quarter?”

“Yes,they often do,”said my friend.“But they can’t get into it.They can only watch it from outside the gate.”

“How do you feel?Aren’t you jealous?”

“Jealous?”he brightened up and said with a smile.“Not only jealous.We’re dying to finish off these rich guys.”

I was stunned to hear it.

杂文《富人区》的作者冯骥才(1942— ),浙江宁波人,生于天津,是中国当代著名作家和画家。文章寥寥数语,勾画出面对现实生活的三种不同心态,褒贬得宜,抨击时弊,寓意深刻。


(1) “富人区”可译为wealthy quarter、affluent quarter、rich quarter等。

(2)“人间天堂”可译为earthly paradise或paradise on earth。

(3)“这便是标准的‘老美’式的回答”可按“这便是美国人的典型回答”译为The answer he gave was typical of Americans或The answer he gave was typically American、He answered in a typically American way。

(4)“原来日本人也有这种爱好”可译为So,Japanese and Americans shared the same inclination to visit a wealthy quarter或So,Japanese were also fond of visiting a wealthy quarter。

(5)“每座房子都像一个首饰盒,也挺美”可译为each was like a beautiful jewellery box或each was as beautiful as a jewellery box、each could be compared to a beautiful jewellery box。

(6)“噢,日本人真厉害。”应理解为“噢,日本人真有进取心”,译为Ah,the Japanese were a real aggressive sort,其中real等于really; aggressive作“积极进取”、“有进取心”等解;sort的意思是“某一类人”、“某种人”。

(7)“我饶有兴趣地打听其中的情形”因“饶有兴趣地”在此意同“出于好奇”,故全句译为When I,out of curiosity,demanded to hear more details of them。

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