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HomeModern Chinese EssaysHe Wei's Essay: Life -- modern chinese literature 何为《生命》

He Wei’s Essay: Life — modern chinese literature 何为《生命》

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生命

何为

如果回归自然,各有不同的方式,后人总是尊重前辈的人生最后一次选择(1)。一位朋友偶然讲起一件事(2),有如一篇小小说,听者动容。

在新开发的丛林里,一条蜿蜒的小径上,一个衣着素色的女人(3)踽踽独行,径直走向林子里的一棵树。这里许多树大小参差不一,有的移植不久,不过都长得很快。在一个时期内,都挺直有神。新生的树叶嫩绿有生机。当然,有人专门护理这些纪念树(4)。

不知多少年(5),这个女人总是带着一束鲜花默默地置于树根旁,然后仰起头来,对着树身凝视,翕动(6)着她独有的小小嘴唇,既像独语,又像倾诉。她退后一步,打量她这树高了多少,细心地除去树下斑斑驳驳的落叶,向这棵移植多年的树倾身拥抱,亲了一下,轻轻摩挲树皮的皱纹,如同面对一个有生命的躯体。不久,她依依不舍地转身离去,消失在暮色渐浓的秋天最后一抹余晖里。

一阵秋风吹过(7),树叶沙沙地响动,仿佛隐秘的私语(8)。女人顿时回过身来,惟有她才能听懂私语的全部含意。于是喃喃自语向大树告诉。含着泪,走向她的归途。

年复一年,小径上的女人孤独的背影,显得越来越苍老了(9)。

若干年后,这棵树长得更高大了,树冠缀满葱茏的树叶。它屹立在这片土地上,风吹来,满树充满生命的绿色更繁茂了。它对着苍穹,仰望太阳、月亮和星星的运行,与大自然亲密无间连成一片。

又过了些时候,靠近大树旁出现了一棵新移植的小树。小树很壮硕,也很安静。随着岁月递增,年长日久,大树和小树埋在泥土下的根茎错节,相互交织(10)。两棵树下各埋着一个精致的小木盒,木盒里的骨灰,逐渐化为树根下的有机肥,融入树身内(11)。两个老者相继以这样的方式回归自然,在大自然的怀抱中,生命得以延续。树上每一片小绿叶都孕含着绿色的希望。

这是真的,是一首歌颂树葬的诗篇。不用问他们是谁,是谁,就是谁。

Life

He Wei

There are various ways of returning to nature,but people generally respect the last wish made by their parents towards their journey’s end.A friend of mine incidentally related to me the following occurrence which,like a little story,is very touching:

In a newly opened-up forest,a quietly dressed woman walked all by herself on a winding path straight towards one of the trees.There were many trees of varying sizes,and some had just been transplanted,but all were shooting up fast,standing straight and stout and covered with light green young leaves.Evidently,some people had been put in charge of these memorial trees.

As she had been doing for we don’t know how many years,the woman stood silently beside the tree with a bunch of fresh flowers in her hand.She raised her head to fix her eyes on the tree and kept moving her unique small lips as if she were soliloquizing or sharing her innermost feelings with someone.She took a step back to assess how much the tree had grown in height and softly removed the mottled fallen leaves under it.She bent forward to hug and kiss the tree that had been transplanted many years before,and gently stroked its wrinkled bark as if it were something alive.Then she reluctantly turned round and left,vanishing into the last rays of an autumn day in the deepening dusk.

At a sudden gust of the autumn wind,the tree rustled like it was whispering secretly and the woman,being the only person capable of understanding the full implications of the whisper,immediately turned round.Then,after mumbling a few words to the tree,she said goodbye to it and set out on her way home with tears in her eyes.

As the years went by,the woman,a regular solitary visitor on the path,became older and older.

Several years later,the tree became even taller and was crowned with verdant foliage.It stood erect and became more and more luxuriantly green in the wind.It looked up at the firmament to watch the motions of the sun,moon and stars and thus merged itself with Mother Nature.

Another period of time afterwards,there appeared close to it a newly transplanted small tree.It was robust and quiet.With the passage of time,the roots of the two trees had become twined together.They each had a delicate small wooden cinerary casket buried underneath them.The ashes in the caskets had gradually turned into organic fertilizer passing into the trees trunks by way of the roots.The two elderly persons had successively chosen the same way of returning to nature so as to have life prolonged in the bosom of nature.Each tender leaf in the trees was pregnant with green hope.

It’s a true story.It’s a poem singing the praises of tree burial.No need to identify the two elderly people though.It could be any person.

何为(1922— ),散文家,原名何振业,浙江定海人。二十世纪四十年代初先后就读于上海大同大学和圣约翰大学,1937年开始发表文学作品,在上海历任报纸记者、刊物编辑和电影文学编辑。1959年调至福建电影制片厂任故事片编辑负责人,1964年转任福建省作家协会专业作家。现为中国作家协会全国委员会名誉会员。何为的散文以其独特的情节著称。《生命》一文是新作,选自他2003年出版的散文集《近景与远景》。文章短隽有味,意境清新,富有诗情与哲理。

注释

(1)“前辈的人生最后一次选择”按“父母亲的临终愿望”之意译为the last wish made by their parents towards their journey’s end,其中one’s journey’s end是成语,意为“临终”、“生命的尽头”。此句也可译为the last wish made by their parents towards the end of their life journey。

(2)“一位朋友偶然讲起一件事”译为A friend of mine incidentally related to me the following occurrence,其中related意为“讲述”,等于recounted、spoke of、talked about等。此句也可译成A friend of mine by chance spoke of the following。

(3)“衣着素色的女人”译为a quietly dressed woman,其中quiet一词的意思是指颜色“素净”、“不显眼”等。此短语也可译为a woman in quiet clothing、a woman wearing a dress in quiet colours等。

(4)“当然,有人专门护理这些纪念树”译成Evidently,some people had been put in charge of these memorial trees,其中未把“当然”译为Of course,因Evidently的内涵更切合上下文。此句也可译为Evidently,some persons had been specially assigned to take good care of the memorial trees。

(5)“不知多少年”译为As she had been doing for we don’t know how many years,其中we don’t know how是插入语,用以表达原文的“不知”。此从句也可译为As had always been the case for many years或As she had been doing for many years。

(6)“翕动”的意思是“一张一合”,故译kept moving,未译moved。

(7)“一阵秋风吹过”根据上下文应指“起了一阵秋风”,故译At a sudden gust of the autumn wind,其中At的含义是“作为对……的反应”或“由于”。

(8)“树叶沙沙地响动,仿佛隐秘的私语”译成the tree rustled like it was whispering secretly,等于the tree rustled as if it were whispering secretly。译文中的like意同as if,这用法常见于通俗语中。

(9)“小径上的女人孤独的背影,显得越来越苍老了”不宜直译,现按“常见于小径上的那个孤独女人,显得越来越苍老了”译成the woman,a regular solitary visitor on the path,became older and older。

(10)“根茎错节,相互交织”可按“树根相互盘绕”之意译为the roots of the two trees had become twined together。

(11)“木盒里的骨灰,逐渐化为树根下的有机肥,融入树身内”可按“木盒里的骨灰,逐渐化为有机肥,通过树根,进入树身”译成The ashes in the caskets had gradually turned into organic fertilizer passing into the trees trunks by way of the roots,其中by way of意同through。

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