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HomeModern Chinese EssaysLiu Baiyu's Essay: A White Butterfly -- modern chinese literature 刘白羽《白蝴蝶之恋》

Liu Baiyu’s Essay: A White Butterfly — modern chinese literature 刘白羽《白蝴蝶之恋》

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白蝴蝶之恋[1]

◎ 刘白羽

春意甚浓了,但在北方还是五风十雨,春寒料峭,一阵暖人心意的春风刚刚吹过,又来了一片沁人心脾的冷雨。

我在草地上走着,忽然,在鲜嫩的春草上看到一只雪白的蝴蝶。蝴蝶给雨水打落在地面上。沾湿的翅膀轻微地簌簌颤动着,张不开来。它奄奄一息,即将逝去。但它白得像一片小雪花,轻柔纤细,楚楚动人,多么可怜呀!

它从哪儿来?要飞向哪儿去?我痴痴望着它[2]。忽然像有一滴圣洁的水滴落在灵魂深处,我的心灵给一道白闪闪的柔软而又强烈的光照亮了。

我弯下身,小心翼翼地把白蝴蝶捏起来[3],放在手心里。

这已经冷僵了的小生灵发蔫了,它的细细的脚动弹了一下,就歪倒在我的手中。

我用口呵着气,送给它一丝温暖,蝴蝶渐渐甦醒过来。它是给刚才那强暴的风雨吓懵了吧?不过,它确实太纤细了,你看,那白茸茸的像透明的薄纱的翅膀[4],两根黑色的须向前伸展着,两点黑漆似的眼睛,几只像丝一样细的脚。可是,这纤细的小生灵,它飞翔出来是为了寻觅什么呢?在这阴晴不定的天气里,它表现出寻求者何等非凡的勇气。

它活过来了,我竟感到无限的喜悦。

这时,风过去了,雨也过去了。太阳用明亮的光辉照满宇宙,照满人间,一切都那样晶莹,那样明媚,树叶由嫩绿变成深绿了,草地上开满小米粒那样黄的小花朵。我把蝴蝶放在盛满阳光的一片嫩叶上。我向草地上漫步而去了。但我的灵魂里在呐喊——开始像很遥远、很遥远……,我还以为天空中又来了风、来了雨,后来我才知道就在我的心灵深处:你为什么把一个生灵弃置不顾?……于是我折转身又走回去,又走到那株古老婆娑的大树那儿。谁知那只白蝴蝶缓缓地、缓缓地在树叶上蠕动呢!我不惊动它,只静静地看着。阳光闪发着一种淡红色,在那叶片上颤悸、燃烧,于是带来了火、热、光明、生命,雨珠给它晒干了,风沙给它扫净了,那树叶像一片绿玻璃片一样透明、清亮。

我那美丽的白蝴蝶呀!我那勇敢的白蝴蝶呀!它试了几次,终于一跃而起,展翅飞翔,活泼伶俐地在我周围翩翩飞舞了好一阵,又向清明如洗的空中冉冉飞去,像一片小小的雪花,愈飞愈远,消失不见了。

这时,一江春水在我心头轻轻地荡漾了一下[5]。在白蝴蝶危难时我怜悯它,可是当它真的自由翱翔而去时我又感到如此失落、怅惘,“唉!人啊人……”[6]我默默伫望了一阵,转身向青草地走去。

刘白羽(1916—2005),北京人,现代著名小说家、散文家。他幼时当过学徒,14岁上学,1936年毕业于北平民国大学中文系,1938年到延安。整个解放战争期间任新华社随军记者,抗美援朝期间两次奔赴朝鲜战场,以军旅作家著称。新中国成立后,从事文化领导工作,同时仍致力于创作,作品丰硕,所著《芳草集》获全国优秀散文(集)奖。在名篇《白蝴蝶之恋》中,他通过对一只受伤的白蝴蝶的情感倾注,表达了对生命和大自然的热爱与关注。文章笔触委婉细腻,诗意浓郁。

[1]文章题目“白蝴蝶之恋”可译为My Attachment to a White Butterfly或My Tender Care for a White Butterfly,现译A White Butterfly,取其简明。

[2]“我痴痴望着它”意同“我呆呆地看着它”、“我茫然凝视着它”等,可译为I stared at it blankly(或vacantly)。

[3]“我弯下身,小心翼翼地把白蝴蝶捏起来”译为I bent down to gingerly pick it up with my fingers。“捏起来”不能译为to pick it up with my hand,因“捏”的意思是“用手指夹”。又“小心翼翼”译为gingerly,意同very carefully或very cautiously。

[4]“薄纱的翅膀”可译为gauzy wings,现译为gossamer-like wings,其中gossamer作“薄纱”解,是英国文学经典中常见用语。

[5]“这时,一江春水在我心头轻轻地荡漾了一下”不宜直译,现结合上下文,按“这时,我忽然有些感伤”之意译为Meanwhile, I got a bit sentimental。

[6]“‘唉!人啊人……’”可参照上下文,按“我叹息道,‘唉!人的情感是多么脆弱!……’”译为“Oh, how mentally fragile man is! …”I sighed。

A White Butterfly

◎ Liu Baiyu

Spring was very much in the air. In North China, however, the weather was agreeable but chilly. There was now a heart-warming spring wind, now a refreshing cold rain.

As I was walking on a meadow, I suddenly saw a snow-white butterfly lying on the tender green grass. It had been struck down by rain and was now unable to open out its tremulous wet wings. It was on the point of dying. Soft and slender and white like a snowflake, it looked so lovely and so pitiable.

Where was it from? And where was it flying to? I stared at it blankly, feeling like a drop of holy water had suddenly fallen into the depth of my soul and a ray of dazzling light, white and soft, had lit up my heart.

I bent down to gingerly pick it up with my fingers and placed it in the palm of my hand.

The little creature, stiff with cold, looked shriveled up and, twitching its thin legs slightly, fell on its side in my palm.

As I breathed on it to warm it up a bit, it came to gradually. It might have been scared stiff and out of its senses by the violent storm of a moment ago. It was very slim. Its gossamer-like wings were white, downy and transparent. Its two black feelers were stretched ahead. Its two eyes were pitch-black. Its legs were thin like thread. What had led the feeble little creature to venture out on the wing. What unusual courage it had displayed in battling against the treacherous weather as a seeker!

Its regained consciousness had brought me immeasurable joy.

By now, the wind and rain had both left off. The whole universe was basking in brilliant sunlight. Everything was bright and beautiful. The leaves had turned from light green to dark green. The meadow was studded all over with small yellow flowers as tiny as grains of millet. After placing the butterfly on a sun-bathed leaf, I turned to stroll down the meadow. Then I heard a very, very distant call and took it for the sound of wind and rain, but soon I realized it had come from the depth of my heart — a call demanding to know why I had recklessly cast away the poor little creature. Thereupon, I turned back and came to an ancient big tree swaying gently in the breeze. To my great surprise, the butterfly was wriggling slightly on the leaf. I watched silently, refraining from alarming it. The sun was shining on the leaf with its reddish light, quivering and burning. It had brought fire, heat, light and life. It had dried up the raindrops and swept away dust. And the tree leaf looked like a piece of green glass, transparent and crystal-clear.

O my beautiful white butterfly! O my courageous white butterfly! After trying several times, it finally managed to rise abruptly to its feet and spread its wings to fly. It circled agilely around me for quite a long time and then flew high into the cloudless skies like a tiny snowflake until it was out of sight.

Meanwhile, I got a bit sentimental. I had taken pity on the white butterfly when it was in adversity. But now, as it was soaring freely way up into the sky, I experienced a feeling of loss and sadness.“Oh, how mentally fragile man is! …”I sighed. I stood watching numbly for a long time, and then turned to stroll away on the meadow.

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