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HomeModern Chinese EssaysThe Kite by Lu Xun~《风筝》(鲁迅) with English Translations

The Kite by Lu Xun~《风筝》(鲁迅) with English Translations

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风筝

鲁迅 

杨宪益、戴乃迭译

北京的冬季,地上还有积雪,灰黑色的秃树枝丫叉于晴朗的天空中,而远处有一二风筝在浮动,在我是一种惊异和悲哀。
故乡的风筝时节,是春二月,倘听到沙沙的风轮生,仰头便能看见一个淡墨色的蟹风筝或嫩蓝色的蜈蚣风筝。还有寂寞的瓦片风筝,没有风轮又放地很低,零丁地显出憔悴可怜模样。但此时地上的杨柳已经发芽,早的山桃也多吐蕾,和孩子们的天上的点缀相照应,打成一片春日的温和。我现在在哪里呢?四面都还是严冬的肃杀,而久经诀别的故乡的久经逝去的春天,却就在这天空中荡漾了。
但我是向来不爱放风筝的,不但不爱,并且嫌恶它,因为我以为这是没有出息孩子所做的玩艺。和我相反的是我的小兄弟,他那时大概十岁内外罢,多病,瘦得不堪,然而最喜欢风筝,自己买不起,我又不许放,他只得张着小嘴,呆看着空中出神,有时至于小半日。远处的蟹风筝突然落下来了,他惊呼;两个瓦片风筝的缠绕解开了,他高兴得跳跃。他的这些,在我看来都是笑柄,可鄙的。
有一天,我忽然想起,似乎多日不很看见他了,但记得曾见他在后园拾枯竹。我恍然大悟似的,便跑向少有人去的一间堆积杂物的小屋去,推开门,果然就在尘封的什物堆中发现了他。他向着大方凳,坐在小凳上;便很惊惶地站了起来,失了色瑟缩着。大方凳旁靠着一个胡蝶风筝的竹骨,还没有糊上纸,凳上是一对做眼睛用的小风轮,正用红纸条装饰着,将要完工了。我在破获秘密的满足中,又很愤怒他的瞒了我的眼睛,这样苦心孤诣地来偷做没出息孩子的玩艺。我即刻伸手折断了胡蝶的一只翅骨,又将风轮掷在地下,踏扁了。论长幼,论力气,他是都敌不过我的,我当然得到完全的胜利,于是傲然走出,留他绝望地站在小屋里。后来他怎样,我不知道,也没有留心。
然而我的惩罚终于轮到了,在我们离别得很久之后,我已经是中年。我不幸偶而看到一本外国的讲论儿童的书,才知道游戏是儿童最正当的行为,玩具是儿童的天使。于是二十年来毫不忆及的幼小时候对于精神的虐杀这一幕,忽地在眼前展开,而我的心也仿佛同时变了铅块,很重很重的堕下去了。
但心又不竟堕下去而至于断绝,他只是很重很重地堕着,堕着。
我也知道补过的方法的:送他风筝,赞成他放,劝他放,我和他一同放。我们嚷着,跑着,笑着。— 然而他其时已经和我一样,早已有了胡子了。
我也知道还有一个补救的方法的:去讨他的宽恕,等他说,“我可是毫不怪你呵。”那么,我的心一定就轻松了,这确是一个可行的方法。有一回,我们会面的时候,是脸上都已添刻了许多“生”的辛苦的条纹,而我的心很沉重。我们渐渐谈起儿时的旧事来,我便叙述到这一节,自说少年时代的胡涂。“我可是毫不怪你呵。”我想,他要说了,我即刻便受了宽恕,我的心从此也宽松了罢。
“有过这样的事么?”他惊异的笑着说,就像旁听着别人的故事一样。他什么也不记得了。
全然忘却,毫无怨恨,又有什么宽恕之可言呢?无怨的恕,说谎罢了。
我还能希求什么呢?我的心只得沉重着。
现在,故乡的春天又在这异地的空中了,既给我久经逝去的儿时的回忆,而一并也带着无可把握的悲哀。我倒不如躲到肃杀的严冬中去罢,— 但是,四面又明明是严冬,正给我非常的寒威和冷气。

The Kite

A Peking winter dismays and depresses me: the thick snow on the ground and the bare trees’ ashen branches thrusting up towards the clear blue sky, while in the distance one or two skies are floating. At home, the time for kites is early spring. When you hear the whirr of a wind-wheel, you raise your head to see a grey crab-kite or a soft blue centipede-kite. Or there may be a solitary tile-kite, without wind-wheel and flown too low, looking pathetically lonely and forlorn. By this time, though, the willows on the ground are putting out shoots, and the early mountain peaches have budded. Set off by the children’s fancy-work in the sky, together they make up the warmth of spring. Where am I now? All round me dread winter reigns, while the long-departed spring of my long-forgotten home is floating in this northern sky.
Yet I never liked flying kites. Far from liking kites, in fact, I detested them as playthings of good-for-nothing children. My young brother was just the reverse. He must then have been about ten, often fell ill and was fearfully thin, but his greatest delight was kites. Unable to buy one and forbidden by me to fly one, he would stand for hours at a time, his small lips parted in longing, gazing raptly at the sky. If a distant crab-like suddenly came down, he would utter a cry of dismay; if the strings of two tile-kites became disentangled, he would jump and skip for joy. This struck me as absurd and contemptible.
One day it occurred to me I had not seen much of him lately, but I had noticed him picking up bamboo sticks in the backyard. The truth dawned on me in a flash. I ran to a small deserted store-room and, sure enough, as I pushed open the door, I discovered him there in the midst of the dusty debris. He had been sitting on a foot-stool in front of a big square stool; but now, standing up in confusion, he changed colour and shrank back. Propped up against the big stool was the bamboo framework of a butterfly-kite, not pasted yet with paper; while on the stool lay two small wind-wheels for the butterfly’s eyes, which he had just been beautifying with red paper. This work was nearly done. I was pleased to have found out his secret; but furious that he could deceive me so long, while he toiled so singly-heartedly to make the toy of a good-for-nothing child. I seized the framework at once and broke one of its wings, then swept the wheels to the ground and trampled on them. In size and strength he was no match for me; so of course I came off completely victorious. Then I stalked out proudly, leaving him standing in despair in that little room. What he did after that I neither knew nor cared.
But retribution came to me at last, long after our parting, when I was already middle-age. I was unlucky enough to read a foreign book on children, from which I learned for the first time that play is a child’s best occupation, and playthings his good angels. At once this childhood tyranny over the spirit, forgotten for more than twenty years, came to my mind; and that instant my heart seemed to turn to lead and sink heavily down and down.
My heart did not break; it simply sank down and down.
I knew how I could make it up to him: give him a kite, approve of his flying it, urge him to fly it, and fly it with him. We could shout, run, laugh! … But by this time he, like me, had long had a moustache.
I knew another way I could make it up to him: go to ask his forgiveness, and wait for him to say:”But I didn’t blame you at all.” Then, surely, my heart would grow lighter. Yes, this way was feasible. There came a day when we met. The hardships of life had left their marks on our faces, and my heart was very heavy. We fell to talking of childhood happenings, and I referred to this episode, admitting that I had been a thoughtless boy. “But I didn’t blame you at all,” I thought he would say. Then I should have felt forgiven, and my heart would henceforth have been lighter.
“Did that really happen?” he smiled incredulously, as if he were hearing a tale about someone else. It had slipThe thing was completely forgotten, with no hard feelings. In that case, what forgiveness could there be? Without hard feelings, forgiveness is a lie.
What hope is there for me now? My heart will always be heavy.
Now the spring of my home is in the air of these strange parts again. It carries me back to my long-departed childhood, and brings with it an indefinable sadness. I had better hide in dread winter. But clearly all about me winter reigns, and is even now offering me its utmost rigour and coldness.

–来源于网络

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