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在今天出版的Economist “经济学家”杂志上刊登了一篇文章介绍了首位获得诺贝尔文学奖的中国土生土长的作家-莫言。文章英文写作手法出奇,用词绝妙。 要我看比诺贝尔文学奖获奖作品还要牛,故特别赶时间将全文翻译出来。由于时间紧迫,定有疏忽或错译之处在所难免,希望读者朋友们谅解且批评指正。

The Nobel prize in literature诺贝尔文学奖 A Chinese Dickens? 一位中国的狄更斯(英国著名作家) A prestigious award for a Chinese writer sparks debate about literary freedom 享有盛名的奖项给了一位中国作家引发了有关文学自由的争论。 Oct 20th 2012 | BEIJING | from the print edition

Mr Mo

CHINA has long fretted that it lacks a great modern literary voice with international appeal. In 1917 Chen Duxiu, an influential intellectual and later founding member of the Communist Party, asked: “Pray, where is our Chinese Hugo, Zola, Goethe, Hauptmann, Dickens or Wilde?” In recent years this has developed into a full-blown “Nobel complex”. For a period in the 1980s the quest for a Nobel prize in literature was made official policy by the party, eager for validation of its growing power and cultural clout. 中国因缺乏一个感染国际的当代伟大文学巨匠愤懑了许久。早 在1917年陈独秀,一位有影响力的知识分子和中国共产党的缔造者就提过这样的问题:“祈祷,我们中国的雨果,左拉(法国著名小说家)、歌德(德国著名诗 人、作家),豪普特曼,狄更斯或王尔德到底在哪里?”最近几年这一趋势发展成了全面的“诺贝尔综合症”。因为在80年代期间追求获得诺贝尔文学奖成了党制 定的官方政策,因为渴望使其正在增长的权利和文化影响力能让世人认可。

Now, at last, the Chinese have something to crow about. On October 11th Mo Yan, a Chinese writer, won the 2012 prize. The Nobel committee lauded what it called the “hallucinatory realism” of his works, which mix surreal plots with folk tales and modern history. 如今终于实现了,中国人有得夸耀的了。10月11日莫言,一位中国作家赢得了2012 文学奖。诺贝尔委员会把他的作品称赞为“引发幻觉的现实主义”,他的作品把超现实情节与乡情故事和现代历史相融合。 注解: 这里的 crow about 是夸耀的意思  牛津英语大辞典解释为:express great pride or triumph, especially in a tone of gloating satisfaction. 例如:

  • Now scientists have discovered that they have something else to crowabout.科学家发现,它们现在又有值得吹嘘的资本了。
  • Leaders in Beijing could crow about the concessions they won from the West.北京的领导人可以吹嘘他们让西方作出了让步。

Mr Mo is the first Chinese citizen to win the coveted prize. Gao Xingjian, a Chinese-born dissident with French citizenship, won it in 2000, but Chinese leaders thought him too political, banned his books and declared the prize had been awarded with “ulterior political motives”. China’s other Nobel laureate, Liu Xiaobo, who won the peace prize in 2010, is serving a long prison sentence for his political writings and activities. 莫先生是第一位中国籍公民赢得这项让人梦寐以求的奖项。高行健一位中国出生 的法国公民在2000年赢得了这项奖,可中国领导人们认为他太过政治化,于是禁了他的著作且宣布该奖授予的有“恶意政治目的。”中国另外一位摘得诺贝尔奖 桂冠的刘晓波在2010年赢得了和平奖,他目前因为其政治言论和行为还在监狱中服刑。

Mo Yan is the pen name of Guan Moye, who was born in 1955 into a peasant household in the eastern province of Shandong (his pseudonym means “don’t speak”). He left school aged 12, and started to write after joining the People’s Liberation Army in 1976. He is regarded, together with Yu Hua and Su Tong, as one of the most influential authors to emerge during the 1980s. Mr Mo’s rural stories feature an absurdist brand of magical realism and opaque images which highlight the greed and corruption that prosper under Communist Party rule. His best known works include “The Republic of Wine”, a satire which uses cannibalism as a metaphor for Chinese self-destruction; and “Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out”, the story of a landowner reincarnated in the form of various animals during the Chinese land-reform movement of the 1950s. 莫言是管 谟业的笔名,他1955年出生在山东省东部的一家农户中(他的笔名意思是“不要说话”)他12岁就离开了学校,在1976年加入中国人民解放军后就开始了 他的写作生涯。 他同余华和苏童被视为80年代涌现出的最有影响力的作家。莫先生的城市小说勾画出了神奇现实主义的荒谬烙印且彰显了在共产党统治下助长起来的贪婪和腐败那 见不得人的形象。他最著名的作品包括“白酒共和国”是一部有讽刺性的小说,采用吸食同类作为隐语揭示中国人的自毁。这次获奖作品“生死疲劳”是一部讲述在 50年代中国土改期间一个地主以各种动物转世的故事。

注解:opaque 是不透明的, 牛津英语大辞典是这样解释的1 not able to be seen through; not transparent. 2 difficult or impossible to understand. 在这里我把它译成了见不得人的,因为不透明,所以就是见不得人的。


Mr Mo writes within a system of state censorship, but unlike exiled dissident writers—who enjoy recognition abroad but little influence at home—he is widely read and respected within China. He is also a Communist Party member and vice-chairman of the state-run China Writers’ Association. When the Nobel award was announced, Chinese television channels interrupted their programming to announce the news. Thousands of China’s microbloggers congratulated Mr Mo. A publisher under the Ministry of Education says it was already planning to include a Mo Yan novella in a school textbook. 莫先生是在国家审查制度允许范围内写 作的,不像那些流放在外持异见的作家们那样只是受到国外的认可而国内几乎没有任何影响力。莫言的作品却在中国有广泛的读者群且受到尊重。他也是中共党员且 是中国作家协会副主席。当诺贝尔文学奖宣布时,中国的电视频道都中断了正常节目的播放来宣布这个消息。成千上万的中国微博都祝贺莫先生。一个教育部下属的 出版商讲他们已经正准备把莫言的短篇小说故事编进教科书里。

He has attracted criticism, though, for what some call his cosy relationship with the Communist Party. Earlier this year he contributed to a commemorative edition of Mao Zedong’s infamous “Yan’an Talks on Literature and Art”, a seminal 1942 speech which preached that art and literature should serve the revolution. When asked in the past to comment on the jailing of Mr Liu, the peace prize laureate, he has demurred. Chen Xiwo, a maverick author whose banned short story, “I Love My Mum”, uses incest and matricide as metaphors for the decay of society, believes the prize sends a dangerous message to other Chinese writers that it is acceptable to co-operate with the party. 莫言也引来了批评,主要是针对他同 共产党的暧昧关系。今年早些时候他撰写的一篇文章纪念毛泽东的那篇臭名昭著的“延安文艺座谈会上的讲话”这是一篇发表在1942年以鼓吹艺术和文学应该为 革命服务的讲话。从前当问及对在狱中的刘晓波获得诺贝尔和平奖的问题发表看法时,他就表示了反对。陈希我,一位持不同意见的作家其短篇小说“我爱我妈”被 禁,这部小说运用乱伦和杀母作为隐喻的手法来揭示社会的腐败,他相信这次获奖给其他中国作家送去了一个危险信号,那就是只有跟党合作才能得到认可。

Mr Mo himself has batted away similar criticism, once saying that “censorship is great for literary creation”. And his ability to navigate the system within China, sometimes compromising, sometimes criticising bluntly or obliquely, makes his experience much more representative of life for most people in modern China today. His latest novel, “Frog”, tells the story of a midwife who has been complicit in forced abortions under China’s one-child policy. She has a hallucinatory vision of thousands of frogs, whose croaks sound like the cries of new-born babies. Hardly the stuff of party propaganda. 莫先生本人击退了似的批评,曾经这样说“审查制度对文学创作是大有好处的”。在中国境内他的这种驾驭这个体系,有时候要妥协,有时候要旗帜鲜明地加以批评的能力造就了他更多地代表当今中国大多数人的生活经历。他最新的小说“蛙”讲述了一个助产师在当中国只生一个孩子的政策下同强制堕胎恶行图谋为舞的故事,这个助产师总会出现成千上万只青蛙呱呱叫的幻觉,这种叫声就像新生儿的啼哭。简直就不是党要宣传的东西。

注解: bat away  是甩掉,击退

如: Likewise, Rick Simonson, chief financial officer of Nokia, says it came under pressure to gear up in 2006-07, but that its bosses had “thick skins” and a good enough record to bat away the criticism. 同样地,诺基亚的首席财务官里克西蒙森说,06-07年度公司面临加大杠杆作用的压力,幸好公司的经理们脸皮够厚并有着足够好的公司管理经历,才得以将那些批评击退。

这 里有两个词并用 bluntly or obliquely :牛津英语大辞典是这样解释 uncompromisingly forthright in manner and not explicitly and direct. 我在这里把它们翻成“旗帜鲜明地”读起来更像中文。

And perhaps the award has given him space to speak more freely: a day after receiving the news, Mr Mo said he hoped that the jailed Mr Liu can “achieve his freedom as soon as possible”. 或许这个奖项给了他更多自由讲话的空间:得到这个消息那天,莫先生说他希望狱中的刘先生能“早日获得自由”。