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The Great Gatsby
Youth -- 1710
 

The Great Gatsby

了不起的盖茨比

 

By F. Scott Fitzgerald

翻译:巫宁坤

 

听力难度:4   Track06

美式发音  适合精读

语速:180/分钟

 

在美国历史上,20世纪20年代是一个非常特殊的时期。从一战结束到大萧条之前,美国处于新旧交替的历史十字路口,经济形势一片大好,整个国家迅速进入工业化现代社会。在这种大环境下,财富成了当时衡量成功的标准,赚钱成了人们唯一的追求。拜金主义、享乐主义与消费主义开始大行其道,奢华铺张的挥霍风气席卷全国。

就在这被后世称为喧嚣年代爵士时代的十年间,美国涌现出一批极其优秀的文学大家——弗朗西斯·斯科特··菲茨杰拉德(Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald18961940)正是其中的佼佼者。

菲茨杰拉德生于圣保罗市一个小商人家庭,虽然祖辈财大气粗,传到菲茨杰拉德父母这一代早已家道衰落,菲茨杰拉德还得靠亲戚资助才能读上大学。直到其处女作《人间天堂》(This Side of Paradise)在1920年一炮而红,这位青年作家终于得以摆脱一穷二白的潦倒生活。随后,以《了不起的盖茨比》为代表的一系列作品奠定了菲茨杰拉德在美国现代文学史上的地位,他成了爵士时代的发言人和迷惘的一代代表作家之一。

作为菲茨杰拉德最重要的作品,《了不起的盖茨比》中处处折射出作家本人的生活经历及其对“美国梦”的思考与批判。小说以尼克作为第一叙述人,讲述了他的邻居盖茨比与他的表妹黛西之间令人扼腕的爱情故事:年轻时的盖茨比是个穷军官,他爱上了一个名叫黛西的姑娘。后来一战爆发,盖茨比被调往欧洲,黛西因此和他分手,与纨绔子弟汤姆结了婚。盖茨比坚信是金钱改变了黛西,立志要成为富翁。几年以后,功成名就的盖茨比在黛西家对面建了一座大宅,挥金如土,夜夜笙歌,一心想挽回失去的爱情,岂料真正的悲剧悄然而至……

本期选段节选出自小说第三章。

 

The lights grow brighter as the earth 1)lurches away from the sun and now the orchestra is playing yellow 2)cocktail music and the opera of voices 3)pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier, minute by minute, spilled with 4)prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form 5)in the same breath—already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the 6)stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, 7)joyous moment the center of a group and then excited with 8)triumph 9)glide on through the seachange of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light.

Suddenly one of these 10)gypsies in trembling 11)opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, 12)dumps it down for courage and moving her hands like 13)Frisco dances out alone on the canvas platform. A 14)momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm 15)obligingly for her and there is a burst of 16)chatter as the 17)erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray’s understudy from the “Follies.” The party has begun.

I believe that on the first night I went to Gatsby’s house I was one of the few guests who had actually been invited. People were not invited—they went there. They got into 18)automobiles which 19)bore them out to Long Island and somehow they ended up at Gatsby’s door. Once there they were introduced by somebody who knew Gatsby and after that they conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks. Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all, came for the party with a 20)simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission.

I had been actually invited. A 21)chauffeur in a uniform of 22)robin’s egg blue crossed my 23)lawn early that Saturday morning with a surprisingly formal note from his employer—the honor would be entirely Gatsby’s, it said, if I would attend his “little party” that night. He had seen me several times and had intended to call on me long before but a 24)peculiar combination of circumstances had prevented it—signed Jay Gatsby in a 25)majestic hand.

Dressed up in white 26)flannels I went over to his lawn a little after seven and wandered around rather 27)ill-at-ease among 28)swirls and 29)eddies of people I didn’t know—though here and there was a face I had noticed on the 30)commuting train. I was 31)immediately struck by the number of young Englishmen 32)dotted about; all well dressed, all looking a little hungry and all talking in low 33)earnest voices to 34)solid and 35)prosperous Americans. I was sure that they were selling something: 36)bonds or insurance or automobiles. They were, at least, 37)agonizingly aware of the easy money 38)in the vicinity and convinced that it was theirs for a few words in the right key.

As soon as I arrived I made an attempt to find my host but the two or three people of whom I asked his 39)whereabouts stared at me in such an amazed way and denied so 40)vehemently any knowledge of his movements that I 41)slunk off in the direction of the cocktail table—the only place in the garden where a single man could 42)linger without looking purposeless and alone.

 

注:吉尔德·格雷是20世纪20年代名噪一时的美国舞星,她所属的齐格菲歌舞团(Ziegfeld Follies)当时在百老汇很受欢迎。

 

见招拆招

菲茨杰拉德本人热爱社交,常年出入各种娱乐场所,其笔下的大都会摩登生活刻画入微、鲜活传神,具有非常突出的时代特色。在本期选段中,作家透过尼克的视角对宴会众人进行群像描写,各种隐喻与意象令人耳目一新,给读者展现了当时的上流社会众生相。其风格幽默细腻,文笔流畅严谨,值得大家仔细品读,多加体会。

 

参考译文

大地蹒跚着离开太阳,电灯显得更亮,此刻乐队正在奏黄色鸡尾酒会音乐,于是大合唱般的人声又提高了一个音调。笑声每时每刻都变得越来越容易,毫无节制地倾泻而出,只要一句笑话就会引起哄然大笑。人群的变化越来越快,忽而随着新来的客人而增大,忽而分散后立即重新组合;已经有一些人在东飘西荡——脸皮厚的年轻姑娘在比较稳定不变的人群中间钻进钻出,一会儿在片刻的高声欢腾中成为一群人瞩目的中心,一会儿在不断变化的灯光下穿过变幻不定的面孔、声音和色彩,得意地扬长而去。

忽然间,在这些到处流连的姑娘中,有一个满身珠光宝气的跳出来,她一把抓过一杯鸡尾酒,一口干下去壮壮胆子,然后手舞足蹈地跳起旧金山舞,一个人在篷布舞池中间表演了起来。片刻的寂静过后,乐队指挥殷勤地为她改变了拍子,随后突然响起一阵叽叽喳喳的说话声,因为有谣言传开,说她是吉尔德·格雷在齐格菲歌舞团的替角。晚会正式开始了。

我相信那天晚上我第一次到盖茨比家去时,我是少数几个真正接到请帖的客人之一。人们并不是应邀而来的——他们不请自来。他们坐上汽车,车子把他们送到长岛,后来也不知怎的,他们就这样出现在盖茨比的门口。到达之后,总会有什么认识盖茨比的人给他们介绍一下,从此他们的言谈行事就像在主题公园一样入乡随俗了。有时候他们从到场到离开根本没见过盖茨比,他们怀着一片至诚前来赴会,这一点就可以算是一张入场券了。

我确实是受到邀请的。那个星期六一清早,一个身穿蓝绿色制服的司机穿过我的草地,为他主人送来一封措辞非常客气的请柬,上面写道:如蒙我光临当晚他的“小小聚会”,盖茨比当感到不胜荣幸。他已经看到我几次,并且早就打算前来拜访,但由于种种特殊原因未能如愿——落款是杰伊·盖茨比,笔迹特别神气。

晚上七点一过,我身穿一套白法兰绒便装走到他的草坪上,很不自在地在一群群我不认识的人中间晃来晃去——虽然偶尔也有一两张我在区间火车上见过的面孔。我马上注意到客人中夹杂着不少年轻的英国人,个个衣着整齐,个个一脸贪婪,个个都在低声下气地跟殷实富裕的美国人热情聊天。我敢说他们都在推销什么——或是债券,或是保险,或是汽车。他们最起码都揪心地意识到,唾手可得的大笔金钱近在眼前;他们相信只要说上几句花言巧语,这钱便是自己的囊中之物。

我到场之后就设法去找主人,可是问了两三个人他在哪里,他们都大为惊异地瞪着我,同时一口咬定他们也不知道他的行踪,我只好悄悄地向供应鸡尾酒的桌子溜过去——在整个花园里,只有这个地方能让一个单身汉流连一下,而不至于显得无所事事、行单只影。

 

(节选自上海译文出版社版本,有改动)

 

 

 

 

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