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The Good Earth
Youth -- 1610
 

The Good Earth

大地

By Pearl S. Buck

翻译:王逢振等

听力难度:3   Track???

美式发音  适合精读

语速:170/分钟

 

“为什么我的眼里常含泪水?因为我对这土地爱得深沉。”

诗人艾青的这两句诗,在今天的网络上被很多人当作一笑而过的打趣话——但是假如时光回溯到赛珍珠创作“大地三部曲”那个年代,对生活在旧中国的人们来说,这两句充满感情的诗很可能就是他们劳苦一生的真实写照。

美国女作家珀尔·巴克(1892–1973)有一个洋溢着东方风情的中文名:赛珍珠。这是因为她不足半岁就被身为传教士的双亲带到中国,在中国生活了将近40年——至今我们还能在南京大学见到她居住、工作过的小洋楼。

赛珍珠从小学习中文,熟读中国文学,与各个阶层的中国人一起生活。特殊的成长环境孕育出她对这方水土、人民与文化的热爱,正是这种热爱促使她创作了《大地》。这部小说以农民王龙的一家为主线,着力描写20世纪初的中国农村生活和社会现状,一扫当时西方文坛对中国那种僵化印象和妖魔化描写的歪风,深深地打动了好几代西方人。赛珍珠因此获得1932年的普利策小说奖,在1938年成为美国历史上第一个获得诺贝尔文学奖的女作家。纵观其一生,虽然一直受困于当时中美两国错综复杂的外交关系,几经困惑、矛盾、挣扎与彷徨,但赛珍珠还是用笔杆与真心为东西文化交流搭建了一座值得后人铭记的伟大桥梁。

故事一开头讲到王龙在大喜之日当天醒来,他毅然决定“奢侈”一回,用家里珍贵的储水好好地洗个澡……

 

This was the last morning he would have to 1)light the fire. He had lit it every morning since his mother died six years before. He had lit the fire, boiled water, and poured the water into a bowl and taken it into the room where his father sat upon his bed, coughing and 2)fumbling for his shoes upon the floor. Every morning for these six years the old man had waited for his son to bring in hot water to ease him of his morning coughing. Now father and son could rest. There was a woman coming to the house. Never again would Wang Lung have to rise summer and winter at dawn to light the fire. He could lie in his bed and wait, and he also would have a bowl of water brought to him, and if the earth were fruitful there would be tea leaves in the water. Once in some years it was so.

And if the woman 3)wearied, there would be her children to light the fire, the many children she would bear to Wang Lung. Wang Lung stopped, struck by the thought of children running in and out of their three rooms. Three rooms had always seemed much to them, a house half empty since his mother died. They were always having to resist relatives who were more crowded—his uncle, with his endless 4)brood of children, 5)coaxing.

“Now, how can two lone men need so much room? Cannot father and son sleep together? The warmth of the young one’s body will comfort the old one’s cough.”

But the father always replied, “I am saving my bed for my grandson. He will warm my bones in my age.”

Now the grandsons were coming, grandsons upon grandsons! They would have to put beds along the walls and in the middle room. The house would be full of beds. The 6)blaze in the oven died down while Wang Lung thought of all the beds there would be in the half empty house, and the water began to 7)chill in the 8)cauldron. The 9)shadowy figure of the old man appeared in the doorway, holding his unbuttoned garments about him. He was coughing and spitting and he 10)gasped.

“How is it that there is not water yet to heat my lungs?”

Wang Lung stared and 11)recalled himself and was ashamed.

“This fuel is damp,” he 12)muttered from behind the stove. “The damp wind—”

The old man continued to cough 13)perseveringly and would not 14)cease until the water boiled. Wang Lung dipped some into a bowl, and then, after a moment, he opened a 15)glazed jar that stood upon a 16)ledge of the stove and took from it a dozen or so of the curled dried leaves and sprinkled them upon the surface of the water. The old man’s eyes opened greedily and immediately he began to complain.

“Why are you wasteful? Tea is like eating silver.”

“It is the day,” replied Wang Lung with a short laugh. “Eat and be comforted.”

The old man grasped the bowl in his 17)shriveled, 18)knotty fingers, muttering, uttering little 19)grunts. He watched the leaves uncurl and spread upon the surface of the water, unable to bear drinking the precious stuff.

“It will be cold,” said Wang Lung.

“True—true—” said the old man in alarm, and he began to take great 20)gulps of the hot tea. He passed into an animal satisfaction, like a child fixed upon its feeding. But he was not too forgetful to see Wang Lung dipping the water 21)recklessly from the cauldron into a deep wooden tub. He lifted his head and stared at his son.

“Now there is water enough to bring a crop to fruit,” he said suddenly.

Wang Lung continued to dip the water to the last drop. He did not answer.

“Now then!” cried his father loudly.

“I have not washed my body all at once since the New Year,” said Wang Lung in a low voice. He was ashamed to say to his father that he wished his body to be clean for a woman to see.

 

见招拆招

赛珍珠的语言简单直白,句子通俗易懂,没有太复杂的语法,也不玩意识流之类的文学手法,即便是年轻读者也可以毫不费力地读下去——因此,虽然美国文学界对其通俗性大加诟病,她写出来的小说总是非常畅销。而对于中国读者来说,《大地》是不是有种“读起来完全不像外国人写的故事”的亲切感呢?仔细学习这段节选中的人物塑造手法,注意各种动作、神态和心理活动的描写,体会作者的语言运用之妙。

另外,这本有声书的朗读者是美国演员安东尼·希尔德(Anthony Heald)。他有着丰富的舞台表演经验,将人物对话诠释得特别传神,感兴趣的同学不妨多听几遍,进行跟读模仿哦。

 

参考译文

这是他最后一个必须烧火的早晨。自从六年前他母亲死后,每天早晨他都要烧火。他烧火,煮开水,把水倒进碗里端到他父亲的房间;他父亲坐在床边,一边咳嗽一边在地上摸索着穿他的鞋子。六年来,每天早晨,这位老人都等着他儿子把开水端来减轻他的晨咳。现在父亲和儿子都可以歇下来了。有个女人就要进门了。王龙再也不用无论冬夏都一大早起来烧火了。他可以躺在床上等着,他也会有开水送到面前,而且,如果年成好,开水里还会放些茶叶。每隔几年总会有个好年成的。

而且,如果那女人累了,还会有她的孩子们去烧火,她会为王龙生养很多的孩子。王龙停下来,呆呆地想着孩子们在三间屋里跑进跑出的情景。自从他母亲死后,三间屋子对他们父子来说总显得太多,有一半空荡荡的。他们不得不一直抵制那些家里人多的亲戚——他的叔父有一大群孩子,经常劝他们说:

你瞧,两个单身汉哪能需要这么多屋子?父子俩不能睡在一起?年轻人身上的热气会使咳嗽的老人好受些的。

但他父亲总是回答说:我的床给我的孙子留着。等我年纪大了,他会让我的老骨头暖和起来。

现在就要有孙子了,而且还会有重孙!他们要在堂屋里靠墙放上床。整个房子里都得放床。就在王龙想着半空的房子里放上床的时候,灶里的火灭了,锅里的水也凉了下来。老人模糊的身影出现在门口,没扣上的衣服就这样披在身上。他又是咳嗽,又是吐痰,气喘吁吁地说:

怎么还不把开水拿来给我润润肺呢?

王龙望望他,回过神来,觉得有些不好意思。

柴草湿了,他从灶后说。潮气太大……

老人不断地咳嗽,一直等到水开了才停下来。王龙把一些开水舀到碗里,然后他想了一会儿,打开放在灶台边上一个发亮的小罐子,从里面拿出十来片蜷曲的干叶子,撒在开水上面。老人贪婪地睁大眼睛,但立刻便抱怨起来。

“你为什么这样浪费呢?喝茶叶好比吃银子呀。”

今天是娶亲的日子,王龙笑了笑答道。喝吧,喝了会舒服一些。

老人用干瘪结节的手指抓着碗,咕咕哝哝有些抱怨。他看着蜷曲的茶叶在水面上展开,舍不得喝下这贵重的东西。

水要凉了,王龙说。

对——对——老人慌忙说,然后大口大口地喝起热茶。他变得跟动物一样高兴,就像一个抓住吃食不放的小孩子,但他并没有忘乎所以。他看见王龙正毫不顾惜地把水从锅里舀到一个深深的木澡盆里,便抬起头来盯着他的儿子。

这么多水足可以把谷子浇熟,他突然说。

王龙继续舀水,直到舀完都没有回答。

喂,说你呢!他父亲大声吼道。

  过了年我还没有洗过一次身子,王龙低声说。他不好意思对他父亲说,他想让女人看到他的身子是干净的。

(选自漓江出版社版本,有改动)

 

 

 

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