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新版大学英语综合教程第四册 UNIT8-1

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8 Now, as I combed my hair in the little tent, another of the men, a free-lance writer from Manhattan, was talking quietly. He was telling us the tale of his life, describing his work in Hollywood, his apartment in Manhattan, his house in Paris.... "It makes me wonder," he said, "what I'm doing in a tent under a tree in the village of Pompeya, on the Napo River, in the jungle of Ecuador." After a pause he added, "It makes me wonder why I'm going back."
此刻,我在低矮的帐篷里梳理着头发,另一个北美人,一位来自曼哈顿的自由作家,正在轻声说话。他在向我们讲述他人生的故事,讲述他在好莱坞的工作、在曼哈顿的公寓、在巴黎的家…… “我不由纳闷,”他说,“在厄瓜多尔的丛林里,在纳波河上,在蓬帕雅小村,在树下的帐篷里,自己在干什么。”他顿了顿,接着说:“我不由寻思,自己为什么要回去。”

9 The point of going somewhere like the Napo River in Ecuador is not to see the most spectacular anything. It is simply to see what is there. We are here on the planet only once, and might as well get a feel for the place. We might as well get a feel for the fringes and hollows in which life is lived, for the Amazon basin, which covers half a continent, and for the life that -- there, like anywhere else -- is always and necessarily lived in detail: on the tributaries, in the riverside villages, sucking this particular white-fleshed guava in this particular pattern of shade.
去厄瓜多尔纳波河这种地方不是为了观赏什么世界奇观,而只是去看一看那里有些什么。人生在世,惟有一次,我们不妨去感受一下那个地方。我们不妨去感受一下有生命生活其间的远方水乡山谷,去感受覆盖了半个大陆的亚马逊河流域,去感受那样一种生活――在那里,一如在别的地方――那种必定总是琐碎的生活:在各条支流上,在临水的村落里,在有着独特形状的阴凉处吮吸着有白色浆果的独特的番石榴。


10 What is there is interesting. The Napo River itself is wide and brown, opaque, and smeared with floating foam and logs and branches from the jungle. Parrots in flocks dart in and out of the light. Under the water in the river, unseen, are anacondas -- which are reputed to take a few village toddlers every year -- and water boas, crocodiles, and sweet-meated fish.
那里的一切都趣味盎然。纳波河河面宽阔,河水混浊,呈褐黄色,浮沫以及丛林里来的木段和树枝翻浮其上。成群的鹦鹉忽而飞进树荫里,忽而飞入阳光里。水下潜伏着南美蟒蛇――据说每年都要吞吃几名村童――还有水蟒、鳄鱼,以及肉质鲜美的鱼类。


11 Low water bares gray strips of sandbar on which the natives build tiny palm-thatch shelters for overnight fishing trips. You see these extraordinarily clean people (who bathe twice a day in the river, and whose straight black hair is always freshly washed) paddling down the river in dugout canoes, hugging the banks.
水浅的地方露出灰茫茫的狭长沙洲,土著人在沙洲上为过夜的渔夫搭建了小小的棕榈茅舍。你能见到这些清洁得出奇的人(他们在河里一天沐浴两次,满头直挺的黑发更是刚刚洗过)在独木舟里紧贴着河岸荡桨。


12 Some of the Indians of this region, earlier in the century, used to sleep naked in hammocks. The nights are cold. Gordon MacCreach, an American explorer in these Amazon tributaries, reported that he was startled to hear the Indians get up at three in the morning. He was even more startled, night after night, to hear them walk down to the river slowly, half asleep, and bathe in the water. Only later did he learn what they were doing: they were getting warm. The cold woke them; they warmed their skins in the river, which was always ninety degrees; then they returned to their hammocks and slept through the rest of the night.
在本世纪早期,这一地区的一些印第安人常常赤身睡在吊床里。夜晚颇凉。勘测亚马逊河支流的美国探险家戈登·麦克里奇曾记述说,他凌晨3点就听见印第安人起身,深感愕然。更令他惊奇的是,夜复一夜,他都听见他们半睡半醒地缓步走向河边,趟到河里洗起澡来。后来他才弄明白他们是在干什么:他们在取暖。凉意把他们冻醒,他们便到河里暖暖身子,因为河水保持90(华氏)度不变;随后他们再回到吊床上,睡到天亮。


13 When you are inside the jungle, away from the river, the trees vault out of sight. Butterflies, bright blue, striped, or clear-winged, thread the jungle paths at eye level. And at your feet is a swath of ants bearing triangular bits of green leaf. The ants with their leaves look like a wide fleet of sailing dinghies -- but they don't quit. In either direction they wobble over the jungle floor as far as the eye can see.
当你离开大河,深入丛林,满眼树木高耸入云。一眼望去,成群的蝴蝶穿过丛林小径,有宝蓝的,有条纹的,有纯色翅膀的。在脚下,则有一长列蚂蚁背负着三角形的绿叶碎片。负叶爬行的蚂蚁就像一支规模庞大、扬帆行驶的船队――只是它们不会停歇。无论什么方向,都能看到它们在丛林的地面上摇摇摆摆地爬行。


14 Long lakes shine in the jungle. We traveled one of these in dugout canoes, canoes paddled with machete-hewn oars, or poled in the shallows with bamboo. Our part-Indian guide had cleared the path to the lake the day before; when we walked the path we saw where he had impaled the lopped head of a boa, open-mouthed, on a pointed stick by the canoes, for decoration.
丛林中狭长的湖泊上波光闪闪。我们荡舟其上,划着用大砍刀砍削而成的木桨,在浅水处则以竹当篙。有着一半印第安血统的向导前一天已经辟出了通往湖泊的小路;我们在小路上行走时,看见他砍下作为装饰的蟒蛇头,张开大口,钉在独木舟边尖头枝条上。


15 This lake was wonderful. Herons plodded the shores, kingfishers and cuckoos clattered from sunlight to shade, great turkeylike birds fussed in dead branches, and hawks hung overhead. There was all the time in the world. A turtle slid into the water. The boy in the bow of my canoe slapped stones at birds with a simple sling, a rubber thong and leather pad. He aimed brilliantly at moving targets, always, and always missed; the birds were out of range. He stuffed his sling back in his shirt. I looked around.
湖泊奇妙无比。苍鹭在岸边缓缓地迈着步子,翠鸟和杜鹃欢叫着从阳光里飞入树荫,火鸡模样的大鸟在枯枝间忙碌,鹰在头上盘旋。我们毋庸为时间担忧,可以从容地欣赏周围的一切。一只乌龟滑入水中。我乘坐的独木舟船头坐着个男孩,他用简陋的弹弓――橡皮弹架和皮索――发射石弹击打飞鸟。他摆出漂亮的架势瞄准飞鸟,却一次又一次地偏离目标;鸟总是飞出他的射程。他把弹弓塞回进衬衣内。我移开目光。


16 The lake and river waters are as opaque as rainforest leaves; they are veils, blinds, painted screens. You see things only by their effects. I saw the shoreline water heave above a thrashing paichi, an enormous black fish of these waters; one had been caught the previous week weighing 430 pounds. Piranha fish live in the lakes, and electric eels. I dangled my fingers in the water, figuring it would be worth it.
湖水与河水都如热带雨林中的树叶那样乳浊;那水是面纱,是窗帘,是画屏。你只能从表象看事物。我看到近岸的河水在起伏,上面翻腾着一条巨滑舌鱼,那是这一带水域出产的一种奇大的黑鱼;上一个星期捕获一条,重达430磅。湖里有水虎鱼,还有电鳗。我用手指在水里划着,心想即使被鱼咬一口也值得。


17 We would eat chicken that night in the village, together with rice, onions and heaps of fruit. The sun would ring down, pulling darkness after it like a curtain. Twilight is short, and the unseen birds of twilight wistful, catching the heart. The two nuns in their dazzling white habits -- the beautiful-boned young nun and the warm-faced old -- would glide to the open cane-and-thatch schoolroom in darkness, and start the children singing. The children would sing in piping Spanish, high-pitched and pure; they would sing "Nearer My God to Thee" in Quechua, very fast. As the children became excited by their own singing, they left their log benches and swarmed around the nuns, hopping, smiling at us, everyone smiling, the nuns' faces bursting in their cowls, and the clear-voiced children still singing, and the palm-leafed roofing stirred.
那天夜晚在小村里,我们将吃鸡肉,还有米饭、洋葱和一大堆水果。夕阳会西下,像落幕似地把夜暮降下。黄昏短暂,暮色中,看不见的鸟儿在伤感似地啼鸣,声声动人。两位修女,身穿耀眼的白色道服――年轻的修女身材姣好,年长的那位慈眉善目――会在夜色中悄然来到开着门的用藤条茅草搭建的教室里,让孩子们唱歌。孩子们会用西班牙语放声歌唱,歌声又高又纯;他们会用盖丘亚语唱“上帝离你更近”,唱得非常快。孩子们唱着唱着兴奋起来,纷纷从木凳上站起,簇拥在两位修女身旁,又是跳,又是冲着我们笑。人人都在欢笑,穿戴头巾的修女满脸欢笑,声音清脆的孩子们还在歌唱,棕榈叶铺的屋顶也在颤动。


18 The Napo River: it is not out of the way. It is in the way, catching sunlight the way a cup catches poured water; it is a bowl of sweet air, a basin of greenness, and of grace, and, it would seem, of peace.
纳波河:那不是荒僻的地方。那是个有人烟的地域,像杯子盛载往里倒的水那样,纳波河接住照射下来的阳光;那是个充满清新空气的低洼地区,一片翠绿的盆地,环境优美的盆地,看来还是个平静的盆地。



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