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《经济学人》:西藏纪行,朝圣之重

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Travel in Tibet西藏纪行In pursuit of understanding寻悟
How different cultures confront the fact of death 不同文化如何领悟死亡
A pilgrimage not to be taken lightly朝圣之重

To a Mountain in Tibet. By Colin Thubron. Harper; 240 pages; $24.99. Chatto & Windus; ??16.99. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk
《西藏朝圣之山》,作者:科林.休布伦,哈伯出版社,240页,售价:$24.99; 查托&温达斯出版社,售价: ??16.99,购买网址:Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk

THE physical journeys that Colin Thubron makes in his travel writing are also intellectual and emotional quests of particular intensity. His latest book, which tells the story of his journey to one of the great sacred places in the world, Mount Kailas in southern Tibet, is no exception.

科林.休布伦在每一本游记中亲身经历的旅途同时也包含了极其强烈的理性与情感追寻。近期的西藏纪行也不例外,书中讲述了游历世界上最神圣的地方之一——西藏南部的冈底斯(另称凯拉斯山)。

The book begins with him crossing the Tibetan border from Nepal on his way to the mountain. This is a land dense with sacred associations and mythical stories. Stones are carved with ritual incantations, prayer flags blow in the high mountain winds and devoted chanting comes from the numerous monasteries along the way.

纪行由科林从尼泊尔境内穿过西藏边境前往冈底斯拉开帷幕。这片土地上到处都是神圣群体与神秘故事。石头上刻满了宗教咒语,祷告旗在岗顶劲风中飞舞,一路上的寺院中传出虔诚的吟诵。

The mountain itself is an important site of pilgrimage for Hindus, Buddhists and followers of ancient Tibetan faiths. The goal is to seek purification by trudging round the mountain on a route that is physically demanding but brings spiritual reward. Some die from the effort, others give up, all are possessed by the sense that they are living close to a divine presence.

冈底斯本身是印度教、佛教和古代西藏宗教信仰者们朝拜的圣地。朝圣者们沿着山脉长途跋涉,身体饱受折难,而心灵得以慰藉,以此寻求涤罪。途中不乏竭力而亡或退却放弃之人,但所有朝圣之民皆心怀念想,希望更近神明。

In the midst of all this Mr Thubron acts like a kind of secular shaman, allowing himself to be possessed by the many spirits of the place without succumbing to their power. He respects what it is that drives pilgrims to Mount Kailas, and follows them round it, but he does not pretend that he is at one with them.

在朝圣的队伍中,休布伦先生倒像是个世俗的萨满,允许自己心怀此地的神灵却从不屈服于神明的力量。他尊敬那股朝圣冈底斯的神圣力量,并跟随朝圣者的脚步,但他自己却从未假装成为真正的朝圣者。

This is not the familiar story of a traveller from the West finding spiritual consolation in Eastern religions. Mr Thubron’s particular quest is to find out how different individuals and different cultures confront the fact of mortality. This book is autobiographical in a way that his others are not. He is mourning his mother’s recent death and throughout he is haunted by memories of her and of his dead sister and father.

这与普通的西方游者从东方宗教中获得精神慰藉所不同(这可不是以往西方游者从东方宗教中获得精神慰藉的老套故事)。休布伦先生最特别的追求是发掘不同的个人,不同的文化如何领悟死亡。与作者的其他游记所不同,该书为自传体。休布伦先生的母亲近期过世,在朝圣途中怀念其母的同时也无限思念已故的父亲与姐姐。

Their words, looks and gestures come back to him as he climbs a mountain path or talks to a Hindu pilgrim or Buddhist monk. The beliefs about reincarnation and the journeys of dead souls that he sees being enacted all round him do not assuage his own sense of loss. Instead his grief becomes one of the multitude of emotions and stories that have brought people over many centuries to Mount Kailas.

无论是沿着山脉一路前行,还是与印度教徒或佛教僧人交谈,逝去家人的音容笑貌都又浮现在作者眼前。在他的身边满是关于轮回的信念和亡者灵魂的旅程,但这丝毫也未能减轻失去亲人的追思和悲痛。相反,这股悲痛却融入了几百年来吸引人们朝圣冈底斯的所有情感和故事中。

Like his earlier work, the book reminds us that for Mr Thubron travel is a kind of ascetic discipline. He takes the reader to high places, literally and metaphorically, and to an understanding of how people from other cultures somehow get by in an unpredictable world.

与其早期作品相似,休布伦先生最新纪行再一次告诉我们,这是一段苦旅(修行)。无论从文字上还是寓意上,作者都将我们带往一个高处,领悟不同文化中的人们如何在不可预知的世界里生生不息。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
unpredictable ['ʌnpri'diktəbl]

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adj. 不可预知的

联想记忆
route [ru:t]

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n. 路线,(固定)线路,途径
vt. 为 .

 
prayer [prɛə]

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n. 祈祷,祷告,祷文
v. 祷告,祷文

 
divine [di'vain]

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adj. 神的,神圣的
vt. 推断

 
ascetic [ə'setik]

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adj. 禁欲的 n. 苦行者

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consolation [.kɔnsə'leiʃən]

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n. 安慰,慰藉

联想记忆
mortality [mɔ:'tæliti]

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n. 必死的命运,死亡数目,死亡率

联想记忆
confront [kən'frʌnt]

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vt. 面临,对抗,遭遇

 
pilgrim ['pilgrim]

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n. 朝圣者
Pilgrim: 1620年移居

联想记忆
numerous ['nju:mərəs]

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adj. 为数众多的,许多

联想记忆


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