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《经济学人》:用绘画保命的柬埔寨人

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Vann Nath
凡纳

Vann Nath, a Cambodian who painted to stay alive, died on September 5th, aged 65
凡纳,用绘画保命的柬埔寨人,9月5日去世,享年65岁

Sep 17th 2011 | from the print edition

WHEN he was 52, with a hand that still trembled, Vann Nath produced a painting of a young man lying under a blossoming tree. He was playing a pipe while, in the background, cattle grazed by green palms in some bucolic corner of Cambodia. It was meant to be a self-portrait, he said, a beautiful memory from his childhood. He wanted only to paint idyllic landscapes now, in the style of temple murals or the French Impressionists who had first inspired him to take up art.

52岁的时候,用还在颤抖的手,凡纳(Vann Nath)画了一幅画:一位少年躺在开满花的树下吹着牧笛,牛儿在吃草,背后是柬埔寨某些村落里可见的绿棕榈。他说这原本是幅自画像,是童年的美好回忆。现在的他只想画田园风光,像寺院壁画或法国印象派那样,是他们把自己领上了艺术之路。

That was because, in 1978-79, he had been made to paint quite different pictures. In those months he was interned in S-21 prison, a former French lycée in Phnom Penh which had been converted into a torture-compound for alleged enemies of the Khmer Rouge regime. Perhaps 14,000 people were sent to S-21 for a daily routine of electrocution, water-boarding and flagellation before being carted off for execution—a shovel or spade to the head—at the nearby “killing fields”. Mr Vann Nath was one of only six or seven prisoners to make it out alive.

这是因为,1978-79年间他被迫作的画与此大相径庭,他被囚禁在S-21监狱数月,S-21前身是金边市内一所法国高中,后被红色高棉政权改造成为关押其宣称敌人的刑讯地。据计大概有14,000人被送进S-21监狱,接受日常惯例的电击,水刑和鞭刑,直到在附近的“杀人场”被断头处决——用铁锹或铁锨击打头部。凡纳是仅存的六七名生还者之一。

He never expected to. Like almost all the others, he had no idea why he had been sent there. He was not an intellectual; his family was poor and provincial, and he just a painter in a small business making signs and billboards. In 1975, obedient to the Khmers Rouges, he had joined a peasant commune and worked hard there. When he first saw the wasted prisoners in S-21, he thought it was all over for him. But after withering away for a month, fed so sparely on rice gruel that he felt an urge to consume the flesh of the dead, he was asked to paint portraits of the regime’s leader, Pol Pot.

他从未想到这些。和众多人一样,他不知道自己为什么被送到这里。他不是知识分子,远在乡下,家境贫寒,他只是一家小牌匾公司的画师。1975年,他服从红色高棉下达的命令,加入一个农民公社,在那里卖力劳动。第一次看到S-21里羸弱不堪囚犯的时候,他想一切都结束了。一个月过去他逐渐消瘦萎靡,吃的不过是稀粥,他只想速死。但这时有人要他去画领袖像:红色高棉的领袖波尔布特(Pol Pot)。

At first he thought he could not do it. The shocks and beatings meant that he could barely stand. Besides, he had no idea what Pol Pot looked like, and only a black-and-white photograph to copy. All the time he painted, day and night, the screams of the tortured echoed from other rooms. He hoped, with every brush-stroke, that his jailers would like his work and let him live. He focused by thinking how much he would like to kill the man he drew.

起初他觉得自己做不来。但他受不了电击和殴打。此外,除了一张黑白照片可供描摹,他不知道波尔布特是什么模样。他一直在画,夜以继日,其他的房间里回荡着受刑者的惨叫。每画一笔,他都希望看管他的狱卒会喜欢这幅画,让他活命。他多想杀掉画中人,他靠着这种想法来集中精力。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
cleanse [klenz]

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vt. 使 ... 清洁,净化,使 ... 纯洁

 
cell [sel]

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n. 细胞,电池,小组,小房间,单人牢房,(蜂房的)巢室

 
obedient [ə'bi:djənt]

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adj. 服从的,顺从的

联想记忆
revolution [.revə'lu:ʃən]

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n. 革命,旋转,转数

联想记忆
fell [fel]

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动词fall的过去式
n. 兽皮
v

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invasion [in'veiʒən]

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n. 侵入,侵略

联想记忆
trial ['traiəl]

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adj. 尝试性的; 审讯的
n. 尝试,努力

 
jail [dʒeil]

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n. 监牢,监狱,拘留所
vt. 监禁,下狱

 
therapeutic [.θerə'pju:tik]

想一想再看

adj. 治疗的

联想记忆
accurate ['ækjurit]

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adj. 准确的,精确的

联想记忆


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