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经济学人:诺贝尔桂冠诗人维斯瓦娃

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Wislawa Szymborska

维斯瓦娃·希姆博尔斯卡

Wislawa Szymborska, poet, died on February 1st, aged 88

维斯瓦娃·希姆博尔斯卡,诗人,2月1日去世,享年88岁

WHEN Wislawa Szymborska won the world's top literary prize in 1996, her friends called it the “Nobel disaster”. This was not just because she had spent an uncomfortable night before the award ceremony in the bath: the bathroom was the only part of her quarters in a grand Stockholm hotel in which she could manage to turn on the light. Nor was it the “torture” she felt in having to make a speech—one of only three she had given in her life. The real disaster was the trauma of fame and fortune. It was years before she could publish another poem. Her fans' delight in her Nobel prize was mixed with disappointment that it had rendered her mute.

1996年维斯瓦娃·希姆博尔斯卡荣获世界最顶级的诺贝尔文学奖时,她的朋友们管这事儿叫做“诺贝尔灾难”。在诺奖颁奖典礼前夜,她下榻在斯德哥尔摩大酒店,然而在这里她能打开的灯只有浴室的,结果她只好在浴室里度过了一个难捱的夜晚。灾难的原因还不止于此,发表演讲对她来说也是一种“折磨”,要知连带这一次,她的一生中也只做过三次演讲。然而真正的灾难却是名利的负累。获奖数年之后,她才发表了另一首诗篇。她的粉丝既为她的获奖而欣喜,又因她的获奖而有些失望,因为这使她变得沉默。

Like many Poles who survived the war, Ms Szymborska readily accepted communism in early life, seeing it as a salvation for a ruined world. Early poems praised Lenin and young communists building a steel works. Later she blamed her own “foolishness, naivety and perhaps intellectual laziness”, but some found it hard to forgive her for signing a petition in 1953 backing a show trial of four priests.

与许多在二战中活下来的波兰人一样,年轻的希姆博尔斯卡欣然接受了共产主义,相信共产主义将把世界从废墟中拯救出来。她早年的诗篇歌颂了列宁和年轻的共产主义者们,描绘了他们建造钢铁厂的情景。虽说后来她责备了自己当时的“愚蠢、幼稚、也许还有一些思维上的惰性”,但有些人还是不能原谅她在1953年时的所作所为,当时她在一份支持公开审判四名牧师的请愿书上签了名。

Her ironic and individualistic spirit was ill fitted to the grey conformity of “people's Poland”: the Nobel citation said she wrote with the ease of Mozart and the fury of Beethoven. Playful, subtle and haunting, her poetry could never be in harmony with the socialist realist style dictated by the country's cultural commissars. She mocked their intolerance of dissent in a poem on pornography:

她喜欢讽刺、崇尚个人主义的精神与“人民波兰”的死气沉沉和整齐划一格格不入:诺贝尔评委会说,她的诗有着莫扎特的恬然与贝多芬的愤怒。富有趣味、难以捉摸又耐人寻味,她的诗永远也无法与国家文化部政委指示要求的那种社会主义式的现实风格和平相处。她在一首关于色情文学的诗中嘲讽了波兰当局的党同伐异。

There's nothing more debauched than thinking.

没有什么比思想更加放荡

This sort of wantonness runs wild like a wind-borne weed on a plot laid out for daisies.

这样的放纵犹如乘风的种子在即将雏菊盛开的野地之上肆无忌惮地奔狂

Communism she likened to the abominable snowman—horrid and unreal—though she stayed in the party until 1966, hoping “to try to fix it all from the inside”. That, she said later, had been another delusion.

她将共产主义比作喜马拉雅雪人,一样的可怕而不真实。虽然她直到1966年还仍然留在党内,希望“从党内修正”,但她后来说过,这又是一个不切实际的幻想。

Ms Szymborska was 16 when Hitler and Stalin carved up Poland between them. “Old age was the privilege of rocks and trees,” she wrote. Although not a mainstream dissident, her poems distilled the essence of individual stubbornness in the face of what the party bosses said was historical inevitability.

希姆博尔斯卡16岁时,希特勒和斯大林瓜分了波兰。“长寿是石与树的特权。”她写道。面对瓜分,这被共党领袖称作的历史必然,即使她并非主流的异见分子,她的诗还是表现出个体不屈顽抗的本质。

I believe in the refusal to take part.

我相信拒绝不参与的权利

I believe in the ruined career.

我相信那已经被毁的事业

I believe in the wasted years of work.

我相信白费掉的多年苦工

I believe in the secret taken to the grave.

我相信被带入坟墓的秘密

These words soar for me beyond all rules without seeking support from actual examples.

这些告白为我展翅高飞,飞过一切的束缚,不必寻求实例的支持

My faith is strong, blind, and without foundation.

我的信仰坚强、盲目、没有根据

Scepticism was her watchword. She eschewed political causes; her fight was “against the bad poet who is prone to using too many words”. Her favourite phrase was “I don't know”. She told the Nobel audience: “It's small, but it flies on mighty wings. It expands our lives to include the spaces within us as well as those outer expanses in which our tiny Earth hangs suspended.” Without it, she said, Isaac Newton would have gobbled apples rather than pondering the force that makes them drop. Her compatriot Marie Sklodowska-Curie would have “wound up teaching chemistry at some private high school for young ladies from good families.”

怀疑主义是她的口号。她远避政治;她的斗争是针对那些“会用词太多的差劲诗人”。她最喜欢的词组是“我不知道”。她在诺贝尔颁奖礼上对观众这样说,“怀疑是渺小的,但有着坚强的翅膀。它扩大了我们的生活,包括我们生存的空间,和我们渺小的地球悬挂在的外太空。”她说,没有它,艾萨克-牛顿当时也许只是狼吞虎咽地吃了那个苹果,而非思索是什么力量让苹果掉落下来。她的同胞玛丽-居里也许最后只是在某所私立女子贵族高中教化学。

An accretion of answers

答案的累加

It was the same for poets. Each poem was a kind of answer, but as soon as the last full stop hit the page the result seemed inadequate. “So the poets keep on trying, and sooner or later the consecutive results of their self-dissatisfaction are clipped together with a giant paper clip by literary historians and called their ‘oeuvre'.”

对诗人也一样。每首诗都是一种答案,但落笔的最后一个句号也无法给出一个完满的答案。“所以诗人们在不断地尝试,或早或晚,由于自我的不满足而不断给出的答案会被文学历史学家用一个巨大的纸夹夹在一起,人们管这叠纸叫做他们的“毕生心血”。

Her own output was slender in quantity and lean in style. For all her erudition, she did not come across as intimidatingly brainy (unlike some other Polish post-war poets). Schoolchildren learn her poems by heart, like this one about a bereaved pet.

希姆博尔斯卡一生所写的诗并不多,风格也较为单一。尽管她博学多识,她并为给人一种聪明到可怕的感觉(这与一些其他的波兰战后诗人不同)。小学生背诵她的诗篇,例如这首诗,是关于一只死掉的宠物猫。

Die—you can't do that to a cat.

死亡——你不能对一只猫这样做

Since what can a cat do

你看,一只猫能做什么

in an empty apartment?

在一个空荡荡的公寓里

Climb the walls?

爬墙?

Rub up against the furniture?

跑到家具上?

Nothing seems different here

这儿似乎没什么不同

but nothing is the same.

但又没什么是相同的

Nothing's been moved

没什么东西被搬走了

but there's more space.

但地方却变大了

And at night-time no lamps are lit.

而且到了夜晚,再无灯亮

Invented words and syntactic tricks made some of her poems for Polish-speakers only. But her translators, chiefly Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak, did a fine job, particularly in the New Yorker, which has published 16 of the best.

自造词和句法变化的把戏让她的一些诗只能被说波兰语的人欣赏。但她诗的译者,主要是Clare Cavanagh和Stanislaw Baranczak,却做得很好,特别是在《纽约客》上,这本杂志已经刊登了她最优秀的诗歌中的16篇。

Her humour was mischievous: the lavatory seat in her Cracow flat was made of barbed wire encased in clear plastic. Asked why she had published so little—her entire canon was only some 400 poems—she replied gently that she had a waste-paper basket. Success left no dent in her reclusive modesty, and she would never claim that her external life was interesting. Imagine trying to make a film of a poet's “hopelessly unphotogenic” life, she said: “Someone sits at a table or lies on a sofa while staring motionless at a wall or ceiling. Once in a while this person writes down seven lines, only to cross out one of them 15 minutes later, and then another hour passes, during which nothing happens Who…could stand to watch this kind of thing?”

她的幽默带着恶作剧的性质:在她克拉科夫的公寓里,她抽水马桶的座板是由透明塑料包住的棘铁丝做成的。她发表的所有诗只有差不多400篇,当被问及为何如此之少时,她温和地回答道,这是因为她有一个废纸篓。成功并未对她隐士般的谦逊造成任何影响,而她也永远不会将她的物质生活称为有趣。当设想如果要拍摄一部影片,讲述一位诗人“极端无美感”的生活时,她说,“就是一个人坐在桌子边上,或者躺在沙发上,一动不动地盯着墙或是天花板。偶尔这个人写了七行诗,15分钟后就又划掉了其中的一行,一个小时后又划掉一行,在那之间其他什么事都没发生。谁会愿意去看这样的片子?”

Who, indeed? But plenty read and love the results of her self-imposed solitude.

究竟谁会愿意看呢?不过她把孤独强加给自己后所作的作品,倒是不乏读者和欣赏者。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
mighty ['maiti]

想一想再看

adj. 强有力的,强大的,巨大的
adv.

联想记忆
reclusive [ri'klu:siv]

想一想再看

adj. 隐居的;隐遁的

联想记忆
soar [sɔ:, sɔə]

想一想再看

vi. 翱翔,高飞,猛增,高涨,高耸
n. 翱

 
erudition [.eru'diʃən]

想一想再看

n. 博学

联想记忆
intolerance [in'tɔlərəns]

想一想再看

n. 不容忍,无法忍受

 
subtle ['sʌtl]

想一想再看

adj. 微妙的,敏感的,精细的,狡诈的,不明显的

 
motionless ['məuʃənlis]

想一想再看

adj. 不动的,静止的

 
dissent [di'sent]

想一想再看

n. 异议 v. 持异议

联想记忆
plot [plɔt]

想一想再看

n. 阴谋,情节,图,(小块)土地,
v. 绘

 
privilege ['privilidʒ]

想一想再看

n. 特权,特别恩典,基本人权,荣幸
vt.

联想记忆


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