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译者:unknown     发布时间:2016-03-29     超过 0 位网友阅读



When I was a graduate student in Oxford many years ago I shared a house with a brilliant German sinologist who used to push translations my way, stroking his beard with a teasing smile: “Try this – you’ll really enjoy it.” Many visitors popped into our terraced house on Abingdon Road, and one night around the kitchen table I met a fascinating character, rangy with white hair and beard, and a twinkly eye. His name was David Hawkes.

多年前,当我还是一个牛津大学的研究生时,曾经和一位时常怂恿我朝翻译之路发展的杰出德国汉学家合租房子,他总是捋着胡子笑着劝诱说:"试试这个,你肯定会喜欢的"。我们在阿宾登路(Abingdon Road)上的住处总有许多不速之客前来造访,在某天夜里的厨房聚会上,我结识了一位有趣的人物,他有一副瘦高身材,蓄着白发白须,还有一双闪闪发亮的眼睛。他的名字叫大卫.霍克斯。


A gifted linguist, he had directed Japanese codebreakers in his early 20s, during the second world war. As a student at Peking University, he had been in Tiananmen Square in 1949 when Mao proclaimed the People’s Republic of China. Later, as a teacher, he had done a wonderful translation of the Songs of the South, part of a poetic tradition earlier than anything that has survived in the west. Then he became professor of Chinese in Oxford, but, as he put it, “I resigned in order to devote my time to translating a Chinese novel … well, the Chinese novel”.

他是一位天才语言学家,在第二次世界大战期间,才20歳出头的他便已受命指导日文电码译员。 1949年,当毛泽东在天安门广场宣布中华人民共和国创立的时候他就在现场,以一个北京大学研究生的身份。之后,作为一名教师,他完成了楚辞·南方之歌—比西方存留的任何作品年代都更早的诗歌典籍之一——的精彩翻译,接着,他出任牛津大学的中文系教授,不过,正如他所说的:「我已经为了可以全心投入一部中文小说的翻译而辞职了...嗯,中文小说。」

The book was Dream of the Red Chamber, also known as The Story of the Stone, written by Cao Xuequin. The critic Anthony West called it “one of the great novels of world literature … to the Chinese as Proust is to the French or Karamazov to the Russians”.

这部小说就是红楼梦,又名石头记,由曹雪芹所著。评论家安东尼‧威斯特(Anthony West)誉之为「世界文学中最伟大的小说之一...对中国人来说,其地位就如同普鲁斯特(Proust)的作品之于法国人,或卡拉马佐夫兄弟(Karamazov)之于俄罗斯人。」

TibetanExistence 6h ago
I don't know anyone who reads Chinese literature except for those who call themselves 'sinophiles', one has to be to find fifty-page allusions to the minutiae of some obscure military event of Chinese history interesting to read.
Japanese literature leaves one with a much better impression, however. Both classical and modern. It is said that the Japanese are the only race who can express eternity in a sentence...




Philip Leung TibetanExistence 38m ago
Your point is undermined by the fact that some of the best known Japanese writers like Akutagawa Ryūnosuke and Natsume Sōseki were well versed in Chinese literature and many wrote Chinese style poems.

(楼上)你的观点是站不住脚的,事实上有名的日本作家如芥川龙之介 和 夏目漱石都很精通中国文学并写了很多中国古体诗

KThorpe 16h ago
Easy answer to Why is China’s greatest novel virtually unknown in the west? because it is incoherent and tedious. I regret the hours that I spent reading 'Dream of the Red Chamber' and would advise everyone not to bother. There are many far better books out there that you will not waste a chunk of your life reading.


Hunca Munca 20h ago


KThorpe SE26lad 16h ago
The moment it 'takes off' is only when you realise you have finished the last page. I think it has only become a 'classic' because there are so few competitors from that time and context.


SE26lad KThorpe 15h ago
I must disagree. The term classic is pretty meaningless anyway. All that matters is whether or not the reader personally enjoys it. I find Wuthering Heights insufferably boring for example. But I loved Dream of the red chamber, almost precisely because not that much happens. It is just really agreeable and, for me anyway, I really like that.


SE26lad KThorpe 15h ago
Though obviously some will love it, others not.


canbeanybody 2d ago
"Why is China’s greatest novel virtually unknown in the west?"
One reason is perhaps the western mainstream media is so obsessed with regime change and the novel has no place in their pursuit.
Another reason perhaps is that it had never occurred to the western mainstream media in their wildest dreams that Chinese might have some good novels at all.
How many western journalists are genuine journalists, and how many of them do have threshold understanding of Chinese to the degree that they have time, desire and capacity to read through those thousands pages of Chinese novels?



Joshua Lovett canbeanybody 20h ago
Didn't know the western mainstream media regularly talked literature, but ok.


KThorpe Joshua Lovett 16h ago
You clearly do not read this section of 'The Guardian' very often it is almost incessant here.


CommieWealth jacoboo 2d ago
There is a good reason for supporting booksellers of Chinese literature right now, especially of one of the Four Classics which were compulsory reading for Chinese mandarins in the 18th and 19th century. Hint.


quarrytone jacoboo 2d ago
"The China-is-so-different argument is flawed."
Agreed, Chinese classics are very accessible. In fact the world's most subtle book the Dao de Jing is the second most translated world book after the Bible.


Admore jacoboo 2d ago
Perhaps it's a translation issue, but "hundreds" seems optimistic to me having trudged through various "THE novel of _____" .
I truly wonder if #37 down the list from that one is going to be better. I do hold out hope that #37 is actually the lovely, clever, powerful, whatever, book I'm looking for, and "The novel of _____" is the sort of thing everyone says is great, and admires, but no one really likes, or re-reads, ever.



uweott 2d ago
Because its hard to relay to characters so fundamentally foreign like chinese.That is one of the reason too why people dont like to watch movies with minorities in it.


quarrytone uweott 2d ago
Yet Samuel L Jackson (from a minority) is the 2nd biggest box office draw after Harrison Ford.
You really should get out this local straight jacket. Russian literature taught me more about myself than any narrowly British or American literature. Shakespeare is the world's bard, everywhere from Japan to African tribes totally gets it (his drama) and thinks it speaks of their own heritage.


Beth Huesing uweott 2d ago
Wow, talk about a small, small world you live in enhanced by your white privilege.


Jen Wimbers uweott 1d ago
pretty sure you mean 'relate'. and no. just no. dearie me.


Rex Bowan 2d ago
This article has piqued my interest. War and Peace was a lousy adaptation of the war and the Pierre bits of War and Peace which are the distinctive parts.


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