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写散文要说人话
时间:2020/3/10 阅读:3806
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现代汉语才走过百年的道路,一百年,对人来说是高寿,但对十几亿人使用的一门语言,还年轻着,因为年轻,我们更该爱惜。

——穆 涛

To Write a Prose is To Talk Human Words

穆涛

By Mu Tao

胡宗锋 罗宾·吉尔班克 译


Translated by Hu Zongfeng & Robin Gilbank

散文是说话。说人话,说实话,说中肯的话。

Prose is a form of speech. One can only speak in human language, using words which are truthful and meant sincerely.

说人话。不要说神话,除非你是老天爷。不要说鬼话,除非你是无常。也不要说官话,就是个官,也要去掉官气,官气在官场流通,在文章里要清除。也不要说梦话,文章千古事,要清醒着写文章。说正常人的话,说健康人的话。

To speak in human language means to not speak in the language of the gods, unless you are a heavenly being. Do not utter the language of ghosts unless you are the grim reaper. What is more, do not adopt the tone of an official. Even if you are in fact an official, you should not put on airs. The air of an official can be vented in the realms of officialdom, but when it comes to prose writing, such haughtiness ought to be weeded out. Avoid the language of dreams as well. Writing is a matter which concerns thousands of years. Write articles when you are sober-minded, express yourself in the manner of a normal and healthy person.

说实话。实有结实、果实、现实等内涵。结实是不虚枉,有实质内容。果实是结果,好文章里有思考,还有思想。农民种庄稼,不仅仅看长势喜人,最终还要看收成。文学写作要关注现实也要切合现实,切合现实不是在鼓与呼那个层面,而是既要写出时代气息,还要深入把握社会特征和规律,以及趋势。什么是社会趋势呢?比如“三十年河东,三十年河西”,这是民谚,是大实话。以上世纪一百年做观照,1919到1949是30年,1949到1979是30年,这期间的两个30年之变均是天翻地覆式的。

Use words which are truthful. Truthful words are solid, fecund and close to reality. Solidity implies the opposite of emptiness and means to carry authentic content. Fecund denotes having a positive outcome. Good articles convey good reasoning and good thought. When a farmer tends his crops, he is concerned with both the daily growth and the ultimate harvest. Literary writing should also focus on reality and, in fact, cling to it. Clinging to reality does not infer clapping one’s palms and declaiming a message loudly. It should not only register the pulse of the age, but also grasp the characteristics, rhythm and trends therein. What then are social trends? For instance, there is a folk proverb, “Thirty years on the east bank of the river, and thirty years on the west.”This sentence is a folk proverb which rings

quite true. Let us take the last century as a point of reference. From 1919 to 1949 thirty years elapsed and from 1949 to 1979 another thirty years elapsed. During these two phases of three decades, the changes were so acute that the heavens and the Earth seemed to have shifted places.

真话也是实话,是落在实处的话。真话是不穿漂亮衣裳的,不乔装打扮,没有扮相。真话可能不中听,甚至刺耳,可能还讨“大人”嫌;真话的难得之处,是在对事物的认知上有突破,有新发现。

True words are also solid words which are effective and practical. True words wear no showy clothes, nor do they dress up or have the appearance of an actor. True words may sound not good. They might even grate on one’s ears. True words could raise the hackles of “big shots.” They are rare because they are innovative and shed a fresh understanding of the world.

实话可以实说,也可以打比方说,举例子说,遇到脾气不好又强势的听者,还可以绕弯子说,但无论怎么说,说话者的心态要平和。跳着脚说,挥舞着拳头说,精神抖擞着说,呼哧带喘着说,义愤填膺怒发冲冠着说,是说话时表情丰富。如果觉着解气过瘾,可以这么既歌之又舞之,但不宜养成这么说话的习惯,太劳碌身体。

Solid words can be stated in a solid manner. They can, moreover, make use of analogy and example. When ill-tempered and haughty listeners are present, solid words may provide a means of beating around the bush. However, no matter how one uses them, the speaker should maintain a calm mind. Speaking in high spirits, with one’s fists waving and ankles springing, or gasping for breath, or hair on end and flushed with anger – these are the battery of rich emotions an orator can deploy. If one simply speaks for the sake of self-satisfaction and to vent personal discontent, speech becomes like a song and dance routine. On balance, it is not healthy to cultivate such a habit. The body is overly-taxed by this.

真话不在高处,真话是寻常的话,是普通话。如果一个时期里,说真话被当成高风亮节,被视为稀罕物,这个时期就是悲哀的,是社会的悲哀。检测社会是否悲哀的方法也简单,翻翻报纸,看看电视,听听广播,瞅瞅杂志,心里就有个大概了。建设文明社会,民风朴素重要,文风实实在在同样重要。社会文明,不一定天天跟过节似的,到处莺吟燕舞,而是惠风和畅,民心踏实安定。

True words are not lofty but ordinary. If in a particular era, telling the truth is regarded as a rare practice or as a sign of noble character, then that period and society must be benighted. By scanning the newspapers, watching television broadcasts, listening to the radio and skimming through magazines, it is very easy to gauge whether a society is benighted and sad or not. In order to build a civilised society, a basic and sincere etiquette must be cultivated in much the same way as these qualities are nurtured in writing. Having a civilised society does not mean that every day is like a festival and that swallows and warblers cavort and twitter all over the place. Rather the people are caressed by a smooth and gentle breeze and can cherish a sense of safety and inner calm.

说中肯的话,是有原则,守边界。生活里,说大话的人是不招待见的。大话不是空话,是一望无涯,没边际,没着落。佛法无边,佛可以说大话,但人不行。文章是写给人看的,话是说给人听的,因此要中肯,要让人接受。中肯的话也是家常话,“老僧只说家常话”,修行中的小和尚才言不离经,手不释卷的。“逢人只说三分话,未可全抛一片心”,这样的话是说给大街上的陌生人的,这不是家常话,是客气话。

Speaking sincere words means to have principles and boundaries. In life, people dislike those who talk big. Big talk is not empty talk, but endless ranting without limits. The power of the Buddha is boundless. He can use big words, whereas human beings cannot. Articles are written for people to read; words are spoken for people to hear. Thus, the content must be sincere and acceptable. Sincere words are household words. “The aged monk only speaks in household words,” while novices always have the sutras in their hands and on their lips. “Never show your whole

heart, only share thirty per cent of what is in your mind.” This refers to words spoken to strangers on the street. They are exchanged out of politeness and are not household words per se.

写散文,要爱惜语言,神枪手是心疼手中武器的。我们的古汉语博大精深,老到沉实。现代汉语才走过百年的道路,一百年,对人来说是高寿,但对十几亿人使用的一门语言,还年轻着,因为年轻,我们更该爱惜。

In writing a piece of prose, one must cherish the vocabulary. A marksman cherishes the weapon in his hands. The ancient Chinese language was broad and profound, elegant and substantial. Modern Chinese only stretches back one hundred years. For a man, living a century represents great longevity. For a language shared by billions of people, it is still juvenile. On account of this juvenility, it requires more solicitude.

回首现代汉语的百年道路,有两个基本点值得检讨。一是自卑心理,白话文被倡导的时候,是中国大历史里严重落后与昏聩的阶段,向国外学习得多,向古汉语学习得少,至今这种心理阴影仍在,一些没有消化妥当的翻译词、译文句仍然显著。今天强调建立文化自信,有太多的基本东西需要被认识到。再是文风上受不太好的政治影响,什么是不太好的政治影响呢?我抄几句1970年的“元旦社论”,一望便知。“二十世纪六十年代过去了,全世界无产阶级和革命人民,以豪迈的战斗步伐,跨进了伟大的七十年代。放眼全球,展望未来,我国各民族人民心潮澎湃……过去的十年,是敌人一天天烂下去,我们一天天好起来的十年……在这十年中,无产阶级和广大人民群众的革命运动,在新的条件下,以排山倒海之势,雷霆万钧之力,磅礴于全世界。民族解放运动一浪高过一浪地向前推进。”这样的语言风格过于浮华,外包装太多,不实在,而且情绪化,反理性。狂轰滥炸式的,太不爱惜语言。现代的文学是用现代汉语做基础材料的,做大建筑,基础材料仅仅过关不行,还要过硬。

Tracing back the developmental journey of Modern Chinese, we need to be critical on two basic points. One concerns an inferiority complex. When the use ofvernacular Chinese was advocated, the country was in what ought to be considered a state of acute backwardness and confusion when set against the great sweep of its history. We tried to learn more from abroad, but in fact absorbed less from our own ancient heritage. Even nowadays, this casts a shadow over our psychology. Some improper and half-digested loanwords remain popular. These days, when we emphasize the building of cultural confidence, there are too many basic elements which need to be reexamined. The other thing is that literary style bears the influence of “ne’er do well” politics. What is “ne’er do well” politics? Let me cite several sentences from China’s 1970 “New Year’s Pledge.” One glance is enough. “The 1960s have been and gone. All the proletariat and revolutionary masses of the world have strode proudly and belligerently into the great 1970s. Surveying the entire world with an eye to the future, peoples of every ethnic group in our nation are propelled by waves of emotion …. In the past decade, our enemies have grown more rotten by the day. We have grown better by the day …. During these ten years, under the new conditions the proletariat and the mass revolutionary movement have spread throughout the globe with the power of almighty thunder and the zeal to topple mountains and overturn the seas. The waves of the national liberation movement are surging on higher and higher.” This style of language is superficial with too much surface ornament and too little core. It is emotional, even irrational. In this bombardment of language, the vocabulary is not cherished in the least. The modern Chinese language is the basic material for modern Chinese literature. In constructing a grand building, the basic materials should not be merely adequate, but of premium quality.

今天的散文写作,文学标准也是不太清晰的。在散文这个概念之外,还有杂文、随笔、小品文等名目。小说以长篇、中篇、短篇区分,诗歌以抒情、叙事、哲理等区分,但散文内涵和外延的界定比较模糊,有待研究界做出理论的梳理与认知。还有一个事实,在文学研究界,如果把西方文论的东西拿掉,所剩的东西不太多。当代文学研究,有点类似当下的汽车制造业,整条生产线都是进口的,没有实现“中国制造”。也就是说,我们目前还没有建立起中国人思维基础上的当代文学评价体系。不仅文学研究界,在不少领域,我们都欠缺自己的标准。中国的经济总量在世界上排名第二,这是改革开放以来取得的巨大成就,但这个排名标准是西方的。经济、教育、医疗、环保,以及工业和农业的一些具体指标,所使用的标准,“国产化”程度不太高。建设强大国家,应该强大在根子上,我们已经到了建立中国人标准的时候了,包括中国人的文学标准。

The literary criteria for prose writing in the present day are not so clear. Beyond the overall concept of prose, there is the essay, the literary note and the sketch. As for fiction, there is the novel, the novella and the short story. For poetry, there are lyric, philosophical and narrative divisions. As far as the connotations of prose are concerned, its definitions are confusing. We are waiting for a theoretical combing and cognition to be initiated in this research field. Another fact must be taken into account. Namely, if we sweep away all Western theories from the study of literature, very little is left behind. The status quo of contemporary literary studies is somewhat like the automobile industry. The complete assembly line was imported. We did not achieve the target of being “made in China.” That is to say, we have yet to establish a contemporary system for literary evaluation based upon Chinese modes of thinking. Not only in the field of literary studies, but in numerous others do we lack our own self-defined benchmarks. China’s aggregate economy ranks the second in the world. This sprawling achievement has been made since we opened up to the outside world. Still, the criteria for this ranking were determined according to Western standards. For every index and criterion relating to economics, education, medicine, environmental protection, industry and agriculture, we lack a homespun standard. In building a great nation, we should insist on greatness from the very root. It is high time for us to establish Chinese criteria. This is true of Chinese literature also.

本文译者胡宗锋教授和罗宾·吉尔班克 博士

编辑:慕容燕子

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