2007年11月8日 星期四

They are one channel of vitality

quick n.
  1. Sensitive or raw exposed flesh, as under the fingernails.
  2. The most personal and sensitive aspect of the emotions.
  3. The living: the quick and the dead.
  4. The vital core; the essence: got to the quick of the matter.


propitious Show phonetics
adjective FORMAL
likely to result in or showing signs of success:
With the economy in the worst recession for thirty years, it was scarcely the most propitious time to start up a company.

pro·pi·tious (prə-pĭsh'əs) pronunciation

  1. Presenting favorable circumstances; auspicious. See synonyms at favorable.
  2. Kindly; gracious.

adj. - 順利的, 吉祥的, 適合的

━━ a. 都合のよい ((for, to)); 幸先のよい, (神が)慈悲深い.

The bride had only one sure ally on her wedding day. This ally was not a relative or a best friend, but a bridesmaid her parents had hired to give her protection. The bridesmaid was, by training, a professional talker; she said clever things and was able to churn out propitious jingles. She was a foil for the bride, and her chatter was the shield she created for her young mistress at the time it was most needed. Before the wedding, the bride would have had a cloistered existence in the women's quarters, and so it was natural that she should be reticent. She was not used to being viewed, much less to being the object of everyone's curiosity. And she was nervous in her anticipation of the wedding night and of her life ahead, which she had to face on her own.


At such a happy time, so propitious to the interests of religion
and morality, Mr Arthur Clennam, newly arrived from Marseilles by
way of Dover, and by Dover coach the Blue-eyed Maid, sat in the
window of a coffee-house on Ludgate Hill. Ten thousand responsible
houses surrounded him, frowning as heavily on the streets they
composed, as if they were every one inhabited by the ten young men
of the Calender's story, who blackened their faces and bemoaned
their miseries every night. Fifty thousand lairs surrounded him
where people lived so unwholesomely that fair water put into their
crowded rooms on Saturday night, would be corrupt on Sunday
morning; albeit my lord, their county member, was amazed that they
failed to sleep in company with their butcher's meat. Miles of
close wells and pits of houses, where the inhabitants gasped for
air, stretched far away towards every point of the compass.
Through the heart of the town a deadly sewer ebbed and flowed, in
the place of a fine fresh river. What secular want could the
million or so of human beings whose daily labour, six days in the
week, lay among these Arcadian objects, from the sweet sameness of
which they had no escape between the cradle and the grave--what
secular want could they possibly have upon their seventh day?
Clearly they could want nothing but a stringent policeman.

2005年8月 hc在 simon university 之筆記

今天翻讀《白噪音》(White Noise by Don DeLillo,1985)(朱葉譯,南京:譯文,2002),發現另外的趣事,或許意味深長,又可能與翻譯有關,就筆記下來供參考。

《白噪音》的作者 Don DeLillo 被評為偉大的作家(參見紐約時報1997年評他探討冷戰的大本小說Underworld)。

譯者朱葉在翻譯《白噪音》時,問作者兩主要問題:究竟「白噪音」的諸多意思為何?作者簡答「一切聽不見的聲音(white)」(這是hc以前學「隨機過程」所學的技術義)。不過這在小說可能是第二義,它的第一義是小說中所說的'uniform and white' (始終如一和白色的)。


There is no difference between the quick and the dead. They are one channel of vitality.
經朱葉一問之下,才知道 Don DeLillo是選用牛津大學出版的《死亡之書》的
「老子 Chapter 60」的另外一翻譯版本中對於死亡的「詮釋」(翻譯):
Don DeLillo 回信說:翻譯者為Witter Bynner

Handle a large kingdom with as gentle a touch
As if you were cooking small fish.
If you manage people by letting them alone,
Ghosts of the dead shall not haunt you.
Not that there are no ghosts
But that their influence becomes propitious.
In the sound existence of a living man:
There is no difference between the quick and the dead.
They are one channel of vitality.


「…….然從電視上聽到雷根演講中有一句話:"Governing a great state is like cooking small fish."因為老子的「治大國若烹小鮮」太令人難忘…」

【我認為比較好(清楚)的「翻譯」,是Arthur Waley的:

Ruling a large kingdom is indeed like cooking small fish.
They who by Tao ruled all that is under heaven did not let an evil spirit within them display its powers. Nay, it was not only that the evil spirit did not display its power; neither was the Sage's good spirit used to the hurt of other men...