原创翻译:龙腾网 http://www.ltaaa.com 翻译:后羿A射日 转载请注明出处



Time: Thursday, July 7th, 1983.

时间:1983年7月7日,星期四。

Place: Siping Teachers'' College (now Siping University), Northeast China.

地点:中国东北,四平师范学院(今吉林师范大学)。

Dramatis Personæ:

剧中人:

Myself: John Derbyshire, 38 years old, Lecturer in English at the college since the previous October.

我:约翰·德比希尔,38岁,自去年10月起在该校担任英语讲师。

Rosie Qi: 20 years old, a fourth-year student at the college, just about to graduate.

罗西·齐:20岁,大四学生,即将毕业。



We had also had the assistance of one student I trusted, a classmate of Rosie''s — our go-between. 伐柯如何? 匪斧不克. 取妻如何? 匪媒不得. (Book of Odes I.xv):

我们还得到了一位可信任的学生的帮助,他是罗西的同学,我们的媒人。伐柯如何?匪斧不克。取妻如何?匪媒不得。(《诗经》):

In hewing [the wood for] an axe-handle, how do you proceed?

把木头做成斧柄,应该怎么做?

Without [another] axe it cannot be done.

没有另一把斧头,这事就办不成。

In taking a wife, how do you proceed?

想娶妻,应该怎么做?

Without a go-between it cannot be done.

没有媒人是办不成的。

(Go-betweens in old China were older married women or widows.)

(旧中国的媒人是大龄已婚妇女或寡妇。)

Our courting was very innocent by Western standards. The aggregate time we had spent together out of sight of others in those few weeks of subterfuges and stratagems was about two hours. We had sat holding hands together, exchanged three or four kisses, and embraced chastely once or twice at parting. The danger of course made it all incomparably thrilling.

按照西方的标准,我们的交往非常纯真。费尽心机的那几个星期里,我们真真正正在一起,没有被别人发现的时间加起来也就两个小时。我们手拉着手坐着,亲了三四次,临别时还纯洁地拥抱了一两次。当然,危险使这一切都无比激动人心。



My office had two windows on the two sides of a corner. The front window looked east over the college forecourt, the side window north along the front of the building, which was all classrooms. The nearest of these classrooms belonged to some fourth year students. There were several of them in there as I fussed around putting my room in order, and they were making a lot of noise. Most of it was just shouting, but occasionally they''d smash something. The fourth years had been smashing up their classrooms all week; a phenomenon which had alarmed me at first but which everyone, including the leaders, seemed to take for granted. I suppose the students felt free to work off their hatred of the place now that they were on the point of leaving it. One of the classrooms, I remember, had a large mirror, in which I''d once caught Rosie admiring herself. The mirror had been a prize for some group activity — the choir concert I''d participated in, perhaps. Characters were painted down the side of it extolling the students'' love of their "mother school." By the middle of that last week the mirror had been broken into fine splinters. It had first been smashed with a blow, then further reduced by stamping on the pieces.

我办公室两面墙的角落上各有一扇窗户。前面的窗户朝东,俯瞰着学校的前院,旁边的窗户朝北,顺着大楼的前面,那里都是教室。最近的一间教室是大四学生的。当我忙着整理房间时,教室里面有几个学生,发出很大的噪音。主要是大喊大叫,但偶尔也有砸碎东西的声音。大四的学生整个星期都在砸教室;这一现象起初让我感到震惊,但包括领导们在内的所有人似乎都认为这理所当然。我猜,学生们即将离开这个地方,他们正在这里自由地宣泄对这个地方的仇恨。我记得,其中一间教室里有一面大镜子,我曾在那间教室看到罗西在自我欣赏。镜子是团体活动的奖品——也许是我参加过的唱诗班音乐会。镜子的一侧写着一些字,颂扬学生们对“母校”的热爱。到上个星期中旬,镜子已经成碎片了。镜子先是被打烂,然后又被扔到地上踩碎。

I thought of closing the windows to cut down the noise from that classroom, but it was a warm evening and the room needed air. At seven thirty Rosie appeared. We sat together on the sofa. She was unreservedly at ease with me by this time; we talked and laughed very freely. I played some Simon and Garfunkel, which she allowed was "not bad." The classroom next door was soon quiet. Around half past eight someone knocked lightly on my door. I''d locked it, of course. I put a finger to Rosie''s lips to hush her until the caller gave up. She said she should go, but by dint of some very abject pleading I kept her with me another half hour. When she was ready to leave I walked her to the door, took her in my arms one last time, and checked that the coast was clear before she slipped out. It was a perfect day, perfect.

为了不被教室里的噪音干扰,我打算关上窗户,但那天晚上很暖和,房间需要新鲜空气。七点半,罗西来了。我们一起坐在沙发上。她和我在一起的时候,完全放松、无拘无束。我们很随意地聊天,谈笑。我演奏了一些西蒙和加芬克尔的曲子,她说“还不错”。很快隔壁教室安静了下来。八点半左右,有人轻轻敲了敲门。当然门被我锁上了。我把一根手指放在罗西的嘴唇上,示意她安静,不一会外面敲门声就消失了。她说她该走了,但我极卑下的恳求又说服她多陪了我半个小时。当她准备离开的时候,我把她送到门口,最后一次把她抱在怀里,在她溜出去之前检查了一下外面是否安全。真是完美的一天,完美。

On Friday morning Mike Potter and I took breakfast together in my dormitory room. I was still intoxicated from the previous evening, and could talk of nothing but Rosie and the plans we had made. Mike was rather amused. He sat through it all very patiently, bless him, only inserting a few words of congratulation here and there.

星期五早上,迈克·波特和我一起在宿舍吃早饭。我仍然陶醉在前一天晚上的浓情蜜意中,除了罗西和我们制定的计划外,我什么也没说。迈克被逗乐了。他耐心地坐着只是不时插几句道贺的话,真善解人意。

Suddenly the door flew open and there was a student in the room. It was one of the decent students: I mean, one who didn''t snitch to the leaders about my words and movements. His hair was still wet from the morning wash, I recall. On his face was an expression I hope never to see again, an expression that said with all the force of a scream: Something terrible has happened. He was looking at me and trembling slightly.

突然门开了,房间里来了一个学生。这是一个正派的学生:我的意思是,他没有向领导告发我的言行。我记得他的头发还是湿的,早上刚洗的。他脸上的表情,我希望永远也不要再见到了,就是那种用尽力气想要尖叫的表情:肯定是发生了可怕的事情。他看着我,微微有些发抖。

Mike took everything in at once. He stood up, excused himself, and left the room. By now the student was sitting in one of my armchairs, elbows on knees, head in hands. I went over and sat on the corner of the bed, opposite him.

迈克一下子全都明白了。他起身告辞,离开了房间。那个学生坐在一张扶手椅上,手肘支在膝盖上,双手抱着头。我走过去,坐在他对面的床角上。

"What is it? What''s happened?"
"Last night. You were seen. With Rosie."
"What?"
"Some students saw you. They called the leaders. The leaders saw you. With Rosie. Kissing Rosie."
"How? How did they see me?"

“怎么了?发生了什么事?”
“昨晚。你和罗西在一起的事被发现了。”
“什么?”
“有学生看见你们了。他们把领导叫过来了。领导也看见你们了。看见你和罗西在一起,还亲了罗西。”
“怎么看见的?他们是怎么看到我的?”

"You left a window open. The reflection in the window. The students in the classroom could see you. See into your office. The window worked like a mirror."
"Jesus Christ."
"After Rosie left your office the leaders arrested her. They questioned her."

“你们的窗户开着。窗户上有倒影。教室里的学生能看见你们。可以看到你的办公室。窗户就像一面镜子。”
“我的老天爷呀”。
“罗西离开你的办公室后,就被领导抓起来了。他们已经在审她了。”



I got morsels of news. Rosie was walking around freely. She''d told the leaders that I''d only been saying goodbye to her according to English custom. I thought this showed great presence of mind on her part; but would the leaders swallow it? Quite possibly they would. You could never underestimate the ignorance of those leaders. To them, foreigners were practically extraterrestrial. If Rosie had told them that the normal method of saying farewell among English people was to stand on one''s head and clap one''s feet together, they''d probably have believed her.

我得到一点消息。罗西的行动不受限制。她告诉领导,我只是按照英国的习惯跟她告别。这么看来她很镇静。但领导们会接受吗?很有可能。你永远不能低估那些领导们的无知。对他们来说,外国人简直就是外星人。如果罗西告诉他们,英国人通常告别的方式是倒立,拍脚掌,他们可能也会相信。

After an hour or so I went next door to Mike''s office. Mike is one of those Englishmen with whom it is a point of honor not to take anything very seriously. To have such a person around at such a time was a godsend. I believe I would not have survived those few days without him. It wasn''t that he did anything to help — what could he do? — or that he showed any extraordinary powers of consolation. It was only that he was English and sane, while everyone else for seventy miles around was Chinese and mad. That was how it seemed at the time.

大约一个小时后,我去了隔壁迈克的办公室。迈克属于那种认为对任何事情都不认真是一种荣誉的英国人。在这个时候有这样一个人在身边,真是上天眷顾。如果没有他,我根本无法活过那几天。倒不是他帮了什么忙——他又能做什么呢?——也不是说他多么的会安慰人。只不过他是英国人而且神志清醒,而周围70英里内的其他人都是中国人,而且都疯了。当时就是这个情况。

Oh, the students were marvellous, and tried to help in their own way, and did help; yet they were Chinese, and that made them part of it. I could not forget, either, that it had been students who had informed on us. That wasn''t as bad as it might seem. In a totalitarian state, there are times when it is dangerous not to inform. There had been several students in that next-door classroom the previous evening, including one who was actually a Party member and another who informed to the leaders on his classmates and teachers every chance he got. Whatever the decent students felt, they couldn''t do a thing. Even so, we had been informed on, by people who would smile and wish me good day if I met them.

噢,学生们真了不起,都想用自己的方式帮我,而且确实帮了忙。然而,他们是中国人,他们也是中国的一部分。我无法忘记是学生告发了我们。其实看起来没有那么严重。在极权主义国家,有时不提供信息也是危险的。昨天晚上隔壁教室里的几个学生,一个是一有机会就向领导汇报同学和老师的情况的人。不管正派学生怎么想,他们什么也做不了。即便如此,我们还是被那些遇到我就微笑地祝我好运的人告发了。

Later in the morning there was a new source of excitement. Fourth years came running into Mike''s office to find their friends (there were a number in there with us). They would talk with great agitation in Chinese for a moment, at a speed too fast for me to follow, then dash out. What was happening? I asked one.

上午晚些时候,学校又兴奋起来了。大四的学生跑进迈克的办公室找他们的朋友(有几个人和我们在一起)。他们很激动地用中文说上一会儿,语速太快,我听不懂,然后就冲出去了。发生了什么事?我问其中一个学生。

"A commission has come from Changchun [the provincial capital] to investigate back doors. The authorities say there should be no back doors in student assignments."
I said I thought that this was very good news. It showed the authorities were concerned with the problem.
"Yes. Several students want to address this commission. The leaders are very worried. Perhaps they have no time to think of other things."

“长春(吉林省会)派了委员会下来调查走后门的问题。当局表示,学生工作分配不应该有后门。”
我说我认为这个消息非常好。这表明当局关心这个问题。
“是的。有几个学生想和委员会谈话。领导们非常担心。也许他们没有时间去想别的事情了。”



Indeed. I hadn''t really imagined that an old fox like Secretary Kang would get his tail clipped by any mere commission, but I''d thought they might criticize. Apparently they went away perfectly satisfied. Leaving by the back door, perhaps.

确实。我真的没有想到康秘书这样的老狐狸会被任何小小的委员会剪断尾巴,但我想委员会可能会批评他。显然,他们心满意足地离开了。甚至可能是从后门走的。

Compare the situation two hundred years ago when a French visitor inquired of a Chinese government official whether something couldn''t be done about corruption among the mandarins. The official replied:
It is impossible. The Emperor himself can do nothing. The evil is too widespread. He will, no doubt, send to the scene of these disorders mandarins clothed with all his authority; but they will only commit still greater exactions, and the inferior mandarins in order to be left undisturbed will offer them presents. The Emperor will be told that all is well, while everything is really wrong, and while the poor people are being oppressed …

对比一下200年前的情况吧,当时一位法国游客问清政府官员,政府官员腐败问题是不是没办法解决了。这名官员的回答是:
不可能解决。皇帝也无能为力。到处都是腐败。毫无疑问,皇帝会把钦差大臣派到腐败现场;但这些钦差大臣只会索取更多好处,而下级官员为了不被打扰会给这些钦差送礼。钦差会告诉皇帝一切都好,可是实际上一切都不正常,穷人们正在被压迫……

To be fair to the Qian-long Emperor, his dynasty had taken a hundred and fifty years to reach that stage of putrefaction; when I arrived in Siping the People''s Republic was just thirty-three years old.

公平地说,乾隆皇帝,他的王朝花了150年才达到这种腐败程度;我到四平的时候,中华人民共和国才三十三岁。

Later in the afternoon a much nastier piece of news came down the grapevine. Rosie had been pulled in for questioning again by the leaders.

下午晚些时候,传来了一条更糟糕的小道消息。罗西又被领导们拉去审问了。



Should I have acted? Perhaps; although, looking back, I believe nothing would have made any difference. Remember that I had been getting whispered advice the whole day long. I had heard all the slogans, all the pitiful slogans of ancient slavery: Don''t make trouble! Turn a big matter into a small matter. When Mount Tai collapses in front of your eyes, don''t change color … I don''t think anyone told me to bend like grass in the wind, but I wouldn''t have been surprised if they had. I was assured, again and again, that anything I did would only make things worse for Rosie. If I made trouble, I was told, the leaders would just expel me. I thought this was certainly true. That Friday had been a very long day indeed, but at least I was still there. And Saturday was the day of the graduation ceremony. They''d have to let Rosie attend that.

我应该采取行动吗?也许吧,要是看过去的情况,我觉得不管我做什么都没有什么用。今天一整天都有人在我耳边不停的给建议。我听到的全部都是口号,都是古代奴隶制度下的可怜口号:不要惹麻烦!大事化小。泰山崩于前而面不改色……我想没有人说人在屋檐下不得不低头,但就算他们这么告诉我,我也不会感到惊讶。我一次又一次地确认,我所做的一切只会让罗西的事情变得更糟。有人告诉我,如果我惹麻烦,领导们就会开除我。我敢肯定这是真的。那个星期五显得特别漫长,但至少我还在那里。星期六就是毕业典礼了。他们得让罗西参加毕业典礼。