Journal : Beijing Youth Daily Date : Author : NA Page No. : NA
URL : http://epaper.ynet.com/html/2016-01/22/content_179864.htm?div=-1

《飞鸟集》翻译掀起轩然大波 冯唐一一回应质疑

——这个世界的宽容度和审美令我失望

 

 

◎罗皓菱  Author: Luo Haoling, staff reporter of Beijing Youth Daily

 

2015年末,冯唐翻译的泰戈尔名著《飞鸟集》引发争议,终至于出版社主动下架。

Towards the end of 2015, Feng Tang aroused huge controversies in literary circles with his version of Stray Birds, an album of Tagore. The story ended with the publishing house’s decision to remove all the books off shelves.

“众鸟高飞尽,孤云独去闲。”事情发生之后,冯唐在微博上用十个字回应了对“下架”的看法。然而,事情并没有因此而画上休止符。

“After the birds fly and vanish in the height, the clouds can enjoy their solitude in the sky.” After the absurd incident, Feng Tang responded to what happened with a line of poetry via his Sino Weibo. However, the story didn’t simply end there.

因为《飞鸟集》而缺席印度书展的冯唐终于“闲”了下来,本来不想再多说什么的他突然拧劲儿又上来了,想要把这事儿“掰扯”清楚。 于是,冬日一个寂静的上午,冯唐在自家书房接受了北青艺评的采访。聊天过程中,他不时起身在书架上寻找谈到的诗人、诗歌,从《诗经》《全唐诗》到北岛、顾城、张枣……偶尔念上几句,一道斜光映在桌上一本摊开的《飞鸟集》上,光斑闪烁的那一句是——

Feng Tang is finally “free”, as he failed to make it to the New Delhi World Book Fair in India, which he was scheduled to attend with his Stray Birds. Although he remained silent for a while, he finally decided to straighten things out with his characteristic stubbornness. Therefore, we had another interview with Feng Tang in his study, on a quiet winter morning. During our conversation, he would occasionally find the collections of poems written by poets we just mentioned: The Book of Songs, Complete Tang Poems, and the poems of Bei Dao, Gu Cheng, Zhang Zao, etc. He would also read a few lines out. A shoot of sunshine was cast upon one page of Stray Birds, which was unfolded on Feng Tang’s desk, and I can read the words highlighted by the light spot:

你对我微笑不语

为这句我等了几个世纪

You smiled and talked to me of nothing and I felt that for this I had been waiting long

有印度网友要绞死冯唐” Indian netizens want to “strangle Feng Tang”

“没想到我的国际化之路是这么走出去的”

“I would never imagine that I started my road towards internationalization in this way.”

问:本来这个时候您应该在印度书展的,结果因为闹这么一出,印度也去不了了。据说,《飞鸟集》翻译的争议已经蔓延到了印度,有印度网友说要“绞死你”?

Q: You were supposed to be in India, attending the World Book Fair at this moment. But now the plan was cancelled because of what happened in last few weeks. I hear that the controversies stirred by your translation of Stray Birds are spreading to India, and some Indian netizens even threaten to “strangle you”?

冯唐:这是真的,中国也有这样的“键盘侠”。我完全没想到,我的国际化之路是这么走出去的。(笑)作为一个中国作家国际化之路有多难啊,我想到了开始,没有想到结局。

Feng Tang: Yes, it’s true. We can see this kind of “keyboard man” everywhere in China. But I would never imagine that I started my road towards internationalization in this way. (Laughing) For a Chinese author, the road towards internationalization must be hard. I’ve figured out how it started, but have no idea how it ended.

问:虽然您人没去,但是好像印度人民对这个事情的关注还在发酵。

Q: Although you didn’t make the trip to India, it seems that the whole incidents continue to brew among Indian readers.

冯唐:是的。驻中国的印度几家主要媒体都来找我了,总体而言还是表示理解。一个记者是我的读者,他看过《北京,北京》,他说你其他书比这个黄多了。我主要表达了几个意思:第一,我对泰戈尔是很尊重的;第二,我的翻译过程是非常严谨认真的,并不是为了名为了钱为了亵渎而亵渎。他们原先给出去的信号是说有人在亵渎他们的文化使者。

Feng Tang: Indeed. I was recently interviewed by the foreign correspondents of several mainstream Indian media in Beijing, and most of them understood my situation. One of them used to read Beijing, Beijing, one of my early novels. He said: “Your early works are far more vulgar and salacious than your translation of Stray Birds.” I made a few key points to him: first, I have enormous respect for Mr. Tagore; second, the whole process of my translation is serious and prudent, and I didn’t translate Stray Birds for sake of fame, money or blasphemy. The prior signal they sent to Indian readers was that a Chinese author was “blaspheming” Tagore, their ambassador of culture.

问:你本来打算怎么去跟印度人民解释这个事儿?

Q: How do you plan to explain the whole incident to Indian people in the future?

冯唐:这个问题很好。第一,我想说所谓的美感是没法讲的,就像观点对观点,我觉得谁也胜不了谁,美感更是,认就认,不认就算了。特别是在中国,这么多媒体的审美,你没法跟他争,反而能讲的是宽容,是对创作的尊重,少谈一些阴谋论,多看看作品,在你掌握资料之后再发言。

Feng Tang: Good question. For one thing, I don’t believe I can explain “what beauty is” to them. It’s quite like a clash of opinions, and each side believes that it has the better version. The sense of beauty is achieved with acceptance, and I cannot push them if they cannot accept my ideas. Things are even worse in China, as you can never educate the media with you own aesthetics, and you can never win a debate with the media. The only lesson I can teach is “tolerance” – tolerance of originality. There are too many conspiracy theories in their reports, and I suggest that they have a full grasp of the original contexts before they even dare to speak.

问:这事闹这么大,您是什么心情?

Q: How do you feel now, since things have gone quite out of your expectations?

冯唐:我是抱着写小说人的心态,我把它当成一个文化事件,看各种人在其中表现,有一种“看热闹”的旁观者心态;第二,毕竟是我的事儿,我也把它当做一种修行吧。开始负面的声音排山倒海,后来慢慢的声音平衡了一点。

Feng Tang: I can treat everything like a novelist – I see the whole incidence as a cultural phenomenon, as people are playing different roles within. Some are watching the fun as on-lookers. On the other hand, it’s my business after all, and I decide to embrace it as a practice. At first, I was overwhelmed by the positive opinions, and later I managed to find a balance between the praises and the criticisms.

问:就没有一点不高兴吗?

Q: Aren’t you unhappy at all?

冯唐:其实没有,我只是觉得这个世界和我之前的判断不太一样,特别是宽容度,审美能力,出乎我的想象,有点失望,而不是生气。遇到这种事,我以前就是息事宁人算了。可是反而这几天来又激起了我当时说韩寒那次的心态,我觉得假的真不了,真的假不了。

Feng Tang: Not actually. I do realize now that the world is too different from what I assumed in the past, by which I mean the tolerance and aesthetics. Things went quite out of my expectations, and I’m kind of disappointed – but not angry. I met with similar incidents before, and I believed the best solution was to pour oil on troubled waters. But later my sentiments were aroused in a prior interview when I remarked upon Han Han. Now I believe that you can never take the real for the fake, and vice versa.

《飞鸟集》这件事有两点我觉得是原则问题:第一,翻译自由的问题。我当时说文学“金线”实际上是说有一个水准问题,但并不是说只有一个原则,金线之上百花齐放,不是说一定要写成汪曾祺那样的才叫美文,写成别样的就不叫美文。

There’re two principle issues in the incident of Stray Birds, to which I shall never give in. First is the freedom of translation. I did mention that there is a “gold line” to judge whether a literary work is good or not, but I didn’t say that my version is the only valid standard. So long as your work reaches the “gold line”, you can have your own style of course. The prose of Wang Zengqi is indeed graceful, but you can be equally graceful by sticking to your own style.

译也一样,“信”“达”“雅”这三个字是严复提出来的,他自己都没有怎么严格遵守,我觉得艺术就不应该存在唯一的“金”标准,如果有这样的标准,杜尚往蒙娜丽莎脸上画胡子算什么呢?过度限制多样性最后是很惨的一件事。都已经这个年代了,民众的一些常识,所谓的宽容离真正的文明社会还差得太远。你有权利不喜欢,但是你没有任何权利让别人噤声。

It’s also the same case with translation. The well-known standard of “faithfulness”, “expressiveness” and “elegance” was contrived by Yan Fu, but he failed to obey the standard himself. I don’t believe there is a single “gold rule” in any form of art; if there is, you cannot call Marcel Duchamp an artist since he added mustaches on Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. It never ends quite well with strict restrictions of diversity. In our times, the common sense and tolerance for differences are too far away from what you call “a civilized society”. You’re free to dislike something, but you don’t have the right to silence others.

每个人都有翻译的自由,什么叫胡来?我觉得这是底线问题。我基本英文是懂的,我汉语也出过很多书,且不说我汉语有多天才,不说英语有多好,但是很有可能比你们好得多,我选择这样翻译一定有我自己的考虑。

Likewise, everyone is entitled to the freedom of translation. Call me “messing things up”? No, it’s a matter of base line. I understand English perfectly well, and I published several books in Chinese. I’m not saying that I’m a genius of Chinese language, or I have a good command of English – maybe better than most of you, frankly. I have my own consideration since I accepted the mission of translation.

那些所谓的原则,不好意思,都不是我的原则,我不认这些东西,我凭什么要跟着别人所谓的唯一的标准走?首先还不是争好坏的问题,是争权利的问题,你能不能这么做?我觉得这是一个大是大非的问题。

What you call “principles” – pardon me – call not my “principles”. I’m not obligated to recognize your principles, and why do I have to follow the single standard supported by others? It’s a matter of legal right, no matter my translation makes you happy or not. Do you have the right to push me to do something? I think it’s a major issue of principle.

我最近在看日本26岁的天才小诗人石川啄木的诗集,周作人翻译的,他所有的诗都只用了三句,“在东海的小岛之滨/我泪流满面/在白沙滩上与螃蟹玩耍着。”“不能忘记那颊上流下来/眼泪也不擦去/将一握砂给我看的人”“对着大海独自一人/预备哭上七八天/这样走出了家门。”他把日本排句都弄成三句,我觉得很了不起,即使在形式上都很了不起。这种创作自由你都不给的话,那这个世界还能存在什么东西?

I’m recently reading the poems of Takuboku Ishikawa, a talented Japanese poet who died very young, and the Chinese version is translated by Zhou Zuoren. Zhou managed to translate every of Ishikawa’s poems into three lines: “On the coast of a small island in East Sea/My face was covered with tears/When I was playing with crabs on the white beach.” “Cannot forget my sweats streaming down along the cheeks/I didn’t wipe my tears off/When someone showed me a handful of sand.” “All alone, in the face of the sea/I prepared to cry for seven, eight days/And I walked out of home.” Zhou transformed Japanese haikus (usually with two lines) into three lines, and I think it’s an extraordinary achievement, simply judging by the form. But if people deprive the artists of whatever freedom, how can we create something for the world?

第二,这是一个基本审美的问题,如果大家认真看了我的翻译,认真看了郑振铎的翻译,认真看了泰戈尔《飞鸟集》的英文原文,如果还说冯唐的翻译一无是处,或者差得很远,我只能说这个人的审美有严重问题,至少跟我理解的审美体系差得太远了。你偏说明式家具比宜家的要差那我也没有办法,那你只能自求多福了。从这个角度,我又发现中国人的美学教育比常识教育还差,美盲比文盲更多。

Second, it’s a matter of basic aesthetics. If you read my translations carefully, in juxtaposition with the Chinese version of Zheng Zhenduo and the original English text of Tagore, and you reach the conclusion that Feng Tang’s version if without any single merit – I would reach the conclusion that you have no sense of aesthetics at all. At least I cannot fully understand your sense of aesthetics. If you think what you buy in IKEA is far better than my Ming-style furniture of hardwood – well, good luck with you. After this incident, I find many of ordinary Chinese have no common sense in aesthetic education, and the rate of “art illiteracy” is higher than I imagine.

很多人对所谓的权威,莫名其妙地过度崇拜,其实从某种程度上解释了中国很多问题,要不然成神,要不然就是屌丝,中间状态他们不允许。那个年代的现代汉语,还在一个形成期,因为他们是成名的人,因为他们是郑振铎,因为他们是郭沫若,所以他们那个时候的中文就很好,那是扯,我觉得这太不实事求是了。郭沫若的《女神》有哪几首是好诗?美感不好不要侮辱别人的美感。

Some of us have blind worship to so-called “authorities”, and many problems we meet in China can be explained with this mindset: you are a deity, or you are a loser – there is no intermediate state. In Zheng Zhenduo’s era, modern Chinese language was going through a vital process of transformation. You cannot simply call their language “good” because the author is Zheng Zhenduo, Guo Moruo or any other celebrities. That sounds like total bullshit to me, and goes against the principle of “seeking truth from facts”. Do you think there are any excellent poems in The Goddess, an album by Guo Moruo? Don’t ever try to insult the aesthetics of others, so long as you understand nothing at all.

所以,基于这两点原则,我有资格翻译,而且我觉得也翻译得不错啊。你有你的声音,我有我的声音。

Based on the two principles I mentioned above, I believe I’m totally qualified to translate. And I think I’m doing a pretty good job with it. You have your voice, and I have mine, too.

我也不觉得《飞鸟集》是写给儿童的,我也完全没有想去亵渎泰戈尔,去糊弄,如果让我重新去翻译,还是会这么做,不会做任何改变。别人认为我应该怎么样去做,他们可以自己去嘛。

I’ve never thought that my translation of Stray Bird is targeted towards children. I’ve neither thought of blaspheming Tagore, either. I’m not trying to fool anyone. And if I’m given the chance to redo the translation, I will finish it in the same way – without any slightest alterations. I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do, do it yourself, please.

 一场有预谋的炒作A “hype” with subtle premeditation?

  我讨厌任何形式的阴谋论 detest conspiracy theories in any form

问:你说持“阴谋论”的人很多是缺乏常识,这件事情“炒作说”确实一直不绝于耳。

Q: Many explain the incident with “conspiracy theories”, and you call them “having no common sense”. Ever since it happened, many critics have concluded this incident as a “hype”.

冯唐:为了炒作不能炒到下架了吧?这不是儿戏,它如果要再印总得给再印的理由吧?现在也没人跟我商量,很有可能我就不同意改,那咱们就不出了,所以这对出版社是没有任何好处的。这本书7月份就出版了,怎么到年底才开始“炒作”?这书多卖跟我一分钱利益都没有,我拿的是稿费不是版税。实话讲,我也不缺这点名气。

Feng Tang: How comes that the publishing house removes all my books off shelves if it is merely a “hype”? It doesn’t seem like a joke to me, and the publishing house has to provide a solid reason for the reprint of the book. Well, no one has discussed that issue with me. If I refuse to make necessary alterations with the previous version, you’ll never see the reprint, perhaps. In that case, the publishing house shall receive no good at all. The book was actually published in July of 2015, why did the “hype” start in December? It’ll do little difference to me whether the book sells well or not, as the publishing house pays me translation fee, rather than copyright royalty. To be frank, I’m famous enough.

我记得最早看到的一篇文章是《王小波十五岁便明白的道理,冯唐四十四岁还没想明白》,文章说王小波在小时候听哥哥念到査良铮先生的翻译:“我爱你,彼得兴建的大城/我爱你严肃整齐的面容/涅瓦河的水流多么庄严/大理石铺在它的两岸……”作者觉得这是好的中文,而我四十四岁了,还不觉得郑振铎翻译的是好中文。我只是笑了笑,不知道写这篇文章的作者多大岁数、小时候看什么中文长大的,我一直没培养出从翻译作品中学习汉语的习惯,我学习汉语的材料是《诗经》、《史记》、《资治通鉴》、历朝笔记、唐诗、宋词、元曲、明清时调。

The first article attacking me – the first I’ve read – is named “What Wang Xiaobo understood when he was fifteen, Feng Tang has not yet figured it out when he was forty-four”. In that article, Wang Xiaobo heard how Mr. Zha Liangzheng translated the poem of Alexander Pushkin: “I love you, the city built by Peter/I love your solemn, well-ordered outlook/The stream of Neva River is so grandeur/Marbles are paved on both sides of the river…” The author thinks it is written in excellent Chinese. And I’m now forty-four years old, and cannot understand why Zheng Zhenduo’s translation is good. I smiled at the ridiculous article, as I don’t know how old the author is, or what kind of Chinese he is taught at school. For me, I never tried to learn Chinese from translated works. When I was a child, I read The Song of Poems, Records of the Grand Historian, History as a Mirror, notes of a few ancient dynasties, the poems of Tang Dynasty, the lyrics of Song Dynasty, the verses of Yuan Dynasty, and the proses and novels of Ming and Qing Dynasty.

隔了三天,别人转给我另一篇文章《冯唐翻译了飞鸟集,于是泰戈尔就变成了郭敬明》,我还是没当回事儿。这种句式听上去气派,但是用的人很可能也没读过原文、我的翻译,很可能也没读过多少郭敬明。你如果真仔细看了,很有可能觉得郑振铎的翻译更接近郭敬明呢。再过几天,舆论就变得令人拍案惊奇了,再然后,几乎是全媒体覆盖,可能也就莫言得诺贝尔文学奖时享受过这种待遇。

Three days later, my friend read another funny article and reposted it, with the name of “After Feng Tang translated Stray Birds, Tagore was immediately transformed into Guo Jinming”. I didn’t take it too seriously. The title is eye-catching indeed, but I highly doubt whether the author has read the original text of Tagore and my translation thoroughly – perhaps he/she is not familiar with Guo Jinming, either. If you read carefully, you may find that Zheng Zhenduo’s version is more similar to the language style of Guo Jinming! After a couple of days, the media started to investigate the whole incident like a criminal case. And soon, I found that I made the headlines of almost every newspaper, magazine or website. Even Mo Yan was not so “welcomed” than me when he received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

个人风格凌驾于泰戈尔之上违背翻译伦理?

Is it against the ethics of translation to override Tagore with your own language style?

让作家来翻译就一定会这样

You cannot evade the problem if the translator also happens to be an author

问:回到翻译的问题上,对你最大的质疑是,每个人都有创作自由,但翻译不能篡改原意,把自己的风格凌驾在原来作者的风格之上。

Q: Let’s discuss translation for translation’s sake. The overwhelming opinion of the critics is – everyone is entitled to the freedom of literary creation, but a translator is not supposed to alter the meanings of the original text, and it is wrong to override the original author with the language style of the translator’s own.

冯唐:这我觉得又是一个挺扯的事,特别是对于翻译。创作无非是把你心中的一些东西用自己的三观,用自己的语言逻辑体系再掏出来放在文字上,其实翻译没有什么本质区别,无非那边是另外一种文化另外一种文字写出来的东西,而不是你心里理解的某种东西,可是说到底最后也是需要你心里理解,你要理解人家用人家的语言,在人家那个时代,在人家那个文化背景下想说什么意思。哪有能一一对上的?那是翻译机。所以,你追求的实际上是魂的一致,魂的尽量接近。

Feng Tang: Well, it sounds like another bullshit to me. What is creation after all? By creation I mean you have to transform what you think into what you write, aided by your own views of world, value and life, and your own system of logic and language – how is it different from translation? In translation you are transforming something written in another language and another cultural context, rather than what is already there in your heart. But you have to understand the original text perfectly well by heart, including the language style, the era and the cultural context. There is no “perfect match” in translation, unless you are referring to a translating machine. As a translator, you’re trying to achieve consistency of the souls of the original and translated texts – bring them as close as possible.

问:有人认为好的翻译应该是透明的,你要尽量呈现原来作者的本意和风格。布罗茨基就曾说:诗人译诗不仅要有个性,还得有“牺牲”,而这才是“成熟个性的主要特征”,这也是对“任何创作和翻译的主要要求”。

Q: Some critics argue that excellent translation should be “transparent”, by which they mean you’ll do the best to reflect the original meaning and style of the author. Joseph Brodsky said that a translator of poems not only shows his/her personality, but also the courage to sacrifice, and he saw that as “the qualities of a mature personality”, and “the primary demand for literary creation and translation in any form”.

冯唐:当泰戈尔在写下那些英文的时候是怎么想的?而且你知道之前误翻了多少?泰戈尔50多岁写的这个诗集,根本就不是适合儿童阅读的东西,原来翻译成儿童读物还好意思说我篡改? 让一个作家来翻译,一定会有他自己的风格,好作家一定有自己的语言风格的,他是要对自己的语言有贡献的,有一些词甚至是他造出来的。那些所谓的传统翻译家无非是那个时代的谷歌翻译机。我们看傅雷的翻译,大家认为罗曼·罗兰就应该是这个味道,你知道罗曼·罗兰是什么味道吗?而且我基本可以负责地说,跟傅雷呈现的中文一定不是一个味道。

Feng Tang: What was Tagore trying to say when he wrote the English version of Stray Birds? And do you know how much was lost in mistranslations of prior generations? Tagore completed Stray Birds in his fifties, and he was not writing for the children at all. The previous translators reduced Stray Birds to a children’s book, and they are calling my version as “blasphemy”? If a translator happens to be an author, he/she cannot escape the language style of his/her own. Good authors write in their own language styles, and by doing that they make their contributions to the evolvement of a language. And translators can make new words sometimes. What you call “traditional translators” are no more that Google Translators of their own era. I’ve read the translations of Fu Lei, and everyone believes that Roman Roland was writing with the same style as Fu Lei. But who of us knows what Roman Roland’s style was like? It’s safe to say that it’s quite different from what Fu Lei’s translations present to us.

大千世界在情人面前解开裤裆太下流?

Does it sound obscene when “the world reveals its penis in front of its lovers”?

 “裤裆面具更尖锐,更真实

“Penis” is sharper, and more real than “mask”

问:要自己解释一下“裤裆”“大地很骚”“我会给你新生哒”这几句争议诗为什么要这么翻吗?

Q: Well, do you care to explain again why you use the words like “the world reveals its penis”, “‘the great earth becomes flirtatious” or “I am to give you fresh birth da” in your translation?

冯唐:有时候是通过适度的夸张。

Feng Tang: I confess that I am exaggerating, but quite moderately.

有读者解读得挺符合我本意的:泰戈尔的诗写作完成,就是跟自己的表述告别。冯唐翻译,就是可以按照他的认知二度创作,有他自己在诗中的权衡配比。“大千世界在情人面前解开裤裆,绵长如舌吻,纤细如诗行。”这段翻译的原文是“The world puts off its mask of vastness to its lover. It becomes small as one song, as one kiss of the eternal.”郑振铎翻译的版本是“世界对着它的爱人,把它浩瀚的面具揭下了。它变小了,小如一首歌,小如一回永恒的接吻。”马尔克斯曾说过,凡赤身裸体做的事,都是爱。所以世界对它的爱人揭下面具的方式,冯唐换作了解开裤裆,同样的比喻,冯唐用了舌吻,加深了程度,多了一个借代诗行,拓宽了广度。

A few readers seem to understand me quite well with their own interpretations: when Tagore completed Stray Birds, he was actually bidding farewell to himself. Feng Tang’s translation can be seen as a re-creation based on his own understandings, and he balanced Tagore’s and his own styles quite well with appropriate percentages. The original text of the “penis part” is “The world puts off its mask of vastness to its lover. It becomes small as one song, as one kiss of the eternal.” And when Zheng Zhenduo translated “mask of vastness” faithfully with the original text, the poetic imagery becomes smaller – like a song, or a kiss of the eternal. Garcia Marquez said that whatever people are doing naked can be called “love”. Therefore, Feng Tang changed “the world puts off its mask of vastness to its lover” into “the world reveals its penis in front of its lovers”. With the same comparison, Feng Tang deepened the emotion with a “French kiss”, and expanded the scope of the poem with even more vivid analogues.

我觉得,世界对着它的爱人,把它浩瀚的面具揭下,坦率地讲它不直接,泰戈尔想表达的意思可能是人在情人面前,在爱人面前,大千世界有可能是一个人,有可能是一个真的所谓的世界,如果假设是一个男女之情,实际上是他揭下面具还不如解开裤裆更能让人明白它的意思——我对你没有任何秘密,我希望把我整个人给你看,包括我自己不理解的秘密,包括我身上所有的光明和黑暗。所以,他已经把它拟人化成一个情人之间的关系。反过来,从一个人去看一个世界,一个人去看一个很复杂的事物,一个人去看一个情人,实际上也是你要解开他的裤裆你才能真的看到他的本质,这个裤裆要比面具尖锐得多,平常人也不戴面具,但是平常人都有裤裆对吧?是有一些离经叛道的地方,但是我并不是哗众取宠,我是有考量的。

And I don’t think it is a direct action for the world to “put off its mask of vastness to its lover”. It is highly likely that Tagore was referring to a specific person when he mentioned “the world” in front of its lovers. If it happens to be the sensations between a man and a woman, he can make his intention clearer by “revealing its penis” instead of “putting off its mask of vastness” – there’s nothing to be concealed in front of her, and he wishes to show an integral self to his lover, including the secrets to be understood, and all the bright and dark sides in his body. Therefore, Tagore personified the relationship between the world and its lover into that between a man and a woman. On the other hand, if you want to understand the world, the complication of things, or even a lover from the perspective of a person, you cannot see the nature unless it/he reveals its penis. Doesn’t “penis” sound sharper than “mask”? A man doesn’t normally wear a mask every day, but he does have a penis – most of them. There’re some details in my translation that you can call “unconventional”, but I’m not trying to make a scene here – with my own considerations.

问:一些翻译家认为你不能加入原文没有的东西。

Q: But some translators believe that you cannot add in the translation what isn’t there in the original text.

冯唐:他们缺少创造力,这得看你能理解到什么程度。

Feng Tang: I think they’re running out of creativity. It depends on the depth of your understanding.

问:那个“哒”字很多人认为你是为了强行押韵,反而会有一些打油诗的感觉。

Q: Speaking of the “da” in “I am to give you fresh birth da” – some argue that you’re rhyming for rhyme’s sake. And it sounds like a doggerel to them.

冯唐:你看原文:

“The night kisses the fading day whispering to his ear, I am death, your mother. I am to give you fresh birth.”郑振铎的译文是:夜与逝去的日子接吻/轻轻地在他耳旁说道:/我是死,是你的母亲/我就要给你以新的生命。

Feng Tang: Let’s read the original text first: “The night kisses the fading day whispering to his ear, I am death, your mother. I am to give you fresh birth.” And Zheng Zhenduo is translating very faithfully to the original text.

我觉得它有一点像一个妈妈在哄孩子,她跟孩子说话,她是一个很强的女人,里面很多也是很强的口语话,“白日将尽/夜晚呢喃/我是死啊/我是你妈/我会给你新生哒。”里面有一些虽然强行押韵,有一些也是没有韵的。合适而已,我的“度”我来控制,你的“度”你来控制。实际上我是表达了那种软软的、慢慢的意味,如果你很硬的说,我会给你新生,就没意思了。

Tagore’s poem sounds to me like how a mother is getting her baby asleep. She was murmuring to his baby, and he was a strong woman indeed. That’s why you can hear some colloquial words in my translation: “The night kisses the fading day whispering to his ear/I am death ah/I am your mam/I am to give you fresh birth da.” Yes, some rhymes sound awkward to you, but I’m not trying to rhyme all lines. I do have the sense of decency, and have a good command of what “proper” is. Likewise, you have your own command of what “proper” is. I am trying to emulate the soft, slow voices of the mother, and it doesn’t make sense if she says to his baby “I am to give you fresh birth” in a very hard, cold tone.

诗歌一定要押韵?Poem rhymes, but is it a must?

我认为的好诗基本都是押韵的 I believe a good poem rhymes – most of them

问:你对押韵有一种执念。

Q: You are almost stubborn about rhyme.

冯唐:这是我个人的看法,我认为诗一定要尽量地去押韵,否则还不如写散文呢。这种押韵在很大程度上帮助了诗的流传,帮助了诗的吟唱,大量让我最感动的诗基本都是押韵的。我给你找一个例子,其实非常有力量,你看《飞鸟集》里的这首:

Feng Tang: Yes, but it’s my own opinion. I believe that all poems should rhyme – or at least try to rhyme. If not, what’s the difference between a poem and a prose? To some extent, the poems cannot be handed down to further generations without rhymes, as people can better memorize them by rhymes. Most of the poems that can touch my heart rhyme perfectly. I can show you an example, a very powerful one, in my translation of Stray Birds:

我不知道 I have no idea

这心为什么在寂寞中枯焦 Why the heart is withered in solitude

为了那细小的需要 For those petty needs

从没说要 It never speaks of its desires

从不明了 And no one really understands

总想忘掉 I choose to forget them all

(The Chinese poem rhymes with each line)

你说这孩子能懂吗?好多东西就不是给孩子看的。刚才说诗的押韵问题,我觉得这只能说大家各有观念,我有我的观念,你有你的观念,至少我认为押韵是我的努力,是我该做的事情,而且押韵的确给诗造成了很多的难度,这也是我愿意花时间去做的。

Do you expect that children can understand what the poet means? The truth is – most of the poems are not written for the children. We discussed the rhyming issue just now, and I can only say that everyone is entitled to his/her own opinions, and yours may be totally different from mine. At least I’m making my own efforts to rhyme every line of my poem, and I see it as my obligation. Writing poems becomes a relatively difficult task if a poet bears rhyme in heart, and I believe it’s worthy of the time to undertake that Hercules task.

你看顾城的“黑夜给我黑色的眼睛,我却用它寻找光明”如果变成“光线”或者变成“太阳”,效果就差了好多。再看这首:

Let’s look another example – a poem by Gu Cheng. “The dark night gives me dark eyes, and with them I seek for the bright.” If we change “bright” into “light” or “sun”, the original effect of Gu Cheng is reduced. And let’s continue with another one:

自信你说 You said with confidence

再不把必然相信 You would never trust “certainty”

再不察看指纹 You would never trust fingerprint

攥起小小的拳头 With your little fist clinched

再不相信 You would never trust nobody

(The Chinese poem rhymes with each line)

一定是押韵的,只不过有的时候是不严格的,比如张枣的这首,

A good poem does rhyme, without doubt. But sometimes the definition of rhyme is not so strict, like this one by Zhang Zao:

二月开白花,你逃也逃不脱,你在哪休息 The white flowers open in February, and you can never escape them; wherever you take a rest

哪就被我守望着。你若告诉我I’m watching you from afar. If you tell me

你的双臂怎样垂落,我就会告诉你 How your arms hang in front, I will tell you

你将怎样再一次招手;你若告诉我 How you will wave to me again; if you tell me

你看见什么东西正在消逝 What’s vanishing into thin air in your sight

我就会告诉你,你是哪一个 I will tell you, you are one of them

(The Chinese poem does not rhyme with each line)

问:刚才提到您喜欢的张枣的诗,您看过张枣译诗吗?有些形式感的东西也破坏掉了。

Q: You mentioned just now that you’re fond of Zhang Zao’s poems. Have you ever read the poems translated by Zhang Zao? I feel as if the sense of form is destroyed in his translations.

冯唐:对。但我觉得至少要给大家一个选择,不能说这种执著是错的。

Feng Tang: You’re right. But at least we should provide the readers with an alternative option, and it’s not fair to say he’s wrong with his persistence.

短期内不会再做翻译了,太难了

I will not try translation of poems at least in the near future – it is too hard.

问:你在《飞鸟集》的后记里写了两个干不了的职业——一个是律师,一个是翻译。因为“语言是人类发明的最具欺骗性的工具,文化是某个人类种群最大的信息集合,翻译是用最具欺骗性的工具在两个信息之海中间架一座准确、流畅、景色优美的桥梁。”经历这件事情后,以后还敢做翻译吗?

Q: In the epilogue of Stray Birds, you mentioned two jobs that you would never consider – lawyer and translator. Because “language is the most deceptive tool invented by human beings, culture is a largest collection of information of a certain people or race, and translation is aimed to build an accurate, smooth and scenic bridge between two vast seas of information, with the most deceptive tool.” After this incident, do you dare to be a translator again?

冯唐:太难了,你要好好地揣度别人。我喜欢的好多作家他本身文字里带着的那种节奏往往是这个作家自己的节奏。所以诗歌翻译,我短期不会做了,太难。

Feng Tang: It’s too hard, as you have to understand other people really well. For several authors I adore, the rhythm of their language is actually something of their own. I will not try translation of poems at least in the near future – it is too hard.

问:最近你的视频节目《搜神记》开始播了,大家又开始担心冯唐要继续祸害《搜神记》。

Q: In Search of the Supernatural, your latest reality show was premiered in last week. Some say, well, Feng Tang is blaspheming In Search of the Supernatural this time!

冯唐:哈,那个没有什么可祸害的,《搜神记》原来就是一个中流的笔记小说而已,我是给它们注入新的灵魂,我是想视频化小说创造过程,访谈这些原型,自黑自黑,大致就是这样。现在基本上还借着《搜神记》在写短篇小说的状态,我是希望每一集一个原型写一个短篇小说,而且题材形式可能完全不一样。如果这个节目我做三季,每季12到13个故事,我就有近40个短篇小说故事出来,之后要扩长篇就扩长篇,要改电影就改电影,这辈子创作力被耗尽了也无所谓了。

Feng Tang: Ha, there’s nothing to be blasphemed at all. In Search of the Supernatural (the ancient version) is no more than a mediocre literary sketches, and my show is to instill the name with new, modern soul. I’m trying to record by video the entire process of writing a novel, including interviews with the protagonists, and jokes about myself, something like that. With the show of In Search of the Supernatural, I plan to conclude with a collection of short stories. Each episode accounts for one short story, which features one protagonist only. The themes and forms of the stories might differ. I plan to make it 3 seasons, and each season includes 12 t0 13 episodes – up to 40 short stories all together. After 3 seasons are over, I shall see whether I can develop them into a full-length novel, or adapt them into a movie directly. I’ll be left with no regret if In Search of the Supernatural is completed, even though I have to exhaust all my inspirations of literature.

 

print
Share now