古典文学翻译范例之三 : 聊斋志异. Strange Stories from A Chinese Studio (Excerpt) Translated by Herbert A. Giles Selected Tales of Liao Zhai (Excerpt) Translated by Yang Hsienyi and Gladys Yang. 【 概述 】.
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
Translated by Herbert A. Giles
THE LO-CH’A COUNTRY AND THE SEA－MARKET
Selected Tales of Liao Zhai
Translated by Yang Hsienyi and Gladys Yang
The Rakshas and the Sea Market
杨译:Ma Ji, whose other name was Longmei, was the son of a merchant. A handsome, unconventional lad, he loved singing and dancing; and his habit of mixing with actors and wearing a silk handkerchief on his head made him look as beautiful as a girl and won him the nickname Handsome.
杨译:At the age of fourteen he entered the prefectural school, where he was winning quite a name for himself when his father, growing old, decided to retire.
“Son, ” said the old man, “books cannot fill your belly or put a coat on your back. You had better follow your father’s trade.”
Ma, accordingly, turned his hand to business.
杨译: While on a sea voyage with other traders, Ma was carried off by a typhoon. After several days and nights he reached a city where all the inhabitants were appallingly ugly; yet at the sight of him they exclaimed in horror and fled as if he were a monster.
杨译:At first Ma was alarmed by their hideous looks; but as soon as he discovered that they were even more afraid of him, he made the most of their fear. Wherever he found them eating or drinking he would rush upon them, and when they scattered in alarm he would regale himself upon all they left.
Later, Ma made his way to a mountain village where the people showed more resemblance to human beings. But they were a ragged, beggarly lot. As he rested under a tree, the villagers gazed at him from a distance, not daring to approach;
but realizing after some time that he would not eat them, they began to draw nearer, and Ma addressed them with a smile. Although they spoke different tongues, each side could understand something of what the other said. And when Ma told them that he came from China, the villagers were pleased and spread the news that this stranger was not a cannibal after all.
The ugliest of them, however, would turn away after one look at Ma, not daring to draw near. Those who did go up to him had features not entirely different from the Chinese; and as they brought him food and wine Ma asked why they were so afraid of him.
“We were told by our forefathers,” they answered, “that nearly nine thousand miles to our west is a country called China inhabited by the most extraordinary looking race. We knew this by hearsay only before; but you have provided proof of it.”
Asked the reason for their poverty, they replied: “In our countrywe value beauty, not literary accomplishments. Our most handsome men are appointed ministers, those coming next are made governors and magistrates, while the third class have noble patrons and receive handsome pensions for the support of their families. But we are considered as freaks at birth, and our parents nearly always abandon us, only keeping us in order to continue the family line.”
When Ma required the name of their country, they told him that it was The Great Kingdom of Rakahas, and that their capital lay about ten miles to the north. And upon Ma’s expressing a desire to be conducted there, they set off with him the next day at cock-crow and reached the city at dawn.
The city walls were made of stone as black as ink, with towers and pavilions a hundred feet high. Red stones were used for tiles, and picking up a fragment of one Ma found that it marked his finger-nail just like vermilion. They arrived as the court was rising, in time to see the official equipages. The villagers pointed out the prime minister,
and Ma saw that his ears drooped forward in flaps, he had three nostrils, and his eyelashes covered his eyes like a screen. He was followed by some riders whom the villagers said were privy councillors. They informed Ma of each man’s rank; and, although all the officials were ugly, the lower their rank the less hideous they were.
When Ma turned to leave, the citizens of the capital exclaimed in terror and started flying in all directions as if he were an ogre. Only when the villagers assured that there was nothing to be afraid of did these city people dare stand at a distance to watch. By the time he got back, however, there was not a man, woman or child in the country but knew that a manmonster was there; so all the gentry and officials were curious to see him and asked the villagers to fetch him.
But whatever house he went to, the gate-keeper would slam the door in his face while men and women alike dared only peep at him through cracks and comment on him in whispers. Not a single one had the courage to invite him in.
Then the villagers told him: “There is a captain of the imperial guard here who was sent abroad on a number of missions by our late king. He has seen so much that he may not be afraid of you.”
So they called on the captain, and he was genuinely pleased to meet Ma, treating him as an honoured guest. Ma saw that his host who looked like a man of ninety, had protruding eyes and a beard like a hedgedog’s.
“In my youth, ” said the captain, His Majesty sent me to many countries, but never to China. Now at the age of one hundred and twenty, I have been fortunate enough to meet one from your honourable country! I must report this to the king. Living in retirement, I have not been to the court for more than ten years; but I will go there for your sake early tomorrow morning.”
He plied Ma with food and drink, showing him every courtesy. After they had drunk a few cups of wine, a dozen girls came in to dance and sing in turn. They looked like devils, but wore white silk turbans and long red dresses which trailed on the ground; and Ma, who could not understand the performance or the songs, found the music weird in the extreme. His host, however, listened appreciatively and asked eventually whether China could boast equally fine music. Receiving an affirmative answer,
the old man begged him to sing a few bars. So, beating time on the table, Ma obliged with a tune.
“How strange!” exclaimed the captain, delighted. “It is like the cries of phoenixes and dragons. I have never heard anything resembling this before.”
The following day the old man went to the court to recommend Ma to the king, who decided to summon him for an audience.
But when two ministers declared hat Ma’s revolting appearance might shock His Majesty, the king changed his mind. The captain, quite upset, returned to tell Ma of the failure of his mission.
One day, after Ma had stayed with the captain for some time, under the influence of wine he smeared his face with coal dust to perform a sword dance in the role of Zhang Fei1.
“You must appear before the prime minister with your face painted like that,” urged the captain, who admired this disguise immensely. “He is sure to patronize you, and will certainly procure you a big salary.”
“It is all very well to disguise oneself in fun, ” protested Ma with a laugh. “But how can I play the hypocrite for the sake of personal gain?”