了不起的盖茨比(深度解读盖茨比为何编造身世)

at 2年前  ca 了不起的盖茨比英文原文  pv 3810  by 菲茨杰拉德  

导言:当他们开车去城里时,盖茨比告诉尼克他的过去,但他的故事似乎极不可能发生。例如,他声称自己是中西部富有的已故父母的儿子。当尼克问起他来自哪个中西部城市时,盖茨比回答说:“旧金山。”盖茨比接着列举了一系列冗长而荒谬的成就:他声称曾在牛津接受过教育,在欧洲各国首都收集过珠宝,曾猎杀过大型猎物,在第一次世界大战中被多个欧洲国家授予奖章。看到尼克的怀疑,盖茨比拿出了黑山队的奖牌和他在牛津大学打板球的照片。

    I had talked with him perhaps half a dozen times in the past month and found, to my disappointment, that he had little to say: So my first impression, that he was a person of some undefined consequence, had gradually faded and he had become simply the proprietor of an elaborate road-house next door.

   过去一个月里,我大概跟他交谈过五六次。使我失望的是,他并没有什么话说。所以我对他的第一印象——以为他是什么神秘的重要人物——就渐渐淡了,他只不过是隔壁一家豪华的郊外饭店的老板。 

   And then came that disconcerting ride. We hadn’t reached West Egg village before Gatsby began leaving his elegant sentences unfinished and slapping himself indecisively on the knee of his caramel-colored suit.

[disconcerting: 令人不安的;令人困惑的;令人尴尬的   If you say that something is disconcerting, you mean that it makes you feel anxious, confused, or embarrassed.]

接着就发生了那次令我尴尬的同车之行。我们到达西卵村之前,盖茨比雅致地聊着,竟欲说还休起来,还很不自在地拍了拍穿着焦糖色西装的膝盖。 

 “Look here, old sport,” he broke out surprisingly.          “What’s your opinion of me, anyhow?”

   "喂,老兄,"他出其不意地冒出一句说,"你到底对我是怎么个看法?"

  A little overwhelmed, I began the generalized evasions which that question deserves.

   我有点不知所措,就开始说一些模棱两可的话来搪塞。

 “Well, I’m going to tell you something about my life,” he interrupted. “I don’t want you to get a wrong idea of me from all these stories you hear.”

   "好吧,我来给你讲讲我自己的身世吧,"他打断了我。"你听到这么多流言,我不希望你因此对我产生误解。"

  So he was aware of the bizarre accusations that flavored conversation in his halls.

   那些给他家厅堂里的闲聊增添趣味的的非议,原来他都有所耳闻。

 “I’ll tell you God’s truth.” His right hand suddenly ordered divine retribution to stand by. “I am the son of some wealthy people in the Middle West—all dead now. I was brought up in America but educated at Oxford, because all my ancestors have been educated there for many years. It is a family tradition.”

   “我来告诉你实情吧,上帝能作证的。”他突然伸出右手,摆出一个指天发誓的姿势。“我是中西部一户有钱人家的儿子——家里人都已经去世了。尽管我是在美国长大的,我确实是在牛津受的教育,因为我家祖祖辈辈都是在牛津受教育的,这是家族传统。”    

  He looked at me sideways—and I knew why Jordan Baker had believed he was lying. He hurried the phrase “educated at Oxford,” or swallowed it, or choked on it, as though it had bothered him before. And with this doubt, his whole statement fell to pieces, and I wondered if there wasn’t something a little sinister about him, after all.

   他斜眼朝我望望--我这才明白为什么乔丹·贝克曾认为他撒谎。他把"在牛津受的教育"这句话匆匆带过,或者含糊其词,或者吞吞吐吐,好像这句话原先就让他觉得拗口异常。而有了这个疑点,他这整段自述就站不住脚了,因此我猜疑他是有什么难以启齿之处。

 “What part of the Middle West?” I inquired casually.

“你家在中西部什么地方?”我不经意地问。  

“San Francisco.”

     "旧金山。"

  旧金山在西部海岸,不属中西部。

  “I see.”

     "了解了。"

  “My family all died and I came into a good deal of money.”

     "我家里人都去世了,之后我继承了很多钱。"

   His voice was solemn, as if the memory of that sudden extinction of a clan still haunted him. For a moment I suspected that he was pulling my leg, but a glance at him convinced me otherwise.

    他的语气庄重,仿佛家族突然消绝的回忆依然时常萦绕在他的脑海。有那么一瞬间,我怀疑他在捉弄我,但是看了他一眼后,我便相信不是那么回事。

“After that I lived like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe—Paris, Venice, Rome—collecting jewels, chiefly rubies, hunting big game, painting a little, things for myself only, and trying to forget something very sad that had happened to me long ago.”

[rajah: [ˈrɑːdʒə] the king or ruler of an Indian state.(印度的)王公,邦主]

    “从那以后,我就像一个年轻的东方王公那样游遍了欧洲各国的首都省会--巴黎、威尼斯、罗马--以红宝石为主的珠宝收藏也好,打打猎也好,画点儿画也罢,不过就是自己图个乐,也是想尽量忘掉很久之前发生在我身上的一件伤心事。" 

 With an effort I managed to restrain my incredulous laughter. The very phrases were worn so threadbare that they evoked no image except that of a turbaned “character.” leaking sawdust at every pore as he pursued a tiger through the Bois de Boulogne.

[threadbare: [ˈθredbeə(r)] (论点、借口等) 老一套的;陈腐的 leaking sawdust at every pore:Nike is saying that he’s statements are obviously lies.   turbaned:缠头巾的;包着头巾的]

    他的话令人难以置信,我好不容易才收敛住笑声。他的措词实在是陈词滥调,以致在我脑子里勾勒出一个裹着头巾的木偶戏"角色":他穿过布洛涅林苑追赶一头老虎,一边跑一边从他的每个毛孔里漏出木屑来。

布洛涅林苑,法国巴黎城西边的一片森林。

  “Then came the war, old sport. It was a great relief, and I tried very hard to die, but I seemed to bear an enchanted life. I accepted a commission as first lieutenant when it began. In the Argonne Forest I took two machine-gun detachments[支队] so far forward that there was a half mile gap on either side of us where the infantry couldn’t advance. We stayed there two days and two nights, a hundred and thirty men with sixteen Lewis guns, and when the infantry came up at last they found the insignia of three German divisions among the piles of dead. I was promoted to be a major, and every Allied government gave me a decoration[奖章]—even Montenegro, little Montenegro down on the Adriatic Sea!”

"后来就打仗了,老兄。这倒是莫大的解脱,我一心求死,可是我的命好像有神灵庇佑一样。战争一开始,我得到了中尉的军衔,并接受了一项任务。在阿贡森林一役,我带领我两个机枪连的小分队一往直前,结果我们两边都有半英里的大裂缝,步兵在那里无法推进。我们在那儿待了两天两夜,一百三十号人只带了十六把刘易斯式机枪。后来等到步兵开上来,却发现堆积如山的尸体,尸堆中有德军三个师的旗帜。我晋升成了少校,每个同盟国政府都给我颁发过勋章--其中甚至包括黑山,亚德里亚海上的那个小小的黑山。"

黑山共和国:是位于巴尔干半岛西南部、亚得里亚海东岸的一个多山国家。

  Little Montenegro! He lifted up the words and nodded at them—with his smile. The smile comprehended Montenegro’s troubled history and sympathized with the brave struggles of the Montenegrin people. It appreciated fully the chain of national circumstances which had elicited this tribute from Montenegro’s warm little heart. My incredulity was submerged in fascination now; it was like skimming hastily through a dozen magazines.

[elicit:引起(反应);探得(信息)。 submerge:淹没。]

    小小的黑山!他说到这句时提高了音调,同时点头微笑。这一笑充满了对黑山动荡历史的理解,以及对英勇斗争的黑山人民的致敬。这一笑也表示他完全认同那个国家的一系列情况,正是这些情况才会让黑山人打从温暖的小小的心底,生出了这般敬意。我的疑心此刻已被惊奇取代。听他的故事,简直像匆匆忙忙翻阅十几本杂志一样。


  He reached in his pocket, and a piece of metal, slung on a ribbon, fell into my palm.

    他把手伸进口袋,随即一块系在一条缎带上的金属奖牌落进我的手掌心。

  “That’s the one from Montenegro.”

     "这就是黑山的那一个。" 

  To my astonishment, the thing had an authentic look.

    令我惊奇的是,这玩意看上去是真的。

“Orderi di Danilo,” ran the circular legend, “Montenegro, Nicolas Rex.”

[legend:(标志、徽记、硬币等物品上的)刻印文字,铭文]

     "达尼洛勋章",上面有一圈刻印文字:"黑山国王尼古拉"。

  “Turn it.”

     "翻过来。"

  “Major Jay Gatsby,” I read, “For Valour Extraordinary.”

了不起的盖茨比(深度解读盖茨比为何编造身世)  第1张

     "杰伊·盖茨比少校,"我念道,"英勇非凡"

  “Here’s another thing I always carry. A souvenir of Oxford days. It was taken in Trinity Quad—the man on my left is now the Earl of Dorcaster.”

     "这儿还有一件我一直随身带的东西,牛津时期的纪念品,这是在三一学院的四方庭院里照的——我左边这个人,现在已经是多卡斯特伯爵了。"

了不起的盖茨比(深度解读盖茨比为何编造身世)  第2张

三一学院,成立于1555年,位于英国牛津的宽街,校舍为四方形的庭院。

It was a photograph of half a dozen young men in blazers loafing in an archway through which were visible a host of spires. There was Gatsby, looking a little, not much, younger—with a cricket bat in his hand.

[blazer :(常带有俱乐部、学校、运动队等的颜色或徽章的)上衣,外套]

了不起的盖茨比(深度解读盖茨比为何编造身世)  第3张

    那是一张照片,里面有五六个年轻人,,身上穿着运动上衣,在一条拱廊下站着,背后可以看见许多塔尖,其中有盖茨比,看上去比现在年轻一点,但也没有年轻很多——他手里拿着一副板球拍。

牛津校舍大多为哥特式建筑,塔尖林立。

Then it was all true. I saw the skins of tigers flaming in his palace on the Grand Canal; I saw him opening a chest of rubies to ease, with their crimson-lighted depths, the gnawings of his broken heart.

[chest :衣柜;箱子。gnawing: [ˈnɔːɪŋ] (长时间)折磨人的,令人痛苦的,使人苦恼的。Crimson:[ˈkrɪmzn]深红色的;暗红色的。]

    这样看来他说的都是真的了。我仿佛看见一张张老虎皮在他位于大运河上的宫殿里光芒四射,还仿佛看见他打开一箱红宝石,借它们深邃夺目的红光来抚慰他满是伤痛的破碎的心。

大运河指意大利威尼斯城的大运河。


了不起的盖茨比短评:

    当两人动身去镇上时,据他自己透露,尼克对盖茨比几乎一无所知,他“talked with him perhaps half a dozen times in the past month.(在过去的一个月里和他谈了大概六次。)”然而,随着盖茨比讲述他的身世,一切很快就改变了。这场讨论特别重要,因为它第一次有力地表明盖茨比并不是他所表现的那样。在本章之前,关于盖茨比身世经历的谜团和猜测层出不穷,但菲茨杰拉德并没有透露足够多的细节,让读者了解他;在本章之后,将慢慢揭晓这些谜团。盖茨比告诉尼克,“God's truth(上帝的真相)”:“他来自中西部的富人”,“在牛津受过教育”,盖茨比无法自然而然地说出这些事,这提醒尼克,可能出了什么问题。当尼克问起他来自中西部的什么地方时,读者们第一次清楚地看到盖茨比在叙述一个精心设计的谎言——“旧金山”不位于中西部,尼克知道这一点。尼克一开始觉得盖茨比的故事“陈词滥调”,但当他看到照片和奖章时,他至少接受了其中的一部分。然而,他意识到盖茨比的特殊性。在称他为“角色”时,他强调了盖茨比就像演员一样表现自己。

    可悲的是,盖茨比甚至不是一个好的说谎者,他继续讲述自己的故事,好像说出来就会使人相信。在这段“disconcerting ride(令人不安)”的旅程中,盖茨比告诉尼克的每件事,看上去貌似是很坦诚的自我披露,以使尼克不会从四处流传的故事中对他产生“错误的想法”,然而这些都是盖茨比编造的剧本,作为他重塑自我计划的一部分。事实上,盖茨比描述的过去读起来像一个冒险故事,一个英雄“lived like a young rajah(像一个年轻的国王一样生活)”的浪漫故事,收藏珠宝,画画,大型狩猎活动等等。当盖茨比告诉尼克他的“family all died and [he] came into a good deal of money,(家人都死了,(他)继承了很多钱)”,这充其量只是幻想,第7章和第9章披露盖茨比的钱来自一个非常不同的地方。  

   在整个过程中,尼克发现盖茨比的讲话和举止都很可笑;事实上,他不得不努力避免大声笑出来。尼克发现盖茨比的故事令人难以置信,包括他出生在美国中西部著名城市旧金山。尼克确信盖茨比的整个故事是一个谎言,直到故事结束时,盖茨比给尼克看了两件纪念品:一张他在牛津大学的照片和一枚来自黑山的奖章。两件事看起来都很真实,令尼克大吃一惊,并使他相信盖茨比的故事“都是真的”,我们后来发现,至少有部分是真的。

   盖茨比分享了他的经历信息,因为他想让尼克面前树立良好的形象。正如盖茨比所说,“我不想让你从你听到的这些故事中对我有一个错误的认识。”随着第四章的继续,我们将找出原因。盖茨比想和黛西·布坎南重聚,他要尼克安排他们的会面。




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