Azeril (明朝即長路 惜取此時心)
- 2023-04-15 22:31:04 浙江
Az.: 伍尔芙挚友 Vita 所创作的小说. 文笔是真的好 流畅 细腻 工整之余又颇有力度和感染力. 翻译也很上乘. 题材而言 是围绕一个家庭主妇人生转变的女性主义阐发. 抛出的疑问当然是 人在世间 为何而活. 设定的年纪而言 岁月已蹉跎太多 改变也未免太晚 但也是因此 一个人转向 和往内心求索的勇气和魄力 以及此间所收获的情谊 才愈发珍贵吧.
◆ Part One
>> Edith thought, that Death should be the convener, as though all the living rushed instantly together for protection and mutual support.
>> Mother had no will of her own; all her life long, gracious and gentle, she had been wholly submissive – an appendage. It was assumed that she had not enough brain to be self-assertive.
>> What a queer thing appearance was, and how unfair. It dictated the terms of people’s estimate throughout one’s whole life. If one looked insignificant, one was set down as insignificant; yet, one probably didn’t look insignificant unless one deserved it.
>> and the return to the drawing-room had been made in a sort of scolded silence, as though Jove stooping from Olympus had detected a mortal taking liberties in his pretended absence with his high concerns.
>> ‘Lots of old ladies live in retirement at Hampstead. Besides, I have considered the eyes of the world for so long that I think it is time I had a little holiday from them. If one is not to please oneself in old age, when is one to please oneself? There is so little time left!’
>> I want no strenuous young people, who are not content with doing a thing, but must needs know why they do it. And I don’t want them bringing their children to see me, for it would only remind me of the terrible effort the poor creatures will have to make before they reach the end of their lives in safety. I prefer to forget about them. I want no one about me except those who are nearer to their death than to their birth.’
>> and now, for the first time in his life, it was becoming apparent to Kay that people could still hold surprises up their sleeves, however long one had known them.
>> For one’s hands are the parts of one’s body that one suddenly sees with the maximum of detachment; they are suddenly far off; and one observes their marvellous articulations, and miraculous response to the transmission of instantaneous messages, as though they belonged to another person, or to another piece of machinery; one observes even the oval of their nails, the pores of their skin, the wrinkles of their phalanges and knuckles, their smoothness or rugosities, with an estimating and interested eye; they have been one’s servants, and yet one has not investigated their personality; a personality which, cheiromancy assures us, is so much bound up with our own.
>> An existence once limited only by the boundaries of Empire had shrunk since the era of Elm Park Gardens began. Or perhaps she was one of those people on whom a continuous acquaintance with strange countries makes little impression – they remain themselves to the end;
>> How Henry’s death had brought about this sudden emancipation she could not conceive. It was just another instance of what she had vaguely noted all her life: how certain events brought apparently irrelevant results in their train.
>> she recollected a restriction she had placed upon herself, namely, not to let her memory wander until the days of complete leisure should be come; not to luxuriate until she could luxuriate fully and freely. Her feast must not be spoiled by snippets of anticipation.
>> not merely a systematic piling-up of brick on brick, regulated in the building by plumb-line and spirit-level, pierced at intervals by doors and casements, but an entity with a life of its own, as though some unifying breath were blown into the air confined within this square brick box, there to remain until the prisoning walls should fall away, exposing it to a general publicity.
>> Simplify life as one might, one could not wholly escape its enormous complication.
>> Young people compel one to look forward on a life full of effort. Old people permit one to look backward on a life whose effort is over and done with. That is reposeful. Repose, Lady Slane, is one of the most important things in life, yet how few people achieve it? How few people, indeed, desire it?
>> One knows one will almost certainly fall into the Brook of Competition, and break one’s leg over the Hedge of Disappointment, and stumble over the Wire of Intrigue, and quite certainly come to grief over the Obstacle of Love. When one is old, one can throw oneself down as a rider on the evening after the race, and think, Well, I shall never have to ride that course again.
>> So of course I resigned my commission, since when I have learnt that the pleasures of contemplation are greater than the pleasures of activity.
>> Carrie and her relations found great reassurance in assertion and re-assertion. Say a thing often enough, and it becomes true; by hammering in sufficient stakes of similar pattern they erected a stockade between themselves and the wild dangers of life.
>> The artificiality lay in the manner, the reality in the heart which invented it. Courtesy ceased to be blankly artificial, when prompted by real esteem; it became, simply, one of the decent, veiling graces; a formula by which a profounder feeling might be conveyed.
>> That was old age, when people knew everything so well that they could no longer afford to express it save in symbols. Those days were gone when feeling burst its bounds and poured hot from the foundry, when the heart seemed likely to split with complex and contradictory desires; now there was nothing left but a landscape in monochrome, the features identical but all the colours gone from them, and nothing but a gesture left in the place of speech.
>> At present it seems to me, Lady Slane, that man has founded all his calculations upon a mathematical system fundamentally false. His sums work out right for his own purposes, because he has crammed and constrained his planet into accepting his premises. Judged by other laws, though the answers would remain correct, the premises would appear merely crazy; ingenious enough, but crazy. Perhaps some day a true civilisation may supervene and write a big W against all our answers. But we have a long road to travel yet – a long road to travel.
>> I am a great believer in sharp outline. I dislike a fuzz. Most people fell into the error of making their whole life a fuzz, pleasing nobody, least of all themselves. Compromise is the very breath of negation. My principle has been, that it is better to please one person a great deal than to please a number of persons a little, no matter how much offence you give.
>> In so far as I believe numbers to be a basic part of the eternal harmonies, I am a convinced Pythagorean. Numbers exist in the void; it is impossible to imagine the destruction of numbers, even though you imagine the destruction of the universe.
>> She retained, however, a conviction that many spirits were fundamentally attuned, but so thickly overlaid by the formulas of the world that the clear requisite note could no longer be struck.
>> Was it due to the weariness of old age, or to the long-awaited return to childhood, when all decisions and responsibilities might again be left in the hands of others, and one might be free to dream in a world of whose sunshine and benignity one was convinced? And she thought, if only I were young once more I would stand for all that was calm and contemplative, opposed to the active, the scheming, the striving, the false
◆ Part Two
>> Her heart sat silent through the noise
And concourse of the street;
There was no hurry in her hands,
No hurry in her feet.
>> He had passed into the sphere where people marry, beget and bear children, bring them up, give orders to servants, pay income-tax, understand about dividends, speak mysteriously in the presence of the young, take decisions for themselves, eat what they like, and go to bed at the hour which pleases them.
>> For the first time in her life – no, for the first time since her marriage – she had nothing else to do. She could lie back against death and examine life. Meanwhile, the air was full of the sound of bees.
>> The girl walking beside the lake was unaware, but the old woman beheld the whole of adolescence, as who should catch a petal in the act of unfolding; dewy, wavering, virginal, eager, blown by generous yet shy impulses, as timid as a leveret and as swift, as confiding as a doe peeping between the tree trunks, as light-foot as a dancer waiting in the wings, as soft and scented as a damask rose, as full of laughter as a fountain – yes, that was youth, hesitant as one upon an unknown threshold, yet ready to run her breast against a spear.
>> The image of the girl faded, and in its place stood a slender boy. He was a boy, but essentially he was a sexless creature, a mere symbol and emanation of youth, one who had forsworn for ever the delights and rights of sex to serve what seemed to his rioting imagination a nobler aim.
>> She would follow that bygone ambition from its dubious birth, through the months when it steadied and increased and coursed like blood through her, to the days when it languished and lost heart, for all her efforts to keep it alive. She saw it now for what it was: the only thing of value that had entered her life. Reality she had had in plenty, or what with other women passed for reality – but she could not go into those realities now, she must attach herself to that transcending reality for as long as she could hold it, it was so firm, it made her so happy even to remember how it had once sustained her; for she was not merely telling herself about it now, but feeling it again, right down in some deep place; it had the pervading nature of love while love is strong, unlike the cold recital of love in reminiscence.
>> There was surely a discrepancy somewhere. But everybody seemed agreed – so well agreed, that the matter was not even discussed: there was only one employment open to women.
>> but presently she perceived that innumerable little strands like the thread of a spider were fastening themselves round her wrists and ankles, and that each one of them ran up to its other end in somebody’s heart.
>> Is it not for this function that they have been formed, dressed, bedizened, educated – if so one-sided an affair may be called education – safeguarded, kept in the dark, hinted at, segregated, repressed, all that at a given moment they may be delivered, or may deliver their daughters over, to Minister to a Man?
>> Yet she was no feminist. She was too wise a woman to indulge in such luxuries as an imagined martyrdom. The rift between herself and life was not the rift between man and woman, but the rift between the worker and the dreamer. That she was a woman, and Henry a man, was really a matter of chance. She would go no further than to acknowledge that the fact of her being a woman made the situation a degree more difficult.
>> Perhaps he had consciously or unconsciously tried to smother her longings under a pack of rugs and cushions, like putting a broken heart to sleep on a feather bed.
>> Then, she had been face to face with life, and that had seemed a reason for a necessity for the clearest thinking; now, she was face to face with death, and that again seemed a reason for the truest possible estimate of values, without evasion. The middle period alone had been confused.
>> Happy. But one was happy at one moment, unhappy two minutes later, and neither for any good reason; so what did it mean? It meant, if it meant anything at all, that some uneasy desire wanted black to be black, and white, white; it meant that in the jungle of the terrors of life, the tiny creeping creatures sought reassurance in a formula.
>> Absurd to ask of those, had she been happy or unhappy? It seemed merely as though someone were asking a question about someone that was not herself, clothing the question in a word that bore no relation to the shifting, elusive, iridescent play of life; trying to do something impossible, in fact, like compressing the waters of a lake into a tight, hard ball.
>> Yet in the midst of her envy something offended her: this intolerably masculine lordliness, this abject feminine submission.
>> He assumed that she might sink herself in either, if not in both, with equal joy. It had never occurred to him that she might prefer simply to be herself.
>> she had realised the responsibility of launching the little creature labelled by a name not of its own choosing, like launching a battleship, only instead of turrets and decks and guns she had to do with the miraculous tissue of flesh and brain.
>> Realist and idealist, they represented the extreme opposites of their points of view, with the difference that whereas Henry need make no bones about his creed, she must protect hers from shame and ridicule.
◆ Part Three
>> Her body had, in fact, become her companion, a constant resource and preoccupation; all the small squalors of the body, known only to oneself, insignificant in youth, easily dismissed, in old age became dominant and entered into fulfilment of the tyranny they had always threatened.
>> And all these parts of the body became intensely personal: my back, my tooth, my finger, my toe;
>> All tiny things, contemptibly tiny things, ennobled only by their vast background, the background of Death.
>> Of such a quality were the tiny things, the shapely leaves, of her present life: redeemed from insignificance by their juxtaposition with a luminous eternity.
>> She felt exalted, she escaped from an obvious pettiness, from a finicking life, whenever she remembered that no adventure could now befall her except the supreme adventure for which all other adventures were but a preparation.
>> All the evening, after he had gone, she sat gazing into the fire, her book neglected, wondering, trying to remember, trying to put her hand on something that remained tantalisingly just round the corner, just out of reach. Something had knocked against her as the clapper might knock against a cracked old bell in a disused steeple. No music travelled out over the valleys, but within the steeple itself a tingling vibration arose, disturbing the starlings in their nests and causing the cobwebs to quiver.
>> Cease of your oaths, cease of your great swearing,
Cease of your pomp, cease of your vainglory,
Cease of your hate, cease of your blaspheming,
Cease of your malice, cease of your envy,
Cease of your wrath, cease of your lechery,
Cease of your fraud, cease your deception,
Cease of your tongues making detraction.
>> Henry Holland said, could be quiet without being dull, and fewer women could talk without being a bore;
>> ‘Except that you were defrauded of the one thing that mattered. Nothing matters to an artist except the fulfilment of his gift. You know that as well as I do. Frustrated, he grows crooked like a tree twisted into an unnatural shape. All meaning goes out of life, and life becomes existence – a makeshift. Face it, Lady Slane. Your children, your husband, your splendour, were nothing but obstacles that kept you from yourself. They were what you chose to substitute for your real vocation. You were too young, I suppose, to know any better, but when you chose that life you sinned against the light.’
>> According to his lights, he gave you all you could desire. He merely killed you, that’s all. Men do kill women. Most women enjoy being killed; so I am told. Being a woman, I daresay that even you took a certain pleasure in the process.
>> Eighty-one was not an age which permitted the playing of tricks with time. At twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, one might reasonably say, I will put that off until next summer – though, to be sure, even at twenty, the unexpected perils of life were always present – but at eighty-one such deferments became a mere taunt in the face of Fate. That which had been an unexpected and improbable peril in earlier years, swelled to a certainty after eighty.
>> He could see no reason for the curiosity commonly displayed by people over other people; it seemed to him vulgar, boring, and unnecessary. All he asked was to be let alone; he had no desire to interfere in the workings of the world; he simply wanted to live withdrawn into his chosen world, absorbed in his possessions and their beauty. That was his form of spirituality, his form of contemplation. Thus the loneliness of his death held no pathos, since it was in accordance with what he had chosen.
>> he knew that standards must be altered to fit the circumstances, and that it was absurd, although usual, to expect the circumstances to adjust themselves to ready-made standards.
>> But they would harden, she thought, they would harden when their warm youth grew chilled; they would become worldly-wise, self-seeking; the rash generosity of youth would be replaced by the prudence of middle-age. There would be no battle for them, no struggle in their souls; they would simply set hard into the moulds prepared for them.
>> ‘among the people I like, I find something hard and concentrated in the middle of them, harsh, almost cruel. A sort of stone of honesty. As though they were determined at all costs to be true to the things that they think matter. Of course,’
>> In the long run, with the strange bedlam always in process of sorting itself out, as the present-day became history, the poets and the prophets counted for more than the conquerors.
>> She could form no estimate of Deborah’s talents; that was beside the point. Achievement was good, but the spirit was better. To reckon by achievements was to make a concession to the prevailing system of the world; it was a departure from the austere, disinterested, exacting standards that Lady Slane and her kindred recognised.
>> he used to say, “may come from good dressing and what-not, but for beauty in death you have to fall back on character.”
>> ‘and she never came to terms with it either. She had the best that it could give her – all the things she didn’t want. She considered the lilies of the field, Mr Gosheron.’
>> ‘She did, Mr Bucktrout; many a phrase out of the Bible have I applied to her ladyship. But people will stand things in the Bible that they won’t stand in common life. They don’t seem to see the sense of it when they meet it in their own homes, although they’ll put on a reverent face when they hear it read out from a lectern.’
说明 · · · · · ·