俄国

Gary Saul Morson 谈俄国文学英译

“俄国文学英译”貌似挺大一个题目,这里其实只是摘抄几段 Gary Saul Morson 的文章,以为备忘。

Gary Saul Morson,西北大学斯拉夫语言文学系教授,在 Commentary 杂志二〇一〇年七、八月号上有一篇文章“The Pevearsion of Russian Literature”,不客气地批评了被媒体和评论家(包括 James Wood)热捧的 Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky 俄罗斯文学英译,称这一现象为“悲剧”。

Morson 教授的观点很鲜明:Pevear-Volokhonsky 的诸多译本虽然畅销,但翻译质量或文学价值其实很低。P-V 夫妇的翻译不行,那么谁的行呢?简短的回答是 Constance Garnett。Morson 教授在1997年给友人的信中以感人的笔触写到:

I love Constance Garnett, and wish I had a framed picture of her on my wall, since I have often thought that what I do for a living is teach the Collected Works of Constance Garnett. She has a fine sense of English, and, especially, the sort of English that appears in British fiction of the realist period, which makes her ideal for translating the Russian masterpieces. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky were constantly reading and learning from Dickens, Trollope, George Eliot and others. Every time someone else redoes one of these works, reviewers say that the new version replaces Garnett; and then another version comes out, which, apparently, replaces Garnett again, and so on. She must have done something right. (The New York Review of Books, June 23, 2016, Page 4.)

当然,Garnett 的译本并非完美(纳博科夫甚至对其贬损有加,但纳博科夫对这类问题的看法恐难以为凭,他自己翻译的《叶甫盖尼·奥涅金》就被爱德蒙·威尔逊批得体无完肤,以至于二人多年的友谊因此告终。见 David Remnick, “The Translation Wars,” The New Yorker, November 7, 2005 Issue),但经过后代学者修订之后,就更臻完善了。此外,也有一些后人的新译超过了 Garnett 译本,但数量似乎不多(在翻译领域,后来居上绝不是常态),Morson 教授提到了如下几种:

Over time, in the case of a few major works, better versions were produced. Ann Dunnigan’s translations of War and Peace, Chekhov’s plays and stories, and Ivan Goncharov’s tragicomic masterpiece Oblomov provide a more accurate rendering of the language and, perhaps, an even greater degree of literary grace than Garnett’s. Bernard Guilbert Guerney accomplished the impossible with a translation of Nikolai Gogol’s enormously difficult and complex Dead Souls, conveying the weirdness, linguistic inventiveness, and perfectly timed humor that had eluded everyone else, even Garnett. To be sure, Garnett and Guerney have their flaws, including some errors in meaning, but editing by judicious scholars has often corrected those mistakes. Ralph Matlaw thoughtfully revised the Garnett version of Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, and Elizabeth Allen did the same with many works in The Essential Turgenev. Susanne Fusso’s recasting of Guerney is the only Dead Souls worth reading.

他还谈到了合格翻译要求译者具备的条件:学养和经验(P-V译本的糟糕之处反证了这一点,具体文本例证见 Pevearsion 一文)——

Above all, translators need a thoroughgoing understanding of the work and a feel for the genre in which it is written. Garnett’s Victorianization of Tolstoy was not inappropriate; to produce an English version of Tolstoy, it really does help to know George Eliot and Anthony Trollope, both of whom Tolstoy loved. For Dostoevsky, familiarity with Dickens goes a long way, as Garnett surely knew. One cannot adequately translate a work one has not experienced with critical sensitivity, because it is that experience, not just the sequence of signs on a page, that one needs to convey.

顺带一说,《大师和玛格丽特》最流行的英译本也是P-V出品,看来同样要打入另册了。Morson 教授在其 Narrative and Freedom: The Shadows of Time 一书中引用的《大师和玛格丽特》,出自 Michael Glenny 译本

通过翻译阅读外国文学是大多数人的宿命。不论中文还是英文网站,网友七嘴八舌地议论自己对译文的见解,实在太常见了。一道菜的品质如何,你不需要是一个美食家就可以发表意见,但文学翻译这种事,除了通晓原文的学者的意见之外,几乎没有什么值得听的。

俄国作家索尔仁尼琴逝世

古拉格群岛》是一部太震撼人心的书,你必须阅读它!

若干西方媒体的报道:

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Mr. Solzhenitsyn at work in the Hoover Library in Stanford in 1976.

New York Times: Solzhenitsyn, Literary Giant Who Defied Soviets, Dies at 89.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Washington Post: Nobel Winner Chronicled Tyranny of Soviet Union

CNN: Russian novelist, former dissident, Solzhenitsyn dead.

TIME: Remembering Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

Associated Press: Solzhenitsyn broke taboos, shook Soviet empire.

BBC: Alexander Solzhenitsyn dies at 89.

BBC 中文:《俄国著名作家索尔仁尼琴去世》。(托闹运的福,我们访问它暂时不用穿了)

The Times: Last struggle is over for Nobel laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

列宁的“暗算”——两个局外人的对谈录之十四

两个局外人的对谈录(14)

Y:最近看了部电视剧《暗算》,很长,三十多集,觉得很有意思。陈丹青觉得影视剧比别的类型的作品有看头,我有同感。这部《暗算》就很耐看。

C:我也看了几集呀,是最后几集。整个场景和过程压抑、怪诞、不合情理,看不出什么名堂。你觉得好在什么地方呢?

Y:也不是什么好罢。只是我有自己的角度。这部电视剧的导演和主演好像是同一个人。他在这个剧里似乎悟到了中共作为一个政党组织之于中国的作用。而且他好像也感觉到了这个作用的机制。我当然不是讲他是个史家或思想家。我是说某些文艺作品,具有一种非分析的浑圆的透彻。可能作者未必自觉,但你可以作如是的解读。《暗算》分成三部分,讲了三个独立的故事。主线是党的秘密系统的一个特殊单位“701”为执行其特殊安全任务,而与两个“外面的人”进行合作的过程。作者很有点儿讲“寓言故事”的能力,他设计了两个极端的状况:第一个故事讲的是,“701”为了侦听敌特电台位置,同一个叫阿炳的瞎子进行合作,阿炳有超常的听力,于是就调阿炳进“701”当干部,阿炳经过一个必不可少的磨合过程神奇地完成了任务,成了“701”的英雄,有意思的是,剧中常常要强调阿炳是个傻子,低智如同三岁小儿。

C:是个片面的人,只有超常的听力,工具化的人。

Y:对,要害在这里。“701”同阿炳的合作,实际上被演绎成同一个工具进行的合作,就是用一件称手的工具而已。然后这个阿炳在成了英雄以后,或者讲完成了要他完成的任务以后,以十分荒谬的形式自杀了。

C:死了?怎么回事呢?