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张培基英译中国现代散文选--14 话说短文

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话说短文
冰心

也许是我的精、气、神都不足吧(1),不但自己写不出长的东西,人读一本刊物时,也总是先挑短的看,不论是小说、散文或是其他的文学形式,最后才看长的。 我总觉得,凡是为了非倾吐不可而写的作品,都是充满了真情实感的。反之,只是为写作而写作,如(2)上之为应付编辑朋友(3),一之为多拿稿费,这类文章大都是尽量地往长里写,结果是即便的一点点的感情,也被冲洗到水分太多(4)、淡而无味的地步。

当由一个人物,一桩事迹,一幅画面而发生的真情实感,向你袭来的时候,它就像一根扎到你心尖上(5)的长针,一阵卷到你面前的怒潮,你只能用最真切、最简练的文字,才能描画出你心尖上的那一阵剧痛和你面前的那一霎惊惶! 我们伟大的祖国,是有写短文的文学传统的(6)。那部包括上下数千年的《古文观止》,“上起东周,下迄明末,共选辑文章220篇”有几篇是长的(7)?如杜牧的《阿房宫赋》,韩愈的《祭十二郎文》(8)等等,哪一篇不是短而充满了真情实感?今人的巴金的《随感录》,不也是一个实例吗(9)?


A Chat about Short Essays
Bing Xin

Perhaps due to my failing energies, not only have I refrained from writing anything long, but also, in reading a magazine, for example, I usually finish its shorter pieces of writing first, be they fiction, prose or any other forms of literature, before going on to the longer ones. I always believe that anything written with an irresistible inner urge to unbosom oneself must be full of genuine feelings. On the contrary, if one writes simply for the sake of writing—say, to humour one’s editor friends, or worse still, to earn more remuneration, one will most probably make his writings unnecessarily long until they become, despite what little feeling they may contain, inflated and wishy-washy.

When true emotions aroused by a person, an event or a scene come upon you like a pin pricking your heart or an angry tide surging threateningly before you, all you can do is use the most vivid and succinct language to describe the severe pain in your heart or the momentary feeling of panic caused by the angry tide. Our great motherland is known for its literary tradition of short essays. Do you find anything unduely long in A Treasury of Best Ancient Chinese Prose with its 220 essays selected from a period of several thousand years in ancient China from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty down until the end of the Ming Dynasty? Aren’t the essays in it, like Du Mu’s Rhapsody on Epang Palace and Han Yu’s An Elegiac Address to My Nephew Shi’erlang, all short and yet full of true feelings? Isn’t A Collection of Random Thoughts by Ba Jin, our contemporary, another like example of pithy writing?

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2011-10-29 16:34 编辑:Day_Day_Up1990
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