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张培基英译中国现代散文选--28 快乐的死亡

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快乐的死亡
陆文夫

作家有三种死法。一曰自然的死,二曰痛苦的死,三曰快乐的死。自然的死属于心脏停止跳动(1),是一种普遍的死亡形式,没有特色,可以略而不议。快乐的死和痛苦的死不属于心脏停止跳动,是人还活着,作品已经、或几乎是没有了!

作家没有了作品,可以看作是个人艺术生命的死亡、职业的停顿。其中有些人是因为年事已高,力不从心(2)。这不是艺术的死亡,而是艺术的离休,他自己无可自责,社会也会尊重(3)他在艺术上曾经作出的贡献。

痛苦的死亡却不然,即当一个作家的体力和脑力(4)还能胜任创作的时候,作品已经没有了,其原因主要是由于各种苦难和折磨(包括自我折磨)所造成。折磨毁了他的才华,苦难消沉了意志,作为人来说他还活着,作为作家来说却正在或已死去。这种死亡他自己感到很痛苦,别人看了心里也很难受。

快乐的死亡却很快乐,不仅他自己感到快乐,别人看来也很快乐。昨天看见他大会上做报告,下面掌声如雷;今天又看见他参加宴会,为这为那地频频举杯(5)。昨天听见他在高朋中大发议论,语惊四座,今天又听见他在那些开不完的座谈会上重复昨天的意见。昨天看见他在北京的街头,今天又看见他飞到了广州……只是看不到或很少看到他的作品发表哪里。

我不害怕自然的死,因为害怕也没用,人人不可避免。我也不太害怕痛苦的死,因为那时代已经过去(6)。我最害怕的就是那快乐的死,毫无痛苦,十分热闹,甚至还有点轰轰烈烈。自己很难控制,即很难控制在一定的范围之内。因为我觉得喝酒不一定完全是坏事,少喝一点可以舒筋活血,据说对心血管也是有帮助的。作家不能当隐士,适当的社会活动和文学活动可以开阔眼界,活跃思想,对创作也是有帮助的(7)。可是怎么才能不酗酒、不作酒鬼,这有益的定量究竟是多少呢?怕就怕三杯下肚,豪情大发,嘟嘟嘟,来个瓶底朝天,而且一顿喝不上便情绪不高,颇有怨言,甚至会到处去找酒喝。呜呼,快乐地死去!

Happy Death
Lu Wenfu

A writer can die three kinds of death: natural death, painful death, happy death. Natural death, caused by the discontinuation of heartbeat, is a common form of death with no characteristics of its own, and therefore may as well be left out without any comment. In the case of happy death and painful death, which are not caused by the discontinuation of heartbeat, the writer, alive as he is, has stopped or almost stopped writing!

When a writer no longer produces any works, it is tantamount to the death of his artistic life or the end of his career. Some writers lay down their pens because they are too old to be equal to the task. We call it retirement from art rather than death of art. They have nothing to blame themselves for. And society at large will pay tribute to the contributions they have already made to art.

Painful death is quiet another matter. It occurs when a writer abandons writing even though he is still sound in mind and body. It results mainly from various kinds of sufferings and torments (including self-inflicted torments). Torments ruin his talent while sufferings demoralize him. Though still alive as a man, he is dying or already dead as a writer. This kind of death causes not only much pain to the writer himself, but much sadness to other people as well.

Happy death is a joyful thing, bring happiness to both the writer himself and other people. Yesterday we saw him addressing a big meeting amidst thunderous applause, and today we saw him attending a banquet, drinking nonstop to this and that. Yesterday we heard him talking volubly to a gathering of distinguished guests, capturing the attention of all present, and today we heard him repeating himself at one of those endless forums. Yesterday we met him on a Beijing street, and today we saw him flying to Guangzhou… But never or every seldom do we find his new works seeing the light of today.

I do not fear natural death for nobody can avoid it, hence no use fearing. Nor do I fear painful death for it is something belonging to a bygone age. What I fear most is happy death, which is absolutely painless and full of bustle, excitement and even dramatic spectacle. It is difficult to exercise self-control, that is, difficult to keep within limits. Drinking is, to my mind, not always bad because a few spots may help blood circulation and is, as they say, good for the heart and blood vessels. Being no hermit, a writer stands to benefit in writing as long as he gets properly involved with social and literary activities to widen his field of vision and stimulate his thinking. But how can he avoid excessive drinking or becoming of drunkard? What is the safety limit in this respect? The trouble is after three cups of alcohol he will get wild and unrestrained and end in gulping down a whole bottle. One meal without liquor will upset him and set him complaining and searching around for drink. Alas, just to end up dying happily!

注释见下页

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2011-11-15 14:41 编辑:Day_Day_Up1990
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