在线词典,在线翻译

尽在不言中

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小编摘要:别用面包把肚子塞满了/我心不在焉地说/这儿的菜量大得很/我的儿子,我那发线已开始/后退少许的儿子,对我说/你怎么会/跟我说这样的话

What Goes Unsaid

When I read a book from my mother’s shelves, it’s not unusual to come across a gap in the text. A paragraph, or maybe just a sentence, has been sliced out, leaving a window in its place, with words from the next page peeping through. The chopped up page looks like a nearly complete jigsaw puzzle waiting for its missing piece. But the piece isn’t lost, and I always know where to find it. Dozens of quotations, clipped from newspapers, magazines—and books—plaster one wall of my mother’s kitchen. What means the most to my mother in her books she excises and displays.

当我翻看妈妈书架上的书时,常常会发现其中的文字缺了一部分。其中的一个段落,或可能只是一个句子,被剪了下来,在原来的位置上留下了一扇窗户,让后一页上的文字探头探脑地露了出来。被挖掉一块的那一页看上去就像是一幅几乎就要完成的拼图作品,等待着缺失的那一块拼图。但那一块拼图并没有丢,而且我总是知道在哪儿能找到它。在我妈妈的厨房里,从报纸上、杂志上——还有书上——剪下的纸片贴满了一面墙。在她的书里,那些她最喜欢的句子和段落都被她剪了下来,贴在墙上。

I’ve never told her, but those literary amputations appall me. I know Ann Patchett and Dorothy Sayers, and Somerset Maugham would fume alongside me, their careful prose severed from its rightful place. She picks extracts that startle me, too: “Put your worst foot forward, because then if people can still stand you, you can be yourself.” Sometimes I stand reading the wall of quotations, holding a scissors-victim novel in my hand, puzzling over what draws my mother to these particular words.

我从未当面和她说过,但她对文学作品的这种“截肢手术”的确让我感到震惊。我知道,安•帕契特、多萝西•塞耶斯和萨默塞特•毛姆也在我身旁气得冒烟呢,怎么能把这些他们呕心沥血写出来的文字就这样从它们原来的位置上“截肢”了呢!她挑出来的那些段落也着实吓了我一跳,比如:“以你最糟糕的一面示人,因为如果那样人们也能容忍你的话,你就能做真正的自己了。”有时候,我会站在那儿读墙上那些书摘,手里拿着一本备受剪刀“迫害”的小说,心里充满困惑,不知道到底是什么驱使妈妈剪下了这样一些稀奇古怪的句子。
My own quotation collection is more hidden and delicate. I copy favorite lines into a spiral-bound journal-a Christmas present from my mother, actually—in soft, gray No. 2 pencil. This means my books remain whole. The labor required makes selection a cutthroat process: Do I really love these two pages of On Chesil Beach enough to transcribe them, word by finger-cramping word? (The answer was yes, the pages were that exquisite.)
我也摘录和收藏文字,不过我的收藏更为隐秘和精致。我会用灰色的二号软芯铅笔把我最喜欢的句子摘抄到一个活页日记本里——事实上,这还是我妈妈送我的一份圣诞礼物呢。也就是说,我的书都是完整的。但因为摘抄需要工夫,因此选择哪些文字摘抄就成了一个痛苦的过程:我是不是真的喜欢《在切瑟尔海滩上》里的这两页文字?喜欢到我愿意一个字一个字地把它们抄下来,直抄到手指头都抽筋?(答案为“是”,因为这两页文字写得实在太美了。)
My mother doesn’t know any of this. She doesn’t know I prefer copying out to cutting out. I’ve never told her that I compile quotations at all.
我妈妈一点也不知道这件事。她不知道与剪贴相比,我更喜欢抄录。我压根就没告诉过她我也收集自己喜欢的文字。
There’s nothing very shocking about that; for all our chatting, we don’t have the words to begin certain conversations. My mother and I talk on the phone at least once a week, and in some ways, we are each other’s most dedicated listener. She tells me about teaching English to the leathery Russian ladies at the library where she volunteers; I tell her about job applications, cover letters, and a grant I’d like to win. We talk about my siblings, her siblings, the president, and Philip Seymour Hoffman movies. We make each other laugh so hard that I choke and she cries. But what we don’t say could fill up rooms. Fights with my father. Small failures in school. Anything, really, that pierces us.
其实这一点没什么值得大惊小怪的;尽管我们总是聊天,但对于某些特定的话题,我们总是不知道该怎么开口。妈妈和我一个星期至少会通一次电话,从某些方面来说,我们是对方最专心的听众。她会告诉我她在图书馆做志愿者教那些强悍的俄罗斯妇女英语时发生的事;而我会和她谈谈我找工作的事、我的求职信,还有我想要争取的补助什么的。我们会聊我的兄弟姐妹、她的兄弟姐妹、总统,还有菲利普•塞默•霍夫曼的电影。我们常常逗得对方大笑,笑得我喘不过气来,笑得她眼泪都流出来了。但我们不聊的东西也很多,多得几个房间都装不下。譬如她和我爸吵架了,又譬如我在学校遇到一些小挫折了。事实上,所有让我们伤心的事,我们都避而不谈。

I like to say that my mother has never told me “I love you.” There’s something reassuring in its self-pitying simplicity—as if the three-word absence explains who I am and wins me sympathy-so I carry it with me, like a label on my back. I synthesize our cumbersome relationship with an easy shorthand: my mother never said “I love you”. The last time my mother almost spoke the words was two years ago, when she called to tell me that a friend had been hospitalized.

我常常说,妈妈从来没和我说过“我爱你”。这句有点自怜的简单话语听起来颇有些自我安慰的味道——仿佛这三个字的缺失就为我为什么成为现在的我提供了借口,还为我赢得了同情——于是,我总是把这句话挂在嘴边,就像把它贴在背上当标签一样。对于我和妈妈之间的这种微妙关系,我总是简单地用一句“谁让她从来不说‘我爱你’”来总结。上一次妈妈差点说出这几个字是在两年前,当时她给我打电话,告诉我她有个朋友住院了。
I said, “I love you, Mom.” She said, “Thank you.” I haven’t said it since, but I’ve thought about it, and I’ve wondered why my mother doesn’t. A couple of years ago, I found a poem by Robert Hershon called “Sentimental Moment or Why Did the Baguette Cross the Road?” that supplied words for the blank spaces I try to understand in our conversations: Don’t fill up on bread/I say absent-mindedly/The servings here are huge/My son, whose hair may be/receding a bit, says/Did you really just/say that to me?/What he doesn’t know/is that when we’re walking/together, when we get/to the curb/I sometimes start to reach/for his hand.
我对她说:“我爱你,妈妈。” 而她说:“谢谢。” 这件事后来我再没提过,但却始终在我的脑海里盘旋不去,我一直想知道为什么我妈妈从来不说这几个字。几年前,我读到罗伯特•赫尔希写的一首诗,诗名叫《感伤的时刻或面包为什么要过马路?》,这首诗填补了我和妈妈的对话中许多我不能理解的空白: 别用面包把肚子塞满了/我心不在焉地说/这儿的菜量大得很/我的儿子,我那发线已开始/后退少许的儿子,对我说/你怎么会/跟我说这样的话?/他不知道的是/当我们一起散步时,/当我们/走到马路边时, /我有时会不自觉地伸出手/想要去牵他的手。

It’s a humble poem, small in scope, not the stuff of epic heartbreak, yet poignant. After copying it down in my quotation journal, my wrist smudging the pencil into a gray haze as I wrote, I opened an e-mail I had begun to my mother, and added a postscript: “This poem made me think of you,” with the 13 lines cut and pasted below. My mother doesn’t read poetry—or at least, she doesn’t tell me that she reads poetry-and I felt nervous clicking, “Send” .

这是一首朴实无华的小诗,篇幅不长,不是动人心魄的宏伟诗篇,但读了却让人感到有点心酸。我把它抄在了我的书摘日记本里,写的时候,手腕把灰色的铅笔字迹都蹭模糊了。然后,我打开一封写给妈妈的电子邮件,信已经开了头,我在后面加上了附言:“这首诗让我想起了你。”然后,我在电脑上把这首13行诗剪切下来,粘贴在了邮件下面。我妈妈从来不读诗——或至少她从没告诉过我她读诗——所以,点下“发送”键时,我感到心中隐隐的紧张和不安。
She never mentioned the poem. But the next time I went home for vacation, I noticed something new in the kitchen. Not on her quotation wall, but across the room, fixed to an antique magnetic board: Robert Hershon’s poem, printed on a scrap of white paper in the old-fashioned font of a typewriter. The board hung above the radiator, where we drape wet rags and mittens dripping with snow, in the warmest spot in the kitchen. The poem still hangs there. Neither my mother nor I have ever spoken about it.
她从未和我提起过这首诗,但后来放假回家时,我注意到厨房里有了样新东西。这次不是在她常常粘纸片的墙上,而是在厨房的另一头,粘在一块老旧的磁力板上:罗伯特•赫尔希的诗。诗打印在一小片白纸上,字体有点过时,像是打字机打出来的字体。这块板子高高挂在暖气片的上方,那儿可是厨房里最温暖的地方,我们常在那儿挂湿抹布和粘着雪的手套。那首诗现在还挂在那儿,但无论妈妈还是我,都从未开口谈论过它。

标签:美文欣赏
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2012-03-10 22:42 编辑:pliny
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