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(中英)现代散文:看月 Enjoying the Moon

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2019年04月15日

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Enjoying the Moon

看 月①

◎ Ye Shengtao

◎ 叶圣陶

People living in the small alleyways of Shanghai pay little attention to the waxing and waning, or the visibility, of the moon. The so-called "courtyards" in their houses are generally smaller than three metres square. And each room is illuminated by an electric bulb of at least 16 watts. Such a living environment is of course inconvenient for you to enjoy the moonlight. When you go out for a walk towards the evening, you'll see street lamps lit up one after another though it is not yet quite dark. Moon or no moon simply means the appearance of one extra street lamp or that one of the street lamps has gone wrong and ceased to give out light. Nobody cares.

住在上海“弄堂房子”里的人②对于月亮的圆缺隐现③是不甚关心的。所谓“天井”,不到一丈见方的面积。至少十六支光的电灯每间里总得挂一盏。环境限定,不容你有关心到月亮的便利。走到路上,还没“断黑”已经一连串地亮了街灯。有月亮吧,就像多了一盏灯。没有月亮吧,犹如一盏街灯损坏了,没有亮起来。谁留意这些呢?

Last summer, I complained that I could seldom hear the singing of cicadas. Now I'm sorry I haven't seen the moon for a long time. I remember how late one night I happened to wake up to find no more blaring of the radio from the window of the opposite house, no more clatter of next door's mahjong tiles and that all lights in the neighbourhood had been put out. A creamy white ray of light streamed in through my southern window to cast the shadow of the window lattice on my quilt. I was somewhat surprised. Then, when it dawned on me that it was the moon, I immediately looked out of the window, curious to have a look at it. But, unfortunately, it was soon hidden by clouds.

去年夏天,我曾经说过不大听到蝉声④,现在说起月亮,我又觉得许久不看见月亮了⑤。只记得某夜夜半醒来,对窗的收音机已经沉寂,隔壁的“麻将”⑥也歇了手,各家的电灯都已熄灭,一道象牙色的光从南窗透进来,把窗棂印在我的被袱上。我略微感到惊异,随即想到原来是月亮光。好奇地要看看月亮本身,我向窗外望。但是,一会儿月亮被云遮没了。

People from Peiping often wonder why Shanghailanders should choose to live in such a lousy place. They say life here is so full of tension, the air so foul, and trees so scarce, and so on and so forth. I wonder if the apparent loss of moonlight might as well be listed among their reasons for staying away from this city. But I would think otherwise, for it doesn't make sense to call enjoyment of moonlight one of the requisites of life. Open heart and wide vision do not necessarily come of watching the moon. The same can be achieved in self-cultivation, and that in a more practical way, by looking earthward instead of skyward. Nevertheless, I'm not opposed to watching the moon. I only mean it doesn't matter at all if you see no moon.

从北平来的人往往说在上海这地方怎么“呆”得住⑦。一切都这样紧张⑧。空气是这样龌龊。走出去很难得看见树木。诸如此类,他们可以举出一大堆。我想,月亮仿佛失掉了这一点,也该列入他们认为上海“呆”不住的理由吧。假若如此,我倒并不同意。在生活的诸般条件里列入必须看月亮一项,那是没有理由的。清旷的襟怀和高远的想象力未必定须由对月而养成。把仰望的双眼移到地面⑨,同样可以收到修养上的效益,而且更见切实。可是我并非反对看月亮,只是说即使不看也没有什么关系罢了。

The moonlight I once enjoyed watching in the suburbs of Fuzhou, round a bend of the Min River, was the best I have ever seen. Over there, one night as I leaned on an upstairs railing and gazed into the distance, I was amazed to see the surging tidal water in the River sparkling like silver in the moonlight. The mountains along the river banks, enveloped in a thin mist, appeared quite different from what we had been accustomed to see. The moon was hanging leisurely high up in the sky. A wide sandy beach lay stretching all the way from the riverside to where I lived, showing a vast expanse of white in the moonlight, with slight undertones of green. Suddenly the sweet fragrance of tuberoses wafted up from somewhere. It might be the sweet fragrance of the moon, I thought. I stood lost in reverie. It was not until fifteen minutes later that, turning round to see my own shadow on the plaster wall, I finally returned to my old self.

最好的月色我也曾看过。那时在福州的乡下,地当闽江一折的那个角上。某夜,靠着楼栏直望。闽江正在上潮,受着月光,成为水银的洪流。江岸诸山略微笼罩着雾气,好像不是平日看惯的那几座山了。月亮高高停在天空,非常舒泰的样子。从江岸直到我的楼下是一大片沙坪,月光照着,茫然一白,但带点儿青的意味。不知什么地方送来晚香玉的香气。也许是月亮的香气吧,我这么想。我心中不起一切杂念⑩,大约历一刻钟之久,才回转身来。看见蛎粉墙上印着我的身影,我于是重又意识到了我。

Of course it will bring me great pleasure to see the same brilliant moonlight a few more times even though I've said, "It doesn't matter at all if you see no moon."

那样的月色如果能得再看几回,自然是愉悦的事,虽然前面我说过“即使不看也没有什么关系”。

叶圣陶(1894—1988),原名叶绍钧,江苏苏州人,为现代杰出文学家、教育家。《看月》一文于1933年9月1日发表在《中学生》杂志第37号上,当时他在上海开明书店做编辑工作,任该杂志主编。文章写景状物,风格严谨,抒情色彩浓厚,其结尾的处理,尤具匠心。


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