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我之于书-Books and I

2014-03-06 11:55
我之于书(1)
夏丐尊
二十年来,我的生活费中至少十分之一二是消耗在书上的(2)。我的房子里(3)比较
贵重的东西就是书。
Books and I
Xia Mianzun
For twenty years past, books have eaten into at least 10-20 percent of my pocket. Now
the only things of some value under my roof, if any, are my books.
 
我一向没有对于任何问题作高深研究的野心,因之所以买的书范围较广,宗教、
艺术、文学、社会、哲学、历史、生物,各方面差不多都有一点。最多的是各国文学
名著的译本,与本国古来的诗文集,别的门类只是些概论等类的入门书而已。
Since I have never retained ambition for making a profound study on any subject,
the books I have acquired cover almost everything--religion, art, literature, sociology,
philosophy, history, biology, etc. Most of them are Chinese translations of literary works
by famous foreign writers and anthologies of Chinese poetry and prose through the ages.
The rest, often called an outline or introduction, are merely on rudiments of subjects.
 
我不喜欢向别人或图书馆借书。借来的书,在我好像过不来瘾似的(4),必要是自
己买的才满足。这也可谓是一种占有的欲望。买到了几册新书,一册一册在加盖藏书
印(5)记,我最感到快悦的是这时候。
I never care to borrow books from other people or a library. It seems that books
bought can better satisfy my bibliomania than books borrowed. You may also attribute this
to some sort of desire for personal possession. Whenever I have some new acquisitions, it
always gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to stamp my ex-libris on them one by one.
 
书籍到了我的手里,我的习惯是先看序文,次看目录。页数不多的往往立刻通读
(6),篇幅大的,只把正文任择一二章节略加翻阅,就插在书架上。除小说外,我少有
全体读完的大部的书,只凭了购入当时的记忆,知道某册书是何种性质,其中大概有
些什么可取的材料而已。什么书在什么时候再去读再去翻,连我自己也无把握,完全
要看一个时期一个时期的兴趣。关于这事,我常自比为古时的皇帝,而把插在架上的
书籍诸列屋而居的宫女(7)。
As soon as a new book comes to hand, I always read the preface first and then the
table of contents. If it happens to be a thin one, I often finish reading it at one sitting.
Otherwise, I often browse through one or two chapters or sections before putting it onto
my bookshelf. I seldom read a thick book from cover to cover unless it is a novel. By dint
of the first impression it made on me at the time of buying, I have a rough idea of what a
book is about and what useful materials in it are available to me. But I have little idea
which book is to be read or looked over again at what time. It is completely subject to the
whims of the moment. This often prompts me to liken myself and the books on my shelves
respectively to an ancient emperor and his concubines housed separately in a row of
adjoining rooms.
 
我虽爱买书,而对于书却不甚爱惜。读书的时候,常在书上把我认为要紧的处所
标出。线装书竟用红铅笔划粗粗的线。经我看过的书,统计统体干净的很少。
据说,任何爱吃糖果的人,只要叫他到糖果铺中去做事,见了糖果就会生厌。自
我入书店以后,对于书的贪念也已消除了不少了,可不免要故态复萌(8),想买这种,
想买那种。这大概因为糖果要用嘴去吃,摆存毫无意义,而书则可以买了不看,任其
只管插在架上的缘故吧。
Much as I love books, I take little care of them. In doing my reading, I often mark out
what I regard as important in a book. If it is a thread-bound Chinese book, I use a writing
brush to draw small circles as markings. Otherwise, I use a red pencil to draw heavy
underlines. Consequently, the books I have read are rarely clean.
It is said that those who have a great liking for candies will sicken to see them when
later they happen to work in a candy store. Likewise, ever since I began to work in a
bookstore, my obsession with books has been very much on the decline. Nevertheless, I
still can not help slipping back into the same old rut, eager to buy this and that book. This
is probably because candies are to be eaten with the mouth and not worth keeping as
knick-knacks while books can be bought without being read and just left on a shelf.
注释:
夏丐尊(1886-1946)浙江上虞人,著名文学家、教育家、出版家。他的文学创作以
散文为主,多随笔、杂感,内容积极,风格平淡朴素。此文于1933年11月发表在
《中学生》杂志上。
(1)“我之于书”译为 Books and I ,比 I and Books 符合英语习惯,读音也较顺口。
(2)“我的生活费中至少十分之一二是消耗在书上的”译为books have eaten into at
least 10-20 percent of my pocket,其中成语 to eat into 作“耗尽”或“花费”解,
意同 to use up 或 to spend gradually;pocket 作“腰包”解。
(3)“我的房子里”译为 under my roof ,意同 in my house。
(4)“好像过不来瘾似的”中的“瘾”指“藏书癖”,故译为bibliomania,意即 desire or
 passion for collecting books。
(5)“藏书印”译为 ex-libris,为专用语。
(6)“往往立刻通读”译为 I often finish reading it at one sitting,其中at one sitting
(亦作at a sitting)为成语,作“坐着一口气”或“一下子”解。
(7)“宫女”本可译为court ladies或palace maids,但原文实际上指的是“妃子”,
故译为concubines。
(8)“故态复萌”译为slipping back into the same old rut,或relapsing into my old habit。
 

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