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The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea may very well become one of the true classics of this generation. Certainly, the qualities of Ernest Hemingway's short novel are those which we associate with many great stories of the past: near perfection of form within the limitations of its subject matter, restraint of treatment, regard for the unities of time and place, and evocative simplicity of style. Also, like most great stories, it can be read on more than one level of meaning. On one it is an exciting but tragic adventure story. Sustained by the pride of his calling, the only pride he has left, a broken old fisherman ventures far out into the Gulf Stream and there hooks the biggest marlin ever seen in those waters. Then, alone and exhausted by his struggle to harpoon the giant fish, he is forced into a losing battle with marauding sharks; they leave him nothing but the skeleton of his catch. On another level the book is a fable of the unconquerable spirit of man, a creature capable of snatching spiritual victory from circumstances of disaster and material defeat. On still another it is a parable of religious significance, its theme supported by the writer's unobtrusive handling of Christian symbols and metaphors. Like Coleridge's Ancient Mariner, Hemingway's Cuban fisherman is a character allowing the imagination of his creator to operate simultaneously in two different worlds of meaning and value, the one real and dramatic, the other moral and devotionally symbolic.

《老人与海》完全可能成为当代一部名副其实的经典作品。厄纳斯特·海明威的这部短篇小说无疑具有以往许多巨著的共同特点: 在题材所限的范围内几乎达到形式上的完美无缺、处理方法谨严、注意时间和地点的统一,行文简洁而内涵很深。另外,和极大多数巨著一样,海明威的这篇小说读起来可有不止一层的意思。一方面,这是一个激动人心的带有悲剧性的冒险故事。故事讲到一个精神沮丧的老渔人,在他对职业的自豪感(他留下的唯一自豪感)的支持之下,冒险远航至墨西哥湾流并在那里钓住了一条该水域中从未见过的最大的马林鱼。故事接着说到他孤零零地、在因奋力叉住这条大鱼而耗尽了力气之后,被迫投入一场和一群海盗似的鲨鱼的绝望的搏斗之中,结果是那些鲨鱼只给他留下了猎获物的一具骨架。另一方面,这又是一个寓言,它描述了人所具有的不可征服的精神力量——一个人如何从灾难和实际失败的环境中攫取精神上的胜利。再一方面,这是带有宗教意义的一种隐喻,作者不引人注目地给这一主题添加了基督教的一些象征和比喻。和柯勒律治笔下的“老水手”一样,海明威笔下的古巴渔民是这样一个角色,他容许作者的想象力同时在两个领域中活动,这两个领域具有不同的意义和价值,一个注意写实,有着动人的情节;另一个则侧重道德说教,充满象征的意义。


For eighty four days old Santiago had not caught a single fish. At first a young boy, Manolin, had shared his bad fortune, but after the fortieth luckless day the boy's father told his son to go in another boat. From that time on Santiago worked alone. Each morning he rowed his skiff out into the Gulf Stream where the big fish were. Each evening he came in empty-handed.


桑提亚哥老人已经八十四天没有捕到一条鱼了。最初,一个年轻的孩子曼诺林和他一起分担恶运,但在过了四十天倒霉日子之后,孩子的爸爸让孩子到另一条船上干活去了。从那个时候起,桑提亚哥只是一个人干活。每天早晨他划着小船到有大鱼出没的墨西哥湾流去,每天晚上他总是两手空空地回来。

The boy loved the old fisherman and pitied him. If Manolin had no money of his own, he begged or stole to make sure that Santiago had enough to eat and fresh baits for his lines. The old man accepted his kindness with humility that was like a quiet kind of pride. Over their evening meals of rice or black beans they would talk about the fish they had taken in luckier times or about American baseball and the great DiMaggio. At night, alone in his shack, Santiago dreamed of lions on the beaches of Africa, where he had gone on a sailing ship years before. He no longer dreamed of his dead wife.

孩子喜欢并且可怜这个老渔人。曼诺林要是自己没有挣到钱,就会乞讨或偷窃以保证桑提亚哥有足够的食物和新鲜的鱼饵。老人谦卑地接受孩子的好意,谦卑中带有某种隐而不露的自豪感。晚餐时(吃的是大米饭和黑蚕豆)他们总会谈论在运气好的日子里一起捕获的大鱼,或是谈论美国的棒球赛和伟大的狄马吉奥。夜间桑提亚哥一个人躺在自己的小棚屋里,梦见非洲海滩上的狮子,几年前他航海去过那个地方。他不再梦见自己死去的老婆了。


On the eighty-fifth day Santiago rowed out of the harbor in the cool dark before dawn. After leaving the smell of land behind him, he set his lines. Two of his baits were fresh tunas the boy had given him, as well as sardines to cover his hooks. The lines went straight down into deep dark water.

在第八十五天,桑提亚哥在寒冷的黎明前的黑暗中,把小船划出了港口。在把陆地的气息抛在身后之后,他放下了钓丝。他的两个鱼饵是孩子给他的鲜金枪鱼,还有把鱼钩遮盖起来的沙丁鱼。钓丝垂直地下到暗黑的深水里。


As the sun rose he saw other boats in toward shore, which was only a low green line on the sea. A hovering man-of-war bird showed him where dolphin were chasing some flying fish, but the school was moving too fast and too far away. The bird circled again. This time Santiago saw tuna leaping in the sunlight. A small one took the hook on his stern line. Hauling the quivering fish aboard, the old man thought it a good omen.

太阳升起时,他看到别的一些船只都头朝着海岸,在海上看来海岸象是一条接近地平线的绿带子。一只盘旋的军舰鸟给老人指明了海豚追逐飞鱼的地方。但是鱼群游得太快、也太远了。这只猛禽又在盘旋了,这次桑提亚哥瞧见金枪鱼在太阳光下跃起。一条小金枪鱼咬住了他艉缆上的鱼钩。老人在把颤动的金枪鱼拉上船板以后,心想这可是一个好兆头。

Toward noon a marlin started nibbling at the bait which was one hundred fathoms down. Gently the old man played the fish, a big one, as he knew from the weight on the line. At last he struck to settle the hook. The fish did not surface. Instead, it began to tow the skiff to the northwest. The old man braced himself, the line taut across his shoulders. Although he was alone and no longer strong, he had his skill and knew many tricks. He waited patiently for the fish to tire.

快到中午时,一条马林鱼开始啃起一百深处的那块鱼饵来了。老人轻轻地摆布那条上了钩的鱼,根据钓丝的份量他知道那准是一条大鱼。最后他猛拉钓丝把鱼钩给稳住了。但是,那条鱼并没有浮出水面,反而开始把小船拖着往西北方向跑。老人打起精神,斜挎在肩膀上的钓丝绷得紧紧的。他虽然孤身一人,体力也不如从前,但是他有技术,他懂得许多诀窍。他耐心地等待鱼累乏下来。

The old man shivered in the cold that came after sunset. When something took one of his remaining baits, he cut the line with his sheath knife. Once the fish lurched suddenly, pulling Santiago forward on his face and cutting his cheek. By dawn his left hand was stiff and cramped. The fish had headed northward; there was no land in sight. Another strong tug on the line sliced Santiago's right hand. Hungry, he cut strips from the tuna and chewed them slowly while he waited for the sun to warm him and ease his cramped fingers.

日落之后,寒意袭人,老人冷得发抖。当他剩下的鱼饵中有一块被咬住时,他就用自己那把带鞘的刀把钓丝给割断了。有一次那条鱼突然一个侧身,把桑提亚哥拉得脸朝下地跌了一跤,老人的颊部也给划破了。黎明时分,他的左手变得僵硬并抽起筋来了。那条鱼还是一直往北游,一点陆地的影子都瞧不见了。钓丝又一次猛的一拉,把老人的右手给勒伤了。老人肚子饿得发慌,就从金枪鱼身上割下几片肉,放在嘴里慢慢嚼着,等着太阳出来晒暖他的身子和减轻手指抽筋的痛苦。

That morning the fish jumped. Seeing it leap, Santiago knew he had hooked the biggest marlin he had even seen. Then the fish went under and turned toward the east. Santiago drank sparingly from his water bottle during the hot afternoon. Trying to forget his cut hand and aching back, he remembered the days when men had called him Campeon and he had wrestled with a giant Negro in the tavern at Cienfuegos. Once an airplane droned overhead on its way to Miami.

第二天早上,这条鱼蹦出了水面。桑提亚哥瞧见鱼的跃起,知道自己钓到了一条未见过的最大的马林鱼。一会儿鱼又往下沉去,转向了东方。在炽热的下午,桑提亚哥节省地喝起水壶里的水。为了忘掉划破的手和疼痛的背,他回想起过去人们如何称他为“优胜者”和他如何在西恩富戈斯地方一家酒馆里和一个大个子黑人比手劲。有一次一架飞机嗡嗡地从头上掠过,向迈阿密飞去。

Close to nightfall a dolphin took the small hook he had rebaited. He lifted the fish aboard, careful not to jerk the line over his shoulder. After he had rested, he cut fillets from the dolphin and kept also the two flying fish he found in its maw. That night he slept. He awoke to feel the line running through his fingers as the fish jumped. Feeding line slowly, he tried to tire the marlin. After the fish slowed its run. he washed his cut hands in sea water and ate one of the flying fish. At sunrise the marlin began to circle. Faint and dizzy, he worked to bring the big fish nearer with each turn. Almost exhausted, he finally drew his catch alongside and drove in the harpoon. He drank a little water before he lashed the marlin to bow and stern of his skiff. The fish was two feet longer than the boat. No catch like it had ever been seen in Havana harbor. It would make his fortune, he thought, as he hoisted his patched sails and set his course toward the southwest.

黄昏之际,一条海豚吞食了他重新放上鱼饵的小钩子。他把这条“鱼”提到了船板上,小心不去拉动他肩上的钓丝。休息一会之后,他切下几片海豚肉并且把在海豚胃中发现的两条飞鱼留了下来。那天夜里他睡着了。他醒来时觉得当这条鱼跳起时钓丝就滑过他的手指。他缓慢地把钓丝放松,尽力想把这条马林鱼拖乏。在这条大鱼放慢跳跃时,他把划破的双手放在海里洗,并且吃了一条飞鱼。日出时,这条马林鱼开始打起转来了。老人感到头晕目眩,但他尽力把大鱼在每转一圈时拉得更近一些。他虽然几乎筋疲力尽,终于还是把自己的捕获物拉得和小船并排在一起并用鱼叉猛击这条马林鱼。他喝了一点水,然后把马林鱼捆绑在他那条小船的头部和尾部。这条马林鱼比船还长两英尺。哈瓦那港从来没有见过捕到这么大的鱼,他扯起有补丁的船帆开始向西南方向驶去,心想这下要发财了。

An hour later he sighted the first shark. It was a fierce Mako, and it came in fast to slash with raking teeth at the dead marlin. With failing might the old man struck the shark with his harpoon. The Mako rolled and sank, carrying the harpoon with it and leaving the marlin mutilated and bloody. Santiago knew the scent would spread. Watching, he saw two shovel nosed sharks closing in. He struck at one with his knife lashed to the end of an oar and watched the scavenger sliding down into deep water. The other he killed while it tore at the flesh of the marlin. When the third appeared, he thrust at it with the knife, only to feel the blade snap as the fish rolled. The other sharks came at sunset. At first he tried to club them with the tiller from the skiff, but his hands were raw and bleeding and there were too many in the pack. In the darkness, as he steered toward the faint glow of Havana against the sky, he heard them hitting the carcass again and again. But the old man thought only of his steering and his great tiredness. He had gone out too far and the sharks had beaten him. He knew they would leave him nothing but the stripped skeleton of his great catch.

一个小时以后,他瞧见了第一条鲨鱼。这是一条凶猛的尖吻鲭鲨。它飞快地游了过来,用耙一样的牙齿撕这条死马林鱼。老人用尽余力把鱼叉往鲨鱼身上扎去。尖吻鲭鲨打着滚沉下去了,带走了鱼叉,而且已经把马林鱼咬得残缺不全,鲜血直流。桑提亚哥知道血腥味会散开来。他望着海面,看到两条犁头鲨游近来了。他用绑在桨的一头的刀子击中了其中的一条,并看着这条食腐动物滑到深海里去了。他杀死了正在撕食马林鱼的另一条鲨鱼。当第三条鲨鱼出现时,他把刀子向鲨鱼戳去。鲨鱼打了一个滚,结果把刀给折断了。日落时又有一些鲨鱼游过来了。起初他设法用舵把朝它们劈过去,但是他双手磨破了皮在流着血,而游来的鲨鱼多得成了群。在暮色中,他望着地平线上的哈瓦那的微弱的灯光,听着鲨鱼一次一次在啮咬马林鱼的尸体。老人此时想到的只是掌舵,和他自己极度的疲乏。他出海太远了,那些鲨鱼把他打败了。他知道那些鲨鱼除了大马林鱼的空骨架之外,是什么也不会给他留下的。

All lights were out when he sailed into the little harbor and beached his skiff. In the gloom he could just make out the white backbone and the upstanding tail of the fish. he started up the shore with the mast and furled sail of his boat. Once he fell under their weight and lay patiently until he could gather his strength. In his shack he fell on his bed and went to sleep.

当他划进小港,让小船冲上沙滩时,岸上的灯火都已灭了。在朦胧之中,他只能分辨出那条马林鱼白色的脊背和竖着的尾巴。他拿着桅竿和卷起的船帆,往岸上爬去。有一次他在重压下跌倒了,他耐心地躺在地上,积蓄力气。等他进了自己的棚屋时,他一头倒在床上就睡。

There the boy found him later that morning. Meanwhile other fishermen, gathered about the skiff, marveled at the giant marlin, eighteen feet long from nose to tail. When Manolin returned to Santiago's shack with hot coffee, the old man awoke. The boy, he said, could have the spear of his fish. Manolin told him to rest, to make himself fit for the days of fishing they would have together. All that afternoon the old man slept, the boy sitting by his bed. Santiago was dreaming of lions.

那天早上晚些时候,孩子发现他时他还躺着。这个时候,一些渔民聚在那只小船的周围,对这条从头到尾长有十八英尺的大马林鱼啧啧称奇。当曼诺林拿着热咖啡回到桑提亚哥的棚屋时,老人醒了。他告诉孩子可以把他那条鱼的长吻拿走。曼诺林要老人休息,把身体养好,以便日后再一起出去捕鱼。整个下午老人都在睡觉,那孩子就坐在他的床旁边。桑提亚哥正在梦见那些狮子呢。

— Excerpts from Masterpieces of World Literature in Digest

——节译自《世界文学名著书摘》