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第一届英语世界杯翻译大赛原文及参考译文
文章来源:英语世界 发布时间:2019-04-12 15:03 作者:英语世界 点击:

Plutoria Avenue

By Stephen Leacock 

The Mausoleum Club stands on the quietest corner of the best residential street in the city. It is a Grecian building of white stone. Above it are great elm-trees with birds—the most expensive kind of birds—singing in the branches.

The street in the softer hours of the morning has an almost reverential quiet. Great motors move drowsily along it, with solitary chauffeurs returning at 10.30 after conveying the earlier of the millionaires to their down-town offices. The sunlight flickers through the elm-trees, illuminating expensive nursemaids wheeling valuable children in little perambulators. Some of the children are worth millions and millions. In Europe, no doubt, you may see in the Unter den Linden Avenue or the Champs Elysées a little prince or princess go past with a chattering military guard to do honour. But that is nothing. It is not half so impressive, in the real sense, as what you may observe every morning on Plutoria Avenue beside the Mausoleum Club in the quietest part of the city. Here you may see a little toddling princess in a rabbit suit who owns fifty distilleries in her own right. There, in a lacquered perambulator, sails past a little hooded head that controls from its cradle an entire New Jersey corporation. The United States attorney-general is suing her as she sits, in a vain attempt to make her dissolve herself into constituent companies. Nearby is a child of four, in a khaki suit, who represents the merger of two trunk line railways. You may meet in the flickered sunlight any number of little princes and princesses far more real than the poor survivals of Europe. Incalculable infants wave their fifty-dollar ivory rattles in an inarticulate greeting to one another. A million dollars of preferred stock laughs merrily in recognition of a majority control going past in a go-cart drawn by an imported nurse. And through it all the sunlight falls through the elm-trees, and the birds sing and the motors hum, so that the whole world as seen from the boulevard of Plutoria Avenue is the very pleasantest place imaginable.

Just below Plutoria Avenue, and parallel with it, the trees die out and the brick and stone of the city begins in earnest. Even from the avenue you see the tops of the sky-scraping buildings in the big commercial streets and can hear or almost hear the roar of the elevated railway, earning dividends. And beyond that again the city sinks lower, and is choked and crowded with the tangled streets and little houses of the slums.

In fact, if you were to mount to the roof of the Mausoleum Club itself on Plutoria Avenue you could almost see the slums from there. But why should you? And on the other hand, if you never went up on the roof, but only dined inside among the palm-trees, you would never know that the slums existed—which is much better.

Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich, 1914

(From John Gross (ed.), The New Oxford Book of English Prose. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. pp. 670-671)

普路托利大道(1)

[加拿大] 斯蒂芬·李科克

莫索利俱乐部坐落在这座城市最适宜居住的街道最安静的一隅。那是幢用白石建造的希腊风格的大楼。大楼周围有高大的榆树,榆树枝丛间有雀鸟——最珍贵的那类雀鸟——啁啾啼鸣。

在上午较清闲的时段,这条街道会有一种几乎令人顿生敬意的肃静。10点半光景,一辆辆高级轿车沿街慢吞吞地移动,车上都只有把早起的富豪们送抵市中心办公室后独自折返的司机。阳光闪烁着穿过榆树枝叶,使那些推着小巧童车的高薪保姆都光彩照人。童车里那些孩子个个身价不菲,有的甚至拥有亿万资产。当然,要是在欧洲,在柏林的菩提树下大街或巴黎的香榭丽舍大道,你也许会看见某位小王子或小公主在佩饰铿锵作响的仪仗兵护卫下耀然而行。但那算不得什么。真正说来,与你每天上午在这座城市最安静一隅的莫索利俱乐部旁的普路托利大道上上所看见的景象相比,那些王子公主给你的印象会大打折扣。在普路托利大道,朝这边你可能会看到一位身穿兔装、但其名下却拥有50家酿酒厂的小公主在蹒跚学步;往那边你也许会看见一名头戴兜帽、但自摇篮时期起就控制着一整家新泽西控股公司的的小总裁坐一辆铮亮的童车翩然而过——此时合众国总检察官正在对她提起诉讼,妄图把她的公司分解成若干子公司。而就在附近,则会有一位身着咔叽套装、身为两家铁路干线公司合并代表的4岁男孩。在这片闪烁的阳光下,满目皆是这样的小王子和小公主,他们远比欧洲王室那些可怜的幸存者显得真切。数不胜数的幼童稚妞一边挥舞50美元的一个象牙拨浪鼓,一边口齿不清地互相问候。一支“百万优先股”用欢笑声回报一个搭乘由外国保姆牵曳的学步车从其身边经过的“绝对控制权”的致意。而放眼望去,阳光从榆树枝叶间泻下,伴着小鸟浅唱,马达低吟,所以从普路托利林荫大道所能看到的整个世界,就是人们所能想象的最令人惬意的地方。

而就在普路托利大道下方与之平行的地段,树木逐渐消失,城市的砖墙石壁开始醒然入目。甚至从这条大道,你也能望见耸立于那些主要商业街的摩天大楼的楼顶,也能听见或几乎能听见正在盈利的高架列车的轰鸣。而在更远处,城市又渐渐变得低矮,那里令人窒息地挤满了杂乱无章的街道和贫民区的小屋。

其实,如果你愿意登上普路托利大道莫索利俱乐部的楼顶,你几乎就可以从那里看到贫民区。不过你干吗要去看呢?从另一个方面来说,要是你从未上过那楼顶,而只是在楼内的棕榈树间用餐,你就绝不会知道那些贫民区的存在——而这样最为有利。

注释:

(1)这段文字是加拿大作家李科克的幽默小说《陪闲散富豪游阿卡狄亚》之第一章《与费舍先生共进便餐》的开篇4段。选文标题由竞赛组委会根据选文内容所加。

(2)李科克(1869~1944),著名加拿大幽默作家,出版有短篇小说集、中篇小说和文学评论多种。李科克虽然东西西方社会人与人之间冷冰冰的金钱关系,但他的幽默中少有愤世嫉俗的讽刺,而多是轻松活泼的调侃,既引人发笑,又发人深省。

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