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文学:简·奥斯汀

LITERATURE - Jane Austen

Jane Austen is loved mainly as a guide
简·奥斯汀备受喜爱的主要原因是
to fashionable life in the Regency period,
其作品被视为摄政时期的时尚生活指南
but her own vision of her task was radically different.
但她自己对于所负使命的看法却完全不同
She was an ambitious and stern moralist.
她是一位雄心勃勃又极为严厉的道德家
She was acutely conscious of human failings
她敏锐地意识到人性的堕落
and wanted through her novels to make people less selfish
并希望借助小说的引导 让人们少一些自私
and more reasonable, more dignified, and sensitive to the needs of others.
而能够更加理性 更有尊严 更敏感于他人的需求
Born in 1775, Austen grew up in a small village in Hampshire,
生于1775年的奥斯汀 在汉普郡的一个小村子长大
where her father was the Anglican rector.
她的父亲是圣公会牧师
They had high social status, but were not well off.
牧师们社会地位不错 却并不富裕
She did much of her writing at a tiny octagonal table.
她大部分作品都是在一张小八角桌上完成的
She never married, though on a couple of occasions she was tempted.
她从未结婚 尽管有过几次动心
Mostly, she lived in the country with her sister, Cassandra.
大多数时候 她和姐姐卡桑德拉住在乡下
The novel was her chosen weapon in the struggle to reform humanity.
小说是她竭力改造人性过程中所选择的武器
She completed six:
她完成了六部小说作品
Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park,
《理智和情感》 《傲慢与偏见》 《曼斯菲尔德庄园》
Emma, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion.
《爱玛》 《诺桑觉寺》和《劝导》
Some of the main things she wants to teach you are:
她想要教导人们的几件主要事情是
1. Let your lover educate you
1. 让你的爱人教导你
In Pride and Prejudice,
在《傲慢与偏见》里
Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet start off heartily disliking each other
达西先生和伊丽莎白・班纳特起初从心底里排斥对方
and then gradually realize they’re in love.
后来 他们渐渐发觉爱上了彼此
They make one of the great romantic couples.
成了非凡的神仙眷侣之一
But why actually are they right for one another?
但究竟为什么他们适合彼此呢
Austen is very clear:
奥斯汀对此非常清楚
it’s for a reason we tend not to think of very much today.
而这个原因我们如今不太能想得到
Each can educate and improve the other.
每个人都可以教育和提升別人
Darcy starts off feeling superior,
达西起初满怀优越感
because he has more money and higher status.
因为他财富更多 地位更高
Then, at a key moment,
然后 在某个关键时刻
Elizabeth condemns his arrogance and pride to his face.
伊丽莎白当面指责了他的傲慢自大
It sounds offensive, but later he admits,
虽然听上去颇为冒犯 但后来他承认
“Your reproof, so well applied, I shall never forget.”
你骂我的话 确实骂得好 叫我一辈子也忘不了
“You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first,
“你给我上了一课 起初我的确难以接受
but most advantageous.”
但后来受益匪浅”
“By you, I was properly humbled.”
“我被你深深折服了”
They suit each other because by her ease and liveliness,
他俩适合彼此 是因为伊丽莎白的活泼自在
his mind might have been softened, his manners improved,
令达西的心思更为柔软 举止有了改善
and from his judgment, information and knowledge of the world,
而达西对世界的判断 见识与理解
she must have received benefit of greater importance.
也使她获益良多
In other words, they balance each other out.
换句话说 他们平衡互补
We tend to think of love
我们往往认为
as liking someone for who they are already – total acceptance.
爱就是喜欢对方现有的样子——完全接受
But Austen is saying
但奥斯汀提出
that the right person has got to be able to help us overcome our failings
合适的对象应当能帮助我们克服弱点
and become more mature, honest, and kind;
令我们变得更加成熟 诚实与善良
and we need to do something similar for them.
我们也需要为对方做同样的事情
Darcy and Elizabeth improve one another,
达西和伊丽莎白让彼此成为更好的人
and then the novelist lets them get engaged.
于是作者奥斯汀让他们两位订婚了
The story rewards them because they have developed well.
故事的结局就是对他们不断成长的奖赏
That’s why the novel feels so beautifully constructed,
这就是为什么这部小说看起来构造精美
and it illustrates a basic truth:
而且它阐明了一个基本事实
marriage depends on maturity and education.
婚姻建立在彼此成熟和互相教导之上
2. We shouldn’t stop judging people, but we have to judge more carefully.
2. 我们不该停止对别人的评判 但评判时应更为谨慎
Mansfield Park starts when quiet, shy Fanny Price
《曼斯菲尔德庄园》从安静害羞的范妮·普莱斯
goes to live with her much richer cousins, the Bertrams.
住到她富裕的表亲伯特伦家开始
In social terms, the Bertrams are stars,
从世俗角度说 伯特伦家族是明星
and Fanny is a very minor character indeed.
而范妮就是一个微不足道的人物
But Austen judges by a completely different standard.
但奥斯汀的评判标准截然不同
She exchanges the normal lens through which people are viewed in society,
她将社会上评判人的普遍眼光
a lens which magnifies wealth and power,
也就是颂扬财富和权力
for a moral lens, which magnifies qualities of character.
替换为一种颂扬气质品格的道德眼光
Certainly, Fanny has no elegant dresses or money and can’t speak French.
当然 范妮没有优雅的礼服 没有钱 也不会说法语
But by the end of Mansfield Park,
但在《曼斯菲尔德庄园》的故事结尾
she is revealed as the noble one
她展示出自己的高贵
while the Bertrams, despite their titles and accomplishments,
而伯特伦家族 尽管头衔显赫 成就不凡
have fallen into moral confusion.
却陷入了道德混乱
3. Take money seriously
3. 重视金钱
Austen is quite frank about money.
奥斯汀对金钱的态度很坦然
In Pride and Prejudice,
在《傲慢与偏见》中
she explains that Mr. Bingley has an income of 4000 pounds a year.
她介绍到 宾利先生每年有4000英镑的收入
That’s rather a lot , while Darcy has more than twice that.
而达西的收入比他的两倍还多
Rather than feeling it’s impolite to discuss money, Austen thinks
奥斯汀不认为讨论金钱有失礼貌
it’s an eminently suitable topic for highbrow literature.
反而认为这在高雅文学作品中是个非常合适的话题
Because how we handle our finances has a huge effect on our lives.
因为我们管理财务的方式对生活有巨大影响
She takes aim at two big mistakes people make around money.
她着眼于人们围绕金钱所犯的两大错误
The first is to get over impressed by it.
第一个是过分强调金钱的重要性
In Mansfield Park, Julia Bertram gets married to Mr. Rushworth,
在《曼斯菲尔德庄园》中 朱莉娅・伯特伦嫁给了拉什沃思先生
the richest character in all of Austen’s novels,
他是奥斯汀所有小说中最富有的角色
but they are miserable together, and their marriage rapidly falls apart.
但他们的结合很痛苦 婚姻很快就破裂了
But equally, Austen is convinced that
相对而言 奥斯汀也相信
it’s a serious error to get married without enough money.
没有足够的钱就结婚是个严重的错误
At one point in Sense and Sensibility,
《理智和情感》中有一处情节
it looks like Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars, who are otherwise well suited,
埃莉诺・达什伍德和爱德华・费拉尔——在其他方面很般配的一对儿
won’t be able to get married.
看起来并不会结婚
She writes, “They were neither of them quite enough in love
奥斯汀写道 : “他们对彼此的爱并不足以
to think that 350 pounds a year would supply them with the comforts of life.”
让他们觉得每年350英镑的收入 能够带给他们舒适的生活”
Elinor takes the view that wealth has much to do with happiness.
埃莉诺认为财富和幸福大有关系
Though, by wealth, she doesn’t mean great luxury,
尽管她所指的财富并不是极尽奢侈
just enough to live carefully in moderate comfort.
而是能俭省地过上平凡舒适的生活就够了
And Austen agrees.
奥斯汀同意
Marriage without a reasonable economic basis is just a folly.
没有适当经济基础的婚姻实在愚蠢
Austen is showing us an elusive but crucial attitude.
奥斯汀向我们表明了一种难以形容但至关重要的态度
Money is in some ways extremely important, and in other ways unimportant.
金钱在某些方面极为紧要 但在另一些方面却可有可无
We can’t just be for it or against it.
我们不能只是一味单纯地追求它或反对它
4. Don’t be snobbish
4. 做人不要势利
In Emma, the heroine, Emma herself,
《爱玛》的女主角爱玛本人
takes Harriett Smith, a pretty girl from the village, under her wing.
把一个乡村来的漂亮姑娘哈丽叶特・史密斯置于保护之下
She wants to make her an impressive match with a smart vicar.
艾玛想把她与一位聪明的牧师撮合成极好的一对
Swept away by Emma’s excessive praise,
在爱玛溢美之词的裹挟下
Harriet turns down an offer of marriage from a farmer
哈丽叶特拒绝了一个农夫的求婚
because she thinks now that he’s not good enough.
因为她现在觉得农夫还不够好
Though in fact, he is good-hearted and quietly prosperous.
虽然事实上 农夫是个心地善良 经济水平不错的人
Then the vicar turns out to be horrified at Emma’s idea,
后来的结果是 牧师被爱玛的主意震惊了
and Harriet has her heart broken.
哈丽叶特也心碎了
The underlying point is serious.
故事在这里隐含着严肃的观点
Emma is unwittingly but cruelly snobbish,
爱玛的势利并非有意却也无情
she’s devoted to the wrong kind of hierarchy.
她执着于错误的阶层观念
The farmer is essentially a better person than the vicar,
农夫在本质上是一个比牧师更好的人
but social conventions and manners make it easy to ignore this.
但社会风俗习惯很容易使人忽视这一点
Jane Austen is careful to give this fault to Emma,
简·奥斯汀谨慎地将这个小弱点给了爱玛
who is in many ways an enchanting character.
她其实在许多方面是个迷人的角色
In other words, Jane Austen doesn’t mock snobbery
换句话说 简·奥斯汀没有把势利眼
as the behavior of ghastly and contemptible people.
嘲讽为阴险可鄙之人的行为
Instead, she regards the snob with pity,
相反地 她怜悯势利小人
as someone who is in need of instruction, guidance, and reform.
把他们看作需要教育 引导和改造的人
As we all are, in our own way.
正如我们每个人都有各自的弱点
Austen might have written sermons, she wrote novels instead.
奥斯汀本可以写些布道文 但她选择用小说传播道理
She doesn’t tell us why her sense of priorities is important.
她没有明言 为什么她观念中的优先顺序那么重要
Instead, she shows us in a story which will also make us laugh,
相反地 她通过一个 能让我们捧腹大笑
which can grip us enough that we want to finish supper early to read on.
能吸引我们想早点结束晚餐好继续阅读的故事来呈现
Upon finishing one of the novels,
读完其中一部小说后
we’re invited to go back into the world
我们同小说的余韵一起回到现实世界
and respond to others as she has taught us.
像她教给我们的那样来回应别人
To pick up on, and recoil from greed, arrogance, and pride,
熟悉并远离贪婪 傲慢 自负
and to be drawn to goodness within ourselves and others.
被自己和他人内心的善良吸引
Sadly, the moral ambition of the novel has largely disappeared in the modern world,
可悲的是 小说的德育目标在现代社会已基本消失
yet it’s really the best thing that any novel can do.
然而德育却是所有小说能达成的最佳目标
The satisfaction we feel when reading Jane Austen
简・奥斯汀的作品读来令人心满意足
is really because she wants the world to be a certain way
是因为她希望世界成为某种不同的样子
and we find that immensely appealing.
这让我们深深着迷
It’s the secret, largely unrecognized reason
这是她备受读者喜爱的秘密所在
why she is such a loved writer.
和鲜为人知的原因

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了解和领悟简·奥斯汀文学作品中所蕴含的真正寓意

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