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海明威小儿子分享学写作的经历:爸爸教我写作

kira86 于2019-01-18发布 l 已有人浏览
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海明威最小儿子格利高里·海明威分享,害民伟教给他的人生哲学:你干什么都可以,只要你对自己干的事情真正有兴趣。
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13 Writing Lessons

爸爸教我写作

I was eighteen, and papa was paying for my food, lodging, and schooling. There were still times when we could talk. I was in my last year of prep school , thinking about college, and about what would come next.

那时我18岁,爸爸负担着我的食宿和学业。有的时候我们还能谈一谈。当时是我在预备学校的最后一个学年,正在考虑上大学的问题,以及接下来会发生什么。

It doesn't really matter what you do as long as you do something that really interests you, Gig, "he said. "Something that you think is worthwhile and productive. And a lot of things are worthwhile, even though some narrow-minded man will say otherwise. And don't worry about money-if you're a failure at bird watching, I'll support you! Have you thought much about what you'd really like to do?"

“吉格,你干什么都可以,只要你对自己干的事情真正有兴趣。”爸爸说,“只要你觉得这件事情值得去做,能够做出成绩来。许多事值得去做,甭管那些思路狭隘的人怎么说。钱的问题你不用担心——哪怕你去观察鸟类且毫无收获,我也会支持你的!你想没想过自己真正喜欢做的事是什么?”

Actually, I had thought a lot. I'd had good grades in prep school, could get into almost any college I wanted to, and had the brains for law or medicine. But I hated most lawyers, thought they were sharpies and crooks , while medicine seemed too dull, too staid. What I really wanted to be was a Hemingway hero.

实际上,我想了很多。我在预备学校成绩很好,几乎能进任何我想进的学校,而且我脑子好,学法律、学医都可以。但是我讨厌大多数律师,觉得他们内心诡诈;而学医看起来太沉闷、太呆板。我真正想当的是海明威式的英雄。

But what the hell was a Hemingway hero? I could analyze all his novels, but by far the simplest explanation was that a Hemingway hero was Hemingway himself, or the better parts of him. Still, to support yourself while doing all the exciting things that allowed you to exhibit grace under pressure , you had to be able to write about them. The passport to this glamorous life was talent, which was God given, and a knowledge of the mechanics of writing, which could be taught. I decided to become a writer. I make light of it now but I was dead serious then.

但是,究竟什么是海明威式的英雄呢?我可以分析他所有的小说,但显然最简单的解释是海明威式的英雄就是海明威自己,或者说海明威较好的方面。即使你干了许多激动人心的事来表现“压力下的风度”,你也得有本事把它们写出来。过这种迷人生活的前提是:一,有才能;二,懂得写作技巧。才能是天生的,而写作技巧可以学。我当时下决心要当作家。现在看来很随意,不过当时我极其认真。

Papa, what books influenced you most when you were a boy? I asked him one vacation in Havana.

有一次在哈瓦那度假,我问爸爸:“爸爸,你小的时候,什么书对你影响最大?”

Papa seemed delighted by my question. He gave me a list of books to read, and my apprenticeship began.

爸爸听了我的问题好像挺高兴。他给我列了一份读书单,于是我的学艺时期开始了。

That summer in Havana I read papa's favorites, from Huckleberry Finn to Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: like him, I sometimes had two or three books going at the same time. Then papa steered me to the short story masters, Maupassant and Chekhov . "Don't try to analyze-just relax and enjoy them."

那年夏天在哈瓦那,我读了爸爸最喜欢读的书,从《哈克贝利·费恩历险记》到《青年艺术家的画像》:我像他一样,有时候同时读两三本书。后来爸爸教我读短篇大师莫泊桑和契诃夫的杰作:“不要试图去分析——只要悠闲地读,享受就好。”

Now, papa said one morning. "Try writing a short story yourself.And don't expect it to be any good."

有一天早晨,爸爸说:“现在你自己试着写一篇短篇小说,不要期望写得很好。”

I sat down at a table with one of papa's fine pointed pencils and thought and thought. I looked out of the window, and listened to the birds, to a cat crying to join them; and to the scratch of my pencil, doodling. I let the cat out. Another wanted in.

我坐在桌子边上,手里拿着一支爸爸削得很尖的铅笔,冥思苦想。我望向窗外,听着鸟叫,听着一只猫跟它们一起叫,听着我的铅笔随意涂画的声音。我把猫放了出去。可是又有一只想进来。

I went to papa's typewriter. He'd finished with it for the day. Slowly I typed out a story and then took it to him.

我走到爸爸的打字机旁。那一天他的打字工作已经完毕。我慢慢地打出一篇故事来,然后交给爸爸。

Papa put his glasses on, poured himself another drink, and read, as I waited. He finished it and looked up at me.

爸爸戴上眼镜,给自己又倒了一杯酒,读了起来,我在一边等着。他读完之后,抬头看我。

It's excellent, Gig. Much better than anything I could do at your age. Only change I'd make is here, and he pointed to the line about a bird falling from its nest and finding, miraculously, that if it flapped its wings, it wouldn't crash on the rocks below.

“非常好,吉格。比我在你这个年纪时写得好多了。我唯一要改的就是这个地方,”他指的是一只鸟从鸟巢里往下掉落时,意外发现如果它拍动翅膀,就不会撞在下面的岩石上。

You've written ... 'All of a sudden he realized he could fly'. Change 'all of a sudden' to 'suddenly'. Never use more words than you have to-it detracts from the flow of action. Papa smiled. I hadn't seen him smile at" me like that for a long time. "But you've won the lottery , pal. Writing takes study, discipline, and imagination. You've shown me with this that you have the imagination. And if you can do it once, you can do it a thousand times. Imagination doesn't leave you for a long time, maybe never. Dostoyevsky was fifty-seven when he wrote Crime and Punishment".

“你是这样写的:‘突然之间它发现自己可以飞了’。你把‘突然之间(all of a sudden)’改成‘突然(suddenly)’吧!永远别写多余的话,那会影响动作的连续性。”爸爸微笑着。我好久没有见过爸爸这样对我笑了。“但你得奖了,小伙子。写作需要钻研,需要训练,需要想象力。从这篇小说看来你有想象力。你写一次有想象力,那么写一千次也会有想象力。想象力不会轻易离开你,也许永远不会离开你。陀思妥耶夫斯基57岁才写《罪与罚》。”

Only once before can I remember papa being as pleased with me- when I tied for the pigeon shooting championship. And he was confident that there was another winner in the family when I entered the short story for a school competition and won first prize.

据我回忆,爸爸以前对我这么满意只有一次,是我空中飞靶射击得了冠军那一次。当我把这篇短篇小说拿去参加学校比赛获得头奖时,他相信我们家又出了一个优胜者。

Turgenev should have won the prize. He wrote the story. I merely copied it, changing the setting and the names, from a book I assumed papa hadn't read because some of the pages were still stuck together.

得奖的该是屠格涅夫。这篇小说是他写的。我只是抄录下来,变了变背景,换了换名字。这篇小说是我从一本书里发现的,我估计爸爸没有读过这本书,因为有几页书还没有裁开。

I didn't feel like a winner and wondered how long it would be before papa found out that the only creative contribution I had made to the story was to alter "suddenly" to "all of a sudden."

我并没有优胜者的感觉,我不知道爸爸什么时候会发现我对那篇小说唯一的创造性贡献是把“突然”改成了“突然之间”。

Fortunately I wasn't around when papa discovered my plagiarism . It got back to me that someone asked him if his son Gregory wrote. "Yes," he replied, with gusto and sparkle , flashing that "say cheese" smile he sometimes affected. "Gregory writes an occasional bad check ." And, of course, everyone laughed.

幸好爸爸发现我剽窃的时候我不在场。后来听说有人问他,他的儿子格瑞戈里会不会写小说。他兴致勃勃,容光焕发,堆起他那副假笑回答道:“格瑞戈里有时候会写空头支票。”当然,每个人都笑了。

Someone in that crowd might have thought, "What a brutal bastard to make such a callous wisecrack about his son. I guess all those stories I've heard about him being a hard shelled bully are true."

听的人里面可能有人会想:“这家伙真粗鲁,说儿子的俏皮话这么尖刻,我看人家传说这家伙心肠硬,果真如此。”

Hard shelled, yes, but I helped make that shell.

心肠硬,不错,但是造成他这副“硬”心肠的,也有我的份。

(By G. Hemingway )

(译/董衡巽)

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