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            admin 2019-05-20 232人围观 ,发现0个评论

            (David Pollard 译)


            The View from the Rear


            Zhu Ziqing


            It has been two years and more since I saw my father. My most vivid memory of him is a view of him from the rear.

            That winter, my grandmother had died, and my father’s job had come to an end; our troubles truly did not come singly then. I left Peking for Xuzhou, to accompany my father home for the funeral. When I saw the household things 朱自清《背影》汉译英翻译strewn about the yard, and thought too of my grandmother, I wept copiously. Father said: ‘What has happened has happened, you shouldn’t upset yourself. Heaven helps those who help themselves.’


            When we got home, father paid back what was owed by means of selling and pawning things, and borrowed again to pay for the funeral. Those days at home were very gloomy, partly because of the funeral, partly because of father being out of work. Once the funeral was over, father decided to go to Nanjing to look for work, and as I was returning to Pe经典king to study, we traveled together.


            In Nanjing, friends wanted to take us sight-seeing, and that detained us one day. The next morning I was to cross the river to Pukou, where I would take the afternoon tra朱自清《背影》汉译英翻译in north. Father had already declared he would not see me off because he had too much to do; he arranged for a houseboy he knew at our hotel to go with me. He gave the houseboy his instructions in great detail, and repeated them over and again, but after all that still worried that the houseboy would prove unreliable, and could not finally make up his mind. Actually I was already twenty years old, and had made the trip朱自清《背影》汉译英翻译 to Peking two or three times, so it was no great matter. At last he decided to see me off himself. In reply to my protests that it wasn’t necessary he just said, ‘It’s all right, I shouldn’t leave it to them.’


            We crossed the river and went into the railway station. While I bought my ticket he looked after the luggage. The luggage was too much for us to cope with; we needed to pay some porters to get it on the train. So he started haggling over a price with them.

            At that time I thought myself very clear, and didn’t quite approve of the way he spoke to them, so I butted in, but in the end he agreed on a price with them, and saw me onto the train. He chose a seat for me next to the carriage door, and I spread the Persian lamb overcoat he had made for me over it. He told me to be careful on the journey, and told me to watch out at night in case I caught a chill. Then he instructed the car attendant to look after me well. I laughed to myself at his naivety: the only thing that mattered to them was money, it was a sheer waste of time to ask them to do a good turn! Besides, I was grown up. Couldn’t I look after myself? Ah, when I look back now, I was really too clever for my own good!


            I said, ‘There is no need for you to wait around, dad.’ He looked out of the window and said, ‘I’ll go and buy some oranges. Stay here, don’t go away.’ There were some hawkers waiting for customers behind the railings on the opposite platform. To get to that platform you had to jump down, cross the tracks, and climb up the other side. That would not be too easy for my father, seeing how fat he was. I volunteered to go myself, but he would have it his way. I watched him waddle over to the tracks, dressed in his black mandarin jacket and dark blue padded gown, with his black skullcap on his head. He slowly lowered himself down, which didn’t prove too difficult. But climbing onto the other pla朱自清《背影》汉译英翻译tform was a different matter. Supporting himself with both hands on the edge of the platform, he drew his feet up; then he inclined his body to the left and appeared to be making a strenuous effort. As I watched him from behind, my tears gushed out. I hurriedly wiped my face dry, afraid that he would see, afraid that others would see. When I looked朱自清《背影》汉译英翻译 up again he was already on his way back with an armful of bright red oranges. To cross the tracks he first place the oranges on the ground, then slowly climbed down, then picked the oranges up again. I hurried to help him up when he got to my side of the track. He walked with me onto the train, plonked all the oranges down on my fur coat, and dusted himself off. Now seeming very relaxed, he said after a while, ‘I’ll be off, then. Write to me when you get there.’ I watched him leave. After taking a few steps, he turned his head and saw me. He said, ‘You’d better go in, there’s no one looking after your things.’ I waited until his retreating figure had been swallowed up in the throng before taking my seat. Then my tears came again.


            In recent years, father and I have been on the move all the time, and our family fortunes have gone steadily downhill. He left home in his youth, stood on his own two feet, and did some great things. Being constantly reminded of his failure, he was of course unable to control his feelings; as his depression mounted, he naturally had to give vent to it. Trivial family matters made him fly into a temper. He came to treat me differently from the way he had in the past. But in these two years we have been parted, he has finally forgotten my faults, and is only concerned about my well-being, and my son’s well-being. After I came north he wrote me a letter, in which he said, ‘I have reasonably well, it’s just that my shoulder gives me a lot of pain, which makes it awkward for me even to eat with my chopsticks or write with my brush. Probably my final exit is not too far away.’ When I read this I saw again, through glistening tears, that view from the rear of his fat shape, dressed in a long padded gown with a black mandarin jacket over it. Ah! When, I wonder, will we two be able to meet again?

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