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三色堇吴幼坚

退休编辑、同性恋儿子的母亲

 
 
 

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郑远涛翻译的亚历山大三部曲在牛津展示  

2016-05-05 10:13:22|  分类: 生在花好月圆时— |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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郑远涛翻译的亚历山大三部曲在牛津展示 - 三色堇吴幼坚 - 三色堇吴幼坚 

2016年4月26日牛津大学圣休学院举行了玛丽?瑞瑙特奖金的设立仪式(暨首届颁奖典礼)。现场展示的文景2010版《波斯少年》及亚历山大三部曲。 

郑远涛翻译的亚历山大三部曲在牛津展示  

吴幼坚 

    我不久前去杭州、金华开展彩虹公益活动,4月25日正好在金华度过69岁生日。从广州启程前已听儿子远涛说,牛津大学圣休学院将举行玛丽·瑞瑙特奖金的设立仪式(暨首届颁奖典礼),他翻译的亚历山大三部曲已寄出,还用英文写了两页说明。我不懂英文,加上准备出门,也就没说什么。5月1日回到家中,远涛告诉我此事完成得不错,并讲了他写的说明大意。我说那么好的内容译成中文让我发博客吧,他却说没必要,用英文发到他的豆瓣主页就行了。儿子不像我明白自己已被定位为“社会活动家”(我喜欢强调的是:退休编辑、同志母亲、独立公益人),除了扎实做事还需要如实地向公众宣传。远涛是2004年公开向媒体出柜的同性恋者(这点已被很多人知晓),而他本人在豆瓣小站的自我介绍是:

  • 译者: 郑远涛
  • 翻译语言:英语
  • 翻译类型:小说/散文/诗歌
  • 代表译作: 《波斯少年》 上海人民出版社 2010-8   

    好的,我就尊重儿子的意见吧。但我知道关注他的除了读者,还有部分同志及其父母,他们希望看到吴妈妈的独生子、那个叫郑远涛的青年,一直在踏实前行,陆续取得可圈可点的成绩。因此,我将远涛这篇日记全文转载,收入我博客“生在花好月圆时——儿子”栏目,读者多少无所谓。  

牛津之缘

 Silvano 2016-05-01 22:19:29
      
       四月廿六日牛津大学圣休学院举行了玛丽·瑞瑙特奖金的设立仪式(暨首届颁奖典礼)。事前,瑞瑙特传记作家、学者Caroline Zilboorg提议我将自译的亚历山大三部曲寄给牛津,共襄盛会。我写了两页说明《Mary for China》,连同书一并发出。此为会场展示、拙笔短文,与Zilboorg博士关于她出席典礼的回信。

       两页说明尽力以英文思维撰写,不值得再花时间回译到汉语。译本里简短的《译者致谢》之外,这份文字便是我翻译亚历山大三部曲的唯一一篇感言了。

Mary for China

I’d like to humbly present my translations of Mary Renault’s Alexander trilogy to
St Hugh’s College, the University of Oxford, where the great writer graduated in 1920s, as a tribute to Mary and to the university that made her.

A little more than a week ago I delivered a lecture at a trendy bookstore in Beijing. The topic was the newly published Alexander books, Fire from Heaven, The Persian Boy, and Funeral Games. In the Q&A session a woman looking in her twenties told me that Bosi shaonian—my version of The Persian Boy—changed her life. In what way? I asked. “I used to be very meek,” she said, “but the book brought out the rebel spirit in myself.”

Her remark might have pleased Mary, the creator of the restless, rebellious hero who is her Alexander. It did please me. When I embarked on translating The Persian Boy in 2006, without a publishing contract, at the age of twenty-six, what sustained me at work was the protagonist Bagoas’ loving devotion to the Macedonian king. I was, like Bagoas the Persian boy, in love with a man; I was, like Hephaistion at the end of Fire from Heaven, feeling as if my “own destiny […] was opening out before [me], in unmeasured vistas”, because to translate that book was to accompany the conqueror-explorer on his furthest journey, to be carried away into emotional landscapes that were at once so real and so otherworldly.

In the company of Bagoas, Alexander conquered most of the known world during his last seven years. The same amount of time only took me as far as two finished translations of Mary’s chronicle, The Persian Boy and Fire from Heaven. Perhaps that is why Alexander got to be called the Great while I haven’t. But my satisfaction was immense. True, the purity of language that is a hallmark of Mary posed a minute-by-minute challenge to any translator, let alone the background reading and consultation with experts it took before a non-specialist translator like me could feel a degree of sure-footedness. However, as I’ve written in a postscript, like Bagoas the dancer, “each day my practice moved from labour towards pleasure.” It was a labour of love, to be sure.

The Persian Boy was the first novel I translated and published, an idiosyncratic point d’entrée considering it is Fire from Heaven that opens Alexander’s story. The out-of-sequence choice was a personal decision that had to do with my youth, my ready identification with the Persian boy. I remember 2010—the year when my Persian Boy was first published—as a time of celebrations, of interviews and parties. Lesbian and gay communities embraced the book; I was showered by generous or even enthusiastic comments from common readers, including a well-known actor who was trained in the USSR and Sweden; two Mary Renault scholars, Dr. Caroline Zilboorg and Prof. Bernard F. Dick, warmly sent me congratulating messages to be shared at the book launch. For such fond memories, I have to submit a copy of the rosy-cover 2010 edition, designed by local artists, for your collection. The other covers will look familiar to you as they feature illustrations by Geoff Grandfield, from The Folio Society edition.

Translating Mary gave me a literary identity that yielded harvests of friendship. I became, over the years, close to a professor who is the translator of L’Oeuvre au Noir, the great historical novel by Marguerite Yourcenar. And a young woman whose undergraduate major was history told me that she had decided, after reading The Persian Boy, to devote her life to the study of Western classics. Mary was most delighted whenever someone, inspired by her books, found her or his calling in classics. But what she does is much more: She can engage the individual in a dialogue with one’s heart so that each discovers one’s own destiny; such has always been the power of her writing.

At the moment the Alexander trilogy are reasonably popular in the Chinese mainland. Mary-Alexander has even come ashore in other territories: a Taiwanese publisher launched my translations of The Persian Boy and Fire from Heaven in 2014. In fact, I happen to be the first translator who introduced Mary to a Chinese reading public anywhere. Why did Mary arrive so late? For one thing, it would have been difficult for her celebration of same sex love to be published in China before 2000, given the facts that homosexual acts were punishable by the charge of hooliganism until 1997 in my country, and that the Chinese Psychiatric Association dropped homosexuality from their list of disorders only in 2001. Indeed, when Mary was writing her ground-breaking homoerotic novels Fire from Heaven and The Persian Boy, China was shrouded in a darkness (the Cultural Revolution) where all kinds of personal freedom were trampled or threatened. It took years for the light of Mary-Alexander to shine across.

Leafing through my 2010 copy of The Persian Boy recently, I felt an unexpected sense of unfamiliarity, as if it were done by some other translator. My belated boyhood is now far behind me; it is time for new departures. Still, I am tempted to do more of Mary. I’d enjoy spending time with her again, if you will.

In Walter Benjamin’s famous essay “The Task of the Translator” a sentence caught my eyes: “…a translation issues from the original—not so much from its life as from its afterlife.” Mary Renault’s life ended thirty-odd years ago, but the story of her afterlife in Chinese, in a system of writing as old as the Greek Bronze Age, is only just begun.

Yuantao Zheng
13 April 2016
Guangzhou

郑远涛翻译的亚历山大三部曲在牛津展示 - 三色堇吴幼坚 - 三色堇吴幼坚
展出的Folio Society版亞歷山大三部曲內頁插圖。

Dear Silvano,

The experience at St Hugh's was marvellous-- and your beautiful translations were prominently displayed-- see attached. Everyone there-- including Tim Rood and the college president-- was quite impressed with your work, and Tim had copies of your eloquent 'Mary for China' available for all of the attendees.

I very much enjoyed reading it and found it both perceptive and touching in addition to being well expressed. Thank you, Silvano, for writing it and sending it with your translations.

......

The entire evening was quite interesting and the experience of being at Oxford was-- like Cambridge-- intensely social and very rich-- sort of like eating six desserts: wonderful but finally not what one would want for a regular diet. I was really glad to spend time there, but also glad to drive away to my daughter and her family afterwards (where I finally arrived after midnight). It's good now to be finally back at my desk in France.

I'm going to attach to a separate email a few more photos: of the rather elegant SCR (the Senior Common Room, the place where faculty and visitors like me can go for a coffee or just to take a break from students) and of the new 'China Centre' on the St Hugh's site. The Centre contains several lecture halls and seminar rooms-- quite impressive. I am hoping that someday you will be invited to St Hugh's with an honorarium that will allow you to make the trip and see the college for yourself.

My best wishes, Silvano, and my thanks again for your contribution to the inauguration of the Mary Renault Prize--

Caroline

--

Dr Caroline Zilboorg

Life Member, Clare Hall
Cambridge University

郑远涛翻译的亚历山大三部曲在牛津展示 - 三色堇吴幼坚 - 三色堇吴幼坚
聖休學院的會客廳(Senior Common Room)。
 
郑远涛翻译的亚历山大三部曲在牛津展示 - 三色堇吴幼坚 - 三色堇吴幼坚
牛津大學中國中心,位於聖休學院。
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