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58. My Seventeenth Piece of Translation Exercise (passage from "Jane Eyre")

The original passage (taken from "Jane Eyre" (《簡愛》) by Charlotte Bronte):

These pictures were in water-colours. The first represented clouds low and livid, rolling over a swollen sea: all the distance was in eclipse; so, too, was the foreground; or, rather, the nearest billows, for there was no land. One gleam of light lifted into relief a half-submerged mast, on which sat a cormorant, dark and large, with wings flecked with foam; its beak held a gold bracelet, set with gems, that I had touched with as brilliant tints as my palette could yield, and as glittering distinctness as my pencil could impart. Sinking below the bird and mast, a drowned corpse glanced through the green water; a fair arm was the only limb clearly visible, whence the bracelet had been washed or torn.

The second picture contained for foreground only the dim peak of a hill, with grass and some leaves slanting as if by a breeze. Beyond and above spread an expanse of sky, dark blue as at twilight: rising into the sky was a woman's shape to the bust, portrayed in tints as dusk and soft as I could combine. The dim forehead was crowned with a star; the lineaments below were seen as through the suffusion of vapour; the eyes shone dark and wild; the hair streamed shadowy, like a beamless cloud torn by storm or by electric travail. On the neck lay a pale reflection like moonlight; the same faint lustre touched the train of thin clouds from which rose and bowed this vision of the Evening Star.

The third showed the pinnacle of an iceberg piercing a polar winter sky: a muster of northern lights reared their dim lances, close serried, along the horizon. Throwing these into distance, rose, in the foreground, a head - a colossal head, inclined towards the iceberg, and resting against it. Two thin hands, joined under the forehead, and supporting it, drew up before the lower features a sable veil; a brow quite bloodless, white as bone, and an eye hollow and fixed, blank of meaning, but for the glassiness of despair, alone were visible. Above the temples, amidst wreathed turban folds of black drapery, vague in its character and consistency as cloud, gleamed a ring of white flame, gemmed with sparkles of a more lurid tinge. This pale crescent was 'the likeness of a kingly crown;' what it diademed was 'the shape which shape had none.'


My Chinese translation:

這些都是水彩畫。第一幅呈現的是低壓、灰青色的雲正在漲滿的海面翻滾;遠處的景色全被蝕去而模糊不清,前景──或許是最前面如波濤般的濃煙,因為根本沒有陸地──都是這樣。一道亮光令人注意到一條半淹浸在水裡的桅杆,上面站著一隻大而黑的鸕鶿,翅膀沾著斑駁的泡沫;它的喙叼著一條寶石鑲嵌的金手鏈,我盡量用我的調色板把它們調上光彩奪目的色調,盡量用我的鉛筆把它們描畫得明亮突出一點。一具屍體沉浸在鳥和桅杆的下方,透過綠色的水瞪著眼睛;四肢中只有一隻白皙的手臂清晰可見,手鏈就是從那裡沖走或是沖斷的。

第二幅畫中的前景只看見一個隱約的小山峰,上面的草和一些樹葉好像被微風吹拂得斜向一邊。遠處和上方如黃昏時看到的深藍色天空向四方八面拓展開去;一個頭到胸部位置的女性形體正上升到天空裡,色調上我把她盡可能畫得昏暗和柔和些。她暗淡的額頭冠著一顆星;她形體下面部份的特徵看起來像是蒙在蒸汽裡一樣;她的眼睛黑亮而狂野;如影子般飄動的頭髮,看去像是遭風暴扯開或慘受雷電煎熬的雲一樣。她頸部留著一片像月光的反射;我用同樣輕微的光澤描畫串串薄雲,那「黃昏之星」的影像從那裡升起和點頭。

第三幅畫呈現的是一座指向冬日極地天空的冰山尖頂,沿著水平線一組密集的北極光躍起它們微亮的長矛。前景像是把這一切都拋向遠處,一個頭──一個斜向及靠著冰山的碩大的頭──於前景升起。一雙瘦削的、於額頭下方握著及承托著額頭的手,從面部前方拿起一塊貂皮面罩;全無血色、白如骨頭的前額,以及一隻沒半點意義、空洞而凝固、唯獨是玻璃般透徹的絕望感卻清晰可見的眼睛。太陽穴的上方,於纏繞頭巾的黑布皺摺中,閃耀著如寶石般鑲嵌益更花哨光芒的火花的、形態上模糊和像雲般一致的白焰光環。這個淡白新月是「王者冠冕的畫像」,它所冠冕的是「形狀並不具有的形狀」。


Translation of the same passage copied from a book for comparison:

這幾張都是水彩畫。第一張畫的是雲,又低又灰暗,在澎湃洶湧的大海上空翻滾著,遠處一片日蝕般的漆黑,前景也是這樣,或者不如說最前面的海浪也是漆黑的,因為沒有陸地。一絲光線把半沉的桅杆像浮雕一樣凸顯出來,桅杆上棲息著一集鸕鶿,又黑又大,翅膀上濺著點點浪花。牠嘴裡啣著一只金鐲,上面鑲著寶石,這部分我盡可能用我調色板上最鮮艷的顏色來畫,而且盡我畫技的極限畫得閃亮而明晰。在鳥和桅杆底下,有具屍體正在往下淹沒,隨著綠波浮沉,隱約可見,唯一看得清楚的肢體,是隻美麗的臂膀,金鐲就是從那兒被水給沖落,或是讓鳥兒給叼下來的。

第二張畫,前景只有一座朦朧的山峰,上面的草和樹葉都像被微風吹動似地斜飄著。前景之外的上方,是廣袤的天空,深藍色,像在黃昏時那樣。一個女人的上半身聳向天空,我盡量用調得最幽暗而輕柔的色彩畫出來。黯淡的額頭上加冕著一顆星,冠冕下的面容,好似透著一團雲霧所見;眼睛閃著黝黑而狂野的光芒,頭髮像陰影般地飄動著,猶如被風暴和電掣撕裂四散的無光的雲絲。脖子上有個像是月光的淡淡反影;一列列的薄雲也是那同樣的淺淺光彩,金星的幻影,升上雲中,俯瞰下方。

第三張畫,畫的是一座冰山的尖峰,直挺向北極的冬日天空。一束北極光沿著地平線緊密密地豎起一根根朦朧的長矛。把這些遠遠拋在後面的是,在前景升起的一個頭顱──一個巨大的頭顱,斜傾向冰山,歇息在上面。兩隻瘦瘦的手在後腦勺相會,支撐著它,並拉起了一張黑色面紗,遮住臉的下半部。沒有血色的額頭,蒼白得像骨頭一般,只看得見一隻空洞而凝滯的眼睛,沒有表情,只有玻璃狀的絕望。兩邊太陽穴之上,黑布纏繞的頭巾褶幔間,有一圈白色火燄在熠熠生輝,質地和密度宛似雲霧,鑲著色彩更為紅艷的點點火花。這個淡淡的新月是「王冠的肖像」,其所加冕的是「無形的形體」。

(Written on February 20, 2015)