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谢冰莹《我爱作文》英译

2014-06-27    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

我爱作文

谢冰莹

那是我初进女师大的第一年,国文老师对我们说:

“现在你们是大学生了,作文题目可以由你们自己拟,每学期至少要交七八篇文章,多多益善;但是有个条件,篇篇都要好文章,不可敷衍。”

“老师,不会作的怎么办呢?”

有位不知姓名的同学忽然这样问。

“不会作,怎么考进大学的?你们的文章,在中学时代应该早就写通了,到大学校来,老师不过是指导你们做更深一层的研究;文章写得好不好,还得你们自己努力,我是无能为力的。”

“老师太客气了。”

是另一位同学低微的声音。

“老师,我们的作文是在课堂上作,还是在课外作呢?”

这是我这个乡下姑娘发出的愚问,有几位同学望着我笑了;可是我并不感到难为情,反而觉得她们的笑是多余的。

“随便,爱在课堂上作的,就在这里作好了,写你们最爱写的题材,我走了。”

望着老师的背影,消逝在长廊的转弯处,于是有三分之二的同学也跟着走了;一位坐在我右边的同学悄悄地问我:

“你作什么题目?”

“《望断天涯儿不归》。”

我毫不犹豫地回答她。

“是小说吗?”

“不!是一篇抒情的小品文。”

我高兴极了!真的,做了大学生的第一个好处是:有了许多自由,譬如作文,就是一个例子。记得我在中学读书的时候,最感到伤脑筋的是:国文老师临到作文课时,才在黑板上出一个题目,有的一次出两三个,可以由你自己选择;有的只出一个,什么《温故知新说》;《国家兴亡,匹夫有责论》;《国庆感言》……一类的题目,叫人一见便头痛。我喜欢老师在作文的前几天就把题目预告,而且最好多出些抒情、描写、记述一类的题目,少作议论文;因为青年人最热情,他欢喜读抒情、描写一类的文章,也喜欢发挥自己的情感和抱负。我们只有写自己真实的感情,真实的思想,真实的生活,才能把文章写得好;如果硬要由脑筋里压榨出一些什么空空洞洞的理论来,不但文章写不好,而且对于这些学生,简直是一种无形的精神虐待!在学生时代,我喜欢写自己最爱写的东西;后来到了我当教师的时候,就深深地记着“己所不欲,勿施于人”的格言,我绝不伤害他们的脑筋;有时一次出二三十个题目,由他们自由去选择,或者干脆由他们自己作主,爱写什么就写什么。他们写的情书,偶然也给我修改;说真话,那比他们平时的作文写得流利多了。

前面说过,我当了大学生之后,别的没有什么高兴,最使我觉得快乐的是我有了写作的自由。这个时期,我的生活苦极了,又穷又忙;穷的连坐电车的钱也没有,忙到夜以继日地改卷子,预备功课,还不能把工作完成。原来当我在大一的时候,就兼了两班中学国文;说起来真太冒险了,自己还是个刚跨出中学不久的乡下姑娘,去教那些又高又大的北方青年,怪不得他们要叫我“孩子先生”了。

I Love Composition

Xie Bingying

At the beginning of my first year at Peking Women’s Normal University, our teacher of Chinese said to the class,
“Now that you’re university students, you may write on any subject of your own choice. You must each hand in for each semester at least seven or eight compositions. The more, the better. But, mind you, each composition should be well written, not slipshod.”

“Sir, what if it’s beyond my ability to do so?” a classmate, whose name was not personally known to me, suddenly asked.

“Beyond your ability? Then how did you pass the examination for admission to the university? You’re supposed to have learned composition as long ago as your middle school days. A university teacher’s job is little more than giving you guidance in advanced studies. It’s up to you to improve your writing ability. I’m in no position to do much to help you.”

“You’re too modest, sir,” mumbled another classmate.

“Sir, shall we do the writing in the classroom or after school?”

That was a silly question raised by my humble self, a country girl. Some classmates started giggling at me. But I wasn’t embarrassed at all. On the contrary, I thought their giggling was totally uncalled for.

“Do as you please. It’s OK if you want to do it in the classroom. But write on a subject most favourite to you. Well, see you!”

We watched him passing out of sight around a corner of the long corridor. Thereupon, two thirds of the students also left the classroom. A student sitting on my right asked me in a whisper,
“What are you going to write about?”

“Mother’s Longing for the Return of Her Wandering Child,” I answered without the slightest hesitation.

“A short story?”

“No. It’s a lyrical essay.”

I was overjoyed at the advantages enjoyed by university students. First of all, we were given more freedom to do what we thought best. The composition class was just one example. I remembered what had annoyed me most in middle school was that the teachers of Chinese then never gave us composition subjects in advance. They would write a subject on the blackboard at the last minute when they came to meet the class. Some of them gave two or three subjects for us to choose from. Some gave us only one subject like Learn the New by Reviewing the Old, The Destiny of the Nation Is the Concern of Every Citizen, Thoughts on National Day, etc., all of which I found extremely boring. I preferred our teacher to make public the composition subject several days before the class met. I preferred lyrical, descriptive and narrative subjects to argumentative ones because being enthusiastic, young people are fond of lyrical and descriptive writings and also eager to write about their own emotions and aspirations. Only by giving a true account of our feelings, thoughts and life, can we produce good writings. Forcing students to do hollow theorizing in composition will not only fail to improve their writing ability but also subject them, so to speak, to an ordeal of invisible mental abuse. In my school days, I chose to write on whatever subject I liked best. Later, when I became a school teacher, I, by keeping firmly in mind the maxim “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself”, always took care not to impose on my students anything that would cause mental torture. Sometimes, I would set 20-30 subjects for them to select from. Sometimes, I would just let them decide on a subject by themselves so that they could write about anything as they pleased. Occasionally, they even let me polish up the love letters penned by themselves, which, to tell you the truth, would read much more smoothly than the compositions they usually did.

As mentioned above, after I became a university student, there was nothing more agreeable to me than the freedom I enjoyed in writing. During this period, being poor and busy, I lived a hard life. I was so hard up that I couldn’t even afford the streetcar fare. And though I worked nonstop day and night, I still felt hard pressed for time to finish correcting papers and preparing lessons. That was because while I was a first-year student at the university, I concurrently taught Chinese at two middle schools. Just imagine a country girl fresh from middle school having the audacity to teach those husky young northerners! They certainly had every reason to call me “Child Teacher”.

(张培基 译)



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