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Alexander Bloch - Life in a Violin Case 汉译

2014-06-16    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Life in a Violin Case

Alexander Bloch

In order to tell what I believe, I must briefly sketch something of my personal history.

The turning point of my life was my decision to give up a promising business career and study music. My parents, although sympathetic, and sharing my love of music, disapproved of it as a profession. This was understandable in view of my family background. My grandfather had taught music for nearly forty years at Springhill College in Mobile and, though much beloved and respected in the community, earned barely enough to provide for his large family. My father often said it was only the hardheaded thriftiness of my grandmother that kept the wolf at bay. As a consequence of this example in the family, the very mention of music as profession carried with it a picture of a precarious existence with uncertain financial rewards. My parents insisted upon college instead of a conservatory of music, and to college I went—quite happily, as I remember, for although I loved my violin and spent most of my spare time practicing, I had many other interests.

Before my graduation from Columbia, the family met with severe financial reverses and I felt it my duty to leave college and take a job. Thus was I launched upon a business career—which I always think of as the wasted years.

Now I do not for a moment mean to disparage business. My whole point is that it was not for me. I went into it for money, and aside from the satisfaction of being able to help the family, money is all I got out of it. It was not enough, I felt that life was passing me by. From being merely discontented I became acutely miserable. My one ambition was to save enough to quit and go to Europe to study music. I used to get up at dawn to practice before I left for “downtown,” distracting my poor mother by bolting a hasty breakfast at the last minute. Instead of lunching with my business associates, I would seek out some cheap café, order a meager meal and scribble my harmony enough to enable me to go abroad. The family being once more solvent, and my help no longer necessary, I resigned from my position and, feeling like a man released from jail, sailed for Europe. I stayed four years, worked harder than I had ever dreamed of working before and enjoyed every minute of it.

“Enjoyed” is too mild a word. I walked on air. I really lived. I was a free man and I was doing what I loved to do and what I was meant to do.

If I had stayed in business I might be a comparatively wealthy man today, but I do not believe I would have made a success of living. I would have given up all those intangibles, those inner satisfactions that money can never buy, and that are too often sacrificed when a man’s primary goal is financial success.
When I broke away from business it was against the advice of practically all my friends and family. So conditioned are most of us to the association of success with money that the thought of giving up a good salary for an idea seemed little short of insane. If so, all I can say is “Gee, it’s great to be crazy.”
Money is a wonderful thing, but it is possible to pay too high a price for it.

琴匣子中的生趣

亚历山大·布洛克

为了阐明我生活的信条,我必须简单介绍一下我的经历。

我生活的转折点是我决定不做发迹有望的商人而专攻音乐。我父母虽然同情我,也像我一样热爱音乐,却反对我以音乐为职业。考虑到我的家庭情况,他们的这种态度是完全可以理解的。我祖父在莫比尔的斯普林希尔学院教授音乐达40年之久,深受学院师生的热爱和敬重,他的工资却几乎不够维持一大家人的生活。父亲常说若不是祖母精明能干,克勤克俭,一家人非挨饿不可。所以在我们家,只要一提起音乐这个行当,大家就会想起那收入微薄、朝不保夕的苦日子。父母坚持要我上大学,不准我进音乐学院,我也就上了大学。我记得自己当时还挺高兴,因为虽然我热爱小提琴,大部分课余时间都花在练琴上,但我还有许多其他的爱好。

不等我从哥伦比亚大学毕业,家庭经济严重恶化,我感到自己有责任退学找工作,就这样我投身于商界——事后我每次想起这段经历都觉得是虚度了年华。

我从来无意贬低经商,我的意思是它不适合我。我经商只是为了挣钱。除了能补贴家用给我带来一点满足以外,我从这项职业得到的唯一东西就是钱。这是不够。 我感到年华似水从我身边流走。对职业的不满使我痛苦不堪。我唯一的抱负就是积攒足够的钱,然后改行,到欧洲去学音乐。于是,我天天黎明即起,练习小提琴,再去“商业区”上班,几乎来不及囫囵吞下仓促准备的早餐,搞得我可怜的妈妈惶恐不安。我不与商界同事共进午餐,总爱找个便宜的餐馆,随便混上一顿,信手写些和声练习曲。我不停的挣钱,终于,一分一分地攒够了出国的钱。这时,家庭经济情况也好转了,不再需要我的帮助。我辞去商务,感到自己像出狱的犯人一样自由,乘船去了欧洲,一去就是四年。我学习要比从前想象的刻苦得多,然而生活得很快乐。

“快乐”一词还不足以表达我的心情。我是乐不可支,飘飘欲仙了。我过着真正的生活。我是个自由人,做我爱做的、命中注定要做的事情。

假如我一直经商,今天可能已经成了一个相当富有的人,但我认为我那时的生活并没有带来成功;为了金钱我可能放弃了一切无形的东西,放弃了精神上的种种乐趣,那时金钱永远买不来的,一个要是把获取金钱当做主要的奋斗目标,他的精神乐趣就常常被牺牲了。

我毅然脱离商业,几乎违背了所有的亲友的劝告。我们大多数人习惯把成功与金钱连在一起。那种为理想而放弃高薪的念头简直会被人认为是疯子的念头。如果真是如此,我倒要说一声:“咦!疯子真了不起!”

钱固然是好东西,但是为了钱而付出的代价往往太高昂了。



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