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译界漫谈:为什么我们对平凡深感恐惧?

2016-04-14    来源:英语学习杂志    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
译界漫谈:为什么我们对平凡深感恐惧?
 
【编者按】我第一次读完《堂吉诃德》后,似乎被觉悟的惊雷劈中,全身无法动弹。书的结尾,堂吉诃德不再相信梦幻的世界,不再相信神圣的骑士王国和史诗般宏大的战斗。于是,他死了。我想,我们每个人都一样,如果停止战斗,自我将不复存在,武器会生锈,精神会萎靡,灵魂会堕落,最终我们将变得平淡无奇。我,害怕平凡。
 
My greatest fear is, that one day I’ll wake up and discover I’m average. That nothing stands out about me.[1] That I have no discerning qualities, no noteworthy characteristics, that nothing within me thirsts for more.[2] That one day, I’ll discover I’m unremarkable. That one day, I’ll just be a shadow.
 
1. 我没有什么过人之处。stand out: 出色,突出。

2. discerning: 有洞察力的,有见识的;quality: 品质,才能;noteworthy: 值得注意的,显著的;thirst: 渴望,渴求。
 
I know a few things about this must seem ridiculous. Firstly, that from all the fears in the world, from venomous snakes to crazed killers to the uncertainty of death, that being ordinary would be what petrifies me.[3] But I’m not afraid of anything else, and I’m not ashamed to admit the cause of my deepest anxiety. Or that the first time I finished Don Quixote[4], I sat back in the stillness of the dead night and struggled to steady my breath. On those last pages, within which he stopped believing in his fantasy world, in his kingdom of virtuous knights and epic battles, and he died.[5]  And I knew him too well, understood that too deeply.

3. 首先,世界上所有的恐惧,从致命的毒蛇到疯狂杀人魔再到死亡的不确定性,这种种恐惧中平凡却是我最害怕的。venomous: 有毒的;petrify: (因恐惧、惊慌等而)惊呆,吓呆。

4. Don Quixote: 《堂吉诃德》,西班牙作家塞万提斯的反骑士小说。主角堂吉诃德幻想自己是个骑士,因而作出种种令人匪夷所思的行径,最终从梦幻中苏醒过来。文学评论家多称其为西方文学史上的第一部现代小说,是世界文学的瑰宝之一。
 
5. virtuous: 道德高尚的,品性正直的;epic: 史诗般的。
 

 
Secondly, that I’m sharing something so intimate with a universe of people I do not know. But if you’ve ever felt this way, I think I do know you. I know that your friends suggest you put too much pressure on yourself, that your family tells you to stop pushing so hard. That if you stop worrying and focus on the things you can control, you’d enjoy life a whole lot more. That if you just stopped reaching for things so far out of your grasp[6], you’d be happier. That you should learn to relax. To unwind[7]. To be.
 
6. out of one’s grasp: 为某人所不能理解的,为某人力量所不能达到的。

7. unwind: 使松弛,使不紧张。
 
They have a point. If you stopped, you would be happier. Your every day would be calmer. Your waking moments would be filled with peace instead of crippling desire, with tranquility instead of pulsing ambition, with delicious gratitude instead of unquenchable thirst.[8]
 
But some of us simply cannot. Like Don Quixote before us, if we stop fighting, we will cease to exist. Our armor will rust, our spirits will wilt, and our souls will fade until we are unrecognizable.[9]  All that will remain will be a memory of the people we once were. Because without our dreams, who are we?

8. 睁开双眼,你满脑子不会是令人疲惫的欲望而是内心的平静,不会是勃勃的野心而是淡定自若,不会是无法平息的渴望而是满怀感激。cripple: 使受损,使丧失活动能力;pulsing: 有生命力的,有激情的;unquenchable: 不能遏制的,不能熄灭的。

9. armor: 装甲,盔甲;rust: 生锈,荒废;wilt: 丧失勇气,颓丧。
 
The only way to become unremarkable is to believe that you are. To give in to your fear. To hang your sword and turn away from the battle. In Don Quixote’s own words: “I know who I am and who I may be, if I choose.”
 
It’s your choice.


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