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      雙語|現代散文:鄧拓 “偉大的空話”

      所屬教程:詩歌散文

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      2019年08月05日

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      “Great Empty Verbiage” “偉大的空話”

      ◎ Deng Tuo ◎ 鄧拓

      雙語

      Some people have a facile tongue.They talk on and on regardless of the occasion,words pouring out of their mouths incessantly,as it were,in a torrent.But,when we try to do a bit of recalling soon after listening to them,we find we have clean forgotten what they said.

      有的人擅長于說話,可以在任何場合,嘴里說個不停,真好比懸河之口,滔滔不絕。但是,聽完他的說話以后,稍一回想,都不記得他說的是什么了。

      Like examples abound.Keep your eyes open,and you will find them here and there.Some of those given to verbiage feel very pleased with themselves and are more than willing to share their experience with others,saying,“Our ancients say one shouldn't say anything but can cause great sensation.I therefore ought to follow their teachings by using nothing short of the greatest of human language.”

      這樣的例子可以舉出不少。如果你隨時留心,到處都可以發現。說這種話的人,有的自鳴得意,并且向別人介紹他的經驗說:“我遵守古人語不驚人死不休的遺訓,非用盡人類最偉大的語言不可。”

      See,what a baloney!Many listeners will laugh off what they are boasting about as bagu[1].Personally,however,I think it more appropriate to call it“great empty verbiage”than bagu.Nevertheless,since it is closely related to bagu,the only way to trace its origin is perhaps from bagu.

      你聽,這是多么大的口氣啊!可是,許多人一聽他說話,就譏笑他在做“八股”。我卻以為把這種話叫做“八股”并不確切,還是叫它做“偉大的空話”更恰當一些。當然,它同八股是有密切關系的,也許只有從八股文中才能找到它的淵源。

      Here is a typical example.A bagu essay begins with something like this:

      舉一個典型的例子吧,有一篇八股文寫道:

      O heaven and earth—the all-embracing,the cosmos,the universe!How great and everlasting it is,in existence for millions upon millions of years instead of one day!

      夫天地者,六合宇宙之乾坤,大哉久矣,數千萬年而非一日也。

      See,the two sentences,known as poti[2],read quite smoothly,don't they?Not only are they composed of big words like“heaven and earth”,“all-embracing”,“cosmos”,“universe”,etc.,but also sound deep and clear,hence pleasant to the ear.If you read them aloud according to the tone peculiar to a bagu essay,you may be so carried away as to start wagging your head with pleasure in spite of yourself.

      你看,這作為一篇八股文的“破題”,讀起來不是也很順口嗎?其中不但有“天地”、“六合”、“宇宙”、“乾坤”等等大字眼,而且音調鏗鏘,煞是好聽。如果用標準的八股調子去念,可以使人搖頭擺尾,忘其所以。

      Unfortunately,these big words are nothing but redundant synonyms.As you read,you don't know what the writer is driving at with all his verbosity.And the more he talks,the more unintelligible his words become.Or you find him talking for nothing at all.All that is characteristic of great empty verbiage.

      但是,可惜得很,這里所用的許多大字眼,都是重復的同義語,因此,說了半天還是不知所云,越解釋越糊涂,或者等于沒有解釋。這就是偉大的空話的特點。

      Undoubtedly,as empty verbiage is unavoidable on some specific occasions,there is need for its existence in a sense.But it would be extremely terrible to popularize it,flaunt it everywhere,or even regard it as one's special skill.And even worse it is to educate our younger generation in the art of empty verbiage so as to develop a large number of relevant experts.We should therefore do our best to dissuade people from following such a trend whenever it happens.

      不能否認,這種偉大的空話在某些特殊的場合是不可避免的,因而在一定的意義上有其存在的必要。可是,如果把它普遍化起來,到處搬弄,甚至于以此為專長,那就相當可怕了。假若再把這種說空話的本領教給我們的后代,培養出這么一批專家,那就更糟糕了。因此,遇有這樣的事情,就必須加以勸阻。
      雙語

      Quite incidentally,a kid of my neighbour's recently wrote a great many things in the manner of great poets,mostly in the form of modern poetry,but all were nothing but empty verbiage.Often,on finishing a new piece,he would read it aloud smugly.The other day,he wrote the following poem entitled Ode to Wild Grass,likewise packed with empty words:

      湊巧得很,我的鄰居有個孩子近來常常模仿大詩人的口氣,編寫了許多“偉大的空話”,形式以新詩為最多,并且他常常寫完一首就自己朗誦,十分得意。不久以前,他寫了一首《野草頌》,通篇都是空話。他寫的是:

      The sky is our father,

      老天是我們的父親,

      The earth is our mother,

      大地是我們的母親,

      The sun is our nurse,

      太陽是我們的保姆,

      The east wind is our benefactor,

      東風是我們的恩人,

      The west wind is our foe.

      西風是我們的敵人。

      We are a tuft of wild grass,

      我們是一叢野草,

      Some people love us,

      有人喜歡我們,

      Some people hate us,

      有人討厭我們,

      But,come what may,

      但是不管怎樣,

      We'll keep growing.

      我們還要生長。

      Does it read like a poem?How I worry about the future of this kid who does nothing but write trash like that all the time!Without looking at the title,one would never know that it was a poem eulogizing wild grass.Yet,to my great surprise,the kid has been given a high compliment for the so-called poem!I wonder what has motivated the flattery.

      你說這叫做什么詩?我真為他擔憂,成天寫這類東西,將來會變成什么樣子!如果不看題目,誰能知道他寫的是野草頌呢?但是這個孩子寫的詩居然有人予以夸獎,我不了解那是什么用意。

      There are in the poem eye-catching terms like“sky”,“earth”,“father”,“mother”,“sun”,“nurse”,“east wind”,“west wind”,“benefactor”,“foe”,etc.,which have become hackneyed through abuse.The kid may regard his way of writing as a means to novelty while in fact he achieves nothing novel at all.

      這首詩里盡管也有天地、父母、太陽、保姆、東風、西風、恩人、敵人等等引人注目的字眼,然而這些都被他濫用了,變成了陳詞濫調。問他本人,他認為這樣寫才顯得內容新鮮。實際上,他這么搞一點也不新鮮。

      In all language,including poetic diction,we should strive for economy of expression,i.e.,using as few words as possible to express the maximum amount of content.The language you use will be most effective only when you have an idea that you simply must put across.Otherwise,your speech will be empty of matter no matter how high-sounding the words and expressions you use.And the more you talk,the worse it is.I,therefore,advise all friends indulging in empty talk to do more reading and thinking,but less talking.Resist the urge of empty talk so that you can take a rest and meanwhile avoid wasting the time and energies of yourself and others.

      任何語言,包括詩的語言在內,都應該力求用最經濟的方式,表達最豐富的內容。到了有話非說不可的時候,說出的話才能動人。否則內容空虛,即便用了最偉大的字眼和詞匯,也將無濟于事,甚至越說得多,反而越糟糕。因此,我想奉勸愛說偉大的空話的朋友,還是多讀,多想,少說一些,遇到要說話的時候,就去休息,不要浪費你自己和別人的時間和精力吧!

      鄧拓,福建福州人,杰出的新聞工作者、政論家、歷史學家、雜文家。聶榮臻元帥曾稱贊他“光明磊落,博學多才”。1966年,“文化大革命”初起時,他慘遭迫害而死,年僅54歲。《“偉大的空話”》是他于1961年發表在《前線》雜志第21期上的一篇著名雜文。文章以事實為證,針砭當時上行下效的說大話歪風,文筆生動直率,深入淺出,亦莊亦諧。


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