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现代英文选评:The Jersey Heifer 杰西牛

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2020年07月02日

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The Jersey Heifer 杰西牛

Peggy Harding Love (1920— )

本文选自1951年的《奥·亨利奖金得奖小说集》。该集共收短篇小说二十四篇,颇多名家作品,福克纳、韦尔蒂为其尤著者。(据该书编者Herschel Brickell于序文中云:“It seems to the editor that Miss Welty and Mr. Faulkner are incomparably the present American masters of the short story.”这两位“大师”已经介绍。)本文作者潘琪·洛芙为一女作家,作品不多。本文借一小牛的故事,道出人生真谛,文笔清新,含意深远,的是佳作,入选并非偶然。

In October the cows went apple-crazy. The sweet, sun-warmed apple smell drifted from the orchard, tempting them unbearably; and by afternoon one or the other—the heifer usually, she was the mischief-maker—would have nudged down a rail from the old fence around the pasture. Once, only once, young Phoebe Matthews looked out the kitchen window and caught them in the act, but the picture stayed forever in her mind, an image of transcendent innocence and freedom. Leaping negligently, her hoofs tucked up delicately, the Jersey heifer went over the lower rails like a deer, and close behind, clumsy but with drooling haste, Daisy, the three-year-old Guernsey stepped clumsily out.

● apple-crazy:此字乃作者杜撰,意为“苹果狂”,想苹果想痴了。went= became。

● sweet和sun-warmed 两字均形容smell。drifted:飘(来)。orchard:果园。tempting:引诱。unbearably:(引诱力极大)无法忍受。

● one or the other:不是这头,就是那头。这就表示只有两头牛。两头牛中,一头是杰西(Jersey)种的小牛(heifer:尚未生育之小母牛,本文中之heifer,跳踉活泼,顽皮好弄,尚不失幼犊本色),一头是根西(Guernsey)种的母牛,名叫“雏菊”(Daisy)。杰西、根西均为英伦海峡中英属岛屿,两地所产牛,以乳汁丰富著称于世。

● She was the mischief-maker:祸都是她惹的;捣蛋鬼是她。

● nudged:拱(以鼻部轻推)。rail:杠(栏干上的横条)。fence:栅栏。pasture:牧场放牛之地。本句之would表示“习惯”;have nudged表示“已经”:到了下午,她们常常已经推倒了栅栏上的一根横条(逃了出去)。

● caught them in the act:当场查获。不是真的去把它们捉住,只是“发现”而已。act指它们逃出这件事。

● picture和image指的是一件事:即书中主角Phoebe在厨房窗口所看见的景象。transcendent:超越一切的。innocence:天真。苹果甘香诱人,两牛越藩篱,弃牧场,奔走前往,她们这一个举动,有一次给女主人看见了。这是一幅图画,一幅洒落超脱、天真自由的图画。看见一次之后,Phoebe再也不会忘了。

● 末句就是这幅“图画”具体的描写。小牛把蹄(hoofs)缩起(tucked up),姿态轻盈(delicately),随随便便(negligently),一跃而过,犹如小鹿一般。栅栏上每段本有横木数条,今某一段顶上一条已被推落,高度已减,小牛自可跃过。大牛行动颟顸(clumsy),紧随小牛之后,举步跨出,然而迫不及待,唾液满口(drooling)矣。

They trotted eagerly along the quiet dirt lane, turning their heads from side to side; and later, near milking time, Phoebe and Joe, her husband, had come upon them drunk with bliss in the long grass of the orchard. Each time they were discovered there, the cows stood perfectly still, their red and tawny coats bright against the blue sky, their soft, wide eyes looking out innocently among the apple branches. Long threads of saliva trailed from their velvety muzzles and glistened in the late sunlight, and under their hoofs the crushed and rotting apples gave off a heady fragrance.

● trotted:急走。lane:乡间小路。dirt:灰土,路面未经铺修者。milking:挤牛奶。

● come upon:发现,撞上。drunk:陶醉。bliss=great happiness。

● tawny:褐黄色。their…coats (being) bright against the blue sky和their…eyes looking…都是nominative absolute phrases。

● saliva:唾液。threads:细线。muzzles:(兽之)口鼻突出部分。velvety:色泽光洁如丝绒者。heady:醉人的。树上苹果,甘香四播,苹果成熟而落地者,香更浓郁,中人欲醉。双牛呆立林际,蹄践芳香,口水直流,如醉如痴。

● crushed:踏碎的。rotting:溃烂的。

Always at the sight of them there Phoebe's heart leaped in delight. But Joe would drive them back to the pasture with a slow-moving, gentle stubbornness that matched their own. "Apples cut down Daisy's milk," he told Phoebe firmly. "I've got to wire that fence."

● 双牛陶醉于苹果香味之中,女主人见了,如有同感,心里也喜欢得跳起来了。

● 第二句之would强调“意志”,有“坚欲”之意。stubbornness:倔强精神。双牛坚不肯走,是为倔强;男主人非驱其归不可,亦是倔强。可是倔强而不暴烈,双方的倔强,都是和(gentle)缓(slow-moving)的一种。男主人这种“牛劲”,可与双牛的相比(matched)。

● cut down:减少(产量)。wire当名词是“铁丝”(或别种金属线),此处是动词,解作“张以铁丝”。

● I've got to=I have to:我非这么做不可。

Let them go, Phoebe pleaded, begging as earnestly as for herself, "let them have a little freedom."

Well, Joe said, musing, "well," and looked off over the fields that were so newly theirs. "The apples will be picked pretty soon now anyway," he said.

● as for herself:好像替她自己恳求。她对那两头牛十分同情。

● musing:沉思着。newly:他们新买下来的。

● anyway:不管怎样,“反正现在苹果也快摘了”,让两头牛去快乐几天吧。

By the end of October they had picked all the apples on the trees. They knelt carefully in the long grass, collecting even the windfalls and hauling them up the wagon ramp into the upper story of the old barn for cider-making.

● windfall:给风吹下来的果子。他们非但把树上的苹果全摘了,连地下的也都捡回去。hauling:拖。wagon ramp:梯道,功用如梯,然面平,无梯级,故大筐水果可以拖上;坡缓而道宽,牛也会走得上的。大车也拉得上,故用wagon一字。barn:仓。普通barn的结构,底层养牲口,上层作储藏干草谷实等之用。cider:苹果酒。

They were pressing cider the afternoon the county agent stopped by for his first visit, and the first thing he told them was that the orchard should be cut down. Those old trees would never show a profit, he said. The orchard should go, the horses should be replaced by a tractor and modern equipment, new fences should be built, the chickens not allowed to run.

● pressing:挤压(苹果作酒)。the afternoon两字作conjunction。

● county:郡(较“州”为小的行政单位)。county agent:本郡的巡回调查员,协助农民解决各种困难者。

● 第一句中的the orchard=the trees in the orchard。profit:盈利。tractor:曳引机。modern equipment:新式配备。

After a minute Joe said: "I guess you better not put us down as farmers. We are grateful for your advice and we sure need a lot of it, but I guess we'd rather live peaceful than make money."

● put down本意是write down(记下来),这里只是“当作,认为”的意思。I guess=I think(通常是美国用法)。

● we'd rather=we would rather:我们宁可这样;下面常跟着than,表示“不愿那样”。

No, son, I'll put you down as two romantic dreamers and come around again next spring. The agent got in his car and was starting out the dirt lane when he leaned out the window again, pointing to where the pasture fence rail was down again. "Your cows are out," he called. "Who's boss around here, you or bossy?" and, laughing slyly, he jounced away in his dusty sedan.

● romantic dreamers:浪漫的梦想家。所谓“浪漫”约相当于中文成语“不务实际”。照那调查员看来,务农当以谋利为目的,可是那对小夫妻自认所要求者只是一种美丽宁静的田园生活而已。

● leaned out the window:探首窗外。where… down again是名词性从句。boss:主人。bossy:牛。(两字皆美国俗语。)slyly:狡猾地。不一定有什么恶意,只是明知其可笑而笑之。jounced:颠荡(车行不稳)。sedan:轿车。

For a little while Phoebe and Joe stood where he left them, quiet and abstracted in the pale, slanting sunlight. Phoebe's hands were cold and sticky from the apple juice, and she held them up in the sun to warm them. At last she said, "I'd better get the cows." The orchard was stripped now, completely appleless, so she wouldn't find them there; but the scent of apples still hung everywhere in the air, filling the cows with yearning, and searching restlessly for fulfillment they still broke out of the pasture. Joe looked at Phoebe as if he hadn't heard her. "What if he's right?" he said broodingly. "Maybe it's all an impossible dream." But when Phoebe protested, "No, he's wrong! We've never been so happy," Joe smiled and touched her reassuringly, because of course it was true.

● quiet和abstracted(出神的)两字都形容主语Phoebe and Joe。其时夕阳斜(slanting)照,日光淡弱(pale),盖已近黄昏。Phoebe的手上苹果汁未除,现在觉得冷,也觉得粘。本文以Phoebe为主角,心理活动(感觉和思想)只描写她一个人的。牛的快乐是从她眼里看出来的,她丈夫的态度也是从她的观点来写的。

● I'd better get the cows:我还是把牛找回来吧。’d是had的缩写。

● stripped:果子已摘光。she wouldn't find them there中之would表示将来:到果园去是找不到它们的了。

● hung一字用得很有力量:苹果已经摘尽,然而香味仍遍“悬”空中,诱力不减。yearning(名词):恋慕之念。

● searching是分词,形容后面的主词they。restlessly:坐立不安地,寝食难安地。fulfillment:(欲望的)满足。

● broodingly:若有所思地。What if he's right?中的he指调查员:他的话假如对的,便怎么呢?Joe的想法多少还切实一点。

● We've never been so happy=we have never been so happy as now。

● reassuringly:安慰地(使她放心)。他们结婚以来,的确是以这段田园生活为最快乐了。

In a minute Joe went back to the barn to finish pressing the last batch of cider, and Phoebe started down the lane. "Co' ba, co' ba," she sang out dreamily, taking comfort from the sound of her voice in the quiet air. It was a call for cows she had read in a book, but of course they never came.

● 他们同调查员谈过话以后,Joe再回到仓房楼上去榨苹果汁,Phoebe出去把牛找回来。

● batch:(货物之)一批。Co' ba, co' ba:Phoebe叫牛的声音,这种叫法她是从书上学来的。叫了它们,它们总是不来,可是她还是叫,她的叫多半还是让自己听来好听而已。taking comfort from:从那里面得到安慰。

Up the lane two sets of hoofprints lay in the dust—one set large and clumsy, moving ponderously after the smaller, dancing cresents that led the way. "They can't have been out long," Phoebe said out loud to herself. "That minx, that little devil," and, smiling ruefully, looking all around, she walked on after them.

● 小路前面,有两组(sets)蹄印:后面一组是大牛的,行动笨重(ponderously)。前面领路的是小牛:蹄印较小,成新月状(crescents),步法如同舞蹈。

● They can't have been out long:它们出去了还不会很久。can在这里表示“可能性”。

● minx:轻佻的女子。这里骂的是那只小牛,骂虽骂,嘴上说它淘气,心里还是疼它,所以骂过之后,脸上苦(ruefully)笑了一下,然后循着蹄印,跟踪前去。

Up in the road Phoebe found the cows. They were off on the edge of the woods, nosing around in the faded goldenrod and wild asters under two ancient, half-dead crabapple trees. There was nothing there but a few dried-up, worm-hollowed crabapples, and the cows seemed apathetic, sunk in depression. "Don't look at me like that," Phoebe said, "it isn't my fault." The Jersey stared at her with great accusing eyes. She held her head low, petulantly. When Phoebe touched her muzzle, she tossed her head and leaped sharply back.

● nose(动词):用鼻子推、擦或掘。

● goldenrod与wild asters都是紫苑科一类的野草。faded:凋谢的;秋深之象。

● crabapple:山楂。worm-hollowed:给虫蛀空的。There was nothing there:什么都找不到了。苹果已全搬回家,然香味犹留林际,经久不退,两牛在山楂树下草丛里去找,再也找不到了。两牛状甚淡漠(apathetic:看见了主人并不高兴),没精打采(sunk in depression;sunk是 sink的过去分词,sink不一定作“沉”解,凡是由高转低,由强转弱,由活泼转呆滞,这一类的场合常常可用sink一字,请读者随时留意)。

● Phoebe晓得它们不高兴,可是也无能为力。她对它们说:“请你们别这样看我,这可不能怪我。”

● accusing:控诉的。great accusing eyes:大眼睛里,一副埋怨的神气。petulantly:发脾气、撒娇之状。杰西小牛找不到苹果,跟主人呕气,头也不肯抬起来了。主人要摸摸它的嘴,它把头一摆,猛地往后一跳。

All right, if that's the way you feel, Phoebe said. "Come on, Daisy, we'll let her sulk." And obediently Daisy lumbered back to the dusty road. She plodded slowly back toward the farm.

● Phoebe的话第一句是对小牛说的:“好吧,假如你的感觉真是这样的话。”(假如你真是这样感到不痛快,那么就算了。)

● 第二句是叫大牛回家,“小牛让它去呕气吧”。sulk:发脾气。

● lumbered:颟顸笨重的行动。plodded:很费力地走路。没有腿的东西(如卡车)的行动,也可以说是lumber。plod一定要用在有腿的东西上的。lumber是从旁观者着眼,行动看来笨重不轻快;plod是着重走路的人(或物)所费的力气。

Before they had gone far, Phoebe heard the quick, light thud of the Jersey's hoofs coming after them. All the way back to the barn the Jersey followed a hairbreadth behind.

● 小牛从后面追来了,它的行动是轻快的。轻快从其蹄声知之:thud这里相当于“蹄声得得”。

● a hairbreadth:一发之宽,很近。

When she got back, the sun was nearly gone. She was shivering in a sweater when she went up the steep, crude stairs from the stable to the upper story, through the narrow trapdoor where they threw down the hay. Joe had finished the last batch of cider and was lining up the clear amber jugs beside the door, ready for loading on the truck to take to town. Discarded apples and the pressed-out apple cakes lay in a heap below the haymow, and in the cavernous gloom the autumn smell of apples, sweet and sour, mingled with the summer smell, dusty and sweet, of tender-cut green timothy and clover.

● 仓分两层,上层供贮藏之用,有大梯道(wagon ramp)通外边;下层为马厩牛栏,另有一小梯通上层。Phoebe把牛领返牛栏,自己走小梯上去。时已入暮,她穿了一件绒线衫(sweater),身上冷得发抖(shivering)。

● 小梯险峻(steep)粗陋(crude),顶上是活板门一扇。楼上的干草,就是从活门里掷下来喂牲口的。

● Joe还在楼上;但是苹果汁已经榨完(过去完成式),此时正在把(过去进行式)装汁的坛子排在门口,以便次日装车送进城去(酿酒)。clear(明净的)和amber(琥珀色的)都形容苹果汁的色泽。

● 楼上本堆干草,今又苹果满屋,末句就是描写这两种气味。本文以牛的苹果狂为故事主干,而所以致此“狂”者,乃苹果之香味,故于苹果之香味,不惮再三描写焉。

● discarded:舍弃不用的(烂蛀之苹果,不合榨汁者)。apple cakes:榨后的苹果渣,成饼状。haymow:干草堆。傍晚时分,屋内已幽暗如洞穴,在这“洞穴状(cavernous)的幽暗(gloom)”之中,有两种气味,一种是苹果的,苹果秋天所摘,故曰“秋天的香味”(autumn smell);一种是干草的,干草夏天所割,故曰“夏天的香味”。秋天之香甜而酸,夏天之香泥土气(dusty)然亦带甜味。timothy与clover两种草名,皆用以作饲料者。tender-cut:嫩的时候割下来的。最后一从句中,autumn smell是主语,mingled是动词。sweet and sour和dusty and sweet似乎成排比对偶,然而前者不与smell相接而跟在apples之后,后者则紧接smell,句法于对仗中仍有变化,与中文之骈俪不同也。

That heifer thinks she's pretty cute, Joe said, pulling on his leather jacket, getting ready to go. "I'll keep Daisy in tonight after milking. Maybe the Jersey won't wander without her." Leaving the wide wagon doors open to the last rays of the sun, they went out of the barn together and up the path to the house.

● pretty(副词):相当地。cute:调皮。杰西小牛自以为很调皮。

● leather:革制的;jacket:上衣,衣饰店里的通用译名为“夹克”。

● keep Daisy in:把它关在牛栏里;in是副词。今天晚上挤牛奶过后要把它关起来,由这句话看来,足见平日是常常不关的。关了大牛,小牛还不关,他以为没有大牛作伴,小牛就不会出去游荡了。

● wagon doors:顶层连接wagon ramp的大门,他们走大路下去,大门没有关,为下文伏笔。the last rays of the sun:落日余晖。

It was late that night that Phoebe woke up suddenly with her heart pounding heavily. She heard a terrible bawling cry from somewhere. "Joe, Joe," she cried, shaking him frantically, "somebody's crying terribly."

It's the heifer, Joe said, leaping out of bed and searching in the dark for his clothes. "Please light the lamp first so I can get down there first."

● pounding:(心)怦怦地跳。bawling:高声大叫。frantically:狂乱地(拿他乱摇)。light(动词):点燃。

Dressing as fast as she could, shivering with cold and fear, she heard Joe rush out into the night. In a minute she was dressed herself and running for the barn, a lantern in her hand, through the clear, chill blackness.

● 第二句的herself用以加强主语she。她的丈夫穿好衣服,她也穿好了。

● 她的丈夫是往外冲进黑夜里去(rush out into the night),她自己也在黑夜里奔,夜清明(clear)而冷(chill),正是秋夜也。

The bellowing grew closer, more localized, and she headed up the wagon ramp and through the wide door of the barn's upper story. Joe was kneeling beside the open trapdoor, the trapdoor for forking hay down to the stable. Phoebe saw the opening filled with a grotesque, meaningless shape, and then she saw it was the heifer, hanging head down in the narrow stairwell. From below, the gasping came up in rhythmic agony, hushed a little but not stopped by Joe's quiet voice talking and talking to her as he crouched at the opening, trying to see how she was caught.

● bellowing:牛鸣。localized:方位可以确定的,可以确定声音出自何方。headed up=moved up。

● forking:以叉来挑或拨。

● 小牛从梯道上楼,一失足身陷活门。它现在前半身跌在活门下面,后半身还搁在上面。已经身受重伤。stairwell=well-hole:楼梯口,即trapdoor,亦即opening或aperture(缺口)。

● a grotesque, meaningless shape:一个四不像的、不成形状的东西。楼梯口里塞了一个奇形怪状的东西,那东西就是小牛的后半身。

● 小牛的头在下面,还在连吁带喘地叫(gasping cries),叫声抑扬有致(rhythmic:有节奏的),然而痛苦极矣(agony)。

● cries有两个过去分词形容:一是hushed(使寂静),一是stopped。Joe蹲伏(crouched)在楼梯口,轻声抚慰,然小牛不能就此忍痛不叫,惨号只是稍歇而已。caught:卡住,挂住,绊住,牵住。

The apples, Phoebe moaned, flinging herself down beside him, "she smelled the apples and came to find them." But Joe had jumped up, taking the flashlight, and was running out and around to the stable door below. Phoebe ran after, her heart hammering, the lantern swinging insanely from her hand.

● moaned:呜咽地说。flinging herself down:扑倒地上。

● Phoebe的话说明小牛是怎么上来的:它嗅到了香味,从梯道大门进来找苹果的。

● flashlight:手电筒。hammering:原意是“锤击”,此处亦作“怦怦地跳”。insanely:(似乎是)疯狂地。swinging:摆动。

The low, oak-beamed ceiling and thick stone walls of the stable made a warm, cozy cave, and in it the heifer hung crazily upside down, her head and one foreleg wedged between two treads of the heavy, ladder-like stairs. The wedged foreleg was broken, bone thrusting through the skin. In the lantern light her eyes rolled whitely, blindly, and the helpless, rasping cries grew steadily fainter.

● 第一句描写楼下马厩中所见。马厩不高,顶上橡木作梁(oak-beam),周围石砌厚墙,处身其间,温暖舒适(cozy),犹如洞穴。

● crazily:荒唐地。牛头倒悬空中,为反常之事,犹如疯人所为。

● wedged:卡住。foreleg:前腿。treads:梯级。ladder-like stairs:ladder是可搬动之梯,stairs是楼梯。但马厩里的stairs 比之ladder亦相差无几。

● 在灯光之中,可以看见牛的眼睛在转,然而白多黑少(whitely),眼珠失神(blindly),已是奄奄待毙之状。其鸣声粗沙(rasping)凄婉(helpless),亦渐趋微弱矣。

If we could saw the stair! Phoebe cried in anguish. "Wouldn't that free her?"

It's no use, Joe said. "The weight of her fall would snap her back, Phoebe, you'd better get the gun."

● saw:锯断。anguish:极端痛苦,然而深度尚不如agony。牛之将死用agony(见前文),哀怜同情之人,其心虽十分痛苦,然到底比身受者还差一筹,故用anguish。受anguish之苦者,表面上可能很少反应;受agony之苦者,必定辗转挣扎也。

● snap:折断。梯子锯断了,牛摔下来要把背脊摔断的。

The heifer bawled again, a hopeless choking cry, and in the lantern light her free leg kicked futilely in the air. "She's suffering, Phoebe. Get the gun."

● 牛鸣本趋微弱,现忽又吼叫,然而气息壅塞(choking),临终绝望之哀鸣也。free leg:未被卡住之腿。

Phoebe had turned blindly, and was rushing out the door when Joe called, "Phoebe, bring a knife, too, the sharp knife in the kitchen." For a moment she didn't understand, and then she turned back whimpering in horror. "No, no, we can't, I won't!" Across the shadowy stable Joe's voice rose in furious torment. "Get the knife! You know we can't waste food." He stared at her relentlessly. "We wanted a farm, didn't we? To make our own life, our own food? We've eaten meat all our lives, now we've got to earn it."

● Phoebe奔出去拿枪,要结束这条牛的痛苦了。Joe 叫她把厨房里的刀拿来。她起初还不懂,后来想起来了——Joe要先流其血然后宰而食之!

● whimper亦是一种呜咽,与前文moan相比,则whimper之声断续而moan之声细长,whimper可能含愠抱怨,而moan则纯是忧伤凄楚也。

● 她已跑到门口,Joe在里面发脾气,内外之间,有一段距离,所以说:他的声音“越过了幽暗的马厩”(across the shadowy stable)。

● Joe's voice rose:提起了嗓子说话。furious:盛怒的。torment较anguish略轻,Joe决定忍心杀牛,心里也必非常痛苦,然而比之Phoebe的anguish究还差一筹。此字带一点“烦躁”的意思。

● stared:瞪目而视。relentlessly:惨酷无情地,不稍宽待地。waste:糟蹋。牛打死了,他舍不得不吃。

● earn:凭本事去赚。

● 最后两句问话的意义:我们买下这座农场来,本来是靠着它吃的。

Phoebe laid the knife, the gun and cartridges beside Joe and turned away. She was well away from the stable when she heard the shot. She stopped then, and for a long moment she stood quiet, shaking in the cold.

After her tears Phoebe slept, but she woke early. She lay quietly in bed, her body aching, her mind calm but filled with a clear despair.

● cartridges:子弹。clear despair:清明的绝望。她觉得人生没有意义了,

可是心头还是清清楚楚的,并不昏沉。

She went out for fire wood and kindling, and coming back from the woodpile with her arms full she stopped above the pasture, shivering in the still, gray light of the morning. Below the pin oak Daisy lay placidly on the drying grass, untouched by tragedy, and for a long time Phoebe stood watching her from another world. Of course they can't care, she thought; it's part of their innocence. She thought of all the innocent ones—the cow and the dog, the horses and chickens—and she knew at last that she was hopelessly excluded, forever responsible. She turned away, lonely and chilled, but with her armful of firewood she went on into the kitchen, to kindle once more the comforting fire for breakfast.

● kindling:引火之小木片。woodpile:木柴堆。

● pin oak:橡树之一种。placidly:平静地。untouched by tragedy:(心)不为悲剧所拂扰。from another world=as if from another world:小牛死了,大牛本为其游伴,今竟若无其事,而女主人则中心悲苦,无复乐趣,如处在另一世界。

● she thought的前后都是不加引号的直接叙述法;述其思想之内容:“当然它们(那些动物)是不在乎的,这就是它们天真里面的一部分。”既然天真,当然无挂无牵。

● 下面接一句是全文主旨所在。她想起了那些动物都是无挂无牵的,可是她偏不然,她是“绝对没有希望归入它们那一类里去的”(hopelessly excluded),她是人就得负起做人的责任,责任永远在她身上,无法推脱(forever responsible)。

● 这一种想法是幻想的破灭,也可以说是智慧(wisdom)的开始。鸢飞鱼跃,生机活泼,啸傲园林,逍遥自在,素为人生理想所寄,叵奈现实世界不容此种理想乎?Phoebe初居农村时,未尝不想过一种无挂无牵顺乎自然的生活,对于遨游田野追逐苹果香味的小牛,未尝不心向往之。曾几何时,小牛身陷绝境,丧生枪下;当初放纵之者,歆羡之者,今竟束手不能救,而且可能要割其皮而食其肉,“分尝一脔”矣。现实世界果如是之残酷乎?无论如何,Phoebe经此事变,心灵上可以说是成熟了。浪漫之梦既破,提起勇气,正视现实,负起做人的责任,其人生之正途乎?就文学流派而言:追求理想,无拘无束,是浪漫主义之文学也;知理想之终归幻灭,拘束之不可避免,此写实主义之文学也。写实主义在二十世纪文学为一大潮流,本文不过一小小的例子而已。

● 最后Phoebe挟了木柴,进厨房去生火煮饭,又是一天枯燥的主妇生活要开始了。然而人生的意义是不是就在这枯燥平凡之中呢?


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