Poor, Obscure, Plain and Little

楼主:春风秋水 时间:2008-05-31 14:42:00 点击:939 回复:8
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‘Poor, Obscure, Plain and Little’
   By SUSANN COKAL
  Published: May 25, 2008
  “贫穷、模糊、朴素、卑微”
  文/ 苏珊·寇科尔
  《纽约时报》,2008年5月25日
  
   【译者按】SUSANN COKAL(苏珊·寇科尔),出生于美国加州,拥有两个博士学位:一个是加州大学伯克利分校的比较文学博士,一个是纽约州立大学宾汉姆顿分校(Binghamton University)的创意写作(creative writing)博士。还在法国的普瓦捷(Poitiers, France)学过一年的中世纪史、艺术史,也曾在圣路易奥比斯波(San Luis Obispo)加州州立理工大学(California Polytechnic University)任教。现居于弗吉尼亚的里士满(Richmond, Virginia),在弗吉尼亚州立联邦大学(Virginia Commonwealth University)教授创意写作和当代叙事理论。出版有:Breath and Bones,Mirabilis等。
  
   Early in Queen Victoria’s reign, 30 percent of adult Englishwomen were single — and considered, as one social commentator put it, “redundant.” If of gentle birth and no means, without a family to care for, an extra woman naturally sought work as a governess. Living in another family’s home made romance unlikely and isolation inevitable, with poverty and unemployment always on the horizon. It was a grim life, grimmer still because it was the only choice open to many. As Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre decides, “I want this because it is of no use wanting anything better.”
   早在维多利亚时期,30%的英国女家庭教师都是单身。正如一位社会评论员所认为的那样,她们是“多余的”。如果一个出身文雅、穷困,没有家人照顾的话,这些多余出来的女性自然地选择从事家庭教师。由于生活在另一个家庭的宅子里,且始终在贫穷和失业之间挣扎,这使得恋爱是不可能的,孤立独活也是难以避免的。那是一种多么严酷的生活,因为那是面对众人的唯一选择。正如夏洛特·勃朗特(Charlotte Brontë)小说中简·爱(Jane Eyre)的决定,“我需要这个,因为想要更好的东西是不现实的。”
   In “Governess: The Lives and Times of the Real Jane Eyres,” Ruth Brandon covers about 80 years in the profession, concentrating on the era when a rising cadre of nouveaux riches and an abundance of single women came together to make the at-home lady educator a household staple. Few of the 25,000 governesses in England in 1851 were employed past the age of 40, since most families preferred to hire malleable young things, despite the dangers of youth: husbands and sons could always be tempted. (Witness Mr. Rochester.)
   在《女家庭教师:真实的简·爱之生活与时代》(Governess: The Lives and Times of the Real Jane Eyres)一书中,露丝·布兰登(Ruth Brandon)描述了这一职业近80年的发展状况,即当新兴富人不断增加而单身女性逐显多余这一时代使得女家庭教师成为家庭的一部分。在1851年,英国25000名受聘的女家庭教师中很少有超过40岁的,因为大部分家庭宁愿雇佣可塑性强的年轻家庭教师,尽管她们有年轻所带来的威胁:丈夫和儿子可能被诱惑。(如罗切斯特先生)
   A governess had to be a lady. Part of her function, as Brandon puts it, was to “impart a veneer of class to the ‘wild and unbroken’ ” family members, including parents. But the presence of a bona fide lady might threaten a mistress uneasy with her new social status, so governesses had to be kept in their place. (This problem was peculiarly British; America’s looser class system made governessing quite different.)
   女家庭教师必须是一位小姐。正如布兰登所指出的那样,其职责的一部分“向包括父母在内的野蛮的家庭成员传授礼仪知识”。但是真正的小姐的出现会因为其新的社会身份威胁到女主人,使其不安。因此女家庭教师必须得安守本分。(这个问题很具有英国特色,美国的教育系统使得女家庭教师多少有些不同)
   Relegated to the nursery, where she spent 12 or more hours a day educating, feeding and otherwise looking after her charges, a British governess might expect to earn between £8 — barely enough to keep herself in books and clothing — and £100 a year. She taught multiple languages (including French, naturellement), simple arithmetic, music, drawing and history, but perhaps none of them well. Lessons came from what she had learned from her own governess or at a school for girls, thereby perpetuating an impoverishment of female education that roused the ire of several of Brandon’s subjects.
   归属于托儿所的女家庭教师,一天花了12个小时或更多时间在教育、喂养孩子和做其他职责内的工作上,但她的一年所得只有8英镑到100英镑,这几乎没办法为自己购置书籍和衣物。她教授多种语言(包括法语)、简单的算术、音乐、绘画和历史,当然也许她对于这些并不十分在行。这些课程是她从她的女家庭教师或女校那里学来的,因此,这种使女性教育的贫乏不断延续的做法激起了布兰登的几个写作话题。
   Brandon calls her choice of representative women “rather arbitrary,” as well as “small and random.” The reader might also add “uneven,” since the book devotes much attention to the famous feminist writers Mary Wollstonecraft and Anna Jameson, as well as to Anna Leonowens (best known from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, “The King and I,” inspired by her memoirs of teaching in Siam). More obscure governesses, whose lives are harder to unpuzzle — and might thus be more intriguing — get less time.
   布兰登将这些典型妇女的选择称之为“武断”以及“卑微、任意”。一些读者可能还会加上“不平”,因为这本书非常关注著名的女性主义作家玛丽·沃斯通克拉夫特(Mary Wollstonecraft)和安娜·詹姆森(Anna Jameson)以及安娜·李奥诺文思(Anna Leonowens)(因为罗杰斯和哈默斯坦因的音乐剧“国王与我”而出名,该剧是由她的有关泰国的作品改编而成)。许多模糊的女家庭教师,其生活在短时间内是很难解释的,当然也可能变得很有吸引力。
   It’s surprising that Brandon didn’t devote a chapter to Charlotte Brontë and her sisters, given her frequent references to the governesses in novels like “Agnes Grey” and “Jane Eyre.” Those famous novels could have benefited from an analytical eye. Brandon is also a fiction writer, and she leans heavily on the novels of the period to provide cultural background; she might have spent more time exploring the ways in which a novelist’s imagination transformed the governess’s actual experience.
   令人惊讶的是,尽管布兰登频繁提及像《艾格尼丝·格雷》、《简·爱》等小说中的女家庭教师,但是她并没有为夏洛特·勃朗特及其姐妹专门写一章。这些著名的小说从分析的角度来说,非常有益。布兰登也是一个小说家,她非常倾向于有着文化背景时期的小说;她可能会花更多的时间来探讨那些传达女家庭教师实际经历的小说家想象方式。
   Instead, Brandon devotes more than 50 pages each to chapters on the Wollstonecraft sisters and Claire Clairmont, all of whom led fascinating lives — but not while they were governesses. Mary Wollstonecraft, in fact, was a governess for less than a year before she turned to writing essays, children’s stories, a novel and works on the education of women. Brandon concentrates more on Wollstonecraft’s achievements and adventures than on her work in the schoolroom. We don’t need to know quite so much about her romantic comings and goings in order to understand how her brief stint as a governess affected her later life, or to understand the place of governessing among the limited options for women at the time. (Wollstonecraft, after all, was exceptional.) We certainly don’t need to know about Clairmont’s mother’s paramours. Clairmont was a governess for decades, but her early life with Byron, Shelley and her stepsister, Mary Shelley (daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft), gets the most attention. How many other governesses had these kinds of experiences?
   然而,布兰登每章花了50多页的篇幅来关注沃斯通克拉夫特姐妹和克莱尔·克莱蒙特(Claire Clairmont)。她们都过着迷人的生活,但是她们并不是家庭教师。事实上,玛丽·沃斯通克拉夫特在她写散文、儿童故事、小说,并开展妇女教育工作以前曾做过不到一年的家庭教师。布兰登聚焦于沃斯通克拉夫特的成就和冒险而不是其在教室的工作。我们不必知道如此多的有关她的浪漫故事来理解她的家庭教师这一简短的生涯如何影响其后半生的生活。(毕竟,沃斯通克拉夫特是一个例外。)我们当然也不必知道太多有关克莱蒙特母亲的情人们。克莱蒙特也做了十多年家庭教师,但是她与拜伦(Byron,)、雪莱(Shelley)以及其妹妹玛丽·雪莱(玛丽·沃斯通克拉夫特的女儿)的早年生活,值得关注。有多少女家庭教师有着这样的经历?
   The shorter chapters about hitherto overlooked women are far fresher. In 1784, Agnes Porter entered the new profession early enough to eke out a quite pleasant existence with an earl’s extended family. Just a couple of decades later, however, Nelly Weeton’s letters and diaries recorded suffering to rival Brontë’s most gothic moments: a cruelly selfish brother, nasty employers with nightmarish homes and a disastrous marriage entered into, apparently, solely for the chance to bear a child of her own. The scene in which rats attack the body of a little girl who has been burned to death ranks with the highest flights of Victorian horror. There’s nothing happy to take away from Weeton’s story, but it makes for titillating reading — if, that is, her journals can be considered a reliable source. As with the novels she discusses, Brandon might have approached these diaries with a more critical eye. Was Weeton really, as she portrayed herself, an entirely innocent victim?
   迄今为止关于女性研究最短的章节还是很新鲜的。1784年,艾格尼丝·坡特早在与伯爵的家庭们过着愉快的生活的时候就进入了这个行业。然而,二十年后,奈莉·维顿的书信和日记记录了其遭遇对手勃朗特最为野蛮的片段:一个非常残忍、自私的兄弟,有着噩梦一样房子的下流雇主,一段悲伤的婚姻,很显然,使得她还有怀着孩子的可能。小姑娘遭受流言而致死这一幕体现了维多利亚时期的最高的恐惧。在维顿的故事里,没有任何高兴地片段,但是如果她的日记能够被视为可靠的原始资料的话,真的很值得一读。随着她对小说的讨论,布兰登可能曾以批判的眼光接触过这些日记。维顿真的是,如其自己所描述的,一个完全无辜的受害者吗?
   Brandon’s final chapter is devoted to the women who improved female education in the last decades of the 19th century. Without having worked as governesses themselves, Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon founded what would become Girton College, Cambridge, in 1869. Non-governess female employment agencies were also established in London, thereby helping usher the age to an end. “Young women today,” Brandon notes, “grow up in the world that Mary Wollstonecraft dreamed of.” While that may be too sunny (and novelistic) a conclusion, at least we’re better off than poor Nelly Weeton, with more to hope for than Jane Eyre.
   布兰登该书最后一章讨论了这些在19世纪最后几十年里促进女性教育的女性。艾米丽·戴维斯和芭芭拉·博迪肯发现,在1869年,如果没有家庭教师这份工作,其将变成剑桥的格顿学院。不是家庭教师的就业机构也在伦敦建立,因此有助于展示一个时代的结束。“今天年轻女性”,布兰登写道,“成长在沃斯通克拉夫特所梦想的世界。”然而较为阳光的一个结论是,至少我们比可怜的奈莉·维顿过得要好些,当然也比简·爱有着更多的希望。
  
  

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作者:ktdid 时间:2008-05-31 14:54:51
  Without having worked as governesses themselves, Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon founded what would become Girton College, Cambridge, in 1869.
  艾米丽·戴维斯和芭芭拉·博迪肯发现,在1869年,如果没有家庭教师这份工作,其将变成剑桥的格顿学院。
  ======
  无语了
作者:不爱江山恨美人 时间:2008-05-31 15:35:39
  founded-------->发现?
楼主春风秋水 时间:2008-05-31 15:58:39
  不好意思,译错了。
   founded 在这里是“创办”的意思。
  谢谢楼上两位的指正
楼主春风秋水 时间:2008-05-31 15:59:56
  充溢如下:
  Without having worked as governesses themselves, Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon founded what would become Girton College, Cambridge, in 1869.
  如果没有家庭教师这份工作,艾米丽·戴维斯和芭芭拉·博迪肯就不可能在1869年创办剑桥格顿学院。
楼主春风秋水 时间:2008-05-31 16:02:25
  Non-governess female employment agencies were also established in London
  非家庭教师的女性就业机构也在伦敦建立
作者:ktdid 时间:2008-05-31 19:45:01
  还是有问题。。
  Without having worked as governesses themselves, Emily Davies and Barbara Bodichon founded what would become Girton College, Cambridge, in 1869.
  两位没有家庭教师工作经历的女性,艾米丽·戴维斯和芭芭拉·博迪肯,在1869年创办了剑桥格顿学院的前身。
  (该学院是英国第一所面向女性的寄宿制学院。这标志这家庭女教师时代的终结,从此女性可以和男性一样接受高等教育,并从事家庭教师之外的职业了。这就是这句话以及下面一句话出现在文章结尾处的逻辑)
  
  最初只是扫了眼结尾,从头看起发现还有不少问题。
  
  Early in Queen Victoria’s reign, 30 percent of adult Englishwomen were single
  在维多利亚时代的早期,30%的英国成年女性都是单身。(“早在”隐含的意思是某种现象早已有之,而本文谈论的是某种现象消失的过程)
  
  — and considered, as one social commentator put it, “redundant.”
  正如一位社会评论员所认为的那样,她们是“多余的”。
  这句感觉翻译不到位,暂时也想不出更好的。(显然不是一个人持这种观点,这里只是借用一人的表述)
  
  It was a grim life, grimmer still because it was the only choice open to many.
  这是一种可怕的生活,更为可怕的是,这是很多人唯一的选择。
  
  后面还有一些
  
  比如staple,基本词义是基础的、大宗的、主要的、常用的,可以指主食,可以指影片中的典型角色、俗套情节,household staple用玩笑话说,就是居家旅行必备之良药。
  
  比如malleable,选家教不是选运动员,恐怕更多看重的是年轻人比较听话,也就是malleable的引申涵义,顺从。这其中的心理,就像中国人为什么都爱找小保姆,因为如果保姆比自己年纪还大很多,恐怕就不太好意思支使人家做事了。
  
  下一段中的class指的是社会等级,不是课程。
  
  再下一段,relegate不是简单的划归,而是带有降级使用、发配的涵义。charges指被照管的小孩。naturellement是法语,等于naturally。最后,Brandon’s subjects指的是她研究的对象,也就是像简爱这样的女教师们。最后一句试译如下:因此,这种激起了布兰登书中几位人物义愤的对女性教育的剥夺得以不断延续。
  
  再下一段,不确定楼主理解是否有偏差。布兰登自己承认在挑选研究对象时比较主观随意,而本文作者指出另一个缺陷,即她过多地关注那些知名的女性主义作家,而对较不知名的(obscure)女家庭教师关注度不够(they get less time)。
  
  后面没看了。
作者:outtowner 时间:2008-06-01 06:24:12
  楼主一直在默默地译着,很认真
   欣赏~~
  
   谢谢!

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