Giraffe English 173: Emily Hahn 项美丽

佛老 阅读:1221 2017-11-16 18:10:44 评论:0

*Issue 173

今天我们来聊一个很少有人知道的美国作家Emily Hahn(项美丽)。

之所以想到这个作家,是因为她的一些关于中国的著作。且看生平概要。


1935年,Emily首次来华,刚到上海就遇见了新月派人邵洵美。风流倜傥的邵诗人跟这位漂亮的美国作家第一次见面,就赠了她一个中文名字。从翻译角度而言,把Emily音译为“美丽”很巧妙,只是Hahn为何不音译为“韩”而是“项”,佛老就猜不出了(邵是宁波余姚人,跟当今的余秋雨是同乡,但宁波话里“项”的发音也不像广东话里的HangHan啊)。

 

(这是Emily Hahn年轻时最著名的两张照片。即便以今人之角度来看,也算得上美女。)

这里要说的重点是,不论是Emily Hahn还是邵洵美,都不大为今人所知,尽管二人在当时都在文化文学上有不浅的造诣。鲁迅很看不上邵,曾专门著文讽刺他,不过由此也可见邵在当时颇有名气。


Emily Hahn从此与中国结缘,并深深为上海的摩登所吸引。她生平介绍中的原话:Hahnwas quickly seduced by Shanghai’s charms.


这个女人不寻常,常做出惊世骇俗的事来。

The thirty-one-year-old Hahn was well used to making a stir.

In college, she had been the first woman to obtain a degreein Mining Engineering from the University of Wisconsin.

项邵二人很快就开始了一段恋情。

Sinmay Zau (邵洵美), meanwhile, was from a wealthyofficial family and had been educated in Paris and Cambridge. He had made aname for himself in the Shanghai of the 1920s due to his playboy lifestyle anddecadent poetry.

邵公子放过洋,上过剑桥大学

项美丽在其最著名的关于中国的著作(”China to Me”)中写道:‘Littleby little, because of all the Chinese people I met, and all their historieswhich I heard, I was able to see through new windows. It was not so much that Ifound a new world with Sinmay and his family, but I went with them around tothe back of the scenes and peered out at the same old world through a glow ofstrange-colored footlights. It was fresh and wonderful that way.’

另一本关于中国的书叫作”The Picture Story of China”,中文译名《中国故事绘本》,是项美丽向西方简要介绍中国风土人情和历史梗概的书。

还有一本书”China A to Z”,用英文的26个字母分别写了一段关于中国的韵诗,读来颇有趣味。

C is for two Chinas,

The country and the cup.

China bowls are made here,

And plates on which we sup.

They say a clever Chinese child,

A thousand years ago,

Played mud-pies and invented

The porcelain we know.

项美丽和邵洵美还一起翻译了沈从文先生的《边城》,这是《边城》后来四个英译本中的第一个译本。Emily Hahn把书名译为Green Jade and Green Jade

项美丽最著名的中国著作是《宋氏三姐妹》。


浩如烟海的历史中,有很多人物在时代的裹挟之下被各种因素掩埋了。佛老常常在读书时有眼前一亮,继而忧思怀古的感叹。希望更多年轻人热爱读书,并热爱探究尘封的历史,和那些美好的人和美丽的事。

如对Emily Hahn的其他作品(一生共50几部小说和各类文学作品出版),可在下面的网络档案馆查询借阅:www.archive.org

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