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声称《再别康桥》关于林徽因就是不敬徐志摩
Claims that the leaving-Cambridge poem was about the girl Lin Huiyin disrespect the poet Xu Zhimo

做我的徐志摩《再别康桥》英文押韵翻译之后,我很失望听说一些21世纪危言耸听的文章说那首诗是关于与林徽因的婚外关系,甚至声称林徽因就是《再别康桥》所说的“西天的云彩”。
After making my rhyming translation of Xu Zhimo's Leaving Cambridge poem, I was dismayed to hear of 21st-century sensationalist claims that the poem was about an extramarital relationship with Lin Huiyin and that the poem's "clouded Western sky" is Huiyin.

据称,徐志摩与林徽因是1920年在剑桥碰到的(但是徐志摩来剑桥学习不是1920年而是1921-22年)所以业余心理分析学家能冒然下结论而声称徐志摩的潜意识把剑桥与林徽因混为一谈。1922年徐志摩与張幼儀通过写信离婚(这个婚姻是父母所安排的,出于1915年),据称徐志摩打算娶林徽因但是林徽因1928年3月嫁了梁思成所以沮丧的徐志摩1928年11月写了《再别康桥》纪念所失去的爱。
Supposedly, Xu Zhimo first met Lin Huiyin in Cambridge in 1920 (even though Xu Zhimo's year of study at King's was not 1920 but 1921-22), and this alone is sufficient for armchair psychoanalysts to conclude that Cambridge and Lin Huiyin were inextricably intertwined in Xu Zhimo's subconsciousness. In 1922 Xu Zhimo and his first wife Zhang Youyi (arranged by parents in 1915) divorced by letter, and supposedly Xu Zhimo wanted to marry Lin Huiyin but in March 1928 she married someone else (Liang Sicheng) so in November 1928 Xu Zhimo wrote his leaving-Cambridge poem in memory of his lost love.

这个理论不理会一个非常重要的事情: 徐志摩与陆小曼是1926年结了婚的。批评家指出徐志摩写一些日记条目说自己有时感到无聊,和1927年给埃尔姆赫斯特写信把妻子比较坏小孩,但这并不是足够的证据证明他重新考虑要不要信守婚事的决心。相反,他们俩明显决心应付难题,然后1936年做寡妇的陆小曼出版《爱眉小札》而肯定满足了他们的婚姻。所以我们最好信赖徐志摩与林徽因的任何谈恋爱是1926年以前结束了,后来他们是好朋友而已。1928年林徽因与梁思成结了婚,徐志摩必然为新夫妇很高兴。
This theory ignores a very important fact: Xu Zhimo and his second wife Lu Xiaoman were married in 1926. Critics point out Xu Zhimo wrote some diary entries saying he was bored at times, and, in a 1927 letter to Elmhirst, compared his wife to a naughty child, but that's not enough evidence to prove he was reconsidering the marriage. On the contrary, the couple were clearly determined to cope with problems, and in 1936 the widowed Lu Xiaoman published a book in which she clearly showed she had been contented with their marriage. So we'd better trust that any courtship between Xu Zhimo and Lin Huiyin was over before 1926, and after that they were no more than good friends. When Lin Huiyin and Liang Sicheng married in 1928, Xu Zhimo would have been glad for the new couple.

此外,《再别康桥》本身没有任何话指示诗人这次要听众想起林徽因。他不说林徽因,他说云彩。(他有机会采用化身而成天空为人,但没做了。诗的大多数行不是关于云彩的。)如此改变本诗的信息就是不敬诗人。本诗没有任何证据他要我们这里想着林徽因。此人说云彩,我们应该听他说,连一点讨论的空间都没有。
Morever, the poem itself contains nothing to indicate the poet wanted his audience to think of Lin Huiyin here. He didn't say Lin Huiyin, he said cloud. He could have personified the cloud, but he didn't. Most of the poem's lines aren't even about the cloud. Changing the poem's message like this is disrespecting the poet. There's no evidence he wanted us to think of Lin Huiyin in this poem. The man said cloud, and we should listen to what he said. End of story.

过分的解释是诗人常见得面对的难题。徐志摩所见面的多塞特诗人托马斯·哈代没有例外。比如,有些人声称他的《黄昏的鸫鸟》(有时错译《暗处的鸫鸟》)关于达尔文杀了上帝。得了吧。《黄昏的鸫鸟》提到19世纪比喻性的尸体,但没有说这关于上帝、达尔文、布尔战争、喀拉喀托火山、开膛手杰克、阿斯匹林、纸盒、瑞士军刀、奥林匹克运动会的复兴、赫伯特·乔治·威尔斯的科幻小说、义和团运动、埃玛留在阁楼、或任何其他具体19世纪最后两三年代的事(就是他同时代的事)。我不说哈代从来没有被达尔文影响,但在《黄昏的鸫鸟》他明显要我们想着在冬天而结束中遇上想不到的鸟声而希望。如果他要我们具体想起达尔文或宗教,他可以这样说,但他没说了。讨论19世纪发生的事,我们当然可以采用那首诗,但我们不会说我们所谈到的肯定是那首诗的信息。
Overinterpretation is a problem poets often have to face. Dorset poet Thomas Hardy, whom Xu Zhimo met, was no exception. For instance, some people say his poem "The Darkling Thrush" is about Darwin having killed God. Give the poet a break! He mentions the figurative corpse of the nineteenth century, but didn't say this was about God, Darwin, the Boer Wars, the Krakatoa volcanic explosion, Jack the Ripper, aspirin, cardboard boxes, Swiss Army knives, the revival of the Olympic Games, science fiction books by H.G. Wells, the Boxer Rebellion, Emma staying in the attic, or any other specific development of the last 20 or 30 years he knew about. I'm not saying Hardy was never influenced by Darwin, but in "The Darkling Thrush" he clearly wanted us to think about unexpected hopeful birdsong in the midst of winter and endings. If he wanted us to think about Darwin or religion in particular, he could have said so. He didn't say so. Of course we can quote this poem when discussing 19th-century events, but we shouldn't say what we're discussing is definitely this poem's message.

我小时候试试写自己的诗,但由于别人过分的解释和心理分析我就放弃写诗了。小时我往往不过爱玩词语的声音而已,但读者以为我非故意的暗示是真的。无可否认我是个难理解的孩子,因为我的皮层性视损伤是15岁才扫描的,所以在那以前心理学家和其他关心的成年人自然试试分析我所写的,希望计算我有什么事,但是我觉得那个经验很可能给我看看著名作者所经受的过度分析的有所味道。我开始自学汉语之后就觉得翻译其他人的诗比写自己的诗比较安全。但现在我发觉我的本能是要保护我所翻译的诗人的简单意思。如果我们没有具体的证据证明徐志摩百分之百肯定这首诗是关于林徽因而不关于傍晚的云彩而已,我们最好别破坏他的诗这样说。那不是尊重他的意愿。
I tried to write poetry when I was small, but I got overinterpreted and psychoanalysed so much I gave up. My youthful playing around with the sound of words sometimes accidentally implied things that people took too seriously. Admittedly I was a difficult-to-understand child because my cortical visual impairment went undiagnosed until age 15 and before that psychologists and other concerned adults naturally tried to analyse my writing in an attempt to figure out what was wrong with me, but I realised this experience was likely indicative of the kind of overanalysis famous authors face. After I started teaching myself Chinese I decided that translating other people's poetry was safer than writing my own, but now I find myself wanting to defend the simplicity of the poet I translated. If we have no concrete evidence that Xu Zhimo was talking about Lin Huiyin and not just the evening clouds, we shouldn't spoil his poem by saying that. It wouldn't be respecting his wishes.

“《再别康桥》关于林徽因”的那个故事属于《架空历史小说》的体裁。作家可以写关于希特勒占领了英美、马丁·路德做罗马教皇、拿破仑赢了俄罗斯、小鸟告诉哈代无生源论不行、而徐志摩从来没见过陆小曼但不断悼词林徽因的架空历史小说。我不说这些小说是不是文学巨著,但它们不是真正的历史。
The story of Xu Zhimo's Cambridge poem being about Lin Huiyin belongs to the genre of "alternate history" novels. Authors can write alternate-history novels about how Hitler conquered Anglo-America, Martin Luther was the Pope, Napoleon beat Russia, a little bird told Hardy about the impossibility of abiogenesis, and Xu Zhimo never met Lu Xiaoman but continuously eulogized Lin Huiyin. I'm not saying whether these novels are literary masterpieces, but they're not real history.


All material © Silas S. Brown unless otherwise stated.