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Susan八年级校园生活(29)--亲爱的阿比盖尔(一战家书)

 

亲爱的阿比盖尔

 

Susan 小哭译

 

亲爱的阿比盖尔:

 

在我给你写信的时候,我正坐在一个战壕里,背靠着潮湿的墙。我的脚是湿的,地上全是泥;雨已经下了好几天了。你肯定无法想像这儿有多么地湿。就在几个小时以前,雨停了,我可以给你写信了,因为不用害怕我珍贵的纸会被毁了。

 

记得在冬天里,我们曾经总是怎么样地建造雪城堡吗?我们那会儿总是躲在它们后面向彼此投掷雪球,而妈妈会走出来把我们拖进屋里,确保我们不会感冒。嗯,这些战壕和那有点类似,除了没有雪的白色、也没有妈妈把我们拖回家里。

 

觉总是不够睡,但是能够睡的时候,我却会做恶梦。梦见你和我在雪里玩,然后,突然地,炸弹和子弹开始四处散落;雪变成红色,然后黑色,然后变成土;下一件我知道的事儿,就是你会走,消失在土里,然后有人抓住我——我就醒了,感觉和我准备睡觉时一样地累。我现在几乎不能在夜里睡觉,因为夜里可以做所有的事儿。借着黑暗的笼罩,敌人看不到我们,我们总算可以放松一点 ,可以进行补给和进食。夜晚过得很慢,后来倒也没发生什么。

 

早晨还行。黎明前,我们会吃从后面战地厨房送来的早餐。从那到我所在的前线是很长的一段路,战壕间的供给隧道并不是很畅通。我一点也不嫉妒送食物的男孩。对于我们来说,所有不得不做的事儿就是坐在泥里进食。这儿的食物其实相当不错,我甚至怀疑比你在家里的配额还要好。早餐后就是战斗。不是你以为的战斗,我们根本不用从这些战壕里冲出去。相反,当太阳升起来时,我们只是走到上面的发射台架上,给枪装上子弹,并站在那儿。我怀疑德军的战壕里也上演着相同的事情。只有在一方发起进攻时,另一方才有可能去保卫他们自己。通常,我们只是站在那里,什么也不做。如果叫到我上发射台去,我就要在那里呆上两个小时,然后才能离开。离开后,我会有点儿用来放松的时间,做做整理和杂事儿,例如修理战壕的墙或是收集供给和弹药。那之后,我们要接受一个高级军官的检查,再之后就是一些休闲时间,我会利用这段时间给你写信。

 

夜晚比早晨难过些。天气冷是一个因素,但不是主要的问题。主要的问题是老鼠。它们以数以百计甚至数以千计的数量出来,稍微动一动就会踩死其中一只。我现在已经熟悉了踢到和挤到它们时所会听到的那种尖叫。它们四处乱爬,身上、供给上到处都有,有些老鼠甚至还会爬到我的脸上。我们厌烦了所有的灭鼠方法,因为看起来好像我们杀死一只后,反而会回来两只甚至更多。我只是希望对面德军那里有我们两倍多的这种令人讨厌的啮齿目动物。

 

除了老鼠,还有泥。是的,白天也有泥,但在晚上当它变得又凉又粘滑时则感觉糟透了。近来大雨淹没了战壕,泥水高达我的膝盖!泥不仅仅是让我们很难走动,也相当地致命。我被绊倒过一两次。除了又湿又脏之外,掉进泥里就好像掉进一个雪堆里一样,一旦倒下则很难起来。我听说在后面的几个战壕里,有一个战士溺死在了泥里。那并不奇怪,因为就看泥有多深。几天以前,黑泥齐到我的腰。我的脚因为一直呆在雨水中都变得麻木了。我希望雨会停下来。听一个军官说如果这个情况再继续下去,我们就会得战壕足,将不得不把脚砍掉!

 

…..老鼠……不断地担心我们可能被轰炸……还有别的什么吗?没什么了。然而不要可怜我。你应该看看别的一些战士。事实上,不,我不想你看到别的战士。你无法相信我失去了多少朋友。死亡……我一直都没有说这件事儿。与看到倒下的同伴们动不了的身体相比,那些泥和老鼠都算不了什么。有时刚才我们还在说着话,接下来,子弹开始到处散落,就象恶梦中的一样。然后,大扫除之后,我看到他,躺在那里,躺在地上。我将他翻过来,设法弄醒他……但他醒不了了……他走了……走了。这么生气勃勃的一个灵魂……总是欢快地……我只能希望他去了某个比这个地狱般的地方好的地方。我甚至不知道他的名字。在开始的三个人之后,我就懒得去知道他们的名字了。我一旦知道他们的名字,就会觉得他们与我是如此地亲密,那会让我在当他们死去时,承受极大的冲击。噢,看哪,又一个!是那个被派到拐弯处的男孩(我们的战壕是Z字形的,以便子弹不能直直地射倒他们)。他是什么时候死的呢?我不知道,但是我确实很高兴于不用不得不去埋葬他。

 

对不起,我有点失去理智了。我并不是想听起来这么……痛苦,但这是事实。我不得不让自己对所有的这些杀戮不敏感以便不会被压垮。我要处理许多这样的事儿,但是死亡……死亡不是很容易就可以忽视掉的。我的周围全是陌生的和熟悉的腐烂的尸体,我目所能及的地方全都是。从某种意义上说,我们就像是老鼠,对于每一个死去的人,第二天总有一个人会取代他。还有味道,腐肉的味道……汗味儿……一些我无法分辨的别的酸味儿……不幸地是大雨并没有将这些提醒死亡的东西冲走。我简直无法再容忍自己看到这些尸体了。随着时间的逝去,我学会了忽视他们,但是有时,我所认识的人们的脸会跳到我的面前,近得我无法避开也无法抹去。这甚至比一个战士消失了而我并不知道他去了哪里还糟。我很高兴你能安全地呆在家里,阿比盖尔,离这越远越好。

 

再说一次对不起。我并不想说这么多关于死亡的事儿,可是我满眼都是。让我们看看,还有什么没说?我想一次说这么多足够了,是吧?再说一次,请不要给爸爸和妈妈看这个,我不想让他们有更多的担忧。

 

现在很安静。除了炮弹轰炸(你会认为这种时候象是发生了地震似的)之外,通常并不嘈杂,但是现在,比平常还安静。我们中许多人在打盹,我也应该打个盹了。噢!水已经下降一英寸了。太好了!墙也觉得干些了。好了,我要去打盹了。照顾好自己,阿比盖尔。注意安全,过得高兴点。我不知道什么时候还会再写信,或者我是否还会写。但是,不论我的命运如何,你一定要答应我照顾好自己、还有妈妈和爸爸。我想念你们。

 

爱你的哥哥,埃德蒙

 

 

 

【小哭介绍背景】这篇写给阿比盖尔书信体小文,是Susan他们在高级社会学课上的一份作业,存在我的电脑里已经不少时日了。昨天晚上查日期及Susan他们的网上成绩清单,知道应该是第二季的作业。作业的名称就是“第一次世界大战家信”,背景是关于世界第一次大战中的堑壕战(又称战壕战或壕沟战,网上有详细的介绍资料)。Susan说作业的要求是书信体,但是写给谁完全自己定,可以写给任何一个家人,不过要以英国士兵的口气写,并且是介绍那场战争。很不好意思地说,我没有弄清楚具体的细节,因为我对一战所知不多。

 

Susan说网上有很多相关的信息和文章,而她所需做的工作只是搜索、阅读、消化吸收,然后以第一人称写封家信,介绍战争的情况。昨天译第一稿的时候,我竟然给译哭了,今天进行修正的时候,就没有哭的感觉了。看来这篇小文的催泪指数还不算很高,而那篇关于聚会的文章,我可是每次读都会眼睛湿湿地。

 

我问Susan关于此文的一些具体细节,比如战壕里的情况,是她的想像还是资料里提供的。她说完全来自于资料。关于水有多深、老鼠有多多、死亡有多惨重这些都来源于网上的资料,网上有大把这方面的信息。再问她最后一段关于哥哥对妹妹的嘱托,也是最催泪的地方,出自哪里?她说那是她编的,她想写得感人一些,我说我确实被感动了。可是,为什么这么感人的书信,却只得了36/45*100%=80分呢?她说她也不知道扣分扣在哪里。不过,她翻出来了第一季的一堆作业纸给我看,可是我真的没有时间细看这些内容。春假要来了,我要再安排一个孩子们的大聚会;另外还有N多的事情,我都想去做,所以这个作文为什么扣了那么多分,就留着以后有空的时候再去研究吧。我凭着直感告诉Susan,写作文得看看老师的要求是什么,这作文可能是没有达到老师的各项要求;文章虽然感人,但是感人并不是老师考评作文的唯一要求。然后就结束了关于这份作业的交流。

 

要说最后一段,还真的是让我挺感动的。这段的写作风格,有点像她去年写的小说。话说不管那小说的情节安排得合理不合理,她确实把小说写得很催泪,大把的细节描写让人没法不感同身受。书信的最后一段确实让我对埃德蒙在战壕中面对死亡的那种心情有了一种共鸣,我甚至想到了阿朵为《巨流河》写的介绍,战争的残酷常常让热血男儿对生的渴望和对亲人的爱恋显得那么地执着和无奈,让人没法无动于衷,没法不被感动!这封家信激起了我翻译Susan作业的热情:)本来都觉得她最近的作文已经翻译得差不多了,这若要是再把她前一阵子的作业也捡起来翻译的话,就又有活儿干了。看来是真的要跟着Susan读一遍美国的八年级了!

 

 

 

附上英文原文:

 

Dear Abigail,

 

 

 

       As I am writing this letter to you, I am sitting in a trench, my back resting against the damp wall. My feet are wet. The ground is covered in mud; it has been raining for days now. You cannot believe how wet it gets in here. Just a few hours ago, it has stopped raining, so I am able to write to you without fear that my precious paper would get ruined.

 

       You said, in your last letter, that you wanted to know more about what it’s like out here. Oh, dear sister, trust me, you do not want to know. I am afraid of giving you nightmares. But, if anyone can handle it, it’s you. I just ask that you please do not read this to Mum and Dad. They are already worried about me as it is.

 

Remember how, in the winter, we use to build snow forts? We use to hide behind them and throw snowballs at each other, and Mum would come out and drag us back inside to make sure we don’t catch a cold. Well, these trenches are sort of similar, except without all the whiteness of snow, and without a mother to drag us back home.

 

Sleep is scarce, but when I do sleep, I get nightmares. Nightmares of you and me, playing in the snow. Then, suddenly, bombs and shell fire would start dropping out of nowhere. The snow would turn red, then black, and then to dirt. The next thing I know, you would be gone, lost in the dust, and then someone would grab me—and I would wake up, still as tired as I was when I went to sleep. I can hardly sleep at night now, because that is when all the activity happens. That is when, under the cover of the darkness so that the enemy can’t see us, we can finally relax a bit and get supplies and food. The nights pass slowly, and nothing really happens then.

 

The mornings are okay. Before dawn breaks, we would get breakfast delivered from the field kitchens at the back. It’s quite a long way to the front lines were I am right now, and the supply tunnels between theses trenches aren’t that smooth either. I don’t envy the boys who bring the food. As for us, all we have to do is sit in the mud and eat it. The food here is quite well, actually. I would suspect even better than the rations you are getting back at home. After breakfast comes all the fighting. Not fighting like you think. We don’t rush out of these trenches at all. Instead, right when the sun comes up, we just step up onto the firing platform, load our guns, and stand there. I suspect the same thing is going on in the German trenches. Just in the case that one side attacks, the other side would be able to defend themselves. But usually, we just stand there and do nothing. If I was called up to the firing stand, I would stay there for about two hours before getting relieved. Then, I would have some time to relax before having to get up and do some other chore, such as repairing the trench walls or gathering supplies and ammunition. After that, we were subjected to an inspection by a senior officer, and after that, some leisure time during which I am using to write you a letter.

 

The nights are a bit worse than the morning. They’re cold, for one, but that is not the main problem. The main problem is rats. They come in hundreds, maybe even thousands, making it impossible to move around without stepping on one of them. I have now become familiar with their squeals as they get kicked and crushed. They crawl all over the place, on bodies, on supplies, some even crawled onto my face. We have tried all sorts of methods to get rid of them, but it seems that for every one we kill, two more comes back. I just hope those Germans on the others side gets twice as many of these rotten rodents as we do.

 

Aside from the rats, there’s also mud. Sure, there’s mud in the daytime too, but it always seem much worse at night, when it’s all cold and slimy. The heavy rainfalls lately have flooded these trenches and have created muddy water up to my knees! The mud not only making it difficult for us to get around, it’s also pretty deadly. I have tripped once or twice. It like falling into a snow draft, except wetter and dirtier. Very hard to get up once I fall. I heard that in a few trenches back, a soldier drowned in the mud. That is not surprising, seeing how deep it can get. A couple of days ago, the blackness was up to my waist. My feet are feeling numb from being constantly in the wetness. I hope the rain would stop soon. I heard from an officer that if we develop this condition called trench foot, we have to get our feet chopped off!

 

Mud… rats… the constant worry that we would get bombed… what else? Not much. Don’t feel pity for me, though. You should see some of the other soldiers. Actually, no. I don’t want you to see the other soldiers. You cannot believe how many friends I have lost. Death… that is a subject I have not talked about. I do not wish to talk about it. I do not wish to think about it. The rats. The cold. The harsh conditions. They are nothing compared to seeing the motionless body of fallen comrade. One moment we were just talking. The next, shells start dropping out of nowhere, like in my nightmare. Then, after the dust clears, I see him, lying there, on the ground. I flip him over, I try to get him to wake up…. But he just wouldn’t wake up… he was gone… gone. Such a bright soul… always cheerful… I can only wish that he went to somewhere that is better than this hell. I do not even know his name. I have not bothered to learn names after the first three. After I know their name, it makes them so much closer to me, and so much more of a shock when they die. Oh, hey look, there goes another one! It’s that boy that was stationed right around the bend (our trenches are zigzagged so that a bullet can’t be fired straight down them). When did he die? I don’t know, but I sure am happy I don’t have to bury him!

 

I’m sorry. I got carried away there. I did not mean to sound so… bitter. But that is the truth. I have to desensitize myself to all the killing in order to not break down. I have enough to deal with as it is. But death… death would not be ignored that easily. All around me are the rotting corpse of both strange and familiar faces. I see them everywhere I look. In a way, we are like rats. For every one that dies, there is always one to replace him the next day. There’s the smell, too. The smell of rotting flesh…sweat…some other sour smell that I cannot place…the heavy rains unfortunately do no wash away these reminders of all the death occurring in this place. I cannot bear to look at some of the corpses. Over time, I have learned to ignore them, but sometimes, the faces of people that I know jump out at me, and it is near impossible not to fall down and start weeping. It’s even worse when a soldier disappears, and I do not know where they went. I am glad you are home safe, Abigail. The further away you are, the better.

 

I’m sorry again. I do not want to talk about death this much. It’s just that it’s everywhere I look. Let’s see, what have I not went over yet? I think this is enough for one time, no? Again, please don’t show Mum and Dad this. I do not want to worry them more.

 

It is now very quiet. It’s usually not loud except for the shell bombings (you’d think there’s an earthquake happening during those!), but now, it’s even quieter than usual. A lot of us are taking a nap. I should take one too. Oh! The water level dropped by an inch. Wonderful! And the walls feel dryer too. Well, I’m off to my nap now. Take care of yourself, Abigail. Stay safe, and stay happy. I do not know when I’ll write again, or whether I ever will. But, regardless of my fate, you have to promise me you’ll take care of yourself, and Mum and Dad. I miss you.

 

 

 

With love,

 

Your brother, Edmund

 

 

 

 

 

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评论

予微的头像
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一个八年级的女孩子能模仿英国士兵的口气写这么封家书,那么多细节,很有才!

 
周小哭的头像
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估计他们班还有不少更有才的:)

 
予微的头像
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有才的肯定不少,却没有这么个母亲,有本事和毅力给女儿翻译成中文!

 
周小哭的头像
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夸我就照单全收了:)我的毅力真不是一般的,希望这次上帝能够使用我,把赐给我的能力发挥出来,让我真真实实地经历他。

我已经在国内了,明天去我小学母校做两场报告,主题就是教育孩子,内容就是这些年带孩子的经历分享:)一小结,发现有五六条心得体会呢:)

上午两小时给全体教师,下午一节课给全体孩子。周五下午定下来的,周一就要去讲,我够有勇气吧?现在也不知道怎么规划给孩子们的报告:(一年级和五、六年级,这接受能力相差太大了,俺要怎么“整”,才能让每一个孩子都有点收获呢?冥思苦想中......

 
雨林的头像
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实在是一篇好作文!

请转告Susan, 文轩里面有一个雨林阿姨十分喜欢她的写作和才气!

长远来看,老师这次没有给高分实在算不了什么。不过你提醒女儿要注意作业的要求也是对的。特别是以后考SAT的写作 时,一定要字字行行段段都切合自己想要make的那个point。

我也好奇你去作报告时, 学校的老师和孩子们会提些什么问题, 对美国学校的哪些事情感兴趣。等待你的文章。

 
周小哭的头像
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谢谢雨林!已将你的留言转发给Susan了。

转给你看看我的一个闺蜜毫不留情的评论:“我刚看了,还是没有突出重点吧,33的老毛病:啰嗦凌乱。你能否让33拿一篇同学高分的范文来看看,有比较就可以发现问题。33表达的思想还是有深度的。”  +   “不。其实强调的也是吸引读者。比如33的文章,我看了以后,觉得有思想有观点,看完让我觉得有内容,但真的太啰嗦太繁琐,这也是要耐着性子看下去的,我也不喜欢强调文采,那些都是锦上添花的事。我们(我和**,因为他也觉得啰嗦)都把33作为一个普通作者来看,所以要求更高。”  +   “但是33在美国的情况我不了解,你曾说过她有很多读者,也许是文化差异问题

我的心脏很强大:)一边面对毫不吝啬的夸奖,一边面对毫不留情的批评:)通常这闺蜜都是批评我、帮Susan的,最近偶尔她也批评一下Susan的写作了:)

我的讲稿还没做完,就给她汇报了,她问了个底朝天,最后告诉我,一定要结合国内的实际情况讲。她不同意我的教育理念,但是完全支持我做教育:)我最后傻了,说,我不会教家长和孩子,如何比别人强这些东西;我只会教他们,如何比原来的自己强......我只是想分享自己的经验,分享自己的生活故事而已。人家学不学,是人家的事儿,人家肯定不会复制我当年的选择,我也只不过是提供一些信息而已。

 
周小哭的头像
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转自Susan刚才发给我的邮件:“告诉她谢谢。以后我会更加注意作业要求。” 用的是中文呢:)

 
木桐白云的头像
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如果只是站在普通人的角度写这样一封信出来已经是非常之好了,如果作为文学类的作品来看就显得单薄,虽然陈述了很多细节,问题是感情的表达不够深入。可能她接受的东西太多,急于写得真实,但这就是问题所在。增强感染力的方法当然离不开细节,但细节只是一个表面的东西,情感才是内在的,要通过细节把内心的细腻感受与情感带出来。总之苏珊写的不错,这个年龄,祝贺她!

 
周小哭的头像
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木桐老师所言正确!我觉得Susan的文章就是日记体, 她记录下她的生活,而闺蜜的要求则是文学作品,不仅说Susan的作文没有文采,连思想也没有多少,还说她的产量太多了。

我和闺蜜完全站在不同的角度看孩子的作文。开始我挺接受不了这样低的评价,人家其实委婉地表达了“根本不值一读,完全是浪费时间”的意思。后来我觉得各取所需吧,有人点击,也有人不点击,就如同商店的商品,货卖买主:)

好在这篇文章,闺蜜还承认了有一定的思想性:)昨天我急了,我们探讨到底,最后我说,我自豪于女儿有一个写作的好习惯。她则认为我一定还有更高的期望,我说没有了。于是她很震惊于我仅仅是在为孩子的习惯自豪着:)原来,她以为我在为孩子的文学才能自豪着,所以她一直在挑剔着孩子的作文。如果我的要求那么低,她只好告诉我,其实阅读的好习惯更重要:)说到底,我和闺蜜是冤家,谁都没让对方舒服过,却还死活保持着联系,还老要在一起探讨东探讨西的。

我花了这么多的时间翻译Susan的作文,从我的角度,我是非常认可孩子的写作的。只要她保持住这个好习惯,我想她会终生受益的。

 
温连军的头像
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国内的孩子怕是没有时间写日记,但是日记是好习惯,还要有毅力。

孩子的文章有思想、想象、情感、、、已经有出作品的潜能。只有有生活有时间,我想会的。

愿神帮助带领,神的能力不可测度。

 
周小哭的头像
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5.5岁~8岁,Susan是在国内生活的,她写日记的好习惯,是从“说日记”开始的,并一直坚持到现在的。我想最难的是开头,我们那时恰恰是在国内的。所以,我真的不同意国内没有时间写日记这一说法,但我知道不管是在国内还是国外,能够坚持写日记的孩子都是极少数。这一习惯难在坚持和毅力,而不是国内或国外。养成习惯之前,与其说是考验孩子的毅力,不如说是对家长毅力的挑战。所以,我一直觉得,家长教育要先于孩子的教育。

孩子现在在神的带领下,我们确实不怎么操“青春期叛逆”的心。交流一事她比我们还更渴望,她总是提出来要和我们在一起聊聊天什么的。这一点,真的是无比感谢神的带领。

 
温连军的头像
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谢谢!学习!看来我是落伍了。比如以前孩子拉二胡,因为课程多,我没有给她压力、、、是毅力问题,也有兴趣的问题、、、和孩子谈目标也许有些空洞、、、。还好,“青春期叛逆”不很强烈。

求神赐福带领!

 
何音的头像
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如中国人写,会怎样。很可能会把第二段上升为第一段,因为我们关于如何切入总是不好。这是一个天才!

 
周小哭的头像
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我一点都没有想到去分析文章的段落结构。不过按你说的,就是差不多是按时间顺序去写,而现在这种就算是插序了吧?

我在背景介绍里说了,我被最后一段打动了,落泪了,还因此大查了一番堑壕战的背景资料。翻译这篇文章,我个人得到了提升,我对这文章的评价还算是不错的。

天才应该还算不上吧?可是我总是想,如果她这样坚持年复一年地记录下去,你不感动他不感动,老天也会感动的,神也会助她一臂之力的:)

 
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