偷书贼(节选) The Book Thief (Excerpt)

这是一个由死神讲述的故事。9岁小女孩莉赛尔·梅明格和弟弟在战乱中被迫送到寄养家庭,但弟弟不幸死在旅途中,莉赛尔在弟弟冷清的丧礼后偷了一本《掘墓人手册》,为的是纪念自己永远失去的家庭。养父汉斯·休伯曼为她朗诵手册内容,并开始教她识字。在战乱的德国,在吃不饱穿不暖的艰苦生活中,学会认字进而开始读书的莉赛尔,发现了一项比食物更让她难以抗拒的东西——书,她忍不住开始偷书,用偷来的书继续学习认字。从此,莉赛尔,这个被死神称为“偷书贼”的可怜女孩,进入了文字的奇妙世界,书籍让她熬过了现实的苦难,也不可思议地帮助了周围同样遭受苦难的人。
Markus Zusak(马克斯·苏萨克),1975年出生于悉尼,30岁时已成为当代澳大利亚文学界获奖最多、著作最丰、读者群最广的作家。迄今已出版:《输家》(The Underdog)、《与鲁本·乌尔夫战斗》(The Fighting Ruben Wolfe,美国图书馆协会青少年类最佳图书)、《得到那女孩》(Getting the Girl)、《报信者》(I Am the Messenger,澳大利亚儿童图书协会年度最佳图书奖)。《偷书贼》的故事源自他幼年时父母讲述的情节,第二次世界大战时他的父母曾经亲眼目睹盟军轰炸汉堡之后的惨状,也看过纳粹押解犹太人前往死亡集中营的悲剧。苏萨克说,父母讲述的情景他一直记在心里,他知道自己总有一天会把这些故事写成书。伴随着《偷书贼》的出版,他被澳大利亚和美国的评论家称之为“文学现象”。
限于篇幅,以下节选了该书第三章及第七章的精彩选段,让我们跟着偷书贼一起去感受书的魅力和隐藏在文字里的强大力量!

窃书贼

(I)
【莉赛尔的养母罗莎·休伯曼为了贴补家用,要替镇上一些富裕人家洗烫衣物,其中就包括镇长家。这天,莉赛尔替养母去镇长家取脏衣服,遇到了手里抱着一大摞书的镇长夫人。在镇长夫人的示意下,莉赛尔走进了她的书房……】

Books everywhere! Each wall 1)was armed with overcrowded yet 2)immaculate shelving. It was barely possible to see the 3)paintwork. There were all different styles and sizes of 4)lettering on the 5)spines of the black, the red, the gray, the every-colored books. It was one of the most beautiful things Liesel Meminger had ever seen.
到处都是书。每堵墙前面都摆着一尘不染的书架,书架上堆满了书,几乎都看不见墙上刷的漆了。书架上有黑色、红色、灰色等各种颜色的书,书脊上印着各式各样、大小不一的字母。这是莉赛尔·梅明格见过的最美丽的事物之一。

With wonder, she smiled. That such a room existed!
她出神地看着,笑了。原来还有这么一处好地方!

  Even when she tried to wipe the smile away with her forearm, she realized instantly that it was a 6)pointless exercise. She could feel the eyes of the woman traveling her body, and when she looked at her, they had rested on her face. There was more silence than she ever thought possible. It extended like an elastic, dying to break. The girl broke it.
她试图用前臂遮住脸上流露出的一丝微笑,不过,她立刻意识到这个举动毫无意义。她能感觉到那个女人的目光在自己身上游走,等到她望着那个女人时,女人把目光集中到了她的脸上。沉默比她想象的还长,就像一根被拉长的橡皮带,快要被扯断了。女孩打破了沉默。

“Can I?” The two words stood among acres and acres of vacant, wooden-floored land. The books were miles away.
“我能不能……?”这几个词在空荡荡的、铺着木地板的空间里回荡。那些书好像远在数里之外。

The woman nodded. Yes, you can.
女人点点头。可以,没问题。

Steadily, the room shrank, till the book thief could touch the shelves within a few small steps. She ran the back of her hand along the first shelf, listening to the 7)shuffle of her fingernails gliding across the 8)spinal cord of each book. It sounded like an instrument, or the notes of running feet. She used both hands. She raced them. One shelf against the other. And she laughed. Her voice was 9)sprawled out, high in her throat, and when she eventually stopped and stood in the middle of the room, she spent many minutes looking from the shelves to her fingers and back again.
这间屋子慢慢地缩小了,那些书架变得离偷书贼仅几步之遥,触手可及。她用手背触碰着第一个书架,聆听着指甲划过每本书的书脊的声音。它听起来就像一件乐器在演奏,或是一阵奔跑的脚步声。她的另一只手也加入其中,在书架上游走,一个接着一个。她高声地笑了起来,笑声蔓延开去。最后,她停下来,站在屋子中央,一会儿看看书架,一会儿又瞧瞧自己的手指。

How many books had she touched? How many had she felt?
她触摸到了多少本书呢?她感受到了多少本书呢?

She walked over and did it again, this time much slower, with her hand facing forward, allowing the 10)dough of her palm to feel the small 11)hurdle of each book. It felt like magic, like beauty, as bright lines of light shone down from a 12)chandelier. Several times, she almost pulled a 13)title from its place but didn’t dare disturb them. They were too perfect.
她走了过去,重复着刚才的举动,这一次要更慢一些,而且她把手向前伸,用手掌心感受着书与书之间那些小小沟壑的起伏,伴随着一盏枝形吊灯上洒下的点点光芒,那种感觉让人觉得不可思议,美丽至极。有几次,她差点就抽出了其中一本书,可她还是不敢打扰它们。它们真是太完美了。

To her left, she saw the woman again, standing by a large desk, still holding the small tower against her 14)torso. She stood with a delighted 15)crookedness. A smile appeared to have 16)paralyzed her lips.
她看到那个女人出现在她左边,站在一张大书桌旁,手里仍抱着一堆小山似的书,身子都站不直了,却是一副愉悦的样子,嘴角凝着微笑。

“Do you want me to—?” Liesel didn’t finish the question but actually performed what she was going to ask, walking over and taking the books gently from the woman’s arms. She then placed them into the missing piece in the shelf, by the slightly open window. The outside cold was streaming in. For a moment, she considered closing it, but thought better of it. This was not her house, and the situation was not to be 17)tampered with. Instead, she returned to the lady behind her, whose smile 18)gave the appearance now of a bruise and whose arms were hanging 19)slenderly at each side.
“需要我——?”莉赛尔没有继续问下去,而是自己动手作了答。她走过去,从女人的手里轻轻接过书,把它们放回书架的空位上。那书架旁边的窗户开了一条缝隙,窗外的冷空气正灌进屋子。有那么一会,她考虑要不要关上窗子,但仔细想想,这不是她的房子,不应该擅自做主。于是,她回到了站在她背后的女人身旁。这位女士脸上刚才那温暖的微笑此刻只剩下隐约的笑痕,她的双臂软弱无力地低垂在身体两侧。

What now?An 20)awkwardness 21)treated itself to the room, and Liesel took a final, fleeting glance at the walls of books. In her mouth, the words 22)fidgeted, but they came out in a rush. “I should go.”
现在该怎么办?一种难堪的气氛在屋里蔓延。莉赛尔飞快地瞥了这满壁的书籍最后一眼。话已经到嘴边,她犹豫了一阵,还是脱口而出:“我该走了。”

It took three attempts to leave. She waited in the 23)hallway for a few minutes, but the woman didn’t come, and when Liesel returned to the entrance of the room, she saw her sitting at the desk, staring 24)blankly at one of the books. She chose not to disturb her. In the hallway, she picked up the washing. When she closed the door behind her, a brass 25)clank sounded in her ear, and with the washing next to her, she stroked the flesh of the wood. “Get going,” she said.
她犹豫再三后离开了这间书房。她在门厅里等了几分钟,可女人没有出来,她又回到书房门口,看到女人坐在书桌旁,正盯着其中一本书发呆。莉赛尔没有去打搅她,转身回到门厅拿起了脏衣物。当她关上身后的大门时,黄铜门环那清脆的撞击声传到她的耳朵里。她把衣物放在一旁,伸手摸着木门。“快走吧,”她说。

At first, she walked home 26)dazed. The 27)surreal experience with the roomful of books and the stunned, 28)broken woman walked alongside her. She could see it on the buildings, like a play. Wherever she looked, Liesel saw the mayor’s wife with the books piled up in her arms. Around corners, she could hear the shuffle of her own hands, disturbing the shelves…
起初,她茫然地朝家里走去。满屋的书籍,那个不知所措又伤心的女人所带来的离奇体验一直伴随着她。她甚至可以想象这一幕投影在街头两边的建筑物上,就像在看一出戏。不管她往哪儿看,都会看到镇长夫人和她手里成堆的书。在每一个街角,她能听到自己双手划过书架的声音……

(II)
【1942年9月中旬,随着二战的战况愈加激烈,莉赛尔生活的莫尔钦小镇也成了空袭的目标。9月19日夜里,空袭来临,镇上的人们纷纷躲进地下室避难……】

Even from the cellar, they could vaguely hear the tune of bombs. Air pressure shoved itself down like a ceiling, as if to 29)mash the earth. A bite was taken of 30)Molching’s empty streets.
即使是在地下室里,他们还是能隐约听到外面的爆炸声。气压就像天花板一样往下压,仿佛要把大地压个粉碎。莫尔钦镇空空的街道好像被什么东西咬了一口。

The sound of crying children kicked and punched. 31)Grimy tears were loosened from children’s eyes, and the smell of night breath, underarm sweat, and 32)overworn clothes was stirred and stewed in what was now a 33)cauldron swimming with humans.
到处是孩子们的哭声,一声声撞击着人们的耳膜。眼泪从孩子们脏兮兮的脸上往下流,人们晚上的气息、腋下的汗味,还有旧衣服散发出的味道混杂在一起,在这个挤满了人的大锅里慢慢煮着。

For comfort, to shut out the 34)din of the basement, Liesel opened one of her books and began to read. The book on top of the pile was 35)The Whistler and she spoke it aloud to help her concentrate. The opening paragraph was 36)numb in her ears.
为了缓和情绪,也为了屏蔽地下室里的吵闹声,莉赛尔打开了她其中的一本书,开始读了起来。她那堆书里最上面的那本是《吹口哨的人》。她大声地念着,好让自己集中精神。她读第一段时,自己根本什么都听不到。
“What did you say?” Mama roared, but Liesel ignored her. She remained focused on the first page. When she turned to page two, it was Rudy who noticed. He paid direct attention to what Liesel was reading, and he tapped his brother and his sisters, telling them to do the same. Hans Hubermann came closer and called out, and soon, a quietness started 37)bleeding through the crowded basement. By page three, everyone was silent but Liesel.
“你在说什么?”妈妈吼道,但莉赛尔没理她,她继续集中精神读第一页。等她翻到第二页时,鲁迪(编者注:莉赛尔在莫尔钦镇的好朋友)注意到了。他专心地听莉赛尔在读什么,然后轻轻地拍拍自己的弟弟和妹妹,让他们也留心听。汉斯·休伯曼走近,并朝人群大吼了一声。很快,在拥挤的地下室里,人们慢慢安静下来。等书翻到第三页时,地下室里只能听到莉赛尔的声音了。

She didn’t dare to look up, but she could feel their frightened eyes hanging on to her as she hauled the words in and breathed them out. A voice played the notes inside her. This, it said, is your 38)accordion. The sound of the turning page carved them in half. Liesel read on.
她根本不敢抬头看,但她感觉得到,在她把词语拽进自己体内,再把它们读出来的同时,他们惊恐的双眼在紧紧地注视着她。在她的心里,有一个声音在弹奏着音符。那个声音说:这就是你的手风琴。翻页的声音把旋律切成两半。莉赛尔继续读着。

For at least 20 minutes, she handed out the story. The youngest kids were 39)soothed by her voice, and everyone else saw visions of the whistler running from the crime scene. Liesel did not. The book thief saw only the mechanics of the words—their bodies 40)stranded on the paper, beaten down for her to walk on.
至少有20分钟,她在讲述书中的故事。她的声音让那里最年幼的孩子们安静下来,其他人都仿佛看到故事里吹口哨的人离开犯罪现场。但莉赛尔并没有看到这些,这个偷书贼眼里只有言辞的构筑——那一字一句的“躯体”被困在纸上,被打倒了,任由她践踏。

Everyone waited for the ground to shake. That was still an 41)immutable fact, but at least they were distracted now, by the girl with the book. One of the younger boys 42)contemplated crying again, but Liesel stopped at that moment and imitated her papa, or even Rudy for that matter. She winked at him and resumed.
所有人都在等待大地颤抖。那还是一个无法改变的事实,但现在至少他们的注意力被转移了,被这个念书的女孩吸引住了。一个小一点的男孩又想哭了,但莉赛尔在那个时候停了下来,模仿她爸爸,或者甚至是鲁迪碰到这类事的做法,对小男孩使了个眼色,又继续念下去。

Only when the 43)sirens leaked into the cellar again did someone interrupt her. “We’re safe,” said Mr. Jenson. “Shhh!” said Frau Holtzapfel.
直到空袭解除警报传入地下室时,才有人打断她。“我们安全了,”詹森先生说。“嘘!”弗拉·霍尔茨札菲尔(编者注:莉赛尔的邻居)示意。

Liesel looked up. “There are only two paragraphs till the end of the chapter,” she said, and she continued reading with no 44)fanfare or added speed. Just the words. Out of respect, the adults kept everyone quiet, and Liesel finished chapter one of The Whistler.
莉赛尔抬起头。“还有两段这一章就读完了,”她说道,然后接着念下去,既没有任何炫耀之意,也没有加快朗读速度。只是念着词语。出于敬意,大人们让所有人都保持安静,直到莉赛尔念完《吹口哨的人》的第一章。

On their way up the stairs, the children rushed by her, but many of the older people thanked the girl for the distraction. They did so as they made their way past and hurried from the house to see if Himmel Street had 45)sustained any damage.
从楼梯往上走的时候,孩子们匆匆在她身旁经过,但许多年纪大点的人都感谢女孩转移了他们的注意力。他们在经过她身边时向她表示谢意,匆匆地走了出去,要看看汉密尔街遭受了什么样的破坏。

Himmel Street was 46)untouched.
汉密尔街丝毫无损。

(译文参考南海出版公司出版的《偷书贼》一书,有改动。)

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