看不见的城市 Invisible Cities

Invisible Cities

美式发音 适合精听

Cities and Memory 3
  城市和记忆之三

In vain, great-hearted Kublai, shall I attempt to describe Zaira, city of high 1)bastions. I could tell you how many steps make up the streets rising like stairways, and the degree of the arcades’ curves, and what kind of zinc scales cover the roofs; but I already know this would be the same as telling you nothing. The city does not consist of this, but of relationships between the measurements of its space and the events of its past: the height of a lamppost and the distance from the ground of a hanged 2)usurper’s swaying feet; the line strung from the lamppost to the railing opposite and the 3)festoons that decorate the course of the queen’s 4)nuptial procession; the height of that railing and the leap of the 5)adulterer who climbed over it at dawn; the tilt of a 6)guttering and a cat’s progress along it as he slips into the same window; the firing range of a gunboat which has suddenly appeared beyond the cape and the bomb that destroys the guttering; the rips in the fish net and the three old men seated on the dock mending nets and telling each other for the hundredth time the story of the gunboat of the usurper, who some say was the queen’s illegitimate son, abandoned in his 7)swaddling clothes there on the dock.
宽宏大量的忽必烈汗啊,无论我怎样描述采拉这个有许多巍峨碉堡的城,都是徒劳的。我可以告诉你,像楼梯一样升高的街道有多少级,拱廊的弯度多大,屋顶上铺着怎样的锌板;可是我已经知道,那等于什么都没有告诉你。组成这城市的并不是这些东西,而是它的空间容量与历史事件之间的关系:灯柱的高度、被吊死的篡朝者摆荡的脚与地面的距离;系在灯柱与对面铁栏之间的绳索、女皇大婚巡行时沿路张结的彩带;栅栏的高度、偷情的男子如何在黎明时分跃起爬过它;檐槽的斜度、他闪进窗子时一只猫怎样沿着檐槽走过;突然在海峡外出现的炮艇的火器射程有多远、炮弹怎样轰掉檐槽;鱼网的裂口、坐在码头上的三个老人怎样一面补网一面交换已经讲过一百次的炮艇和篡朝者的故事——有人说他是女皇的私生子,在襁褓时就给遗弃在这码头上的。

As this wave from memories flows in, the city soaks it up like a sponge and expands. A description of Zaira as it is today should contain all of Zaira’s past. The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners of the streets, the gratings of the windows, the 8)banisters of the steps, the 9)antennae of the lightning rods, the poles of the flags, every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls.
记忆的潮水继续涌流,城市像海绵一般把它吸干而膨胀起来。描述今天的采拉,应该包含采拉的整个过去:然而这城不会泄露它的过去,只会把它像掌纹一样藏起来,写在街角、在窗格子里、在楼梯的扶手上、在避雷针的天线上、在旗杆上,每个环节依次呈现刮划的痕迹、刻凿的痕迹、涂鸦的痕迹。

Dawn had broken when he said:
“10)Sire, now I have told you about all the cities I know.”
“There is still one of which you never speak.”
Marco Polo bowed his head.
“Venice,” the Khan said.
Marco smiled. “What else do you believe I have been talking to you about?”
The emperor did 11)not turn a hair. “And yet I have never heard you mention that name.”
And Polo said: “Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice.”
“When I ask you about other cities, I want to hear about them. And about Venice, when I ask you about Venice.”
“To distinguish the other cities’ qualities, I must speak of a first city that remains 12)implicit. For me it is Venice.”
“You should then begin each tale of your travels from the departure, describing Venice as it is, all of it, not omitting anything you remember of it.”
The lake’s surface was barely wrinkled; the copper reflection of the ancient palace of the Sung was shattered into sparkling glints like floating leaves.
“Memory’s images, once they are fixed in words, are erased,” Polo said. “Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it. Or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little.”

天亮的时候,他说:“汗王,我所知道的城市都讲过了。”
“还差一个。”
马可·波罗垂下头来。
“威尼斯,”可汗说。
马可笑了一笑。“难道你以为我一直在讲别的城市?”
皇帝毫不动容。“我从来没有听你提过这个名字。”
波罗说:“我每次描述一个城市,其实都是讲威尼斯的事。”
“我问起别些城市是因为要你讲它们。我要听你讲威尼斯,才会问起威尼斯。”
“为着突出其他城市的特点,我必须先讲一个最重要,但却不言明的城市。对于我,它就是威尼斯。”
“那么,你每一个旅游故事就该由出发点开始,如实地描述威尼斯,整个威尼斯,不该隐瞒你记得的任何事物。”
湖面泛起浅浅的涟漪,宋王朝故宫的映象分裂为闪亮的碎片,像飘浮的叶子。
“记忆的形象一旦被词语固定下来就会消失,”波罗说。“也许我不愿意讲述威尼斯是害怕失去它。也许,在讲述其他城市的时候,我正点点滴滴地失去它。”

Hidden Cities 1
隐匿的城市之一

In Olinda, if you go out with a magnifying glass and hunt carefully, you may find somewhere a point no bigger than the head of a pin which, if you look at it slightly enlarged, reveals within itself the roofs, the antennas, the skylights, the gardens, the pools, the streamers across the streets, the 13)kiosks in the squares, the horse-racing track. That point does not remain there: a year later you will find it the size of half a lemon, then as large as a mushroom, then a soup plate. And then it becomes a full-size city, enclosed within the earlier city: a new city that forces its way ahead in the earlier city and presses its way toward the outside.
在奥琳达,如果带着放大镜仔细找寻,你可能会在某个地方发现针头大小的一个点,稍稍放大之后,你会看见里面有屋顶、天线、天窗、花园、水池、横越街道上空的幡旗、广场上的摊子、赛马场等等。这个点不是静止不变的:一年之后,你会发觉它有半个柠檬那么大,然后像一个蕈,然后像一个汤盘子。然后,它就会变成一座真正的城市,藏在原来的城市里面:一个新城市在原来的城市里竭力向外扩张。

作者简介

伊塔洛·卡尔维诺(Italo Calvino, 1923-1985)

伊塔洛·卡尔维诺(Italo Calvino, 1923-1985),意大利当代小说界的领军人物,充满想象的寓言作品大师。他毕业于都灵大学(比著名的巴黎大学,剑桥和牛津还要古老的大学)文学系,曾参加反法西斯抵抗运动。在第二次世界大战结束后的一段时间里,他曾尝试写纪实性故事。他早期的小说《通往蜘蛛巢的小路》描述了他在利古里亚群山中与游击队一道同纳粹和法西斯战斗的经历。但最终,他意识到,适合他的唯一的写作模式,就是去创造。此后,他果断地转向幻想和寓言作品的创作。
在伊塔洛·卡尔维诺的作品中,“城市”一直是个重要的主题,其中又以《看不见的城市》最为富丽璀璨,一个个城市的故事贯串成为令人爱不释手的珠链,娓娓道来城市人生的迷魅。扣除了各章前后马可·波罗和忽必烈的对话,书中共有五十五个城市故事,归属于十一个主题,本文节选了“城市和记忆”和“隐匿的城市”中的两篇故事,以及一段马可·波罗与忽必烈的对话。