牡丹的拒绝 - 张抗抗 as Source Text for The 5th Annual BLCU International Translation and Interpreting Competition 第五届北京语言大学国际口笔译大赛 Chinese-English Translation Category


5th Annual BLCU International Translation and Interpreting Competition

第五届北京语言大学国际口笔译大赛 | 第五屆北京語言大學國際筆譯大賽

Chinese-English Translation Category

汉译英笔译组 | 漢譯英筆譯組

Winners List得奖名单得獎名單

 

Source Text 原文: 张抗抗 「牡丹的拒绝」 | 張抗抗 「牡丹的拒絕」

Winning Entry 得奖译文 | 得獎譯文: Jes Chan - The Peony's Way of Saying No

 

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牡丹的拒绝

The Peony's Way of Saying No

张抗抗

Zhang Kangkang

 

它被世人所期待、所仰慕、所赞誉,是由于它的美。它美得秀韵多姿,美得雍容华贵,美得绚丽娇艳,美得惊世骇俗。它的美是早已被世人所确定、所公认了的。它的美不惧怕争议和挑战。

Anticipated, admired and adored... such is the beauty of peonies. A stunning beauty that captivates the world with its multifaceted extraordinaire. Encapsulating elegance and regality in its rainbow brilliance, its beauty has long been ascertained and publicly acknowledged. Its beauty fears neither conflicts nor controversies.

 

有多少人没有欣赏过牡丹呢?却偏偏要坐上汽车火车飞机轮船,千里万里爬山涉水,天南海北不约而同,揣着焦渴与翘盼的心,滔滔黄河般地涌进洛阳城。

How few have yet to admire the beauty of peonies? Yet scores of people pour into Luoyang city via planes and trains or cars and cruises, conquering mountains and seas with their fervent hearts and ardent hopes, as if they had agreed to all come here at the same time.

 

欧阳修曾有诗云:洛阳地脉花最宜,牡丹尤为天下奇。

As Ouyang Xiu once composed, “thy soils of Luoyang are the epitome of flower beds perfected, akin to peonies reigning as the epitome of the ‘magic of flowers’.”

 

传说中的牡丹,是被武则天一怒之下逐出京城,贬去洛阳的。却不料洛阳的水土最适合牡丹的生长。于是洛阳人种牡丹蔚然成风,渐盛于唐,极盛于宋。每年阳历四月中旬春色融融的日子,街巷园林千株万株牡丹竞放,花团锦簇香云缭绕——好一座五彩缤纷的牡丹城。

The legendary peony was relegated to Luoyang from the capital in a raging fit by Empress Wu Zetian. Little did one expect for the climate in Luoyang to be optimal for cultivating peonies. The people of Luoyang thus began growing peonies, a trend that gradually prospered during the Tang dynasty and hit its peak in the Song dynasty. Come spring time every year in mid-April, tens of thousands of peonies would blossom all over street alleys and gardens in full splendour, transforming Luoyang into a Peony City - what a magnificent sight to behold!

 

所以看牡丹是一定要到洛阳去看的。没有看过洛阳的牡丹就不算看过牡丹。况且洛阳牡丹还有那么点来历,它因被贬而增值而名声大噪,是否因此勾起人的好奇也未可知。

Thus, Luoyang has become a must-see site for appreciating peonies. Those that have yet to view the peonies in Luoyang cannot claim to have admired these beauties. Besides, the peonies of Luoyang have a little history behind it - its reputation stems from having risen above its relegation. This could have hooked even more interest in these beauties.

 

这一年已是洛阳的第九届牡丹花会。这一年的春却来得迟迟。

At the 9th Annual Luoyang Peony Fair, spring is running late on schedule this year.

 

连日浓云阴雨,四月的洛阳城冷风飕飕。

Days of heavy clouds and dark rains have been sending chills throughout Luoyang city in April.

 

街上挤满了从很远很远的地方赶来的看花人。看花人踩着年年应准的花期。

The streets are packed with flower enthusiasts from far and beyond.  These enthusiasts have kept to their yearly promised dates with the peonies.

 

明明是梧桐发叶,柳枝滴翠,桃花梨花姹紫嫣红,海棠更已落英纷纷——可洛阳人说春尚不曾到来;看花人说,牡丹城好安静。

Budding parasol trees, willows draped in green; peach and pear blossoms bloom in iridescence whilst begonias wither with a wistful grace. The people of Luoyang laments the late onset of spring just as flower enthusiasts moan on the silence blanketing Peony City.

 

一个又冷又静的洛阳,让你觉得有什么地方不对劲。你悄悄闭上眼睛不忍寻觅。你深呼吸掩藏好了最后的侥幸,姗姗步入王城公园。你相信牡丹生性喜欢热闹,你知道牡丹不像幽兰习惯寂寞,你甚至怀着自私的企图,愿牡丹接受这提前的参拜和瞻仰。

This cold and quiet Luoyang makes you wonder if something is amiss. You gently shut your eyes, finding the scenery almost too much to bear. Taking a deep breath to camouflage your last hopes, you saunter into the King City Park. You believe that peonies love crowds; you know that unlike orchids, peonies are not accustomed to loneliness. You even harbour a thread of selfishness, praying for the peonies to accept this early homage of adoration.

 

然而,枝繁叶茂的满园绿色,却仅有零零落落的几处浅红、几点粉白。一丛丛半人高的牡丹枝株之上,昂然挺起千头万头硕大饱满的牡丹花苞,个个形同仙桃,却是朱唇紧闭,皓齿轻咬,薄薄的花瓣层层相裹,透出一副傲慢的冷色,绝无开花的意思。偌大的一个牡丹王国,竟然是一片黯淡萧瑟的灰绿……

Alas, only pockets of red and dots of white can be spotted amidst the lush greenery. Tens of thousands of full buds perch proudly atop the peony branches that reach up to half an adult’s height. Shaped like peaches of immortality, these buds purse their luscious lips, lightly biting against layers of soft petals to exude an air of cold arrogance, adamantly refusing to bloom. A colossal kingdom of peonies, shrouded in a blanket of depressing greying green...

 

一丝苍白的阳光伸出手竭力抚弄着它,它却木然呆立,无动于衷。

A weak ray of sunlight beams upon the peonies, trying its darndest to persuade these beauties... but the ladies stay arched and remain unmoved.

 

惊愕伴随着失望和疑虑——你不知道牡丹为什么要拒绝,拒绝本该属于它的荣誉和赞颂?

Confounded and crestfallen, you cannot fathom the peonies’ refusal to accept its rightful glory and accolade.

 

于是看花人说这个洛阳牡丹真是徒有虚名;于是洛阳人摇头说其实洛阳牡丹从未如今年这样失约,这个春实在太冷,寒流接着寒流怎么能怪牡丹?当年武则天皇帝令百花连夜速发以待她明朝游玩上苑,百花慑于皇威纷纷开放,惟独牡丹不从,宁可发配洛阳。如今怎么就能让牡丹轻易改了性子?

And so, flower enthusiasts start to bemoan Luoyang peonies as being unworthy of its reputation; the people of Luoyang shake their heads in disagreement, highlighting that the peonies of Luoyang had never once failed to deliver like it had this year. They push the blame on an uncharacteristically freezing Spring and its endless streams of cold currents this year for the peonies’ absence. Back when Empress Wu Zetian ordered the timely blossoming of hundreds of flowers to occur overnight just so she could view them the next morning, only the peonies refused to cower and bloom. Unshaken, the peonies would rather be relegated to Luoyang than to succumb to majestic prowess. How then, can one expect peonies to change their persona easily?

 

于是你面对绿色的牡丹园,只能竭尽你想像的空间。想像它在阳光与温暖中火热的激情;想像它在春晖里的辉煌与灿烂——牡丹开花时犹如解冻的大江,一夜间千朵万朵纵情怒放,排山倒海惊天动地。那般恣意那般宏伟,那般壮丽那般浩荡。它积蓄了整整一年的精气,都在这短短几天中轰轰烈烈地迸发出来。它不开则已,一开则倾其所有挥洒净尽,终要开得一个倾国倾城,国色天香。

Facing the lush green peony garden, all you can do is to visualise to your best imaginations. Picture them basking in the warmth of sun-filled passion; picture their glorious spectacularity in the spring - when peonies bloom, tens of thousands of buds blossom overnight, like a gush of almighty river thawed in an earth shattering moment. A moment of such imposing resplendence and awe-inspiring grandiose, it is as if the peonies had compressed a whole year of magical essence and it all gushed forth in that one moment. An outsurge, a torrent that can sweep a nation off its feet.

 

你也许在梦中曾亲吻过那些赤橙黄绿青蓝紫的花瓣,而此刻你须在想像中创造姚黄魏紫豆绿墨撒金白雪塔铜雀春锦帐芙蓉烟绒紫首案红火炼金丹……想像花开时节洛阳城上空被牡丹映照的五彩祥云;想像微风夜露中颤动的牡丹花香;想像被花气濡染的树和房屋;想像洛阳城延续了一千多年的“花开花落二十日,满城人人皆若狂”之盛况。想像给予你失望的纪念,给予你来年的安慰与希望。牡丹为自己营造了神秘与完美——恰恰在没有牡丹的日子里,你探访了窥视了牡丹的个性。

You may have kissed those colourful petals in your dreams; you may be visualising palettes of colours this very instant... imagining the skies of Luoyang refracted into rainbows by the sea of blossoming peonies, imagining trees and houses scented by the fragrance of these beauties, imagining the festive mood that have gone on for over a thousand years across Luoyang City during these twenty days that peonies bloom and wither. Imagining the disappointing remembrance this year has brought you, and the comforting hope next year will bring. The peony has woven a web of enigma and impeccability for itself - you have just taken a sneak peak into its personality in its absence.

 

其实你在很久以前并不喜欢牡丹。因为它总被人作为富贵膜拜。后来你目睹了一次牡丹的落花,你相信所有的人都会为之感动:一阵清风徐来,娇艳鲜嫩的盛期牡丹忽然整朵整朵地坠落,铺散一地绚丽的花瓣。那花瓣落地时依然鲜艳夺目,如同一只奉上祭坛的大鸟脱落的羽毛,低吟着壮烈的悲歌离去。牡丹没有花谢花败之时,要么烁于枝头,要么归于泥土,它跨越萎顿和衰老,由青春而死亡,由美丽而消遁。它虽美却不吝惜生命,即使告别也要留给人最后一次惊心动魄的体味。

In fact, a long long time ago, you didn’t use to like the peony because it was adored as a status symbol of wealth. Later, you chanced upon the withering of a peony and was convinced that anyone would have been touched by that scene - whole flowers of these vibrant peonies breaking off in their prime bloom with just a touch of cool breeze, scattering into an alluring floor of petals. As the petals fall, they hold their heads up high celestially, like a sacrificial bird stripped of its feathers, solemnly humming to a heartbreaking tune on its way to its heroic death. The peony does not drag out its withering. It either dazzles on its crown of branches, or returns to the soil. It strides past the weariness of ageing and withering to vanquish death, choosing to end in its prime, at the peak of its youth and beauty. Gorgeous as it may be, the peony refuses to linger on lifelessly - even in its departure, the peony insists on leaving the world a stirring aftertaste with its grand exit.

 

所以在这阴冷的四月里,奇迹不会发生。任凭游人扫兴和诅咒,牡丹依然安之若素。它不苟且不俯就不妥协不媚俗,它遵循自己的花期自己的规律,它有权利为自己选择每年一度的盛大节日。它为什么不拒绝寒冷?!

Thus, a miracle will not happen in this cold, wet April. The peony rests perfectly poised amidst scorns and disgrunts from its enthusiasts.  Pristine, tasteful, refined and uncompromising, the peony blooms to its own beat, maintaining its right to decide for itself when to launch its biggest annual event. Why wouldn’t the peony resist the cold?

 

天南海北的看花人,依然络绎不绝地涌入洛阳城。人们不会因牡丹的拒绝而拒绝它的美。如果它再被贬谪十次,也许它就会繁衍出十个洛阳牡丹城。

Flower enthusiasts from all corners of the world ceaselessly surges to Luoyang city. They refuse to deny the beauty of peonies just because the peony knows to say no. Even if the peony undergoes another ten rounds of relegation, it would only point to the possibility of gaining another ten Luoyang Peony Cities.

 

于是你在无言的遗憾中感悟到,富贵与高贵只是一字之差。同人一样,花儿也是有灵性、有品位之高低的。品位这东西为气为魂为筋骨为神韵只可意会。你叹服牡丹卓尔不群之姿,方知“品位”是多么容易被世人忽略或漠视的美。

It is in this tranquil woefulness that you hit an epiphany - wealth and sophistication, are not synonymous. Just as humans, spirituality too flows in flowers. Tastefulness is to be refined by class - class being an intangible charisma that can only be defined by sense. You breathe in awe at how the peony stands aloof in its lone sophistication, and realise how easy it is for people to neglect or ignore the charms of a classy beauty.

 


About BLCU

 

Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU), a university directly under the National Ministry of Education, was established in 1962 under the guidance of Prime Minister Zhou Enlai. In June, 1964 it was designated as Beijing Language Institute. In June, 1996 it was then renamed as Beijing Language and Culture University. Since its founding the university has trained Kassem Tokayev, the current United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva; Mulatu Teshome Watto, Ethiopian President; Karim Massimov, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan; Igor, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Kubin, German Sinologist; Eric Cornell, American physicist and Nobel laureate, and others. BLCU is one of the 39 members of CIUTI.



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