◎ 叶圣陶 Ye Shengtao
Enjoying the Moon
◎ Ye Shengtao
People living in the small alleyways of Shanghai pay little attention to the waxing and waning, or the visibility, of the moon. The so-called “courtyards” in their houses are generally smaller than three metres square. And each room is illuminated by an electric bulb of at least 16 watts. Such a living environment is of course inconvenient for you to enjoy the moonlight. When you go out for a walk towards the evening, you’ll see street lamps lit up one after another though it is not yet quite dark. Moon or no moon simply means the appearance of one extra street lamp or that one of the street lamps has gone wrong and ceased to give out light. Nobody cares.
Last summer, I complained that I could seldom hear the singing of cicadas. Now I’m sorry I haven’t seen the moon for a long time. I remember how late one night I happened to wake up to find no more blaring of the radio from the window of the opposite house, no more clatter of next door’s mahjong tiles and that all lights in the neighbourhood had been put out. A creamy white ray of light streamed in through my southern window to cast the shadow of the window lattice on my quilt. I was somewhat surprised. Then, when it dawned on me that it was the moon, I immediately looked out of the window, curious to have a look at it. But, unfortunately, it was soon hidden by clouds.
People from Peiping often wonder why Shanghailanders should choose to live in such a lousy place. They say life here is so full of tension, the air so foul, and trees so scarce, and so on and so forth. I wonder if the apparent loss of moonlight might as well be listed among their reasons for staying away from this city. But I would think otherwise, for it doesn’t make sense to call enjoyment of moonlight one of the requisites of life. Open heart and wide vision do not necessarily come of watching the moon. The same can be achieved in self-cultivation, and that in a more practical way, by looking earthward instead of skyward. Nevertheless, I’m not opposed to watching the moon. I only mean it doesn’t matter at all if you see no moon.
The moonlight I once enjoyed watching in the suburbs of Fuzhou, round a bend of the Min River, was the best I have ever seen. Over there, one night as I leaned on an upstairs railing and gazed into the distance, I was amazed to see the surging tidal water in the River sparkling like silver in the moonlight. The mountains along the river banks, enveloped in a thin mist, appeared quite different from what we had been accustomed to see. The moon was hanging leisurely high up in the sky. A wide sandy beach lay stretching all the way from the riverside to where I lived, showing a vast expanse of white in the moonlight, with slight undertones of green. Suddenly the sweet fragrance of tuberoses wafted up from somewhere. It might be the sweet fragrance of the moon, I thought. I stood lost in reverie. It was not until fifteen minutes later that, turning round to see my own shadow on the plaster wall, I finally returned to my old self.
Of course it will bring me great pleasure to see the same brilliant moonlight a few more times even though I’ve said, “It doesn’t matter at all if you see no moon.”
①题目《看月》的内涵是“对月亮的喜爱”，作者所持态度是积极的。此题目可译为The Moon、Watching the Moon、Enjoying the Moonlight等，现按其内涵选择Enjoying the Moon。
②“住在上海‘弄堂房子’里的人”译为People living in the small alleyways of Shanghai，其中用small alleyways表达“弄堂房子”即可，无须把“房子”也译出。又，此处“弄堂”也可译为small lanes或small alleys。
③“隐现”即disappearance or appearance，今以visibility一词表达即可。
④“我曾经说过不大听到蝉声”一句有“抱怨”的含义，故译I complained that I could seldom hear the singing of cicadas，其中用complained代替said。
⑤“我又觉得许久不看见月亮了”一句也同样有“抱怨”的含义，故译Now I’m sorry I haven’t seen the moon for a long time，其中用I’m sorry代替I realize。
⑥“隔壁的‘麻将’”即“隔壁人家的‘麻将’牌声”，故译the clatter of next door’s mahjong tiles，其中the clatter（咔嗒声）和tiles（麻将牌）是增益成分，原文虽无其词而有其意。又，next door在此作名词用，意即“住在隔壁的人”（the person or people who live next door to you）。
⑦“在上海这地方怎么‘呆’得住”的含义是“怎么愿意住在上海这么一个糟糕地方”，故译why Shanghailanders should choose to live in such a lousy place，其中choose应作“愿意”解。又，“上海人”常译为Shanghainese，似欠妥，因Shanghai的最后字母不是n，还是沿袭过去的译法Shanghailander为妥。
⑧“一切都这样紧张……”是“北平来的人”的看法，故译They say life here is so full of tension …，其中They say是增益成分，指“北平来人认为”。
⑨“把仰望的双眼移到地面”未按字面直译，现译by looking earthward instead of skyward，简单明了，且略带俏皮。
⑩“也许是月亮的香气吧，我这么想。我心中不起一切杂念”意即“我看得出神，觉得那香气似乎来自月亮”。因此“我心中不起一切杂念”不宜按字面直译，应译I stood lost in reverie。