• 女性短篇小说《LifeofMaParker》翻译赏析

  • 发布时间:2017-12-16 20:40 浏览:加载中

  •   When the literary gentleman, whose flat78 old Ma Parker cleaned every Tuesday, opened the door to her that morning, he asked after her grandson. Ma Parker stood on the doormat inside the dark little hall, and she stretched out her hand to help her gentleman shut the door before she replied. "We buried 'im yesterday, sir," she said quietly.

      Oh, dear me! I'm sorry to hear that," said the literary gentleman in a shocked tone. He was in the middle of his breakfast. He wore a very shabby dressing-gown and carried a crumpled newspaper in one hand. But he felt awkward. He could hardly go back to the warm sitting-room without saying something--something more. Then because these people set such store by funerals he said kindly, "I hope the funeral went off all right."

      "Beg parding, sir?" said old Ma Parker huskily. Poor old bird! She did look dashed. "I hope the funeral was a-a-success," said he. Ma Parker gave no answer. She bent her head and hobbled off to the kitchen, clasping the old fish bag that held her cleaning things and an apron and a pair of felt shoes. The literary gentleman raised his eyebrows and went back to his breakfast.

      "Overcome, I suppose," he said aloud, helping himself to the marmalade79.

      Ma Parker drew the two jetty spears out of her toque and hung it behind the door. She unhooked her worn jacket and hung that up too. Then she tied her apron and sat down to take off her boots. To take off her boots or to put them on was an agony to her, but it had been an agony for years. In fact, she was so accustomed to the pain that her face was drawn and screwed up ready for the twinge before she'd so much as untied the laces. That over, she sat back with a sigh and softly rubbed her knees...

      "Gran! Gran!" Her little grandson stood on her lap in his button boots. He'd just come in from playing in the street.

      "Look what a state you've made your gran's skirt into--you wicked boy!"

      But he put his arms round her neck and rubbed his cheek against hers.

      "Gran, gi' us a penny!" he coaxed.

      "Be off with you; Gran ain't got no pennies."

      "Yes, you 'ave."

      "No, I ain't."

      "Yes, you 'ave. Gi' us one!"

      Already she was feeling for the old, squashed, black leather purse.

      "Well, what'll you give your gran?"

      He gave a shy little laugh and pressed closer. She felt his eyelid quivering against her cheek. "I ain't got nothing," he murmured...

      The old woman sprang up, seized the iron kettle off the gas stove and took it over to the sink. The noise of the water drumming in the kettle deadened her pain, it seemed. She filled the pail, too, and the washing-up bowl.

      It would take a whole book to describe the state of that kitchen. During the week the literary gentleman "did" for himself. That is to say, he emptied the tea leaves now and again into a jam jar set aside for that purpose, and if he ran out of clean forks he wiped over one or two on the roller towel. Otherwise, as he explained to his friends, his "system" was quite simple, and he couldn't understand why people made all this fuss about housekeeping.

      "You simply dirty everything you've got, get a hag in once a week to clean up, and the thing's done."

      The result looked like a gigantic dustbin. Even the floor was littered with toast crusts, envelopes, cigarette ends. But Ma Parker bore him no grudge. She pitied the poor young gentleman for having no one to look after him. Out of the smudgy little window you could see an immense expanse of sad-looking sky, and whenever there were clouds they looked very worn, old clouds, frayed at the edges, with holes in them, or dark stains like tea.

      While the water was heating, Ma Parker began sweeping the floor. "Yes," she thought, as the broom knocked, "what with one thing and another I've had my share. I've had a hard life."

      Even the neighbours said that of her. Many a time, hobbling home with her fish bag she heard them, waiting at the corner, or leaning over the area railings, say among themselves, "She's had a hard life, has Ma Parker." And it was so true she wasn't in the least proud of it. It was just as if you were to say she lived in the basement-back at Number 27. A hard life!...

      At sixteen she'd left Stratford and come up to London as kitching-maid. Yes, she was born in Stratford-on-Avon. Shakespeare, sir? No, people were always arsking her about him. But she'd never heard his name until she saw it on the theatres. Nothing remained of Stratford except that "sitting in the fire-place of a evening you could see the stars through the chimley," and "Mother always 'ad 'er side of bacon, 'anging from the ceiling." And there was something--a bush, there was--at the front door, that smelt ever so nice. But the bush was very vague. She'd only remembered it once or twice in the hospital, when she'd been taken bad.

      That was a dreadful place--her first place. She was never allowed out. She never went upstairs except for prayers morning and evening. It was a fair cellar. And the cook was a cruel woman. She used to snatch away her letters from home before she'd read them, and throw them in the range because they made her dreamy...And the beedles! Would you believe it?--until she came to London she'd never seen a black beedle. Here Ma always gave a little laugh, as though--not to have seen a black beedle! Well! It was as if to say you'd never seen your own feet.

      When that family was sold up she went as "help" to a doctor's house, and after two years there, on the run from morning till night, she married her husband. He was a baker.

      "A baker, Mrs. Parker!" the literary gentleman would say. For occasionally he laid aside his tomes and lent an ear, at least, to this product called Life. "It must be rather nice to be married to a baker!"

      Mrs. Parker didn't look so sure.

      "Such a clean trade," said the gentleman.

      Mrs. Parker didn't look convinced.

      "And didn't you like handing the new loaves to the customers?"

      "Well, sir," said Mrs. Parker, "I wasn't in the shop above a great deal. We had thirteen little ones and buried seven of them. If it wasn't the 'ospital it was the infirmary, you might say!"

      "You might, indeed, Mrs. Parker!" said the gentleman, shuddering, and taking up his pen again.

      Yes, seven had gone, and while the six were still small her husband was taken ill with consumption. It was flour on the lungs, the doctor told her at the time...Her husband sat up in bed with his shirt pulled over his head, and the doctor's finger drew a circle on his back.

      "Now, if we were to cut him open here, Mrs. Parker," said the doctor,

      "you'd find his lungs chock-a-block with white powder. Breathe, my good fellow!" And Mrs. Parker never knew for certain whether she saw or whether she fancied she saw a great fan of white dust come out of her poor dead husband's lips...

      But the struggle she'd had to bring up those six little children and keep herself to herself. Terrible it had been! Then, just when they were old enough to go to school her husband's sister came to stop with them to help things along, and she hadn't been there more than two months when she fell down a flight of steps and hurt her spine. And for five years Ma Parker had another baby--and such a one for crying!--to look after. Then young Maudie went wrong and took her sister Alice with her; the two boys emigrimated, and young Jim went to India with the army, and Ethel, the youngest, married a good-for-nothing little waiter who died of ulcers the year little Lennie was born. And now little Lennie--my grandson...

      The piles of dirty cups, dirty dishes, were washed and dried. The ink- black knives were cleaned with a piece of potato and finished off with a piece of cork. The table was scrubbed, and the dresser and the sink that had sardine tails swimming in it...

      He'd never been a strong child--never from the first. He'd been one of those fair babies that everybody took for a girl. Silvery fair curls he had, blue eyes, and a little freckle like a diamond on one side of his nose. The trouble she and Ethel had had to rear that child! The things out of the newspapers they tried him with! Every Sunday morning Ethel would read aloud while Ma Parker did her washing.

      "Dear Sir,--Just a line to let you know my little Myrtil was laid out for dead...After four bottils...gained 8 lbs. in 9 weeks, and is still putting it on."

      And then the egg-cup of ink would come off the dresser and the letter would be written, and Ma would buy a postal order on her way to work next morning. But it was no use. Nothing made little Lennie put it on. Taking him to the cemetery, even, never gave him a colour; a nice shake-up in the bus never improved his appetite.

      But he was gran's boy from the first...

      "Whose boy are you?" said old Ma Parker, straightening up from the stove and going over to the smudgy window. And a little voice, so warm, so close, it half stifled her--it seemed to be in her breast under her heart--laughed out, and said, "I'm gran's boy!"

      At that moment there was a sound of steps, and the literary gentleman appeared, dressed for walking.

      "Oh, Mrs. Parker, I'm going out."

      "Very good, sir."

      "And you'll find your half-crown in the tray of the inkstand."

      "Thank you, sir."

      "Oh, by the way, Mrs. Parker," said the literary gentleman quickly, "you didn't throw away any cocoa last time you were here--did you?"

      "No, sir."

      "Very strange. I could have sworn I left a teaspoonful of cocoa in the tin." He broke off. He said softly and firmly, "You'll always tell me when you throw things away--won't you, Mrs. Parker?" And he walked off very well pleased with himself, convinced, in fact, he'd shown Mrs. Parker that under his apparent carelessness he was as vigilant as a woman.

      The door banged. She took her brushes and cloths into the bedroom. But when she began to make the bed, smoothing, tucking, patting, the thought of little Lennie was unbearable. Why did he have to suffer so? That's what she couldn't understand. Why should a little angel child have to arsk for his breath and fight for it? There was no sense in making a child suffer like that.

      ...From Lennie's little box of a chest there came a sound as though something was boiling. There was a great lump of something bubbling in his chest that he couldn't get rid of. When he coughed the sweat sprang out on his head; his eyes bulged, his hands waved, and the great lump bubbled as a potato knocks in a saucepan80. But what was more awful than all was when he didn't cough he sat against the pillow and never spoke or answered, or even made as if he heard. Only he looked offended.

      "It's not your poor old gran's doing it, my lovey," said old Ma Parker, patting back the damp hair from his little scarlet ears. But Lennie moved his head and edged away. Dreadfully offended with her he looked―and solemn. He bent his head and looked at her sideways as though he couldn't have believed it of his gran.

      But at the last...Ma Parker threw the counterpane over the bed. No, she simply couldn't think about it. It was too much--she'd had too much in her life to bear. She'd borne it up till now, she'd kept herself to herself, and never once had she been seen to cry. Never by a living soul. Not even her own children had seen Ma break down. She'd kept a proud face always. But now! Lennie gone--what had she? She had nothing. He was all she'd got from life, and now he was took too. Why must it all have happened to me? she wondered. "What have I done?" said old Ma Parker. "What have I done?"

      As she said those words she suddenly let fall her brush. She found herself in the kitchen. Her misery was so terrible that she pinned on her hat, put on her jacket and walked out of the flat like a person in a dream. She did not know what she was doing. She was like a person so dazed by the horror of what has happened that he walks away--anywhere, as though by walking away he could escape...

      It was cold in the street. There was a wind like ice. People went flitting by, very fast; the men walked like scissors; the women trod like cats. And nobody knew--nobody cared. Even if she broke down, if at last, after all these years, she were to cry, she'd find herself in the lock-up as like as not.

      But at the thought of crying it was as though little Lennie leapt in his gran's arms. Ah, that's what she wants to do, my dove. Gran wants to cry. If she could only cry now, cry for a long time, over everything, beginning with her first place and the cruel cook, going on to the doctor's, and then the seven little ones, death of her husband, the children's leaving her, and all the years of misery that led up to Lennie. But to have a proper cry over all these things would take a long time. All the same, the time for it had come. She must do it. She couldn't put it off any longer; she couldn't wait any more...Where could she go?

      "She's had a hard life, has Ma Parker." Yes, a hard life, indeed! Her chin began to tremble; there was no time to lose. But where? Where?

      She couldn't go home; Ethel was there. It would frighten Ethel out of her life. She couldn't sit on a bench anywhere; people would come arsking her questions. She couldn't possibly go back to the gentleman's flat; she had no right to cry in strangers' houses. If she sat on some steps a policeman would speak to her.

      Oh, wasn't there anywhere where she could hide and keep herself to herself and stay as long as she liked, not disturbing anybody, and nobody worrying her? Wasn't there anywhere in the world where she could have her cry out-- at last?

      Ma Parker stood, looking up and down. The icy wind blew out her apron into a balloon. And now it began to rain. There was nowhere

      帕克大妈的一生

      帕克大妈每到每星期二都要到一个文学家老先生家里去打扫房间挣钱。这天早晨文学家给她打开门后,询问了她孙子的情况。当时帕克大妈进来后站在幽暗的小门厅里擦鞋垫上,她伸出手帮主人把门关上后,然后声音低低的回答道:“先生,我们昨天把他下葬了。”

      “哦!呀!真让人难过啊,”文学家叫道,十分震惊。他正在吃早餐,身上穿一件很旧的睡衣,手里面拿着已经揉皱的报纸。可是他得到这个消息后觉得别扭。没有多说几句,也没有过多的敷衍,也不便马上回到自己温暖的起居室去。后来他想帕克大妈应该很重视葬礼,就温和地问道,“葬礼举行的还好吧?”

      “什么,先生?”老帕克大妈声音沙哑地说着。

      真是个可怜的老太婆!她的神态很难过。“葬礼,嗯……嗯……还可以吧,”文学家说着。帕克大妈没有回答。她低下头,步履蹒跚地走到厨房,手里面抓着她装鱼的旧袋子,里面装着的是她来文学家打扫时用得着的东西,分别是一条围裙和一双毡靴。文学家抬了抬眉头,便又回去吃早饭。

      “我看,她已经想开了,”他自言自语地说着,吃着果酱来。

      帕克大妈从帽子上抽出两根闪亮亮的大头针,而后把帽子挂在门背后。脱掉旧外衣也挂上去。然后她系上围裙,坐下来脱靴子。脱靴子和穿靴子对她来说都很费劲,许多年来一直是这样。实际上,她已经很熟悉那种痛苦,还没解开鞋带,她就拉长脸显出一副很痛苦的样子,似乎要准备开始忍受脱靴子时的剧烈的疼痛了。等到她换完靴子,她才直起腰来,叹口气,轻轻揉着自己膝盖……

      “奶奶!奶奶!”小孙子似乎就站在她膝头上,脚上穿着带扣的靴子。他刚刚街上玩完回来。

      “看看,你把奶奶的裙子揉成啥样了,你真是个调皮的孩子!”

      可是,他却伸出胳膊搂住奶奶的脖子,他用自己的小脸蛋不断的蹭她的脸。

      “奶奶,给我一个钱!”他央求说。

      “奶奶哪来的钱!”

      “不么,你有。”

      “没有。”

      “有,你就有么。给一个吧!”

      她的手已经在摸帕克大妈那个扁扁的旧黑皮夹子了。

      “好吧,给你一个,那你给奶奶什么呢?”

      小孩很害羞地轻轻一笑,抱她更紧了。帕克大妈感到他的眼睑挨着她的脸颤动着。

      “我啥也没有,”他咕哝说……

      帕克大妈霍地站起来,从汽炉上抓起铁壶,放进洗槽。水哗哗地被灌到壶里,声音好象止住了她的悲痛。她把水桶和洗盆里也都灌满水。

      如果要描绘一下厨房的情形,那真是够写一大本书的。文学家整个星期自己做家务。也就是说,他不时的把自己喝剩下的剩茶叶倒进一个专用的空果酱瓶子里。要是干净的叉子用完了,他就拿出一两个来擦擦再用。怪不得他对朋友们解释说,他的办法简便极了,他不能理解人们何以为家务忙得一塌糊涂。

      “不过是把所有的东西都弄脏,雇个老太婆每星期来一次,收拾干净,就这么简单。”

      一个星期下来,这间房子看上去就象一个大垃圾箱,地板上都丢满了乱七八糟的面包皮、信件和烟头。可是,帕克大妈从来不因此抱怨他,甚至她还因为这个年轻的文学家没人照顾而可怜他呢。透过污浊的小窗户能看到大片的天空。不论什么时候看去,天上出现的浮云总显得陈旧难看,边上总是残缺不全,满是窟窿,那些昏暗的污斑就象是浇了浓茶。

      趁着水还没烧开,帕克大妈就开始扫地。“是啊,”她想,扫帚磕碰着地板,“我受的苦真是太多了。这日子过的可真苦啊。”

      邻居们也说她命苦。有好几次了,当她提着鱼袋子蹒跚地往家走,酒听见他们待在墙角或是围墙栏杆互相议论:“帕克大妈的日子很苦,现在还那么苦。”这话太对了,她也这么认为。有时候她觉得,自己就像生活在十八层地狱一样。真是艰苦的一生啊!……

      当她还是个姑娘是,她十六岁就离家乡斯特拉特福,来到伦敦做厨房助手。是啊,她是艾冯河畔的斯特拉特福出生的。那可是是莎士比亚的故乡啊。是呵,因为这样,人们经常问她有关莎士比亚的事情。不过,她可从来没听说过,直到在剧院看见莎士比亚这个名字,她才知道他是什么人。

      她对斯特拉特福几乎没有什么印象,只记得“一天晚上坐在壁炉里,顺着烟囱能看到星星,”而且“母亲总把腌肉挂在天花板上。”那儿还有一种东西,味儿特别好闻,好像是个灌木丛,就在她家门跟前。然而关于灌木的记忆已经很模糊了。只有一两次,她得了重病,住在医院里,才想起它来。

      雇用她的第一家糟透了。他们从来不让她出们。晨祷和晚祷除外,连上楼都不行。象个地牢。厨娘是个很凶的婆子。她常把她还没有来得及看的家信抢去扔掉,因为那些信让她心神不定……还有黑甲虫!真的,她来伦敦前从没见过黑甲虫。一提到这事,大妈总是轻轻一笑,好象……就是没见过黑甲虫!嘿!这就如同说从来没见过自己的脚似的。

      第一家工作黄了以后,她就到一个医生家里做帮手,尽管从早到晚忙个不停,两年以后她出嫁了。丈夫是个面包师。

      “帕克太太,你丈夫是面包师呵!”有一回文学家知道后这样说。他偶尔把书放在一边,至少听听叫做“生活”的这种作品。“嫁给面包师的感觉一定挺不错吧!”

      帕克太太看来却很犹豫。

      “面包师的工作是那么干净。”文学家说。

      看样子,帕克太太不大相信。

      “那么,把新鲜面包递给顾客,多好,这活儿你不喜欢吗?”

      “唉,先生,”帕克太太说,“我不常到上边铺子里去。我们有十三个小孩子,死了七个。可以说,我的家就算不是医院,也成诊所了!”

      “你可以这样说呢,帕克太太!”文学家答道,身上打了个哆嗦,又拿起笔来。

      是啊,七个孩子死了,另个那六个还很小的时候,帕克大妈的丈夫就得了肺痨,当时大夫告诉她,他肺里全是面粉……丈夫在床上坐起来,把衬衫撩过头去,丈夫用手指在他背上画个圈。

      “帕克太太,现在,我们要是把他的背从这里切开,”医生说,“您会看到,他的肺里塞满了白粉末。好伙计,你喘口气!”帕克太太没法确定,究竟是她亲眼看到,还是觉得看到了,一大片白粉末从她可怜的丈夫嘴里喷出来……

      然而,一个女人要把六个孩子抚养大,并且体面地活下去是非常不容易的。那日子可真可怕!后来,她的孩子刚大一些,能够上学,丈夫的一个妹妹就来了,住在他们这儿帮忙料理家务。可是,她来了还不到两个月,就从楼梯上摔下去,跌坏了脊梁骨。这样,帕克大妈又多了个孩子要照看,一连五年,而且是个哭哭啼啼的孩子!后来,她的小莫迪出了岔子,连带也要了姐姐艾利丝的命。两个男孩移居国外,小吉姆参军,到印度去了。年纪最小的艾塞尔嫁了一个没出息的小伙计,正在小利尼生下来那年,他却得溃疡病死了。现在只剩下小利尼,我们的小孙子了……

      屋子里的一堆脏茶杯,脏碟子都需要大妈洗净擦干。她把那些乌黑的刀子用一块土豆擦净,并用一个软木塞打亮。桌子和食具柜全刷过,漂着沙丁鱼尾巴的洗槽也冲洗干净……

      他本来就不壮实,身体从来没好过。他从来就是很白净的孩子,人人都以为是女孩。他长一头银色的卷发,有一对蓝眼睛,鼻子边上还一个雀斑,活象颗宝石。他和艾塞尔为抚养这个孩子可真操够了心!连报纸上登的办法他们都给他试过!每星期日早晨大妈洗衣服,艾塞尔总要念报纸给她听。

      “先生,我写几句,好让您知道我的小默特尔是怎样活下来的……他只吃过四瓶药……九个星期体重就增长了八磅,还一直在长。”

      于是,装墨水的鸡蛋杯马上从柜里取出来,信写好,帕克大妈第二天一早去上工,顺便买张汇票把钱寄出去。可是这也没用。什么办法也不能让小利尼增加体重。即使带他到公墓去走走,也不能给他脸上添点血色。在公共汽车里颤动一阵也不能让他胃口好一点儿。

      他可是奶奶的心肝宝贝呀……

      “谁的孩子?”老帕克大妈说着,从炉旁直起腰来,走到脏兮兮的窗跟前。一个细小的声音那么热烈,那么亲密,差点儿弄得她透不过气来,那声音好象就在她胸膛里,心窝那儿,他笑出声来说,“我是奶奶的孩子呀!”

      这时候楼梯响了,文学家穿好衣服,准备出去散步,他站在门口。

      “帕克太太,我要出去了。”

      “好的,先生。”

      “两个半先令的工钱在墨台的盘子里。”

      “谢谢您,先生。”

      “奥,帕克太太,顺便提一句,”文学家很很快地说。“你上次是不是把可可粉扔了?”

      “没有,先生!”

      “真怪,我敢发誓,我在罐头里剩了一匙可可粉,”他忽然停住。然后他和气地,同时又很强硬地说:“帕克太太,往后你要扔什么东西,先提前跟我说一声,可以吗?”说完他走出去,自鸣得意地相信,他实际上已经叫帕克太太明白,他表面上马马虎虎,却跟女人一样精明呢。

      门砰地一响,帕克大妈拿着刷子和抹布走到卧室去。可是等到她开始收拾床铺,把被子弄平、折起后,轻轻拍两下,思念孙子小利尼的心情简直使她受不了。为什么他会受那么大的罪呢?她真是不明白。为什么一个小天使般的孩子想喘口气都那么难,还得挣扎一番?让孩子那样受罪可真没道理。

      ……从利尼小小的胸膛里发出一种声音,象是水烧开了。好象有一大团东西在他胸中卟噜卟噜响,躲不开。只要一咳嗽,汗珠就在脑门上冒出来,眼睛鼓起,小手摇动,那一大团东西就象有个土豆在平底锅里跳上跳下,咕咚咕咚作响。更可怕的是等到不咳嗽时,他就坐在那儿,背靠着枕头,一句话也不说,也不回答,甚至好象根本没有听见似的。只是他显得很生气。

      “这不是奶奶的错啊,小宝贝儿,”老帕克大妈说着,把他的湿头发撩到小小的红耳朵后边去。可是利尼偏过头去躲开了。看样子,他好象跟奶奶生气,而且还很大的气。他低着头,侧着眼看她,彷佛不信奶奶那些话似的。

      可是到最后……帕克大妈把被单往床上一扔。不。她简直不能再想了,这太过分了,她这辈子受的罪太多了。现在她还受折磨,然而她一直顶住,从来也没人见她哭过一次。不论哪个活人也没见过。就连她自己的孩子也没见她泄过气。她脸上总是带着高傲的神情。可是现在啊!小利尼死了,她还有什么呢?她一无所有了。她生活里所有的原只剩下他,现在给也给老天爷夺走了。为什么这一切非落在我头上不可呢?她纳闷。“我怎么啦?”老帕克大妈说,“我究竟犯了什么罪啊?”

      她说着这些话,手里的刷子突然掉了。她发现自己在厨房里。她太难过了,于是她戴上帽子,穿上外衣,走出房外,象是在梦游的人。不知道要去哪里。她就象一个人给突如其来的恐怖吓呆了,茫然地走开,也不管往哪里走,似乎只要离开就能躲避似的……

      街上风冷飕飕的,寒意刺骨。人们快步从她身旁走过。男人走路象剪刀一样快,女人走路则象猫,没有人认识她,也更没有人关心她。即使她垮下来,即使她受了这么多年的苦,现在终于要哭一场了,可是说不定人家反倒会把她送到拘留所去关起来呢。

      一想到哭,彷佛孙子小利尼就又跳进奶奶的怀里来了。啊,我的小鸽子,我的小孙子,奶奶想哭啊。但愿现在能哭出来,哭上好半天,哭那一切苦难,从第一个雇佣她的那一家人和那家里的那个狠心的厨娘起,医生的家,接着是七个孩子夭折,丈夫去世,孩子们都相继离开她,哭她所有经历过的那些苦难的岁月,一直到孙子小利尼死。那么多伤心事,要痛哭一场得好半天才行。无论如何,是该哭的时候了。她非哭不可。她再也不能拖延,再也不能多等了……可是她到哪儿去哭呢?

      “帕克大妈的日子一直很苦,现在还那么苦。”是啊,真是苦难的一生!她的下巴颤抖起来,一分钟也不容耽搁了。可是上哪儿去哭啊?上哪儿啊?

      她不能回家,埃塞尔在那儿。她一哭那会把她吓死的。她也不能在什么地方的长凳上坐下哭,人们会问这问那。她不能回到文学家的住所去,她没有权利在别人的家里哭。要是她坐到什么地方的台阶上哭,警察准会来干涉。

      哎,难道就没有一个地方能让她藏起来,随自己的心意,愿呆多久就呆多久,不打搅别人,也别人也不来管她?难道这个世界上竟找不到一个地方能让她终于痛快地哭一场吗?

      帕克大妈站住,眼睛朝四下里看看。这时候冷冷的风把她的裙子吹起来,她的裙子被风吹的鼓得象个球。这时候下起了雨。真是没有地方可以去哭啊!

      作品点评

      《帕克大妈的一生》是英国现代派女作家凯瑟琳?曼斯菲尔德创作的最悲惨的一部短篇小说,小说成功地描述了帕克大妈一生的不幸遭遇。小说的开篇是孙子的葬礼,然后帕克大妈散乱的思绪回忆着她一桩接一桩的倒霉事。年轻时的她嫁了一个面包师,生了13个孩子, 7个在丈夫得肺病死之前就埋掉了,又有一个女儿带着她的妹妹和两个儿子移民走了,第三个儿子去印度参了军,最小的女儿嫁了一个一无是处的侍者,但侍者不久就死于溃疡,外孙出生后不久也死于肺结核。伴随老人的一生,时时处处都有死亡存在,她就活在肺病、溃疡、肺结核之中,活在死亡的阴影之下,帕克大妈深深地陷入了一生的厄运之中, 她已经承受了太多的悲欢离合和欺压凌辱, 而且她默默承受着, 她还得使自己振作起来, 别人从来没有看见她哭, 任何一个活着的人都未曾见她哭过, 甚至她的孩子都没有见过她哭过,故事最后,老人想哭,但无处可去。

      小说通过帕克大妈的内心独白和自由联想这两种表现手法再现了她的悲惨命运。然而, 更可悲的是, 帕克大妈并不知道是谁造就了她自己的厄运, 她更不知道自己的命运是传统的父权社会带给她的。因为她只是一个女人, 她的社会角色只配当厨女、佣人, 社会不可能为她提供一份体面的工作; 她的家庭角色是生儿育女, 她没有任何能力摆脱这种角色; 丈夫的去世使她的生活雪上加霜, 她无法与社会和悲惨命运抗争, 她是传统的社会无意识代表, 是工具化的人, 她默默忍受, 却从来没有怀疑过压在她头上的父权文化, 她认定女人被规定、被铸造为男人的“一部分”, 而她也习惯了这一点, 把这种强制性规定内化。

      凯瑟琳?曼斯菲尔德的创作始终客观如实地表现人物的心灵。她凭着对女性生活的切身感悟, 运用自由联想、内心独白等描写心理活动的现代创作手法再现了一位年迈女人的不幸, 揭示人物的心灵并能让读者从中受到启发, 这是她在短篇小说领域里努力探索这种现代表现手法的结果和她不断实践的结晶。

      舍伍德?安德森( Sherwood Anderson)

      舍伍德?安德森(1876-1941) 1876年9月13日出生在中西部俄亥俄州克莱德镇的一个贫寒家庭。没有受过多少正规的学校教育。短暂的参军后,他开始下海经商。在1912年的一天,他突然离家出走,决心用自己的笔过另一种更有意义的生活。到了芝加哥后,他加入了芝加哥的文人圈子。1916年,安德森发表了带有浓重自传体风格的小说《饶舌的麦克佛逊的儿子》,从此一发而不可收。1919年《俄亥俄州的温斯堡》的发表使安德森获得极大的成功,奠定了他在美国文学史上的地位。安德森其它的主要著作还有:《前进的人们》、《穷白人》、短篇小说集《鸡蛋的胜利及其它》、《多种婚姻》和《小城畸人》。

      舍伍德?安德森是20世纪早期美国著名的小说家,在美国文学史上有很重要的地位,海明威和菲茨杰拉德都受过他很大影响,海明威曾说他是所有人的老师。马尔科姆?考利指出,安德森是作家的作家。

      《小城畸人》中, 他塑造了一批心灵扭曲、行为怪异的精神上的“畸形人”的群像。在这本由二十五篇有着内在联系的短篇故事所组成的书中, 女性人物大约有三十三个, 其中直接以女性人物为主角的故事达十篇之多。作者对书中女性人物充满同情的描写贯穿始终, 表现了处在美国资本主义工业化迅速发展时期中西部乡镇背景下的女性所遭受的难以言说的心灵上的痛苦和挫折。
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