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伊丽莎白致罗伯特的情书

2013-08-08 14:08[英语文摘] 来源:互联网 评论:0条
伊丽莎白致罗伯特的情书

  欣赏导读


  Elizabeth Barret(1806-1861)和Robert Browning(1812-1889)都是英国诗人,二人相爱,遭到家庭反对,1846年逃到意大利秘密结婚。巴雷特去世后,白朗宁才回英国。1845年,当罗伯特白朗宁写信给伊丽莎白巴雷特的时候,他32岁,她38岁。她已是一位著名的诗人,发表过文章赞扬他的作品。她使这种通信化为友谊,然后又坚持不懈地把它变为爱情。下面的这封情书展现的是他们如何深文友和情谊的一个侧面。


  情书精髓


  50 Wimpole Street; Jan. 11, 1845


  I thank you, dear Mr. Browning, from the bottom of my heart. You meant to give me pleasure by your letter-and even if the object had not been answered, I ought still to thank you. But it is thoroughly answered. Such a letter from such a hand! Sympathy is dear-very dear to me: but the sympathy of a poet, and of such a poet, is the quintessence of sympathy of me! Will you take back my gratitude for it? agreeing, too, that of all the commerce done in the world, from Tyre to Carthage, the exchange of sympathy for gratitude is the most princely thing?


  For the rest you draw me on with your kindness. It is difficult to get rid of people when you once have given them too much pleasure-that is a fact, and we will not stop for the moral of it. What I was going to say-after a little natural hesitation-is, that if ever you emerge without inconvenient effort from your "passive state", and will tell me of such faults as rise to the surface and strike you as important in my poems, (for of course, I do not think of troubling you with criticism in detail) you will confer a lasting obligation on me, and one which I shall value so much, that I covet it at a distance.


  I do not pretend to any extraordinary meekness under criticism and it is possible enough that I might not be altogether obedient to yours. But with my high respect for your power in your art and for your experience as an artist, it would be quite impossible for me to hear a general observation of yours on what appear to you my master-faults without being the better for it hereafter in some way. I ask for only a sentence or two of general observation-and I do not ask even for that, so as to tease you-but in the humble, low voice, which is so excellent a thing in women-particularly when they go a-begging!


  The most frequent general criticism I receive, is, I think, upon the style, - "if I would but change my style!" But that is an objection (isn't it?) to the writer bodily? Buffon says, and every sincere writer must fell, that Le style c'est I'homme; a fact, however, scarcely calculated to lessen the objection with certain critics.


  Is in indeed true that I was so near to the pleasure and honour of making your acquaintance? And can it be true that you look back upon the lost opportunity with any regret? But you know if you had entered the "crypt", you might have caught cold, or been tired to death, and wished yourself "a thousand miles off"; which would have been worse than traveling them. It is not my interest, however, to put such thoughts in your head about its being "all for the best"; and I would rather hope (as I do) that what I lost by one chance I may recover by some future one. Winters shut me up as they do dormouse's eyes; in the spring, we shall see: and I am so much better than I seem turning round to the outward world again. And in the meantime I have learnt to know your voice, not merely from the poetry but from the kindness in it. Mr. Kenyon often speaks of you-dear Mr. Kenyon! who most unspeakably, of only speakably with tears in my eyes, -has been my friend and helper, and my book’s friend and helper! Critic and sympathizer, true friend of all ours! You know him well enough, I think, to understand that I must be grateful to him.


  I am writing too much, -and not with standing that I am writing too much, I will write of one thing more. I will say that I am your debtor, no only for this cordial letter and for all the pleasure which came with it, but in other ways, and those the highest: and I will say that while I live to follow this divine art of poetry. In proportion to my love for it and my devotion to it, I must be a devout admirer and student of your works. This is in my heart to say to you-and I say it.


  And for the rest, I am proud to remain,


  Your obliged and faithful


  Elizabeth B. Barrett


  1845年1月11日于温布尔街50号


  亲爱的白朗宁先生,我衷心感谢你。 你写信的目的是想给我带来欢乐 即便这一目的未能如意,我依然应该感激你。 况且这一目的已经完全达到。这样一封出自这样一个人之手的信! 同情对我而言是可贵的 非常可贵;而来自一位诗人,一位非凡诗人的同情是对我的最好同情! 你愿意接受我对此的感激之情吗? 同时望你也能赞同,在世界上进行一切贸易中, 从提尔到迦太基,以同情换取感谢是最崇高的事!


  此外,你好心地鼓励我。 当你曾使人得到过多的快乐时,你说很难把他们打发走 事实正是这样, 而我们却不会从这一教训而有所收敛。 我要说的稍停片刻后说是,如果说你什么时候很轻易地超出你的“被动状态”, 并指出我诗中那些十分明显但在你看来又是主要的缺点 (当然我不想麻烦你作详细点评), 那么你将来使我终身受益,我一定倍加珍惜并遥盼你的赐教。


  在受到批评时我不会假装表现得特别听话而顺从,而且很有可能我会完全不接受你的点评。 但是我十分敬佩你的艺术才华以及你当艺术家的经验, 因此能听到你对我的主要缺点作出总的评价后,我在今后的诗歌创作中不可能不有所长进。 我只求你作一两句总评 即便是为了这一两句我也不是想取笑你才去求你 而是卑微恭顺,低声细语, 这是女人所擅长的 特别是当她们有求于人时!


  一般来说,别人对我的批评, 我想,是关于我的风格, “但愿我能改变自己的风格!” 可是这么说是否在指责(是不是?)作者本人呢? 布封说过“风格即人”(而且每位真正的作家也一定会有同感), 然而,有些批评家却不愿考虑这一事实从而少作指责。


  难道我真的有幸快要与你相识吗? 难道你真的后悔曾坐失的良机吗? 可是 你要知道 如果你进入那座“地窟”,你可以会感冒,或者闷得要死, 因此希望自己离它“千里之遥”; 那种滋味要比千里之外吹来更难受。 然而我不想在你脑海里时留下认为这里“一切均好”的想法; 我倒是希望(我确实希望这样)一次机会所失去的可以从下一次机会中得到补偿。 一到冬天我就足不离家门犹如睡鼠闭目冬眠一样。 今年春天我们定会相见。 我现在的身体要比看上去好多少倍,因为我又能在外面的世界走走。 与此同时,我已学会不仅是从你的诗中而且也从你的诗中所蕴涵的温情里辨出你的声音, 凯尼恩先生常提到你 亲爱的凯尼因先生! 他,我简直无法形容, 或只能噙着眼泪说,一直是我的朋友和帮手,也一直是我的书的朋友和助手! 批评家和同情者,是永远的知心朋友! 我想你相当了解他,所以能够理解我为何要感激他。


  我写得太多了, 但尽管如此,我还是要提一件事。 我要说我也欠你许多,不仅是这封诚挚的信和它带给我的全部欢乐, 还有其他方面,那些最为重要的方面:我还要说我活着就是为了热爱诗歌, 为执着追求诗歌这一神圣的艺术,与此同时我也一定要终生欣赏和研究你的诗作。 这是我对说的心里话 我终于脱口而出了。


  最后,我感到自豪的是我将永远是


  感激和忠实于你的


  伊丽莎白巴雷特




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