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安徒生童话故事全集英文版:WHAT ONE CAN INVENT

2019-03-14 15:33

来源:新东方网整理

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  THERE was once a young man who was studying tobe a poet.He wanted to become one by Easter,to marry,and to live by poetry.To write poems,he knew,was onlyto invent something,but he could not invent anything.Hehad been born too late,everything had been taken up be-fore he came into the world,everything had been writtenand told about.

  "Happy people who were born thousands of yearsago!"said he."They could easily become immortal!Hap-py even,those who were born hundreds of years ago,forthen there was still something to make a poem about;howthe world is written out,and what can I write poetryabout?"

  He worried about that till he became sick and ill. Wretched man!no doctor could help him,but perhaps thewise woman could!She lived in the little house beside thefield gate,which she opened for those riding and driving:she could open up more than the gate,she was wiser thanthe doctor,who drives in his own carriage and pays taxesfor his rank.

  "I must go out to her!"said the young man.

  The house she lived in was small and neat,but drearyto behold;there was neither tree nor flower;a bee-hive,which was very useful,stood outside the door;there was asmall potato patch,also very useful;and a ditch with sloe-bushes which had flowered and now bore berries,whichdraw the mouth together if one tastes them before they havegot frost.

  "That is a true picture of our unpoetic time,I seehere!"thought the young man,and it was always a thought,a grain of gold,that he found by the wise woman's door.

  "Write it down!"said she."Crumbs are also bread!I know why you come here;you cannot invent anything,and yet you want to be a poet by Easter!"

  "Everything has been written down!"said he;"ourtime is not the old time!"

  "No!"said the woman,"in olden times the wisewomen were burned,and poets went about with emptystomachs and holes in their elbows.The time is good,itis the very best!but you have not the right outlook on thething.You have not sharpened your hearing,and you donot say the Lord's Prayer at night.There is quite a lot ofall kinds of things to write poems about and tell of,if onecan tell.You can glean it from the plants and fruits ofthe earth,draw it from the running and the still waters,but you must understand it,understand how to catch asunbeam.Now try my spectacles,put my ear-trumpet inyour ear,pray to our Father,and leave off thinking ofyourself!"

  The last thing was very difficult,more than a wisewoman ought to ask.

  He got the spectacles and the ear-trumpet and wasplaced in the middle of the potato-patch;she gave him abig potato in his hand;sounds came from it;there came asong with words,the story of the potato,interesting—aneveryday story in ten parts;ten lines were enough.Andwhat did the potato sing?

  It sang about itself and its family;the coming of thepotatoes to Europe,the misjudgement they had experi-enced and suffered,before they stood acknowledged as agreater blessing than a lump of gold.

  "We were distributed by royal command from thecouncil-houses in all towns;notification of our great im-portance was given,but people did not believe in it,anddid not even understand how to plant us.One dug a holeand threw the whole of his bushel of potatoes into it;an-other stuck one potato here,one there,in the earth andexpected that they would each shoot up a perfect tree, from which one could shake potatoes.There came growth,flowers,and watery fruit,but it all withered away.Noone thought of what lay at the root,the blessing,—thepotatoes.

  "Yes,we have experienced and suffered—that is tosay,our ancestors,they and we,it is all the same thing!What a story!"

  "Yes,now that will do!"said the woman."Now look at the sloe-bush!"

  "We have also,"said the sloe,"near relations in thehome of the potatoes,farther north than they grow.North-men came there from Norway;they steered west through fogand storms to an unknown land,where,behind ice andsnow,they found plants and vegetables,bushes with blue-black grapes—the sloe-berries;the grapes were ripened bythe frost,just as we are.And the country was called'wine-land','green-land','sloe-land'!"

  "That is quite a romantic story!"said the young man.

  "Yes.Now come with me!"said the wise woman, and led him to the bee-hive.He looked into it.What lifeand stir!Bees stood in all the passages and waved theirwings,so that there might be fresh draughts of air in thewhole factory:that was their business.Now came from out-side,bees born with baskets on their legs;they broughtpollen-dust,which was shaken out,sorted and made intohoney and wax.They flew in and out.The queen-beewanted to fly too,but they must all go with her;it was notyet time for that:but still she wished to fly;so they bitthe wings off her Majesty,and so she had to remain.

  "Now get up on the earth-bank!"said the woman, "Come and look out over the highway,where people are tobe seen!"

  "What a crowd it is!"said the young man."Story af-ter story!it whirls and whirls!I get quite confused.I shallfall backwards!"

  "No,go forward,"said the woman,"go right into thecrowd,have an eye for it,an ear for it,and a heart aswell!then you will soon invent something;but before yougo,I must have my spectacles and my ear-trumpet,"andso saying she took them both.

  "Now I can't see the least thing!"said the youngman,"now I hear nothing more!"

  "Well,then,you can't become a poet before East-er,"said the wise woman.

  "But when,then?"he asked.

  "Neither by Easter,nor by Whitsuntide!You will notlearn how to invent anything."

  "What shall I do,then,to earn my bread by poetry?"

  "You can join in the Shrove-Tuesday sports,andknock the poets out of the barrel!To hit at their writingsis as good as hitting themselves.Only don't let yourselfbe abashed;strike boldly,and so you will get dumplingswith which you can feed both your wife and yourself."

  "What one can invent!"said the young man,and sohe knocked down every other poet,because he could notbe a poet himself.

  We have it from the wise woman;she knows whatone can invent.

  创造

  从前有一个年轻人,他研究怎样做一个诗人。他想在复活节就成为一个诗人,而且要讨一个太太,靠写诗来生活。他知道,写诗不过是一种创造,而他却不会创造。他出生得太迟;在他没有来到这个世界以前,一切东西已经被人创造出来了,一切东西已经被做成了诗,写出来了。

  “几千年以前出生的人啊,你们真是幸福!”他说。“他们容易成为不朽的人!即使在几百年以前出生的人,也是幸福的,因为那时他们还可以有些东西写成诗。现在全世界的诗都写完了,我还有什么诗可写呢?”

  他为此忧心忡忡,结果他病起来了。可怜的人!没有什么医生可以治他的病!也许巫婆能够治吧!她住在草场入口旁边的一个小屋子里。她专为那些骑马和坐车的人开草场的门,她能开的东西还不只是门呢。她比医生还要聪明,因为医生只会赶自己的车子和交付他的所得税。

  “我非去拜访她一下不可!”这位年轻人说。

  她所住的房子是既小巧,又干净,可是看上去却很沉闷。这儿既没有树,也没有花;门口只有一窝蜜蜂,很有用!还有一小块种马铃薯的地。也很有用!还有一条沟,旁边有一个野李树丛——已经开过了花,现在正在结果,而这些果子在没有下霜以前,只要你尝一下,就可以把你的嘴酸得张不开。

  “我在这儿所看到的,正是我们这个毫无诗意的时代的一幅图画!”年轻人想。这个在巫婆门口所起的感想可以说是像一粒金子。

  “把它写下来吧!”她说。“面包屑也是面包呀!我知道你为什么要到这儿来。你的文思干涸,而你却想在复活节成为一个诗人!”

  “一切东西早已被人写完了!”他说;“我们这个时代并不是古代呀!”

  “不对!”巫婆说,“古时巫婆总是被人烧死,而诗人总是饿着肚皮,衣袖总是磨穿了洞。现在是一个很好的时代,它是最好的时代!不过你看事情总是不对头。你的听觉不锐敏,你在晚上也不念《主祷文》。这里有各色各样的东西可以写成诗,讲成故事,如果你会讲的话,你可以从大地的植物和收获汲取题材,你可以从死水和活水汲取题材,不过你必须了解怎样摄取阳光。现在请你把我的眼镜戴上,把我的听筒安上吧,同时还请你对上帝祈祷,不要老想着你自己吧!”

  最后的这件事情最困难,一个巫婆不应该这样要求。

  他拿着眼镜和听简;他被领到一块种满了马铃薯的地里去。她给他一个大马铃薯捏着。它里面发出声音来,它唱出一支歌来:有趣的马铃薯之歌——一个分做10段的日常故事;10行就够了。

  马铃薯到底唱的什么呢?

  它歌唱它自己和它的家族:马铃薯是怎样到欧洲来的,在它还没有被人承认比一块金子还贵重以前,它们遭遇到了一些什么不公正的待遇。

  “朝廷命令各城的市政府把我们分配出去。我们有极大的重要性,这在通令上都说明了,不过老百姓还是不相信;他们甚至还不懂怎样来栽种我们。有人挖了一个洞,把整斗的马铃薯都倒进里面去;有人在这儿埋一个,在那儿埋一个,等待每一个长出一棵树,然后再从上面摇下马铃薯来。人们以为马铃薯会生长,开花,结出水汪汪的果子;但是它却萎谢了。谁也没有想到它的根底下长出的东西——人类的幸福:马铃薯。

  “是的,我们经历过生活,受过苦——这当然是指我们的祖先。它们跟我们都是一样!多么了不起的历史啊!”

  “好,够了!”巫婆说。“请看看这个野李树丛吧!”

  野李树说:“在马铃薯的故乡,从它们生长的地方更向北一点,我们也有很近的亲族。北欧人从挪威到那儿去。他们乘船在雾和风暴中向西开,开向一个不知名的国度里去。在那儿的冰雪下面,他们发现了植物和蔬菜,结着像葡萄一样蓝的浆果的灌木丛——野李子。像我们一样,这些果子也是经过霜打以后才成熟的。这个国度叫做‘酒之国’‘绿国’‘野李国’!”

  “这倒是一个很离奇的故事!”年轻人说。

  “对。跟我一道来吧!”巫婆说,同时把他领到蜜蜂窝那儿去。他朝里面看。多么活跃的生活啊!蜂窝所有的走廊上都有蜜蜂;它们拍着翅膀,好使这个大工厂里有新鲜空气流动:这是它们的任务。现在有许多蜜蜂从外面进来;它们生来腿上就有一个篮子,它们运回花粉。这些花粉被筛好和整理一番后,就被做成蜂蜜和蜡。它们飞出飞进。那位蜂后也想飞,但是大家必得跟着她一道。这种时候还没有到来,但是她仍然想要飞,因此大家就把这位女皇的翅膀咬断了;她也只好呆下来。

  “现在请你到沟沿上来吧!”巫婆说。“请来看看这条公路上的人!”

  “多大的一堆人啊!”年轻人说。“一个故事接着一个故事!故事在闹哄哄地响着!我真有些头昏!我要回去了!”

  “不成,向前走吧,”女人说,“径直走到人群中去,用你的眼睛去看,用你的耳朵去听,用你的心去想吧!这样你才可以创造出东西来!不过在你没有去以前,请把我的眼镜和听筒还给我吧!”于是她就把这两件东西要回去了。

  “现在我最普通的东西也看不见了!”年轻人说,“现在我什么也听不见了!”

  “唔,那么在复活节以前你就不能成为一个诗人了,”巫婆说。

  “那么在什么时候呢?”他问。

  “既不在复活节,也不在圣灵降临周!你学不会创造任何东西的。”

  “那么我怎么做呢?我怎样靠诗来吃饭呢?”

  “这个你在四旬节以前就可以做到了!你可以一棒子把诗人打垮!打击他们的作品跟打击他们的身体是一样的。但是你自己不要感到不安,勇敢地去打击吧,这样你才可以得到汤团吃,养活你的老婆和你自己!”

  “一个人能创造的东西真多!”年轻人说。

  于是他就去打击每个别的诗人,因为他自己不能成为一个诗人。

  这个故事我们是从那个巫婆那里听来的;

  她知道一个人能创造出什么东西。

  这篇小品首先发表在《青少年河边杂志》第3卷上,于1869年10月出版,接着在同年12月17日被收进在丹麦出版的《三篇新的童话和故事集》里。这篇作品是安徒生切身有所感而写的。他的作品在本国不仅长期没有得到文艺界的承认……主要是因为他与一些“哥儿们”的作家和诗人无因缘,还经常受到打击。“‘一个人能创造的东西真多!’年轻人说。于是他就去打击每个别的诗人。因为他自己不能成为一个诗人。”这也是中外古今普遍存在的现象。

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