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离开欧麦拉斯的人

离开欧麦拉斯的人



我们翻译这篇文章的理由


厄休拉·勒古恩(英语:Ursula Kroeber Le Guin,1929年10月21日-2018年1月22日),美国科幻、女性主义与青少年儿童文学作家。著有小说20余部,并与人合译老子《道德经》。所获文学奖与荣誉不计其数。她深受老子与人类学影响,作品常蕴含道家思想,写作手法流露出民族志风格。

其最广为人知的作品包括奇幻小说《地海传奇》系列与科幻小说《黑暗的左手》、《一无所有》。《地海传奇》系列常与J·R·R·托尔金的《魔戒三部曲》或C·S·路易斯的《纳尼亚传奇》相提并论。



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离开欧麦拉斯的人


作者:Ursula K. Le Guin

译者:邓舒丹&崔颖

校对:唐萧&宋一

策划:邓舒丹 & 刘蕊


With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the city Omelas, bright-towered by the sea. The rigging of the boats in harbor sparkled with flags. In the streets between houses with red roofs and painted walls, between old moss-grown gardens and under avenues of trees, past great parks and public buildings, processions moved. Some were decorous: old people in long stiff robes of mauve and grey, grave master workmen, quiet, merry women carrying their babies and chatting as they walked. In other streets the music beat faster, a shimmering of gong and tambourine, and the people went dancing, the procession was a dance. Children dodged in and out, their high calls rising like the swallows’ crossing flights over the music and the singing. All the processions wound towards the north side of the city, where on the great water-meadow called the Green Fields boys and girls, naked in the bright air, with mud-stained feet and ankles and long, lithe arms, exercised their restive horses before the race. The horses wore no gear at all but a halter without bit. 

燕子随着一阵钟声飞向天空,阳光沐浴下的海滨城市欧麦拉斯迎来了夏日节庆。泊在港口的船只索具上插满了飞舞的彩旗。游行队伍走在街道上,经过两边红顶漆墙的房屋,穿过年久生苔的花园、成荫的绿树、美丽的公园以及其他公共建筑。有的队伍祥和平静:老人穿着浅紫或灰色挺直长袍,工人师傅严肃安静,愉快的妇人抱着孩子边走路边聊天。其他街道上的音乐更加轻快,隐约能听见铃锣手鼓的奏乐声,人们纷纷起舞,整个队伍就是一场舞会。孩子们来来回回在人群中穿梭,他们的高声呼喊如同在音乐和歌声中飞燕翱翔于蓝天时的鸣叫 。所有游行行列弯弯曲曲地向城市的北部移动。在叫做“绿色旷野”的大水草甸上,男孩儿女孩儿在明亮澄澈的天空下光着身子,双脚和脚踝上沾满了泥泞。他们的手臂颀长而灵活,正在对躁动的马进行赛前训练。马身上只戴了没有嚼口的鞍绳。


Their manes were braided with streamers of silver, gold, and green. They flared their nostrils and pranced and boasted to one another; they were vastly excited, the horse being the only animal who has adopted our ceremonies as his own. Far off to the north and west the mountains stood up half encircling Omelas on her bay. The air of morning was so clear that the snow still crowning the Eighteen Peaks burned with white-gold fire across the miles of sunlit air, under the dark blue of the sky. There was just enough wind to make the banners that marked the racecourse snap and flutter now and then. In the silence of the broad green meadows one could hear the music winding through the city streets, farther and nearer and ever approaching, a cheerful faint sweetness of the air that from time to time trembled and gathered together and broke out into the great joyous clanging of the bells.

马鬃毛上辫着银色、金色和绿色的彩带。它们扇动着鼻翼,腾跃不已,向同伴夸耀着自己。他们非常激动,因为这是唯一把我们的盛典当做自己的节日来庆祝的动物。远在北边和西边,山峦在海湾周围半环绕着欧麦拉斯。在湛蓝的天空下,清晨的空气干净透明,冰雪覆盖的十八峰顶好像在阳光照耀下燃烧着白色火焰。风时不时地让赛道上的彩旗呼呼拍打着。在绿色大草坪的宁静中可以听到音乐飘扬在城市的街道,时而近时而远,犹如一阵甜蜜的香气,时而微微荡漾,时而聚集为一体,然后突然扩散,成为欢快的铃铛声。


Joyous! How is one to tell about joy? How describe the citizens of Omelas?

欢乐!怎么形容这个词?怎么形容欧麦拉斯城的居民呢?


They were not simple folk, you see, though they were happy. But we do not say the words of cheer much any more. All smiles have become archaic. Given a description such as this one tends to make certain assumptions. Given a description such as this one tends to look next for the King, mounted on a splendid stallion and surrounded by his noble knights, or perhaps in a golden litter borne by great-muscled slaves. But there was no king. They did not use swords, or keep slaves. They were not barbarians. I do not know the rules and laws of their society, but I suspect that they were singularly few. As they did without monarchy and slavery, so they also got on without the stock exchange, the advertisement, the secret police, and the bomb. Yet I repeat that these were not simple folk, not dulcet shepherds, noble savages, bland utopians. They were not less complex than us. The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe a happy man, nor make any celebration of joy. How can I tell you about the people of Omelas? They were not naive and happy children–though their children were, in fact, happy. They were mature, intelligent, passionate adults whose lives were not wretched.O miracle! but I wish I could describe it better. I wish I could convince you. 

要知道,虽然快乐,他们却不是头脑简单的人。但是我们已不再谈快乐这样的词。微笑已经成为了古老的东西。在此种描绘下,一个人通常会做出某种假设。此人可能会想象一位国王骑上宝马,贵族骑士守在四周,又或者躺在金椅上,由几个魁梧强壮的奴隶抬着。但是,这个地方没有国王。他们既不使用武器也不养奴隶。他们不是野蛮人。我不清楚这个社会的法律秩序,但猜想条规应该极少。他们没有君主和奴隶,不存在证券交易所、广告、秘密警察或炸弹。然而我要再次强调他们不是心思简单的人,不是敦厚的牧羊人,高贵的野人,也不是温良的乌托邦主义居民。他们不比我们简单。问题在于我们的陋习,在学究与世故之辈的推波助澜下,我们习惯把幸福看做一件愚蠢的事。只有痛苦才是智慧,只有邪恶才有趣。拒不承认邪恶的陈腐和痛苦的无聊是艺术家设置的陷阱。如果你不能战胜邪恶和痛苦,那就与之同流合污;如果你觉得痛苦,那就反复去体验。而事实上,颂扬绝望是对快乐的谴责,接纳暴力是失去对所有事物的把控。我们不能再描绘一个幸福的人,不能庆贺快乐。我要怎么向你们讲述欧麦拉斯的居民呢?他们不是天真快乐的孩子——虽然他们的孩子的确很快乐,相反,他们是成熟、智慧、热情的成年人,他们过着幸福的生活。啊,奇迹!但我希望可以描述得更好。我希望可以说服你们。


Omelas sounds in my words like a city in a fairy tale, long ago and far away, once upon a time. Perhaps it would be best if you imagined it as your own fancy bids, assuming it will rise to the occasion, for certainly I cannot suit you all. For instance, how about technology? I think that there would be no cars or helicopters in and above the streets; this follows from the fact that the people of Omelas are happy people. Happiness is based on a just discrimination of what is necessary, what is neither necessary nor destructive, and what is destructive. In the middle category, however–that of the unnecessary but undestructive, that of comfort, luxury, exuberance, etc.–they could perfectly well have central heating, subway trains, washing machines, and all kinds of marvelous devices not yet invented here, floating light-sources, fuelless power, a cure for the common cold. Or they could have none of that; it doesn’t matter. As you like it. I incline to think that people from towns up and down the coast have been coming in to Omelas during thelast days before the Festival on very fast little trains and double-decked trams, and that the train station of Omelas is actually the handsomest building in town, though plainerthan the magnificent Farmers’ Market.

在我的描述下,欧麦拉斯像是童话里的城市,属于过去、远方和曾经。可能你们最好自由地想象这座城市——假设这是解决问题的方式,因为我肯定无法做到满足你们所有人的想象。比如,那儿的科技发展状况怎么样?我想那里的街道上应该没有汽车行驶,没有飞机在空中飞行,因为欧麦拉斯居民是幸福的。而幸福建立在对必需之物、不必需但无害以及有害之物的正确判断之上。然而在中间选项中——属于不必要但亦无害之列,能提供舒适,奢侈和富足等事物——他们完全可以拥有中央暖气、地铁、洗衣机和其它尚未发明的奇特设施,像无燃料光能源动力,治疗普通感冒的药物等。只要你愿意,他们没有这些东西也毫无关系。我倾向于认为在节日前几天从沿海城镇前来欧麦拉斯的居民乘坐迷你高铁,双层电车。欧麦拉斯的火车站是整个城镇最美的建筑,虽然比宏伟的农贸市场朴素一点。


But even granted trains, I fear that Omelas so far strikes some of you as goody-goody. Smiles, bells, parades, horses, bleh. If so, pleaseadd an orgy. If an orgy would help, don’t hesitate. Let us not, however, have temples from which issue beautiful nude priests and priestesses already half in ecstasy andready to copulate with any man or woman, lover or stranger, who desires union with thedeep godhead of the blood, although that was my first idea. But really it would be betternot to have any temples in Omelas–at least, not manned temples. Religion yes, clergyno. Surely the beautiful nudes can just wander about, offering themselves like divinesoufflés to the hunger of the needy and the rapture of the flesh. Let them join theprocessions. Let tambourines be struck above the copulations, and the glory of desirebe proclaimed upon the gongs, and (a not unimportant point) let the offspring of thesedelightful rituals be beloved and looked after by all. One thing I know there is none of inOmelas is guilt. But what else should there be? I thought at first there were not drugs,but that is puritanical. 

但是,虽然有了火车,我担心目前为止你们有些人觉得欧麦拉斯太像一座“三好”城市了。像什么微笑,铃铛,游行,骏马这些中规中矩的事物。如果有人这样认为,那让他们狂欢吧!如果这招可行,就不要犹豫。但是,这儿不能有提供英俊牧师和漂亮女祭司的圣殿,他们赤身裸体,处于半迷醉状态,准备和男人或女人,爱人或陌生人,任何希望和血肉之神合为一体的人交媾,虽然这是我第一个想到的主意。但是,这个城市最好不要有任何圣殿——至少不要有人供职的圣殿。宗教可以存在,但要排除教士。当然,这些美丽的裸体男女可以随意活动,他们可以把自己当做圣洁的蛋奶酥献给有需要的饥民或者予人肉体之欢。让他们加入游行。让铃鼓为男女交合奏乐,锣鼓歌颂欲望的荣耀。(重要的一点)让在这些快乐仪式上孕育的后代得到所有人的疼爱和照顾。有一件事我是知道的,那就是欧麦拉斯不存在罪恶。这里还应该有什么?我开始觉得这里不能有毒品,但那太清教主义了。

译者注:

The term “puritan” was coined in 1560s, which at first was not intended to refer to strict morality,but a reforming attitude towards established churches.


For those who like it, the faint insistent sweetness of drooz mayperfume the ways of the city, drooz which first brings a great lightness and brilliance to the mind and limbs, and then after some hours a dreamy languor, and wonderful visionsat last of the very arcana and inmost secrets of the Universe, as well as exciting thepleasure of sex beyond belief; and it is not habit-forming. For more modest tastes I thinkthere ought to be beer. What else, what else belongs in the joyous city? The sense ofvictory, surely, the celebration of courage. But as we did without clergy, let us do withoutsoldiers. The joy built upon successful slaughter is not the right kind of joy; it will not do;it is fearful and it is trivial. A boundless and generous contentment, a magnanimoustriumph felt not against some outer enemy but in communion with the finest and fairestin the souls of all men everywhere and the splendor of the world’s summer: this is whatswells the hearts of the people of Omelas, and the victory they celebrate is that of life. Ireally don’t think many of them need to take drooz.

如果希望这里有毒品,就让“德鲁兹”微弱而持续的甜味儿飘散在大街小巷。刚服药的时候,大脑和四肢飘然欲醉,妙不可及,几个小时后睡意昏沉,最后出现对宇宙终极奥妙的完美幻想以及无比刺激的性爱快感;并且这种药不会让人上瘾。对于口味平淡的人,我认为这里应该有啤酒。还有什么?这个快乐的城市还应该拥有什么?一种胜利的氛围,当然还有对勇敢的歌颂。既然我们的城市没有教士,那士兵也不必要了。建立在杀戮上的快乐不是正义的快乐;我们拒绝杀戮,因为这样的快乐既令人害怕又那么微不足道。我们需要无限的满足,慷慨的满足,一种崇高的胜利,这种胜利之情不是来自战胜外敌,而是因为和所有美丽高贵的灵魂相互交融,体会世间夏日的精彩:这就是为什么欧麦拉斯居民的心灵浸润着幸福,他们庆祝生命的胜利。我相信他们很多人并不需要“德鲁兹”。


Most of the procession have reached the Green Fields by now. A marvelous smell of cooking goes forth from the red and blue tents of the provisioners. The faces of small children are amiably sticky; in the benign grey beard of a man a couple of crumbs of rich  pastry are entangled. The youths and girls have mounted their horses and arebeginning to group around the starting line of the course. An old women, small, fat, andlaughing, is passing out flowers from a basket, and tall young men where her flowers intheir shining hair. A child of nine or ten sits at the edge of the crowd, alone, playing on awooden flute. People pause to listen, and they smile, but they do not speak to him, forhe never ceases playing and never sees them, his dark eyes wholly rapt in the sweet,thin magic of the tune.

大多数队伍现在已经到了“绿色旷野”。烹饪食物的香气从供食人家的红蓝帐篷里飘出。小孩子的脸蛋黏乎乎的,透着可爱;一位慈祥的老人留着一把灰胡子,上面沾着几粒甜蜜的酥饼屑。男孩儿女孩儿们已经骑到了马背上,开始往赛道的起跑线靠拢。一位身材娇小浑圆的老妇人从篮子里给人送花儿,身材修长的青年接过,插在他们光亮的头发上。一个大概九、十岁的孩子,独自坐在人群外吹着一支木笛,行人停下倾听、微笑,但他们不会和他交谈,因为男孩儿没有停止吹奏,也没有注意到他们。笛声优美动听,他那黑色双眼完全沉浸在其中了。


He finishes, and slowly lowers his hands holding the wooden flute.

吹奏结束,他慢慢放下双手,握着笛子。


As if that little private silence were the signal, all at once a trumpet sounds from the pavilion near the starting line: imperious, melancholy, piercing. The horses rear on their slender legs, and some of them neigh in answer. Sober-faced, the young riders stroke the horses’ necks and soothe them, whispering, “Quiet, quiet, there my beauty, myhope…” They begin to form in rank along the starting line. The crowds along the racecourse are like a field of grass and flowers in the wind. The Festival of Summer has begun.

男孩儿短暂的沉默似乎是个信号,号角声突然从邻近起跑线的亭子里响起:急切,孤独,又极具穿透力。马纷纷地向半空腾跃,有些嘶鸣着作为回应。年幼的骑手镇定自若,轻抚马颈让它们平息下来,低声说着,“好了,好了,我的美人儿,我的希望……”他们沿着起跑线排成一列。赛道边的人群像风中草地上飘荡的红花绿草。夏日庆典开始了。


Do you believe? Do you accept the festival, the city, the joy? No? Then let me describe one more thing.

你相信吗?你接受此种节日、城市和快乐吗?不接受?那让我再描述一件事吧。


In a basement under one of the beautiful public buildings of Omelas, or perhaps in the cellar of one of its spacious private homes, there is a room. It has one locked door, and no window. A little light seeps in dustily between cracks in the boards, secondhand from a cobwebbed window somewhere across the cellar. In one corner of the little room a couple of mops, with stiff, clotted, foul-smelling heads, stand near a rusty bucket. The floor is dirt, a little damp to the touch, as cellar dirt usually is. The room is about three paces long and two wide: a mere broom closet or disused tool room. In the room a child is sitting. It could be a boy or a girl. It looks about six, but actually is nearly ten. It is feeble-minded. Perhaps it was born defective or perhaps it has become imbecile through fear, malnutrition, and neglect. It picks its nose and occasionally fumbles vaguely with its toes or genitals, as it sits hunched in the corner farthest from the bucket and the two mops. It is afraid of the mops. It finds them horrible. It shuts its eyes, but it knows the mops are still standing there; and the door is locked; and nobody will come. The door is always locked; and nobody ever comes, except that sometimes-the child has no understanding of time or interval – sometimes the door rattles terribly and opens, and a person, or several people, are there. One of them may come and kick the child to make it stand up. The others never come close, but peer in at it with frightened, disgusted eyes. The food bowl and the water jug are hastily filled, the door is locked, the eyes disappear. The people at the door never say anything, but the child, who has not always lived in the tool room, and can remember sunlight and its mother’s voice, sometimes speaks. “I will be good,” it says. “Please let me out. I will be good!” They never answer. The child used to scream for help at night, and cry a good deal, but now it only makes a kind of whining, “eh-haa, eh-haa,” and it speaks less and less often. It is so thin there are no calves to its legs; its belly protrudes; it lives on a half-bowl of corn meal and grease a day. It is naked. Its buttocks and thighs are a mass of festered sores, as it sits in its own excrement continually. 

在欧麦拉斯那众多美丽的公共建筑中的其中一幢的地下室里,亦或在欧麦拉斯那众多宽敞的私人住宅中的其中一户的地窖里,有一个房间。这房间有一扇锁着的门,没有窗户。一点微光从木板上的裂缝间混着尘土钻进屋里,这光是从地窖另一侧某处布满蛛网的窗户透过来的。在这小屋的一角,放着几把墩布,墩布头硬挺挺地结成块,散发着臭味,墩布旁边有一只生锈的桶。地上满是尘垢,摸起来有点湿,正如地窖里的灰尘惯常那般。这小屋大约三步长两步宽:仅一个扫帚柜或废弃的工具间大小。一个孩子在这屋里坐着。说不好它是男是女。它看起来六岁左右,但实际上都快十岁了,是个低能儿。它也许生来如此,也许是因为害怕,营养不良和疏于照管才变成了这样。它蜷缩地坐在离那桶和两把墩布最远的墙角里,在那抠着鼻子,还不时心不在焉笨手笨脚地摆弄自己的脚趾头和生殖器。它害怕那墩布,觉得它们可怕极了。虽然它闭上双眼,但它知道那些墩布还立在那呢;上着锁的门;没人会来的。那门一直锁着;压根儿没人来,除了有时 —— 这孩子没有时间概念也不懂每隔一段时间是指什么 —— 一个或一群人过来把门弄得乒乓作响然后打开。他们中的一个也许会走上前去踢那孩子,让它站起来。虽然其他人从不靠近,但会朝它投去惊恐的、厌恶的眼神。这些人匆匆地把饭碗和水罐填满,再锁上门,便离开了。那些在门口的人从不说话,但这个孩子,它不是一直住在这个工具间里的,它能记起阳光和妈妈的声音,有时,它会开口。它说道,“我会听话的。” “请让我出去吧,我会听话的!”但那些在门口的人从未回应过它。这个孩子过去总是在夜里高声求救,大哭不止,但现在它只发出“嗯—啊,嗯—啊”的号哭,而且它开口说话的次数越来越少了。它太瘦了,连小腿肚子都没有;它的肚皮向前凸起,每天靠着半碗玉米糊和奶油度日;它光着身子,由于长期坐在自己的粪便里,屁股和大腿上全是溃烂的疮。


They all know it is there, all the people of Omelas. Some of them have come to see it, others are content merely to know it is there. They all know that it has to be there. Some of them understand why, and some do not, but they all understand that their happiness, the beauty of their city, the tenderness of their friendships, the health of their children, the wisdom of their scholars, the skill of their makers, even the abundance of their harvest and the kindly weathers of their skies, depend wholly on this child’s abominable misery. 

他们都知道它在那,欧麦拉斯的所有人都知道。一些人来看过它,而另一些人仅仅知道它在那便满意了。城里的人都知道它不得不呆在那个小房间里。有的人明白其中缘由,有的人不懂,但所有人都明白 :他们的幸福,城市的美丽,友谊的温柔,孩子的康健,学者的智慧,匠人的手艺,甚至丰登的富足和宜人的气候 —— 所有这一切都完全地取决于那孩子所承受得那令人厌恶的痛苦。


This is usually explained to children when they are between eight and twelve, whenever they seem capable of understanding; and most of those who come to see the child are young people, though often enough an adult comes, or comes back, to see the child. No matter how well the matter has been explained to them, these young spectators are always shocked and sickened at the sight. They feel disgust, which they had thought themselves superior to. They feel anger, outrage, impotence, despite all the explanations. They would like to do something for the child. But there is nothing they can do. If the child were brought up into the sunlight out of that vile place, if it were cleaned and fed and comforted, that would be a good thing, indeed; but if it were done, in that day and hour all the prosperity and beauty and delight of Omelas would wither and be destroyed. Those are the terms. To exchange all the goodness and grace of every life in Omelas for that single, small improvement: to throw away the happiness of thousands for the chance of the happiness of one: that would be to let guilt within the walls indeed. 

大人们通常是要把上述一切解释给孩子的,家长会在孩子八至十二岁之间,差不多具备理解能力的时候,把一切告诉他们。虽然去看那个小孩的大多都是年轻人,但经常也会有成年人去,或者再回去看它。无论家长之前把这事儿解释得如何头头是道,这些年轻看客一看到它总是感到既震惊又厌恶。这些年轻人感到恶心,他们之前还觉得自己高它一等。就算有种种解释,他们仍感到愤怒,满心愤恨又束手无策。他们想为这孩子做点什么。但他们什么也做不了。如果他们能把那孩子带出那令人作呕的小屋,让它沐浴在阳光下;如果他们能帮它洗干净、喂它吃饱、安慰它,这确实是好事一件。但如果他们这么做了,就在那时那刻,这城市所有的繁荣、美丽、宜人都将凋敝,并被摧毁殆尽。这就是条件。拿欧麦拉斯城中每个人的善良与风度的总和换取它处境的一丝改善:罔顾上千人的幸福就为一个人能拥有获得幸福的机会:这一切足够让愧疚留在那小屋的墙内了。


The terms are strict and absolute; there may not even be a kind word spoken to the child. 

这些条件既严格又绝对,甚至连句好言好语都不能对那孩子说。


Often the young people go home in tears, or in a tearless rage, when they have seen the child and faced this terrible paradox. They may brood over it for weeks or years. But as time goes on they begin to realize that even if the child could be released, it would not get much good of its freedom: a little vague pleasure of warmth and food, no doubt, but little more. It is too degraded and imbecile to know any real joy. It has been afraid too long ever to be free of fear. Its habits are too uncouth for it to respond to humane treatment. Indeed, after so long it would probably be wretched without walls about it to protect it, and darkness for its eyes, and its own excrement to sit in. Their tears at the bitter injustice dry when they begin to perceive the terrible justice of reality, and to accept it. Yet it is their tears and anger, the trying of their generosity and the acceptance of their helplessness, which are perhaps the true source of the splendor of their lives. Theirs is no vapid, irresponsible happiness. They know that they, like the child, are not free. They know compassion. It is the existence of the child, and their knowledge of its existence, that makes possible the nobility of their architecture, the poignancy of their music, the profundity of their science. It is because of the child that they are so gentle with children. They know that if the wretched one were not there snivelling in the dark, the other one, the flute-player, could make no joyful music as the young riders line up in their beauty for the race in the sunlight of the first morning of summer. 

当年轻人看到了这个小孩,又直面了这可怕的悖论,他们通常眼中含泪地走回家去,亦或是内心满载欲哭无泪的愤怒。这些年轻人可能会为这事儿闷闷不乐上几个星期甚至几年。但随着时间流逝,这些年轻人开始逐渐意识到,就算把这孩子放了出来,它也无法尽可能地去享受这份自由:它会从温暖的阳光与食物中感到一点恍惚的快乐,这点毋庸置疑,但也就这么多了。它智商太低又饱尝太多的羞辱,已经没法感知任何真正的愉悦了;它在恐惧中生活了太久,已经感受不到恐惧了;它的诸多习惯过于不雅,以至于它对人道待遇已经无法给出应有的回应了。确实,过了这么久,当四周没有墙壁再给他带来保护,不再有那双眼早已习惯的黑暗,也没有让它坐在其中的自己的粪便,它也许会感到难过呢。当年轻人开始认识到这可怕现实的公正,并接受了这一切时,他们为那苦涩的不公所流的眼泪便干了。然而,正是年轻人的眼泪、愤怒、他们尽力地尝试与束手无策地妥协,这一切也许才是他们蓬勃人生的真正本源。年轻人的人生中没有乏味且不负责任的幸福。但年轻人也知道,就像那个孩子一样,他们也并不自由。他们知道何谓同情。正是那孩子的存在,连同那份城中人对它存在的心知肚明,才让他们造出贵族气派的建筑,谱出催人泪下的乐章,探索高深广博的科学成为可能。正是由于那孩子的存在,人们对其他孩子格外温柔。他们知道如果那个可怜的孩子不在黑暗中哭哭啼啼,那另一个孩子,那个吹奏笛子的男童,便无法在立夏日的第一缕晨光中,在那些英姿勃发的年轻骑手为比赛列队时,奏出欢愉的乐曲。


Now do you believe in them? Are they not more credible? But there is one more thing to tell, and this is quite incredible. 

你现在相信这些年轻人了吗?他们难道不是更可信吗?但这里还有一件让人难以置信的事情要讲。


At times one of the adolescent girls or boys who go to see the child does not go home to weep or rage, does not, in fact, go home at all. Sometimes also a man or woman much older falls silent for a day or two, and then leaves home. These people go out into the street, and walk down the street alone. They keep walking, and walk straight out of the city of Omelas, through the beautiful gates. They keep walking across the farmlands of Omelas. Each one goes alone, youth or girl man or woman. Night falls; the traveler must pass down village streets, between the houses with yellow-lit windows, and on out into the darkness of the fields. Each alone, they go west or north, towards the mountains. They go on. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible that it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

有时,去看那个孩子的少男少女中的某个并没有跑回家哭泣或发怒,事实上,他/她压根儿就没回家;有时,也有比少年们年长不少的成年男女,他/她回家后陷入了沉默,这沉默持续了一两天,然后他/她便离开了家。这些离开家的人走上街道,朝街的那头独自走去。这些人一直走着,径直走出了欧麦拉斯城,穿过了那一扇扇美丽的大门。他们继续走着,穿过欧麦拉斯的那一片片农田。每个人都独自走着,他们也许是小伙子或年轻姑娘,也许是成年的男女。夜幕低垂;这些旅人必须穿过村庄的条条街道,道路两侧那一排排房子的窗玻璃上透出黄色的光,他们在其间穿行而过,再一直向漆黑的田地中走去。他们向西或向北,孑然一身,走向那群山之间。他们继续走着,他们离开了欧麦拉斯,他们走进了黑暗中,他们再也没有回来。对我们大部分人来说,他们去的那个地方,比起这座幸福之城来,简直更难已想象。我完全描述不出那地方来。那儿也许就不存在吧。但是那些人似乎是知道他们正去往何方的,他们便是那些离开欧麦拉斯的人。




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