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Say It Right Series

第一回: Chunk 22

Posted by henning August 10, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: 红楼梦, 第一回, 古文, classic

石头笑答道:"我师何太痴耶!若云无朝代可考,今 我师竟假借汉唐等年纪添缀, 又有何难?但我想,历来野史,皆蹈一辙,莫如我这不借 此套者, 反倒新奇别致,不过只取其事体情理罢了,又何必拘拘于朝代年纪哉!再者, 市井俗人喜看理治之书者甚少,爱适趣闲文者特多.历来野史,或讪谤君相,或贬人妻 女, 奸淫凶恶,不可胜数.更有一种风月笔墨,其淫秽污臭,屠毒笔墨,坏人子弟,又不 可胜数.至若佳人才子等书,则又千部共出一套,且其中终不能不涉于淫滥,以致满纸 潘安, 子建,西子,文君,不过作者要写出自己的那两首情诗艳赋来,故假拟出男女二 人名姓,又必旁出一小人其间拨乱,亦如剧中之小丑然.且鬟婢开口即者也之乎,非文 即理.故逐一看去,悉皆自相矛盾,大不近情理之话,竟不如我半世亲睹亲闻的这几个 女子,虽不敢说强似前代书中所有之人,但事迹原委,亦可以消愁破闷,也有几首歪诗 熟话,可以喷饭供酒.

I needed some help here and there and hope that I got the core message correct in the end (changye, liansuo, derek, please have mercy!). I would boil it down to: "Folks like sex and crime, not those Disney-stories with a hero couple, a villain, and a sidekick".

So here my try:
The stone replied laughing: "Why is my master so stubborn? If you say the dynasty cannot be determined, then, my master, make use of the time of 汉, 唐 etc. and fill [the story] up accordingly, what’s so difficult about that?

But the whole time in legends all trample in the same trace. Isn’t it better that  I don’t apply that same frame and on the contrary [make this] novel special and only follow the affair’s internal logic - and there is no need to restrain the dynasty and time?

Furthermore only very few common people like to reed books on righteuous conduct ("reasonable governing"). Very many love just entertainment literature. Throughout the story either ridiculing monarchs or debasing other people’s women, endless adultery and evil. And then there is this sort of love writings, that obscene, dirty, poisonous writing [that] spoils people, sons and brothers - [those books] are also absolutely countless.

Until in those books excellent people, talented sons etc. still come out by the thousand s in one novel, it in the end [still] cannot be avoided to also involve excessiveness. While filling the paper with 潘安 (a handsome boy), 子建, (the intelligent son of Cao Cao), 西子 (a famous beauty), 文君 (yet another famous beautiful and lovely woman), the author still wants to write his own two love poems and glamorous poetic essays, [so] he invents a couple, and then there must also appear a bad person as a side role who brings chaos just like there has to be clown in the story. Moreover even the maids speak highly educated. And if it is not a story then it is a textbook

[I] read one after another. All contract themselves, most are far away from logic. [They] cannot even be compared with the women observed in half my life with my own eyes. Although I do not dare to claim that they are better than all those people that have been written about in past generations.

But the background of the story can also divert from boredom, it also has entertaining poems, hot words, and can [make one] spit out food [e.g. because of laughing] and provide fun.

 

Breakdown:

石头笑答道:
The stone replied laughing


"我师何太痴耶!,
Why is my master so stubborn?

若云无朝代可考
If you say the dynasty cannot be determined

今 我师竟假借汉唐等年纪添缀, 又有何难?
now my master then make use (假借) of the time of 汉, 唐 etc. and fill it up accordingly (添缀), what’s the difficulty with that?


但我想,历来野史,
but the whole time (历来) in legends (野史)


皆蹈一辙,
all trample in the same trace (辙),

 

莫如我这不借 此套者,
Isn’t it betterthat  I don’t lend/use/apply (借) that  same frame  (此套者)

反倒新奇别致,
And on the contrary [make this] novel different/special/unique (别致)

不过只取其事体情理罢了,
but only take this affair’s (事体) causalities (情理)

再者,
furthermore

市井俗人喜看理治之书者甚少,
“marketplace (市井) layman” (common people) like to watch books on reasonable governing are really few

爱适趣闲文者特多.
very many love just entertainment (趣闲) literature

历来野史,
throughout the legend [story]

或讪谤君相,或贬人妻 女,
either ridiculing (讪谤) monarchs or debase (贬) other people’s women (人妻 女)

奸淫凶恶 不可胜数
endless (不可胜数) adultery (奸淫) and evil

更有一种风月笔墨, ,
moreover there is this sort of love (风月!) writing

其淫秽污臭,屠毒笔墨
That obscene (淫秽) dirty poisonous writing

坏人子弟
[That] Spoil (坏 as a verb!) people, sons and brothers

,又不 可胜数.
Are also absolutely countless

至若佳人才子等书
Until such books on excellent people, talented sons etc.

,则又千部共出一套,
However still a thousand  come out in one novel

且其中终不能不涉于淫滥,
Still it in the end cannot avoid (终不能不 to involve excessiveness (淫滥)

以致满纸 潘安,
By filling the paper with潘安 (a handsome boy from Chinese history)

子建,
(a very intelligent man – son of Cao Cao)

西子,
(a famous beauty of ancient China)

文君,
(no general here: a famous beautiful and lovely woman from history - main character of a reverse Cinderella story)

不过作者要写出自己的那两首来,
But the author wants to write his own two love poems (情诗) glamorous poetic essays (艳赋)

故假拟出男女二 人名姓,
Story invented two people (man and a woman) names [and thereby these people]

又必旁出一小人其间拨乱,
Also must appear a side role (旁出一) a bad persons who brings chaos

亦如剧中之小丑然.
Just like there has to be clown of a story

且鬟婢开口即者也之乎,
Moreover [Even] the servant[s]/maid[s] (鬟婢) speak[s] (开口) educuated / eloquent (者也之乎)

非文 即理.
If it is not a story (非文) then it is a (即) "logic book" -> scientific book ("Sachbuch"? - I make this a textbook]
非 -> 即 if not-then

故逐一看去,
[I] read one after another

悉皆自相矛盾,
(悉 in the sense of “be”??) all contract themselves (自相矛盾)

大不近情理之话,
Most are far away from (do not approach) logic (情理之话)

竟不如我半世亲睹亲闻的这几个 女子,
Even [I make this 竟 "even" to match the context better than "after all"] cannot compare with the women observed in half my life with my own eyes

虽不敢说强似前代书中所有之人,
Although I do not dare to claim that they are stronger/better than all those people that have been written about in past generations

但事迹原委,
But the background 原委 of the story (事迹)

亦可以消愁破闷,
Also can divert from boredom (消愁破闷)

也有几首歪诗 熟话,
also have "casual" / "entertaining" poems  [better English word for歪诗?], hot words,

可以喷饭供酒.
Can [make one] spit out food [e.g. because of laughing] and provide fun (供酒) [酒 as a metaphor for fun]

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