给小朋友们的信(E. B. 怀特)

《夏洛的网》是世界儿童文学中永恒的经典,蜘蛛夏洛和小猪威尔伯那真挚的友谊感动了一代又一代的读者。这本书的作者E. B. 怀特除了《夏洛的网》之外,还为孩子们写了《精灵鼠小弟》和《吹小号的天鹅》两部文学经典。E. B. 怀特究竟是怎样开始文学之路,对自己的这些童话书又有怎样独到见解呢,今天小编分享一封怀特写给小朋友的信,也许我们可以从中找到答案,对这位伟大的作家也会有更深入的认识。这封双语版本的信来自译言网,更多精彩的双语文章请关注英语网站123的双语版块

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Letter from E.B. White
E.B.怀特(White)的信
This is the letter that Mr. White wrote before his death about his three books for children:
这是怀特先生去世前写的一封信,关于他的三本童话书。
Dear Reader:
亲爱的读者,
I receive many letters from children and can’t answer them all — there wouldn’t be time enough in a day. That is why I am sending you this printed reply to your letter. I’ll try to answer some of the questions that are commonly asked.
我收到很多小朋友写来的信,但不能一一回复。那样的话,我恐怕一天也写不完。所以,我在这里公开一并回复,尽量回答一些大家经常问到的问题。
Where did I get the idea for Stuart Little and for Charlotte’s Web? Well, many years ago I went to bed one night in a railway sleeping car, and during the night I dreamed about a tiny boy who acted rather like a mouse. That’s how the story of Stuart Little got started.
《精灵鼠小弟》和《夏洛的网》,这两个故事的灵感来自哪里?这个嘛……很多年前,在火车的卧铺车厢里,我做了一个梦,梦到一个个子很小的男孩,行为举止都像只老鼠,这就是精灵鼠小弟的灵感来源。
As for Charlotte’s Web, I like animals and my barn is a very pleasant place to be, at all hours. One day when I was on my way to feed the pig, I began feeling sorry for the pig because, like most pigs, he was doomed to die. This made me sad. So I started thinking of ways to save a pig’s life. I had been watching a big grey spider at her work and was impressed by how clever she was at weaving. Gradually I worked the spider into the story that you know, a story of friendship and salvation on a farm. Three years after I started writing it, it was published. (I am not a fast worker, as you can see.)
再来说说夏洛的网。我喜欢动物,把我的畜棚打理得十分舒适。有一天,在去喂猪的路上,我忽然对那头猪产生了怜悯之情,跟所有的猪一样,它逃脱不了被宰的命运。想到这,我觉得很难过。于是我开始构想种种方法,可以拯救猪生命的方法。在这之前,我见过一只灰色的蜘蛛,我观察它织网,惊异于它高超的织网技艺。渐渐地,我把蜘蛛也编进了故事里,这个故事就是后来你们看到的,关于友谊,关于救赎,一个发生在农场里的故事。这个故事动笔三年以后,终于得以出版。(你们看,我写东西可不算个快手。)
Sometimes I’m asked how old I was when I started to write, and what made me want to write. I started early — as soon as I could spell. In fact, I can’t remember any time in my life when I wasn’t busy writing. I don’t know what caused me to do it, or why I enjoyed it, but I think children often find pleasure and satisfaction is trying to set their thoughts down on paper, either in words or in pictures. I was no good at drawing, so I used words instead. As I grew older, I found that writing can be a way of earning a living.
有时候人们会问,我是几岁开始写作的,是什么促使我动笔的。我开始得很早,会拼写的时候我就开始写作了。老实说,我都记不得我有什么时候不是在忙着写这写那的。我并不清楚是什么东西促使我拿起了笔,也不明白自己为什么这么喜欢写,不过在我印象中,小孩子经常会尝试把自己的想法变成纸上的东西,从中获得乐趣,得到满足,有时候是变成文字,有时候是变成图画。我并不怎么擅长画画,所以就选择了文字。等我再长大一些,就发现,原来文字还可以作为一种谋生的手段。
Some of my readers want me to visit their school. Some want me to send a picture, or an autograph, or a book. And some ask questions about my family and my animals and my pets. Much as I’d like to, I can’t go visiting. I can’t send books, either — you can find them in a bookstore or a library. Many children assume that a writer owns (or even makes) his own books. This is not true — books are made by the publisher. If a writer wants a copy, he must buy it. That’s why I can’t send books. And I do not send autographs — I leave that to the movie stars. I live most of the year in the country, in New England. From our windows we can look out at the sea and the mountains. I live near my married son and three grandchildren.
有些读者想让我去参观他们的学校。有些想让我送他们一张照片,一个签名,或者一本书。有些问了我好多问题——关于我的家庭,我养的牲畜,还有宠物。我虽然很想、但是却没法一一参观他们的学校。我也没法送书——不过我的书在书店里或图书馆里都可以获得。很多小朋友以为作家手上有很多自己的书,甚至以为作家会自己印书,但其实不是这么回事——书是出版社印的。就算作家自己想要一本自己的书,他也得自己出钱去买。这就是为什么我没法送书。我也从不送别人自己的签名——我觉得这种事情还是留给电影明星去干比较好。一年中大多数时间,我都住在新英格兰的乡下。从我住的房子窗户望出去,能看到大海,还有群山。我的儿子已经结婚,有三个孩子,我跟他们住得很近。
Are my stories true, you ask? No, they are imaginary tales, containing fantastic characters and events. In real life, a family doesn’t have a child who looks like a mouse; in real life, a spider doesn’t spin words in her web. In real life, a swan doesn’t blow a trumpet. But real life is only one kind of life — there is also the life of the imagination. And although my stories are imaginary, I like to think that there is some truth in them, too — truth about the way people and animals feel and think and act.
有人问,我写的这些故事是不是真实的?不是,这些都是虚构的故事,那些奇妙的人物,美妙的经历,都是虚构的。在真实世界里,没有哪家的孩子会长成老鼠的样子;在真实世界里,蜘蛛也不会在蜘蛛网上织字;在真实世界里,天鹅更不会吹小号。但是,世界不止一种形式,真实世界只是其中一种——还有想象的世界。尽管我的故事是虚构的,我宁愿相信这些故事也包含着某些真实的成分。至少故事里那些人和动物,他们的所思所感,他们的行为方式,都是真实的。
Yours sincerely,
此致,
E.B. White
E.B.怀特

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该日志由 1zanxin 于2014年04月15日发表在 杂谈 分类下,
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