A Few Memories of Mr. Lu Xun by Xiao Hong ~ 萧红 《鲁迅先生记》 with English Translations

作品原文

萧红 《鲁迅先生记》

鲁迅先生家里的花瓶,好像画上所见的西洋女子用以取水的瓶子,灰蓝色,有点从瓷釉而自然堆起的纹痕,瓶口的两边,还有两个瓶耳,瓶里种的是几棵万年青。

我第一次看到这花的时候,我就问过:

“这叫什么名字?屋中既不生火炉,也不冻死?”

每一次,走进鲁迅家里去,那是快近黄昏的时节,而且是个冬天,所以那楼下室稍微有一点暗,同时鲁迅先生的纸烟,当它离开嘴边而停在桌角的地方,那烟纹的卷痕一直升腾到他有一些白丝的发梢那么高。而且再升腾就看不见了。

“这花,叫‘万年青’,永久这样!”他在花瓶旁边的烟灰盒中,抖掉了纸烟上的灰烬,那红的烟火,就越红了,好像一朵小花似的,和他的袖口相距离着。

“这花不怕冻?”以后,我又问过,记不得是在什么时候了。

许先生说:“不怕的,最耐久!”而且她还拿着瓶口给我摇着。

我还看到了那花瓶的底边是一些圆石子,以后,因为熟识了的缘故,我就自己动手看过一两次,又加上这花瓶是常常摆在客厅的黑色长桌上,又加上自己是来自寒带的北方,对于这在四季里都不凋零的植物,总带着一点惊奇。而现在这“万年青”依旧活着,每次到许先生家去,看到那束花,有时仍站在那黑色的长桌上,有时站在鲁迅先生照像的前面。

花瓶是换了,用一个玻璃瓶装着,看得到淡黄色的须根,站在瓶底。

有时候许先生一面和我们谈论着,一面检查房中所有的花草。看一看叶子是不是黄了?该剪掉的剪掉,该洒水的洒水,因为不停地动作是她的习惯。有时候就检查着这“万年青”,有时候就谈着鲁迅先生,就在他的照像前面谈着,但那感觉,却像谈着古人那么悠远了。

至于那花瓶呢?站在墓地的青草上面去了,而且瓶底已经丢失,虽然丢失了也就让它空空地站在墓边。我所看到的是从春天一直站到秋天;它一直站到邻旁墓头的石榴树开了花而后结成了石榴。

从开炮以后,只有许先生绕道去过一次,别人就没有去过。当然那墓草是长得很高了,而且荒了,还说什么花瓶,恐怕鲁迅先生的瓷半身像也要被荒了的草埋没到他的胸口。

我们在这边,只能写纪念鲁迅先生的文章,而谁去努力剪齐墓上的荒草?我们是越来越远了,但无论多么远,那荒草是总要记在心上的。

英文译文

A Few Memories of Mr. Lu Xun
Xiao Hong

Mr. Lu Xun had a plant pot in his sitting-room. It looked like the jar European women fetched water with, as shown in paintings. It was of a bluish-gray, with a few ripples naturally embossed with its own glaze and, on either side of it, there was a handle close to the top. Planted in it was some evergreen.

The first time I visited Mr. Lu Xun I asked:

“What is the name of this plant? There is no fire in the room, but it is not frozen.”

It was toward evening one winter day. The sitting-room downstairs was dim. Mr. Lu Xun was smoking a cigarette. When he took it away from his lips, holding it between his fingers at the corner of his desk, small puffs rose as high as the top of his grayish hair and, further up, they were no longer visible.

“This plant is called evergreen. It’s always like that.” He flicked the cigarette ash to the ashtray next to the pot and the cigarette grew redder still like a small flower glimmering two or three inches from the cuff of his sleeve.

“It is not affected by the cold, is it?” I asked another time, not remembering exactly when.

“No, it is not.” said Mrs. Lu. “It’s a very tough plant.” She held the pot by the top, shaking it for me to see.

I noticed there were some pebbles around the bottom. Later, as I got to know them better, went up to the black table once or twice for a closer look at the plant. As I came from the cold north I always wondered why this plant did not wither even in winter.

The plant was now still alive. Sometimes it was placed on the black table, other times in front of Mr. Lu Xun’s photograph. But it had been transplanted into a glass pot through which their yellowish roots could be seen at the bottom.

Mrs. Lu would chat with us while moving from one plant to another, checking if any of them had turned yellow or needed clipping or watering. She would keep herself busy in her room. Sometimes she examined the evergreen, sometimes she talked of Mr. Lu Xun, in front of his photograph, as if of someone of remote past.

But where was the pot now? It was standing in the graveyard, in the grass, its bottom missing. The bottomless, empty pot had been there spring through autumn until the pomegranate at the head of the neighboring tomb had blossomed and borne fruit.

Since the Japanese bombardment of Shanghai only Mrs. Lu has made a detour to visit the tomb, but no others have ever been there. The tomb must have been overgrown with wild grass and the porcelain bust of Mr. Lu Xun buried up to the chest, not to mention what would have happened to the pot.

As for us over here, there is not much we can do but write some memorial articles. But who will go and trim the grass on his tomb? We are getting further and further away from him, but no matter how far away we are, we must remember the grass on his tomb.

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