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Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, Pt. I

鲁迅 狂人日記 一

[An open mouth](http://www.flickr.com/photos/timbobee/112621668/) This is a sentence-by-sentence translation of the preface and first chapter of 狂人日記 (Diary of a Madman) by 鲁迅 (Lu Xun).

As always, the translation here aims to be fairly literal at the expense of sounding idiomatic in English.

某君昆仲,今隱其名,皆餘昔日在中學時良友; Two brothers, whose names I shall keep secret here, were formerly both good friends of mine at middle school;

分隔多年,消息漸闕。 after a separation of several years, news gradually dried up.

日前偶聞其一大病; A few days ago I happened to hear that one of them was very ill;

適歸故鄉,迂道往訪,則僅晤一人,言病者其弟也。 as I was returning to my old home, I diverted my journey to go and call on them; I only met one, who told me that the one who was ill was his younger brother.

勞君遠道來視,然已早愈,赴某地候補矣。 “You’ve made the trouble to come far and see us, but he is already long recovered, and has gone elsewhere to wait to fill a vacancy.”

因大笑,出示日記二冊,謂可見當日病狀,不妨獻諸舊友。 At this he smiled widely, and took out two volumes of a diary, saying that the symptoms of that time could be seen and that there was no harm in offering it all to an old friend.

持歸閱一過,知所患蓋“迫害狂”之類。 I took them back to read, and realised that what he suffered from was a kind of “persecution complex”.

語頗錯雜無倫次,又多荒唐之言; The language was quite jumbled, with no coherence or order, and there was also a lot of absurd writing.

亦不著月日,惟墨色字體不一,知非一時所書。 It was also undated, and only where the colour of the ink and handwriting differed could I tell that it was written at different times.

间亦有略具联络者,今撮录一篇,以供医家研究。 But within were also some well-planned and connected parts, and here I’ve grouped together a section of the diary, so as to offer it to the medical profession for research.

記中語誤,一字不易; Of the errors in the diary, not one letter has been changed;

惟人名雖皆村人,不為世間所知,無關大體,然亦悉易去。 only people’s names, although they are all rural people unknown to the world and without any great significance, have rightly been changed in all cases.

至於書名,則本人癒後所題,不復改也。 As for the title, it is in accord with that chosen by the patient himself after recovery, and has not been changed again.

七年四月二日識。 Recorded 2nd April 1918.

今天晚上,很好的月光。 This evening, the moon is very bright.

我不見他,已是三十多年; I haven’t seen it for thirty years now.

今天見了,精神分外爽快。 Today I saw it, and my spirit was exceptionally refreshed.

才知道以前的三十多年,全是發昏; Only then did I know that these past thirty years or more, I have been completely in a daze.

然而須十分小心。 Yet I must be extremely careful.

不然,那趙家的狗,何以看我兩眼呢? Otherwise… that Zhao family’s dog - why did he look twice at me?

我怕得有理。 I have reason to be afraid.

[Contents](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman/" rel="contents "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation") · [Part II →](/3084/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman-2/" rel="next "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, Pt II")

If you notice an error or disagree with the translation, please comment below to make this a better resource.

Series: Diary of a Madman

  1. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, Pt. I (this article)
  2. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, Pt II
  3. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, III
  4. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, IV
  5. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, V
  6. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, VI
  7. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, VII
  8. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, VIII
  9. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, IX
  10. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, X
  11. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, XI
  12. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, XII
  13. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, XIII

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