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Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, IV

鲁迅 狂人日記 四

An open mouthThis is a sentence-by-sentence translation of the fourth 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.

早上,我靜坐了一會兒。 In the morning, I sat quietly for a while.

陳老五送進飯來,一碗菜,一碗蒸魚; Old Chen brought some food in: a bowl of vegetables and a bowl of steamed fish;

這魚的眼睛,白而且硬,張著嘴,同那一夥想吃人的人一樣。 The eyes of this fish were white and hard, and its mouth open, just like those people who eat people.

吃了幾筷,滑溜溜的不知是魚是人,便把他兜肚連腸的吐出。 After I ate a few mouthfuls, it was so slippery I didn’t know if it was fish or human, and threw it all up from my guts.

我說“老五,對大哥說,我悶得慌,想到園裡走走。” I said “Old Chen, tell my elder brother I’m losing my head from being shut inside, and would like to walk in the garden.”

老五不答應,走了; Old Chen did not respond, and left;

停一會,可就來開了門。 After a while, though, he came and opened the door.

我也不動,研究他們如何擺佈我; I did not move, and studied how they moved around me;

知道他們一定不肯放鬆。 I knew they certainly were not willing to relax.

果然!我大哥引了一個老頭子,慢慢走來; And sure enough my elder brother led in some old codger, who walked in slowly;

他滿眼凶光,怕我看出,只是低頭向著地,從眼鏡橫邊暗暗看我。 His eyes were full of savagery, but he feared I would see it, and bowed his head as he approached, looking at me secretly across his glasses.

大哥說,“今天你彷彿很好。” My elder brother said: “Today you seem well.”

我說“是的。” I said “Yes.”

大哥說,“今天請何先生來,給你診一診。” My elder brother said “Today I have asked Mr He to come and examine you.”

我說“可以! ” I said “Fine.”

其實我豈不知道這老頭子是劊子手扮的! In reality, how could I not know that this old codger my executioner in disguise?

無非借了看脈這名目,揣一揣肥瘠: Taking my pulse was nothing but a pretext to estimate how fat I was:

因這功勞,也分一片肉吃。 for this contribution, he would be given a slice of flesh to eat.

我也不怕; I was not afraid;

雖然不吃人,膽子卻比他們還壯。 Although I do not eat people, my nerves were still stronger than theirs.

伸出兩個拳頭,看他如何下手。 I extended my two hands, to see how he would go about it.

老頭子坐著,閉了眼睛,摸了好一會,呆了好一會; The old codger sat down, closed his eyes, felt a few times, and looked blank for some time;

便張開他鬼眼睛說, then he opened his crafty eyes and said,

“不要亂想。 “Do not think such chaotic thoughts.

靜靜的養幾天,就好了。 ” Rest calmly for a few days and you’ll be fine.”

不要亂想,靜靜的養! Don’t think chaotic thoughts, rest calmly!

養肥了,他們是自然可以多吃; They’re fattening me up, which is natural as they’ll have more to eat;

我有什麼好處,怎麼會“好了”? What benefit do I have, how can I “be fine”?

他們這群人,又想吃人,​​又是鬼鬼祟祟, This group of people not only wants to eat people, but are also secretive about it,

想法子遮掩,不敢直截下手,真要令我笑死。 covering up their plans, not daring to go about it straightforwardly - this really made me laugh my head off.

我忍不住,便放聲大笑起來,十分快活。 I couldn’t help it, and let out a huge laugh, extremely happily.

自己曉得這笑聲裡面,有的是義勇和正氣。 I myself knew that within this laugh was courage and righteousness.

老頭子和大哥,都失了色,被我這勇氣正氣鎮壓住​​了。 The old codger and my elder brother’s faces paled, quelled by my courageous and righteous laughter.

但是我有勇氣,他們便越想吃我,沾光一點這勇氣。 Although I had courage, they just wanted to eat me all the more, to benefit from this courage.

老頭子跨出門,走不多遠,便低聲對大哥說道, The older codger stepped out of the door, and before he had gone far, said in a low voice to my brother,

“趕緊吃罷!” “Let’s eat him quickly!”

大哥點點頭。 My elder brother nodded his head.

原來也有你! You too, all along!

這一件大發見,雖似意外,也在意中: Discovering this fact, although it seemed unexpected, was actually in my mind:

合夥吃我的人,便是我的哥哥! Allied with the people who want to eat me - my own brother!

吃人的是我哥哥! My brother is someone who eats people!

我是吃人的人的兄弟! I am the brother of someone who eats people!

我自己被人吃了,可仍然是吃人的人的兄弟! I myself will be eaten by people, yet I am the brother of someone who eats people!

[← Part III](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman-3/" rel="prev "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, III") · [Contents](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman/" rel="content "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation") · [Part V →](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman-5/" rel="next "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, V")

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
  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 (this article)
  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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