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Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, V

鲁迅 狂人日記 五

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

這幾天是退一步想: These last few days I have retraced my thoughts:

假使那老頭子不是劊子手扮的,真是醫生, supposing that old codger wasn’t my executioner, and really was a doctor,

也仍然是吃人的人, he’d still be someone that eats people;

他們的祖師李時珍做的“本草什麼”上, in their old master Li Shizhen’s “book on herbs” or whatever,

明明寫著人肉可以煎吃; it clearly states that human flesh can be fried and eaten;

他還能 說自己不吃人麼? can he still say that he doesn’t eat people?

至於我家大哥, As for my own older brother,

也毫不冤枉他。 I have hardly treated him unfairly.

他對我講書的時候, When he was teaching me,

親口說過可以“易子而食 ”; he said with his own mouth that you can “exchange sons and eat them”;

又一回偶然議論起一個不好的人, and another time when we happened to be discussing a bad person,

他便說不但該殺, he said then that not only should they be killed,

還當“食肉寢皮”。 but we should also “eat their flesh and sleep on their skin”.

我那時年紀還小, At that time I was still young,

心跳了好半天。 and my heart pounded for ages.

前天狼子村佃戶來說吃心肝的事, That tenant farmer from Wolf Cub Village coming to say about the eating of the heart and liver a few days ago -

他也毫不奇怪 , he hardly found that strange, either,

不住的點頭。 nodding his head continuously.

可見心思是同從前一樣狠。 You can see that his thoughts are just as cruel as before.

既然可以“易子而食”, Since you can “exchange sons and eat them”,

便什麼都易得 , then you can exchange anything,

什麼人都吃得。 and eat any person.

我從前單聽他講道理, I used to simply listen to him preach,

也胡塗過去; and remain as confused as before;

現在曉得​​他講道理的時候, now I know that when he’s preaching,

不但唇邊還抹著人油, not only are his lips still smeared with human grease,

而且心裡滿裝著吃人的意思。 but his mind is full of thoughts of eating people.

[← Part IV](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman-4/" rel="prev "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, IV") · [Contents](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman/" rel="contents "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation") · [Part VI →](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman-6/" rel="next "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, VI")

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
  5. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, V (this article)
  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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