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Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, XI

鲁迅 狂人日記 十一

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

太陽也不出, The sun does not come out,

門也不開, the door does not open;

日日是兩頓飯。 every day it's two meals.

我捏起筷子, I picked up my chopsticks,

便想起我大哥; and then thought of my brother;

曉得妹子死掉的緣故, I knew the reason for the death of my little sister -

也全在他。 that was him as well.

那時我妹子才五歲, At that time my little sister was only five;

可愛可憐的樣子, her cute, pitiful appearance

還在眼前。 is still before my eyes.

母親哭個不住, My mother cried endlessly,

他卻勸母親不要哭; but he urged mother not to cry;

大約因為自己吃了, probably because he'd eaten her himself,

哭起來不免有點過意不去。 and when she cried he inevitably felt guilty.

如果還能過意不去, If he could still feel guilt...

…… 妹子是被大哥吃了, .... little sister was eaten by her older brother;

母親知道沒有, whether my mother knew or not,

我可不得而知。 I had no way of knowing.

母親想也知道; I think mother did know as well;

不過哭的時候, but when she cried,

卻並沒有說明, she certainly didn't say it,

大約也以為應當的了。 probably because she thought it was acceptable.

記得我四五歲時, I remember when I was about four or five,

坐在堂前乘涼, sitting in the courtyard enjoying the coolness,

大哥說爺娘生病, my brother saying that if a parent is ill,

做兒子的須割下一片肉來, a child must cut off a piece of his own flesh,

煮熟了請他吃, boil it and give it to them to eat -

才算好人; only then could one be considered a good person;

母親也沒有說不行。 mother did not say that it wasn't right.

一片吃得, If one piece can be eaten,

整個的自然也吃得。 then naturally the whole can be eaten too.

但是那天的哭法, But the way she cried that day,

現在想起來, as I remember it now,

實在還教人傷心, truly makes one grieve;

這真是奇極的事! that really is extraordinary!

[← Part X](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman-10/" rel="prev "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, X") · [Contents](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman/" rel="contents "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation") · [Part XII →](/china/baihua/lu-xun-diary-madman-12/" rel="next "Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, XII")

If you notice a mistake 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
  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 (this article)
  12. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, XII
  13. Lu Xun Diary of a Madman translation, XIII

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