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当前位置:查字典高考网>高考总复习>高考英语复习方法>英文小说连载《朗读者The Reader》Part 2 Chapter 8

英文小说连载《朗读者The Reader》Part 2 Chapter 8

来自:查字典高考网 2019-01-07

THE GERMAN version of the book that the daughter had written about her time in the camps did not appear until after the trial. During the trial the manuscript was available, but to those directly involved. I had to read the book in English, an unfamiliar and laborious exercise at the time. And as always, the alien language, unmastered and struggled over, created a strange concatenation of distance and immediacy. I worked through the book with particular thoroughness and yet did not make it my own. It remained as alien as the language itself.

Years later I reread it and discovered that it is the book that creates distance. It does not invite one to identify with it and makes no one sympathetic, neither the mother nor the daughter, nor those who shared their fate in various camps and finally in Auschwitz and the satellite camp near Cracow. It never gives the barracks leaders, the female guards, or the uniformed security force clear enough faces or shapes for the reader to be able to relate to them, to judge their acts for better or worse. It exudes the very numbness I have tried to describe before. But even in her numbness the daughter did not lose the ability to observe and analyze. And she had not allowed herself to be corrupted either by self-pity or by the self-confidence she had obviously drawn from the fact that she had survived and not only come through the years in the camps but given literary form to them. She writes about herself and her pubescent, precocious, and, when necessary, cunning behavior with the same sobriety she uses to describe everything else.

Hanna is neither named in the book, nor is she recognizable or identifiable in any way. Sometimes I thought I recognized her in one of the guards, who was described as young, pretty, and conscientiously unscrupulous in the fulfillment of her duties, but I wasnt sure. When I considered the other defendants, only Hanna could be the guard described. But there had been other guards. In one camp the daughter had known a guard who was called Mare, also young, beautiful, and diligent, but cruel and uncontrolled. The guard in the camp reminded her of that one. Had others drawn the same comparison? Did Hanna know about it? Did she remember it? Was that why she was upset when I compared her to a horse?

The camp near Cracow was the last stop for mother and daughter after Auschwitz. It was a step forward; the work was hard, but easier, the food was better, and it was better to sleep six women to a room than a hundred to a barracks. And it was warmer; the women could forage for wood on the way from the factory to the camp, and bring it back with them. There was the fear of selections, but it wasnt as bad as at Auschwitz. Sixty women were sent back each month, sixty out of around twelve hundred; that meant each prisoner had a life expectancy of twenty months, even if she only possessed average strength, and there was always the hope of being stronger than the average. Moreover, there was also the hope that the war would be over in less than twenty months.

The misery began when the camp was closed and the prisoners set off towards the west. It was winter, it was snowing, and the clothing in which the women had frozen in the factory and just managed to hold out in the camp was completely inadequate, but not as inadequate as what was on their feet, often rags and sheets of newspaper tied so as to stay on when they stood or walked around, but impossible to make withstand long marches in snow and ice. And the women did not just march; they were driven, and forced to run. Death march? asks the daughter in the book, and answers, No, death trot, death gallop. Many collapsed along the way; others never got to their feet again after nights spent in barns or leaning against a wall. After a week, almost half the women were dead.

The church made a better shelter than the barns and walls the women had had before. When they had passed abandoned farms and stayed overnight, the uniformed security force and the female guards had taken the living quarters for themselves. Here, in the almost deserted village, they could commandeer the priests house and still leave the prisoners something more than a barn or a wall. That they did it, and that the prisoners even got something warm to eat in the village seemed to promise an end to the misery. The women went to sleep. Shortly afterwards the bombs fell. As long as the steeple was the only thing burning, the fire could be heard in the church, but not seen. When the tip of the steeple collapsed and crashed down onto the rafters, it took several minutes for the glow of the fire to become visible. By then the flames were already licking downwards and setting clothes alight, collapsing burning beams set fire to the pews and pulpit, and soon the whole roof crashed into the nave and started a general conflagration.

The daughter thinks the women could have saved themselves if they had immediately gotten together to break down one of the doors. But by the time they realized what had happened and was going to happen, and that no one was coming to open the doors, it was too late. It was completely dark when the sound of the falling bombs woke them. For a while they heard nothing but an eerie, frightening noise in the steeple, and kept absolutely quiet, so as to hear the noise better and figure out what it was. That it was the crackling and snapping of a fire, that it was the glow of flames that flared up now and again behind the windows, that the crash above their heads signaled the spreading of the fire from the steeple to the roofall this the women realized only once the rafters began to burn. They realized, they screamed in horror, screamed for help, threw themselves at the doors, shook them, beat at them, screamed.

When the burning roof crashed into the nave, the shell of the walls acted like a chimney. Most of the women did not suffocate, but burned to death in the brilliant roar of the flames. In the end, the fire even burned its glowing way through the ironclad church doors. But that was hours later.

Mother and daughter survived because the mother did the right thing for the wrong reasons. When the women began to panic, she couldnt bear to be among them anymore. She fled to the gallery. She didnt care that she was closer to the flames, she just wanted to be alone, away from the screaming, thrashing, burning women. The gallery was narrow, so narrow that it was barely touched by the burning beams. Mother and daughter stood pressed against the wall and saw and heard the raging of the fire. Next day they didnt dare come down and out of the church. In the darkness of the following night, they were afraid of not finding the stairs and the way out. When they left the church in the dawn of the day after that, they met some of the villagers, who gaped at them in silent astonishment, but gave them clothing and food and let them walk on.

那位女儿写的关于她在集中营生活的那本书的德文版,在法庭审判结束后才出版。虽然在法庭审理期间已经有草稿,但是,只有与此案有关的人才能得到。我只好读英文版的,这对当时的我来说是件非同寻常和颇为吃力的事情。运用一门尚未完全掌握的外语,总会让人产生一种特有的若即若离、似是而非的感觉。尽管人们特别仔细认真地读过那本书,但仍旧没把它变为自己的东西。就像对书写它的这门外语一样,人们对它的内容也感到陌生。

多年以后,我又重读了那本书,并且发现,这种距离感是书本身造成的。它没能让你从中辨认出任何人,也不使任何人让你同情,包括那母女俩以及和她们一起在不同的集中营里呆过,最后在奥斯威辛和克拉科夫遭受了共同命运的那些人。无论是集中营元老、女看守,还是警卫,他们的形象都不鲜明,以致人们无法褒贬他们的行为。书中充斥着我在前面已经描述过的那种麻木不仁。然而,在这种麻木不仁中,那位女儿并没有失去记录和分析事实的能力。她没有垮下来,她的自怜和由此产生的自觉意识没有使她垮下来。她活下来了,集中营里的那几年,她不但熬过来了,而且还用文学形式又把它再现了出来。她冷静客观地描述一切,描写她自己v她的青春期和她的早熟,如果必要的话还有她的机智。

书中既没有出现汉娜的名字,也没有任何东西可以让人联想到或辨认出她。有时候,我认为书中的某一位年轻漂亮的女看守就是汉娜:执行任务时认真到丧尽天良的地步,但是,我又不能肯定。如果我仔细地对照一下其他被告的话,那个女看守又只能是汉娜。但是书中还有其他女看守。在一所集中营里,那位女儿领教了一位被称做牡马的女看守的厉害,她年轻漂亮,俗尽职守,残酷无情,放荡不羁,正是这些令作者回忆起了这个集中营里这一位女看守。其他人也做过这种比喻吗?汉娜知道这些吗?当我把她比喻为一匹马时,她是不是回想起了这些,因而触及了她的要害?

克拉科夫集中营是那母女俩去奥斯威辛的最后一站。相比之下,到那里算是改善。那儿的活虽然繁重,但是生活容易些,伙食好些,而且六个人睡在一个房间总也比上百号人睡在一间临时搭建的木板房里要好。房里也暖和一些,女犯们可以从工厂回集中营的路上捡一些木材带回来。人们恐怕被挑选出来,但是这种恐惧感也不像在奥斯威辛那样严重。每个月有六十名女犯要被送回去,这六十名是从大约一千二百名中被挑选出来的。这样一来,人们只需拥有一般体力就有希望继续活二十个月,而且,人们甚至可以希望其体力超过一般水平。此外,人们也可以期望这场战争在不到二十个月的时间里就会结束。

随着集中营的被解散和囚犯的西迁,悲惨再次降临。当时正值隆冬时节,冰天雪地。女囚们身上穿的衣服在工厂里已是薄不可耐,在集中营里尚能让人承受,但是在冰天雪地里就不足以抵寒了。她们的鞋子就更惨了,它们通常是用破布或报纸做的,这样的鞋在站立和慢走时还能不散架子,但是在冰天雪地里进行长途跋涉就不可能不散架子了。那些女人不仅仅要长途跋涉,她们常被驱赶着小跑。向死亡进军?那位女儿在书中这样问道并回答道,不,是赶死,是向死亡飞奔!许多人在路上就垮掉了,又有许多人在粮仓里,或者在一面墙下过夜后就再也爬不起来了。一个星期之后,这些妇女中几乎一半都死掉了。

教堂要比那些女囚此前的栖身之处粮仓或墙下要好多了。在这之前,当她们经过被遗弃的庭院并在那过夜时,警卫队和女看守们就分别占据能住人的房间。但在这里,一个正在被遗弃的村庄,看守们住进了教士住宅,而让女囚们住进了一个比粮仓和墙角好得多的教堂里。她们这样做了。在村子里她们甚至还得到了热汤喝,好像结束这种痛苦不堪的生活变得有希望了。这些妇女就这样入睡了。随后不久炸弹就落了下来。教堂的塔尖在燃烧时,在教堂里面只能听得见燃烧声却看不见火焰。塔尖坍塌并砸到屋架后,又过了几分钟才看得见火光,随后火焰也一点一点地蹿了进来,点燃了衣服。燃烧着的房梁掉下来点燃了座椅和布道坛。屋架很快塌人大堂,一切都熊熊燃烧了起来。

那位女儿认为,如果那些女人马上齐心协力地砸开其中的一扇门的话,她们还是可以得救的。但是当她们明白过来,知道发生了什么事,什么事将要发生,以及没人给她们开门时,为时已晚。当击中教堂的炸弹把她们惊醒时,正值漆黑的夜晚,有好一会儿工夫,她们只听得见塔顶上的一种令人奇怪和惊恐杂音。为了能更好地听清楚、弄明白那杂音是怎么一回事,她们都屏住了呼吸。那是火焰发出劈劈啪啪的声音,火光时而在窗后闪烁,那是投在她们头顶上的炸弹,那意味着大火由塔顶蔓延到了房顶,女人们直到屋架上的火焰明显地看得见的时候,才意识到这些。她们一旦意识到了这些,就开始大喊大叫,她们惊慌失措呼喊救命,向大门冲去,一边叫喊,一边拼命地摇撼和捶打着大门。

当燃烧的房顶轰轰隆隆地塌到教堂里面时,教堂里面的墙皮脱落下来使火势更旺,就像一座壁炉一样。大多数女人并不是窒息而死,而是被熊熊燃烧的大火给活活烧死的。最后,大火甚至烧透、烧红了教堂的铁皮大门,不过那是几个小时之后的事情了。那母女俩能活下来,完全是侥幸。当那些女人陷入惊慌失措时,她们也在其中。由于实在无法忍受,她们逃到了教堂的廊台上。尽管她们在那儿离火焰更近,但是这无所谓,她们只想单独呆着,远离那些吱哇乱叫的、挤来又挤去的、浑身上下着火的女人。廊台上很狭窄,狭窄到燃烧着的房顶都没有触及到它。母女俩紧紧地挨在一起,站在墙边,看着。听着那大火的肆意燃烧。就是第二天她们都不敢走下台阶来,不敢走出去。夜幕降临后,在黑暗中又担心害怕摸不到台阶,找不到路。在第三天的黎明时分,当她们从教堂里走出来时,遇到了几位村民。村民们不知所措,目瞪口呆地凝视着她们而说不出话来。他们给了她们衣物和食物,然后让她们逃走了。