舍伍德·安德森的小说《鸡蛋》(The Egg)

作者: 阮一峰

日期: 2006年9月19日

珠峰培训

伍德·安德森(Sherwood Anderson)是20世纪早期美国著名的小说家,在美国文学史上有很重要的地位,海明威和菲茨杰拉德都受过他很大影响,海明威曾说:"他是我们所有人的老师"。

《鸡蛋》(The Egg)是舍伍德的著名短篇小说,网上找不到中译,只有英语原文,好在他的语言比较简单,我昨天就花了一个小时,把这篇小说读了一遍。

小说是用一个孩子的视角叙述的,讲的是他父亲的故事。

亲是俄亥俄州的一个农民,一直以种地为生。但是有了孩子以后,父亲和母亲决定为了孩子将来有出息,必须做一些"ambitious"的事情,不能再当农民了。父亲先开了一个养鸡场,但是没有成功。于是,全家搬到几英里以外的一个小镇上,改为开餐馆,最终也没有成功。小说讲的就是这样一个故事。

小说的前半部分是一个农村家庭苦难的奋斗史,后半部则是写作者的父亲企图用一个鸡蛋取悦他的客人,但是遭到失败。

在这里,那只鸡蛋实际上象征着命运和人生。作者的父亲企图改变命运,就像他企图征服那只鸡蛋那样。但是最终还是要失败,遭到他人的耻笑和命运无情的打击。

说先写了养鸡是何等艰难的事情:

One unversed in such matters can have no notion of the many and tragic things that can happen to a chicken. It is born out of an egg, lives for a few weeks as a tiny fluffy thing such as you will see pictured on Easter cards, then becomes hideously naked, eats quantities of corn and meal bought by the sweat of your father's brow, gets diseases called pip, cholera, and other names, stands looking with stupid eyes at the sun, becomes sick and dies. A few hens and now and then a rooster, intended to serve God's mysterious ends, struggle through to maturity. The hens lay eggs out of which come other chickens and the dreadful cycle is thus made complete. It is all unbelievably complex. Most philosophers must have been raised on chicken farms. One hopes for so much from a chicken and is so dreadfully disillusioned. Small chickens, just setting out on the journey of life, look so bright and alert and they are in fact so dreadfully stupid. They are so much like people they mix one up in one's judgments of life. If disease does not kill them they wait until your expectations are thoroughly aroused and then walk under the wheels of a wagon--to go squashed and dead back to their maker. Vermin infest their youth, and fortunes must be spent for curative powders. In later life I have seen how a literature has been built up on the subject of fortunes to be made out of the raising of chickens. It is intended to be read by the gods who have just eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is a hopeful literature and declares that much may be done by simple ambitious people who own a few hens. Do not be led astray by it. It was not written for you. Go hunt for gold on the frozen hills of Alaska, put your faith in the honesty of a politician, believe if you will that the world is daily growing better and that good will triumph over evil, but do not read and believe the literature that is written concerning the hen. It was not written for you.

后来,养鸡场开不成了,全家搬家的时候非常凄凉:

We must have been a sad looking lot, not, I fancy, unlike refugees fleeing from a battlefield. Mother and I walked in the road. The wagon that contained our goods had been borrowed for the day from Mr. Albert Griggs, a neighbor. Out of its sides stuck the legs of cheap chairs and at the back of the pile of beds, tables, and boxes filled with kitchen utensils was a crate of live chickens, and on top of that the baby carriage in which I had been wheeled about in my infancy. Why we stuck to the baby carriage I don't know. It was unlikely other children would be born and the wheels were broken. People who have few possessions cling tightly to those they have. That is one of the facts that make life so discouraging.

后来,新开的餐馆也遭受了失败。父亲竭尽全力取悦一位客人没有成功(象征和命运做斗争),遭到了客人的耻笑。这一段真正的涵义是命运在对父亲进行无情的嘲笑:

When he thought that at last the trick was about to be consummated, the delayed train came in at the station and Joe Kane started to go nonchalantly out at the door. Father made a last desperate effort to conquer the egg and make it do the thing that would establish his reputation as one who knew how to entertain guests who came into his restaurant. He worried the egg. He attempted to be somewhat rough with it. He swore and the sweat stood out on his forehead. The egg broke under his hand. When the contents spurted over his clothes, Joe Kane, who had stopped at the door, turned and laughed.

A roar of anger rose from my father's throat. He danced and shouted a string of inarticulate words. Grabbing another egg from the basket on the counter, he threw it, just missing the head of the young man as he dodged through the door and escaped.

父亲最终在命运面前屈服,所有的愿望都烟消云散了,心在流泪。

Then he laid it gently on the table beside the lamp and dropped on his knees beside mother's bed. He began to cry like a boy and I, carried away by his grief, cried with him.


小说的最后一句是作者的认识:一切都是鸡蛋的胜利,也就是命运对于他们家庭的胜利

It has stayed there, I imagine, because I am the son of my father. At any rate, the problem remains unsolved in my mind. And that, I conclude, is but another evidence of the complete and final triumph of the egg--at least as far as my family is concerned.


觉得前半部分比后半部分好,后半部分似乎有点落入俗套。

总的来说,我觉得这是一篇很优秀的小说,非常细腻动人,饱含深情。

优达学城

腾讯课堂

留言(14条)

很早就在一个选本里读过这篇小说,非常喜欢。

能和我联系么。我们编辑想约一篇卡尔维诺的书评///给我的信箱发你的电话好么。谢谢.

引用点点的发言:

能和我联系么。我们编辑想约一篇卡尔维诺的书评///给我的信箱发你的电话好么。谢谢.

抱歉啊,最近太忙了,而且我现在很少看卡尔维诺。以后有机会我帮你其他稿子吧。

可以要你的邮箱吗?我要写小镇畸人的本科毕业论文了 .希望得到你的帮忙.我只有英文版,我担心写作会有困难.我是刘佳,
liujiaxiu888@yahoo.com.cn

您好
我想写的本科毕业论文 但总觉得理解得不够深入 总是在很浅的一层 希望能得您高见指点 不胜感激!
qflqiqi@126.com

你好,很喜欢这篇文章,我也想这篇文章的本科毕业论文.
有那位文学爱好者给提点建议吗?

哇,一个小时就看完,你太牛了```

很到位的理解,的确有所启发

这篇文章好那看懂,看了阁下的解释,理解了很多,谢了...

你好,你的解释很到位,对阅读舍伍德·安德森的作品很有帮助。我即将要写论文了,是关于安德森的另外一部著作《小城畸人》,希望可以得到你的帮助。可以给我一些相关的资料么,关于他本人或其他作品的评论,介绍都可以。可不可以推荐一些书,对当时的时代背景,文学风格等。我的邮箱是:chinagazette@yahoo.com.cn
非常感谢!

您好,您对舍伍德的作品有很深的领悟,我希望能得到您的帮助。我的本科毕业论文题目是《小镇畸人》。希望您能给我一些相关的资料,和中文版本的原文翻译。不胜感激!

文字功底好深啊。。。十分仰慕。。。

您好
我是一名本科英语专业的学生想以鸡蛋的胜利为我的毕业论文写作对象,题目是:1. 《鸡蛋的胜利》的父亲母亲儿子的形象塑造 On the Characterization of Father, Mother and Son in “The Triumph of the Egg” 由于我准备复习考研 理解得不够深入和全面 资料收集的也不够 希望得到你的帮助和指点 提供一些资料书和信息 谢谢您!
422739497@qq.com

我也是要写鸡蛋的胜利,我实在是又复习专八又复习考研,时间太紧了现在理解的不深刻,资料特别少,能帮帮我吗?谢谢您了!

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