任睇No.1
  • 32º
  • 62%
  • 2022年6月27日 星期一

又中又英|Down in the mouth - Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


Years ago when I returned to Hong Kong from the US to take up a new job I packed my treasured possessions in boxes. I mailed these to my elder sister and younger brother. They both have large houses to store my boxes. Last August when I returned to the US I visited my younger brother who showed me my boxes. I couldn’t remember what treasured possessions were in his home. It was exciting to open the boxes to see what I had mailed to him so many years ago. Your treasured possessions are things you own or possess that are very important to you.

I found a picture of myself with Nancy Pelosi, the most senior Democrat in the US Congress. I had interviewed her several times when I worked in Washington DC many years ago. I also found a collection of classic 19th century novels by three English writers, the Brontë sisters. Charlotte, the oldest sister, wrote Jane Eyre, Emily wrote Wuthering Heights, and Anne, the youngest, wrote the Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I have read all three books several times. Wuthering Heights remains my favourite. Since I don’t yet have a permanent home in the US I asked my brother’s wife to donate the books and some other treasured possessions. I was a little down in the mouth when I saw my sister-in-law take the books for donation.

If you are down in the mouth it means you look very sad. But I was not down in the mouth for long because I knew other people would be able to enjoy the novels. When I left Hong Kong last August I donated all my books, including books I had written for Headline Daily, because there were too many to take with me. One book I donated was the 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird by the American author Harper Lee. She is not Chinese even though her last name is Lee! It is a very controversial book that many groups have tried to ban. I will explain why in my next column.
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許多年前,當我從美國回港接受一份新工作時,我將我珍愛的寶貝(treasured possessions)裝進箱中,郵寄給我的姊姊與弟弟。他們都有大房子可以收存我的箱。上年八月我回到美國的時候,探訪了弟弟,他向我展示了我的箱子。我都記不起在他家裏我放了甚麼珍藏(treasured possessions)了。拆開箱子,一一細看我那麼多年前寄給他的箱內到底藏着甚麼,實在令人興奮。你的 treasured possessions就是你所擁有,珍而重之的個人物品。

我找到了一張跟南茜‧佩洛西的合照,她是美國國會中最高職位的民主黨黨員。我許多年前還在華盛頓特區工作時,就曾採訪過她好幾遍。我也找到由三位英國作家,勃朗特三姊妹所著的一系列十九世紀經典小說。最年長的姐姐夏綠蒂寫了《簡‧愛》,愛梅麗寫了《咆哮山莊》,而最年幼的安妮則寫了《荒野莊園的房客》。這三本書我都讀過好幾遍,《咆哮山莊》一直是我的最愛。由於我在美國還沒有一個永久的居所,我便着弟婦將這些書連同其他一些珍藏(treasured possessions)都捐出去了。當我見到弟婦把書捐出去時,確實有點 down in the mouth。

若你是 down in the mouth,意即你神色沮喪、垂頭喪氣。不過我沒沮喪(down in the mouth)多久,因為我知道會有其他人得以欣賞這些小說。當我上年八月離開香港時,我將我的書全數捐出,包括我為《頭條日報》寫的那些專欄結集,因為我要隨身攜帶的東西實在太多了。其中一本我捐的書是一九六○年的小說《梅岡城故事》,由美國作家哈波‧李所著。雖然她姓李,她可不是華人!那是一本非常具爭議性的書,有許多團體曾經嘗試去禁制它。我會在下一篇專欄文章中談談箇中因由。中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧

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