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翻译:霍乱时期的爱情 3  

2008-06-11 15:01:56|  分类: 我的翻译 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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3

 

医生迫不及待想和妻子分享信中的秘密,但还是多花了几分钟处理具体的细节。他答应通报城里众多的加勒比流亡者,其中一些可能想对死者致以最后的敬意。在所有流亡者中,至少他表现得最活跃、最激进,最令人尊敬,虽然后来的事再清楚不过地说明他最终溺于幻灭。他还要通知死者所有的棋友,不论贵贱,还有那些不太相熟但也许也希望参加葬礼的人们。读到遗书之前医生本来决定自己将是第一个出席葬礼的人,之后却什么也不确定了。不管怎么说,他将送上一个栀子花的花圈,万一耶利米.德.圣特阿莫尔在最后一刻做了忏悔呢。葬礼将在五点钟举行,在最炎热的季节,这是最合适的时间了。当天午后,医生要去拉西德斯·奥利维拉医生在乡间的别墅,这位他挚爱的弟子要举行一场正式的午宴来庆祝自己从业二十五周年,如果需要,他们可以去那里找到医生。

自从结束了早年那些努力奋争、暴风雨般动荡不安的岁月,朱维诺.乌尔比诺医生便过上按部就班的生活,并且功成名就,在本省的威望与地位无人可匹。他黎明即起,开始服用各种秘密药物:用来提神的溴化钾,治风湿痛的水杨酸盐,治晕眩的麦角固醇滴剂,起安睡作用的颠茄。每个钟头他都会服用点什么,总是偷偷儿的,因为在他漫长的医生和教师生涯里,他一贯反对给老年人开些治标不治本的处方:忍受别人的苦痛比忍受自己的要容易些。他的口袋里总是装着一小片樟脑,没人看到的时候就拿出来深深的吸一口,缓解一下同时服用这么多药物带来的恐惧。

清晨,他在书房用一个小时准备教案。从星期一到星期六,每天上午8点,他在医学院上常规临床医学课,直到临死的前一天。他在巴黎的书商寄来新出版的书籍,本地的书商则在巴塞罗那为他定购新书。他是个热切的读者,虽然对西班牙文学不象对法国文学那么关注。他从来不在早晨读这些书,只在午睡以后和夜里睡觉前读上个把小时。书房的工作结束后,他会在浴室打开的窗前做上十五分钟呼吸练习,总是对着公鸡打鸣的那一边,那儿的空气新鲜。然后他沐浴,洒真正的科隆水,在弥漫的香氛里整理胡须,给嘴唇的胡髭上蜡,穿上白色的亚麻衫,外加一件背心,一顶软帽和科尔多瓦的皮靴。八十一岁高龄的他依然保持着潇洒的风度和欢快的情绪,就和当年那场大规模霍乱开始流行后他从巴黎回来时一样,他的头发也和年轻时一样梳理得仔仔细细,从中间分开,只是颜色变成了金属色。他在家里用早餐,有属于他个人的一套养生食谱:先来一杯苦艾花茶灌胃,他自己剥一头大蒜,一次一瓣和着面包仔细地嚼下去,预防心脏病。每天课后,他鲜有空闲,总有这样那样的事情等着他:公民权利方面的事务,天主教会的活动,社会改革的议题,或者其他什么风雅的艺术活动。

他差不多总是在家里吃午饭,然后在院子里的露台上小睡十分钟。睡意朦胧中听着年轻的女佣在芒果树叶下唱歌,小贩在街头叫卖,海湾那儿传来柴油机和电动马达的轰鸣,排气管的废气飘过房子,在午后的炎热里,仿佛被判腐烂的天使。起来后他读上一小时书,主要是文学作品和历史著作,他教鹦鹉讲法语和唱歌,那只驯服的鹦鹉在本地已出名多年。四点钟,喝下一大玻璃杯加冰的柠檬汁,他便出门探望病人。尽管年事已高,他不愿呆在诊所里接待病人,他还像以往那样到他们家里去探视,城里治安良好,到哪儿都很安全。

 

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So he chose to spend a few minutes more and attend to all the details, although he could hardly bear his intense longing to share the secrets of the letter with his wife. He promised to notify the numerous Caribbean refugees who lived in the city in case they wanted to pay their last respects to the man who had conducted himself as if he were the most respectable of them all, the most active and the most radical, even after it had become all too clear that he had been overwhelmed by the burden of disillusion. He would also inform his chess partners, who ranged from distinguished professional men to nameless laborers, as well as other, less intimate acquaintances who might perhaps wish to attend the funeral. Before he read the posthumous letter he had resolved to be first among them, but afterward he was not certain of anything. In any case, he was going to send a wreath of gardenias in the event that Jeremiah de Saint-Amour had repented at the last moment. The burial would be at five, which was the most suitable hour during the hottest months. If they needed him, from noon on he would be at the country house of Dr. Lacides Olivella, his beloved disciple, who was celebrating his silver anniversary in the profession with a formal luncheon that day.
Once the stormy years of his early struggles were over, Dr. Juvenal Urbino had followed a set routine and achieved a respectability and prestige that had no equal in the province. He arose at the crack of dawn, when he began to take his secret medicines:potassioum bromide to raise his spirits, salicylates for the ache in his bones when it rained, ergosterol drops for vertigo, belladonna for sound sleep. He took something every hour, alwas in secret, because in his long life as a doctor and teacher he had always opposed prescribing palliatives for old age: it was easier for him to bear other people's pains than his own. In his pocket he always carried a little pad of camphor that he inhaled deeply when no one was watching to calm his fear of so many medicines mixed together.

He would spend an hour in his study preparing for the class in general clinical medicine that he taught at the Medical School every morning, Monday through Saturday, at eight o'clock,until the day before his death. He was also an avid reader of the latest books that his bookseller in Paris mailed to him, or the ones from Barcelona that his local bookseller ordered for him, although he did not follow Spanish literature as closely as French. In any case, he never read them in the morning, but only for an hour after his siesta and at night before he went to sleep. When he was finished in the study he did fifteen minutes of respiratory exercises in front of the open window in the bathroom, always breathing toward the side where the roosters were crowing, which was where the air was new. Then he bathed, arranged his beard and waxed his mustache in an atmosphere saturated with genuine cologne from Farina Gegenuber, and dressed in white linen, with a vest and a soft hat and cordovan boots. At eithty-one years of age he preserved the same easygoing manner and festive spirit that he had on his return from Paris soon after the great cholera epidemic, and except for the metallic color, his carefully combed hair with the center part was the same as it had been in his youth. He breakfasted en famille but followed his own personal regimen of an infusion of wormwood blossoms for his stomach and a head of garlic that he peeled and ate a clove at a time, chewing each one carefully with bread, to prevent heart failure. After class it was rare for him not to have an appointment related to his civic initiatives, or his Catholic service, or his artistic and social innovations.

He almost always ate lunch at home and had a ten-minute siesta on the terrace in the patio, hearing in his sleep the songs of the servant girls under the leaves of the mango trees, the cries of vendors on the street, the uproar of oil and motors from the bay whose exhaust fumes fluttered through the house on hot afternoons like an angel condemned to putrefaction. Then he read his new books for an hour, above all novels and works of history, and gave lessons in French and singing to the tame parrot who had been a local attraction for years. At four o'clock, after drinking a large glass of lemonade with ice, he left to call on his patients. In spite of his age he would not see patients in his office and continued to care for them in their homes as he always had, since the city was so domesticated that one could go anywhere in safety.

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