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Fred0

Eileen Chang's essay "Writing of one's Own" and other misc. writings

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Fred0

Thanks. That especially clarifies the last sentence for me.

 

Would you accept this translation?

一些报道虽然在今天短暂消失,但历史的底稿上一定有属于它们的位置。”

A few reports however for the present have disappeared, but certainly they should be categorized as having their place in history.

 

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Jim

That's not bad, maybe highlight the 短暂 :

There are certain reports that as of today are temporarily 'gone missing', but there will surely be space for them when the histories come to be written [which is a fairly free way of dealing with 历史的底稿 but puts it in while staying colloquial to my mind]

 

Are you perhaps over-reading 有属于它们的位置 to get "categorized"? It's literally "a place which belongs to them", i.e. their place.

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Fred0

Great help. I appreciate that you pick up the fine points .

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Fred0

Fang Fang gives a list of critical questions that a Sociology professor has posted questioning the hangling of the coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan. The last question is:

 

封城之后,真的不能将确诊的病人向其他医疗资源闲置省份妥善分流吗?

 

I am taking the suggestion from Google translate that 分流 means  tirage. Other definitions I have found are: bypass and split-flow, or diffluence. I am taking 将 here to mean "to take" and 向 in the sense of "to turn towards."

After sealing off of the city, really, why couldn't they appropriately triage the people with a definite diagnosis (of covid-19) to provinces with idle resources for medical treatment?

 

But I feel like I have twisted the sentence into knots to get to this translation, which does not safisfy me at all. Can you help me see how to read this sentence?

 

 

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roddy

I don't think triage is the right translation for 分流 here, and I'm not sure 分流 is quite the right word in the first place - there's no original flow to 分, and the point isn't that there should perhaps have been multiple 流, but that there should have been a 流 at all. Also, your 'really' isn't quite in the right place. If I was going to translate, then off the top of my head: 

 

After lockdown, was it really not possible to send confirmed cases to provinces with spare healthcare resources? 

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Jim

Agree with Roddy, I expect the 分流 is to give the sense of parcelling out sufferers in appropriate groupings. Had a look on Juuku and saw that one sense was given as  "reposition of redundant personnel" [sic] so you can see she's not coining a new usage. Example 15 on this page: http://www.jukuu.com/show-分流-1.html

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Fred0

Chang is describing a time in her childhood when her mother and her aunt were leaving for a trip abroad.  We don’t know why they are going, but it may be because the father has taken on a concubine, and we don’t know why the the mother is upset, but suspect that it may be because of her immanent separation from her two young children.

 

我母亲和我姑姑一同出洋去,上船的那天她伏在竹床上痛哭,绿衣绿裙上面钉有抽搐发光的小片子。

 

My mother accompanied by my aunt were going abroad together. On the day that they were to board ship, she was laying across the bamboo bed crying bitterly, the little shining folds of her green blouse and skirt reflected the spasmodic twitching of her body.

 

Please criticize,  correct or improve this translation. I’m not sure what to make of 钉 or 小片子.

 

The image is elaborated in a following sentence:

 

她睡在那里像船舱的玻璃上反映的海,绿色的小薄片,然而有海洋的无穷尽的颠簸悲恸。

 

Her lying there was like the reflection in the  glass porthole of a ship’s cabin of only a thin slice of green sea,  yet still with the  fullest expression of the  inexhaustible, mournful shaking motion of the vast ocean.

 

Please check this translation as well.

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Jim

Sounds more like sequins or some similar type of shiny decoration to me. The 钉 is saying they're affixed.

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Fred0

That makes sense of it. Thank you. To read this woman you almost have to be an expert on the fashions of the 1940s.

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Jim

So in your second extract 绿色的小薄片 is her dress rather than the sea; it has an endless undulating mournfulness like the ocean.

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Fred0

Isn't it a three part simile?  There is her dress, the reflection of the sea in the glass of the ships hold, and the sea itself. Her dress is like the reflection of the sea  in the glass, a reflection which is only a small slice of the actual sea, but it (the reflection) conveys the full depth of the mournfulness of the sea's undulation, as the dress, which, though it is only a small, thin thing,  expresses the deep (universal) mournfulness of the mother leaving her daughter,  a mournfulness which is as great as that of the sea. Would you agree with that reading of it?   (薄片-thin slice-is the thin slice of the sea which the window reflects.)

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Jim

I think I do now you say it! Was caught up in the 片 from the first extract but yes, she is both like the reflection and the ocean.

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Fred0

Young Eileen is visiting her mother's new apartment. There she sees for the first time a ceramic tile bathtub, and a gas stove.

 

在她的公寓里第一次见到生在地上的瓷砖浴盆和煤气炉子

 

What is the function/meaning of 生 in this clause?

 

 

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Jim

I think she's being a bit playful with the phrase 生在地上 "born on/of the earth" i.e. existing in the world/as actual things not just pictures or things she's heard about, with a nod to Lu Xun perhaps: https://www.douban.com/group/topic/168088233/ though whether that also implies higher aspirations I'm not sure.

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Fred0

In the sentence, "这一年来我是个自食其力的小市民," what does 这一年来 mean? In other words,  in what way does 来 change the meaning? Does it mean in this year coming, in the past year, in recent years, last year, this year?

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Jim

The past year, with the added sense of over that whole time.

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Fred0

Chang has been saying that it was always hard to ask her father for money. Then she moved out of her father's house and in with her mother.

 

问母亲要钱,起初是亲切有味的事,因为我一直是用一种罗曼谛克的爱来爱着我母亲的。

 

I understand 罗曼蒂克 (romantic), but I wonder if I'm missing something of the meaning of 爱来爱着.  Zdic.com gives a meaning of 爱着 as: Buddhist designation for the state of being infatuated out of sensual desire, or unable to free oneself of sensual desires (my translation). That may be totally irrelevant here. Could I read 爱来爱着我母亲的  to mean mutual love between me and my mother? 

 

I don't understand the use of 用 here. Why is she saying she "employs" this kind of attitude rather than to say she has this kind of attitude towards her mother?

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Jim

Reads to me as ""because I always loved my mother with a romantic kind of love"; think the Buddhist special usage is a coincidence. Not sure if this will make sense but the 用 comes in because it's introducing the manner she loved her mother in while the 爱着 is describing the fact of love between daughter and mother that's pretty much a given.

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Fred0

So you're saying that 爱来 is the end of a phrase that means "a  romantic love,"  and 爱着我的母亲的  means "the love for my mother. Puttng it together it's  "I loved my mother with a romantic type of love.  That acccounts for the two loves!  一直。。。来  makes this an ongoing state.  Would you accept that?

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