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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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キーンさんへの挑戦状

 
煽り気味のタイトルにしてしまいましたが、太宰治の人間失格の新訳が出るそうです。以前はドナルド・キーンさんの訳でしたが、11月に出るものはMark Gibeauさんが出がけタイトルもA Shameful Lifeとしています。

(アマゾンでの紹介文)
Osamu Dazai is one of the most famous—and infamous—writers of 20th-century Japan. A Shameful Life (Ningen shikkaku) is his final published work and has become a bestselling classic for its depiction of the tortured struggle of a young man to survive in a world that he cannot comprehend. Paralleling the life and death of Dazai himself, the delicate weaving of fact and fiction remorselessly documents via journals the life of Yozo, a university student who spends his time in increasing isolation and debauchery. His doomed love affairs, suicide attempts, and constant fear of revealing his true self haunt the pages of the book and reveal a slow descent into madness. This dark tale nevertheless conveys something authentic about the human heart and its inability to find its true bearing.

“Dazai's reputation has not waned a bit in seventy years. Reading Mark Gibeau's brilliant translation will show you why.”
—Roger Pulvers, award-winning translator, film director, and author of LIV

“Certain novels evoke such a vivid sense of a character that it almost hurts to reach the end. This nuanced, engaging translation of Dazai Osamu's masterpiece A Shameful Life is just such a work: subtle and complex, it pulls the reader in and refuses to let go. Indeed, Mark Gibeau's helpful afterword left me wanting to turn right back to the first page and dig into the book again. A Shameful Life has that kind of power: it is Dazai at his finest.”
—Michael Emmerich, Associate Professor of Japanese Literature at UCLA

せっかくなので読み比べてみます。まずはオリジナルから。

第一の手記
 恥の多い生涯を送って来ました。
 自分には、人間の生活というものが、見当つかないのです。自分は東北の田舎に生れましたので、汽車をはじめて見たのは、よほど大きくなってからでした。自分は停車場のブリッジを、上って、降りて、そうしてそれが線路をまたぎ越えるために造られたものだという事には全然気づかず、ただそれは停車場の構内を外国の遊戯場みたいに、複雑に楽しく、ハイカラにするためにのみ、設備せられてあるものだとばかり思っていました。しかも、かなり永い間そう思っていたのです。ブリッジの上ったり降りたりは、自分にはむしろ、ずいぶん垢抜けのした遊戯で、それは鉄道のサーヴィスの中でも、最も気のきいたサーヴィスの一つだと思っていたのですが、のちにそれはただ旅客が線路をまたぎ越えるための頗る実利的な階段に過ぎないのを発見して、にわかに興が覚めました。
 また、自分は子供の頃、絵本で地下鉄道というものを見て、これもやはり、実利的な必要から案出せられたものではなく、地上の車に乗るよりは、地下の車に乗ったほうが風がわりで面白い遊びだから、とばかり思っていました。
 自分は子供の頃から病弱で、よく寝込みましたが、寝ながら、敷布、枕のカヴァ、掛蒲団のカヴァを、つくづく、つまらない装飾だと思い、それが案外に実用品だった事を、二十歳ちかくになってわかって、人間のつましさに暗然とし、悲しい思いをしました。

ドナルド・キーンさんのタイトルはNo Longer Humanと日本語に忠実に訳しています。

THE FIRST BOOK
Mine has been a life of much shame. 
I can’t even guess myself what it must be to live the life of a human being. I was born in a village in the Northeast, and it wasn’t until I was quite big that I saw my first train. I climbed up and down the station bridge, quite unaware that its function was to permit people to cross from one track to another. I was convinced that the bridge had been provided to lend an exotic touch and to make the station premises a place of pleasant diversity, like some foreign playground. I remained under this delusion for quite a long time, and it was for me a very refined amusement indeed to climb up and down the bridge. thought that it was one of the most elegant services provided by the railways. When later I discovered that the bridge was nothing more than a utilitarian device, I lost all interest in it.

Again, when as a child I saw photographs of subway trains in picture books, it never occurred to me that they had been invented out of practical necessity; I could only suppose that riding underground instead of on the surface must be a novel and delightful pastime. 

I have been sickly ever since I was a child and have frequently been confined to bed. How often as I lay there I used to think what uninspired decorations sheets and pillow cases make. It wasn’t until I was about twenty that I realized that they actually served a practical purpose, and this revelation of human dullness stirred dark depression in me. 

Mark GibeauさんのタイトルはA Shameful Lifeですが、冒頭のI have lived a shameful life.(恥の多い生涯を送って来ました。)からとったもののようですね。

THE FIRST JOURNAL
I have lived a shameful life.

I can't understand how this thing called "human life" is supposed to work. I was born out in the country, in northeast Japan, so I was already fairly old by the time I saw my first steam engine. Back then I didn't realize that the bridges in the station were there simply to let people cross the tracks and get to their platform. I thought they were there to to give the station an air of sophistication and fun - like the playground.  I maintained this belief for quite sometime, and clambering up and down those stairs always seemed to me the height of refined entertainment. Surely, I thought, this was the most considerate of all the services provided by the railroad. When I eventually discovered that they were nothing more than a practical set of stairs, my sense of delight vanished

Almost time, when I was a child, I saw an illustration of a subway. It never occurred to me that it might have been designed with some practical purpose in mind. I thought that people must have grown bored with riding above ground and the underground trains were built to provide new and exciting ways to travel.

I was a sickly child and often confined to my vet come flying to my bed. I remember lying there, gazing at the sheets, the pillowcase, the quilt cover and so on, wondering at their insipid designs. It wasn't until I was nearly twenty years old that I I realized that these things actually had a practical purpose, and, yet again, I was grieved by the dismal parsimony of humankind.

太宰治の没後60年を迎えた今年、青谷優子さんがEnglish Journalでも走れメロスを取り上げてくださいましたね。人間失格は中学生の頃読んでなんじゃこりゃという感想しかなかったんですが、改めて読んでみようかなと思っています。
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