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Frankenstein (Excerpt)|《弗兰肯斯坦》(节选)

II. Creating the Monster
    
  It was a dreary night in November when my work was finally finished. I looked down at the lifeless creature that lay on the table before me and knew I was ready to give him life. The candle that lit my laboratory was nearly burned out, but it gave me enough light to touch the creature with my instruments. That touch created the spark that brought him to life!
Slowly, the dull yellow eyes of the creature opened. A hard, raspy2 breath lifted his huge chest at the same time that his gigantic arms and legs began to jerk with convulsive movements.
I stared hard at this creature I had spent two years forming. Once, I had considered this a beautiful piece of work—the result  of my life’s dream, but now it filled me with horror and disgust!
  His yellow skin was stretched over bones and muscles, barely covering them. His long, black hair flowed down over the shriveled3 skin on his grotesque4 face and thick neck, and his pearly white teeth contrasted with the straight, black lips surrounding them.
  What had I done?... I couldn’t bear looking at the horrible creature another minute, and I rushed out of the laboratory and down to my apartment.
  Throwing myself on my bed, still with my clothes on, I hoped that sleep would erase5 from my brain the ugly picture I had just seen.
  Sleep finally came, but it brought wild dreams of death and Elizabeth and my mother. When I suddenly awoke in a panic, my teeth were chattering, and my arms and legs were convulsing6.
The dim light of the moon shone through the window into my bedroom. As my eyes flew open, the moonlight revealed the huge figure of the monster as he lifted up the curtains around my bed. He stared down at me with a horrible grin7 that forced wrinkles in his cheeks and stretched his ugly, black lips.
  His jaws moved and he muttered some sounds that had no meaning. As he reached out to touch me, I jumped from my bed and rushed out the door of my apartment.
  I fled down the stairs and into the courtyard. I hid there, weak, horrified, and bitterly disillusioned, for the rest of that dismal, rainy night.
  III. Face to Face with the Monster
 
“How can I appeal to you, Victor Frankenstein? How can I convince you that I, too, have suffered? I have been miserable and alone, hated and scorned by all humans, adults and children, all because of you.”
“And I hate and scorn myself for having created you!”
“Then you have a duty to hear what I have to say. Then if you still want to kill me, and if you can, then do it. Just remember it was you who created me.”
  I don’t know if it was curiosity or fear or even pity that made me agree to listen to him. But whatever the reason, I decided I would. I turned to him and nodded my head.
  The monster’s story begins...
  When you first brought me to life, I was as helpless as a newborn baby, except that I could see, smell, hear, feel, and taste. These sensations frightened me, so I came to your room, as a child would come to a father. But you ran away and left me, and I didn’t know what to do.
  I felt cold, so I covered myself with your cloak8 and went out into the night. By the time I reached a forest outside the city, I was very tired and lay down on the damp ground near a brook. I slept for several hours and awoke hungry and thirsty. I drank some water from the brook and ate a few berries I had found on the ground.
I spent a month in that forest and watched the sun and moon changing in the sky. I got to know the pleasant sounds that birds made as they flew over my head. I tried making those sounds myself, but I couldn’t.
  And I began to explore outside the forest, I discovered a fire, I enjoyed the feeling of warmth and light it gave me, so I thrust9 my hand into the glowing coals. I quickly pulled it back with a cry of pain, puzzled why something that felt good could also give pain.
  After several hours of walking, I came to a village. I entered one of the houses, only to horrify everyone there. Children ran from me screaming and women fainted. The screams alerted everyone in the village and people began coming at me from all sides throwing rocks, and shouting horrible threats. I fled from the village and ran across the open fields until I had lost my pursuers.
  Many hours later, I came upon a wooden shed that was attached to a neat cottage. I didn’t dare enter the cottage, but I did crawl into the shed. I was grateful to have a place to sleep, one which would also give me protection from the snow and rain... and from attacks by people! I decided to make the shed my home.
  As the days passed, I learned that three people named De Lacey lived in the cottage: a young woman called Agatha, her brother Felix, and their old, blind father.
  The family was very poor, and the two young people worked hard to feed and care for their beloved father, often going without food themselves so that the old man could eat. The kindness and love these people showed each other moved me deeply, and rather than steal any more food from them, I went out at night in search of berries and nuts in the forest. I also borrowed the young man’s tools at night and cut wood for them. I left it at their door as a surprise and enjoyed their pleasure at their good fortune when they found it there each morning.
  I was amazed to discover that they could bring fire into their cottage to cook their food and light up the room. At night, the young man and woman used this fire on a candle to read to the old man. The words they read were like those they spoke, and they read them from things called books.
  As the days, weeks, and months went by, I taught myself to speak words. I hoped that one day I would be able to speak to them in their words. Perhaps that way they would overlook my ugliness... Oh, yes, I had learned just how ugly I was when I saw my reflection in the water in the pond.
  On one of my trips into the forest, I had found a suitcase containing some clothing and several books. I used those books to teach myself to read. I spent the winter and spring enjoying my simple life. I was proud of the progress I was making in speaking all the words the family spoke and in reading them as well.
  But what good were words when I had no one to speak them to? Would I ever be able to face people and not have them run from my ugliness?
Another event strengthened my bitter feelings against you. When I first came to my shed, I found your notebook in the pocket of the cloak I had taken from your bedroom when I ran from there years ago. At first, it had no meaning for me, but once I could read, I learned of your work and your thoughts before you began creating me and while you were doing it.
  How I curse the day you gave me life! How I curse you! But my bitterness was softened when I thought of the kindly De Lacys, who, I was certain, would befriend me and overlook my ugliness when I told them my story and when they came to know me as a good person.
  By the time I had been in my shed for a year, I started planning how to introduce myself to the family. One morning, after the young people had left, I saw my chance. I went to the front door and knocked.
  When De Lacey called, “Come in,” I took a deep breath and opened the door. I introduced myself as a traveler in need of some rest, and the old man welcomed me. We spent several hours talking about many things. I truly believed that the old man had become my friend, and I was on my knees, grasping his hand in gratitude when the cottage door opened.
  I can’t begin to describe the horror of the young people at seeing me. Agatha ran out and fainted. Felix lunged at me and, with superhuman strength, pulled me away from his father. I fell to the floor, and Felix began beating me with a stick. I could have torn him apart with my bare hands, but I didn’t. I just ran from the cottage in despair.
  I was alone in the world again, with no human beings to talk to. My rage knew no limits! My brain wanted  only  revenge... against the world... and revenge against you, my creator!
IV. A Confession of Murder It was early evening two months later when I reached the woods outside Geneva. I was tired and hungry as I sat down under a tree, trying to decide just how I would find you and confront you. I had just begun to doze when a beautiful young child came running toward me. A glimmer of hope flickered10 in my heart. Here was an innocent boy who probably hadn’t learned to be horrified at ugliness like grown-ups were. Perhaps he could become my friend.
I reached out and grabbed the boy as he run by. As soon as he saw me, he covered his eyes and began to scream. I pulled his hands away from his face and said gently, “I’m not going to hurt you.”
“Let me go, you ugly monster!” he cried. “Let me go  or  I’ll call my father. He’s an important man and he’ll punish you. His name is Alphonse Frankenstein.”
“Frankenstein!” I shrieked. “You belong to my enemy.  Now  I’ll have my revenge.”
The child continued to struggle and scream terrible words at me. I grabbed his throat to quiet him, but the next moment he lay dead at my feet. I realized then that this would bring misery to you, and I was glad!
  As I gazed down at the boy, I spotted a locket around his neck. I picked up and stared at a picture of a beautiful woman. I knew that a woman of such beauty would never look at me... and my rage at you returned once more.
  I left the murder spot then, still holding the locket, and went on towards Geneva. I soon came to a barn, where I found a young woman asleep on some straw. For a moment, I was terrified that she would waken and see me, and surely be horrified at my ugliness too. And later, she could probably identify me as the boy’s murderer.
  Even though I had no way of knowing for certain she would do that, I decided to make her suffer anyway. So, I put the locket in the pocket of her apron11, knowing that when it was found, it would point to her as the murderer.
Once that was done, I hid and waited until the boy’s body was discovered and followed everyone into the city. Later, I learned the girl had been arrested for the murder.
Then I began wandering through Geneva and through these mountains, waiting for the moment when I would come face to face with you. And now, at last, that moment is here!
                                                                     (The End)

怪物的诞生 我从夏天开始工作,日夜不息,闭门不出,谁都不见。好多次我都厌恶自己一直干的事情,可又有很多次,我是那么渴望完成我的创造。数月过去了…… 11月一个阴沉的夜晚,我的研究最终完成。低头看着实验桌上躺着的那个毫无生命的物体,我知道我马上就要赋予他生命了。实验室里燃着的蜡烛眼看快熄了,借着微弱的光芒,我拿着器械碰了一下他,这轻轻的触碰点燃了他生命的火花!
他慢慢睁开眼睛,黄色的眼珠发出呆滞的目光。他巨人般的胳膊和腿痉挛似地抽搐着,巨大的胸腔开始起伏,发出一阵沉重刺耳的呼吸声。
我死死地凝视着这个我花费两年时间创造出的生物。一直以来,我都将它视为一项荣耀——人生所追求的梦想,但现在心里只觉得恶心和恐怖!
他皮肤发黄,下面的骨骼与肌肉隐隐若现;又黑又长的头发垂在皱巴巴的畸形脸上,耷拉在粗壮的脖子上;珍珠般洁白的牙齿与乌黑的嘴唇形成怪异的对比。
我做了什么?……我无法再看这个可怕的怪物一眼,便冲出实验室,奔向楼下的房间。
我顾不得脱衣服,一下子瘫倒在床上,只希望一觉醒来,能彻底忘记刚才那丑陋的一幕。
我终于睡着了,但做了个噩梦,梦到母亲和伊丽莎白都死了。我从梦中惊醒,牙齿吓得打颤,四肢在不停抽搐。
黯淡的月光透过窗户洒到卧室里。我一睁开眼睛,看到月光下,那个怪物正用巨大的手指掀起我的床帘。他瞪着我,露出令人毛骨悚然的笑容——脸上的皱纹堆挤,丑陋乌黑的双唇拉扯着。
他的下颌动了动,发出毫无意义的声音。他伸出手想摸我,我一下从床上跳起来冲出房间。
我逃到楼下院子里,藏在那儿。在这个凄凉雨夜,我虚弱无力,惊恐万分,幻想彻底破灭了。
 
狭路相逢 怪物不知所踪。半年后家中传来噩耗:弟弟威廉被谋杀,仆人贾斯汀被当作凶手处死。我心知这都是怪物所为,痛苦自责而离家远行。却在数月后,与怪物在野外相遇。 “维克多·弗兰肯斯坦,我怎样求你才行?要怎样才能让你相信我受的苦?我痛苦不堪、孤苦伶仃,人们厌恶我、嘲笑我,大人小孩都是如此。这都是因为你。”
“我痛恨自己创造了你,无时无刻不在自责!”
“那么你有必要听听我要说的话。我说完后,你要还想杀我——如果你可以的话——那就杀吧。不过要记住是你创造了我。”
我不清楚是好奇还是害怕抑或是同情使我同意听他讲话。但不管究竟是什么原因,我决定听他讲下去。
怪物开始讲他自己的故事……
最初你给了我生命,除了用五官去感觉之外,我就像初生婴儿般无助。我被自己的感觉吓坏了,于是去了你的房间,就像孩子去找父亲。但是你跑掉了,剩下我一人手足无措。
  我觉得冷,就披上你的外衣冲进夜幕。我跑到城外一个森林里,累极了,就倒在溪边湿地上,睡了几个小时,醒来时又渴又饿。我喝了一点儿溪水,吃了些从地上找到的浆果。
  在森林里,我花了一个月时间来观察天空日月变幻。我渐渐懂得鸟儿飞过头顶时欢快的鸣叫。我想学鸟叫,可是学不会。
  我开始探索森林以外的地方,我发现了一处火源。我喜欢火的温暖和光明,于是把手伸进燃烧的木炭里:一声惨叫,我立刻抽出手来,不明白为什么感觉很好的东西也会带来痛苦。
经过数小时跋涉,我来到一个村庄。我走进一户人家,却吓坏了在场的所有人。孩子们尖叫着从我身边跑开,妇女们吓得昏厥过去。叫声惊动了村里每个人,人们从四面八方赶来朝我扔石头、大声凶狠地咒骂我。我从村里逃了出去,越过旷野,直到摆脱所有追捕者。
几个小时之后,我发现了一间小木棚,搭在一座小巧的农舍边。我没敢进农舍,但是爬进了木棚里。终于有个地方能睡觉,有个地方能为我遮挡雨雪……避开人们的袭击,我乐坏了!决定把这儿当作自己的家。
日子一天天过去,我了解到住在农舍里的是德·兰西一家:年轻的女孩阿加莎,她的哥哥费利克斯,和他们年迈失明的父亲。
他们家很穷,两个年轻人拼命干活来赡养照顾心爱的父亲,经常自己饿着肚子也要让父亲有饭吃。他们的善良与爱心深深打动了我,我不再偷他们家的东西吃,而是夜里到森林采集浆果、坚果作为食物。我还在深夜拿着费利克斯的工具为他们劈柴。我把柴火作为意外的礼物放在他们家门口,并且暗自龙8国际娱乐手机版他们每天早上发现时的喜悦。
我惊奇地看到他们把火源带回屋里做饭、照明。深夜,男孩和女孩点起一支蜡烛,为老人读东西。他们读的字跟说的话一样,他们把读的那个东西叫做书。
一天天,一周周,一月月就这样过去了,我自己学着说话。我希望有天能用他们的语言与他们交谈。也许这样他们就能忽略我的丑陋了……噢,是的,当我从池塘里看到自己在水中的倒影,就已经知道自己有多丑了。
一次去森林闲逛的时候,我找到一个手提箱,里面有些衣服和几本书。我用这些书来识字。一个冬天和一个春天我都享受着这种简单的生活。我已经能认得这家人读说出的所有字了,为此感到非常骄傲。
但我找不到一个人和我说话,认得这些字又有什么用呢?我能否面对人们而不让他们因我的丑陋而逃走?
另一件事加深了我对你的仇恨。当我第一次来到木棚,找到了你的笔记本,就在你外衣口袋里——数年前我从你卧室逃走时带走的。起先,它对我来说没任何意义。但一旦我识字了,我了解到你在创造我之前和创造我之时的工作和想法。
我诅咒你给了我生命的那天!我诅咒你!但一想起可爱的德 ·兰西一家,我的心就软了下来。我肯定告诉他们我的故事以后,他们会友善地接纳我。当他们明白我其实是个善良的人之后,就不会计较我丑陋的外表。
我在木棚里已经住了一年了,开始琢磨怎么接近这家人。一天早上,等两个年轻人出了门,终于找到了机会。我走到门前敲了敲门。
里面传来德·兰西的声音:“进来。”我深深吸了一口气,推开门。我说自己旅行路过这里,想歇歇脚。老人热情地接待了我。我们聊了好几个小时,我真心相信老人已把我当成了朋友。我跪在老人面前,握住他的手表示感激,这时,门开了。
我不想形容年轻人看到我时的那种恐惧,阿加莎逃出晕了过去,菲利克斯扑向我,把我从他父亲身边推开,力气大得惊人。我摔倒在地,菲利克斯开始用棍子打我。我本可以仅用双手就将他撕成两半,可我没有。我只是满心绝望地冲出农舍。
我在这世上又变得孤零零了,没有朋友,甚至没人可以说话。我怒不可遏!满脑子想的只有复仇……向这个世界……向你——我的创造者复仇!
承认谋杀 怪物凭借学到的地理知识,踏上了寻找弗兰肯斯坦的复仇之路。 两个月后的一个傍晚我来到日内瓦城外森林。我又累又渴,就在一棵树旁坐了下来,计划如何找到你,找到你之后又该如何面对你,想着想着就打起了瞌睡。这时一个漂亮的小孩朝我跑过来,我的心里突然萌生出一丝希望:也许天真无邪的男孩还不会像成年人那样害怕我的丑陋,也许他能成为我的朋友。
我伸手拽住从身旁跑过的男孩,他一看到我,就捂住眼睛开始尖叫。我拉下他捂住脸的手轻轻地说:“我不会伤害你的。”
“放开我,你这丑陋的怪物!”他哭喊着,“放开我,否则我就去叫我爸爸来。他很厉害,他会收拾你的。我爸爸是阿方斯·弗兰肯斯坦。”
“弗兰肯斯坦!”我厉声叫道,“你是我仇人的家人,现在我要复仇。”
孩子继续挣扎着,朝我骂着恶毒的字眼。我扼住他的喉咙,想要他安静,可是片刻后他就倒在我的脚下,死了。意识到他的死会让你难过,我感到一丝快意!
我盯着脚下的男孩,发现他脖子上戴着一个项坠。摘下来一看,里面是张美丽女人的照片。我知道那么漂亮的女人永远不会看我一眼……于是又憎恨起你来。
我离开那里,带着项坠继续朝日内瓦前进。后来来到一个谷仓,看见一位年轻女人正在稻草垛上休息。有那么一阵,我很害怕她醒来看见我,肯定会被我吓到,然后她可能就认定我是杀害男孩的凶手。
即使根本无法确定她是否会那样做,我仍然决定,不管怎样也要让她吃点苦头。于是我把项坠塞进她围裙口袋里,我知道如果它被发现,人们会把她当成凶手。
做完这些,我藏了起来,一直等到男孩的尸体被人发现,然后跟着人群进了城。后来,我得知那个女人因谋杀罪被逮捕。
之后我开始在日内瓦街头四处徘徊,在这些山上游荡,期盼着跟你面对面的时刻,现在,这个时刻终于到来了!
                         (完)
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1. 玛丽·雪莱(1797年~1851年),英国著名小说家,诗人雪莱的妻子。玛丽在1818年创作出科幻小说《弗兰肯斯坦》,后人称她为“科幻小说之母”。
2. raspy  adj. 刺耳的
3. shrivel  v. 起皱纹
4. grotesque  adj. 奇形怪状的
5. erase v. 抹去
6. convulse  v. 抽筋
7. grin  n. 露齿而笑
8. cloak  n. 斗篷;外衣
9. thrust v. 伸入
10. flicker  v. 闪烁
11. apron n. 围裙