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在法的门前(Before the Law)──中英文双语文本

2011年09月05日15:17 东方法眼弗朗茨·卡夫卡 评论字号:T|T

核心提示:《法律门前》是弗兰茨.卡夫卡未完成的小说《审判》中的一部分。寓言情节以守门人和乡下人为主线层层展开,通过二者对话及行为的精彩的描写,引出了笔者对一系列相关法律问题的思考。

  法的门前站着一个守门人。一个从乡下来的人走到这个守门人跟前,请求让他进法的门里去。可是,守门人说,现在不能让他进去。乡下人想了一想,然后又问道,那么以后可不可以让他进去。“有可能,”守门人说,“但现在不行。”因为通向法的大门始终是敞开着的,守门人又走到一边去了,乡下人便弯腰探身,往门里张望。守门人发现他这样做,笑着说:“如果你很想进去,那就不妨试试,暂且不管我是否许可。不过你得注意:我是有权的。我只是一个最低级的守门人。从一个大厅到另一个大厅都有守门人,而且一个比一个更有权。就是那第三个守门人的模样,我甚至都不敢正视一眼。”

Kafka弗朗茨·卡夫卡

(弗朗茨·卡夫卡)

  乡下人没有料到会有这么多的困难;他本来想,法的大门应该是每个人随时都可以通过的,但是,他现在仔细地看了一眼穿着皮大衣的守门人,看着他那又大又尖的鼻子和又长又稀又黑的鞑靼胡子,他便决定,还是等一等,得到允许后再进去。守门人给了他一个小矮凳,让他在门旁坐下。他就这样,长年累月地坐在那里等着。他作了多次尝试,请求让他进去,守门人也被弄得厌烦不堪。守门人时不时地也和他简短地聊上几句,问问他家里的情况和其他一些事情,不过,提问题的口气是非常冷漠的,就好像那些大人物提问一样;临到最后,他总是对他说,现在还不能放他进去。乡下人为这次旅行随身带了许多东西;为了能买通守门人,他把所有的东西都送掉了,这总还是非常值得的。守门人虽然把礼物都收下了,但每次总是说:“我收下来,只是为了免得让你认为,还有什么事情办得不周。”

  在这漫长的年月里,乡下人几乎一刻不停地观察着这个守门人。他忘记了还有其他的守门人,似乎这第一个守门人就是他进入法的大门的唯一障碍。最初几年,他还大声地咒骂自己的不幸遭遇,后来,他渐渐老了,只能独自嘟嘟囔囔几旬。他变得稚气起来了,因为对守门人的长年观察,甚至对守门人皮领子上的跳蚤都熟识了,他也请求跳蚤来帮助他,说服守门人改变主意。最后,他的视力变弱了,他不知道,是否他的周围世界真地变得暗下来了,或者只是他的眼睛在欺骗他。可是,就在这黑暗中,他却看到一束从法的大门里射出来的永不熄灭的光线。现在他的生命就要完结了。

  在临死之前,这么多年的所有体验都涌在他的头脑里,汇集成一个迄今为止他还没有向守门人提出过的问题。他招呼守门人过来,因为他那僵硬的身体再也站立不起来了。守门人不得不把身子俯得很低才能听到他说话,因为这两个人的高度差别太大显得对乡下人非常不利。“你现在还想知道些什么?” 守门人问,“你这个人真不知足。”“所有的人都在努力到达法的跟前,”乡下人说,“可是,为什么这许多年来,除了我以外没有人要求进去呢?”守门人看出,这乡下人快要死了,为了让他那渐渐消失的听觉还能听清楚,便在他耳边大声吼道:“这道门没有其他人能进得去,因为它是专为你而开的。我现在要去把它关上了。”

  Before the Law

  by Franz Kafka

  Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in sometime later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.” The gate to the law stands open, as always, and the gatekeeper walks to the side, so the man bends over in order to see through the gate into the inside. When the gatekeeper notices that, he laughs and says: “If it tempts you so much, try going inside in spite of my prohibition. But take note. I am powerful. And I am only the most lowly gatekeeper. But from room to room stand gatekeepers, each more powerful than the other. I cannot endure even one glimpse of the third.” The man from the country has not expected such difficulties: the law should always be accessible for everyone, he thinks, but as he now looks more closely at the gatekeeper in his fur coat, at his large pointed nose and his long, thin, black Tartar’s beard, he decides that it would be better to wait until he gets permission to go inside. The gatekeeper gives him a stool and allows him to sit down at the side in front of the gate. There he sits for days and years. He makes many attempts to be let in, and he wears the gatekeeper out with his requests. The gatekeeper often interrogates him briefly, questioning him about his homeland and many other things, but they are indifferent questions, the kind great men put, and at the end he always tells him once more that he cannot let him inside yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, spends everything, no matter how valuable, to win over the gatekeeper. The latter takes it all but, as he does so, says, “I am taking this only so that you do not think you have failed to do anything.” During the many years the man observes the gatekeeper almost continuously. He forgets the other gatekeepers, and this first one seems to him the only obstacle for entry into the law. He curses the unlucky circumstance, in the first years thoughtlessly and out loud; later, as he grows old, he only mumbles to himself. He becomes childish and, since in the long years studying the gatekeeper he has also come to know the fleas in his fur collar, he even asks the fleas to help him persuade the gatekeeper. Finally his eyesight grows weak, and he does not know whether things are really darker around him or whether his eyes are merely deceiving him. But he recognizes now in the darkness an illumination which breaks inextinguishably out of the gateway to the law. Now he no longer has much time to live. Before his death he gathers in his head all his experiences of the entire time up into one question which he has not yet put to the gatekeeper. He waves to him, since he can no longer lift up his stiffening body. The gatekeeper has to bend way down to him, for the great difference has changed things considerably to the disadvantage of the man. “What do you still want to know now?” asks the gatekeeper. “You are insatiable.” “Everyone strives after the law,” says the man, “so how is it that in these many years no one except me has requested entry?” The gatekeeper sees that the man is already dying and, in order to reach his diminishing sense of hearing, he shouts at him, “Here no one else can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned only to you. I’m going now to close it.”

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