【名家名译 】 生命从八十岁开始
Paul White 译 生命从八十岁开始
Life Begins at Eighty
Every day as I lie here on my sickbed I see in front of me a very beautiful picture. It is a picture of a beaming child in red holding a pair of large peaches. At the side of the picture are inscribed the words, “Congratulations on Comrade Bing Xin’s Eightieth Birthday,” and at he bottom the words, “Greetings from Children’s Literature October 1980.”
Waking early every morning, gazing at this picture in the bright rays of the sun gives me happiness and encouragement. The mere word “eighty” simply cannot convince me that I really am eighty years old!
After I fell ill, many old friends wrote to me. Some of the letters were comforting, and some reproachful, saying, “Now you will no longer be able to refuse to devote yourself to the aged!” I replied to one friend: “Confucius once said that he often felt that he ‘did not know when old age would arrive,’ whereas I am in the position of ‘not knowing’ that I do not know that old age has already arrived!”
This ignoramus wishes to thank her thousands of young readers. Ever since I wrote Letters to My Litter Readers at the age of twenty-three, I have been writing continuously for nearly sixty years. It is the Letters to My Little Readers that has kept me feeling forever young.
During my illness, the editorial department of China Youth magazine not only sent me flowers, they also came and took a photograph of me. In addition, I received many letters of sympathy. All these good wishes convinced me that I would soon get better. My illness was the result of a blood clot on the brain. In addition, I fell and fractured my right hip, so I find moving and writing very difficult. In fact, it has taken me half an hour to write these few words. But I hope to be fully recovered in 1981, and then I will again get busy writing for my young friends. In the West there is a saying which goes, “Life begins at forty.” I hope that in 1981, after I recover from my illness, I will again practice writing and walking. Life begins at eighty. I will do my best to forge ahead, alongside my young friends.
I wish you health and happiness.
Your loving friend Bing Xin
October 29, 1980