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[翻译]AS IT IS - Cambodian-American Writer Reveals Mystery of Father's Death

来源:慢速英语   时间:2016-08-22 08:01:22

Sometimes writing a fictional work can help the writer deal with painful trauma. That was Variny Yim's experience when she wrote her first novel, The Immigrant Princess.

有时候撰写一部虚构的著作有助于作家应付痛苦的经历。这是Variny Yim撰写第一部小说《移民公主》时的经验。

Yim is Cambodian-American. Her book tells about three generations of women from Cambodia’s ruling family who try to rebuild their lives in the United States.

Yim是柬埔寨裔美国人。她的作品讲述了柬埔寨统治家族的三代女性试图在美国重建她们的人生的故事。

However, it was Yim's father who became central to her while writing the novel.

然而,在撰写这部小说时,Yim的父亲成为了她的焦点。

"I only have a few memories of my father and one of the most heartbreaking memories for me is the day that we left Cambodia. He had taken us to the airport," she said. "I was too young to understand what was happening, and I remember walking up the stairs to the airplane and looking back on the tarmac and my father waived at us. What I didn't realize was that would be the last time that I would ever see my father's face."

她说,“我对父亲只残留了很少的记忆,其中最心痛的记忆之一就是我们离开柬埔寨那天。他带我们到机场。我那时太小不明白发生了什么。我记得从舷梯走上飞机回首望停机坪,我的父亲抛弃了我们。我并不知道那将是我最后一次看到父亲的面庞。”

Moving to the United States

移居美国

Variny Yim, her sister and her grandparents escaped before the Cambodian genocide. Her father, who stayed in Cambodia to care for aging parents, was a victim of it.

Variny Yim和她的姐姐、祖父母在柬埔寨大屠杀前逃了出来。她的父亲留在柬埔寨照顾年老的父母,成为了大屠杀的受害者之一。

Over four years, supporters of the Khmer Rouge killed about two million people.

在四年期间,红色高棉的支持者杀害了大约两百万人。

Yim and her family joined her mother, who was studying in the United States. Yim said they owe their lives to her grandfather, who made sure they left Cambodia.

Yim和她的家庭同在美国留学的母亲会合。Yim表示,她们都欠确保他们离开柬埔寨的祖父一命。

They were all members of Cambodia’s royal family. Yim's mother was a princess in Cambodia, but in the United States she was just another refugee.

他们都是柬埔寨王室的成员。Yim的母亲是柬埔寨的一位公主。但是在美国,她只是一位难民。

Her family had to change their expectations about life. They had no money, and their position meant almost nothing in the United States, Yim explained.

她的家庭不得不改变自己对人生的期望。Yim解释说,她们没有钱,而且她们的地位在美国几乎分文不值。

She added that her family tried to keep their royal identity close to themselves. They did not tell many people about who they were.

她补充说,她的家庭试图隐藏她们的皇家身份,她们没有告诉很多人她们是谁。

Yim discovers what happened to her father

Yim发现了父亲的遭遇

As a young girl in the U.S., Yim said, the Cambodian genocide seemed very far away. She did not think about what it meant that her father might have been killed with many other Cambodians.

Yim表示,作为身在美国的一位年轻女孩,柬埔寨大屠杀似乎非常遥远。她没想到这意味着她的父亲可能已经跟许多柬埔寨人一起被杀害。

This changed when she started researching Cambodian history while writing her book. The details of her father's death had always been a mystery -- a mystery she solved while doing research for the book.

当她写书期间开始研究柬埔寨历史时这些都变了。她父亲遇难的细节一直是一个谜,这个谜在她为写这本书进行研究时被她解决了。

Her research led her to Cornell University in New York. The university has records of the statements given by the Khmer Rouge's victims at Tuol Sleng prison. Those held there were questioned, tortured, and killed.

她的研究引领她来到纽约州康奈尔大学。该大学拥有吐斯廉监狱红色高棉受害者供述的记录。关在监狱的这些人被审问、折磨和残杀。

According to some estimates, 14,000 people entered the prison. Only a small number of these people survived.

据估计有14000人被关进了这所监狱,其中只有少数人幸存下来。

In Cornell's archive of confessions was proof of what happened to Yim's father during the genocide.

在康纳尔大学的供词档案中存有大屠杀期间Yim的父亲的遭遇的证据。

"One of the hardest days of my life was when I got an email from Cornell confirming that they had found my father's name and confession," said Yim. "It was finally wonderful to know the truth. The truth really sets you free, even if it was painful.”

Yim说,“当我得到康奈尔大学邮件确认他们找到了我父亲的名字和供词时,这是我人生中最艰难的日子之一。获得真相始终是美好的,真相会给你自由,即使它是痛苦的。”

The book's themes

这本书的主题

Guided by the memory of the family she had lost, Yim said she needed to write The Immigrant Princess to face the past. She also wanted to remember the beauty in Cambodian culture.

Yim表示,在她已经失去的这个家庭的记忆的指导下,她必须撰写这本《移民公主》以面对过去。她还想要记住柬埔寨文化之美。

Yim explained that her novel shows universal themes about identity and reinvention. She said the book is about how a person survives a traumatic loss.

Yim解释说,她的小说展示了关于身份和再造的普世主题。她说这本书是关于一个人如何扛住一场痛苦的损失。

"You can be brutal and you can bring terror and you can become a dictator but that's not going to kill the human spirit and that's what I want my book to show," Yim said.

Yim说,“你可以野蛮,可以带来恐怖,可以成为独裁者,但是这些都不能消灭人类精神,这是我的作品想要展示的。”

Yim added that she wrote the book for her children so they will know what happened. She also wrote the book for Cambodians, so that they will know that the genocide may have left a scar but does define them as a people.

Yim补充说,她为她的孩子写了这本书,这样他们就会明白发生了什么。她同样为柬埔寨人写了这本书,这样他们就能知道大屠杀可能留下了创伤,但是也确定了他们作为一个民族。

I’m John Russell.

Words in This Story

trauma – n. a very difficult or unpleasant experience that causes someone to have mental or emotional problems usually for a long time

inspire – v. to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create

tarmac – n. the area covered by pavement at an airport

archive – n. a place in which public records or historical materials (such as documents) are kept

focus – v. to cause (something, such as attention) to be directed at something specific — + on

theme – n. a particular subject or issue that is discussed often or repeatedly

reinvention – n. becoming a different kind of person, performer, etc.

scar – n. a feeling of great emotional pain or sadness that is caused by a bad experience and that lasts for a long time