Monday, November 21, 2011

[Translation] Mo Shaoqian's Monologue (Chapter Exerpt from Sealed with a Kiss Novel)

Mo Shaoqian's monologue is one of the several epilogue chapters the author wrote after she completed the main chapters in Tong Xue's narrative. It is the only chapter, narrated by Mo Shaoqian, where we get a rare and intimate glimpse at his innermost feelings in the entire novel. I suspect the time frame of this chapter is set between the events after his blissful beach house days with Tong Xue and their eventual reunion shortly before their marriage. In stark contrast to the previous humorous epilogue about Shaoqian and Tong Xue's married life, this short narrative is definitely more heavy-hearted in nature.

This chapter is titled "Gui Mi Xin Qiao 鬼迷心窍" in Chinese, roughly meaning "inexplicably blinded or memorized by some devilish obsession." It's a Chinese proverb that literally translated as "ghosts have blinded one's heart and intelligence," which is often used to describe people are are overwhelmingly memorized by something or someone. They can no longer control how they feel or rationalize the reasons behind this obsession. Mo Shaoqian uses this proverb to describe his feelings for Tong Xue because he, himself, can't seem to provide a logical explanation or reason why he fell in love with her. Whether he likes this fact or not, he is unable to erase her from his heart — regardless of how hard he tries.

Epilogue Chapter: "Gui Mi Xin Qiao"

天气很好,一如你还在的时候。
The weather is nice; the same nice weather as when you were here.

花房里的玫瑰开了,讨厌把玫瑰新出的叶子全都啃掉了,香秀特意带它去看过医生,说它缺维生素。
When the roses in the garden house bloomed, Hateable bit off all the newly grown leaves from the roses. Xiangxiu(1) had purposely took him to see a veterinarian for a check up and discovered he was malnourished.

(1) name of the dog caretaker for Loveable. She made a brief appearance in the beginning of Episode 1.

很久以前,我们刚认识的时候,你也缺维生素,那时候你头发黄黄的,发梢都分岔了,真是个黄毛丫头。
A long time ago when we first met, you were suffering from vitamin deficiency too. At that time your hair was yellowish with plenty of split ends. You were literally a "huang mo ya tou" (literally translated as a "little girl with yellowish hair," which is a common Chinese proverb roughly meaning "silly young girl." Shaoqian is putting a pun on the proverb to describe Tong Xue).

我带你去吃饭,你吃任何东西都很香,会眉眼弯弯对着我笑,让人觉得胃口大开。
Whenever I took you out for a meal, everything you ate looked so appetizing and delicious to you, even your eyes and eyebrows arched at me with laughter. Your infectious appetite really made one craved for the food as well.  

很多年后厨房炖了燕窝,你吃起来也是一小勺,一小勺,仿佛是咽着苦药。
Many years later, our chef cooked some bird's nest(2) soup for you, but you only ate it slowly, spoon by spoon, as if you were sipping some bitter herbal medicine.

(2) bird's nest soup, made from the saliva nests of a few swift species, is an extremely expensive delicacy in Chinese cuisine. Bird's net is also considered one of the most expensive animal products consumed by humans and is traditionally believed to provide many health benefits such as improved immune system and aiding digestion. [credit: wiki]

我对你不好,我知道。
I don't treat you well  — I know.

有很长一段时间,我都避免见你,因为担心控制不住自己的情绪。但过不了多久,又觉得烦闷焦虑。做任何事情都没有耐心,最知根知底的私人助理总是建议我,还是回家看看吧。
There was a long period of time when I avoided to see you. Because I fear I wouldn't be able to control my emotions. But it didn't take very long before I started to feel agitated, anxious, and moody. I lost my patience in everything I do. My personal assistant, who knew the exact cause for my condition, suggested that I go "home" to take a look.

他说的回家,是指有你的地方。
He said "home," which meant whatever place with you in it.

可是你从来不曾把那里当成是家
But you never once considered that place to be your "home."

在很久很久以前,有天晚上你不知道梦到什么,突然嚎啕大哭,一直到哭醒。我将你抱起想要安慰你,当看到我的脸时,你一下子惊惶失措的想要挣开。当时你的那种眼神我这一生也忘不了,我很难受,从此不愿意你再待在我的房间。我嫌你烦,嫌你吵,嫌你睡像不好,让你走开。
A long long time ago, I didn't know what you were dreaming that night, but you suddenly burst into a piercing cry. You cried till you woke up. I held you in my arms hoping to comfort you. When you saw my face, you immediately struggled uncontrollably to free yourself from my embrace. The look you gave me, I would never forget it for the rest of my life. I couldn't bear it (literally "I felt miserable"). From then, I didn't want you to stay in my bedroom anymore. I told you I was annoyed by you. I told you I disliked the noise you made. I told you I disliked your sleeping postures. So I told you to stay away.

我却不能让你从我心底走开。
But I couldn't tell you to stay away from the bottom of my heart.

有天晚上朋友小聚,叶大公子喝高了,在KTV抱着两个如花似玉的姑娘,却拿着麦放声高唱《鬼迷心窍》。   
One night during a casual buddy gathering, Mr. Ye had a little too much to drink. In the karaoke room, while he had two beautiful young ladies in his arms, he held the microphone and passionately sang "Gui Mi Xin Qiao." (3)

     "有人问我你究竟是那里好
      "Someone once asked me what was so great about you
       这么多年我还忘不了
       So many years have gone by and I still couldn't forget about you
       春风再美也比不上你的笑    
       No beauty of the wind in the spring landscape could outshine the beauty of your smiles
       没见过你的人不会明了! …… "
       Those who have never seen you would never truly understand!..."

(3) Besides being a famous Chinese proverb, there's also a famous Mandarin song sang by pop singer Li Zongsheng. To listen to that song, click here.

这么老的歌,被他唱得一往情深,姑娘们笑得前俯后仰,大家都在起哄鼓掌叫好,只有我看到他眼底隐约的泪光。
He still sang such an old song with much longing love and passion in his voice. The ladies were all roaring with laughter. Everyone jumped up to clap their hands and bombarded him compliments, but only I could see the hidden tear in his eyes.

他是真的喝高了,那个晚上。从那之后我很小心,我怕自己喝醉了会像他一样失态。 你是我的鬼迷心窍,只有我自己知道。 你回来的那次,我很放纵的喝醉了。因为我不知道该怎么面对你。也许喝点酒,还有理由对你好,或者不好。我是真的讨厌你买的那只狗,还有你。
He really had too much to drink that night. After that night though, I became extremely cautious. I fear I would become like him and lose myself in a drunken stupor. You are my "gui mi xin qiao" — only I know that fact. When you came back to see me last time, I drowned myself in drunkenness because I didn't know how to face you.  Perhaps after a little drink, I could give myself a reason to treat you better — or maybe, not as well. I really hate that dog you bought me — and you as well.

因为在香港的时候带你去看电影,你说钻石很大很好看。这么久以来,你没有在我面前说过什么东西好看。于是特意趁着商务旅行,在比利时挑了钻石,然后交给珠宝店,依电影里原样镶出来。
When I took you to watch a movie (4) in Hong Kong, you made a comment about a diamond on a ring that was very big, very beautiful. Since you've been with me, you never once, in my presence, mentioned anything that was beautiful. So during one of my business trips, I selected a diamond in Belgium and ordered the jeweler to create the same diamond ring shown in the movie.

(4) The movie they watched in Hong Kong is probably Ang Lee's Lust, Caution starring Tong Leung and Tang Wei . This movie is also based on a novella written by an influential 20th century Shanghaiese writer, Eileen Zhang. I think Fei Wo Si Cun is implying the distorted relationship of Tong Xue and Shaoqian somewhat reflected by the similarly twisted relationship in Lust, Caution.

当我拿给你的时候,你的表情让我知道,原来你并不喜欢。后来我一直想,什么时候,我已经变得这么可怜。
When I handed you the ring, your expression told me you never liked it. I later thought to myself — since when have I become so pathetic?

连让你笑一笑,对我而言都成了奢侈的事。我一直想,如果我可以离婚,如果在道德上没有愧疚,你会不会觉得好过一点。但你永远不会嫁给我。因为你从来没有爱过我。
Even a simple smile from you has become a rare luxury to me. I've been thinking. If I was able to get a divorce — if you didn't have to feel guilty from the immorality of the situation — would you have been a little happier? But I know you would never marry me. Because you never loved me.

我第一次见到你的时候,你还是个小姑娘,装模作样穿着高跟鞋,一本正经化着妆,端着剪彩的那个盘子。
The first time I saw you, you were still a young girl, pretending to be a woman wearing high heels, adorning your face with make-up, and holding up the tray for the ribbon cutting ceremony in such a ladylike fashion.

我的剪刀不小心戳到了你的手,你都没有吭一声。后来我在后台找到你,你倔强的神色像是个小孩子。
My scissor accidentally cut your finger, but you did not even utter a single sound. Later when I looked for you backstage, your stubborn expression really reminded me of a little child.

你本来就比我小一轮,我三十岁了,你才十八岁,而我二十三岁的时候,你才十一岁。
You were basically younger than me a dozen years. I was 30 years old already, and you were only 18. And when I was 23 years old (5), you were only 11.

(5) The age Mo Shaoqian sold himself to the Mu family and married Mu Yongfei.

从前发生的事情,其实你都不知道。
Everything that happened in the past, you had absolutely no knowledge of it.

我用一种猎奇的心态注视着你,就像一只猫逮到耗子,玩一玩。我给自己找了个理由,玩一玩。只是我自己心里清楚,你笑起来 真好看,会露出两个酒窝,像只洋娃娃,让我情不自禁,总是想要拥有你。 
Like a hunter following an interesting prey, I began to take notice of you. I wanted to be the cat playing with its captured mouse. Just play a little. I allowed myself to find a reason: just to have a little fun. I know only too well in my heart how beautiful you looked with your smiles. Like a doll, your smiles made two dimples surfaced on your cheeks. It made me, involuntarily, just want to possess you.

我从来没有过洋娃娃,因为我是儿子,父亲从小教育我,不要玩物丧志。
I never had a doll before because I was born a son. As a child, my father taught me not to overindulge myself in toys.

那时候我已经知道,我无法再放开你。所以我选择了最糟糕的方式,因为你恨我,我会觉得好一点。
I knew from that moment onward, I could never let you go. So, I chose the worst method possible [to possess you]. If you hate me, I would feel a little better.

我已经无法控制对你的态度,如果你对我好,我不知道自己会变成什么样子。所以宁可你恨我,这样或者会好一点。  我自己把自己推进火坑, 反正我这辈子, 也就这样了。你如果恨我,我也许会少爱你一点点。
I could no longer control my manner toward you. If you treat me well, I don't know what I would become. Therefore, I prefer that you hate me. Perhaps, it'll be better this way. I already pushed myself into an abyss of suffering (literally translated as a fiery pit). For the rest of my life, I'll be like this anyway.

我对你不好,我知道.
I don't treat you well — I know.

因为我没有办法对你好。
There was no way I could treat you well.

对你好一点儿,我总会想起自己的父亲。对你好一点儿,你总是对着我笑。 你一笑,我觉得心都快要融掉了。我害怕这种感觉,它代表着失控,代表着软弱。
If I treated you slightly better, I would always think about my father. If I treated you a little better, you would always smile at me. If you smile, I feel my heart would immediately melt away. This kind of feeling frightens me. It means loss of control. It represents weakness.

所以我宁可对你坏一些,这样你对我,也会坏一些。
That's why I would rather treat you badly. Then, in reciprocation, you would treat me badly as well.

在医院的时候,我终于觉得灰心。如果我不曾硬生生横掠进你的生活,也许我们都不必如此狼狈不堪。
At the hospital, all my hopes pulverized into ashes and despair. If I hadn't so forcefully entered your life, perhaps both of us wouldn't have to end up in such a dejected predicament and misery.

那么让一切就此结束吧,就像从来不曾开始。
Let's put an end to everything once and for all — like it never happened before.

可是你偏偏又回来了。 你带着合同来,我控制不住自己的脾气,朝你说出刻薄的话。你一走,我就后悔了。我不愿意让别人看到你那样子,小心翼翼,卑颜屈膝。
But why did you have to come back? You came back with a contract. I couldn't control my temper and said some derogatory things to you. Once you left, I regretted. I don't want another living being to see you like this —  so very wary of committing a wrong in your manner, so dishearteningly servile in your attitude.

可是你讨好我的样子,让我更觉得自己可怜。 我不愿意再这样下去,明知道合同背后会有陷阱,我也下定决心,我下定决心结束一切,在事态已经没有办法控制的时候。
The way you try to please me only helped to further confirm one fact: how worthlessly pathetic I've become. I have no desire to have us continue this way. Even though I'm keenly aware of the trap that lies behind the contract, I'm set on my decision. I'm determined to put it end to everything. The situation has worsen to the point of no control.

在海边的时候,我很放纵自己。因为这样的机会,已经注定是我这辈子最后一次了。 就像注定我会遇见你。就像注定我再也不会和你在一起,就像注定我再也不会拥有你。
I really indulged myself during the days we spent together at the beach. I'm only destined to have such an opportunity one last time in my life. Like fate has destined us to meet, but also like fate has destined us never to be together again. Fate has further destined that I shall never have you again.

我对你不好,我知道。
I don't treat you well — I know.

那是因为我没有办法控制我自己,可是现在不会了。
It's because I could no longer control myself. But it's different now.

就这样更好。 我一直觉得,就这样更好。
It's better this way. I have always felt it's really better this way.

让我可以渐渐的忘记你,忘记你的样子,忘记你的笑容。
Let time slowly erase you from my memory, erase the image of you in my head, and erase the smiles you have branded in my memory.

忘记我曾经拥有过,忘记我曾经遇见过。
Forget that I once possessed you in my life. Forget that I ever met you in my life.

把这一切都忘了,这样更好。
Just forget about everything. It's really better this way.

© 2011, JoleCole. All rights reserved.

COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME! 


















© 2011, JoleCole. All rights reserved.  


8 comments:

  1. Thank you very much for translating that chapter as I love Mo Shaoqian.It was a very insightful and introspective view of his character. He just comes across as very sad and dare i say, pitiful person even though Tong Xue sees him partially as a demon!
    Also, I really like your blog and check it every day. Gold star for you.

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  2. I love your blog very much. I look forward to it everyday. You are amazing! Tq. I love and adore this couple......

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  3. When I watched the drama for the first three episodes, I thought shao qian was a bad temper man with thousand bad stuffs. and Tong Xue is kind poor pity young girl.

    now, when I know the ending, both of them are really pity. Watching this drama (since I don't read the novel), I questioned and wonder what kind of love it is.



    Thanks for the translating and explanation. I really like the blog :)

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  4. Thank you so much for the translation! they got married in the end of the novel ?

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  5. @"they got married in the end of the novel?"

    Yes, in one of the epilogue chapters (which I also posted on this blog), the writer briefly wrote about their married life. She never gave us details about how they got back together, but somehow they ended up together and married after Tong Xue came back from her study abroad trip.

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  6. Thank u so much for the translation.Im so deeply in love with SWAK in both drama n novel.I love Hawick Lau,the way he portrayed MoShaoQian.His facial expression,his acts was making my heart stops.i love to read more n more chapters of SWAK .its too bad that i couldnt read the whole novel due to my poor Chinese(need to be improved in future^^).
    Thank so much for ur wonderful work.I raise a habit checking ur blog everyday.
    Its great if 匪我思存's novels can be translated to english.so,her fans can enjoy reading them.

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  7. oh this made me tear up. shaoqian is really pitiful though what he did to tongxue was unforgivable. i wish there was an english version i could read. i really like the author's style of writing. though i'd probably skip a lot of the xiaoshan bits lol.
    thank you for the translation. i'm so looking forward to when the kind subbers at viki finish the SWAK project :)

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  8. thank you so much........your hard working is really appreciated.....looking forward to read more.

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