Tác giả: Lê Anh
Thể loại: Truyện Ngắn
Nguyên tác: Quân Tử Báo Thù Mười Năm Chưa Muộn
Dịch giả: Hương Cau Cao Tân
Biên tập: Quoc Anh Le
Language: English
Số chương: 1
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Cập nhật: 2023-07-16 17:14:21 +0700
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ảm ơn anh Cao Ngọc Tân đã có nhã ý và bỏ công ra dịch truyện của tôi sang tiếng Anh. Tôi nhận được thư anh xin phép dịch và tò mò muốn biết anh là ai, thì tìm thấy bài hát anh sáng tác ở đây khá hay https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vInZUDToFHE
Tìm hiểu thêm thì biết anh đã xuất bản cuốn thơ “Các Bài Thơ Việt Nam Khó Quên – Unforgettable Vietnamese Poems” với 300 trang thơ Việt-Anh song hành được đánh giá cao, ví dụ:
Bài “Cô lái Đò” của Nguyễn Bính:
“…Bỏ thuyền, bỏ lái, bỏ giòng sông,
Cô lái đò kia đi lấy chồng
Vắng bóng cô em từ dạo ấy,
Để buồn cho những khách sang sông”…
“Giving up the boat, the steering, and the river full of memories
The boat girl goes away to find someone to mary
She’s definitely gone, vanishing from the scene forever,
Leaving the sadness in the hearts of the passengers crossing the river.”
Bài “Áo Lụa Hà Đông” của Nguyên Sa:
“…Em ở đâu, hỡi mùa thu tóc ngắn
Giữ hộ anh màu áo lụa Hà Đông
Anh vẫn yêu màu áo ấy vô cùng
Giữ hộ anh bài thơ tình lụa trắng”.
“Where are you now, my beautiful autumn with short hair
Please carefully keep the colour of the Ha Đong silk dress there
I always love that colour of the dress, if not forever
Keep for me, the poem of love for a white silk dress, from a poetic poem”.
Hay bài “ Hai Sắc Hoa Ti Gôn” của 😭. Kh.
“Một mùa thu trước, mỗi hoàng hôn
Nhặt cánh hoa rơi chẳng thấy buồn
Nhuộm ánh nắng tà qua mái tóc
Tôi chờ người đến với yêu thương”…
“I remember one previous autumn, every day at dusk
Picking up a fallen flower without feeling touched
Letting my hair to be dyed with golden sun rays
I patiently waited for him, who was with love on the way”…
Và đây là bản dịch truyện "Quân tử báo thù mười năm chưa muộn" của anh:
To A Learned Scholar Avenger, A Ten-Year Wait Is Not Late
By Lê Quốc Anh
Translated from Vietnamese into English by Hương Cau Cao Tân
On July 2nd, 2023 in Canada
Lôi was born in a fishing village near a seaport of the nation of Vệ. Being a handsome and shining man in appearance, who had possessed outstanding intelligence from the time he was little, and furthermore, being more determined than many others, yet because his parents were without influential connections and were so poor that Lôi could not afford the cost of studying under the village’s teacher, he had to be content with homeschooling, quietly awaiting for his chances in life.
Then one day there was a merchant ship which stopped by the village to buy sea products, announcing that they were looking for a learned person to take care of the paperwork, Lôi, realizing that it was a good chance to change his life, applied for the post without receiving salary and was accepted. Fate favours natural progress; talented boys attract girls, beautiful girls attract boys; the ship’s captain’s daughter considered Lôi to have bright characters so she fell in love with him. Her father, a sea captain, who was knowledgeable in physiognomy and in reading people,
was also of the view that Lôi would be successful in life so he agreed to give his daughter in marriage to him. They became a couple and begot a son.
Not wanting his son at a disadvantage in lacking studying means through living only on ships, Lôi talked to his wife into making a living on land.
When their ship passed by Japan, seeing that that was a rich country
with a great number of shining flowered lanterns and civilized people, Lôi determinedly decided to go inland so his son could study there, using his long-time savings for expenses. His son was three years old.
The Japan nation had advanced educational system and was a cultured society, therefore, Lôi’s son was like a fish swimming in water and was advancing rapidly in his studying. After only three years, at the age of six, he had accomplished all the skills of music, of chess playing, of poem composition, and of painting; and especially, he was excellent in poem reciting, in music performance, and in languages, and was considered one of the young genii of this foreign country.
Since the Vệ nation and Japan had diplomatic relations, in that year, the Vệ nation sent a large envoy to Japan in order to learn from that nation.
At the end of the business trip, the envoy arranged for a party to meet with the typical Vệ citizens who were living in Japan. Thanks to the reputation of having a son who was a genius, both father and son of Lôi were invited to the party.
According to the tradition of seniority protocol, the party seating was divided into three separate sections, one table was reserved for the high rank mandarins, the next one was for the bodyguards and servants, and the next one was for invited guests. To observe the customs of the Vệ nation, i.e. mandarins are parents of citizens, the former only need to sit still, and all the attendees who are 18 years old and over would have to toast and wish each and every of the mandarins good health, and they in turn would receive a glassful of precious wine from the mandarins.
Most of the invited guests were businessmen, who were so familiar with this wine offering custom, so they were quite joyous and excited in so doing, and tried to finish drinking the given wine glasses in a very cowardly grateful manner. Every one of them thought that he might need the boost from his connection with the high ranking mandarins in the future.
For the mandarins, who had been accustomed to the display of their seniority in front of the people as their “parents”, who, despite the fact that those people were living in Japan, still considered them to be “stupid citizens who have black butts”, as they still had the relatives living under the mandarins’ power inside the Vệ nation, so they appeared very much proud and arrogant. Granted wine ought to be drunk up. After each offering glass, the people had to prostrate fully in gratitude of the mandarins.
Since Lôi was different from a commoner, who regarded the literally intellectual values as more valuable than those of the physically party protocols, and because he had not met his country fellowmen for a while and missed his country very much, so he had agreed to attend the party.
Since it was the custom of wine offering, he had to observe it. But he was not used to drinking and his wine tolerance was limited, so after he had drunk five glassfuls of wine in half a round, he felt nauseated and almost vomited. It was unfortunate that it was then the turn of wine offering for the Interior Mandarin Trương, whose reputation of being an arrogant mandarin who had advanced in his mandarinic career by bribery means and regarded people as nothing, as Lôi tried to decline drinking. Holding the given wine glass, Lôi honestly pleaded: “His Honourable, may I submit three prostrates to you, and further submit that though I know that your given wine is precious, yet as I am too drunk to receive it
As he was listening to the decline, Mandarin Trương yelled loudly: “Who the hell are you who dare to refuse my mandarinic offering wine glass?”
In the table there was someone who, recognizing Lôi and disliking him out of jealousy, said intentionally: “This guy is Lôi, the father or the boy Lạt who reputes to be a literal genius and is famous among the overseas Vệ citizens; it is rumoured that these father and son are making acquaintances among the learned and saintly intellectuals only.”
Hearing those said words, Lôi naively thought that they were sincere praises so he immediately and proudly admitted: “Sire, it is true that I am Lôi. Since Your Honourable have known that, you would have known that I am not accustomed to drinking, so please permit me to be exempted from it and to go back to my seat.”
Little did he know that his biography had caused the mandarin to pale, to press his lips together and roll his eyes in anger.
It is the custom of old that only talented and intelligent people who had been considered competent enough to represent the country were commissioned to be envoys, i. e. they, at the least, had to pass the official mandarinic academic examinations. This Mandarin Trương was an exception since despite his having no diplomas, he had been advancing far in his mandarinic career, thanks to his cunning designs over common people; therefore, he had advanced from a commoner to becoming an Interior mandarin by ways of bribery. And he had used the same bribing method to obtain a post in the envoy because he smelled out potentially good opportunities to smuggle goods back to his country from the rich country of Japan. It is common for the mandarins to trick and eliminate
each other, so that mandarin, who was aware of the history of Interior Mandarin Trương, intentionally introduced Lôi to trick and anger Trương by implying that because Lôi had looked down on Trương’s cultural ability so Lôi refused to drink Trương’s wine. Naturally, Trương fell for it, being just an illiterate person, and yelled out in much anger: “So you are in
contempt of me and do not bother drinking the wine?”
Listening to the booming sound of Trương’s voice, Lôi became much frightened: “Sire, please consider, I never dare to underestimate you.”
“You do not underestimate me, yet you refuse to drink the wine, don’t you?”
“Sire, I have never drunk more than three glasses, but I have drunk five glasses today. Truly, I cannot drink anymore.”
“You still dare to reason with me! You think that because you have
learned a lot so you no longer respect your parents!”
Mandarin Trương said that while kicking at Lôi’s lower stomach. Feeling the pain, Lôi folded his body forward by reflexes, and his wine glass splashed onto the face of the sitting Mandarin Trương. These events happened so fast that all the other mandarins became frightened and they looked towards Mandarin Trương, expecting the display of his well-known fit of matching anger.
Without a moment of hesitation, Mandarin Trương jolted up, and without bothering wiping the blackish wine off his face, pulled Lôi closer by his hair, and as he was growling, continuously beat at Lôi’s face with the other hand and kicked at his body. The blood from Lôi’s mouth, nose, and ears oozed out and soaked his white coat in red. Lạt, Lôi’s son, who was sitting at the lower table, saw the commotion, became frightened and ran to his father’s side, crying loudly. Mandarin Trương, feeling that it was not enough, continued his vicious beating and kicking a little longer, and he even kicked at the boy, causing him to sprawl onto the floor, his face was smeared with tears and mucus, as he stared revengefully at Mandarin Trương. It was fortunate for Lôi and his son that it happened on Japanese soil so they escaped the imprisoned punishment for the offence of mandarinic contempt, and only suffered being dragged away from the party hall.
Lôi tried to endure the pain, dragging his son home and swore his
revenge for the shame he had to endure on that day. With the financial support from his father-in-law who was a ship captain, Lôi quit his job and concentrated on his studying to earn the necessary diplomas, and he determinedly decided that when he had obtained the Doctorate he would have returned to home country, partaken in the mandarinic world, and sought out that Mandarin Trương for revenge. Lôi told himself and his son that that weal needed to be returned, but that it required prudence, patience, and the wait until the right moment for proper action, since success depends on determination, and revenge depends solely on that.
“To a learned scholar avenger, a ten-year wait is not late.”
As he already had possessed the necessary qualities, plus the boiling motives, Lôi excelled in his study, passed the Literature Doctorate Examination in first place, returned to his home country, and was reveredly employed for his true competence; hence his career’s success seemed to open wide for him. After having served as a prefecture mandarin for ten years, Lôi became the district Prefect of a large region.
Meanwhile, Mandarin Trương seemed to have totally forgotten the old event, and not even aware that his mandarinic and private activities had been closely watched with great interest.
On the day of his installation, Lôi held a big party and ordered the
invitation of all his junior mandarins in his district, including Mandarin Trương.
Mandarin Trương, after his envoy commission, had stood still in his
career. He did not gain anything from that trip, and furthermore, as he had spent time with other truly competent mandarins for a long time, his foolishness and ignorance were uncovered, as well as his arrogance and inhumanity were well known and spreading in the court of the Vệ nation.
Therefore, Trương had been demoted and transferred from central posts to a local one, a small mandarin of a remote prefecture.
Utterly disappointed, Trương became addicted to drinking and spent all day and night besides his opium pipe. He appeared skinny, gaunt, and his hair had turned as white as a seventy-year-old man’s.
Until one day when Trương’s wife and children could not endure any longer and abandoned him, he woke up, broke all his opium pipes and accessories, quit drinking, and determinedly decided to rebuild his life at the age of fifty. Since then, he changed his ways, became more studious in reading the saints’ writings, and became comprehensive in the knowledge that wholesome merits helps in building of a peaceful and happy soul.
On receiving the invitation for the party of the new Prefect, Trương
started for the trip without a slight memory of a man named Lôi who was beaten to bleeding in his mouth one day.
There were more than twenty mandarins who were invited and
accounted for. While they were joyfully dining and talking, Lạt, Lôi’s son walked in. Ten years had passed from that day, and Lạt became a heavy built tall sixteen-year-old youth. With just a glance, Lạt was able to recognize the face of Mandarin Trương. Recalling the time when his father was cruelly beaten and kicked out a party in Japan that day, and boiling with anger mixed with the ebullient nature of youth, Lạt clenched his fist and attempted to rush into the party to fight to death with Trương.
No one in the table including Trương understood what was going on, except the newly installed Prefect Mandarin. As fast as lightning, the Prefect Lôi ran over and pulled his son back into an inner room.
Lạt thrusted aside his father’s arm and said to him: “Did you not teach me that ‘to a learned scholar avenger, a ten-year wait is not late’? Isn’t it the right time to take revenge?”
Lôi softly and thoughtfully replied: “The man who beat us up that day is not the same man.”
Doubtfully, Lôi’s son peeked through the blinds into the guest room for a better look. Before his eyes was an old mandarin with white hair and beard and wrinkled skin covering almost all traces of an aggressive, mean person of those days. That old man was shakenly waving his hand in refusal of an offered wine glass from the person sitting next to him, implying that he had had enough in drinking, and was begging for an excuse.
Lạt stopped short in his track, and suddenly realized what his father had meant to say. He had never mentioned about taking revenge since.
Paris, dated on 05/06/2023
PS: Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher has said: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man”, i.e. no man ever bathes in the same river twice, as everything is evolving, the stream is moving to replace the old one by the new one, the man of today is not the man of yesterday, because each body cell, each brain cell, and each drop of blood has been renewed.
To A Learned Scholar Avenger, A Ten-Year Wait Is Not Late To A Learned Scholar Avenger, A Ten-Year Wait Is Not Late - Lê Anh