[FEATURE] Lu Xun’s ๐‘Š๐‘’๐‘’๐‘‘๐‘ : Beggars

Beggars

by Lu Xun, translated from the Chinese into English by Matt Turner

Iโ€™m walking alongside a high, peeling wall, stamping loose dust. Several others walk alone. A breeze comes up, and tree branches above the wall, with still-unwithered leaves, shake over my head.

A breeze comes up, and everythingโ€™s dust.

A child in a lined shirt begs from me. He doesnโ€™t seem to be suffering. A charade of blocking and kowtowsโ€”this crying after me.

I loathe his tone, his pose. Detest that he isnโ€™t suffering griefโ€”itโ€™s just a game! Iโ€™m tired of him chasing me, whining.

I walk on. Several others walk alone. A breeze comes up, and everythingโ€™s dust.

A child in a lined shirt begs from me. He doesnโ€™t seem to suffer. Itโ€™s a charade as he dumbly holds his hands out, a gesture.

I loathe such gestures. Maybe heโ€™s not even mute and this is just his way of begging.

I donโ€™t give alms, I donโ€™t have a heart. Iโ€™m over alms, I give them boredom, doubt, and hate.

Iโ€™m walking alongside a defeated, muddy wall, broken bricks folded into holes, and beyond the wall is nothing. A breeze comes up, sends fall cold through my clothes, and everythingโ€™s dust.

Iโ€™m wondering what method I should use for begging. Sound: what tone? Act: what gesture?

A few others walk alone.

Iโ€™ll take no alms, no heart. Iโ€™ll take boredom, doubt and hate over alms.

Iโ€™ll use inaction and silence to beg!…

Whatever comes Iโ€™ll take the void.

A breeze comes up, and everythingโ€™s dust. Several others walk alone.

Dust, dust…

Dust…

September 24, 1924

ๆฑ‚ไนž่€…

้ญฏ่ฟ…

ๆˆ‘้ †็€ๅ‰่ฝ็š„้ซ˜็‰†่ตฐ่ทฏ๏ผŒ่ธ็€ๆพ็š„็ฐๅœŸใ€‚ๅฆๅค–ๆœ‰ๅนพๅ€‹ไบบ๏ผŒๅ„่‡ช่ตฐ่ทฏใ€‚ๅพฎ้ขจ่ตทไพ†๏ผŒ้œฒๅœจ็‰†้ ญ็š„้ซ˜ๆจน็š„ๆžๆขๅธถ็€้‚„ๆœชไนพๆžฏ็š„่‘‰ๅญๅœจๆˆ‘้ ญไธŠๆ–ๅ‹•ใ€‚

ๅพฎ้ขจ่ตทไพ†๏ผŒๅ››้ข้ƒฝๆ˜ฏ็ฐๅœŸใ€‚

ไธ€ๅ€‹ๅญฉๅญๅ‘ๆˆ‘ๆฑ‚ไนž๏ผŒไนŸ็ฉฟ็€ๅคพ่กฃ๏ผŒไนŸไธ่ฆ‹ๅพ—ๆ‚ฒๆ…ผ๏ผŒ่€Œๆ””็€็ฃ•้ ญ๏ผŒ่ฟฝ็€ๅ“€ๅ‘ผใ€‚

ๆˆ‘ๅŽญๆƒกไป–็š„่ฒ่ชฟ๏ผŒๆ…‹ๅบฆใ€‚ๆˆ‘ๆ†Žๆƒกไป–ไธฆไธๆ‚ฒๅ“€๏ผŒ่ฟ‘ๆ–ผๅ…’ๆˆฒ๏ผ›ๆˆ‘็…ฉๅŽญไป–้€™่ฟฝ็€ๅ“€ๅ‘ผ

ๆˆ‘่ตฐ่ทฏใ€‚ๅฆๅค–ๆœ‰ๅนพๅ€‹ไบบๅ„่‡ช่ตฐ่ทฏใ€‚ๅพฎ้ขจ่ตทไพ†๏ผŒๅ››้ข้ƒฝๆ˜ฏ็ฐๅœŸใ€‚

ไธ€ๅ€‹ๅญฉๅญๅ‘ๆˆ‘ๆฑ‚ไนž๏ผŒไนŸ็ฉฟ็€ๅคพ่กฃ๏ผŒไนŸไธ่ฆ‹ๅพ—ๆ‚ฒๆ…ผ๏ผŒไฝ†ๆ˜ฏๅ•ž็š„๏ผŒๆ”ค้–‹ๆ‰‹๏ผŒ่ฃ็€ๆ‰‹ๅ‹ขใ€‚

ๆˆ‘ๅฐฑๆ†Žๆƒกไป–้€™ๆ‰‹ๅ‹ขใ€‚่€Œไธ”๏ผŒไป–ๆˆ–่€…ไธฆไธๅ•ž๏ผŒ้€™ไธ้Žๆ˜ฏไธ€็จฎๆฑ‚ไนž็š„ๆณ•ๅญใ€‚

ๆˆ‘ไธไฝˆๆ–ฝ๏ผŒๆˆ‘็„กไฝˆๆ–ฝๅฟƒ๏ผŒๆˆ‘ไฝ†ๅฑ…ไฝˆๆ–ฝ่€…ไน‹ไธŠ๏ผŒ็ตฆ่ˆ‡็…ฉ่†ฉ๏ผŒ็–‘ๅฟƒ๏ผŒๆ†Žๆƒกใ€‚

ๆˆ‘้ †็€ๅ€’ๆ•—็š„ๆณฅ็‰†่ตฐ่ทฏ๏ผŒๆ–ท็ฃš็–Šๅœจ็‰†็ผบๅฃ๏ผŒ็‰†่ฃ้ขๆฒ’ๆœ‰ไป€้บผใ€‚ๅพฎ้ขจ่ตทไพ†๏ผŒ้€็ง‹ๅฏ’็ฉฟ้€ๆˆ‘็š„ๅคพ่กฃ๏ผ›ๅ››้ข้ƒฝๆ˜ฏ็ฐๅœŸใ€‚

ๆˆ‘ๆƒณ็€ๆˆ‘ๅฐ‡็”จไป€้บผๆ–นๆณ•ๆฑ‚ไนž๏ผš็™ผ่ฒ๏ผŒ็”จๆ€Žๆจฃ่ฒ่ชฟ๏ผŸ่ฃๅ•ž๏ผŒ็”จๆ€Žๆจฃๆ‰‹ๅ‹ข๏ผŸโ€ฆโ€ฆ

ๅฆๅค–ๆœ‰ๅนพๅ€‹ไบบๅ„่‡ช่ตฐ่ทฏใ€‚

ๆˆ‘ๅฐ‡ๅพ—ไธๅˆฐไฝˆๆ–ฝ๏ผŒๅพ—ไธๅˆฐไฝˆๆ–ฝๅฟƒ๏ผ›ๆˆ‘ๅฐ‡ๅพ—ๅˆฐ่‡ชๅฑ…ๆ–ผไฝˆๆ–ฝไน‹ไธŠ่€…็š„็…ฉ่†ฉ๏ผŒ็–‘ๅฟƒ๏ผŒๆ†Žๆƒกใ€‚

ๆˆ‘ๅฐ‡็”จ็„กๆ‰€็‚บๅ’Œๆฒ‰้ป˜ๆฑ‚ไนžโ€ฆโ€ฆ

ๆˆ‘่‡ณๅฐ‘ๅฐ‡ๅพ—ๅˆฐ่™›็„กใ€‚

ๅพฎ้ขจ่ตทไพ†๏ผŒๅ››้ข้ƒฝๆ˜ฏ็ฐๅœŸใ€‚ๅฆๅค–ๆœ‰ๅนพๅ€‹ไบบๅ„่‡ช่ตฐ่ทฏใ€‚

็ฐๅœŸ๏ผŒ็ฐๅœŸ๏ผŒโ€ฆโ€ฆ

็ฐๅœŸโ€ฆโ€ฆ

ไธ€ไนไบŒๅ››ๅนดไนๆœˆไบŒๅๅ››ๆ—ฅ

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Matt Turner is the author of the full poetry collections Slab Pases (BlazeVox, 2022), Wave 9: Collages (Flying Islands, 2020) and Not Moving (Broken Sleep, 2019), in addition to the prose chapbooks City/Anti-City (Vitamin, 2022) and Be Your Dog (Economy, 2022). He is co-translator, with Weng Haiying, of work by Yan Jun, Ou Ning, Hu Jiujiu and others. He lives in New York City, where he works as a translator and copy editor.

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