小说搜索     点击排行榜   最新入库
首页 » 双语小说 » 朗读者The Reader » Part 1 Chapter 2
选择底色: 选择字号:【大】【中】【小】
Part 1 Chapter 2

T HE BUILDING on Bahnhofstrasse is no longer there. I don’t know when or why it was torn down. I was away from my hometown for many years. The new building, which must have been put up in the seventies or eighties, has five floors plus finished space under the roof, is devoid of balconies or arched windows, and its smooth fa?ade is an expanse of pale plaster. A plethora of doorbells indicates a plethora of tiny apartments, with tenants moving in and out as casually as you would pick up and return a rented car. There’s a computer store on the ground floor where once there were a pharmacy, a supermarket, and a video store.

The old building was as tall, but with only four floors, a first floor of faceted sandstone blocks, and above it three floors of brickwork with sandstone arches, balconies, and window surrounds. Several steps led up to the first floor and the stairwell; they were wide at the bottom, narrower above, set between walls topped with iron banisters and curving outwards at street level. The front door was flanked by pillars, and from the corners of the architrave one lion looked up Bahnhofstrasse while another looked down. The entryway through which the woman had led me to the tap in the courtyard was a side entrance.

I had been aware of this building since I was a little boy. It dominated the whole row. I used to think that if it made itself any heavier and wider, the neighboring buildings would have to move aside and make room for it. Inside, I imagined a stairwell with plaster moldings, mirrors, and an oriental runner held down with highly polished brass rods. I assumed that grand people would live in such a grand building. But because the building had darkened with the passing of the years and the smoke of the trains, I imagined that the grand inhabitants would be just as somber, and somehow peculiar—deaf or dumb or hunchbacked or lame.

In later years I dreamed about the building again and again. The dreams were similar, variations on one dream and one theme. I’m walking through a strange town and I see the house. It’s one in a row of buildings in a district I don’t know. I go on, confused, because the house is familiar but its surroundings are not. Then I realize that I’ve seen the house before. I’m not picturing Bahnhofstrasse in my hometown, but another city, or another country. For example, in my dream I’m in Rome, see the house, and realize I’ve seen it already in Bern. This dream recognition comforts me; seeing the house again in different surroundings is no more surprising than encountering an old friend by chance in a strange place. I turn around, walk back to the house, and climb the steps. I want to go in. I turn the door handle.

If I see the house somewhere in the country, the dream is more long-drawn-out, or I remember its details better. I’m driving a car. I see the house on the right and keep going, confused at first only by the fact that such an obviously urban building is standing there in the middle of the countryside. Then I realize that this is not the first time I’ve seen it, and I’m doubly confused. When I remember where I’ve seen it before, I turn around and drive back. In the dream, the road is always empty, as I can turn around with my tires squealing and race back. I’m afraid I’ll be too late, and I drive faster. Then I see it. It is surrounded by fields, rape or wheat or vines in the Palatinate, lavender in Provence. The landscape is flat, or at most gently rolling. There are no trees. The day is cloudless, the sun is shining, the air shimmers and the road glitters in the heat. The fire walls make the building look unprepossessing and cut off. They could be the firewalls of any building. The house is no darker than it was on Bahnhofstrasse, but the windows are so dusty that you can’t see anything inside the rooms, not even the curtains; it looks blind.

I stop on the side of the road and walk over to the entrance. There’s nobody about, not a sound to be heard, not even a distant engine, a gust of wind, a bird. The world is dead. I go up the steps and turn the knob.

But I do not open the door. I wake up knowing simply that I took hold of the knob and turned it. Then the whole dream comes back to me, and I know that I’ve dreamed it before.

  火车站街上的那座房子,现在已经不在了,我不知道什么时候什么原因被拆除的。我好多年没有回过家乡了。七十年代或八十年代新建的那座房子是五层楼房,带有阁楼,木带凸窗间和阳台,粉刷得光亮。门铃很多,说明小套房很多。人们从这种公寓里搬进搬出,就像租用或退还一辆汽车一样。一楼现在是一家计算机店,以前那里是一家药店、一家日用品店和录像带出租店。

  原来的那座老房子和现在的新房子一样高,但只有四层楼。一楼用水磨方石建造,上面三层用砖建造,带有用砂岩建造的凸窗间、阳台和窗框。进屋和上楼都要走几步台阶,台阶下宽上窄,两边是扶墙,上有铁扶手,扶手底端呈蜗牛状。门的两边都有圆柱,横梁两角卧着两个狮子,俯视着火车站街。那个女人带我到院里洗手走的那个门是侧门。

  在我很小的时候,就注意到了那座房子。它在一排房子中鹤立鸡群。我想,如果它再宽、再笨重一些的话,邻近的房子就不得不被挤到一边去而为它让路了。我猜想,房子里面有石膏花饰、交叉穹隆的平顶、东方式的长地毯和磨得锃亮的铜杆扶手。我想,在这样体面的房子里也应住着体面的人。由于经过长年累月的火车烟的烟熏,房子变黑了。于是,我对里面的体面居民的想象也大打折扣,他们变成了怪里怪气的人,非聋即哑,非驼即瘸。

  在后来的许多年里,我总是反复梦见那座房子。那些梦大同小异,都是同一个梦的翻版,或是同一个主题的翻版。我走在一个陌生的城市里,看见了那座房子。它坐落在一个我所陌生的城区里的一排房子中。我继续往前走,困惑不解,因为我只熟悉那座房子却对那个城区感到陌生。然后,我突然想起我曾经见过那座房子,但我想起的不是在我家乡火车站街上的那座房子,而是在另外一个城市,另外一个国家。例如,我梦见在罗马看见了那座房子,但忆起的却是在伯尔尼曾经见过它。这样的梦中记忆,使我感到很安慰。在另外一种环境里再看到那座房子,对我来说并不像在一个陌生的环境中与一位老朋友不期而遇那样令我感到奇怪。我转身向房子走回去,我上楼梯,我要进去,我按下门把手。

  如果我梦到在乡下看见那座房子,我的梦持续的时间便会更长些,或者此后我能更好地忆起它的细节。我开着车,看见那座房子在我右边。我继续往前开,先是感到困惑不解,为什么一座很显然属于城市街道两旁的房子会建在一块空旷地里呢?然后,我想起那座房子我曾经见过,于是感到双重的困惑不解。如果我要是想起在什么地方见过它的话,我就会调转车头往回开。梦中的街道总是没有人,我调转车头,轮胎发出刺耳的尖声。我以飞快的速度开回去,我害怕回去得太晚,于是开得更快了。然后,我看见了它。它的周围都是田地、油菜田、谷物。行宫中的葡萄园及法国田园中的草香草。这里很平坦,最多有点小山包,没有树木。天气晴朗,阳光灿烂,空气回荡,街道热得闪闪发光。一道风火墙把那座房子给隔开了,难以看清。那可能是一座房子的风火墙。那座房子不像火车站街的那座房子那样黑,可窗子特别脏,屋里什么东西都辨认不出来,连窗帘都看不出来。那是座模糊不清的房子。

  我把车停在了路边,穿过了马路来到了房门口,看不到一个人,听不到一点声音,甚至连远处的马达声也听不到。没有风吹,没有鸟语,世界死一般寂静。我迈上了台阶,按下门把手。

  但是我打不开门。我醒了,只知道抓到了门把手并按下了它。然后,整个梦境又浮现在脑海中,我记得,这样的梦我曾经做过。



欢迎访问英文小说网http://novel.tingroom.com

©英文小说网 2005-2010

有任何问题,请给我们留言,管理员邮箱:tinglishi@gmail.com  站长QQ :点击发送消息和我们联系56065533