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更新时间:2005/4/6
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Kipling Letters  Up for Sale

Here in Britain a collection of letters is going on sale which may shed new light on the private life of the author Rudyard Kipling. He’s best known for writing the Jungle Book, Kim and The Just So Stories. The private letters are from Kipling to his children’s governess.

Nearly 70 years after his death, the Bateman’s Estate in Sussex remains the shrine of Rudyard Kipling. One of the most influential writers of his day, Kipling was even asked to write speeches for the king. The public spokesman for the British Empire was also the head of a close knit family. It’s his letters to Mary Blaikie, the family governess, that are up for sale. The letters reveal how close Kipling was to his only son John. His life was torn apart by John’s death in the First World War.

Pippa Little, Mary Blaikie’s great niece: This is a rather sad letter because it was written in 1915 just before he died and he was desperate to be in the First World War and in fact when he applied to the army he didn’t get in. And Rudyard Kipling pulled strings and got him in and then very sadly, soon after this letter he was killed in action. And of course his father was absolutely devastated, as was my aunt.

Even after she left the family, Mary Blaikie remained a close friend of Kipling. The two corresponded for more than 20 years. Many of the letters were written here at his desk at Bateman’s. The huge interest they generated almost a century later is a sign of Kipling’s enduring appeal. Scholars are hoping they will reveal more about this intensely private man.

Michael Smith, The Kipling Society: Kipling wrote an autobiography in the last year of his life. It was called Something Of Myself. A lot of people think perhaps it ought to have been entitled Very Little of Myself or Hardly Anything of Myself because it doesn’t come over with some of the things we would most like to have known about his character. But these letters which have now come to light do put him in an extremely human way.

The Kipling Society would like to see the letters remain in Britain but bids are expected from around the world at today’s auction. Collectors will always be interested in anything that sheds light on this public figure whose private life remains such an enigma.

Risla Tee, BBC News

难点注释:

shed: vt. 放出,散发出(光,声音,香味等)      

governess: n. 女家庭教师

shrine: n. 神殿,圣地

devastate: vt. 毁坏           

correspond: vi. 通信          

enduring: a. 持久的,不朽的

参考译文:

    数封展示作家拉迪亚德·吉卜林私人生活的信件今天将在英国进行拍卖,拉迪亚德·吉卜林是《丛林之书》、《基姆》和《那样的故事》等书的知名作家。这些私人信件是吉卜林写给其子女的女家庭教师的。

    在拉迪亚德·吉卜林去世近70年后,苏塞克司郡的贝特曼庄园依旧保持着吉卜林故居的原貌。作为他那个时期最具影响力的作家之一,吉卜林还被邀请为国王撰写演讲词。这位大英帝国的公开发言人也是一个亲密大家庭的家长。此次拍卖的是他写给家庭女教师玛丽·布莱基的一些信件。这些信中可以看出吉卜林对儿子约翰的深厚感情,自从儿子在第一次世界大战中丧生后他的生活就彻底崩溃了。

皮帕·利特尔(玛丽·布莱基的外甥孙): 1915年儿子死前他写的那封信尤其伤感,当时儿子不顾一切地要参加第一次世界大战,但他报名时却并未录取,拉迪亚德·吉卜林只好走了点后门让他入了伍,结果很不幸就在写了这封信后不久,他儿子在战场上阵亡。于是他整个人就彻底崩溃了,此事对我的阿姨打击也非常大。

    即使玛丽·布莱基离开了吉卜林家,她和吉卜林一直保持着良好的朋友关系。两人保持联系长达20多年。其中许多信吉卜林就是在贝特曼庄园的书桌上写的。这些信件在将近一个世纪后还能如此引人注目,可见吉卜林的长远的影响力。学者们希望从这些信件可以更好地了解这个孤僻作家。

    迈克·史密斯(吉卜林研究会) :吉卜林在生前最后一年写了本自传,叫作《我之逸事》,许多人都认为书名应该叫作《我之琐事》或是《我之小事》因为该书并没有讲述那些大家最想知道有关吉卜林为人的事情。而即将公开拍卖的这些信件将展现其非常人性化的一面。

    吉卜林研究会希望这些信件还是能留在英国,但今天的拍卖吸引了来自世界各地的买家。看来收藏家们对与这位谜一样的名人的隐私有关的东西都会兴趣盎然。

    英国广播公司记者里斯拉·提

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