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爱琴海上被遗弃的麻风病孤岛

更新时间:2017/10/21 10:27:14 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

The abandoned Greek island shrouded in mystery
爱琴海上被遗弃的麻风病孤岛

I caught my first glimpse of Spinalonga four years ago from a steep hilltop overlooking the sleepy village of Plaka in north-eastern Crete. The diminutive 8.5-hectare islet in the Gulf of Mirabello stood completely in shadow, dark and foreboding as if blackened by coal, while the butterscotch-hued Spinalonga Peninsula that curls around the island like a sleeping cat’s tail basked in the golden light of the setting sun.

四年前的一天,我站在克里特岛(Crete)东北部可以俯瞰到静谧的普拉卡(Plaka)村庄的一座陡峭山顶上,生平第一次瞥见了史宾纳隆加岛(Spinalonga)。这座面积仅为8.5公顷的小岛位于米拉贝洛湾(Gulf of Mirabello),完全笼罩在阴暗和阴郁之中,犹如被煤炭熏黑一般,而环抱在其周围的史宾纳隆加半岛,则像在夕阳的金色余晖下一只酣睡中的小猫的尾巴。

A stone’s throw from Plaka, the arid, rocky islet once served as a military stronghold during Venetian (and later Ottoman) rule; a medieval citadel stands testament to that chapter in the island’s history. In 1904, after the Cretans evicted the Turks from Spinalonga, the islet was transformed into a leper colony, where, by 1913, after Crete became part of Greece, anyone afflicted with the disease was sent. At its peak, the colony comprised nearly 400 inhabitants.

史宾纳隆加岛距普拉卡仅一箭之遥,这座贫瘠的岩石小岛曾经在威尼斯人(以及之后的土耳其人)统治期间作为军事据点;岛上的一座中世纪城堡是那段历史的证明。1904年,当克里特人将土耳其人驱逐出岛之后,这里变成了麻风病隔离区,到1913年,当克里特岛成为希腊的一部分之后,所有麻风病人都被送到了这里。最多的时候,曾有400名病人被隔离在岛上。

Leprosy, which causes disfiguring skin sores and debilitating nerve damage, has long carried with it negative social stigmas. Those burdened with leprosy were shunned, stigmatised and mistreated by their families, communities and even medical professionals. In fact, stigmatisation was often so extreme that since ancient times leprosy has been called the ‘death before death’.

麻风病导致皮肤溃烂和衰弱性神经损伤,长期以来一直背负着负面的社会标签。在过去,麻风病患者受到家人、社区甚至医务专业人员的回避、羞辱和虐待。事实上,麻风病患者历史上时常受到非常极端的歧视,在古代,麻风病被称为"死亡前的死亡"。

Once diagnosed, these victims had their property and financial assets seized, their citizenship rights revoked and their identity wiped clean. They were then deported to Spinalonga, where they never received treatment for their disease. The sole doctor assigned to the island only made the trip from Plaka if someone was struck by another illness. What’s more, even though treatment for leprosy was found as early as the 1940s, the Greek state kept the colony operational until 1957. Only after a British expert visited the island and compiled a damning report denouncing the island doctor and the state for failing to provide proper medical treatment and housing did the government officially close Spinalonga.

一旦被确诊,等待这些麻风病受害者的厄运便是财产和金融资产被扣押,公民权利丧失,身份化为乌有。之后,他们被驱逐到史宾纳隆加岛,而到了这里,他们将不再获得治疗。负责岛上病人的唯一一名医生,仅仅在有人身患其他的疾病的时候,才会从普拉卡前往史宾纳隆加岛查看病况。更为甚者,尽管早在上世纪40年代就找到了治疗麻风病的手段,但希腊政府直到1957年才撤销隔离区的运作。当时,一名英国专家在视察该岛后,撰写了一份报告,谴责负责该岛的医生和希腊政府未能为病人提供适当的医学治疗和居住环境,在此之后希腊政府才正式宣布关闭史宾纳隆加岛。

I wasn’t able to visit the island that day four years ago, but since reading Victoria Hislop’s bestselling novel The Island, a melodramatic telling of family secrets, betrayals and star-crossed love affairs set in the confines of the leper colony, I’ve returned to learn what life was truly like for those exiled on Spinalonga.

四年前的那天,我未能造访该岛,但自从读了维多利亚·希斯洛普(Victoria Hislop)畅销小说《岛》(The Island)之后,我曾来到岛上探寻当时被流放在史宾纳隆加岛上的病人真实的生活状况。希斯洛普的这部小说其故事背景就设定在这里的麻风病隔离区,以伤感的基调讲述了这里的家庭秘密,背叛,以及命运多舛的爱情故事。

Viewed from across the teal water of the Gulf of Mirabello on a windy summer afternoon, white speedboats zipping past, Spinalonga paints a pretty picture. But as our small ferry from Plaka approached the islet, the citadel loomed above us like a dark cloud.

在一个有风的夏日午后,视线穿过米拉贝洛湾暗蓝色的水面,当白色的快艇呼啸驶过时,史宾纳隆加岛呈现出一幅美丽的画面。但是,当我们乘坐着从普拉卡驶出的小渡轮靠近这座小岛时,岛上的那座城堡就像一片黑云笼罩在我们头上。

I was accompanied by Maurice Born, ethnologist and co-author and translator of Vies et morts d’un Crétois lépreux (Lives and deaths of a Cretan leper), which he wrote with Epaminondas Remoundakis, a leprosy survivor who advocated for improved living conditions and fair treatment of those living on Spinalonga.

陪同我登岛的是莫里斯·博恩(Maurice Born),他是一位民族学家,以及"Vies et morts d'un Crétois lépreux"(《一个克里特岛麻风病人的生生死死》)一书的联合作者和译者,此书的另一位作者伊巴密浓达·里芒达基斯(Epaminondas Remoundakis)是一名麻风病幸存者,他曾为改善史宾纳隆加岛上麻风病患者的生活状况以及让他们获得公正的对待而奔走呼吁。

“You see,” Born said as we passed through a multi-arched tunnel in the fortress walls known as Dante’s Gate, “the story of Spinalonga is the story of a massive lie.”

当我们穿过一条被称之为但丁之门(Dante's Gate)的多拱形隧道时,博恩说:"你看,史宾纳隆加岛的故事是一个巨大谎言。"

For decades after the 1957 closure of the leper colony, little was known about the island. The government, anxious to erase any trace of the colony’s existence, burned all its files. And the surviving lepers refused to speak of their experiences. For years it was as if Spinalonga had never existed.

在1957年隔离区关闭后的数十年,几乎没有人知道这座岛的情况。政府急于抹去隔离区曾经存在的任何印记,烧毁了所有的档案,而幸存的麻风病人则拒绝讲述他们在岛上的经历。多年来,好像史宾纳隆加岛从未存在过一样。

But Hislop’s 2005 novel – which spawned a hit television series – changed all that. Suddenly, people were talking; everyone was an expert. The government, thrilled at the author’s rose-tinted portrayal of the colony, let them talk, and a romanticised, erroneous story of life in the leper colony was born.

不过,希斯洛普2005年出版的那本小说改变了所有这一切,小说后来还改编成一部广受欢迎的电视剧。突然间,人们开始谈论起来;并且似乎人人都成了专家。作者对隔离区的故事进行了浪漫化的描绘,这让政府露出悦色,于是毫不禁忌人们的谈论,一个浪漫化的,对这个麻风病隔离区错误描绘的故事由此诞生。

We emerged onto a sunny village street lined with the crumbling remains of Venetian and Turkish homes. Born paused to point out a frontless, roofless stone ruin that had once housed a bistro run by lepers. “The state, seeking to erase the stain on their reputation, wanted to destroy all evidence of the leper colony. But then, in the 1980s, they realised that the tourists were coming with the specific purpose of visiting the leper colony,” he explained, laughing at the irony.

此时,我们走到了一条阳光明媚的村庄街道,两旁是威尼斯人和土耳其人家园的废墟。博恩停下脚步,指向一处没有前部也没有屋顶的石头遗址,这里曾经是一个由麻风病人负责的酒吧。"政府试图抹去他们声誉上的污点,想摧毁隔离区的所有证据。但后来,到了上世纪80年代,他们意识到有游客是专程探寻麻风病隔离区的,"他解释道,夹带着讽刺的笑声。

Another arch opened onto what was the commercial street, a shaded strip with shops (something the lepers were only authorised to have as of the 1930s), a cafe and a small school. One side of the strip has been restored for tourist purposes, with storefronts now sporting wooden shutters in a rainbow of colours. Not far away stands a cavernous stone building that still houses the incinerator used to burn infected clothing.

穿过又一道拱门,我们来到了岛上的商业街,这是一条有遮阴的街道,街上有若干家商店(这里曾经销售的商品是1930年代以前,麻风病人被允许仅可拥有的物品),一家咖啡馆和一所小学校。出于旅游的目的,街道的一边已经进行了修复,店面已装上了彩虹色排列的木制百叶窗。不远处有一个海绵状的石头建筑,里面仍然放置着用来焚烧感染衣物的焚化炉。

As we walked through the abandoned village, Born continued to reveal details of life in the colony. Before the 1930s, Spinalongians “lived in a frantic state of selfishness, thinking only of survival,” he explained. “No-one looked after one another, the priest had difficulty finding people to help bury the dead.”

当我们走过这里废弃村庄时,博恩继续细数着隔离区的生活。他告诉我,在20世纪30年代之前,史宾纳隆加岛人生活在疯狂的自私状态,生存是他们唯一的考虑,没有人会去照顾他人,神父找不到人帮助埋葬死者。

It wasn’t until Remoundakis arrived and formed the Brotherhood of the Sick of Spinalonga, a society dedicated to improving conditions on the island, that conditions began to improve. The group lobbied the Greek government for the right to marry and to operate businesses.

直到里芒达基斯到来,并创立了史宾纳隆加岛病患兄弟会(Brotherhood of the Sick of Spinalonga)——一个致力于改善岛上状况的社团,这里的情况才开始改观。病患兄弟会通过向希腊政府游说,为病患争取了结婚和经营买卖的权利。

“Until the Brotherhood, all that counted was food, gambling and raki (a strong grape-based spirit popular in Crete),” Born said. But the Brotherhood worked to establish order and a better quality of life on the island. Sometimes concerts were held by musically-talented residents. Someone donated a record player, which was kept at one of the cafes, and patrons would listen to music.

"在病患兄弟会成立之前,食物、赌博和拉基酒(raki)(克里特岛十分受欢迎的由葡萄酿造的烈酒)是这里聊以消磨时光的一切,"博恩说。病患兄弟会努力在岛上建立秩序,提高生活质量。有时,岛上有音乐才能的病人会举办一些音乐会。还有人捐赠了一台录音机,放在了一个咖啡馆内,供客人听音乐。

One of the Brotherhood’s most important rules was a ban on mirrors; no-one wished to see themselves. But it was impossible not to observe the ravages of the disease in the other residents.

病患兄弟会最重要一条规则是禁止使用镜子;没有人希望看到自己。但却无法避免从其他病人身上目睹麻风病造成的蹂躏。

“They sought solitude in order to escape the face of the other,” Born said.

"他们寻求孤独,以避开见到其他人的脸,"博恩说。

And so, in 1938, colony residents received permission from the state to dynamite part of the medieval fortress wall and clear a path around the island’s perimeter, navigable even by those who had been handicapped by their illness. The new path provided those banished to the island some semblance of liberation.

之后,在1938年,隔离区的病人获得政府许可,炸毁了中世纪堡垒的一部分城墙,并平整出一条环岛道路,让因为麻风病导致残疾的病人都可以方便出行。这条新辟出的道路为那些被放逐在岛上的病人提供了些许自由的外表。

We made our way past the pile of boulders left by the demolition. The suffocating feeling I felt in the village vanished as we followed the trail. Strong winds whipped off the Aegean Sea and across the path like a prisoner freed from handcuffs. I took in the spectacular view of the Bay of Mirabello and inhaled the salty scent of the sea.

我们走过了炸毁城墙遗留下来的一堆巨石。沿着这条道路,我在村里感到窒息感觉逐渐消失。强烈的海风从爱琴海鞭笞而过,从环岛路上横扫而过,犹如一名摆脱手铐的囚徒。我感叹米拉贝洛湾的壮观景色,深深吸入一口爱琴海的咸味。

We passed the lonely Church of St George, built centuries ago by the Venetians, and arrived at a small cemetery. “When tourists began coming to the island in the 1980s, many of the visitors would desecrate the cemetery,” Born said. In 2013, the bones of the deceased were placed in a proper ossuary next to the cemetery and covered with new concrete plaques.

我们经过了由威尼斯人于几世纪前建造的孤零零的圣乔治教堂(Church of St George),来到了一个小型公墓。"当80年代有游客开始来岛时,其中有很多人会亵渎墓地,"博恩谈到。 2013年,死者的遗骨被放置于公墓旁边的一个妥善的藏骨堂,并覆盖了新的混凝土碑匾。

The island was silent save for the rustling of the wind moving through the grass and the faint whiz of passing motorboats. At the cemetery’s entrance, a small plaque urges respect for the poor souls buried on that rocky hillside overlooking the sea and the mountains of Crete.

除了海风吹过草木发出的婆娑声以及远去的摩托艇渐渐弱去的马达声,岛上一片寂静。在公墓的入口处,有一块凝神远望大海和克里特山脉的小匾牌,透出一股强大的力量,让生者对那些埋葬在岩石山坡上可怜的灵魂不由自主地投射出尊敬的目光。

It has taken several decades for their story to be told, but perhaps those who never escaped Spinalonga have found peace at last.

虽然他们的故事在历经了几十年后才被人讲述,但或许那些从未逃离史宾纳隆加岛的人们最终还是得到了安息。

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