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燕子、鹦鹉与双重间谍

Swallows, Amazons and Bolsheviks
燕子、鹦鹉与双重间谍

Arthur Ransome is a beloved if minor figure in 20th-century letters. Generations of British readers have grown up with his “Swallows and Amazons” series of young adult novels, the first of which was published in 1930. In these 12 books, children on holiday in the Lake District of England and elsewhere occupy themselves sailing, camping, fishing and playing at pirates. Contemporary readers raised on blood sport in Panem may find the series tame, but the novels are charming and well told. In the few weeks that I’ve contemplated the story of Ransome’s life, every mention of his name to a British acquaintance has elicited a fond smile; from every American it has drawn a blank.

在20世纪的作家中,亚瑟·兰瑟姆(Arthur Ransome)是个可爱却又无足轻重的角色。一代又一代英国读者是读着他的《燕子与鹦鹉》(Swallows and Amazons)系列青少年小说成长起来的,这个系列第一本出版于1930年。在这12本书中,孩子们在英国的湖区或别的什么地方度假,尽情享受航行、露营、钓鱼与扮演海盗嬉戏的欢乐。当代读者是看着《饥饿游戏》,体验着在虚构的帕姆国发生的嗜血游戏长大,他们也许会感觉这个系列太平淡,但小说本身其实非常迷人,叙事精彩。这几个星期,我在酝酿着该如何讲述兰瑟姆的人生,每当我向英国朋友提起他的名字,总会引来会心一笑;而向美国人提起时,却只能换回一脸茫然。

Ransome began “Swallows and Amazons” at the age of 45 after concluding a career as a foreign correspondent. Writing for several British papers, he spent 11 years in and out of Russia during World War I, the revolution and the civil war that followed. Among the ranks of journalists who covered these events, including overt partisans like John Reed, he again cut a minor figure, one who found revolutionary ferment less exhilarating than taxing. “Russia is all very well,” he told his mother, “but too much Russia makes men mad, besides wearing them out.” Even when chasing the big story, he longed for the lush green English landscape and a place to cast his line.

兰瑟姆是在45岁时,方开始创作《燕子与鹦鹉》,此前他一直从事驻外记者工作。从第一次世界大战、俄国革命到之后的俄国内战,他有11年的时间频繁出入俄罗斯,为几家英国报纸撰稿。在众多报道战事的记者中,包括了像约翰·里德(John Reed)这种毫不掩饰的苏共支持者;兰瑟姆同样也只是个小角色,在他看来革命暴动与其说让人欢欣鼓舞,倒不如说劳命伤财。他告诉母亲:“俄罗斯非常好,但说太多俄罗斯不仅会让人疲惫,甚或教人发疯。”即使是在跟进重大新闻时,他也梦想着英国绿意盎然、风景如画的景致,渴望能找一片这样的地方构思作品。

The enduring affection for “Swallows and Amazons” has ensured a readership for several biographies of Ransome, his own memoir and a 2003 study, “Ransome in Russia,” by Ted Alexander and Tatiana Verizhnikova, that covers very much the same ground as “The Last Englishman.” In this new volume, Roland Chambers, a British author of children’s books, wonders whether Ransome served as a double agent, working on behalf of the Bolsheviks as well as for British intelligence. Although Chambers doesn’t find new evidence of treachery, the old evidence of a confused and compromised journalist is damning enough.

读者对《燕子与鹦鹉》经久不息的喜爱,使得数本关于兰瑟姆的图书都拥有一定的读者群,这当中包括几本他的传记、他本人的回忆录,以及2003年出版、由泰德·亚历山大(Ted Alexander )与塔蒂亚娜·维日兹尼科娃(Tatiana Verizhnikova)合写的研究专著《兰瑟姆在俄罗斯》(Ransome in Russia),后者与《最后的英国人》所涉及的领域基本一致。这本新作的作者罗兰德·钱伯斯(Roland Chamber)是英国童书作家,他在书中怀疑兰瑟姆充任双重间谍角色,在为布尔什维克效力的同时,也在为英国情报机关工作。尽管钱伯斯并没有找到兰瑟姆叛国的新证据,但已有的证据足以证明,兰瑟姆确实是个令人起疑、受到收买的记者。

Ransome’s work habits must have driven his editors nuts. Although he was present at the Finland Station in April 1917 when Lenin arrived to begin the campaign for Bolshevik power, Ransome neglected to file a report to his paper, London’s left-leaning Daily News. Later that year, with Petrograd in a whirl of plots and counterplots, he took a much-desired holiday in Britain and was not on hand for the October Revolution. “As Lenin opened perhaps the most significant chapter in the history of 20th-century politics,” Chambers writes, “the Russian correspondent for The Daily News was at Fonthill, fishing for perch.”

兰瑟姆的工作习惯肯定会让他的编辑们抓狂。尽管在1917年4月,当列宁来到芬兰车站,着手夺取布尔什维克政权时,兰瑟姆本人就在现场,但他却疏忽了,并没有向他工作的伦敦左翼报纸《每日新闻报》(Daily News)发去报道。在当年晚些时候,彼得格勒陷入了阴谋与反阴谋的漩涡中,而他却在此时回到英国,去度他期待已久的假期,在十月革命发生时根本就不在场。钱伯斯在书中写道:“当列宁打开了20世纪政治史或许最重要的篇章时,《每日新闻报》的驻俄记者身在方特山(Fonthill),钓着鲈鱼。”

The angler soon returned to develop close relations with the Bolshevik leaders, especially Karl Radek, the shrewd, ebullient chief of Western propaganda, who, it may be inferred, played him like a balalaika. Motivated mostly by a desire for Anglo-Russian friendship, Ransome filed stories that were emphatically pro-Bolshevik and slighted the other leftist parties still claiming a role in the revolution. The reports were also quite wrong. Ransome denied that the Bolsheviks would ever betray the Allies by making a separate peace with Germany, which they shortly did. Later, he consistently played down Soviet political repression.

这位钓鱼爱好者很快回到俄罗斯,并与布尔什维克领导人走得很近,其中关系最近的当属卡尔·拉狄克(Karl Radek),事后可以推断,这位负责西方舆论宣传的主管像拨弄一把俄式三弦琴一样,将兰瑟姆玩弄于股掌之间。兰瑟姆受到了增进英俄友谊宣传口号的感召,撰写了一系列新闻稿件,旗帜鲜明地支持布尔什维克,忽略了声称在革命中也发挥了作用的其他左翼党派。这些报道的内容错得很彻底。兰瑟姆否认了俄共(布)会背叛协约国,与德国单独媾和,可就在不久以后俄罗斯就做了这件事。此后,他又不断对苏联做出的政治镇压轻描淡写。

Ransome’s most complicated involvement with the Bolsheviks was his affair with a young secretary, Evgenia Shelepina, whom he met while doing an interview with her boss, Leon Trotsky. The liaison eased his way into the halls of power, conflating his personal and professional responsibilities. It also required that he seek extraordinary assistance from the British Foreign Office so Shelepina could obtain a visa to travel with him. She would become his second wife, after his divorce from the first, who had remained with his daughter in England.

兰瑟姆与俄共(布)之间最复杂的关联,是他与一位年轻秘书伊夫吉尼娅·谢利皮娜(Evgenia Shelepina)之间发生的婚外情。他是在采访她的上司列昂·托洛茨基(Leon Trotsky)时遇见了她。他们之间的关系使得他得以登堂入室,走进权力高层,他的私人关系也因此跟工作职责混为一谈。同时,为了让谢利皮娜获得签证,与他一起出行,他还需要寻求英国外交部的特殊照顾。后来他与第一任妻子离婚(她带着他的女儿留在英国),与谢利皮娜结婚。

At the same time as his dispatches adhered to the Bolshevik line, Ransome was given a code name, S76, and money from His Majesty’s Secret Service. Today collusion by a journalist with an intelligence agency would be considered repugnantly unprofessional. Even then the arrangement was irregular, but his editors at The Daily News were apparently aware of it. Many of his articles also appeared in The New York Times, though Chambers doesn’t suggest that the American paper knew of the collaboration. Eight months after it began running his articles on the front page, The Times ended the relationship. (It would later send to Moscow its own problematic journalist. Walter Duranty, who covered Russia for the paper from 1921 to 1940, underplayed Soviet brutalities and denied the Ukrainian famine.)

当他坚守在布尔什维克阵线发稿的同时,英国情报部门给了他行动暗号“S76”和经费。在如今,记者与情报机关勾结在一块会认为是极端不职业的行为。即使是在当时这种安排都有违常规,但他在《每日新闻报》的编辑显然对此知情。他的很多报道还刊登在《纽约时报》上,不过钱伯斯并未在书中暗示,这份美国报纸知道兰瑟姆与特勤部门的合作内情。《纽约时报》一度在头版刊登兰瑟姆的新闻稿,但在8个月后终止了双方的合作关系(后来《纽约时报》也在莫斯科派驻记者,但这位叫沃尔特·杜兰提[Walter Duranty]的记者同样有问题,他在1921年到1940年间为该报报道苏联新闻,在报道中他对苏联的残暴行径做出了淡化处理,并否认了乌克兰的大饥荒)。

Chambers finds that Ransome did nothing more for the intelligence service than provide insight into the personalities at the head of the new Soviet government. He gave the Soviets the same kind of information about British officials, much of it reflecting what he believed was best for the countries’ common interests. He also served as the occasional go-between. The two governments were wary and combative, especially after the Bolsheviks foiled a 1918 British-sponsored coup, possibly because Ransome tipped them off — or so Chambers speculates, on slim circumstantial evidence. Much like its subject, “The Last Englishman” relies too much on uncertain argument and indifferent scholarship.

钱伯斯发现,兰瑟姆为英国情报机关所做的事,无非是深入介绍了新的苏联政府领导人的个性。他也向苏联方面提供了关于英国官员的类似信息,这些信息在他看来,多半有利于两国的共同利益。间或他还充任两国的中间人。两国政府态度都很谨慎而好斗,在1918年布尔什维克粉碎了一起英国资助的政变后情况尤其如此,而俄方之所以能一举识破阴谋,也许是因为兰瑟姆告了密——至少钱伯斯基于少量间接证据,做出了这种推测。就跟本书的主人公一样,《最后的英国人》过于倚重靠不住的论据和粗浅的研究。

After leaving Russia, Ransome and Shelepina found a cottage on the east bank of Lake Windermere, not far from where he would set “Swallows and Amazons.” The Bolsheviks were very far away. Until his death in 1967, Ransome did what he loved best: sailing, fishing and writing. He looked back at the years when he had been given entree to the Kremlin with some wry amusement, as a time when he was no more than “a shuttlecock bandied to and fro by lunatics.”

离开苏联后,兰瑟姆和谢利皮娜在温德米尔湖东岸找了一栋小屋子住下,这里离《燕子和鹦鹉》系列发生的场景很近。布尔什维克距离他已经非常遥远。直至1967年去世之前,兰瑟姆一直做着他最爱的事情:航行、钓鱼、写作。带着几分苦笑,他回忆起在克里姆林宫出入的岁月,他说,在那时,自己无非是“一个被疯子抽来打去的羽毛球”。
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