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Title: The Extra 50 Bucks

2009-02-14 11:43:46 编辑 删除

归档在 Free-style poet | 浏览 9168 次 | 评论 0 条

                Title: The Extra 50 Bucks

Byline:

Hong Wen 

Translated by Ginger Huang

Lead: Yi Qing is a writer and world traveler. As a freelancer, he has worked in drastically different fields as ranging from publishing, investment, film, drama, to news commentator. His blog is linked to most of the major portal websites in China, and the average hits per day is 140,000. He is, in particular, an autobiographer of political figures with untraditional perspectives. You can read more about Yi Qing at http://blog.ifeng.com/1384941.html.

Text:

I cannot quite remember the name of that hill in Paris, but there is a story in the artist village that I will never forget.

It was a dusky day, ready for rain. The sky looked a like a Chinese painting. Our dutiful guide, a girl from Taiwan whose last name was Wang, told us that since we had come all the way to Paris, we would not waste our time if we got our portraits drawn. I was fancying the idea when a painter of Middle Eastern descent waved to me. As I approached, he elegantly showed me the seat and began his painting. I sat there perfectly still, trying to be the best model I could be; many Chinese tourists crowded over, in their normal manner. Our interpreter told me that the bearded painter was an Iranian who had obtained French nationality. He drew in exaggerated style, far from the sereneness so familiar to Chinese painters.

At first, our artistic friend mistook us for being Japanese; but when he found out we were indeed Chinese, he apologized profusely. I told him it was perfectly fine, since we were the Asian tourists in France anyway. He happily gave me the thumbs up, as I did the same to compliment his artwork that resembled me.

It was a good painting, causing quite a stir in the crowd. Trying to match my compliments to the superior quality of his painting, I told him that I was in the publishing business and that I believed it would please him a great deal if I put his portrait in my book to introduce to Chinese readers.

He paused for a second. After getting the full meaning from our interpreter, he smiled and responded with a firm “No.” He explained that things simply didn’t work that way. His artwork had his copyright, and if I published it in my book, I would be breaching that right. Having said this, he continued to concentrate on my portrait.

The people surrounding us did not pay much heed to the conversation; they were too busy comparing me with the portrait, debating whether it resembled me the most and the least. But I was carried away by what he had said. In France, as well as in the rest of Europe, copyright protection is something like mianzi (saving face) protection in China. It is very much valued by each individual. In France the individual’s copyright is even safeguarded by the government, which in turn, becomes a motivation toward personal innovation.

The sky continued to grow dim, but in the end it did not rain. My new friend snapped his fingers and I knew my portrait was ready. I paid an extra 50 bucks to buy it (in addition to the labor fee) and received another friendly snap in response. What he didn’t know was that the extra 50 bucks had not bought me a canvas of my face, but rather an enlightenment I still carry with me to this day.

 

附中文原文:

巴黎市区的那个山头,我已经记不大清楚叫什么名儿了,但那个画家村里的一件事,却总是让我难忘。

那个上午有些雨意,蒙蒙的,天幕中有着国画的情景。导游是个尽职的台湾小姐,姓汪。小姐对大伙说,来一次巴黎不容易,如果有人愿意在这儿取一幅粉笔画回去,说不定是个有意义的纪念。

我也觉得是这样。正好,一位中东国家长相的画家向我招手,人家很绅士地邀我入座,画画就开始了。我一动不动,像个模特儿。我的周边围了很多来看画像的中国人。通过翻译,知道了这位满脸“胡子”茬的画家是伊朗人,现已入了法籍。胡子画画的动作有些夸张,不太像我们中国画家的那种入静式的安宁。

胡子以为我们是日本人,当得知是他的判断错误时,他深深地道歉。我说,没关系,都是亚洲人,谁来法国不都一样吗。胡子很快乐地翘起拇子,我也报胡子一个大拇指,夸他的画画得好。

还真是画得好。周边的人很兴奋地议论着。我说,我是干出版的,如果先生的名字因这幅画在我的著作中出现而将有众多的中国读者慢慢熟悉您的话,您是不是很高兴呢?

胡子愣了一下,通过翻译确认我的话的原意后,他微笑着说出了“NO”,并告诉我,这样是不行的,你将侵犯属于我的权利。然后又专注于他的作品,仍然是一丝不苟地工作。

没有人关注我们之间的这场简短的对话,周边的人都在议论着画得象还是不象,或者哪个地方更象。但胡子的话给我上了深深的一课。在法国,在欧洲,著作权的保护是深入人心的,就像中国人对待自己的面子一样,欧洲人很看重属于自己的个人权利,国家也极力捍卫属于每个个体的权利。正是因为包括国家和个人对这种“权利”的呵护,才使得创新成为一种动力,创意成为一种产业。

雨意更浓一些了,但终归没有下下来。胡子右手的拇指与中指扣了个响哨,由此我知道肖像已经画完了。在付款时,我多付了50元。胡子很友好地再扣了个响哨。他不知道,我多付的那50元,买来的是我的一个进步,一个觉醒。

 

 

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Yi Qing is a writer and world traveler. As a freelancer, he has worked in drastically different fields as ranging from publishing, investment, film, drama, to news commentator.

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