【读书笔记】肉丝儿学英语之《The River Town 江城》

发表于:2015-09-23 12:32 [只看楼主] [划词开启]


唉呀妈呀这真是第一本我从头到尾认真看完的英文书呀= =

其实之前看过中文版了,这次把英文版也撸了一遍,不得不说此君文笔真好。他属于那种看似文笔平实,不爱用什么大词,但是偏偏就让你觉得拍马也赶不上的可恨的人……╭(╯^╰)╮


笔记我再补……上学去了QAQ


________________________________________________________________________

这本书的作者PETER HESSLER大学毕业于普林斯顿,研究生毕业于牛津,学的好像是文学,是绝对的高材生。上世纪九十年代,他参加和平队(PEACE CORP)来到中国涪陵,在涪陵师专当了两年时间的外教。这本书讲述的就是这两年时间他在涪陵经历的各种大大小小的生活琐事。

 

其实作者还有一本更有名的书,写得比《江城》更晚,名叫《寻路中国》,不知道有没有人看过,我是看过哒……

这两本各有各的特色,写江城的时候作者刚来中国,笔法还比较稚嫩(但是已经显现出他的特点,就是平实优美),写寻路中国的时候作者已经比较成熟了,所以侧重的又是另一方面的感受。

这本书的内容主要就是故事的平铺直叙再加上中间穿插的作者的总结性话语。我觉得作者的总结性话语是最精彩的部分,很多我都在kindle上划线了,之后又重读了一遍。

很多人都说看这本书,“在这里,读懂中国”,或者,“看到了我们熟视无睹的东西”。

其实我恰恰相反啦,类似文中涪陵的小城市我没怎么生活过,就算曾经生活过,也是很多年以前的事情,早就记不太清,所以并没什么可熟视无睹的……本来就不存在嘛= =

我最惊讶也最感动的,是作者的冷静和……恩,怎么说呢,悲悯吧,文人的悲悯。

看这本书的时候我常常换位思考,如果我是何伟(作者的中文名),我面对这样的事情,我会做出什么举动?很羞耻的承认,我大概会直接扑上去撕逼吧……

如果我在大街上看到一个小镇医生在拿脏兮兮的抹布洗注射器,大概直接就一个箭步冲上去夺下人家手中的注射器,然后愤怒地摔在地上,而不是像作者一样,给予最起码的尊重。

如果我走在街上,因为外国人的外貌和身形而被人指指点点,大概会羞愤难当,或者想尽一切办法给人家点颜色看看,而不是像作者一样,虽然觉得心烦,却能够体谅当地人对于外国人的惊奇吧。

如果我一遍又一遍的被人问,你从哪里来?你工资多少?你做什么工作?你为什么来涪陵?之类的问题,大概会草草敷衍了事,而不是像作者一样,不厌其烦的给相同的答案。

记得之前看到过一个说法,读历史书的时候应该把自己放在主角的角度,假想自己处在当时的位置,会做出怎样的选择。此时,读江城时,我无意识地把自己放到了作者的位置上。

我假想自己有一天去了非洲,发现船舱里都是老鼠,人们对我既感兴趣又不尊重,我的一举一动都代表中非友谊,中非历史关系,一遍又一遍地被问相同的问题时,我能不能泰然处之,能不能有作者这般的悲悯与大度……我表示怀疑。

这巨大的差距让我陷入了森森的自卑中……可是这种人格上的差距我也是束手无策,最后只好安慰自己,作者去涪陵的时候大概是29岁,我比她年轻几岁,我还来得及……

 

总之强烈安利一下大家看这本书,英文或中文皆可。尤其推荐英文,因此作者用简单的单词讲了一段动人的故事,我非常佩服这样的能力,很值得大家学习。其实对于英文写作来说,只要掌握几千个单词就足够了,当然了,我说得掌握不仅仅是知道意思,还要知道它的用法和其他释义。有这几个词,单就写作来说,可以说就是打遍天下无敌手了、何伟就是一个很好的例子。如果实在看不来英文的话,看中文也很好。中文是何伟在涪陵师专的朋友翻译的,翻译的很美 ,我记得当时我很喜欢~

 

最后附上几段我觉得写得比较好的,适合单独挑出来的段落,当然是英文哒。大家也可以一瞥这本书单词之简单和文采之动人。

 

作者在讲述莎士比亚的十四行诗的时候说:

“Think about this,” I said. “Four centuries ago, Shakespeare loved a woman and wrote a poem about her. He said he would make her beauty live forever-that was his promise. Today the year is 1996, and we are in China, in Sichuan, next to the Yangtze River. Shakespeare never same to Fuling. None of you has ever been to England, and you have not seen the woman that Shakespeare loved four hundred years ago. But right now every one of you is thinking about her.”

There was absolute silence. Usually Fuling was a riot of horns and construction projects, but at that moment in that classroom it was completely quiet. There was respect and awe in that silence, and I shared it,. I had never heard it truly until I stood infront of my class in Fuling and listened to their stilness as they considered the mirable of those fourteen lines.

  “想想吧,”我说道,“四个世纪前,莎士比亚爱上了一个女子,并为她写了一首诗。他说要让她的美貌永存——这是他的承诺。现在是1996年,我们在中国,四川,就在长江边上。莎士比亚从没有来过涪陵。你们没人去过英国,也没人见过莎士比亚四百多年前爱过的那名女子。可就在这一刻,你们每一个人都在想着她。”    教室里一片静默。通常,涪陵充斥着车船的喇叭声和建筑工地的喧闹声,可在那一刻,教室里鸦雀无声。在这一刻的静默里,既有崇敬,也有惊叹,我与他们感同身受。之前,我已经把这首诗朗读了无数次。但直到我站在涪陵的这些学生面前,聆听他们思考这十四行诗的奇妙时的静默,才真正地听到了它。

 (感谢豆瓣读书笔记,我竟然按图索骥找到了翻译)

(以及,看到这一段的时候,我也静默了……好崇拜何伟欧巴呀OTL)


后来,何伟让学生想象一下书中女主角是一个什么样的人。

很多人交上来的作业类似这样:

Her hair is just like golden wave. Her skin is so smooth that you will suspect it is made of marble. Her waist is as soft as watergrass and her fingers are slim as the root of onion.

 

然后作者写道:

There was an intensity and a freshness to their readings that I’d never seen before from any other students of literature, and partly it was a matter of studying foreign material. We were exchanging clichés without knowing it: I had no idea that classical Chinese poetry routinely makes scallions of women’s fingers, and they had no idea that Sonnet Eighteen’s poetic immortality had been reviewed so many times that it nearly died, a poem with a number tagged to its toe. Our exchange suddenly made everything new: there were no dull poems, no overworked plays, no characters who had already been discussed to the point of clinicism. Nobody groaned when I assigned Beowulf-as far as they were concerned, it was just a good monster story.

 

之后又写道:

You couldn’t have said something like that at Oxford. You couldn’t simply say: I don’t like Hamlet because I think he’s a lousy person. Everything had to be more clever than that; you had to recognize Hamlet as a character in a text, and then you had to dismantle it accordingly, layer by layer, not just the play itself but everything that had ever been written about it. You had to consider what all the other critics had said, and the accumulated weight of their knowledge and nonsense sat heavily on the play. You had to think about how the play tied in with current events and trends. This process had some value, of course, but for many readers it seemed to have reached the point where there wasn’t even a split-second break before the sophistication started. As a student, that was all I had wanted-a brief moment when a simple and true thought flashed across the mind: I don’t like this character. This is a good story. The woman in this poem is beautiful and I bet her fingers are slime like scallions.


之后还有一段,讲到他来到涪陵后经常早起跑步,尽管涪陵的空气状况很差,但是跑步给他一种回家的熟悉感。

The air in the countryside was often bad, becuase the Yangtze winds blew the city's pollution across the Wu River, and I knew that running did my health more harm than good. But it kept my mind steady, because the fields were quiet and peaceful and the activity felt the same as it always head. That old well-known feeling-the catch in my chest, the strain in my legs-connected all the places where I had lived, Missouri and Princeton and Oxford and Fuling. While I ran through the hills, my thoughts swung fluidly between these times and places; I remembered running along the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad pathway, and I recalled the rapeseed blooming gold on Boar's Hill, and the old shaded bridge of Prettybrook. As the months slipped past I realized that even these Sichuan hills, with their strange tombs and terraces, were starting to feel like home.

(唉呀妈呀最后一句多感人QAQ)


之后坐着去参加了涪陵的长跑比赛,他是这样描述长跑的:

To lead any big race is a strange feeling. People speak of the loneliness of running, but I've always felt that the sport is lonely only in the races, and especially when the pack breaks and you find yourself alne in front. In the pack you usually feel some solidarity with the other athletes, even though you are still competing, but in front there are no illusions. That's when the race becomes a chase-one man against the rest of the field-and I've always felt that this is the loneliest feeling in the world. And it's even lonelier when you are the only foreigner in a field of more than two thousand, and all along the course spectators are calling out "Waiguoren, waiguoren, waiguoren." Out-of-country person, out-of-country person, out-of-country person.


当他在长跑中领先时,他写道:

And I thought: Not today. If you're looking for people who are out of their country, out of place, out of step, out of shape, awkward, clumsy; if that's what you're looking for, look back there. Look for the ones who started too fast, or the men who have smoked too many Magnificent Sound cigarettes, or the people who are wearing too many clothes and are choking with heat and sweat. Don't look at me-I've done this for many years in many places, and always it has been exactly the same. There are no fererees, no language barriers, no complicated rules of etiquette. All you do is run.

By the turnaround I had more than thirty seconds on the next runner, and I took it easy from there. The second half was all downhill, it was an out-and-back course I passed the rest of the field. The ones who weren't too exhausted joined in the chorus: "Waiguoren, waiguoren, waiguoren." But it didn't bother me a bit, because for those four kilometers I felt completely at home.

(最后一句还是很感人QAQ)


还有何伟在课堂上讲课的时候,一旦触及到什么稍微敏感的话题,台下所有学生就不说话,只是低下头颅:

But my relationship with the students was still miles away from making this transition. I could not mention Chinese xenophobia withouth their becoming defensive, which told me that they identified more with the random Chinese harasser on the street than they did with their waiguoren teacher. And there were still far too many moments when they dropped their heads in discomfort. This was something I came to loathe-the great head bow. Whenever that happened, I realized that I was not teaching forty-five individual students with forty-five individual ideas, I was teaching a group, and these were moments when the group tought as one, and a group like that was a mob, even if it was silent and passive. And always I was a waiguoren standing alone at the front of the class.


何为曾经在办公室见过一名学生,是一个差生,但是在何伟面前发表了不同于其他学生的观点,表示他想去美国,他喜欢“你们”美国人的方式。

I sat there alone for a while, thinking about what he had said. He was the only student who was anything like a dissident, and I remembered how I had imagined those figures before coming to Fuling. I had always assumed that they were nobel characters-charismatic, intelligent, farsighted, brave. Perhaps that was the way it had been in 1989, and perhaps it was still like in the bigger cities; but here in Fuling things were very different. My best students-Soddy, Linda, Armstrong, Aumur; the ones who were charismatic, intelligent, farsighted, and brave-those were the ones who had been recruited long ago as Party Members. If you had any talent you played by the rules; being a Party Member was good for your career, and in any case all of the students seemed to think that it was good to be patriotic  in the narrow way that they wre told to be. The iamge I had one had of the Chinese dissident had noreality in Fuling.

我静静地坐了一会儿,想着刚才他说过的话。他是唯一一个看起来有点像异见者的学生。在我来涪陵之前,我曾经想象过他们都是什么样子。我一直以为,他们应该是些有头有脸的角色——有魅力,有知识,有远见,有勇气。1989年的时候,也许真就是那么一回事;在大点的城市,现在也许仍然还像那么回事;但在涪陵,已经完全不是那么回事了。我最好的几个学生……也就是有魅力、有知识、有远见、有勇气的那些人——很早就被吸收入了党。如果你有能力,你就可以玩转各种制度;入党对职业发展非常有利……我想象中的异己分子在涪陵没有现实土壤。


还有他去长城时对长城的评论,还蛮精辟……

And the size of the thing(长城)-both its pathetic smallness and its amazing bigness; the fact that I could step across it easily and the fact that it streched for fifteen hundred miles-all of the showed how far the Chinese could go with a bad idea.


还有讲到超生……这句也很有趣~\(≧▽≦)/~

Many of their families were like that-a string of girls punctuated by a boy that marked the end of the children.


作者和人聊天时,那个人聊到自己的祖父在wen ge时期受迫害:

Huang's grandfather was a peasant landlord, and in 1958, during the struggle of Communist land reform, he was executed. Huang demonstrates how they shot him-in the back of the neck-and then he laughs. But it is the unsetting Chinese laugh thaf has nothing to do with humor. It simply takes the place of words that aren't there.


城里有一个十岁的小女孩给人擦鞋,他很纠结到底要不要找人家擦……其实这也是很多时候我面对擦鞋妹子的看法= = 不知道该怎么做才好╮(╯_╰)╭

I never knew how to react to that; often I had my shoes shined in town, and sometimes I figured that I might as well give the firl my business. Other things I decided that it was horrible to have your shoes by a ten-year-old elementary school dropout, so I went to somebody else instead. Like many aspects of my life in Fuling, it was inconsistent and I never could figure out what was the right thing to do.


中间有一段时间,何伟的父亲漂洋过海来看他,呆了十天左右。

That was perhaps the longes weeik and a half I spent in China. It was like seeing a reflection of my entire first year, cut and spliced and crammed into ten days-all of the fear, the annoyances, the fascination, the wonder of the city; everything hit my father in the space of little more than a week. And I found that it was diffucult to predict what would bother him, because I had been in Fuling for so long that I no longer saw it with a true outsider's eye. A slow boat that might seem perfectly fine to me was terrifying to him, while other things that I had worried about, like the spiciness of the food, didn't pose the slightest problem. Like many Peace Corps volunteers all over the world, I found that the parent visit was a kind of revelation; suddenly I saw how much I had learned and how much I had forgotten.


内容好多,我决定删减一些……

最后一个摘录,我决定选取何伟两年之期已到,离开涪陵前的最后一次考试:

But now I realized that the simplicity had been a mirage. Linda's father had been dying as she took her final exam, and Susan had been struggling with the fear that had now driven her from the college.(未婚先孕) That was the way so many things in Fuling turned out-even teaching, which seemed to be a straightforward job, was complex and uncertain. There was an unemotional veneer that the people presented to the outside world, especially to waiguoren, and this made it harder when you lived there long enough to catch a glimpse of the way things actually worked. Of course, to some degree it was just the difficulties of life anywhere in the world-during my time in Fuling, two students had died; a child died; pieple's marriages crumbles. Those things happened everywhere. But in Fuling it had taken me longer to see that side of life, because at first as a waiguoren I was held at a distance, and in a way that distance was hardest to deal with once it was gone. It was like looking at a blank meaningless smile and suddenly recognizeing a lifetime of sadness concentrated in the corner.

但现在我才明白,这种质朴一直恍如海市蜃楼。琳达进行期末考试的时候,她的父亲去世了,苏珊一直在跟恐惧作斗争,可她还是被逐出了校门。涪陵的很多事情就是这个样子——就连看起来应该开诚布公的教学工作实际上也充满了复杂和不确定。对于外界,尤其对于外国人,人们普遍贴上了一层不带任何感情色彩的假面。如果你在那里生活了足够长的时间,对诸事的运作规律已经略有了解的话,这一层假面会让你愈加难见真相。当然,从某种程度上说,在世界上的哪个地方生活都会遇到这样的麻烦——我在涪陵生活期间,两个学生去世了,一个学生堕了胎、辍了学,一个学生的父亲去世了,一个孩子去世了,也许更多人的婚姻破碎了。这样的事情哪里都会发生。但我在涪陵花了更多的时间才看清了生活的这一面,因为我这个外国人一开始就被排斥在一定的距离之外。在一定程度上,当这样的距离不复存在的时候,问题反而更难应对。这样的情形有如凝视一张不带任何表情的空洞笑脸,却突然间发现一生的忧伤其实都凝聚在了嘴角边。


何伟是不是棒棒哒……

唉,最后再摘录一句话吧,来自豆瓣上何伟的新书《奇石》(没看过)的长评。作者给何伟发了10个问题,其中一个回答是这样的。

“我对这项工作也花费了很多时间去学习。我父亲是个社会学家,他的好奇心很重,很喜欢倾听别人,以此去了解别人的内心和生活。我也是这样,当我遇到一个不同于自己的人,我的本能反应不是去评判别人,而是尽量去理解他为什么会这样。 ”


我的本能反应不是去评判别人,而是尽量去理解他为什么会这样。

希望我十年后能有这样的境界咯┭┮﹏┭┮


@映缕 @大江东去long @bongbongba

  @柯奇坦 @王彬_ @drawying@飔懿 @爱维尼的小末 @hedan990723 @依衣 @lazymushroom 

最后编辑于:2015-10-25 19:12
分类: 读书笔记党
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