阿兰·德波顿: 《旅行的艺术》1-(2-3)

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TB英语咀嚼阿兰·德波顿的《旅行的艺术》(The Art of Travel) 英语用词。阿兰·德波顿(Alain de Botton)是一位出生于瑞士的英国哲学家和作家。他写的散文式的书被称为“日常生活哲学”。他的作品涉及爱情、旅行、建筑和文学,包括小说《爱情笔记》(1993)、《爱上浪漫》(1994)、《亲吻与诉说》(1995)及散文作品《拥抱逝水年华》(1997 )、《哲学的慰藉》(2000)、《旅行的艺术》(2002)、《写给无神论者》(2012)。他的书在30个国家畅销。

Departure : I Anticipation (Places: Hammersmith, London, Barbados )1
出发:第1章: 对旅行的期待 (伦敦,哈默史密斯,巴巴多斯)


If our lives are dominated by a search for happiness, then perhaps few activities reveal as much about the dynamics of this quest – in all its ardour and paradoxes – than our travels. They express, however inarticulately, an understanding of what life might be about, outside the constraints of work and the struggle for survival. Yet rarely are they considered to present philosophical problems – that is, issues requiring thought beyond the practical. We are inundated with advice on where to travel to; we hear little of why and how we should go – though the art of travel seems naturally to sustain a number of questions neither so simple nor so trivial and whose study might in modest ways contribute to an understanding of what the Greek philosophers beautifully termed eudaimonia or human flourishing.


the dynamics of this quest : 这一追求的动力
in all its ardour and paradoxes : 在所有的热情和矛盾中
inarticulately:adverb /ˌɪn.ɑːrˈtɪk.jə.lət.li/,incapable of giving coherent, clear, or effective expression to one's ideas or feelings 无法连贯、清晰或有效地表达自己的想法或感情
outside the constraints of work and the struggle for survival:在为生存而工作和奋斗的约束之外
inundated with:overwhelmed; flooded with: 应接不暇;淹没;充满;充斥着
Eudaimonia: \ˌyüdēˈmōnēə\, 幸福或福利。udaimonia是一个希腊词,字面上翻译为“良好的精神”的状态或状态,通常被翻译为“幸福”或“福利”。在亚里士多德的著作中,eudaimonia是古代希腊传统中人类最高善的术语。


One question revolves around the relationship between the anticipation of travel and its reality. I came upon a copy of J.-K. Huysmans’s novel A Rebours, published in 1884, whose effete and misanthropic hero, the aristocratic Duc des Esseintes, anticipated a journey to London and offered in the process an extravagantly pessimistic analysis of the difference between what we imagine of a place and what can occur when we reach it.

Huysmans recounts that the Duc des Esseintes lived alone in a vast villa on the outskirts of Paris. He rarely went anywhere to avoid what he took to be the ugliness and stupidity of others. One afternoon in his youth, he had ventured into a nearby village for a few hours and had felt his detestation of people grow fierce. Since then, he had chosen to spend his days alone in bed in his study, reading the classics of literature and moulding acerbic thoughts about humanity. However, early one morning, the Duc surprised himself by an intense wish to travel to London. The desire came upon him as he sat by the fire reading a volume of Dickens. The book evoked visions of English life which he contemplated at length and grew increasingly keen to see. Unable to withhold his excitement, he ordered his servants to pack his bags, dressed himself in a grey tweed suit, a pair of laced ankle boots, a little bowler hat and a flax-blue Inverness cape and took the next train to Paris. Because he had time to spare before the departure of the London train, he went to Galignani’s English bookshop on the Rue de Rivoli and there bought a volume of Baedeker’s Guide to London. He was thrown into delicious reveries by its terse descriptions of London’s attractions. He moved on to a wine bar nearby frequented by a largely English clientele. The atmosphere was out of Dickens: he thought of scenes where Little Dorrit, Dora Copperfield and Tom Pinch’s sister Ruth sat in similarly cosy, bright rooms. One customer had Mr Wickfield’s white hair and ruddy complexion and the sharp, expressionless features and unfeeling eyes of Mr Tulkinghorn.

Hungry, Des Esseintes went next to an English tavern in the Rue d’Amsterdam, near the Gare Saint Lazare. It was dark and smoky there, with a line of beer pulls along a counter, which was spread with hams as brown as violins and lobsters the colour of red lead. Seated at small wooden tables were robust Englishwomen with boyish faces, teeth as big as palette knives, cheeks as red as apples and long hands and feet. Des Esseintes found a table and ordered some oxtail soup, a smoked haddock, a helping of roast beef and potatoes, a couple of pints of ale and a chunk of Stilton.

However, as the moment to board his train approached, along with the chance to turn dreams of London into reality, Des Esseintes was abruptly overcome with lassitude. He thought how wearing it would be actually to go to London, how he would have to run to the station, fight for a porter, board the train, endure an unfamiliar bed, stand in queues, feel cold and move his fragile frame around the sights that Baedeker had so tersely described – and thus soil his dreams: ‘What was the good of moving when a person could travel so wonderfully sitting in a chair? Wasn’t he already in London, whose smells, weather, citizens, food, and even cutlery were all about him? What could he expect to find over there except fresh disappointments?’ Still seated at his table, he reflected, ‘I must have been suffering from some mental aberration to have rejected the visions of my obedient imagination and to have believed like any old ninny that it was necessary, interesting and useful to travel abroad.’

So Des Esseintes paid the bill, left the tavern and took the first train back to his villa, along with his trunks, his packages, his portmanteaux, his rugs, his umbrellas and his sticks – and never left home again.


effete: adjective /ɪˈfiːt/ literary disapproving weak and without much power 弱不禁风的;了无生气的;软弱无能的
misanthropic: adjective /ˌmɪs.ənˈθrɑː.pɪk/ not liking other people 厌恶人类的;遁世的,不与他人交往的
detestation: noun, extreme hatred or dislike : abhorrence, loathing 极度憎恨或不喜欢;憎恶,厌恶
acerbic: adjective, formal, /əˈsɝː.bɪk/ sharply or bitingly critical, sarcastic, or ironic in temper, mood, or tone 尖刻的;辛辣的
at length: for a long time 长久地,长时间地
bowler hat: 黑色圆顶硬呢帽;.圆顶硬礼帽
cape: noun, a type of loose coat without sleeves that is fastened at the neck and hangs from the shoulders 披肩;披风;斗篷
Inverness cape: 无袖长披风
terse: adjective, /tɝːs/ using few words, sometimes in a way that seems rude or unfriendly 简短生硬的;简要的
haddock: noun [ C or U ] /ˈhæd.ək/ a fish that can be eaten, found in the North Atlantic Ocean
helping: noun [ C ]/ˈhel.pɪŋ/ an amount of food given to one person at one time
Stilton: noun [ U ]/ˈstɪl.tən/ a white and blue English cheese with a strong flavour 斯蒂尔顿奶酪(产于英国,味道浓郁)
pint: noun [ C ]/paɪnt/ a measure for liquid equal to about half a litre. There are eight pints in a gallon. 品脱(液量单位,约等于半升)
lassitude: noun [ U ]/ˈlæs.ə.tuːd/ physical or mental tiredness 疲惫,疲劳;倦怠
aberration: noun [ C or U ] formal /ˌæb.əˈreɪ.ʃən/
a temporary change from the typical or usual way of behaving (暂时的)脱离常规;反常现象;异常行为
ninny: noun [ C ] old-fashioned informal /ˈnɪn.i/ a silly person 笨蛋,傻瓜
portmanteau: noun [ C ] old-fashioned, /pɔːrtˈmæn.toʊ/ plural portmanteaus or portmanteaux uk /-təʊz/ us /-toʊz/
a large case for carrying clothes while travelling, especially one that opens out into two parts 旅行皮箱




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