英语文学词汇:: counterpoise, wholeness, inhibited, verbose, inexorable, agnostic, in the offing, pagan, rake-off, browbeat

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英语文学词汇 Literature Terms

从2020年9月1日开始,英语咬文嚼字开始咀嚼《伤残的树》(The Crippled Tree)一书的用词。《伤残的树》是英籍女作家韩素音自传之一。写她的中国父亲在欧洲留学时与她比利时母亲恋爱结合的故事,以及她在童年时期的生活见闻。

韩素音的英文造诣在当代英美文坛堪称一流,其精美、清丽、雅洁的文笔早在西方评论界获得公认。韩素音英语用词精确,其形容词、名词和动词千变万化。每期罗列10个用词和解释, 并附上原文句子。

101. counterpoise
noun [ C usually singular ], verb [ T ]
→ counterbalance
平衡量;平衡力

It had left us, his children, with no adequate counterpoise to fight the torrent of words with which our mother wore down her children's lives. ( Page 58)

102. wholeness
the state of forming a complete and harmonious whole; unity.
形成完整和谐整体的状态; 一致, 统一

Father never did write down his life connectedly, gathering his experiences as others did into a cogent wholeness. ... a wholeness covering approximately the same span of years as my father's. ( Page 58)

103. inhibited
adjective /ɪnˈhɪb.ə.t̬ɪd/ (Cambridge)
not confident enough to say or do what you want
拘谨的;受约束的
The presence of strangers made her feel inhibited. 陌生人在场使她感到拘谨。

My mother was not so inhibited. She talked and talked, of what she felt and suffered and thought, the universe cast in her own image. ( Page 59)

104. verbose
adjective formal disapproving /vɚˈboʊs/
using or containing more words than are necessary
啰唆的;冗长的,累赘的

The more verbose she was, the more my father retreated into a silent watching of his roses and carnations, into a pruning of lilac trees and vine rampage. ( Page 59)

105. inexorable
adjective formal /ˌɪnˈek.sər.ə.bəl/
continuing without any possibility of being stopped
不可阻拦的

..., in circumstances I must relate for they affected my life, in the curious way things have of returning to their origin; a full cycle, unpremeditated, inexorable as the tides' return. (Page 60)

106. agnostic
noun [ C ] /æɡˈnɑː.stɪk/ (Cambridge)
someone who does not know, or believes that it is impossible to know, if a god exists
不可知论者(对神存在与否不能肯定或认为不可知)

Towards Christianity my family bore the agnostic indifference of Confucianism; veneration of ancestors being sufficient for the rational discipline of the civilized, why fill the clear landscape of reason with ghosts and devils... ( Page 60)

107. in the offing
likely to happen soon
即将来临的;即将发生的

... the French began an invasion of China through Yumman; we were the victims of this greed rivalry. In London and Paris, an Anglo-French war was in the offing. ( Page 61)

108. pagan
adjective /ˈpeɪ.ɡən/ (Cambridge)
belonging or relating to a religion that worships many gods, especially one that existed before the main world religions
多神教的

...; protected by the Church, the converts could do anything they pleased, and escape the due process of ordinary law, for they always asked protection form the church against what they called "pagan customs". (Page 62)

109. rake-off
a commission or share of the profits from a deal, especially one that is disreputable.
(不正当或非法的)回扣,佣金

It was said that even the gardeners of the foreigners paid him his rake-off. Whenever there was a law case against a convert, Tu arranged matters threatening or bribing the magistrates....( Page 62)

110. browbeat
verb [ T ] /ˈbraʊ.biːt/ ( Cambridge)
browbeat | browbeaten
to try to force someone to do something by threatening them or persuading them forcefully and unfairly
威吓;吓唬

Great with borrowed power Tu rode the foreign wind to influence and wealth, and officials were timorous and easily browbeaten. (page 63)

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