阿兰·德波顿: 《旅行的艺术》2-1

 admin   2022-01-28 23:34   160 人阅读  0 条评论
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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 : II On Travelling Places 1
出发:第2章: 旅行中的特定场所 第1节

第1节

Overlooking the motorway between London and Manchester, in a flat, featureless expanse of country, stands a single-storey glass and red-brick service station. In its forecourt hangs a giant laminated flag that advertises to motorists and to sheep in an adjacent field a photograph of a fried egg, two sausages and a peninsula of baked beans.

I arrived at the service station towards evening. The sky was turning red in the west and in a row of ornamental trees to the side of the building birds could be heard against the incessant bass note of the traffic. I had been on the road for two hours, alone with clouds forming on the horizon, with the lights of commuter towns beyond the grass banks, with motorway bridges and the silhouettes of overtaking cars and coaches. I felt dizzy stepping out of my craft, which gave off a series of clicks as it cooled, as if paper clips were being dropped through the bonnet. My senses needed to readjust themselves to firm land, to the wind and to the discreet sounds of night drawing in.

The restaurant was brightly illuminated and exaggeratedly warm. Large photographs of coffee cups, pastries and hamburgers hung on the walls. A waitress was refilling a drinks dispenser. I slid a damp tray along a metal runway, bought a bar of chocolate and an orange juice and sat by a window that made up one wall of the building. Vast panes were held in place by strips of beige putty, into whose chewy clamminess I was tempted to dig my nails. Beyond the window, the grass sloped down to the motorway, where traffic ran in silent, elegant symmetry along six lanes, the differences in makes and colours of cars disguised by the gathering darkness, leaving a uniform ribbon of red and white diamonds extending into infinity in two directions.

There were few other customers in the service station. A woman was idly rotating a teabag in a cup. A man and two small girls were eating hamburgers. A bearded elderly man was doing a crossword. No one was talking. There was an air of reflection, of sadness too – only heightened by the faint sound of piped upbeat music and the enamel smile of a woman about to bite into a bacon sandwich in a photograph above the counter. In the middle of the room, hanging from the ceiling and dancing nervously in the breeze of an air vent, was a cardboard box announcing an offer of free onion rings with every hotdog. Misshapen and upside down, the box seemed only a rough approximation of what head office must have stipulated, like those milestones in distant parts of the Roman Empire whose form strayed from the designs of the centre.

The building was architecturally miserable, it smelt of frying oil and lemon-scented floor polish, the food was glutinous and the tables were dotted with islands of dried ketchup from the meals of long-departed travellers, and yet something about the scene moved me. There was poetry in this forsaken service station, perched on the ridge of the motorway far from all habitation. Its appeal made me think of certain other equally and unexpectedly poetic travelling places – airport terminals, harbours, train stations and motels – and the work of a nineteenth-century writer and a twentieth-century painter he had inspired, who had, in different ways, been unusually alive to the power of the liminal travelling place.

重点用词注解

motorway:高速公路(英式英语);美国 freeway or superhighway; 加拿大:expressway
in a flat, featureless expanse of country: 在一片平坦、毫无特色的乡村地区
service station: 高速公路服务区; 加拿大:rest stops, service centers; 美国: rest areas, Service Areas
forecourt: noun [ C ] /ˈfɔːr.kɔːrt/ a flat area in front of a large building (大型建筑物的)前院,前庭;服务区停车场
sheep: a timid docile person especially : one easily influenced or led 温顺;容易受别人影响的人
ornamental trees:观赏树
Commuter town:可以翻译成: 近郊住的宅区;城郊区居民。字面意思:通勤城镇。顾名思义,到这里来主要是睡觉的,不是上班、社交、购物或娱乐的地方。指在城里工作住在近郊住的宅区;城郊区居民。

英语表达”近郊住的宅区;城郊区居民” 除了使用 Commuter town 之外,类似的同义词汇有:bedroom community, bedroom town", bedroom suburb, dormitory town, dormitory suburb, or dormitory village。

the silhouettes of overtaking cars and coaches 长途汽车和小轿车超车的剪影
bonnet: the metal cover over the part of a car (汽车)引擎罩; 同 hood
the discreet sounds of night drawing in : 夜色静悄悄降临
clamminess: 发粘
the differences in makes and colours of cars disguised by the gathering darkness: 车型和颜色在越来越浓的夜色中已经分辨不清。
the enamel smile : 露出洁白牙齿的笑容
liminal:of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition : in-between, transitional: 过渡的;中间的

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