阿兰·德波顿: 《旅行的艺术》2-3

 admin   2022-01-30 22:58   297 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 3
出发:第2章: 旅行中的特定场所 第3节


When feeling sad at home, I have often boarded a train or airport bus and gone to Heathrow, where, from an observation gallery in Terminal 2 or from the top floor of the Renaissance Hotel along the north runway, I have drawn comfort from the sight of the ceaseless landing and take-off of aircraft.

In the difficult year of 1859, in the aftermath of the Fleurs du mal trial and the breakup with his mistress, Jeanne Duval, Baudelaire visited his mother at her home in Honfleur and, for much of his two-month stay, occupied a chair at the quayside, watching vessels docking and departing. ‘Those large and beautiful ships, invisibly balanced (hovering) on tranquil waters, those hardy ships that look dreamy and idle, don’t they seem to whisper to us in silent tongues: When shall we set sail for happiness?’

Seen from a car park beside 09L/27R, as the north runway is known to pilots, the 747 appears at first as a small brilliant white light, a star dropping towards earth. It has been in the air for twelve hours. It took off from Singapore at dawn. It flew over the Bay of Bengal, Delhi, the Afghan desert and the Caspian Sea. It traced a course over Romania, the Czech Republic and southern Germany, before beginning its descent, so gently that few passengers would have noticed a change of tone in the engines, above the grey-brown, turbulent waters off the Dutch coast. It followed the Thames over London, turned north near Hammersmith (where the flaps began to unfold), pivoted over Uxbridge and straightened course over Slough. From the ground, the white light gradually takes shape as a vast two-storeyed body with four engines suspended like earrings beneath implausibly long wings. In the light rain, clouds of water form a veil behind the plane on its matronly progress towards the airfield. Beneath it are the suburbs of Slough. It is three in the afternoon. In detached villas, kettles are being filled. A television is on in a living room with the sound switched off. Green and red shadows move silently across walls. The everyday. And above Slough is a plane that a few hours ago was flying over the Caspian Sea. Caspian Sea–Slough: the plane a symbol of worldliness, carrying within itself a trace of all the lands it has crossed; its eternal mobility offering an imaginative counterweight to feelings of stagnation and confinement. This morning the plane was over the Malay peninsula, a place-name in which there linger the smells of guava and sandalwood. And now, a few metres above the earth which it has avoided for so long, the plane appears motionless, its nose raised upwards, seeming to pause before its sixteen rear wheels meet the tarmac with a blast of smoke that makes manifest its speed and weight.

On a parallel runway, an A340 ascends for New York and, over the Staines reservoir, retracts its flaps and wheels, which it won’t require again until the descent over the white clapboard houses of Long Beach, 3,000 miles and eight hours of sea-and-cloud away. Visible through the heat haze of turbofans, other planes wait to start their journeys. All across the airfield, planes are on the move, their fins a confusion of colours against the grey horizon, like sails at a regatta.

Along the glass and steel back of Terminal 3 rest four giants, whose liveries indicate a varied provenance: Canada, Brazil, Pakistan, Korea. For a few hours, their wing-tips will lie only a few metres apart, until each set begins another journey into the stratospheric winds. As every ship turns into a gate, a choreographed dance begins. Trucks slip to the underbelly, black fuel hoses are fastened to the wings, a gangway bends its rectangular rubber lips over the fuselage. The doors of the holds are opened to disgorge battered aluminium cargo crates, perhaps containing fruit that only a few days ago hung from the branches of tropical trees or vegetables that had their roots in the soil of high silent valleys. Two men in overalls set up a small ladder next to one engine and open its casing to reveal an intricate terrain of wires and small steel pipes. Sheets and pillows are lowered from the front of one cabin. Passengers disembark for whom this ordinary English afternoon will have a supernatural tinge.

Nowhere is the appeal of the airport more concentrated than in the television screens which hang in rows from terminal ceilings announcing the departure and arrival of flights and whose absence of aesthetic self-consciousness, whose workmanlike casing and pedestrian typefaces, do nothing to disguise their emotional charge or imaginative allure. Tokyo, Amsterdam, Istanbul. Warsaw, Seattle, Rio. The screens bear all the poetic resonance of the last line of James Joyce’s Ulysses: at once a record of where the novel was written and, no less importantly, a symbol of the cosmopolitan spirit behind its composition: ‘Trieste, Zurich, Paris.’ The constant calls of the screens, some accompanied by the impatient pulsing of a cursor, suggest with what ease our seemingly entrenched lives might be altered, were we to walk down a corridor and on to a craft that in a few hours would land us in a place of which we had no memories and where no one knew our names. How pleasant to hold in mind, through the crevasses of our moods, at three in the afternoon when lassitude and despair threaten, that there is always a plane taking off for somewhere, for Baudelaire’s ‘Anywhere! Anywhere!’: Trieste, Zurich, Paris.


Honfleur: 法国文艺风情小镇翁弗勒, 塞纳河(Seine)出海口的海港小镇
quayside: a quay and the area around it 码头区,驳岸
the Bay of Bengal (bɛnˈɡɔːl): 孟加拉湾
the Caspian Sea: 里海
flap: (航空术语)襟翼, 襟翼可以增加飞机的升力和阻力
Slough: 斯劳,是英国的城市和郡,它是英国英格兰东南区域的二级行政区(区级)
implausibly :not plausible;provoking disbelief 难以置信地
matronly: adjective /ˈmeɪ.trən.li/ having the character of or suitable to a matron (女性)中年发福的; 如同中年发福的妇女;缓慢的
worldliness (worldly) of, relating to, or devoted to this world and its pursuits rather than to religion or spiritual affairs 世俗的, 不是宗教或精神事务的
guava (ˈɡwävə): an edible, pale orange tropical fruit with pink juicy flesh and a strong sweet aroma 番石榴
clapboard houses: 复合墙板房
regatta (rɪˈɡɑː.t̬ə):a rowing, speedboat, or sailing race or a series of such races
livery (ˈlɪv.ɚ.i):a special pattern or design that is put on the things that a company owns and sells(某公司财产或产品上的)公司标志
provenance (ˈprɑː.vən.əns): the place of origin of something 起源;出处
stratospheric (ˌstrætəˈsferɪk):平流层的;relating to the stratosphere (= the layer of gases surrounding the earth at a height of between 15 and 50 kilometres)
choreographed(ˈkɔːr.i.ə.ɡræft):(of an event or course of action) planned very carefully (活动等)精心设计的
disgorge (/dɪsˈɡɔːrdʒ/):cause to pour out. 大量涌出; 倾泄出; (从交通工具、建筑物里)涌出
pedestrian : commonplace, unimaginative 普遍; 缺乏想象力的
typeface: (电脑的)字体
James Joyce: 詹姆斯·乔伊斯(1882-1941),爱尔兰作家、诗人,二十世纪最伟大的作家之一
Ulysses: 尤利西斯,.《尤利西斯》是爱尔兰作家詹姆斯·乔伊斯创作的长篇小说,首次出版于1922年。
crevasse (krəˈvæs): a very deep crack in the thick ice of a glacier (冰川的)裂缝,裂隙




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