阿兰·德波顿: 《旅行的艺术》2-7

 admin   2022-02-03 22:05   142 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 7
出发;第2章: 旅行中的特定场所 第7节

第7节

Hopper also took an interest in trains. He was drawn to the atmosphere inside half-empty carriage making their way across a landscape: the silence that reigns inside while the wheels beat in rhythm against the rails outside, the dreaminess fostered by the noise and the view from the windows, a dreaminess in which we seem to stand outside our normal selves and have access to thoughts and memories that may not arise in more settled circumstances. The woman in Compartment C, Car 293 ( 1938) seems in such a frame of mind, reading her book and shifting her gaze between her carriage and the view.

Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plan, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, the new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape. The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do. The task can be paralyzing as having to tell a joke or mimic an accent on demand. Thinking improves when parts of the mind are to music or following a line of trees. The music or the view distracts for a time that nervous, censorious, practical part of the mind which is inclined to shut down when it notices something difficult emerging in consciousness and which runs scared of memories, longings, introspective or original ideas and prefers instead the administrative and impersonal.

Of all the modes of transport, the train is perhaps the best aid to thought: the views have none of the potential monopoly of those on a ship or plane, they move fast enough for us not to get exasperated but slowly enough to allow us to identify objects. They offer us brief, inspiring glimpses into private domains, letting us see a woman at the precise moment when she takes a cup from a shelf in her kitchen, then carrying us on to a patio where a man is sleeping and then to a park where a child is catching a ball thrown by a figure we cannot see.

On a journey across flat country, I think with a rare lack of inhibition about the death of my father, about an essay I am writing on Stendhal and about a mistrust that has arisen between two friends. Every time the mind goes blank, having hit on a difficult idea, the flow of my consciousness is assisted by the possibility of looking out of the window, locking on to an object and following it for a few seconds, until a new coil of thought is ready to form and can unravel without pressure.

At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves - that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. It is not necessary at home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestic setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, but who may not be who we essentially are.

Hotel rooms offers a similar opportunity to escape our habits of mind. Lying in bed in a hotel, the room quiet except for the occasional swooshing of an elevator in the innards of the building, we can draw a line under what preceded our arrival, we can overfly great and ignored stretches of our experience. We can reflect upon our lives from a height we could not have reached in the midst of everyday business - subtly assisted in this by the unfamiliar world around us: by the small wrapped soups on the edge of the basin, by the room-service menu with its promises of all-night dining and the view on to an unknown city stirring silently twenty-five floor below us.

Hotel notepads can be the recipients of unexpectedly intense, revelatory thoughts, taken down in the early hours while the breakfast menu ("to be hung outside before 3am") lies unattended on the floor, along with a card announcing the next day's weather and the management's hopes for a peaceful night.

重点用词注解

make one's way: to move forward usually by following a path前进; 通常沿着一条道路前进
reign: to be predominant or prevalent 主宰;起支配作用;盛行
dreaminess: a relaxed comfortable feeling 一种轻松舒适的感觉
frame of mind: a particular mood that influences one's attitude or behavior 心境, 心情; 精神状态
conducive: adjective /kənˈduː.sɪv/ providing the right conditions for something good to happen or exist
有利的,有助的,有益的
quaint: unusual or different in character or appearance : odd 奇怪的; 不寻常的或不同的
exasperated: adjective /ɪɡˈzæs.pə.reɪ.t̬ɪd/ annoyed, especially because you can do nothing to solve a problem 被激怒的;恼怒的;极厌烦的
inhibition: /ˌɪn.hɪˈbɪʃ.ən/ noun, an inner impediment to free activity, expression, or functioning 拘束;顾忌;拘谨
innards: noun [ plural ] /ˈɪn.ɚdz/ the organs inside a person or animal, or the inside parts of a machine
(人或动物的)内脏;(机器的)内部构造
swoosh: verb [ I ] informal /swuːʃ/ to make the sound of air or water that is moving quickly
发出嗖嗖(或哗哗)的声音;嗖嗖(或哗哗)地快速移动
revelatory: adjective /ˈrev.ə.lə.tɔːr.i/ making something known or showing something that was previously secret 揭示性的,揭露性的;透露内情的


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