阿兰·德波顿: 《旅行的艺术》3-6

 admin   2022-02-14 22:33   136 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。

Motives : III On the Exotic 6
动机:第3章: 异国情调 第6节

In Amsterdam, on the corner of Tweede Helmers Straat and Eerste Constantijin Huygens Straat, I notice a woman in her late twenties pushing a bicycle along the pavement. Her auburn hair is drawn into a bun; she is wearing a long grey coat, an orange pullover, flat brown shoes and a pair of practical-looking glasses. It seems that this is her part of town, for she walks confidently and without curiosity. In a basket attached to the handlebars of her bicycle is a loaf of bread and a carton on which is written Goudappeltje. She sees nothing peculiar in a t and j stuck together without a vowel on her apple juice carton. There is nothing exotic for her about pushing a bicycle to the shops or in the tall apartment blocks with their hooks on the top floor for hoisting furniture.

Desire elicits a need to understand. Where is she going? What are her thoughts? Who are her friends? On the river boat that carried Flaubert and Du Camp to Marseilles, whence they caught the steamer for Alexandria, Flaubert had been overcome by similar questions about another woman. While other passengers gazed absentmindedly at the scenery, Flaubert fixed his eyes on a woman on deck. She was, he wrote in his Egyptian travel journal, 'a young and slender creature wearing a long green veil over her straw hat. Under her silk jacket, she had on a short frock coat with a velvet collar and pockets on either side in which she had put her hands. Two rows of buttons ran down her front, holding her in tightly and tracing the outline of her hips, from which flowed the numerous pleats of her dress, which rubbed against her knees in the wind. She wore tight black gloves and spent most of the journey leaning against the railing looking out at the banks of the river...I'm obsessed with inventing stories for people I come across. An overwhelming curiosity makes me ask myself what their lives might be like. I want to know what they do, where they're from, their names, what they regret, what they hope for, their past loves, their current dreams... and if they happen to be women ( especially youngish ones) the urge becomes intense. How quickly you would want to see her naked, admit it, and naked through to her heart. How you try to learn where she comes from, where she's going, why she's here and not elsewhere!While letting your eyes wander all over her, you imagine love affairs for her, you ascribe her deep feelings. You think of the bedroom she must have, and a thousand things besides...right down to the battered slippers into which she must slip her feet when she gets out of bed.'

To the appeal that an attractive person might possess in our own country is added, in an exotic land, an attraction deriving from their location. If it is true that love is a pursuit in others of qualities we lack in ourselves, then in our love of someone from another country, one ambition may be weld ourselves more closely to values missing from our own culture.

In his Moroccan paintings, Delacroix appeared to suggest how desire for a place might fuel desire for the people within it. Of the subjects of his Women of Algiers in Their Apartment (1834), for example, the viewer might long to know, as Flaubert longed to know of the women he passed, 'their names, what they're thinking about at the moment, what they regret, what they hope for, whom they have loved, what they dreamed of ...'

Flaubert's legendary sexual experience in Egypt was commercial, but not unfeeling. It took place in the small town of Esna, on the western bank of the Nile, some fifty kilometres south of Luxor. Flaubert and Du Camp had stopped in Esna for the night and been introduced to a famous courtesan, who also had a reputation as an almeb or learned woman. The word prostitute does not capture the dignity of Kuchuk Hanem's role. Flaubert desired her at first sight: 'Her skin, particularly on her body, is slightly coffee-coloured. When she bends, her flesh ripples into bronze ridges. Her eyes are dark and enormous. Her eyebrows black, her nostrils open and wide; heavy shoulders, full, apple-shaped breasts ...her black hair, wavy, unruly, pulled straight back on each side from a centre parting beginning at the forehead...she has one upper incisor, right, which is beginning to go bad.'

Kuchuk invited Flaubert back to her modest house. It was an unusually cold night, with a clear sky. In his notebook, the Frenchman recorded: 'We went to bed...She falls asleep with her hand in mine. She snores. The lamp, shining feebly, casts a triangular gleam, the colour of pale metal, on her beautiful forehead; the rest of her face was in shadow. Her little dog slept on my silk jacket on the divan. Since she complained of a cough, I put my pelisse over her blanket..I gave myself over to intense reveries, full of reminiscences. Feeling of her stomach against my buttocks. Her mound warmer than her stomach, heated me like a hot iron...we told each other a great many things through touch. As she slept she kept contracting her hands and thighs mechanically, like involuntary shudders...How flattering it would be to one's pride if at the moment of leaving you were sure that you left a memory behind, that she would think of you more than of the others who have been there, that you would remain in her heart.'

Dreams of Kuchuk Hanem accompanied Flaubert down the Nile. One their way back from Philae and Aswan, he and De Camp stopped off at Esna to visit her once more. The second meeting made Flaubert more melancholy than the first:'Infinite sadness...this is the end; I'll not see her again, and gradually her face will fade from my memory.' It never did.

重点用词注解

auburn: adjective, /ˈɑː.bɚn/ (of hair) reddish-brown in colour (头发)红褐色的,赭色的
pullover: 套头毛衣
frock coast: 双排扣紧身礼服
velvet: noun [ U ] /ˈvel.vɪt/ 丝绒;平绒;天鹅绒
pleat: noun [ C ] /pliːt/ fold, 褶;褶皱
Delacroix:欧仁·德拉克罗瓦(Eugène Delacroix 1798-1863),法国著名画家,浪漫主义画派的典型代表
courtesan: noun [ C ]/ˈkɔːr.t̬ə.zæn/a prostitute with a courtly, wealthy, or upper-class clientele
(旧时与富人或要人交往的)高级妓女,交际花
Kuchuk Hanem: 库楚克•哈内姆,埃及的风尘女子
incisor:noun [ C ] /ɪnˈsaɪ.zɚ/ 切牙,门齿
pelisse: 皮制上衣
divan:noun [ C ]/dɪˈvæn/ a long, comfortable seat for more than one person that has no back or arms
(无靠背和扶手的)多人沙发
reverie:noun [ C or U ] literary /ˈrev.ɚ.i/ (a state of having) pleasant dream-like thoughts
幻想;梦想;白日梦;沉思

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