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梦想的精粹

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Stuff of dreams
梦想的精粹

Two exhibitions show how a pair of 18th-century painters, James Barry and Henry Fuseli, inspired the modern visual ★romance with[1] the gothic

两个画展展示的是,两位18世纪画家——詹姆斯•巴里和亨利•富塞利——如何唤起了现代人从视觉上对哥特式艺术的憧憬。

THIS spring the bad boys of British art are ★making a comeback[2]. Not Damien Hirst and his friends, but the original ★enfants terribles[3]—★Henry Fuseli[4] (1741-1825) and James Barry (1741-1806)—who aimed, above all, to depict extremes of passion and terror in what they called the new art of the Sublime.

今春,英国艺术界的坏孩子再次粉墨登场了。我们说的不是达米恩•赫斯特和他的朋友们,而是亨利•富塞利(1741-1825)和詹姆斯•巴里(1741-1806),这两位“莽撞少年”的始作俑者,他们的首要目标就是要用所谓的“新派高尚艺术”去描绘极度激情与恐怖。

Barry and Fuseli are hardly household names; indeed since Victorian times they have been virtually ignored. But in the late 18th century, Fuseli, and for a short time Barry also, were prominent members of the young Royal Academy of Arts (RA) and influential professors of painting there. Barry's ★fall from grace[5] was the most dramatic, but there is much to admire in this irascible Irish artist who, like Fuseli, once taught William Blake. Barry's prolific historical paintings demonstrate his ambition to rival the painters of antiquity and the Renaissance and to practise what the then president of the RA, Sir Joshua Reynolds, always preached—that history painting was the noblest form of art. (1)But Barry found it hard to be bound by rules, and he turned history and myth into a series of ★tableaux[6] that were at once oddly expressionistic and deeply personal.

巴里和富塞利这两个名字算不上家喻户晓,实际上自维多利亚时代以来,世人对他们已经不闻不问。不过,在18世纪晚期,富塞利曾经是早期皇家美术学院(RA)的杰出会员和颇具影响力的画师,巴里曾一度也是如此。巴里的失宠于众最富于戏剧性,但跟富塞利一样曾给威廉•布莱克传授过技艺的这位性情暴躁的爱尔兰艺术家,还是拥有许多让人敬佩的地方。他的众多历史性画作都表明,他热望与古代以及文艺复兴时期的画家相抗衡,始终信奉历史画乃是最为尊贵的艺术形式,而这恰恰也是皇家美术学院当时的院长约书亚•雷诺兹爵士所一直倡导的。但是历史画受制于过多约束让巴里感到难以接受,遂将史实与神话融为一体,并用一系列舞台造型加以表现,随即成为与主流格格不入的表现派,并打上了深深的个人主义烙印。

His melodramatic “King Lear Weeping over the Body of Cordelia” and his sexually charged “★Jupiter and Juno on Mount Ida[7]”, now both part of a retrospective of the artist's work in Cork, (2)proved too full of feeling for a British audience raised on portraits and landscape paintings. His only loyal patron was Edmund Burke, who had ★coined[8] a theory of the Sublime.

巴里的情景画《泪洒科蒂利亚亡体的李尔王》以及他那幅洋溢着性爱的《艾达峰上的朱庇特和朱诺》,现已成为科克城(爱尔兰南部港口城市)艺术家作品回顾展的一部分。这两幅画作表明英国观众对肖像画和风景画投注了极大的热情。埃德蒙•伯克是唯一自始至终资助巴里的人,正是他创立了“高尚艺术”理论。

Barry felt he was a persecuted soul, and he painted himself as various ill-fated characters, most bizarrely ★Philoctetes[9], the sailor whom Odysseus abandoned on the island of Lemnos because he smelled so bad. As if that weren't enough, Barry also incited his RA students to revolt and then allegedly accused Reynolds of financial impropriety. When he became too unbearable, Barry became the first artist to be expelled by the academy.

巴里认为自己的灵魂受到了戕害,便将自己画成形形色色充满晦气的人物,其中最为怪异的是菲罗克忒忒斯,那位由于臭气熏天而被奥德修斯抛弃在利姆诺斯岛上的水手。似乎这还不够,巴里还鼓动他在皇家美术学院的学生造反,而且据说后来甚至指控雷诺兹在财政上存在违法问题。巴里变得越来越让人忍无可忍,于是成了第一个被学院开除的艺术家。

Barry knew Fuseli, and (3)he makes a minor appearance in “Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic Imagination”, the ★brainchild[10] of an engaging British ★polymath[11], Sir Christopher Frayling, who heads the Arts Council of England and the Royal College of Art. Sir Christopher has long been fascinated by the horror ★genre[12]—he once presented a popular television programme on the topic—and his favourite painting is Fuseli's “The Nightmare” (pictured above), an unsettling image of a sleeping maiden, with an ★incubus[13] ★perched[14] on her stomach and a ★ghoulish[15] horse peering through a curtain.

巴里认识富塞利,作为特邀嘉宾参加了《哥特式梦魇——富塞利、布莱克和浪漫主义幻想》画展。那次画展是由英格兰艺术理事会和皇家艺术学院主席、富于号召力的英国人克里斯托弗•弗雷林爵士策划的。克里斯托弗爵士长期以来痴迷恐怖艺术——曾以此为主题推出一档颇受欢迎的电视节目——他最钟爱的画作是富塞利的《梦魇》(上图),画中描绘的是一位熟睡的女人,腹部上栖息着一个梦淫恶鬼,而布帘后面一匹长得像食尸鬼一般的马正探头窥视,整幅画看了让人感到心神不宁。

Sir Christopher sees this painting, together with Fuseli's scenes from Milton and Shakespeare, as part of a search for national myths in the late 18th century. (4)Indeed, his interpretation illuminates an Enlightenment world that hovered between reason and ★bigotry[16], and where a quasi-scientific interest in the ★occult[17] and the emerging genre of the novel fed a public that was hungry for “tales of wonder”.

克里斯托弗爵士认为,富塞利的这幅画以及取材于密尔顿和莎士比亚作品的那些画作,乃是探寻18世纪民族神话的一部分。事实上,他的这一评注为纠缠在理智与偏见之间的“教化世界”带来了曙光。在这样一个“教化世界”中,对玄妙之事的半带科学性的热诚和涌现出的相关小说流派,让大众对“惊愕故事”的渴求得到了极大满足。

Unlike Barry, Fuseli—a former preacher who was forced to leave his native Zurich—looked rationally at the London art scene. He saw that(5)the only way to compete for “wall power” at the all-important annual exhibition of the RA was to carve out his own niche, the more eye-catching and ★esoteric[18] the better. In 1782 Fuseli exhibited “The Nightmare” for the first time, drawing record crowds of up to 3,000 people a day. Perplexed critics asked what the painting was about. In an age when art was supposed to depict an actual person or event, (6)it came as a shock that this was a painting not of a nightmare, but of the nightmare as a generalized experience.

当过传教士后来被迫离开祖国瑞士的富塞利跟巴里不一样,他较为理智地看待伦敦艺术境况。他发现,要想在至关重要的皇家美术学院年度画展上争取到“支持力量”,只有标新立异,越引人注目、越生涩越好。1782年,富塞利首次展出《梦魇》一作,每天观摩者创纪录地达到3000人。批评家们对画中所要表现的主题感到百思不得其解。在一个艺术被认为应该是描写真人真事的年代,这幅画的诞生让世人感到震惊:它并不单单是对一般恶梦的简单描绘,而是对恶梦体验的一次真实再现。

Interestingly, it was not until 1793 that anyone suggested publicly that the painting of a scantily ★clad[19] woman stretched out on a bed might be about sex. In a post-Freud world, it is impossible to look at “The Nightmare” and see anything else.(7) There is a soft-porn ★perversity[20] about many of Fuseli's muscular super-heroes and ★nubile[21] ★nymphs[22], particularly his Titania from “A Midsummer Night's Dream”. The ★erotic[23] drawings and prints by him and his pupil Theodor von Holst are so explicit that the Tate has hung a veil between them and Fuseli's popular fairy paintings nearby, which are a favourite with children.

有意思的是,直到1793年才有人公开指出,这幅画上的女人几乎一丝不挂地躺在床上,因此可能与性有关。在后弗洛伊德时代,盯着《梦魇》而又不想入非非是不可能的。富塞利画中肌肉结实的超级英雄和含苞欲放的美丽少女,尤其是取材于《仲夏夜之梦》的泰坦尼亚,模糊的色情描绘让人多少有些心慌意乱。由于富塞利及其学生霍尔斯特的素描和版画色情描绘过于直接,泰特美术馆就悬挂起一块幕布,将在这些画与近旁富塞利那些迎合大众的、尤其是孩子们最爱看的仙女画隔开。

Unsurprisingly, Fuseli's work was ★vilified[24] by the Victorians, and he came back into favour only when the Surrealists—(8)★enthralled[25] by his weird mix of deviance, death and dreams—claimed him as a hero. Today, the artist who bred his own moths in order to depict them accurately in his fairy paintings hangs in the same gallery as those other attention-seekers, Mr Hirst and Tracey Emin; it is almost as if he were their long-lost ancestor.

富塞利的作品遭到了维多利亚女王时代艺术家们的非难,这是意料之中的事。直到超现实主义者??集反社会、死亡、幻想等诡异元素于一身的富塞利令他们着迷??称之为英雄的时候,他这才重新受宠。如今,这位为了准确描绘仙女画中的飞蛾而亲自养殖的艺术家,同其他那些万众瞩目的人如赫斯特、特雷西•艾明一样,也进入了美术陈列室,看上去就像是这些人的鼻祖。

While Fuseli's rehabilitation is admirable, the Tate's obsession with inclusiveness dilutes Sir Christopher's ideas. (9)Viewers are overloaded with ★mawkish[26] pictures that the curators call “Gothic gloomth”, borrowing a phrase from Horace Walpole. Instead of rising to Sir Christopher's wide-ranging themes, which link Fuseli and Blake with other great European painters, including Goya and Caspar David Friedrich, the Tate has taken a ★parochial[27] view, showing virtually every mediocre British artist who ever ★dabbled[28] in gothic fantasy. Thankfully James Gillray is also there, and his ★biting[29] caricatures lift the spirits.

虽然富塞利的重振旗鼓令人肃然起敬,但坚持包罗万象的泰特美术馆还是弱化了克里斯托弗的观念。众多索然无味的绘画充斥着观众的视野,美术馆长们引用贺瑞斯•沃波尔的一条成语,把这些画称作“哥特式晦暗”。克里斯托弗爵士崇尚的主题广泛,将富塞利、布莱克同包括戈亚、卡斯帕•戴维•弗雷德里希在内的欧洲其他杰出画家有机结合在一起,但泰特美术馆却反其道而行之,几乎展出了所有和哥特式幻想沾点边、不入流的英国艺术家的作品,其眼界之狭窄可见一斑。令人欣慰的是,这里面也包括了詹姆斯•基尔雷,他的讽刺画发人深省,令人精神振奋。

The last room is one of the best.(10) Here Sir Christopher has added his cross-cultural ★hallmark[30]: a series of horror film clips that invoke Fuseli's “The Nightmare” as the ultimate shock-horror icon. And at the exit, Angela Carter's words, “We live in gothic times”, are emblazoned on the wall. The spirit of Barry and Fuseli lives on.

最后一间是最好的展室之一,克里斯托弗爵士的“跨文化”印记在此得以展现,那就是一系列以富塞利《梦魇》为最终惊悚形象的恐怖电影短片。并且,在展室出口处的墙上,安吉拉•卡特的名言“我们生活在哥特式时代”也赫然在目。巴里和富塞利的精神常驻人间。

注释:

[1]romance with:对……的迷恋、向往

如:a childhood romance with the sea 儿时对大海的浪漫向往(憧憬)

[2]make a comeback: 恢复、复原(指名誉、地位、知名度、流行性)

如:The film star made an unexpected comeback. 这位电影明星出人意料地复出了。

[3]enfant terrible:莽汉(因其令人惊愕的不合传统的行为、工作或思想而使他人困窘或惊慌的人);复数形式为enfants terribles

如:The radical painter was the enfant terrible of the art establishment.激进派画家是艺术当权派的可怕莽汉

[4]亨利•富塞利,生于瑞士的英国画家,作品包括恶梦(1781年),风格怪诞恐怖,对20世纪二三十年代的超现实主义者有一定影响

[5]fall from grace: 失去天恩,堕落(名誉、地位的贬低)

[6]tableaux: 舞台造型,(由活人扮演的)静态画面、场面

[7]Jubiter:朱庇特(古罗马的保护神);另:木星

Juno::罗马万神庙里最主要的女神,朱庇特的妻子亦是其姐姐,主司婚姻和妇女的安康;

Mount Ida:艾达峰,克里特岛中部一山峰,海拔2,457.7m(8,058英尺)。它是该岛的最高点,在古代它与人们对宙斯的崇拜有密切的相关。

[8]coin:设计,杜撰(新词语)

如:Do not coin terms that are intelligible to nobody.不要生造谁也不懂的词语。

[9]Philoctetes:菲罗克忒忒斯,希腊神话中人物,在特洛伊战争中用其父大力神Hercules所遗之弓和毒箭杀死特洛伊王子Paris的英雄

[10]brainchild:指计划,想法,创作等脑力劳动的创造物

[11]polymath:学识渊博的人

[12]genre:类型,流派(文艺作品)

[13]incubus:阴库巴斯恶鬼,梦淫妖(据说会趁女人熟睡压而在女人身上并与其交配的恶鬼);梦魇;沉重负担

[14]perch:v. 栖息,栖止

如:Birds perched on the branch.鸟停在树枝上。

[15]ghoulish:adj.食尸鬼似的,残忍的 ghoul:n.食尸鬼;盗尸者

[16]bigotry:n.固执,顽固,偏见

[17]occult:n.神秘学,神秘之事,玄妙之事

[18]esoteric:adj.深奥的,秘传的,不公开披露的

如:Some words are really too esoteric for this dictionary. 有些单词实在太生僻了,未收入本词典内。

[19]clad:穿衣的,覆盖着的

如:The woods on the mountain sides were clad in mist.高山坡上的小树林都笼罩在一片薄雾中。

[20]perversity:n.反常;刚愎,任性;错乱

[21]nubile:adj.适于结婚的,到结婚年龄的;性成熟的

[22]nymph:n.美少女;居于山林水泽的仙女;罗马神话中宁芙女神

[23]erotic:adj.性欲的,好色的,色情的

[24]vilify:v.污蔑;诋毁;诽谤;辱骂

[25]enthrall:v.迷住,着迷

如:The boy was enthralled by the stories of adventure.这孩子被冒险故事迷住了。

[26]mawkish:adj.自作多情的,多愁善感的;令人作呕的,令人厌恶的

[27]parochial:adj.教区的;眼界狭窄的,地方性的

[28]dabble:v.涉水,涉足 dabble in:涉猎,涉足;不经意做……

如:She just dabbles in chemistry.她只不过是随便搞一下化学。

[29]biting:adj.尖锐的,尖刻的;刺痛的

如:His remark has a biting edge to it.他的评语非常尖锐。

[30]hallmark:n.标记;特点

如:The sense of guilt is the hallmark of civilized humanity.犯罪感是文明人显而易见的特征。

[31]emblazon:v.用纹章装饰,醒目装饰;颂扬

抛砖引玉:

(1) But Barry found it hard to be bound by rules, and he turned history and myth into a series of tableaux that were at once oddly expressionistic and deeply personal.

(2) proved too full of feeling for a British audience raised on portraits and landscape paintings.

(3) he makes a minor appearance in “Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic Imagination”

(4) Indeed, his interpretation illuminates an Enlightenment world that hovered between reason and bigotry, and where a quasi-scientific interest in the occult and the emerging genre of the novel fed a public that was hungry for “tales of wonder”.

(5) the only way to compete for “wall power” at the all-important annual exhibition of the RA was to carve out his own niche, the more eye-catching and esoteric the better.

(6) it came as a shock that this was a painting not of a nightmare, but of the nightmare as a generalized experience.

(7) There is a soft-porn perversity about many of Fuseli's muscular super-heroes and nubile nymphs, particularly his Titania from “A Midsummer Night's Dream”.

(8) enthralled by his weird mix of deviance, death and dreams

(9) Viewers are overloaded with mawkish pictures that the curators call “Gothic gloomth”, borrowing a phrase from Horace Walpole.

(10) Here Sir Christopher has added his cross-cultural hallmark: a series of horror film clips that invoke Fuseli's “The Nightmare” as the ultimate shock-horror icon
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