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自考高级英语下册 Lesson 15 Is America Falling Apart

Lesson Fifteen Is America Falling Apart?

美国在分崩离析吗?

15-1 I am back in Bracciano, a castellated(城堡式) town about 13 miles north of Rome, after a year in New Jersey.

我在新泽西州呆了一年之后,回到了布拉奇阿诺,这是一座位于罗马以北约13英里的城堡式的小城。

I find the Italian Government still unstable, gasoline more expensive than anywhere in the world, butchers and bank clerks and tobacconists(煙店老板) ready to go on strike at the drop of a hat(隨時的),

我发现意大利政府仍不稳定,汽油比世界任何地方都贵,賣肉的、银行职员和烟店老板随时都准备罢工,

neo-fascists at their dirty work, the hammer(錘子) and sickle(鐮刀) painted on the rumps of public statues, a thousand-lira note (officially worth about $1.63) shrunk to the slightness of a dollar bill.

新法西斯分子在干着卑鄙肮脏的勾当,公共场所雕像臀部画着锤子和镰刀,1000里拉(按官价折合1.63美元左右)

的钞票贬值到只值一美元。

15-2 Nevertheless(然而), it's delightful to be back. People are underpaid but they go through an act of liking their work, the open markets are luscious with esculent color , the community is important than the state, the human condition is humorously accepted.

然而回到这里仍然令我高兴。人们得到的工资很低,但仍做出喜欢他们的工

作的样子,露天市场里是香甜味美的可口食品,社区比国家重要,人们怀着幽默

感接受了这种人生状况。

The northern wind blows viciously today, and there's no central heating (中央暖氣)to turn on, but it will be pleasant when the wind drops.

今天刮着猛烈的干冷的北风,而且也没有中央暖气可供采暖,但风停了就会舒服了。

The two television channels are inadequate(不充分的), but next Wednesday's return of an old Western is something to look forward to.

两个电视频道太少了,但下个星期三重播一部老西部片,这给了大家一个盼头。

Manifold consumption(多樣化的消費) isn't important here.

在这儿多样化的消费并不重要。

The quality of life has nothing to do with the quantity of brand names.

生活的质量与品牌名称的数量无关

What matters is talk, family, cheap wine in the open air, the wresting of minimal sweetness out of the long-known bitterness of living .

重要的是聊天,家庭,露天喝廉价酒,从久已熟知的痛苦生活

中榨取最低限度的甜蜜。

I was spoiled in(寵壞的) New Jersey.

我在新泽西州被惯坏了。

15-3 In New Jersey, I never had to shiver by a fire that wouldn't draw, or go without canned food .

在新泽西州,我从来不坐在通风不良的炉前发抖。或吃不上罐头。

America made me develop new appetites in order to make proper use of the supermarket.

为了很好利用超市,美国使我培养起了新的胃口。`

A character in Evelyn Waugh's Put out More Flags said that the difference between prewar and postwar life was that, prewar, if one thing went wrong the day was ruined(毀滅了); postwar, if one thing went right the day would be made.

在伊夫林?沃的《升起更多的旗》一书中一个人物谈了战前生活与战后生活的区别:战前如一天中有一件事不对头,你觉得这一天就全毁了;战后如果一天中有一件事很顺利,你觉得这一天真痛快。

America is a prewar country, psychologically(心理上的) unprepared for one thing to go wrong. Hence the neurosis, despair, the Kafka feeling that the whole marvelous fabric of American life is coming apart at the seams.

美国是属于战前状态的国家,没有心理准备承受出现的任何问题。因此就出现了

神经质、绝望,感到卡夫卡式的忧虑,整个美妙的美国生活模式正在分崩离析。

15-4 Let us stay for a while on this subject of consumption. American individualism, on the face of it an admirable philosophy, wishes to manifest(表現) itself in independence of the community. You don't share things in common; you have your own things.

让我们在消费这个题目上再稍微多说几句。美国式的个人主义在表面看来是

很值得钦佩的一种哲学,它希望独立于社区之外表现自己,人们不共享东西,各

人都有自己的东西。

A family's strength is signalized by its possessions.

一个家庭的力量体现在它拥有的财产上。`

Herein lies a paradox. For the desire for possessions must eventually mean dependence on possessions.

这正是自相矛盾之处,用为对财产的渴望最终必然意味着对财产的依赖。

Freedom is slavery. Once let the acquisitive instinct burgeon, and there are ruggedly individual forces only too ready to make it come to full and monstrous (巨大的)blossom.

自由即屈服,你一旦允许占有的本能发芽生长,便有粗暴的个别力量迫不及待地要使它盛开出巨大的花朵。

New appetites are invented; what to the European are bizarre luxuries become, to the American, plain necessities.

新的欲望产生了,对欧洲人来说是希奇古怪的奢侈品,对美国人来说却成了普通

的必需品。

15-5 During my year's stay in New Jersey I let my appetite flower into full Americanism except for one thing. I did not possess an automobile.

在新泽西州的一年中,我任凭自己的欲望充分发展成了美国式的,除了一个例外:我没有汽车。

This self-elected deprivation(剝奪) was a way into the nastier(骯臟) side of the consumer society. Where private ownership prevails, public amenities (公共益事)decay or are prevented from coming into being.

我自己剥夺了自己享用私人汽车的权利,是了解消费社会肮脏侧面的一个途径。在私有制占优势的地方,公共益事不是衰败就是受到阻挠无法存在。

The rundown rail services of America are something I try, vainly(徒勞的), to forget.

美国铁路交通破落是一件我想忘也忘不了的事。

The nightmare of filth(骯臟), outside and in, that enfolds the trip from Springfield, Mass., to Grand Central Station would not be accepted in backward Europe.

从马萨诸塞州的斯普林菲尔德到纽约中央车站的旅程,一路上车里车外肮脏得像噩梦般可怕。这种情况在落后的欧洲也是无法接受的。

But far worse is the nightmare of travel in and around Los Angeles, where public transport does not exist and people are literally choking to death in their exhaust fumes .

但比这更糟得多的是在洛杉机市内或周围噩梦般的旅行,那儿根本没有公共交通工具,毫不夸张地说,人们正被自己汽车排出的废气呛死。

This is part of the price of individual ownership.

这是私有制要付出的部分代价。

15-6 But if the car owner can ignore the lack of public transport, he can hardly ignore the decay(腐朽) of services in general.

但是如果汽车拥有者能无视公共交通缺乏的话,他也很难忽视一般服务性行业情况的恶化。

His car needs mechanics, and mechanics grow more expensive and less efficient.

他的汽车需要机修工人,而请机修工的费用变得越来越贵,其效率却越来越低。

The gadgets in the home are cheaper to replace than repair.

家用小装置买新的要比修理便宜。

The more efficiently self-contained the home seems to be, the more dependent it is on the great impersonal (冷漠的)corporations, as well as a diminishing(縮小的) army of servitors.

在家庭里越是显得设备齐全,就越要依赖于冷漠的大公司和人数日益减少的服务人员。

Skills at the lowest level have to be wooed slavishly and exorbitantly (昂貴的)rewarded.

技术再低的工人也要卑躬屈膝地去恳求,还要付给昂贵的报酬。

Plumbers will not come. Nor, at the higher level, will doctors. And doctors and dentists know their scarcity value and behave accordingly .

管子工叫不来,在更高的层次上,大夫更是难请。医生和牙医知道物以稀为贵,并以此指导自己的行为。

15-7 Americans are at last realizing that the acquisition of goods is not the whole of life.

美国人终于开始明白占有商品并不是生活的全部内容。

Consumption, on one level, is turning insipid, especially as the quality of the goods seems to be deteriorating.

在一个水准上人消费正变得缺乏吸引力,特别是商品的质量似乎一直在降低。

Planned obsolescence is not conducive to pride in workmanship. On another level, consumption is turning sour .

特意制造出很快就会过时的商品不会引起工人对工艺质量的自豪感。在另一个水准上,消费正变得令人不快,

There is a growing guilt about the masses of discarded junk(丟棄的垃圾)- -rusting automobiles and refrigerators and washing machines and dehumidifiers(除濕器) that it is uneconomical to recycle.

对于大量回收利用不划算的废弃物品——锈蚀着的汽车、冰箱、洗衣机、除湿机——人们越来越感到有负罪感。

Indestructible(不能破壞的) plastic hasn't even the grace to undergo chemical change .

毁不掉的塑料制品甚至都不肯爽快地进行化学变化。

America, the world's biggest consumer, is the world's biggest polluter.

美国,这个世界最大的消费者,也是世界最大的污染者。

Awareness of this is a kind of redemptive grace(彌補), but it has not led to repentance (悔改)and a revolution in consumer habits.

意识到这一点是某种弥补,但并未导致悔改和消费习惯上的革命。

Citizens of Los Angeles are horrified by the daily pall of golden smog, but they don't noticeably clamor for a decrease in the number of owner-vehicles.

洛杉矾市民一想到每天笼罩着城市的金色烟雾就心惊胆颤,但他们也并未明显地要求减少私人汽车的数目。

There is no worse neurosis than that which derives from a consciousness of guilt and an inability to reform .

认识到症结所在,却没有能力改变,这种神经质最糟糕。

15-8 It would be unnecessary for me to list those areas in which thoughtful Americans feel that collapse is coming.

由我来列出很有思想的美国人感到的处于崩溃边缘的领域真是不必要。`

It is enough for me to concentrate on education. America has always despised its teachers and, as a consequence, it has been granted the teachers it deserves .

我只要集中谈谈教育方面就足够了。美国向来轻视教师,其结果是,这个国家得到了 它只配得到的教师。

The quality of first-grade education that my son received, in a New Jersey town noted for the excellence of its public schools, could not, I suppose, be faulted on the level of dogged(執著) conscientiousness. 認真的態度

我认为,在新泽西州一个因其公立学校优秀而闻名的城市里,我儿子在一年级受到的教育的质量之差,不能归罪于教师没有执着的认真态度。

The teachers worked rigidly(嚴格的) from the approved rigidly programed primers.

教师按批准的规定得死死的初级读本教书,不敢越雷池半步。

But there seemed to be no spark(火花), no daring(膽識), no madness(激情), no readiness(願望??) to engage the individual child's mind as anything other than raw material for statistical reductions(數字計算).

但是除了把每个孩子的头脑当作进行数字计算训练的原料之外,似乎不存在能使孩子开动脑筋的火花、胆识、激情与愿望。

The fear of being unorthodox(離經叛道) is rooted in the American teacher's soul; you can be fired for treading the path of experimental enterprises.

害怕离经叛道的思想在美国教师的灵魂中根深蒂固,踏上实验事业之路可能使你被解雇。

15-9 I know that American technical genius, and most of all the moon landing, seems to give the lie to too summary

a condemnation (指責)of the educational system ,

我知道美国的技术潜力,特别是登月行动,似乎证明对其教育制度过于武断地进行谴责是在说谎。

but there is more to education than the segmental equipping of the mind.

但是教育的责任不仅在于把头脑分门别类武装起来,

There is that transmission of the value of the past as a force still miraculously fertile and moving mostly absent from American education at all levels.

还应将过去的价值转化,使其成为不可思议的推动力量——这一点在美国各级教育中

一般都不存在。

15-10 Of course, America was built on a rejection of the past.

当然,美国是在否定过去的基础上建立起来的。

Even the basic Christianity which was brought to the continent in 1620 was of a novel and bizarre(新奇古怪) kind . And now America, filling in the vacuum left by the liquefied British Empire(解體了的英帝國), has the task of showing the best thing to the rest of the world.

就连在1620年被带到美洲大陆上来的基督教都是新奇古怪的一种。而现在,在填补解体了的大英帝国留下的真空时,美国的任务是告诉其它国家世界最好的东西,

The best thing can only be money-making and consumption for its own sake.

那最好的东西只可能是为赚钱消费而赚钱消费。

In the name of this ghastly creed (可怕的信念)the jungle(叢林) must be defoliated .

在这一可怕的信念的名义下,必项使丛林变成枯枝秃叶。

15-11 No wonder thoughtful Americans feel guilty and want to take all the blame they can find.

难怪富于思想的美国人有负罪感,想承担起所有的责难。

"What do Europeans really think of us?" is a common question at parties

“欧洲人究竟怎么看我们?”这是各种聚会场合常听到的问题。

. The expected answer is: "They think you're a load of decadent(腐化墮落地), gross-lipped(言語粗俗), potbellied(大腹便便) ,callous(麻木不仁的), overbearing (傲慢的)neo-imperialists."

他们期待的回答是,“他们认为你们是一帮腐化堕落的、言语粗俗的、大腹便便的、麻木不仁的、盛气凌人的新帝国主义者。”

But the fact is that such an answer, however much desired, would not be an honest one.

但事实是,无论他们多么希望得到这样的回答,这却不是一个诚实的回答。

Europeans think more highly of Americans now than they ever did. Let me explain why.

欧洲人对美国人的看法从未像现在这样好。让我解释—下其中的原因。

15-12 When Europe had sunk to the level of sewer, America became the golden dream, the Eden where innocence could be recovered .

当欧洲沦落到最低层时,美国变成了金色的梦,能重获纯真的伊甸乐园。

Original sin(原罪) was the monopoly of that dirty continent over there.

原罪是大洋彼岸那肮脏的大陆特有的东西。

In America, progress was possible, and the wrongs committed against the Indians, the wildlife, the land itself, could be explained away in terms of the rational control of environment necessary for the building of a New Jerusalem.(耶路撒冷)

在美国,进步是可能的,对印第安人, 野生动物,及土地本身所犯下的错误,都可以用为建设一个新耶路撒冷所必须的 对环境的理性控制来解释。

Morally there were only right and wrong; evil had no place in America.

从道德角度上讲,只有对错之分,在美国没有邪恶的地位。

15-13 At last, with the Vietnam War, Americans are beginning to realize that they are subject to original sin as much as Europeans are.

终于,随着越南战争的爆发,美国人开始认识到他们和欧洲人一样处在原罪的支配之下。

Some things the massive crime figures, for instance can now be explained only in terms of absolute evil(純粹的角度),

有些事,如巨大的犯罪数字,现在只有从纯粹的邪恶的角度才能解释得通。

America is no longer Europe's daughter nor her rich stepmother; she is Europe's sister;

美国已不再是欧洲的女儿,也不是她阔气的继母,美国是欧洲的姐妹。

The agony(苦惱)that America is undergoing is not to be associated with breakdown as much as with the parturition of self-knowledge.

美国正在经历的痛苦与其说是伴随分崩离析而来,还不如说是伴随自我认识的而

产生的。

15-14 It has been assumed that the youth of America has been in the vanguard of the discovery of both the disease and the cure.

人们认为,美国青年是发现社会疾病和其治疗方法的先锋。

The various escapist movements, however, have committed the gross error(嚴重的錯誤) of assuming that original sin違背現實 rested with their elders, their rulers, and that they themselves could manifes(表明)their essential innocence by building little neo-Edens.

然而各式各样的逃避现实的运动,都犯下了这样一个严重的错误,即认为只有他们的长辈,他们的统治者身上才有原罪,而他们自己可以用建立小的伊甸园的方法来表明自己本质的清白无辜。

The drug culture could confirm that the paradisal vision(天堂的幻景) was available to all who sought it

毒品文化可以进一步证明,一切寻求它的人都能得到天堂的幻景。.

But instant ecstasy(短暫的入迷)has to be purchased, like any other commodity, and, in economic terms, that passive life involves parasitism. 消极生活意味着寄生状态。

但是和其它所有商品一样。短暂的心醉神迷需要去购买,从经济角度来看。消极

生活意味着寄生状态。

Practically all of the crime I encountered in New York was a preying of the opium-eaters on the working community.

我在纽约遇到的犯罪现象中,几乎全是瘾君子对劳动群体的劫掠。

There has to be the snake in paradise. You can't escape the heritage of human evil by building communes,

天堂里必然有蛇,你无法用建立群居组织的办法来逃避承袭人类的邪恶,

usually on an agronomic ignorance that does violence to life .

通常这些群居组织因为没有任何耕作知识而摧残了生命。

The American young are well-meaning but misguided, and must not themselves be taken as guides.

美国青年本意是好的,但是误人歧途,因此自己不应再被当作领路人。

15-15 The guides, as always, lie among the writers and artists.

领路人依旧在作家和艺术家之中。`

And Americans ought to note that, however things may seem to be falling apart, arts and the humane scholarship are flourishing (欣欣向榮)here.

美国人应该注意到,无论事物如何显得在分崩离析之中,艺术和人文学却欣欣向荣。

I'm not suggesting that writers and artists have the task of finding a solution to the American mess

我的意思不是说作家和艺术家有任务要为美国的困境寻找到解决办法,

but they can at least clarify its nature and show how it relates to the human condition in general.

但他们至少能搞清这困境的本质,指出它与总的人生状况有怎样的关系。

Literature often reacts magnificently(出色) to an ambience of unease 不安or apparent breakdown.

文学常常可以对不安或表面崩溃的局面做出最出色的反应。

15-16 I am not suggesting that Americans sit back and wait for a transient (短暫的)period of mistrust and despair to resolve itself.

我的意思并不是说美国人应坐着等待一个怀疑与绝望的过度阶段自行消失。

Americans living here and now have a right to an improvement in the quality of their lives, and they themselves must do something about it.

在此时此地生活着的美国人有权利改进他们的生活质量,他们自己必须为此做出

努力。

It is not right that men and women should fear to go on the street at night, and that they should sometimes fear the police as much as the criminals, both of whom sometimes look like mirror images of each other.

男男女女晚上不敢上街,有时他们怕警察如同怕罪犯,二者有时看上去犹如人和他的镜中映像一样相像,这不正常。

There are too many guns about, and the disarming of the police should be a natural aspect of the disarming of the entire citizenry .

社会上的枪太多了,解除警察的武装应该是解除全体公民武装的一个自然组成部分。

15-17 American politics, at both the state and the Federal levels, is too much concerned with the protection of large fortunes.

美国各州与联邦的政治对于保护巨富过于关心了。

(巨富) The wealth qualification for the aspiring politician is taken for granted;

有抱负的政治家拥有财产被视作当然的事。

a governmental system dedicated to專注 the promotion of personal wealth in a few selected areas will never act for the public good .

一个致力于在几个特定领域中增加个人财富的政府制度永远不会为公众谋福利。

The time has come, nevertheless,(然而) for citizens to demand, from their government,

然而公民们向政府提出要求的时候到了,

amenities(愉快的事) for the many, of which adequate(足免的) state pensions and sickness benefits, as well as nationalized transport, should be priorities.(優先的)

要求为多数人提供快乐的生活,其中首要的应该是国家发给足够的养老金和疾病津贴,以及国有化的交通工具。

15-18 This angst憂慮 about America coming apart at the seams(接縫處), which apparently is shared by nearly 50 per cent of the entire American population, is something to rejoice 欣喜about .

美国全部人口中近一半的人显然都十分忧虑,他们认为美国会从接缝处分崩离析,这种忧虑是一件令人高兴的事。

A sense of sin is(負罪感) always admirable, though it must not be allowed to become neurotic.

负罪感总是值得钦佩的,虽然不应允许它发展成神经质。

I ask the reader to note that I, an Englishman who no longer lives in England and can't spend more than six months at a stretch in any other European country

这里,我提请读者注意,我,一个英国人,不再居住英国了,我也无法一连在任何一个欧洲国家住 6个月以上,

, home to America as to a country more stimulating(刺激) than depressing.

把美国当成家,把它看作一个更给人以激励而不是使人消沉的国家。

I brave the brutality and the guilt in order to be on the scene. I shall be back

我承受残暴之嫌,承担负罪之名,就是为了能够到场。我定会回来。
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