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文学:乔治·奥威尔

LITERATURE - George Orwell

文学
乔治·奥威尔
George Orwell
乔治·奥威尔
was an English intellectual who died in 1950
英国知识分子 逝于1950年
and used literature for the only reason it ultimately really exists –
认为文学最终存在的唯一理由是
to try to change the world for the better.
把世界变得更好
He was, in the deeper sense, a political writer,
往深点说 他是一位政治作家
someone who wanted art to help
他希望通过艺术让人们
us grow kinder, fairer, wiser.
变得更善良 公正 智慧
In 1946, a year after the publication of
1946年 他的寓言故事
his momentously popular fable
《动物庄园》出版
‘Animal Farm’,
盛极一时
he wrote an essay titled,
一年后 他写了一篇名为
‘Why I Write’,
《我为什么写作》的文章
which laid out his approach with a characteristic clarity.
这篇文章清晰地展现了他的独特思想
What I wanted to do throughout the past ten years
在过去10年间 我想做的就是
is to make political writing into an art.
使政治性写作成为一门艺术
My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship,
我创作的出发点是抨击党派偏见
a sense of injustice.
反对不公正
When I sit down to write a book,
当我坐下写一本书时
I don’t say to myself,
我不会对自己说:
“I’m going to produce a work of art.”
“我要创作一本艺术作品。”
I write it because there is some lie I want to expose,
我之所以写作是因为我想要揭露谎言
some fact to which I want to draw attention,
引导公众关注真相
and my initial concern is to get a hearing.
我的初衷是让世人听到我的心声
To understand why Orwell matters,
为了理解奥威尔的重要性
we therefore have to understand
我们必须了解这位
what this most political of writers loved,
时政作家所钟爱的
and what he hated.
以及所仇视的
What he was in rebellion against, and what he championed.
他所反抗的以及他所拥护的
This is what will give us the keys to understanding his remarkable work,
这将会成为我们理解他的巨著
and painful yet deeply fulfilled life.
他痛苦但极其充实的生活的关键
George Orwell always hated the social group of
乔治·奥威尔一直痛恨
which he was, despite everything,
由知识分子组成的社会团体
an exemplary member: Intellectuals.
尽管他是其中的模范成员
From an early age, he had wanted to be a writer.
奥威尔从小就想成为一名作家
But George Orwell excelled at never quite belonging.
但他从未完全归属过某处
He was born in 1903 in India,
1903年生于印度
which was then part of the British Empire,
彼时印度仍从属于大英帝国
to economically fragile civil servant parents,
父母是公务员 家中经济拮据
who fought for him
他们努力奋斗
to have a classic upper middle class English upbringing.
只为了让奥威尔能接受传统的上层中产阶级的教育
And then hoped he might become a doctor, or a lawyer.
并希望他成为一名医生或律师
They sent him to what turned out to be a crippling,
8岁时 父母把他送去了一所二流的
mean spirited English prep school at the age of eight.
卑劣的英国预备学校
From where he won a scholarship to Eton.
在那里 他获得了进入伊顿公学的奖学金
But he turned against the values and spirit of the English public school system.
但他反对英国公立学校体制的价值与精神
He never went to university,
奥威尔没上过大学
and after a stint as an imperial policeman in Burma,
在缅甸做过一段时间的英国殖民警察
he settled into the life of
然后安定下来
the odd-jobbing literary intellectual.
过上了文学知识分子的打零工生活
Working in a Hamstard book shop,
在哈姆斯塔德书店工作时
reviewing other people’s books,
为其他作家撰写书评
and eventually, writing some of his own.
最后 创作出自己的作品
Nevertheless, Orwell’s disdain of intellectuals was a constant.
然而 奥威尔对知识分子的鄙视从未消退过
He accused them of a range of sins,
他控诉他们的一系列罪行
a lack of patriotism, resentment of money and physical vigour,
缺乏爱国精神 仇视金钱和精力
concealed sexual frustration, pretension, and dishonesty.
隐藏情场不顺 装模作样以及虚情假意
He knew it all form the inside,
奥威尔知道这些都源于人的内心
but Orwell’s greatness emerge from the right determination
但是他的伟大之处在于他做了正确的决定
with which he recognized
他意识到了
and came to triumph against such tendencies in himself.
并成功抑制住了自身的这种倾向
“The really important fact about the English intelligentsia,” he once wrote,
他曾写过:“关于英国知识分子阶层很重要的一个事实是
“is their severance from the common culture of the country.”
他们不想同国家的共同文化扯上关系。”
In left wing circles,
在左翼作家圈
it’s always felt that
人们一直认为
there’s something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman,
作为英国人是有些可耻的
and that it’s a duty to snigger at every English institution
嘲讽赛马 脂油布丁等一切英国风俗
from horse racing to suet puddings.
是他们的责任
Orwell’s generation of intellectuals,
奥威尔这一代的知识分子
which had witnessed the First World War and the Great Depression,
见证了第一次世界大战和经济大萧条
was obsessed with airy, abstract,
他们沉迷于谋划不切实际的
large schemes to redeem human kind.
抽象的庞大阴谋来拯救全人类
Some were fanatical communists,
其中一些人是狂热的共产主义者
others staunch defenders of radical capitalism,
另一些则是激进资本主义的忠实拥护者
a few admired the new authoritarian regimes of
还有少数人推崇意大利 西班牙
Italy, Spain, and Germany,
和德国的新独裁政体
and wanted something similar to take hold in the anglophone sphere.
并希望拥有相似的政体来控制英语圈
Orwell listened,
奥威尔听说后
and was for a time, a little seduced.
他被稍微引诱住了一段时间
But he came gradually to champion something far more radical:
不过逐渐地 他转而去拥护远重于此的事
The tastes, opinions, needs and outlook of someone
也就是 他称之为“普通人”的
he called “the ordinary person”.
喜好 观点 需求和思想
A knowledge of ordinary life came rather late to Orwell.
奥威尔对平凡生活的认知来的很晚
As a typical product of an English public school,
作为典型英国公立学校的一名学生
he was a little exposed in anyone below his own social class.
他很少接触低于自己社会阶层的人
A tendency compounded by
由于他天生冷漠 有些书呆子气
a naturally aloof, bookish and different manner.
再加上胆怯的性格 这种状况愈演愈烈
A friend described him in age 25 as,
一位朋友这样描述25岁的他
“remarkably moth-eaten for one his age”
“这个岁数的人没有像他这么老成的”
But Orwell set out to make up for his lack of knowledge
不过奥威尔下定决心弥补他这方面经验的缺失
and gradually came to be the great defender of
渐渐地 他成为了自己反复提及的
what he repeatedly called ordinary life.
平凡生活的忠实拥护者
The life of people,
拥有平凡生活的人指的是
not especially blessed with material goods,
那些生来家庭条件不好的人
people who work on ordinary jobs
做着普通工作的人
who don’t have much of education,
没有受过太多教育的人
who won’t achieve greatness
没有伟大成就的人
and yet, nevertheless, love, care for others,
却仍然爱护 关心他人
work, have fun, raise children,
仍然工作 玩乐 养育孩子
and have large thoughts about the deepest questions,
关于深刻问题有自己的大智慧
in ways that Orwell thought especially admirable.
奥威尔格外钦慕他们的思维方式
Orwell’s journey into ordinary life,
奥威尔的平凡生活之旅
began in the spring of 1928.
始于1928年的春天
When he left the privileges of his class behind,
他放弃了自己所拥有的阶层特权
and went to work in series of menial service jobs in the French and English capitals,
去巴黎和伦敦做了一连串低收入的服务工作
experiences he was to recount in his book,
这些经历在他1933年出版的书
“Down and Out in Paris and London” published in 1933.
《巴黎伦敦落魄记》中都能看到
The book is filled with affection and portraits of life
书中充满了对旅馆和餐馆
behind stairs in hotels and restaurants
楼梯后生活的深情写照
and revels in the camaraderie,
纵情描写了人与人之间的友情
humor and warmth
幽默和温暖
of an assortment of cleaners
其中包括各色各样的清洁工
or shoe rubbers, waiters, chefs
擦鞋匠 侍者 厨师
and the occasional prostitute and tramp.
偶尔卖淫的妓女和流浪汉
It was a side of life
奥威尔在一本记录
Orwell was further to investigate in a book chronicling his journeys
他游历英格兰北部工业煤矿的书中
around the industrial coal mining of Northern England
深入挖掘了这阶层的生活
In a 1937 book titled,
在1937年出版的
The Road to Wigan Pier
《通往威根码头之路》中
again, without sentimentality or reverse snobbery,
没有多愁善感和高高在上
Orwell casts the generous complex eye over
奥威尔以慷慨复杂的视角
the people he met,
观察他所遇见的人们
and concluded that the average pup in a coal mining village
并下结论 煤矿村庄中的普通小孩
contain more intelligence, wisdom
比英国内阁
than the British cabinet or the high table of an Oxbridge College.
或牛津剑桥大学的贵宾 更聪明 更智慧
Orwell especially liked the lack of prudishness and hypocrisy
奥威尔特别喜欢那些他遇到的普通人
among the ordinary people he met.
身上散发的真诚和善良
One thing one notices when he writes,
人们注意到 他写作时
if he looks directly at the common people
如果他直接观察普通人
especially in the big towns,
特别在大城镇
is that they are not puritanical.
就会发现他们不是墨守陈规的人
They are in veteran gamblers, drink as much as their wages will permit,
他们是老赌徒 赚的钱都拿来喝酒了
and devoted to body jokes
而且钟爱讲黄段子
and use, probably, the foulest language in the world.
说着可能是世界上最污秽的语言
Then, as now, there was plenty of information in the news
现在 新闻上出现了大量的
about ordinary people.
关于普通人的消息
But Orwell understood that
但奥威尔认为
these news tended to turn people into abstractions.
这些新闻易于把人们描写的过于抽象
And he saw it as the role of his craft, literary journalism,
他认为把隐藏在数据之后的人具象化
to flesh out the human beings behind the statistics.
是他作为文学新闻人的天职
And so, correct the prejudice and casual racism that circulated all around.
而且 矫正随处传播的偏见和种族主义
In an essay written
奥威尔在去往马拉喀什的路上
on a trip to Marrakech
写了一篇文章
Orwell wrote sarcastically are the typically neo-colonial attitude of travelers
文中以讽刺的口吻描写了新殖民者
towards the local inhabitants.
对当地居民的典型态度
The people here have brown faces.
这里的人都有一张褐色的脸
There are so many of them,
这里人太多了
are they really the same flesh as yourself?
他们真的是像你一样的活生生的人吗?
Do they even have names?
他们有名姓吗?
Or they merely a kind of undifferentiated brown stuff
还是说他们只是像彼此之间难以区分的
about as an individual as bees or coral insects.
蜜蜂或珊瑚虫一样的棕黝黝的东西
All people who work with their hands
所有靠自己双手干活的人
are partly invisible.
都有点不太引入注目
And the more important work that they do,
他们干的活儿越是重要
the less visible they are.
就越不为人注目
Orwell’s love of the ordinary inspired his curiosity
奥威尔对平凡的热爱激发了
about a range of themes
他对一系列主题的好奇心
not often considered in literature.
人们通常不把以这些主题创作的作品称为文学
He thought about and wrote in praise of comics and country walks
他通过思考 写作来赞美漫画 乡间小路
dancing and flowers.
舞蹈和花朵
He wrote bravely in defense of English cooking
他英勇地为英国菜肴进行辩护
kippers, Yorkshire pudding,
比如腌鱼 约克郡布丁
Devonshire cream, muffins and crumpets he wrote.
德文郡奶油 松饼和烤饼
And then asked, where else other than English cooking
还问道 除了英式菜肴
do you see potatoes roasted under the joint?
你还在哪儿见过土豆放在肉下面烤呢
which is far in a way the best way of cooking them.
然而这就是这两种食材最好的烹饪方式
Orwell wrote tenderly
奥威尔曾以温和的笔触
in defense of Charles Dickens
力挺过查尔斯·狄更斯
at the time when this great writer was considered low-brow
当时人们认为狄更斯的作品低俗
and too popular to win the esteemed intellectuals.
太过通俗 不能称之为有声望的知识分子
In a great essay of 1946,
1946年 在一篇伟大的文章
Politics and the English Language,
《政治和英语》中
Orwell stood up against the pros typical of intellectuals
奥威尔起而反对传统知识分子
high blown,
高度鼓吹的优点
full of long fancy words
反对满是华而不实的词藻
and defended a simple, almost naive way of writing.
赞成简单的 几乎毫无技巧的写作方法
He outlined the list of rules for how to write well,
他列举了写出好作品的准则
which included a complete ban on fancy words
其中包括完全禁止使用华丽词藻
like phenomenon
例如 现象
categorical,
坚定的
utilize,
利用
inexorable
不可阻挡的
and veritable.
以及名副其实的 等词
Orwell revealed a hatred of foreign words
奥威尔列举出了他痛恨的外来语
like status quo and deus ex machina.
例如 现状和大救星
And concluded,
还包含了
“there is really no need for any of hundreds of foreign phrases now current in English.”
“当代英语完全没有必要存在的数百个外文短语”
George Orwell is today extremely famous for two books
如今 乔治·奥威尔因两本书声名大作
which played a very small part in his life.
但这两本书只占了他人生中很小一部分
if measured simply in terms of years
如果只以年来衡量
he wrote Animal Farm in 1945
1945年 他写了《动物庄园》
when he was 42
那年他42岁
and he published Nineteen Eighty-four in 1949
1949年 45岁时
when he was 45.
他出版了《1984》
but he was dead by January 1950
1950年1月 逝世
at the age of only 46.
年仅46岁
In other words, he had just four short years
换句话说 我们如今所熟知的奥威尔
being the Orwell we know today.
他的作家生涯只有短短4年
Nevertheless, these two books are anchored in deep thinking
然而 这两本书承载了
that Orwell had done all his adult life
奥威尔整个成年人生的深刻思想
about how literature should be written
即 在电影和大众传媒的时代
in an age of movies and mass communication.
文学应该如何存在
In short, he knew that the task of a writer
简言之 他认为作家的使命
was to ensure that the most serious ideas should achieve mass popularity,
就是保证使最严肃的思想得到大众的欢迎
a double act,
完成这种双重任务
which required particular skill and intelligence.
需要过人的技能和才智
Animal farm is a political trapped about
《动物庄园》是关于
how revolutions fall prey to counter-revolutions.
革命受到反革命的控制的政治陷阱
and turn their backs on their own original ideas.
然后与自己原始的思想背道而驰
It fairly maps out the progress of French Revolution.
《动物庄园》形象地影射了法国大革命
the European Revolutions of 1848
1848年欧洲革命
and the Russian Revolution of 1917.
和1917年俄国十月革命的发展
But, described like this,
但是 如果这样描述这本书
no one outside of the few academics
除了少数几个高校人员
would ever bother to read it.
没有人会读这本书
Orwell’s genius was
奥威尔的天才之处在于
to hit upon of form the fable
他以寓言的形式进行表达
which would carry his story to a mass audience
使得大众能够接触到他的故事
and could be understood as he put it by more or less, anyone.
并使任何人都能或多或少地理解他的本意
So Orwell did what Aesop, Walt Disney,
所以奥威尔做到了伊索 沃特·迪斯尼
La Fontaine and Beatrix Potter
拉·封丹和毕翠克丝·波特
among many others have done,
等其他人做到的
Which is to tell a story about humans via animals.
即通过动物视角讲述人的故事
In the process, Orwell revealed, the sins of the revolutionaries
在故事中 奥威尔揭露了改革者的罪行
are not limited to people involved in actual revolutions.
并不仅限于真正参与革命的人
Indeed, that it’s a permanent human possibility
事实上 人类永远存在这么一种可能性
to believe when he’s guided by high ideals
当他由崇高理想指引时 会相信一切
and then go on to betray them all.
然后会推翻他所相信的一切
Every time a revolution now goes wrong,
每当革命出错
people bring up Animal Farm.
人们都会提起《动物庄园》
And declare it to be ahead of its time.
并称其是超前的
So prescient.
非常具有预见性
This is the genius of Orwell’s fable.
奥威尔的天才之作
By cutting out all contemporary human references,
通过裁剪当代的人类缩影
Orwell found a way to tell us about ourselves
奥威尔找到一种方式来告知我们
for all time
一直以来我们的模样
even for the future.
甚至是未来的我们的模样
Having successfully reinvented the fable,
成功地重塑了寓言故事后
Orwell, in an astonishing burst of creativity,
奥威尔以惊人的蓬勃创作力
then reinvented the science fiction novel.
接着重塑了科幻小说
As a boy, he’d loved the novels of H.G. Wells.
小时候 他喜欢赫伯特·乔治·威尔士的小说
Especially, the Time Machine and The War of the Worlds.
尤其是《时间机器》和《星际战争》
Like Wells, Orwell seized upon trends in his own time
如威尔士一般 奥威尔紧抓时代的脉搏
and try to imagine how they might develop over the long term.
试图想象出能够让社会长期发展的方法
His science fiction novel is set in Airstrip One.
他的科幻小说出世在“一号机场”
A place once known as Great Britain,
一个曾经以大英帝国之名闻名的地方
but now a province of the super state of Oceania.
现在是大洋国的一个省份
And locked in perpetual ideological conflict
同其他两个大陆版块困在
with two other blocks,
永恒的意识形态冲突中
Eurasia
欧亚大陆
and East Asia.
和东亚大陆
Like all great dystopian novels,
和所有伟大的反乌托邦小说一样
Orwell’s book was an attempt to warn his own society
奥威尔的书也试图警示人们
about its own alarming trends.
当下社会中的一些惊人的走向
For example, he could see that
比如 奥威尔能洞察
what can tyrannize a country
政府对一个国家的暴政
is not so much outright torture
不是公然地折磨人民
or clumsy covert restrictions on free speech,
或是愚蠢地限制言论自由
but a lulling of the citizenry
而是通过多样的娱乐活动
through sophisticated entertainment and empty-headed news reports.
和无脑的新闻报道来哄骗公民
All wrapped up in a constant reference to freedom.
全打着为了自由的口号粉饰太平
So, In 1984,
因此 在1984年
society is full of intriguing new machines
社会充满了有趣的的新机器
omnipresent screens
无所不在的屏幕
which both addicted,
一边使人沉迷其中
and at the same time watch over their citizens.
一边监管市民
Julia, the leading female figure in the novel,
朱莉娅是这本小说的女主角
works in the department of government known as “Mini True”
她在著名的“小真实”政府部门工作
which systematically distorts access
这个部门以一种非常隐晦的方式
to information in highly subtle ways.
有计划地扭曲了人们接触到信息的途径
to blind the citizenry to their enslavement.
使人民对奴役视而不见
Julia operates a machine that turns out porn novels.
朱莉娅管理着一台生产色情小说的机器
Alongside, films oozing with sex,
同时 性也占据了荧幕
rubbishing newspapers containing almost nothing but
蹩脚报纸内容几乎全是
sport, crime and astrology.
体育 犯罪和占星学
The people, however, don’t feel they are enslaved.
然而 人们感受不到自己受到了控制
As Orwell so well understood,
在奥威尔深知
the really clever and scary regimes of the modern world
在现代社会 真正奸诈的 可怕的政权
aren’t the obviously dictatorial ones.
不是显而易见的独裁政权
they are, the apparently, democratic ones
而是民主政权
that give their citizens the distinct feeling that they are free.
它让人民清楚的感觉到自由
Well in fact, blinding them
事实上却是
with constant sexual titillation, and sentimental distractions.
以持续的性刺激和情感分散 来蒙蔽人们
George Orwell had the wisdom to make himself remarkably future-proof.
乔治·奥威尔拥有与时俱进的智慧
He was weary of economic and political abstractions.
他厌倦了经济和政治的抽象
He start close to the truth of ordinary life.
因此开始贴近日常生活的本质
The realities of sex, food, money, love and pleasure.
关于性 食物 爱与欢愉的事实
And he wrote with total clarity
他以十分清晰的笔触写出
about enduring eternal themes on human nature.
关于人性的永恒不变的主题
He is, perhaps, the most successful serious English-language writer of the 20th century,
他大概是20世纪最成功的严肃英文作家
and gives us the tools to continue to imagine
并且他给予我们机会去继续想象
what writing should be in our own time.
写作在我们的时代应有的样子
Ultimately, Orwell’s message
最终 奥威尔发觉他所传达的信息
is the same as the plea that he discerned
与查尔斯·狄更斯的所有书中
in all of Charles Dickens’ books.
所表达的诉求是一样的
In the essay he wrote on him
在一篇文章中 他评论狄更斯
namely, that human beings should behave better.
也就是 “人类应该做得更好”这句话
This, as he pointed out, is either a terrific cliche
奥威尔指出 这要么是可怕的陈词滥调
or just about the most important instruction in the whole of life.
要么是人的一生中最重要的教诲
It was Orwell’s genius to remind as that it is, of course,
奥威尔的天才之处在于 他提醒我们
very much, the latter.
答案当然是后者

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视频概述

奥威尔的一生际遇与作品息息相关,此短片简短介绍了奥威尔的生命进程和思想转变。

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收集自网络

翻译译者

Luna

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvXU3vzHq8E

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