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为什么要读《华氏451度》 – 译学馆
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为什么要读《华氏451度》

Why should you read “Fahrenheit 451”? - Iseult Gillespie

“ 他说‘让你眼中充满好奇 活得好像十秒后就会死去‘ ”
雷·布莱伯利 《华氏451度》
“It was a pleasure to burn.
“焚烧是一种乐趣
It was a special pleasure to see things eaten,
看着事物被吞噬 烧焦 变形
to see things blackened and changed.”
有种别样的快感”
Fahrenheit 451 opens in a blissful blaze
《华氏451度》小说在熊熊烈焰中开篇
– and before long, we learn what’s going up in flames.
不久后我们就明白了火焰中发生了什么
Ray Bradbury’s novel imagines a world
雷·布莱德伯里的小说构想了这样一个世界
where books are banned from all areas of life –
那里 书籍被全面禁止
and possessing, let alone reading them, is forbidden.
藏书已是禁止 读书更是天方夜谭
The protagonist, Montag, is a fireman
主人公蒙泰戈是一名消防员
responsible for destroying what remains.
他负责烧毁留存的书籍
But as his pleasure gives way to doubt,
但快乐无法阻止他产生怀疑
the story raises critical questions of
书中提出了一些关键问题:
how to preserve one’s mind in a society where free will,
在一个自由意志 自我表达和好奇心都被焚烧的社会里
self-expression, and curiosity are under fire.
一个人如何保留自己的思想
In Montag’s world, mass media has a monopoly on information,
在蒙泰戈的世界里 大众传媒垄断了资讯
erasing almost all ability for independent thought.
扼杀了几乎所有人独立思考的能力
On the subway, ads blast out of the walls.
地铁四壁满是广告
At home, Montag’s wife Mildred listens to the radio around the clock,
家中蒙泰戈的妻子Mildred昼夜听广播
and three of their parlor walls are plastered with screens.
他们起居室三面墙都挂着屏幕
At work, the smell of kerosene hangs over Montag’s colleagues,
在单位 蒙泰戈的同事们满身煤油气味
who smoke and set their mechanical hound after rats
他们叼着烟 放机械猎狗抓老鼠
to pass the time.
用以消磨时间
When the alarm sounds they surge out in salamander-shaped vehicles,
警铃一响他们就涌进蝾螈形的车里
sometimes to burn whole libraries to the ground.
有时他们要把整个图书馆烧成平地
But as he sets tomes ablaze day after day like “black butterflies,”
但随着蒙泰戈日复一日地烧书 灰烬如黑蝴蝶般飞散
Montag’s mind occasionally wanders to the contraband that lies hidden in his home.
他偶尔神游到自己偷偷藏在家的违禁品上
Gradually, he begins to question the basis of his work.
渐渐地 他开始质疑自己工作的动机
Montag realizes he’s always felt uneasy –
蒙泰戈意识到自己总是感到不自在
but has lacked the descriptive words to express his feelings
但又无法用语言去描述自己的感受
in a society where even uttering the phrase “once upon a time” can be fatal.
在那个社会 连说一句“很久很久以前”都是致命的
Fahrenheit 451 depicts a world governed
《华氏451度》描述了一个
by surveillance, robotics, and virtual reality-
被监控 机器人和虚拟现实控制的世界
a vision that proved remarkably prescient,
书中的观点很有预见性
but also spoke to the concerns of the time.
但也道出了那个时代的担忧
The novel was published in 1953, at the height of the Cold War.
小说出版于1953年 正值冷战高峰期
This era kindled widespread paranoia
这是个风声鹤唳的年代
and fear throughout Bradbury’s home country of the United States,
恐怖气氛弥漫在布拉德伯里的母国美国
amplified by the suppression of information and brutal government investigations.
信息压制和野蛮的政府调查更加剧了恐怖
In particular, this witch hunt mentality
尤其是对被怀疑为共产主义者的
targeted artists and writers who were suspected of Communist sympathies.
艺术家和作家展开的思想迫害
Bradbury was alarmed at this cultural crackdown.
布拉德伯里对这种文化镇压非常警觉
He believed it set a dangerous precedent for further censorship,
他坚信这为日后的审查制度开了危险的先例
and was reminded of the destruction of the Library of Alexandria
他想到了亚历山大图书馆的毁坏
and the book-burning of Fascist regimes.
和法西斯政府的焚书行为
He explored these chilling connections in Fahrenheit 451,
他在《华氏451度》中探讨了这些恐怖行为的关联
titled after the temperature at which paper burns.
书名是纸张燃烧的温度
The accuracy of that temperature has been called into question,
虽然温度的准确性存在争议
but that doesn’t diminish the novel’s standing
但不影响这本小说的地位
as a masterpiece of dystopian fiction.
它是一部反乌托邦杰作
Dystopian fiction as a genre amplifies troubling features of the world around us
作为一种体裁 反乌托邦小说会放大我们周遭的烦扰
and imagines the consequences of taking them to an extreme.
设想它们到达极致时会引发什么后果
In many dystopian stories,
在很多反乌托邦小说中
the government imposes constrictions onto unwilling subjects.
政府都会强迫人们做违心的事
But in Fahrenheit 451,
但在《华氏451度》中
Montag learns that it was the apathy of the masses
蒙泰戈发现是大众的冷漠
that gave rise to the current regime.
导致了当前的体制
The government merely capitalized on short attention spans
政府只做短暂投资
and the appetite for mindless entertainment,
满足毫无思想性的娱乐嗜好
reducing the circulation of ideas to ash.
思想流动消失殆尽
As culture disappears, imagination and self-expression follow.
文化消失 接着想象力和自我表达也消失
Even the way people talk is short-circuited
连人们的谈话方式也是简略的
– such as when Montag’s boss Captain Beatty describes
就像蒙泰戈的老板比蒂队长如此描述
the acceleration of mass culture:
加速的大众文化:
“Speed up the film, Montag,
“电影加速 蒙泰戈
quick. Click?
加速 点击?
Pic? Look, Eye,
图片? 看 眼睛
Now, Flick, Here,
现在 弹开 这里
There, Swift, Pace,
那儿 切换 踱步
Up, Down, In, Out,
上 下 进 出
Why, How, Who, What, Where,
为什么 如何 是谁 什么 在哪儿
Eh? Uh!
呃?啊!
Bang! Smack!
呯!啪!
Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom!
冲击 乒 乓 隆!
Digest-digests,
摘要 摘要
digest-digest-digests.
摘要 摘要 摘要
Politics?
政治?
One column, two sentences, a headline!
一列 两句 一个标题!
Then, in mid-air,
然后 半空中
all vanishes!”
全部消失!”
In this barren world, Montag learns
在这个荒芜的世界里 蒙泰戈发现
how difficult it is to resist when there’s nothing left to hold on to.
什么也抓不住还想抓住点什么有多难
Altogether, Fahrenheit 451 is a portrait
总的来说《华氏451度》小说
of independent thought on the brink of extinction –
描画了濒临灭绝的独立思想意志
and a parable about a society which is complicit in its own combustion.
隐喻了焚书与这种社会的形成脱不了干系
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介绍的《华氏451度》这部小说的内容和寓意

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