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【美文诵读】第17课: the watch 手表  

2016-05-28 19:47:59|  分类: 【英语】阅读 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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 I look around me and the room has changed imperceptibly and overtly.There are elephants on thin legs lining the walls, the people around me have become giant insects,my watch melts and slowly drips from my wrist.A Dalinian dream? A Kafkaesque nightmare?The breeze of surrealism blows through my hair; an existential whirlwind captures my imagination.

In the images of these two great creators,I see reflections of beautiful and insatiable imaginations, completely undisciplined, unbounded;yet full of the magic and power of the artists’ visions.These images are not as true as photographs, but they are a hundred times more honest.I, too, often find myself misrepresenting the world.In the midst of a truly dreary lecture I sometimes force wakefulness upon myself by images of what I am learning,and instead of seeing my teacher carrying on about the military campaigns of the Civil War,I see muskets blazing against raised flags.

More often, I see my life as an adventure; romanticized, idealized, exhilarating.Instead of seeing a boring test of memory, I see a test of will; instead of a debate,I see a battle of wits; instead of seeing the photographic image of life,I see the existential and intoxicating war of man against Fate itself.In these images I am sometimes challenged by faceless opponents,sometimes I am climbing a mountain. Perhaps I am fighting a bull or jumping on rooftops.

At times I question the benefits of reinventing the world to suit my fancy.It is true, of course, that everyone does this.Even the strictest of thinkers cannot avoid letting their own vision of the world show through in their works.Dali and Kafka are not exceptions, they are extremes. Why are we all so eager to get away from reality?I find that I, like many others, often don’t seem to fuly belong. But of course I do belong,this is my world as much as anyone else’s.I try to solve this contradiction between the perceived andthe real by altering the world ever so slightly a horse drawn carriage instead of a car, a prize winning essay rather than another homework assignment so that it finds its place around me.

A simple solution indeed.We do not change ourselves to fit the world, but change the world to fit within us.A simple act of wish fulfillment, and all is done.And, of course, to melt a watch with the mind is far better than to enslave the intellect within the watch like a genie in a bottle.Freedom to think requires only so little,and to adjust the world to one’s thought is ever more noble than adjusting thought to the world.

我环顾周围,房间发生的变化微妙却又明显。墙壁上排列满长着细腿的大象,我四周的人都已变成了巨大的昆虫,我的手表熔化了,从我的手腕上慢慢地往下滴落。难道是达利式的梦?或者是卡夫卡式的噩梦?超现实主义的微风撩动着我的头发;存在主义的旋风俘获了我的想像力。

从这两位伟大创作者笔下的形象之中,我看到了其反射出的美丽的和永不满足的想像力,全然不守成规、狂放不羁,然而又充满了艺术家洞察力的神奇和力量。这些形象不如照片那么真实,但是又比照片可信一百倍。我也常常发现自己曲解了这个世界。在听那些着实乏味枯燥的讲演时,我有时对正在学习的东西打幵想像之门,使自己保持清醒;我所看到的并不是老师继续讲的美国内战中的战役,而是看到高举的旗帜下步枪在射击。

更多的时候,我把自己的生命视为一次冒险,极富传奇色彩,而且又理想化,令人激动振奋。在我眼中,令人厌倦的记忆力测试变成了对于意志力的检验;辩论变成了智慧之战;生活的画卷变成了人类与命运之神对抗的存在主义的,令人痴迷的战争。在这些画面里,有时我会遭遇无形的敌手的挑战,有时我又在登山。或许我正在和一头公牛鏖战,或许正在屋顶上跳来蹦去。

我时常会想,如果世界变为我想像的模样,将会有什么裨益。当然,每个人都确实这么想过。即使最严谨的思想家也会不可避免地在自己的作品中表现出他们对这个世界的设想。达利和卡夫卡也不例外,他们是极端的情况。为何我们都如此渴望逃离现实?我发现自己像许多人一样,经常看起来不太厲于这个世界。但是当然我又是属于这个世界的,因为这个世界是我的,就像它也是其他任何人的一样。我试图通过对这个世界作出细微的变动来解决感知与真实之间的矛盾马车代替了小轿车,获奖的散文代替了家庭作业以便世界在我身边找到自己的位置。

这真是个简单的解决办法。我们并不是改变自己来适应这个世界,相反,我们改变世界,以让它适应我们。就靠简单的心愿之旅,一切都可以做到。当然,用意识熔化手表远比被手表束 缚住才智好得多,后者就像精灵被瓶子困住手脚一样。思想的自由并不要求太多;调整世界,使之适合我们的思想,要比调整 自己的思想使之适合世界高贵得多。



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