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【美文诵读】第22课: science and art 科学与艺术  

2016-05-28 19:55:35|  分类: 【英语】阅读 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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 I beg leave to thank you for the extremely kind and apprieciative manner in which you have received the toast of science.It is the more grateful to me to hear that toast proposed in an assembly of this kind. Because I have noticed of late years a great and growing tendency among those who were once jestingly said to have been born pre-scientific age to look upon science as an invading and aggressive force, which of it had find its own way, it would oust from the universe all other pursuits. I think there are many persons wholook upon the new birth of our times as a sort of monster rising out of the sea of modern thought with thepurpose of devouring the Andromeda of art.And now and then a Perseus, equipped with the shoes of swiftnessof the ready writer, and with the cap of invisibility of the editorial article,and it may be with the Medusa head of vituperation, shows herself ready to try conclusions with the scientific dragon. Sir, I hope that Perseus should think better of it. First, for the sake of his own, because the creature is hard of head,strong of jaw,for some time past has shown a great capacity for going over and through whatever comes in his way; and secondly, for the sake of justice, for I assure you, of my own personal knowledge if left alone, the creature is a very debonair and gentle monster.As for the Andromeda of art, the creature has the tenderest respect for the lady, and desires nothing more than to see her happily settled and annually pruducing a flock of such charming children as those we see about us.

But putting parables aside, I am unable to understand how any one with a knowledge of mankind can imagine that the growth of science can threaten the development of art in any of its forms. If I understand the matter of all, science and art are the obverse and reverse of the Nature's medal; the one expressing the external order of things, in terms of feeling, and the other in terms of thought. When men no longer love norhate; when suffering causes no pity, and the tale of great deeds ceases to thrill. when the lily of the field shall seem no longer more beautifully arrayed than the Solomon in all his glory, and the owe has vanished from the snow-capped peak and deep ravine, and indeed the science may have the world to itself, but itwill not be because the monster has devoured the art, but because one side of human nature is dead, and because men have lost half of their ancient and present attributes.

请允许我为你们如此友善和赞赏地为科学干杯而深表感谢。我尤其感激在这般友善的大会上来为科学祝酒。因为事实上近些年我确实发现有些戏称自己是在前科学时代出生的人,正在酝酿一股很强大而且日渐强大的倾向,将科学视为入侵和占领的势力,而且若假以时日,必将我们宇宙其他的事物驱逐出去。我想有很多人认为我们的时代是从现代头脑中爆发的怪物,目的就是要吞噬掉艺术的安德洛默达。时不时的,还有一位珀尔修斯,脚蹬写作快手之超速鞋,头戴社论文章之阴形帽,或许还安着充斥漫骂之词的美杜沙之脑威风凛凛,大有与科学之龙一比高下的气势。但是,各位绅士,我劝这位珀尔修斯先生三思而行。首先,为了他自己的安全着想,因为这怪物脑壳坚硬,口鄂强壮,从它过往的经历可以看出它所到之处,势如破竹,所向披靡,无人能拦,实不易对付。再者,为正义说句话,我可以向你们保证,以我愚见,只要放任不管,它还是一个温而文雅,无比绅士的怪物。至于艺术的安德洛默达,此怪物穷其所有的敬仰,别无他求,只希望看到她能够安居乐业,每年都能生一大群如我们所见的快乐迷人的小孩子。

不过撇去那些比喻,我实在不能理解那些有一点人文知识的人为什么会担心科学的进步怎么就会威胁到艺术的发展。依我所见,科学和艺术实乃大自然这枚圣牌的正反两面,一个以情感的方式表达了事物的外在规律,而另外一个则是一理性的方式。当人类不再爱,也不再恨;当苦难不再引起怜悯;当壮举不再让人激动,当山野的百合花还比不上所罗门的荣光,当雪山之巅和万丈深渊不再博得敬畏,那么科学是真的统治了这个世界。但是那不是因为怪物吞噬了艺术,而是因为人性的另一面已经死亡,而是因为人类已经失去了他们从古到今的天性。



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