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  • We have a general sense that these sort of places are filled with things that are deeply important,

    這是我們常有的想法:這種地方充滿著非常重要的東西。

  • But what exactly is literature good for?

    但文學到底有什麼好處?

  • Why should we spend our time reading novels or poems when out there, big things are going on.

    為什麼當世界上有更重要的事時,我們還要花時間在那邊讀小說跟詩呢?

  • Let's have a think about some of the ways that literature benefits us.

    讓我們來想想文學對我們來說有那些好處。

  • Of course, it looks like it's wasting time, but literature is ultimately the greatest time-saver.

    當然,它看起來很浪費時間,但文學其實是最棒的省時方法。

  • Because it gives us access to a range of emotions and events that it would take you years, decades, millenia to try to experience directly.

    因為你能夠從中了解原先你可能要花上好幾年、幾十年、幾千年才能親身體會的各種情感及事件。

  • Literature is the greatest "reality simulator," a machine that puts you through infinitely more situations than you could ever directly witness.

    文學是最棒的「現實模擬器」,讓你體悟各種無法親身經歷的情境。

  • It lets you safely, that's crucial, see what it's like to get divorced.

    它讓你不用離婚 (這很重要) 也能知道離婚會是什麼樣子。

  • Or kill someone and feel remorseful.

    或因犯下謀殺而感到極為後悔

  • Or chuck in your job and take off to the desert.

    或是放棄你的工作到沙漠休假

  • Or make a terrible mistake while leading your country.

    或是身為領導者時卻犯了一個嚴重的錯誤

  • It lets you speed up time in order to see the arc of a life from childhood to old age.

    它讓你把時間加速:可以看到生命從孩提到老年的脈絡

  • It gives you the keys to the palace, and to countless bedrooms, so you can assess your life in relation to that of others'.

    它賦予你權利了解宮殿和無數臥房

  • It introduces you to fascinating people: a Roman general, an 11th century French princess, or a Russian upper class mother just embarking on an affair.

    它介紹你去認識迷人的人們:一個羅馬將軍,一個11世紀的法國公主、一個俄國飽受緋聞折磨的上流社會母親

  • It takes you across continents and centuries.

    它能帶你穿越空間和時間

  • Literature cures you of provincialism and, at almost no cost, turns us into citizens of the world.

    文學消除你狹隘的眼光 和在幾乎不花一毛錢的情況下把我們變成世界的公民

  • Literature performs the basic magic of showing us what things look like from someone else's point of view.

    文學的魔法讓我們能夠設身處地

  • It allows us to consider the consequences of our actions on others in a way we otherwise wouldn't.

    它讓在我們做事情之前了解我們行為的後果

  • And it shows us examples of kindly, generous, sympathetic people.

    它讓我們看到親切、慷慨、有同情心的人們

  • Literature typically stands opposed to the dominant value system, the one that rewards money and power.

    文學基本上是和名利的主流思想對立

  • Writers are on the other side, they make us sympathetic to ideas and feelings

    作家讓我們同理不同的理念和感受

  • that are of deep importance but that can't afford airtime in a commercialised, status-conscious, and cynical world.

    他們舉足輕重,卻無法承擔商業化、階級意識以及一個憤世嫉俗的世界

  • We are weirder than we're allowed to admit.

    我們比我們自己想承認的還要奇怪

  • We often can't say what's really on our minds.

    我們很少表達自己內心的想法

  • But in books, we find descriptions of who we genuinely are and what events are actually like,

    但在書中,我們找到自我以並發掘事件的真實樣貌

  • described with an honesty quite different from what ordinary conversation allows for.

    闡述著一般對話中所缺乏的真知灼見

  • In the best books, it's as if the writer knows us better than we know ourselves.

    在最好的書中,作者彷彿比我們更了解我們自己

  • They find the words to describe the fragile, weird, special experiences of our inner lives:

    他們能夠用文字來描述在我們生命中脆弱、奇怪、特別的經驗

  • the light on a summer morning, the anxiety we felt at the gathering,

    在夏天早晨的曙光;在人群中的焦慮;

  • the sensations of a first kiss, the envy when a friend told us of their new business,

    初吻時的悸動;得知朋友新工作時的羨慕

  • the longing we experienced on the train, looking at the profile of another passenger we never dare to speak to.

    在火車上曾體會過仰慕著另一名乘客的光鮮亮麗 卻遲遲不敢上前攀談。

  • Writers open our hearts and minds and give us maps to our own selves so that we can travel in them more reliably and with less of a feeling of paranoia and persecution.

    作家打開我們的心靈,給予我們遨遊於文學中的地圖,讓我們少一點偏執及困擾

  • As the writer Emerson remarked: "In the works of great writers, we find our own neglected thoughts."

    如同作家 Emerson 所說的:「在偉大作家的作品中,我們找回被自己忽略的想法。」

  • Literature is a corrective to the superficiality and compromises of friendship.

    文學是矯正膚淺及妥協的良伴

  • Books are our true friends, always to hand, never too busy, giving us unvarnished accounts of what things are really like.

    書是我們真正的朋友,總是扶持我們,從來不曾缺席,幫我們解釋事物真正的面貌

  • All of our lives, one of our greatest fears is of failing, of messing up of becoming, as the tabloids put it, a "LOSER."

    終其一生,我們最大的恐懼是失敗,是混亂,是成為...就像文摘中說的,一個「失敗者」

  • Every day, the media takes us into stories of failure.

    每天媒體都給我們看失敗的故事

  • Interestingly, a lot of literature is also about failure.

    有趣的是,很多文學也是關於失敗。

  • In one way or another, a great many novels, plays, and poems are about people who've messed up,

    不管如何偉大的小說、戲劇、詩都是跟搞砸事物的人們、不小心跟媽媽上床的人們

  • people who slept with mum by mistake, or who let down their partner,

    讓同伴失望的人們

  • or who died after running up some debts on shopping sprees.

    或是在購物狂熱之下積欠很多債務後而死的人們有關

  • If the media got to them, they'd make mincemeat out of them.

    如果媒體報導他們,媒體只會雪上加霜地摧毀他們

  • But great books don't judge as harshly or as one-dimensionally as the media.

    但偉大的書不會像媒體一樣只用一種面向判斷。

  • They evoke pity for the hero and fear for ourselves based on a new sense of how near we all are to destroying our own lives.

    他們在我們快要接近自我毀滅的時候,喚起我們對於英雄及自身恐懼的憐憫。

  • But if literature can really do all these things, we might need to treat it a bit differently to the way we do now.

    但如果文學真的可以做到這些事,我們可能要換個方法對待它。

  • We tend to treat it as a distraction, an entertainment, something for the beach.

    我們常把它視為一種消遣、一種娛樂,像是可以帶去海邊的讀物。

  • But it's far more than that, it's really therapy, in the broad sense.

    但它不只這樣,廣義來講它是一種療法。

  • We should learn to treat it as doctors treat their medicines, something we prescribe in response to a range of ailments, and classify according to the problems it might be best suited to addressing.

    我們面對文學的態度應該像是醫生對待他們的病人一樣,???對症下藥。

  • Literature deserves its prestige for one reason above all others:

    文學應該得到它應有的聲望,最重要的理由是:

  • because it's a tool to help us live and die with a little bit more wisdom, goodness, and sanity.

    文學幫助我們增長智慧、美德以及理智。

We have a general sense that these sort of places are filled with things that are deeply important,

這是我們常有的想法:這種地方充滿著非常重要的東西。

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B1 中級 中文 英國腔 文學 作家 媒體 失敗 美德 理智

【閱讀素養】文學可以用來做什麼? (What is Literature for?)

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    Nate Liu 發佈於 2018 年 01 月 19 日
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