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We have a general sense that these sort of places are filled with things that are deeply important
but what exactly is literature good for?
Why should we spend our time reading novels or poems when out there, big things are going on.
Let’s have a think about some of the ways literature that benefits us.
Of course, it looks like it’s wasting time, but literature is ultimately the greatest time-saver,
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.
Literature is the greatest "reality simulator,"
a machine that puts you through infinitely more situations than you could ever directly witness.
It lets you safely, that's crucial, see what it’s like to get divorced.
Or kill someone and feel remorseful. Or chuck in your job and take off to the desert.
Or make a terrible mistake while leading your country.
It lets you speed up time in order to see the arc of a life from childhood to old age
It gives you the keys to the palace, and to countless bedrooms,
so you can assess your life in relation to that of others.
It introduces you to fascinating people: a Roman general, an 11th century French princess,
a Russian upper class mother just embarking on an affair...
It takes you across continents and centuries
Literature cures you of provincialism and, at almost no cost, turns us into citizens of the world.
Literature performs the basic magic of showing us what things look like from someone else’s point of view.
It allows us to consider the consequences of our actions on others in a way we otherwise wouldn’t.
And it shows us examples of kindly, generous, sympathetic people
Literature typically stands opposed to the dominant value system, the one that rewards money and power.
Writers are on the other side, they make us sympathetic to ideas and feelings
that are of deep importance but that can’t afford airtime in a commercialised, status-conscious and cynical world.
We are weirder than we’re allowed to admit.
We often can’t say what's really on our minds.
But in books, we find descriptions of who we genuinely are and what events are actually like,
described with an honesty quite different from what ordinary conversation allows for.
In the best books, it’s as if the writer knows us better than we know ourselves.
They find the words to describe the fragile, weird, special experiences of our inner lives:
the light on a summer morning, the anxiety we felt at the gathering
the sensations of a first kiss, the envy when a friend told us of their new business
the longing we experienced on the train,
looking at the profile of another passenger we never dare to speak to
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.
As the writer Emerson remarked: "In the works of great writers, we find our own neglected thoughts."
Literature is a corrective to the superficiality and compromises of friendship.
Books are our true friends, always to hand, never too busy, giving us unvarnished accounts of what things are really like.
All of our lives, one of our greatest fears is of failing, of messing up… of becoming,
as the tabloids put it, a "LOSER".
Every day, the media takes us into stories of failure
Interestingly, a lot of literature is also about failure. In one way or another,
a great many novels, plays and poems are about people who’ve messed up, people who slept with mum by mistake
... who let down their partner
... or who died after running up some debts on shopping sprees.
If the media got to them, they’d make mincemeat out of them.
But great books don’t judge as harshly or as one-dimensionally as the media.
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.
But if literature can really do all these things, we might need to treat it a bit differently to the way we do now.
We tend to treat it as a distraction, an entertainment (something for the beach).
But it’s far more than that, it’s really therapy, in the broad sense.
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.
Literature deserves its prestige for one reason above all others:
because it’s a tool to help us live and die with a little bit more wisdom, goodness and sanity.
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文學有什麼用? (What is Literature for?)

31565 分類 收藏
Nate Liu 發佈於 2015 年 9 月 30 日   Winnie 翻譯   Raina 審核

影片簡介

羅密歐與茱麗葉、哈姆雷特、希臘羅馬神話……世界上有無數經典的文學名著,但文學到底有什麼好?快來看看這部影片,告訴我們文學的益處。

1
millennia0:33
millenniamillennium 的複數,意思是「一千年、千禧年」的意思。
形容詞是 millennial
The jar of wine had been stored in the cellar for over two millennia.
這甕酒在地下保存了超過兩千年。

We held a big party to celebrate the millennium last week.
我們上星期舉辦了一個盛大的派對來慶祝千禧年。


*同場加映
Ted-Ed:左撇子的意義竟然這麼深奧! (Why are some people left-handed? - Daniel M. Abrams)


2
chuck in0:51
相信大家在說放棄時一定常說 give up 吧!但其實放棄不只有 give up 你也可以說 chuck in 唷!chuck in 有「停止、放棄、終止」的意思,常指停止或放棄一些規律性的工作或活動。
My brother wants to chuck in his job.
我哥哥想要放棄他的工作。


3
take off0:52
take off 的意思有很多種,但基本上就是「從原本的狀態中抽離」的感覺,在這部影片中是「休假」的意思,表示你從原本的工作狀態中抽離而變成休假的狀態,我們來看看除此之外 take off 還有哪些意思呢?
1. 起飛
The airplane is about to take off within five minutes.
飛機五分鐘內即將起飛。


2. 脫掉(衣物)
Josh took off his jacket because it is too hot.
天氣太熱了,所以Josh把外套脫掉。


3. (較口語)匆匆離去
When he saw his ex-girlfriend, he immediately took off in the opposite direction.
他一看到他前女友,馬上朝相反方向匆匆離去。


4. 突然變得大受歡迎
The product took off within two weeks after the famous super star recommended it on her blog.
這個明星在他的部落格介紹這個產品後,兩周內這個產品突然變得大受歡迎。


4
paranoia2:54
Paranoia 一詞源自希臘語,大概意思是指「瘋狂」,過去這個字也用來表示各種妄想狀態。偏執狂跟妄想狂會對某些事物產生錯誤的解讀,產生不真實的害怕或是猜疑,並且深信不疑,例如患者常會覺得有人在跟蹤自己或是被下毒。

大家有發現很多疾病的結尾都是 ia 嗎?另外再幫大家補充一些常見的疾病的英文單字:
精神分裂症 schizophrenia
老年痴呆症 senile dementia
憂鬱症 melancholia
肺炎 pneumonia
貧血 anemia


*同場加映
TED-Ed:一窺阿茲海默症的秘密 What is Alzheimer's disease? - Ivan Seah Yu Jun


5
make mincemeat (out) of3:45
make mincemeat of 是個俚語用法,是「徹底擊潰…」的意思。
mincemeat 指的是碎肉,把東西做成碎肉可以引申為把東西擊潰的意思,就像我們很生氣時會想把人剁成肉醬,所以大概就是這種感覺吧!

看完了影片,有沒有覺得影片說的很有道理、對文學更有共鳴了呢?現在就馬上拿起一本文學,遨遊在文學美妙的世界吧!

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  1. UrbanDictionary 俚語字典整合查詢。一般字典查詢不到你滿意的解譯,不妨使用「俚語字典」,或許會讓你有滿意的答案喔