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07年“高级英语”课文逐句翻译(2)

2007-02-25 13:34   【 】【我要纠错

  青年人的四种选择

  Lesson 2 Four Choices for Young People

  在毕业前不久,斯坦福大学四年级主席吉姆?宾司给我写了一封信,信中谈及他的一些不安。

  Shortly before his graduation, Jim Binns, president of the senior class at Stanford University, wrote me about some of his misgivings.

  他写道:“与其他任何一代人相比,我们这一代人在看待成人世界时抱有更大的疑虑……同时越来越倾向于全盘否定成人世界。”

  “More than any other generation,” he said, “our generation views the adult world with great skepticism… there is also an increased tendency to reject completely that world.”

  很明显,他的话代表了许多同龄人的看法。

  Apparently he speaks for a lot of his contemporaries.

  在过去的几年里,我倾听过许多年轻人的谈话,他们有的还在大学读书,有的已经毕业,他们对于成人的世界同样感到不安。

  During the last few years, I have listened to scores of young people, in college and out, who were just as nervous about the grown world.

  大致来说,他们的态度可归纳如下:“这个世界乱糟糟的,到处充满了不平等、贫困和战争。对此该负责的大概应是那些管理这个世界的成年人吧。如果他们不能做得比这些更好,他们又能拿什么来教育我们呢?这样的教导,我们根本不需要。”

  Roughly, their attitude might be summed up about like this: “The world is in pretty much of a mess, full of injustice, poverty, and war. The people responsible are, presumably, the adults who have been running thing. If they can't do better than that, what have they got to teach our generation? That kind of lesson we can do without.”

  我觉得这些结论合情合理,至少从他们的角度来看是这样的。

  There conclusions strike me as reasonable, at least from their point of view.

  对成长中的一代人来说,相关的问题不是我们的社会是否完美(我们可以想当然地认为是这样),而是应该如何去应付它。

  The relevant question for the arriving generation is not whether our society is imperfect (we can take that for granted), but how to deal with it.

  尽管这个社会严酷而不合情理,但它毕竟是我们惟一拥有的世界。

  For all its harshness and irrationality, it is the only world we've got.

  因此,选择一个办法去应付这个社会是刚刚步入成年的年轻人必须作出的第一个决定,这通常是他们一生中最重要的决定。

  Choosing a strategy to cope with it, then, is the first decision young adults have to make, and usually the most important decision of their lifetime.

  根据我的发现,他们的基本选择只有四种:

  So far as I have been able to discover, there are only four basic alternatives:

  1)脱离传统社会

  1)Drop Out

  这是最古老的方法之一,任何年龄的人无论在任何地方,也无论是否使用迷幻剂都可以采用。

  This is one of the oldest expedients, and it can be practiced anywhere, at any age, and with or without the use of hallucinogens.

  那些认为这个世界残酷、复杂得令人难以忍受的人通常会选择这个办法。

  It always has been the strategy of choice for people who find the world too brutal or too complex to be endured.

  实质上,这是一种寄生式的生活方式,采取此策略的人通过这样或那样的方式寄生于这个他们蔑视的社会,并且拒绝对这个社会承担责任

  By definition, this way of life is parasitic. In one way or another, its practitioners batten on the society which they scorn and in which they refuse to take any responsibility.

  我们中的一些人对此很厌恶——认为这种生活方式很不光彩。

  Some of us find this distasteful – an undignified kind of life.

  但对于那些卑微、懒惰又缺乏自尊的人来说,这也许是可行的最可以忍受的选择了。

  But for the poor in spirit, with low levels of both energy and pride, it may be the least intolerable choice available.

  2)逃避现实社会

  2) Flee

  这个策略早在远古就有先例。

  This strategy also has ancient antecedents.

  自文明诞生以来,就有人企图逃避文明社会,希望寻求一种更为朴素、更富田园风情、更为宁静的生活。

  Ever since civilization began, certain individuals have tried to run away from it in hopes of finding a simpler, more pastoral, and more peaceful life.

  与那些脱离传统社会的人不同,这些人不是寄生者。他们愿意自食其力,愿意为社会作出贡献,可是他们就是不喜欢这个文明世界的环境。确地说,不喜欢这充满丑恶和紧张的大都市。

  Unlike the dropouts, they are not parasites. They are willing to support themselves and to contribute something to the general community, but they simply don't like the environment of civilization; that is, the city, with all its ugliness and tension.

  这种方法的问题在于无法大规模地进行实践。

  The trouble with this solution is that it no longer is practical on a large scale.

  不幸的是,在我们的地球上,高尚的野蛮人和未被破坏的自然景色已越来越少;除了两极地区以外已经没有未开发的土地了。

  Our planet, unfortunately, is running out of noble savages and unsullied landscaped; except for the polar regions, the frontiers are gone.

  少数富有的乡绅还可以逃避现实去过田园生活——但总的说来,迁移的潮流是向相反的方向流动。

  A few gentleman farmers with plenty of money can still escape to the bucolic life – but in general the stream of migration is flowing the other way.

  3)策划革命

  Plot a Revolution

  在对民主进程单调乏味的运作方式毫无耐心或相信只有武力才能改变基本社会制度的那些人中,这一策略颇受欢迎。

  This strategy is always popular among those who have no patience with the tedious working of the democratic process or who believe that basic institutions can only be changed by force.

  它吸引了每一代年轻人中那些更为活跃和更具理想主义的人。

  It attracts some of the more active and idealistic young people of every generation.

  对他们来说,这种策略具有浪漫的吸引力,通常以某位魅力非凡且令人振奋的人物为其象征。

  To them it offers a romantic appeal, usually symbolized by some dashing and charismatic figure.

  这一策略简单明了并具有更大的吸引力:“既然这个社会已经无可救药,那就让我们砸碎它,在它的废墟上面建一个更好的社会。”

  It has the even greater appeal of simplicity: “Since this society is hopelessly bad, let's smash it and build something better on the ruins.”

  我最好的朋友中有些是革命者,他们中的一些人过得相当满足。

  Some of my best friends have been revolutionists, and a few of them have led reasonably satisfying lives.

  这部分人其实是那些革命并未成功的人,他们可以继续兴高采烈地策划大屠杀,直至老态龙钟。

  These are the ones whose revolutions did not come off; they have been able to keep on cheerfully plotting their holocausts right into their senescence.

  另外一些人年纪轻轻就死了,死在监狱里或街垒旁。

  Others died young, in prison or on the barricades.

  但最不幸的是那些革命成功的人。

  But the most unfortunate are those whose revolutions have succeeded.

  他们极度失望,看到他们推翻的权力机构又被新机构所替代,而新机构依旧是那样冷酷,那样毫无生机。

  They lived in bitter disillusionment, to see the establishment they had overthrown replaced by a new one, just as hard-faced and stuffy.

  当然,我并不是说革命一无所成。

  I am not, of course, suggesting that revolutions accomplish nothing.

  一些革命(美国革命,法国革命)确实将事情变得越来越好。

  Some (The American Revolution, the French Revolution) clearly do change things for the better.

  我只是想说革命无论成败,那些策划革命的革命者们都注定要失望。

  My point is merely that the idealists who make the revolution are bound to be disappointed in either case.

  因为胜利的曙光无论如何也不会照耀在他们梦想中的那个摆脱了人类一切卑劣的灿烂的新世界上。

  For at best their victory never dawns on the shining new world they had dreamed of, cleansed of all human meanness.

  相反,它照在了一个熟悉的平庸的地方,这个地方仍旧需要食品杂货和污水排放。

  Instead it dawns on a familiar, workaday place, still in need of groceries and sewage disposal.

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