新法兰西

  新法兰西(法文: la Nouvelle-France;英语: New France ),法国位于北美洲的殖民地。最初包括圣劳伦斯湾沿海地区,纽芬兰以及阿卡迪亚(新科斯舍)。后来逐步扩张,又包括大湖地区的大部分和阿巴拉契亚山以西的部分地区。最终形成北起哈德逊湾,南至墨西哥湾,包含圣罗伦斯河及密西西比河流域的广大地区,划分成加拿大、阿卡迪亚、哈德逊湾、纽芬兰、路易斯安那五个区域。

   

北美殖民地1650-1763
继续阅读新法兰西

大萧条(1929年至1933年之间发源于美国的经济危机)

  1920年代被称为“新时代”,财富和机会似乎向刚在第一次世界大战中获胜的美国人敞开了自己吝啬的大门。整个社会对新技术和新生活方式趋之若鹜,“炫耀性消费”成为时代潮流。胡佛总统也认为,“我们正在取得对贫困战争决定性的前夜,贫民窟将从美国消失”。

继续阅读大萧条(1929年至1933年之间发源于美国的经济危机)

Of Mice and Men – Themes and more


Of Mice and Men – Themes and more

Themes

In every bit of honest writing in the world there is a base theme. Try to understand men, if you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love. There are shorter means, many of them. There is writing promoting social change, writing punishing injustice, writing in celebration of heroism, but always that base theme. Try to understand each other.

— John Steinbeck in his 1938 journal entry[7]

Steinbeck emphasizes dreams throughout the book. George aspires to independence, to be his own boss, to have a homestead, and most importantly to be “somebody”. Lennie aspires to be with George on his independent homestead, and to quench his fixation on soft objects. Candy aspires to reassert his responsibility lost with the death of his dog, and for security for his old age—on George’s homestead. Crooks aspires to a small homestead where he can express self-respect, security, and most of all, acceptance. Curley’s wife dreams to be an actress, to satisfy her desire for fame lost when she married Curley, and an end to her loneliness.

Loneliness is a significant factor in several characters’ lives. Candy is lonely after his dog is gone. Curley’s wife is lonely because her husband is not the friend she hoped for—she deals with her loneliness by flirting with the men on the ranch, which causes Curley to increase his abusiveness and jealousy. The companionship of George and Lennie is the result of loneliness. Crooks states the theme candidly as “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got anybody. Don’t make any difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you.”[8] The author further reinforces this theme through subtle methods by situating the story near the town of Soledad, which means “solitude” in Spanish.[9]

Despite the need for companionship, Steinbeck emphasizes how loneliness is sustained through the barriers established from acting inhuman to one another. The loneliness of Curley’s wife is upheld by Curley’s jealousy, which causes all the ranch hands to avoid her. Crooks’s barrier results from being barred from the bunkhouse by restraining him to the stable; his bitterness is partially broken, however, through Lennie’s ignorance.

Steinbeck’s characters are often powerless, due to intellectual, economic, and social circumstances. Lennie possesses the greatest physical strength of any character, which should therefore establish a sense of respect as he is employed as a ranch hand. However, his intellectual handicap undercuts this and results in his powerlessness. Economic powerlessness is established as many of the ranch hands are victims of the Great Depression. As George, Candy and Crooks are positive, action- oriented characters, they wish to purchase a homestead, but because of the Depression, they are unable to generate enough money. Lennie is the only one who is basically unable to take care of himself, but the other characters would do this in the improved circumstances they seek. Since they cannot do so, the real danger of Lennie’s mental handicap comes to the fore.

Regarding human interaction, evil of oppression and abuse is a theme that is illustrated through Curley and Curley’s wife. Curley uses his aggressive nature and superior position in an attempt to take control of his father’s farm. He constantly reprimands the farm hands and accuses some of fooling around with his wife. Curley’s Napoleon complex is evidenced by his threatening of the farm hands for minuscule incidents. Curley’s wife, on the other hand, is not physically but verbally manipulative. She uses her sex appeal to gain some attention, flirting with the farm hands. According to the Penguin Teacher’s Guide for Of Mice and Men, Curley and Curley’s wife represent evil in that both oppress and abuse the migrants in different ways.[10]

Fate is felt most heavily as the characters’ aspirations are destroyed when George is unable to protect Lennie (who is a real danger). Steinbeck presents this as “something that happened” or as his friend coined for him “non-teleological thinking” or “is thinking”, which postulates a non-judgmental point of view.[7]

Animal imagery

Of Mice and Men was noted to be a great example of the use of animal imagery. Throughout the course of the novella Steinbeck often uses animal imagery to emphasise the key themes of mental disability, racism and the inevitable tragedy of the ending.

Development

Of Mice and Men was Steinbeck’s first attempt at writing in the form of novel-play termed a “play-novelette” by one critic. Structured in three acts of two chapters each, it is intended to be both a novella and a script for a play. He wanted to write a novel that could be played from its lines, or a play that could be read like a novel.[11]

Steinbeck originally titled it Something That Happened (referring to the events of the book as “something that happened” because nobody can be really blamed for the tragedy that unfolds in the story). However, he changed the title after reading Robert Burns‘s poem To a Mouse.[12] Burns’s poem tells of the regret the narrator feels for having destroyed the home of a mouse while plowing his field.[13]

Steinbeck wrote this book and The Grapes of Wrath in what is now Monte Sereno, California. An early draft of the novel was eaten by Steinbeck’s dog, named Max.[14]

人生马拉松-村上春树

我33岁那年秋天决定以写小说为生。为了保持健康,我开始跑步,每天凌晨4点起床,写作4小时,跑10公里。

 

我是那种容易发胖的体质。我妻子却无论怎么吃也胖不起来。这让我时常陷入沉思:“人生真是不公平啊!一些人无需认真就能得到的东西,另一些人却需要付出很多才能换来。”

 

不过转念一想,那些不费吹灰之力就能保持苗条的人,不会像我这样重视饮食和运动,也许老化得更快。什么才是公平,还得从长计议。

 

继续阅读人生马拉松-村上春树

朱光潜:谈读书

  十几年前我曾经写过一篇短文谈读书,这问题实在是谈不尽,而且这些年来我的见解也有些变迁,现在再就这问题谈一回,趁便把上次谈学问有未尽的话略加补充。

  学问不只是读书,而读书究竟是学问的一个重要途径。因为学问不仅是个人的事而是全人类的事,每科学问到了现在的阶段,是全人类分途努力日积月累所得到的成就,而这成就还没有淹没,就全靠有书籍记载流传下来。

  书籍是过去人类的精神遗产的宝库,也可以说是人类文化学术前进轨迹上的记程碑。我们就现阶段的文化学术求前进,必定根据过去人类已得的成就做出发点。如果抹煞过去人类已得的成就,我们说不定要把出发点移回到几百年前甚至几千年前,纵然能前进,也还是开倒车落伍。读书是要清算过去人类成就的总账,把几千年的人类思想经验在短促的几十年内重温一遍,把过去无数亿万人辛苦获来的知识教训集中到读者一个人身上去受用。有了这种准备,一个人总能在学问途程上作万里长征,去发见新的世界。

继续阅读朱光潜:谈读书

《大风》-莫言

  我家房后有一条弯弯曲曲的胶河,沿着高高的河堤向东北方向走七里左右路,就到了一片方圆数千亩的荒草甸子。每年夏天,爷爷都去那儿割草。离我们村二十里有军队一个马场,每年冬季都收购干青草喂马,价钱视草的质量而定。我爷爷的镰刀磨得快,割草技术高,割下来的草干净,不拖泥带水。晒草时摊得薄,翻得勤,干草都是新鲜的淡绿色,像植物标本一样。爷爷的干草向来卖最高的价钱。我至今还留恋在干草堆里打滚的乐趣——尤其是秋天,夜晚凉凉爽爽,天上的颜色是墨绿,星星像宝石一样闪闪烁烁,松软的干草堆暖暖和和,干青草散发出沁人心脾的甜香味……

继续阅读《大风》-莫言

时间与水

《时间与水》

——斯泰因.斯泰纳尔(Stein.Steinarr)

                       时间如水,

                       而水又深又冷,

                       如同我自己的意识。

                       

                       时间如一幅未完成的肖像,

                       由水和我,

                       共同绘画。

                       

                       时间与水,

                       漫无目的地流出,

                       进入我的意识。

                                 

                       太阳,

                       太阳与我同在,

                       一个穿着黄色鞋子的,

                       纤细的女人。

                       

                       二十英寻深,         

                       我的忠诚与爱睡眠,

                       如同一朵双色的花。

                       太阳穿着黄色的鞋,

                       在信任的花上走动。

                      

                       捕捉风的落网:

                       逃窜的深海之鱼,

                       随虚无的清澈之光而改变。

                       太阳之翅的环绕的湖泊,

                       随四维之梦的,

                       空洞之镜而升高。

                       消失的脚步,

                       在怀疑的傍晚的雪下。

                       

                       捕捉风的落网:

                       像一次睡眠,

                       镶嵌着火炬之网眼的天空,

                       捕捉上帝。

                       在我的意识和你的唇之间,

                       有一片无路的大海。

       

                       然而我的梦,

                       当深渊睡眠之际,

                       在一片搅动雾霭的,

                       声浪中闪耀。

                       我隐匿的悲伤,

                       将像一片因距离而发蓝的大海,

                       与你遭遇。

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