The Art of Travel 8.6分
读书笔记 Notes
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[On the Country and the City] P.138

The poet accused cities of fostering a family of life-destroying emotions: anxiety about our position in the social hierarchy, envy at the succuss of others, pride and a desire to shine in the eyes of strangers. City-dwellers had no perspective, he alleged; they were in thrall to what was spoken of in the street or at the dinner table. However well provided for, they had a relentless desire for new things, which they did not genuinely lack and on which happiness did not depend.
引自 Notes

诗人谴责城市造就一系列窒息生命的情感,包括我们所处社会地位的焦虑、对他人成就的羡慕、以及在陌生人面前炫耀的欲望。他直言不讳地表示,城市人毫无主见,只限于在街边或饭桌上道听途说、人云亦云。虽然他们生活舒适,却从未放弃追逐新鲜事物,即使他们什么都不缺,而幸福也根本与他们想要追逐的东西无关。 P.147

Wordsworth enjoy sitting beneath oaks, listening to the rain or watching sunbeams fracture across their leaves. What he saw as the patience and dignity of the trees struck hin as characteristic of Nature's works, which were to be valued for holding up: before the mind intoxiate With present objects, and the busy dance Of things that pass away, a temperate show Of objects that endure Nature would, be proposed, dispose us to seek out in life and in each other, "Whate'er there is desirable and good". She was an "image of right reason" that would temper the crooked impulses of urban life. To accept even in part Wordsworth's argument may require that we accept a prior prinziple: that our identities are to a greater or lesser extent malleable; that we change according to whom - and sometimes what - we are with. The company of certain people excites our generosity and sensitivity, of others, our competivineness and envy. A's obsession with status and hierarchy may - almost inperceptible - lead B to worry about his significance. A's jokes may quietly lead assistance to B's hitherto submerged sense of the ridiculous. But move B to another enviroment and his concerns will subly shift in relation to a new interlocutor. What may then be expected to occur to a person's identity in the company of a cataract or mountain, an oak or a celandine - objects which, after all, have no conscious concerns and so, it would seem, cannot either encourage or censor behaviour? And jet an inanimate object may, to come to the linchpin of Wordsworth's claim for the beneficial effects of nature, sitll work an influence on those around it. Natural scenes have the power to suggest certain values to us - oaks dignity, pines resolution, lakes calm - and, in unobtrusive ways, may therefore act as inspirations to virtue.
引自 Notes

华兹华斯喜欢坐在橡树下,聆听着雨声或者看着阳光穿梭于树叶间。他把树木的耐心和庄严看做是大自然特有的杰作,并且认为这些价值应该受到尊重。他写道: 在心灵为了眼前的景物 沉醉之前,一场眼花缭乱之舞 转瞬即逝,大自然却适度呈现了 一些永恒的东西 华兹华斯说,大自然会指引我们从生命和彼此身上寻找“一切存在着的美好和善良的东西”,自然是“美好意念的影像”,对于扭曲、不正常的都市生活有矫正的功能。 如果我们要接受华兹华斯的论点(即便是其中一部分),我们就必须接受以下前提:人的身份认同多多少少都具有伸缩性,也就是说,我们的个性会随着周围的人或物的转变而变化。与某些人往来,可能会激发我们的慷慨和敏感,但与另外一些人来往则会引发我们的好胜和嫉妒心。A君对于地位和权势的迷恋可能会悄悄引发B君对自己身份轻重的担忧。A君所开的玩笑可能潜移默化地激起B君隐藏在内心已久的荒谬感。但如果把B君置于另一个环境,他所关注的事物将受新的互动者的言行举止影响,随之发生转变。 那么如果把人放置于大自然中,与一座瀑布或高山、一棵橡树或一株白屈菜共处,又会对他的身份认同产生什么影响呢?毕竟,草木无情,它们何以能鼓励我们,让我们从善如流。然而,华兹华斯坚持认为人类能从大自然中获益,其论点的关键在于:一个没有活动能力的物体仍然能对它周遭的事物产生影响。自然景物具有提示我们某些价值的能力,例如:橡树象征尊严、松树象征坚毅、湖泊象征静谧。因此,自然界景物能够含蓄地唤起我们的德性。 [On Eye-opening Art] P.194

A few years after Van Gogh' stay in Provence, Oscar Wilde remarked that there had been no fog in London before Whistler painted it. There had surely been fewer cypresses in Provence before Van Gogh painted them.
引自 Notes

凡高在普罗旺斯待了几年以后,奥斯卡 王尔德评论说,在惠斯勒画出伦敦的雾之前,伦敦并没有雾。在凡高画出普罗旺斯的柏树以前,普罗旺斯的柏树一定也少得多。

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