双语 | 最精彩的小说开场白

新东方英语 2018-03-10 06:19:47

    那些经典小说的开篇,

    只需寥寥几句,

    就足见作者写作功底之深     厚、技巧之高超,

也足以让你兴致高昂、不忍释卷。

By Jane Austen

From Pride and Prejudice (1813)

作者:简•奥斯丁

出自《傲慢与偏见》 (1813年)

 

  “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Parodied (通过模仿嘲弄), spoofed (对……作幽默的讽刺), and misremembered, Austen’s celebrated zinger (击中要害的警语) remains the archetypal (典型的) first line for an archetypal tale. Only Dickens’ comes close, with the beginning of A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch (时代) of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity (不相信), it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative (夸张的) degree of comparison only.”

“有钱的单身汉必定想要娶位太太,这是尽人皆知的真理。”奥斯丁这句著名的警句尽管曾作为幽默和讽刺被夸张地模仿过,甚至还曾被人记错,但依然属于这类经典小说典型的开场白。只有狄更斯《双城记》的开篇接近了它的高度:“那是最好的时代,那是最坏的时代;那是睿智的年头,那是愚昧的年头;那是满怀信念的时期,那是怀疑一切的时期;那是光明的季节,那是黑暗的季节;那是希望的春天,那是绝望的冬天;我们面前拥有一切,我们面前一无所有;我们都在直奔天堂,我们都在直奔地狱——总之,那个时代和当前这个时代如此相像,以至于那时的某些最爱大发议论的权威人士人坚持认为,无论说它好也罢,坏也罢,都只能用‘最’字来形容。”


By Charlotte Brontë

From Jane Eyre (1847)

作者:夏洛蒂•勃朗特

出自《简•爱》 (1847年)

 “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.” The polar (截然对立的) opposite to Austen and Dickens, this line plunges the reader into the narrative, but in a low-key (低调的) tone of disappointed expectations that captures Jane Eyre’s dismal (凄凉的) circumstances. Brontë nails (说破)  Jane’s hopeless prospects in 10 words. At the same time, the reader can hardly resist turning the first page. There’s also the intriguing contrast in tone with her sister Emily, who opens Wuthering Heights with: “I have just returned from a visit to my landlord—the solitary neighbor that I shall be troubled with.”

“那天是不可能出去散步了。”与奥斯丁和狄更斯的处理方式完全相反,这句话一下子把读者带入了叙事情境中,但却用了一种低调的语气描述了那种希望落空后的失望,这种语气也刻画出了简•爱的凄凉境况。勃朗特只用了短短十个单词就一语道破简前途的无望,同时又使读者难以抗拒继续读下去的欲望。她的这个开篇也与妹妹艾米莉的小说《呼啸山庄》的开篇在语气上形成了饶有趣味的对照:“我刚刚拜访了我的房东回来——就是那个将要给我惹麻烦的孤独的邻居。”

By Mark Twain

From The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)

作者:马克•吐温

出自《哈克贝利•费恩历险记》(1884年)

    “You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by a Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly.” The influence of this opening reverberates (回响) throughout the 20th century, and nowhere more so than in J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye: “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy (糟糕的) childhood was like … and all that David Copperfield  kind of crap (废话), but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”

    “要是你没读过《汤姆•索亚历险记》,你就不会知道我,不过那也没关系。那本书是一位名叫马克•吐温的先生写的,他写的基本上是实情。”这段开场白影响深远,在整个20世纪的文坛余音不绝,而受其影响最深的莫过于J. D. 塞林格的《麦田里的守望者》:“如果你真想听我讲,你最想知道的大概是我在哪儿出生、我那不堪的童年是什么样的……以及所有这类大卫•科波菲尔式的废话(编注:即指讲自己童年的苦难),不过如果你想听实话,我可不想聊那些事。”

By Robert Louis Stevenson

From Treasure Island (1883)

作者:罗伯特•路易斯•史蒂文森

出自《金银岛》(1883年)

“Squire (乡绅) Trelawnay, Dr Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings (方位) of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace (公元) 17— and go back to the time when my father kept the Admiral Benbow inn and the brown old seaman with the sabre (军刀) cut first took up his lodging (寄宿) under our roof.” This is among the most brilliant and enthralling (吸引人的) opening lines in the English language. 

“乡绅特里劳尼老爷、利夫西医生和其他几位先生早就要我把有关金银岛的全部详尽情况从头至尾、毫无保留地写下来,只隐去它的具体方位,那只不过是因为岛上还有尚未挖掘出来的宝藏。我在公元17XX年开始动笔时,思绪回到了我父亲当年经营‘本博海军司令’小旅店的那个年代,当时,那个拥有古铜色皮肤、有道刀疤的老水手第一次来我家店里投宿。”这是英语文学中最精彩、最引人入胜的开场白之一。

本文选自《新东方英语·中学生》杂志

原标题为:The Four Best First Lines in Fiction 最精彩的小说开场白 

作者:From guardian.co.uk  译 / 宋怡秋



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