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《经济学人》:法国巴黎-人们心中的圣殿

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Americans in Paris

They were there, Lafayette
法国巴黎——人们心中的圣殿

Paris was their goal
巴黎是他们的目标

Sargent’s love of Paris revealed in this painting of the Luxembourg Gardens
在这幅《卢森堡花园》中,萨金特对巴黎的喜爱一览无余

Jun 2nd 2011 | from the print edition

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.
《远大旅程:美国人在巴黎》
By David McCullough. Simon & Schuster; 544 pages; $37.50. Buy from Amazon.com

“WHEN good Americans die, they go to Paris,” observed Thomas Gold Appleton, a Boston wit of the 19th century. Appleton is just one of the characters in David McCullough’s excellent reminder that Americans’ love of Paris began a good century before the arrival in the “City of Light” of men such as Ernest Hemingway or James Baldwin. From James Fenimore Cooper, author of “The Last of the Mohicans”, to Samuel Morse, a painter better known now as the inventor of the telegraph, American visitors were seduced by Paris: “Never in their lives had the Americans seen such parks and palaces, or such beautiful bridges or so many bridges.”

“善良的美国人去世后,他们的灵魂就升入巴黎。” 19世纪的波士顿智者托马斯•金•阿普尔顿曾这样说。在大卫•麦卡洛的新作中,美国人对巴黎的热爱一览无余。这种热爱甚至在欧内斯特•海明威和詹姆斯•鲍德温来到这座“灯光之城”之前就已经开始了,而阿普尔顿只是这众多热爱法国的美国人中的一个。无论是《最后一个莫西干人》的作者詹姆斯•费尼莫尔•库珀,还是萨缪尔•莫尔斯,这位以发明电码而闻名于世的画家,美国的游学者都被巴黎深深吸引着:“穷极一生,美国人也不曾见过如此美轮美奂的公园殿宇,如此隽永众多的桥梁。”

Paris was so much more advanced—in the arts, the sciences and medicine—than Boston, New York or Washington, DC. Morse, already a successful artist in America when he was commissioned at 28 to produce a portrait of President Monroe, declared that he had to go to Paris: “My education as a painter is incomplete without it.” This desire for improvement was “the greater journey” of Mr. McCullough’s title, following the often dangerous journey across the Atlantic, first by sailing ship and only later under steam.

在艺术,科学和医药方面,巴黎都远比波士顿、纽约和华盛顿特区要先进得多。28岁的时候,莫尔斯被指派为门罗总统画一幅肖像。但当时已蜚声美国画坛的莫尔斯却要求要去巴黎学习,声称:“没有去过巴黎,我的绘画事业就不完整。”对于改善提高的渴望,就是麦卡洛先生的书名——远大旅程的由来。而这一旅程,往往伴随着横渡大西洋的艰难险阻——最早是由帆船航行,而后才变为汽船。

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bravery ['breivəri]

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n. 勇敢

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reminder [ri'maində]

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n. 提醒物,提示

 
acting ['æktiŋ]

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n. 演戏,行为,假装 adj. 代理的,临时的,供演出

 
fortunate ['fɔ:tʃənit]

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adj. 幸运的,侥幸的

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portrait ['pɔ:trit]

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n. 肖像,画像
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infinite ['infinit]

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adj. 无限的,无穷的
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advanced [əd'vɑ:nst]

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diary ['daiəri]

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unlikely [ʌn'laikli]

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adj. 不太可能的

 


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