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2011年考研英语(二)阅读真题(MP3+字幕)第3篇 When Less Was More

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We tend to think of the decades immediately following World War II as a time of prosperity and growth, with soldiers returning home by the millions, going off to college on the G.I. Bill and lining up at the marriage bureaus.

我们一般认为二战之后的几十年是繁荣和成长的时期,数以百万计的士兵返回家园,按照军人安置法案去上了大学,并登记结婚。
But when it came to their houses, it was a time of common sense and a belief that less could truly be more. During the Depression and the war, Americans had learned to live with less, and that restraint, in combination with the postwar confidence in the future, made small, efficient housing positively stylish.
但,谈到房子的问题,当时人们的常识和想法是利用有限空间创造出更大空间。在大萧条和战争期间,美国人早就学会了在空间有限的房子中居住,美国人民的这种自我约束以及战后对未来生活的自信,使得小而有效的房子成为流行趋势。
Economic condition was only a stimulus for the trend toward efficient living. The phrase "less is more" was actually first popularized by a German, the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who like other people associated with the Bauhaus, a school of design, emigrated to the United States before World War II and took up posts at American architecture schools. These designers came to exert enormous influence on the course of American architecture, but none more so than Mies.
经济情况当时只是有效居住的一个因素。“更少就是更多”的说法原先实际上首先是因一位名叫Ludwig Mies van der Rohe的德国建筑师才得以流行起来的。他和其他建筑大师一样也来自德国包豪斯设计学院。他们在二战前移民到美国,并在美国各建筑学院任教就职。这些设计师对美国的建筑业产生了巨大的影响,但Mies的影响力却无人能及。
Mies's signature phrase means that less decoration, properly organized, has more impact than a lot. Elegance, he believed, did not derive from abundance. Like other modern architects, he employed metal, glass and laminated wood--materials that we take for granted today but that in the 1940s symbolized the future. Mies's sophisticated presentation masked the fact that the spaces he designed were small and efficient, rather than big and often empty.
Mies的口头禅的意思是简洁,紧凑会非常有影响力。他相信优雅不是来自琳琅满目的装饰。和其它现代建筑一样,他当时使用了金属,玻璃和复合木材料,这在今天是理所当然的,但在20世界40年代却象征着未来的发展。Mies的精巧展示让人们忘记了他所设计的空间并不大但很有效,而不是那种大而空的风格。
The apartments in the elegant towers Mies built on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive, for example, were smaller — two-bedroom units under 1,000 square feet — than those in their older neighbors along the city's Gold Coast. But they were popular because of their airy glass walls, the views they afforded and the elegance of the buildings' details and proportions, the architectural equivalent of the abstract art so popular at the time.
比如说,建在芝加哥湖滨大道上的公寓,是两个小卧室,比那些坐落于黄金海岸的老建筑小1000平方英尺。但它们因通透的玻璃墙、室外的视野以及房子细节和比例的优雅备受欢迎。当时,楼房建筑相当于抽象艺术作品被人广为欢迎。
The trend toward "less" was not entirely foreign. In the 1930s Frank Lloyd Wright started building more modest and efficient houses — usually around 1,200 square feet — than the spreading two-story ones he had designed in the 1890s and the early 20th century.
空间小的趋势不是泊来品。20世纪30年代,Frank Lloyd Wright就开始致力于设计更加大小适中,生活更有效的房子--通常只有1200平方英尺--比他早在19世纪90年代和20世纪初设计的两层建筑更小更有效。
The "Case Study Houses" commissioned from talented modern architects by California Arts And Architecture magazine between 1945 and 1962 were yet another homegrown influence on the "less is more" trend. Aesthetic effect came from the landscape, new materials and forthright detailing. In his Case Study House, Ralph Rapson may have mispredicted just how the mechanical revolution would impact everyday life — few American families acquired helicopters, though most eventually got clothes dryers — but his belief that self-sufficiency was both desirable and inevitable was widely shared.
在1945年到1962年,由《加州艺术和建筑》杂志中的现代建筑天才所委任的“房子个案风格研究”活动则是另一个美国本土的力量,该活动推动了“少而精”的建筑趋势。美学影响来自房子的景观,新材料和直观明快的细节。在他研究的个案中,Ralph Rapson可能错误预测机械革命对日常生活的影响--极少美国家庭拥有直升机,但大多数家庭有衣服烘干机--但他的相信自给自足是人们的向往和不可回避的目标,他的这一信仰得到人们的广泛认可。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
depression [di'preʃən]

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n. 沮丧,萧条

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confidence ['kɔnfidəns]

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adj. 骗得信任的
n. 信任,信心,把握

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trend [trend]

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n. 趋势,倾向,方位
vi. 倾向,转向

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landscape ['lændskeip]

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n. 风景,山水,风景画
v. 美化景观

 
organized ['ɔ:gənaiz]

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v. 组织

 
sophisticated [sə'fistikeitid]

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adj. 诡辩的,久经世故的,精密的,老练的,尖端的

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inevitable [in'evitəbl]

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adj. 不可避免的,必然(发生)的

 
presentation [.prezen'teiʃən]

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n. 陈述,介绍,赠与
n. [美]讲课,报告

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architect ['ɑ:kitekt]

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n. 建筑师

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desirable [di'zaiərəbl]

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adj. 值得有的,令人满意的,有吸引力的
n

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