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旅行的艺术 (节选二) The Art of Travel (Excerpt II)


  Nowhere is the appeal of the airport more concentrated than in the television screens which hang in rows from 1)terminal ceilings announcing the departure and arrival of flights and whose absence of 2)aesthetic self-consciousness, whose 3)workmanlike 4)casing and 5)pedestrian 6)typefaces, do nothing to disguise their emotional 7)charge or imaginative allure. Tokyo, Amsterdam, Istanbul. 8)Warsaw, Seattle, 9)Rio. The screens bear all the poetic 10)resonance of the last line of 11)James Joyce’s Ulysses: at once a record of where the novel was written and, no less importantly, a symbol of the 12)cosmopolitan spirit behind its composition: “13)Trieste, 14)Zurich, Paris.” The constant calls of the screens, some accompanied by the impatient pulsing of a 15)cursor, suggest with what ease our seemingly 16)entrenched lives might be altered, were we to walk down a corridor and on to a craft that in a few hours would land us in a place of which we had no memories and where no one knew our names. How pleasant to hold in mind, through the 17)crevasses of our moods, at three in the afternoon when lassitude and despair threaten, that there is always a plane taking off for somewhere, for 18)Baudelaire’s “Anywhere! Anywhere!”: Trieste, Zurich, Paris.
The Art of Travel   在机场里,最引人注目的莫过于机场大厅天花板上吊着的一排排电视屏幕,上面公布着飞机进出港的航班情况。这些显示屏本身并无“审美自觉”可言,它们有精巧的外壳,屏幕上显示着呆板的字样,却并未掩饰其洋溢着的情感,引人浮想联翩(编者注:这句话想表达机场的航班显示屏其设计并没有经过刻意的雕琢,没有独特个性以及特别的美学意蕴,只是具有简单的功能性,但尽管如此,却因为那些不断跳动的航班信息而令它们看上去仿佛满载情感,充满了人性美)。东京、阿姆斯特丹、伊斯坦布尔;华沙、西雅图、里约热内卢。这些显示屏承载着其对詹姆斯·乔伊斯的小说《尤利西斯》最后一行文字产生的诗意共鸣,而那行文字——“的里雅斯特、苏黎世、巴黎。”既表明了小说的写作地点,同样重要的是,它也象征着作品背后的世界精神。有的屏幕上的光标不安分地闪烁着,所有显示屏都在持续不断地召唤我们,仿佛在昭示着我们既有的生活多么容易被改变:假设我们走过一条通道,登上一架飞机,数小时后,我们将置身于一个全然陌生的地方,在那里,没有人知道我们的名字。下午三点,倦怠绝望之感来袭,在种种苦闷情绪的缝隙间,想到这时总有一架飞机可以带我们飞向某个地方,正如波德莱尔所谓的“任何地方!任何地方!”,如“的里雅斯特、苏黎世、巴黎”,那该是多么惬意的事!
  There is psychological pleasure in this take-off too, for the swiftness of the plane’s ascent is an exemplary symbol of transformation. The display of power can inspire us to imagine19)analogous, decisive shifts in our own lives; to imagine that we too might one day 20)surge above much that now 21)looms over us.

  Journeys are the 22)midwives of thought. Few places are more 23)conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to 24)stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape.

  When guidebooks praised a site, they pressured a visitor to match their authoritative enthusiasm, where they were silent, pleasure or interest seemed 25)unwarranted.
  A danger of travel is that we see things at the wrong time, before we have had a chance to build up the necessary 26)receptivity and when new information is therefore as useless and27)fugitive as necklace beads without a connecting chain.

  The risk is 28)compounded by geography: the way that cities contain buildings or 29)monuments that are only a few feet apart in space, but30)leagues apart in terms of what would be required to appreciate them. Having made a journey to a place we may never revisit, we feel obliged to admire a sequence of things without any connection to one another besides a geographic one, a proper understanding of which would require qualities unlikely to be found in the same person.

  Travel twists our curiosity according to a superficial geographical logic, as superficial as if a university course were to prescribe books according to their size rather than subject matter.

  31)Ruskin was distressed by how seldom people noticed details. He 32)deplored the blindness and haste of modern tourists, especially those who prided themselves on covering Europe in a week by train (a service first offered by 33)Thomas Cook in 1862): “No changing of place at a hundred miles an hour will make us one 34)whit stronger, happier, or wiser. There was always more in the world than men could see, walked they ever so slowly; they will see it no better for going fast. The really precious things are thought and sight, not pace. It does a bullet no good to go fast; and a man, if he be truly a man, no harm to go slow; for his glory is not at all in going, but in being.”
  A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is the desire to hold on to it: to possess it and give it 35)weight in our lives. There is an urge to say, “I was here, I saw this and it mattered to me.”

  But beauty is fugitive, it is frequently found in places to which we may never return or else it results from a rare conjunction of season, light and weather. How then to possess it, how to hold on to the floating train, the 36)halva-like bricks or the English valley?

  The camera provides one option. Taking photographs can 37)assuage the 38)itch for possession sparked by the beauty of a place; our anxiety about losing a precious scene can decline with every click of the 39)shutter. Or else we can try to imprint ourselves physically on a place of beauty, perhaps hoping to 40)render it more present in us by making ourselves more present in it. In 41)Alexandria, standing before 42)Pompey’s Pillar, we could try to carve our name in the 43)granite, to follow the example of 44)Flaubert’s friend Thompson from 45)Sunderland. A more modest step might be to buy something—a bowl, a 46)lacquered box or a pair of sandals (Flaubert acquired three carpets in Cairo)—to be reminded of what we have lost, like a 47)lock of hair that we cut from a departing lover’s 48)mane.

  True possession of a scene is a matter of making a conscious effort to notice elements and understand their construction. We can see beauty well enough just by opening our eyes, but how long this beauty survives in memory depends on how intentionally we have apprehended it. The camera blurs the distinction between looking and noticing, between seeing and possessing; it may give us the option of true knowledge but it may49)unwittingly make the effort of acquiring it seem 50)superfluous. It suggests we have done all the work simply by taking a photograph.

  Rather than using photography as a supplement to active, conscious seeing, they used it as an alternative, paying less attention to the world than they had done previously from a faith that photography automatically assured them possession of it.

  The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to. If only we could apply a travelling mindset to our own 51)locales, we might find these places becoming no less interesting than the high mountain 52)passes and butterfly-filled jungles of 53)Humboldt’s South America.