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左撇子比较有才?这些文学巨匠都用左手写作!(双语)

  在一个大多数人都惯用右手的世界里,左撇子似乎依然是一个特殊的存在,在思维方式、生活习惯等方面,总是与这个“右手世界”显得格格不入。但事实上在很多领域里,一些杰出的人才都是用左手征服了世界。

  Popular thought has it that left-handers are somehow more artistic and creative than right-handers, and that they are better at tasks involving geometry[1] or spatial [2] analysis. This is because they are supposedly right-brain dominant and the right brain is the hemisphere that controls certain types of creative thinking. Unfortunately, people don’t really use their brains that way, and a left-hander is just as likely to be a manual[3] laborer or great writer as the rest of the population. The following authors are all left-handers who have made an indelible[4] mark on the literary landscape.

  人们普遍认为:不知道什么原因,左撇子比惯用右手的人更富有艺术才华和创造力,而且更善于做与几何学或者空间分析相关的事情。这是因为,人们一般认为左撇子的右脑更发达,而右脑是控制特定类型创造性思维的脑半球。令人遗憾的是,人们并不真那样利用自己的大脑——左撇子既有可能成为一名体力劳动者,也有可能成为一名大作家,和惯用右手的人差不多。以下几位作家都是左撇子,他们业已在人类文学卷轴留下了不可磨灭的印记。

  01

  Hans Christian Anderson (1805~1875)

  He is a Danish author of plays, essays and poems, but best known for more than 100 fairy tales that he published from 1835 onwards. Anderson was born to a very poor family, and entertained himself as a child by making up stories and songs, and by crafting his own toys. Many of his tales contain thinly veiled autobiographical details. His wonderful stories, which include The Little Mermaid, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, and The Little Match Girl were immensely[5] popular in his own lifetime and are likely to always be so.

  汉斯·克里斯蒂安·安徒生(1805~1875)

  安徒生是丹麦剧作家、散文家和诗人,不过,他最为知名的还是其自1835年以来发表的100多篇童话故事。安徒生出生于一个非常贫寒的家庭,小时候,他就用自编故事、自创歌曲和自制玩具的方式来自娱自乐。他的许多童话作品当中都几乎不加掩饰地含有自传性的细节。他创作的精彩童话故事包括《小美人鱼》(译注:又译作《海的女儿》)、《皇帝的新装》、《丑小鸭》和《卖火柴的小女孩》等,这些故事在安徒生所处的时代就非常受欢迎,而且现在也很可能一直这样被大家喜爱下去。

  (邮票上印的图画为安徒生童话《海的女儿》)

  02

  Lewis Carroll (1832~1898)

  Born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson in Cheshire, England, he was the eldest son of a clergyman. Although he excelled at mathematics as a child, he found an outlet[6] for his imagination in telling stories to his ten siblings. Charles was always fond of children, whom he found he could talk to without his customary[7] stammer[8], and he was famously inspired to write Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland through his close friendship with young Alice Liddell. In 1871, he created a popular sequel, Through the Looking Glass while continuing to lecture in mathematics.

  刘易斯·卡罗尔(1832~1898)

  刘易斯·卡罗尔原名查尔斯·勒特威奇·道奇森,出生于英国英格兰柴郡,父亲是一名牧师,他是家中的长子。虽然刘易斯小时候数学学得很不错,但他却是用给十个兄弟姐妹讲故事的方式来释放自己的想象力的。查尔斯一直都非常喜欢孩子,他发现自己跟他们讲话时不会出现习惯性的口吃。众所周知,正是他与小爱丽丝·利德尔之间的亲密友谊给了他创作《爱丽丝梦游仙境》的灵感。1871年,他又创作了该书的续篇《爱丽丝镜中奇遇》,也深受读者喜爱;与此同时,他还继续在大学里教数学。

  (《爱丽丝梦游仙境》)

  03

  H. G. Wells (1866~1946)

  English novelist, essayist and historian, Wells is regarded as one of the fathers of science-fiction. His great and prophetic[9] works include The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, and The War of the Worlds. Wells also several books on contemporary political issues and on history, including A Short History of the World.

  赫伯特·乔治·威尔斯(1866~1946)

  威尔斯是英国小说家、散文家和历史学家,被看作是科幻小说的创始人之一。他出色而富有预言性的作品包括《时间机器》、《莫洛博士岛》和《星际战争》等。此外,威尔斯还写过一些有关当代政治问题和历史的书,包括《世界史纲》。

  04

  Mark Twain (1835~1910)

  The author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in a small town on the banks of the Mississippi River. Twain was an outspoken critic of slavery, and many of his essays and books are cut through with sardonic[10] comments on the subject. Although there is some debate on the matter, it is widely believed that Twain was the first writer to submit type-written manuscripts.

  马克·吐温(1835~1910)

  马克·吐温原名萨缪尔·兰霍恩·克莱门斯,出生于密西西比河岸边的一个小镇上,著有《汤姆·索亚历险记》和《哈克贝利·费恩历险记》。吐温是一位对奴隶制直言不讳的批评家,他在许多散文和书中都就这个话题发表过嘲讽的评论。虽然仍然存在一些争议,但人们普遍认为吐温是第一位用打字机写书稿的作家。

  (汤姆·索亚邮票)

  05

  Franz Kafka (1883~1924)

  Kafka is a Czech born Jewish writer of enigmatic[11] novels such as The Trial (published posthumously in 1925), The Castle, and The Metamorphosis. Although Czech was his native language, Kafka soon mastered the more elitist[12] German tongue and wrote all of his fiction in German. The term ‘Kafkaesque’ has come to refer to anything marked with a surreal sense of disorder or danger.

  弗朗茨·卡夫卡(1883~1924)

  卡夫卡是出生于捷克的犹太作家,他创作的小说令人费解,如《审判》(1925年发表时卡夫卡已离世)、《城堡》和《变形记》。虽然卡夫卡的母语是捷克语,但他却很快掌握了更为“高级的”德语,并用德语创作了自己的所有小说。“卡夫卡式的”一词被用来指任何带有超现实感的无序或危险特征的事物。

  (By Robin Lamb 译 / 赵越)

  注释

  [1] geometry [dʒiːˈɒmətri] n. 几何学

  [2] spatial [ˈspeɪʃ(ə)l] adj. 空间的;与空间有关的

  [3] manual [ˈmænjʊəl] adj. 人力的

  [4] indelible [ɪnˈdeləb(ə)l] adj. 难以去除的;擦不掉的

  [5] immensely [ɪˈmensli] adv. 广大地,巨大地

  [6] outlet [ˈaʊtˌlet] n. (思想等的)表达途径

  [7] customary [ˈkʌstəməri] adj. 通常的;习惯性的

  [8] stammer [ˈstæmə(r)] n. 口吃,结巴

  [9] prophetic [prəˈfetɪk] adj. 预言的;预示的

  [10] sardonic [sɑː(r)ˈdɒnɪk] adj. 讥诮的;冷嘲热讽的;鄙夷的

  [11] enigmatic [ˌenɪɡˈmætɪk] adj. 谜一般的,难以理解的

  [12] elitist [ɪˈliːtɪst] adj. 上等的,高级的

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