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双语阅读:说说市场流行的末日情节大片电影

2014-09-23    来源:21世纪    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

A future half-empty?

Our future, according to Hollywood, is not pretty. Take two movies that are currently showing for example: In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, humans battle with super-intelligent apes for world domination. In Divergent, survivors in a post-apocalyptic world are pigeonholed into five factions. Those who don’t fit in are hunted down and persecuted.
按照好莱坞大片的描写,我们的未来不太乐观。以最近上映的两部影片为例:《猩球崛起2:黎明之战》中,人类与拥有超级智能的猩猩为统治地球打得难解难分;而《分歧者》里,后末日时代幸存的人类被分成五种派系,无门无派之人惨遭追杀。

Both movies belong to the dystopian sci-fi genre. Dystopia is the antonym of utopia, which was coined by the English writer Thomas More. In his 1516 book Utopia, More described a fictional island society in the Atlantic Ocean. A utopia is an ideal society with peace, equality, justice and prosperity.
这两部影片都属于反乌托邦式科幻电影。反乌托邦,即乌托邦的反义词。后者最早由英国作家托马斯•莫尔提出,他在1516年的同名著作《乌托邦》中描写了一座大西洋上虚构的岛屿社会。乌托邦是充满和平、平等、正义、繁荣的理想社会的代名词。

But in dystopian fiction, the world is usually a bleak place ruled by a totalitarian government. Mistrust and fear permeates the whole of society. High-tech machines and tools are used to wage wars or suppress discontent citizens.
而在反乌托邦小说中,世界通常被极权政府统治,暗无天日。整个社会弥漫着猜疑和恐惧。高科技机器与工具都被用来发动战争,镇压不满民众。

Just as bad news grabs more attention, many dystopian works are immensely successful. Movies such as The Hunger Games trilogy, Total Recall and World War Z are all box office successes worldwide.
正像负面新闻更容易引人关注,许多反乌托邦作品也都大获成功。如《饥饿游戏》三部曲、《全面回忆》、《末日之战》等在全球范围内都是票房赢家。

But now a group of scholars and science fiction writers are saying: enough of the depressing stuff. They say negative visions of the future depicted in pop culture are limiting people’s abilities to dream of a better world.
但现在,一些学者和科幻小说作家表示:这些压抑的内容太多了!他们认为,流行文化中对未来的负面描写限制了人们对美好世界的向往。

US writer Neal Stephenson is one of the dissenters. A sci-fi writer himself, he sees the cynicism of the current dystopian sci-fi rut and calls for a more optimistic approach–fewer zombies and catastrophes, more creative inventions and solutions.
美国作家尼尔•斯蒂芬森就是反对者之一。作为一名科幻小说作家,他并不看好当下反乌托邦的科幻作品狂潮,而是呼吁更多积极的内容:少一些丧尸和大灾难,多一些有创意的发明与解决方案。


Bright, not bleak
光明,而非凄凉

In an interview with the BBC, Stephenson said he got this idea from president of Arizona State University (ASU) Michael Crow, who said at a conference on futurology that science fiction needed to supply ideas that scientists and engineers could actually implement.
斯蒂芬森在接受BBC采访中表示,他的观点来自亚利桑那州立大学校长迈克尔•克罗。这位校长曾在一场未来学的会议上说,科学家和工程师应该为科幻小说提供更多科学依据。

Stephenson wasted no time to take action. In 2011, he partnered with ASU and started Project Hieroglyph to rally writers to inject new optimism into science fiction so as to inspire the next generation to build a better future.
斯蒂芬森也迅速付诸行动:2011年,他与亚利桑那州立大学合作,展开名为“象形文字”的项目。为鼓励下一代人创建更美好的未来,他联合一众作家为科幻小说注入新的乐观主义观点。

The project brings writers and scientists together to learn from and influence each other. Renowned writers have been working with scientists to imagine technically-grounded science fiction stories depicting futures achievable within the next 50 years, the BBC reported. These stories, collected in a book entitled Hieroglyph, were just released two weeks before.
该项目将作家和科学家聚集在一起,他们相互学习、彼此影响。据BBC报道,久负盛名的作家与科学家一道,创作出了具有科技背景的科幻小说,对未来触手可及的50年提出展望。这些小说都被收录在《象形文字》一书中,该书于两周前正式发行。

Ed Finn, director of Project Hieroglyph, wrote in the Slate online magazine: “We are in desperate need of this sort of long view in contemporary culture, where we can barely see beyond the next Apple press conference.”
该项目主任艾德•芬恩在网络杂志《板岩》上写道,“当代文化中,大家的目光最多只能看到下一次苹果发布会,我们亟需一些长久的展望。”

“What’s really exciting about Hieroglyph is the idea of bringing some constructive criticism to our notions of the future: not just pointing out problems but ponying up some possible solutions,” Finn said.
芬恩说,“该项目对我们关于未来的观点提出了建设性批评,它不仅指出了问题,而且提出了一些解决方案,这才是其真正令人振奋之处。”


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