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双语:水泥丛林 城市之美

2015-04-09    来源:21英语    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

水泥丛林 城市之美

原标题:Creative concrete jungles

【导读】一座城市的美丽是否有客观标准?如果有,成为魅力之都的条件又有哪些?且听著名英国哲学家阿兰•德波顿一一道来!

Most of us would agree that beauty is subjective. A Chinese saying sums it up best: Every lover sees a thousand graces in the beloved.
人们通常认为美丽没有客观标准。正如中国俗语所言:情人眼里出西施。

However, in the cases of cities, that beauty is subjective is only a half-truth, argues the Swiss-British philosopher Alain de Botton, famous for his books and TV programs discussing contemporary subjects and themes, with an emphasis on philosophy’s relevance to everyday life.
但是,瑞士裔英国哲学家阿兰•德波顿却认为,如果说到评判城市之美,上述说法只说对了一半。阿兰•德波顿是也著名的作家与电视节目制作人,他的作品以当代题材见长,多强调日常生活中的哲学。

De Botton made his argument in a recently released video from The School of Life, an organization he founded in 2008 that offers a variety of programs and services designed to provide useful insights into how to live a meaningful and happy life.
2008年,德波顿成立了名为“生活学校”的机构,提供各式各样的课程与服务,帮助人们寻找幸福而有意义的生活之道。而上面的观点正是出自他在该机构最近发布的一段视频之中。

In the video titled How to Make an Attractive City, de Botton says we are getting worse at building beautiful cities.
在这段题为“如何成为魅力之城”的视频中,德波顿说,我们建造美丽之城的能力每况愈下。

"We think that no one has a right to say what's beautiful and what's ugly," de Botton says, noting that there are "good reasons" no one vacations in Frankfurt, Germany, or Birmingham, England, while Paris and Rome charm tourists from all over the world.
他说,“我们总认为没人有权利判定美丑,但是我们却发现总有‘充分的理由’不去德国法兰克福或是英国伯明翰度假,而巴黎和罗马却吸引着全世界的游客。”

"Let's stop being dangerously relativistic about this. Yes, there is such a thing as beauty. Sydney and San Francisco and Bath and Bordeaux have it, and most other places don't. The proof lies in the tourist statistics."
“让我们停止危险的相对论吧!是的,美丽确实客观存在,比如悉尼、旧金山、巴斯和波尔多都是美丽之都,而其他很多城市却不尽然。旅游数据就是明证。”

"We think beauty is subjective, and so no one should say anything about it," he says: "It's a very understandable qualm, but it's also horribly useful to greedy property developers" – the ones who erect hideous skyscrapers and apartment buildings.
德波顿接着说,“人们认为美丽是主观感受,因此不轻易谈美。这种疑虑虽可以理解,却也成为贪婪开发商们可怕的借口。他们借此建起骇人的摩天大楼和公寓。”

Rules of beauty
美的标准

"It's not a mystery why we like some cities so much better than others," de Botton says. According to him, there are six fundamental rules to follow to make an attractive city:
如德波顿所言,“我们更青睐一些城市的原因并非神秘莫测。”魅力城市有六条基本准则:

Order and variety
多元而有序

Balance, symmetry, and repetition are pleasing to humans, de Botton argues. A love of order is one of the reasons people love Paris, he says.
平衡、对称与重复一直为人所爱,就像人们喜爱巴黎的原因之一就是出于对秩序的热爱,德波顿如是说。

But excessive order "feels alien". The key is to create a kind of "organized  complexity".
但是过分规则化则会显得“格格不入”, 创造出一种“有秩序的复杂感”才是关键所在。

Visible life
可见的生活

De Botton argues that people are happiest when they live in densely packed areas where they can interact with other people. But many modern cities are full of dead industrial zones and anonymous office buildings cut off from street life.
德波顿认为,当人们挤住在一起关系更紧密时幸福感最强。而许多现代城市却满是死气沉沉的工业区和无名的办公大楼,邻里街坊式的生活不复存在。

Compact
布局紧凑

Good cities are compact, de Botton says. Through the later decades of the 20th century, many big cities built suburbs that lead to isolation, soulless sprawl, and wasted resources.
德波顿说,规划良好的城市大都布局紧凑。但是,许多大城市在二十世纪后期都开始向外延伸、建设郊区,这些郊区与世隔绝、毫无生机,却又浪费资源。

Orientation and mystery
方向性与神秘感

The best cities offer a mix of big and small streets. A city should be easy to navigate for both humans and vehicles, with big boulevards for orientation and a network of alleyways and small streets to allow us to wander and create a sense of mystery and exploration.
最佳的城市往往既有宽阔的大道,也有狭窄的小巷。宽广的林荫大道让行人与车辆能够轻松到达目的地,而四通八达的曲径小巷可供游人漫步徜徉,为城市增添一抹神秘之韵与探险之趣。

Scale
规模

Modern cities are all about the big, de Botton says, but the ideal human scale is five stories high. Anything more starts to make humans feel insignificant, small, and trivial.
德波顿还认为,虽然现代城市大都庞大,但是人类理想的城市建筑,高度却不过五层楼而已。更高的建筑将会带给人类渺小与微不足道之感。

Local influence
本地影响力

Cities should not all be the same, de Botton says, city planners need to use locally sourced materials to build architecture that is born from the specific culture, climate, history, and social traditions of a given place.
在德波顿眼中,城市不必千篇一律。城市规划者们应在建楼修厦之时使用当地物料,因为它们都是当地气候、文化、历史以及社会环境的独特产物。

重点解析 Key Phrases/Words

1. subjective adj. 主观的,个人的

2. half-truth n. 仅一部分为事实的报导,半真半假的陈词

3. relativistic adj. 相对论的

4. alien adj. 外国的,相异的,异已的,不相容的

5. navigate v. 驾驶,航行于

6. boulevards n. 大马路,林荫大道  



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