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英语原版有声读物:《了不起的盖茨比》Chapter6

2015-11-18    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

《The Great GATSBY》

《了不起的盖茨比》

简介:

《了不起的盖茨比》是美国作家弗·司各特·菲茨杰拉德1925年所写的一部以20世纪20年 代的纽约市及长岛为背景的中篇小说,小说的背景被设定在现代化的美国社会中上阶层的白人圈内,通过卡拉韦的叙述展开。《了不起的盖茨比》问世,奠定了弗· 司各特·菲茨杰拉德在现代美国文学史上的地位,成了20年代“爵士时代”的发言人和“迷惘的一代”的代表作家之一。20世纪末,美国学术界权威在百年英语 文学长河中选出一百部最优秀的小说,《了不起的盖茨比》高居第二位,傲然跻身当代经典行列。

作者简介:

F.S.菲茨杰拉德(Francis Scott Fitzgerald 1896~1940),美国小说家。1896年9月24日生于明尼苏达州圣保罗市。父亲是家具商。他年轻时试写过剧本。读完高中后考入普林斯顿大学。在校 时曾自组剧团,并为校内文学刊物写稿。后因身体欠佳,中途辍学。1917年入伍,终日忙于军训,未曾出国打仗。退伍后坚持业余写作。1920年出版了长篇 小说《人间天堂》,从此出了名,小说出版后他与吉姗尔达结婚。婚后携妻寄居巴黎,结识了安德逊、海明威等多位美国作家。1925年《了不起的盖茨比》问 世,奠定了他在现代美国文学史上的地位,成了20年代“爵士时代”的发言人和“迷惘的一代”的代表作家之一。菲兹杰拉德成名后继续勤奋笔耕,但婚后妻子讲 究排场,后来又精神失常,挥霍无度,给他带来极大痛苦。他经济上入不敷出,一度去好莱坞写剧本挣钱维持生计。1936年不幸染上肺病,妻子又一病不起,使 他几乎无法创作,精神濒于崩溃,终日酗酒。1940年12月21日迸发心脏病,死于洛杉矶,年仅44岁。菲兹杰拉德不仅写长篇小说,矩篇小说也频有特色。 除上述两部作品外,主要作品还有《夜色温柔》(1934)和《末代大亨的情缘》(1941)。他的小说生动地反映了20年代“美国梦”的破灭,展示了大萧 条时朗美国上层社会“荒原时代”的精神面貌。

Chapter 6:

bout this time an ambitious young reporter from New York arrived one morning at Gatsby’s door and asked him if he had anything to say.

“Anything to say about what?” inquired Gatsby politely.

“Why — any statement to give out.”

It transpired after a confused five minutes that the man had heard Gatsby’s name around his office in a connection which he either wouldn’t reveal or didn’t fully understand. This was his day off and with laudable initiative he had hurried out “to see.”

It was a random shot, and yet the reporter’s instinct was right. Gatsby’s notoriety, spread about by the hundreds who had accepted his hospitality and so become authorities on his past, had increased all summer until he fell just short of being news. Contemporary legends such as the “underground pipe-line to Canada” attached themselves to him, and there was one persistent story that he didn’t live in a house at all, but in a boat that looked like a house and was moved secretly up and down the Long Island shore. Just why these inventions were a source of satisfaction to James Gatz of North Dakota, isn’t easy to say.

James Gatz — that was really, or at least legally, his name. He had changed it at the age of seventeen and at the specific moment that witnessed the beginning of his career — when he saw Dan Cody’s yacht drop anchor over the most insidious flat on Lake Superior. It was James Gatz who had been loafing along the beach that afternoon in a torn green jersey and a pair of canvas pants, but it was already Jay Gatsby who borrowed a rowboat, pulled out to the Tuolomee, and informed Cody that a wind might catch him and break him up in half an hour.

I suppose he’d had the name ready for a long time, even then. His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people — his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all. The truth was that Jay Gatsby of West Egg, Long Island, sprang from his Platonic conception of himself. He was a son of God — a phrase which, if it means anything, means just that — and he must be about His Father’s business, the service of a vast, vulgar, and meretricious beauty. So he invented just the sort of Jay Gatsby that a seventeen-year-old boy would be likely to invent, and to this conception he was faithful to the end.

For over a year he had been beating his way along the south shore of Lake Superior as a clam-digger and a salmon-fisher or in any other capacity that brought him food and bed. His brown, hardening body lived naturally through the half-fierce, half-lazy work of the bracing days. He knew women early, and since they spoiled him he became contemptuous of them, of young virgins because they were ignorant, of the others because they were hysterical about things which in his overwhelming self-absorbtion he took for granted.

But his heart was in a constant, turbulent riot. The most grotesque and fantastic conceits haunted him in his bed at night. A universe of ineffable gaudiness spun itself out in his brain while the clock ticked on the wash-stand and the moon soaked with wet light his tangled clothes upon the floor. Each night he added to the pattern of his fancies until drowsiness closed down upon some vivid scene with an oblivious embrace. For a while these reveries provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on a fairy’s wing.

An instinct toward his future glory had led him, some months before, to the small Lutheran college of St. Olaf in southern Minnesota. He stayed there two weeks, dismayed at its ferocious indifference to the drums of his destiny, to destiny itself, and despising the janitor’s work with which he was to pay his way through. Then he drifted back to Lake Superior, and he was still searching for something to do on the day that Dan Cody’s yacht dropped anchor in the shallows alongshore.

Cody was fifty years old then, a product of the Nevada silver fields, of the Yukon, of every rush for metal since seventy-five. The transactions in Montana copper that made him many times a millionaire found him physically robust but on the verge of soft-mindedness, and, suspecting this, an infinite number of women tried to separate him from his money. The none too savory ramifications by which Ella Kaye, the newspaper woman, played Madame de Maintenon to his weakness and sent him to sea in a yacht, were common knowledge to the turgid sub-journalism of 1902. He had been coasting along all too hospitable shores for five years when he turned up as James Gatz’s destiny at Little Girls Point.

To the young Gatz, resting on his oars and looking up at the railed deck, the yacht represented all the beauty and glamour in the world. I suppose he smiled at Cody — he had probably discovered that people liked him when he smiled. At any rate Cody asked him a few questions (one of them elicited the brand new name) and found that he was quick and extravagantly ambitious. A few days later he took him to Duluth and bought him a blue coat, six pair of white duck trousers, and a yachting cap. And when the Tuolomee left for the West Indies and the Barbary Coast Gatsby left too.

He was employed in a vague personal capacity — while he remained with Cody he was in turn steward, mate, skipper, secretary, and even jailor, for Dan Cody sober knew what lavish doings Dan Cody drunk might soon be about, and he provided for such contingencies by reposing more and more trust in Gatsby. The arrangement lasted five years, during which the boat went three times around the Continent. It might have lasted indefinitely except for the fact that Ella Kaye came on board one night in Boston and a week later Dan Cody inhospitably died.

I remember the portrait of him up in Gatsby’s bedroom, a gray, florid man with a hard, empty face — the pioneer debauchee, who during one phase of American life brought back to the Eastern seaboard the savage violence of the frontier brothel and saloon. It was indirectly due to Cody that Gatsby drank so little. Sometimes in the course of gay parties women used to rub champagne into his hair; for himself he formed the habit of letting liquor alone.

And it was from Cody that he inherited money — a legacy of twenty-five thousand dollars. He didn’t get it. He never understood the legal device that was used against him, but what remained of the millions went intact to Ella Kaye. He was left with his singularly appropriate education; the vague contour of Jay Gatsby had filled out to the substantiality of a man.

He told me all this very much later, but I’ve put it down here with the idea of exploding those first wild rumors about his antecedents, which weren’t even faintly true. Moreover he told it to me at a time of confusion, when I had reached the point of believing everything and nothing about him. So I take advantage of this short halt, while Gatsby, so to speak, caught his breath, to clear this set of misconceptions away.

It was a halt, too, in my association with his affairs. For several weeks I didn’t see him or hear his voice on the phone — mostly I was in New York, trotting around with Jordan and trying to ingratiate myself with her senile aunt — but finally I went over to his house one Sunday afternoon. I hadn’t been there two minutes when somebody brought Tom Buchanan in for a drink. I was startled, naturally, but the really surprising thing was that it hadn’t happened before.

They were a party of three on horseback — Tom and a man named Sloane and a pretty woman in a brown riding-habit, who had been there previously.
 



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