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经济学人双语版:魔幻神秘之旅

2015-01-30    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

经济学人双语版:魔幻神秘之旅

Books and Arts; 文艺;

Book Review; 书评;

New fiction; 新小说;

A magical mystery tour;魔幻神秘之旅;

The Night Circus. By Erin Morgenstern.
《午夜马戏团》,艾琳•摩根斯坦著。

Magic in fiction has had a renaissance in the past decade, with the success of J.K. Rowling and Philip Pullman. In this respect Morgenstern's debut, “The Night Circus”, is right on trend. The book has many of the ingredients of a conventional fairy tale: cruel parenting, blighted love and a life-and-death contest. But ordinary elements combined with flair deserve to be recognized, and “The Night Circus” is a beguiling, gripping read, which is sure to be a commercial hit.
近十年来,随着JK罗琳的和菲利普普尔曼的成功,小说中的魔法元素大有复兴繁荣的趋势。在此方面,艾琳摩根斯坦的第一部小说《午夜马戏团》正好赶上了潮流。这本书有着传统童话故事里都有的情节:严酷残忍的父母,被阻挠的感情,生死攸关的斗争,但这些普通的情节被作者运用其天赋将它们串起来时,这本小说焕然一新,值得一读。情节扣人心弦,读者读起来欲罢不能,它肯定会很很畅销。

Le Cirque des Rêves, the circus of dreams, arrives without warning and opens at dusk. A celebration of the senses for its late-19th-century audience, its black-and-white tents host a tattooed contortionist, an ice garden, a wishing tree and a labyrinth with a dizzying network of chambers, such as one piled high with suitcases and another bedded with snowflakes.
马戏团之梦的故事毫无征兆的开始了,开头设定在某日的一个黄昏。此书是为了向19世纪晚期的观众们献礼,黑白相间的帐篷里上演着一位有纹身的柔术师的表演,里面还有冰花园,一棵许愿树,和如迷宫般错综复杂的房间,有的用手提箱将里面堆地满满的,有的里面飘满了雪花。

The circus is not just about punters' fun, though. It is also the setting for a secret and strange battle between two people, Celia and Marco. Though they meet only as adults, they have long been groomed in the art of magic for an ongoing competition to perform the most elaborate, fantastical feat. But the rules are unknown and the stakes high: this is a duel to the death, a fact only gradually revealed to its two main players.
马戏团并不是都是些唱唱跳跳的快乐。在书中,这也为西利亚和马尔科之间秘密和不可思议的斗争提供了背景。数年来,他们一直学习训练魔术,为了展现最为精巧和奇幻的表演而一直较着劲,但他们直到长大后才彼此相遇。游戏的规则仍然未知,设置的奖金高的诱人:这是一场生与死的决斗,事实在他们俩之间慢慢展现开来。

A circus is a popular stage for colourful literary escapades that mine its transgressive space. But besides the carnival and hocus-pocus, this book also considers deeper questions about life and fate. We are introduced to a set of twins, for example, the brother can read people's pasts, the sister their future—but which ability is more powerful?
马戏团为文学创作提供了一个绚丽多彩的舞台,上面上演了各种奇异的冒险犯罪活动。在表面的喧嚣狂欢和把戏之下,这本书也探讨了深层次的生与死的问题。例如,书中有一对双胞胎,哥哥可以看到人们的过去,而姐姐可以预见他们的未来,你认为这两种能力,哪一个能为强大呢?

Here the concept of magic is hardly simple. The competitors perform “real” feats (Celia heals a stab wound instantly), yet must present them as tricks because audiences prefer illusion to truth. This tension, between the force of the material world and the will of the imagination, lies at the centre of this book. It neatly addresses a paradox at the heart of all fiction: that the best fabrication seems true; that a make-believe world can be built so intricately that readers feel its edges. Ms Morgenstern has crafted a thrilling and transporting tale. In so doing she makes it clear that of all the shapes magic may take, storytelling is often the most powerful of them all.
这里,魔术的概念一点都不简单。作家们上演着“真实”的奇迹(西利亚立刻就可以治好剑伤),但是却要用一种魔术的方式呈现出来,因为读者们更喜欢接近于真实的幻象。真实世界的力量和无穷的想象力之间的较量,正是此书的核心。此书阐明了所有小说的一个悖论之处:编的最好的故事一定是看起来最真实的;作者精妙构思的虚拟世界看起来如此真实,读者们几乎可以感觉到这个世界就在身边。摩根斯坦创造了一个扣人心弦的故事,大受欢迎广为传播。她以她的行动证明了,尽管魔术可以以很多种形式呈现出来,但其中最具影响力的一定是讲故事。



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