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经济学人双语版:跌落并下滑

2015-05-19    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

经济学人双语版:跌落并下滑

Books and Arts;  文艺;

Book Review; 书评;

Russia and the West; 俄罗斯与西方世界;

Slip and slide 跌落并下滑;

Change or Decay: Russia's Dilemma and the West's Response. By Lilia Shevtsova and Andrew Wood.
是变化还是衰退:俄罗斯的困境及西方的回应。作者丽莉娅·谢夫索娃、安德鲁·伍德。

This book, says Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader, in a foreword, “is different, and deserves to make an impact”. The first is certainly true. It takes the form of a lengthy series of exchanges between two old friends: Lilia Shevtsova, a Russian who works for America's Carnegie Endowment in Moscow, and Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador there. Their subject is the relationship between Russia and the West, still neurotic and plagued with misunderstandings 20 years after the Soviet collapse. Why do so many Russians feel threatened, betrayed and disappointed by the West? Some there see it as a flawed paradigm of human rights, free elections and the rule of law. Others find it a self-righteous bully.
“这本书与众不同,能够产生有益的影响。”前苏联领导人米哈伊尔·戈尔巴乔夫在前言中如是说。第一个当然是对的。它就像两个老朋友之间的长话家常:效力于位于莫斯科的美国卡内基基金会的俄罗斯人丽莉娅·谢夫索娃,以及曾被派驻在那里的英国前任大使安德鲁·伍德。他们的主题是俄罗斯和西方之间的关系,这种关系在苏联解体后的20年仍有些敏感并且存在误解。为什么如此多的俄罗斯人感到了来自西方的威胁、背叛和失望?一些人认为是有缺陷的关于人权、自由选举和法治示范。另一些人则认为是一种自以为是的霸权。

Ms Shevtsova politely bemoans a “failure of imagination” in the West. Too comfortable with the old bipolar world, it splurged cash when it should have imposed conditions, was stingy when it should have been generous and naive when it should have been tough. Tolerance for Boris Yeltsin's faults opened the way for the rigged elections and crony capitalism of Vladimir Putin's ex-KGB regime. Her interlocutor's realism is an excellent foil for this idealistic approach. European and American leaders, he argues, were “stumbling about in the dark”. For all their faults, it would have been unrealistic to expect much more of them. Mr Yeltsin's rule did not inevitably presage Mr Putin's.
谢夫索娃对西方的“失败的想象力”稍感惋惜。安逸于过去的两极世界,在应该强加条件的时候挥霍现金,在应该大方的时候吝啬,在应该严厉的时候幼稚。对鲍里斯·叶利钦所犯错误的容忍为作弊选举和裙带资本主义——普京的前苏联国家安全委员会政权——打开了道路。她的谈话者的现实主义是这种现实方法的陪衬。他认为,欧美领导人“正在黑暗中跌倒”。鉴于他们所有的过错,再指望他们是不现实的。叶利钦的统治不见得就预示着普京的统治。

New failures come in for scrutiny too. America in 2009 “reset” relations with the regime in Russia, bringing some gains but sacrificing (in the authors' eyes) Western moral credibility. They rightly decry the unhealthily close ties of some European politicians to their counterparts in Russia.
新的过错也受到极大关注。2009美国曾重新设定和俄罗斯国家政权的关系,取得了一定成果,但牺牲了(在作者眼中)西方的道德信誉。他们谴责了一些欧洲和俄罗斯政客之间过分亲密的关系。

The debate coins useful and vivid terms. Ms Shevtsova's description of the “imitation partnership” between Russia and the West is acute. So is Sir Andrew's description of the West as a simultaneous magnet, threat and rebuke to Russia. He recasts the West's message to Russian oligarchs wanting to immigrate: “give me your rich, your sated, yearning to breathe safe.” A sharp insight concerns asymmetry. Russian leaders obsessively search for slights, weaknesses and plots in the world outside. Traffic the other way is scant. Ms Shevtsova notes how few Russians realise that the world is “fed up with our problems”.
这个争论创造了有用而生动的术语。谢夫索娃关于俄罗斯和欧洲之间的“效仿合作关系”是敏锐的,同样的,安德鲁认为西方对俄罗斯来说是同步的磁铁、威胁和指责。他重新解释了西方传达给那些想要移民的俄罗斯寡头:“把你们的财富、贪婪、对安全的渴望都给我。”一个有关不对等的深刻洞察。俄罗斯领导人着迷般的在外部世界寻找忽视、软弱和密谋。寻找其他方法时间太短。谢夫索娃指出只有少数的俄罗斯人认识到外部世界“厌恶了我们的问题”。

Both see bleak views ahead. Ms Shevtsova believes that the elite's misrule is demoralising society and could “bring Russia down in flames”; Sir Andrew says that the “smell of danger is in the air”. Their joint conclusion likens Russia to a theatre: the play is over but the actors will not leave the stage and keep trying to win attention for what has become a plotless rigmarole; the audience feels trapped, bored and frustrated.
双方都看到了前面的问题。谢夫索娃相信上层的暴政正在打击社会士气并可能“带领俄罗斯走向灭亡”;安德鲁则说“空气中有一股危险的气味”。他们共同的结论是把俄罗斯比作一个戏剧:戏剧已经结束,但是演员们不愿离开舞台,并试图为没有情节、冗长的内容赢得关注;观众则感到收困、厌倦、沮丧。

Reading the book is like being an eavesdropper as two companions take a long country walk. They chew over great mutual concerns, sometimes with gentle teasing, mostly helping each other over intellectual obstacles, pondering the way ahead and the lessons of the path already taken. The effect is intimate but a touch claustrophobic. One begins to hunger for some other views, even if less elegantly and sympathetically expressed.
读这本书就像是偷听两个在乡村道路上漫步的人一样。他们深思共同关心的问题,有时会带有嘲讽,但更多的时候互相帮助来解决智力问题,思索前方的道路以及过去的经验。其效果是亲密的但有一点幽闭恐怖。即使温和地表示了同情,其中一方开始寻求其他观点。

lengthy adj. 漫长的,冗长的;啰唆的

flawed adj. 有缺陷的;有瑕疵的;有裂纹的

presage n. 预感;前兆

scrutiny n. 详细审查;监视;细看;选票复查

simultaneous adj. 同时的;联立的;同时发生的

asymmetry n. 不对称

rigmarole n. 冗长的废话

eavesdropper n. 偷听者

claustrophobic n. 幽闭恐怖症患者/ adj. 患幽闭恐怖症的;导致幽闭恐怖症的



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