提起狄更斯,没有人会忘记《双城记》;就像提起《双城记》,没有人会忘记它的开篇?;蛐砦薹ㄈ勘乘邢吕?,但总会说一句“那是最好的时代,那是最坏的时代”,没有一个时代不是如此。

我们今天要赏析的,就是这一段:

A Tale of Two Cities
《双城记》

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age offoolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
那是最美好的时代,那是最糟糕的时代;那是智慧的年头,那是愚昧的年头;那是信仰的时期,那是怀疑的时期;

it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--
那是光明的季节,那是黑暗的季节;那是希望的春天,那是失望的冬天;我们全都在直奔天堂,我们全都在直奔地狱--

in short, the period was so. far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
简而言之,那时跟现在非常相象,某些最喧嚣的权威坚持要用最高级来形容它。说它好,是最高级的;说它不好,也是最高级的。

There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne of France.
英格兰宝座上有一个大下巴的国王和一个面貌平庸的王后;法兰西宝座上有一个大下巴的国王和一个面貌姣好的王后。

In both countries it was clearer than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes, that things in general were settled for ever.
对两国支配着国家全部财富的老爷来说,国家大局足以万岁千秋乃是比水晶还清楚的事。

《双城记》是英国作家查尔斯·狄更斯所著的一部长篇历史小说,以法国大革命为背景,将巴黎、伦敦两个大城市连结起来,是为“双城”。

词汇:

epoch:时期

incredulity:不相信

despair:绝望

authority:权威

superlative:极佳的,卓越的

throne:王位,宝座

loaves and fishes:物质利益,私利

赏析:

这一段开篇用了很多排比句式,读来朗朗上口。in short前的14个短句都在描述这个时代,由10个it was引导的系表结构和we作主语的4个短句组成。两个分句一组,用相反的两个词,陈述截然不同的概念,大河上下,跌宕起伏。

每次读都有种“塞翁失马”的感觉,如《老子》所言:祸兮,福之所倚;福兮,祸之所伏。

最好的时代焉知不是最坏的时代,对有一些人而言是光明,对另一些人而言是黑暗,好好坏坏谁又说得清呢?

紧接着,运用暗喻的手法,将“暖春”、“凛冬”融进行文中,与hope和despair直接关联,对于一年身处四季的读者而言,感受会更加直接。

“some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only”,这句话很妙,翻译也很妙,去掉后面的两个逗号,这句话的语序是正常合理的,但是切分开就多了点感慨的意味,“说它好,是最高级的;说它不好,也是最高级的”。

散文式的排比句之后回归到陈述,犹如一个童话故事的开场,“Once upon a time, there is……”。

最后一句话真正的主语是that things in general were settled for ever,既得利益的万岁千秋对支配国家财富的老爷来说,才是最重要的。

贵族欺压平民,像恶魔一样的势力,最终被他们所伤害的人推翻;平民的忍耐是有限度的,迫于生计的他们必然会奋起反抗。上述的开篇,足以迎接这样的故事。

不仅在开篇,在整个《双城记》的创作中,狄更斯都运用了很多对比手法,同样的家庭出身,有人善良,有人残忍;同一个国度里,有人骄奢淫逸,有人瘦骨嶙峋……在在认证着那句It was the best of times, it was the worst of times。

暴虐给平民造成了无法愈合的伤痛,而平民又将仇恨对准了善良的年轻一代贵族,除了杀戮和流血,没有人知道该用什么样的方式去平复内心的创口。

狄更斯写了平民的反抗,却又不完全支持这种反抗,暴政残酷,但过于极端的暴力同样残酷。只有仇恨和报复的社会已然失控,所有人都一无所有。

小说中马内特医生被贵族陷害,女儿露西却与贵族的儿子相爱,医生接受了这个事实,但阻止不了其他人对贵族的仇恨。

最后深爱露西的卡顿为了露西的幸福代替查尔斯走上了断头台……

狄更斯在那个残忍的时代留了一丝浪漫和希望,有一个人,为了保全所爱之人的幸福,愿意牺牲自己的生命。