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How Should One Read a Book? 怎样读书?
添加时间:2018-09-13 08:31:03 浏览次数: 作者:未知
  • How Should One Read a Book?


    Virginia Woolf


    It is simple enough to say that since books have classes——fiction,biography,poetry——we should separate them and take from each what it is right that each should give us. Yet few people ask from books what books can give us. Most commonly we come to books with blurred1 and divided minds,asking of fiction that it shall be true,of poetry that it shall be false,of biography that it shall be flattering,of history that it shall enforce our own prejudices. If we could banish2 all such preconceptions when we read,that would be an admirable beginning. Do not dictate3 to your author;Try to become him. Be his fellow-worker and accomplice4. If you hang back,and reserve and criticize at first,you are preventing yourself from getting the fullest possible value from what you read. But if you open your mind as widely as possible,the signs and hints of almost imperceptible fineness,from the twist and turn of the first sentences,will bring you into the presence of a human being unlike any other. Steep yourself in this,acquaint yourself with this,and soon you will find that your author is giving you,or attempting to give you,something far more definite. The thirty-two chapters of a novel—if we consider how to read a novel first——are an attempt to make something as formed and controlled as a building:but words are more impalpable than bricks;Reading is a longer and more complicated process than seeing. Perhaps the quickest way to understand the elements of what a novelist is doing is not to read,but to write;To make your own experiment with the dangers and difficulties of words. Recall,then,some event that has left a distinct impression on you—how at the corner of the street,perhaps,you passed two people talking. A tree shook;an electric light danced;the tone of the talk was comic,but also tragic;a whole vision;an entire conception,seemed contained in that moment.


    But when you attempt to reconstruct it in words,you will find that it breaks into a thousand conflicting impressions. Some must be subdued;others emphasized;in the process you will lose,probably,all grasp upon the emotion itself. Then turn from your blurred and littered pages to the opening pages of some great novelist—Defoe,Jane Austen,or Hardy5. Now you will be better able to appreciate their mastery. It is not merely that we are in the presence of a different person—Defoe,Jane Austen,or Thomas Hardy—but that we are living in a different world. Here,in Robinson Crusoe,we are trudging6 a plain high road;one thing happens after another;the fact and the order of the fact is enough. But if the open air and adventure mean everything to Defoe they mean nothing to Jane Austen. Hers is the drawing-room,and people talking,and by the many mirrors of their talk revealing their characters. And if,when we have accustomed ourselves to the drawing-room and its reflections,we turn to Hardy,we are once more spun7 around. The other side of the mind is now exposed—the dark side that comes uppermost in solitude,not the light side that shows in company. Our relations are not towards people,but towards Nature and destiny. Yet different as these worlds are,each is consistent with itself. The maker8 of each is careful to observe the laws of his own perspective,and however great a strain they may put upon us they will never confuse us,as lesser9 writers so frequently do,by introducing two different kinds of reality into the same book. Thus to go from one great novelist to another—from Jane Austen to Hardy,from Peacock to Trollope,from Scott to Meredith —is to be wrenched10 and uprooted;to be thrown this way and then that. To read a novel is a difficult and complex art. You must be capable not only of great finesse11 of perception,but of great boldness of imagination if you are going to make use of all that the novelist—the great artist—gives you.


     9级    双语 
     单词标签: blurred  banish  dictate  accomplice  hardy  trudging  spun  maker  lesser  wrenched  finesse 


    1 blurred [blə:d] blurred   第7级
    v.(使)变模糊( blur的过去式和过去分词 );(使)难以区分;模模糊糊;迷离
    • She suffered from dizziness and blurred vision. 她饱受头晕目眩之苦。
    • Their lazy, blurred voices fell pleasantly on his ears. 他们那种慢吞吞、含糊不清的声音在他听起来却很悦耳。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    2 banish [ˈbænɪʃ] nu8zD   第7级
    • The doctor advised her to banish fear and anxiety. 医生劝她消除恐惧和忧虑。
    • He tried to banish gloom from his thought. 他试图驱除心中的忧愁。
    3 dictate [dɪkˈteɪt] fvGxN   第7级
    • It took him a long time to dictate this letter. 口述这封信花了他很长时间。
    • What right have you to dictate to others? 你有什么资格向别人发号施令?
    4 accomplice [əˈkʌmplɪs] XJsyq   第8级
    • She was her husband's accomplice in murdering a rich old man. 她是她丈夫谋杀一个老富翁的帮凶。
    • He is suspected as an accomplice of the murder. 他涉嫌为这次凶杀案的同谋。
    5 hardy [ˈhɑ:di] EenxM   第9级
    • The kind of plant is a hardy annual. 这种植物是耐寒的一年生植物。
    • He is a hardy person. 他是一个能吃苦耐劳的人。
    6 trudging [] f66543befe0044651f745d00cf696010   第9级
    vt.& vi.跋涉,吃力地走(trudge的现在分词形式)
    • There was a stream of refugees trudging up the valley towards the border. 一队难民步履艰难地爬上山谷向着边境走去。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • Two mules well laden with packs were trudging along. 两头骡子驮着沉重的背包,吃力地往前走。 来自辞典例句
    7 spun [spʌn] kvjwT   第11级
    • His grandmother spun him a yarn at the fire. 他奶奶在火炉边给他讲故事。
    • Her skilful fingers spun the wool out to a fine thread. 她那灵巧的手指把羊毛纺成了细毛线。
    8 maker [ˈmeɪkə(r)] DALxN   第8级
    • He is a trouble maker. You must be distant with him. 他是个捣蛋鬼,你不要跟他在一起。
    • A cabinet maker must be a master craftsman. 家具木工必须是技艺高超的手艺人。
    9 lesser [ˈlesə(r)] UpxzJL   第8级
    • Kept some of the lesser players out. 不让那些次要的球员参加联赛。
    • She has also been affected, but to a lesser degree. 她也受到波及,但程度较轻。
    10 wrenched [rentʃt] c171af0af094a9c29fad8d3390564401   第7级
    v.(猛力地)扭( wrench的过去式和过去分词 );扭伤;使感到痛苦;使悲痛
    • The bag was wrenched from her grasp. 那只包从她紧握的手里被夺了出来。
    • He wrenched the book from her hands. 他从她的手中把书拧抢了过来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    11 finesse [fɪˈnes] 3kaxV   第10级
    • It was a disappointing performance which lacked finesse. 那场演出缺乏技巧,令人失望。
    • Lillian Hellman's plays are marked by insight and finesse. 莉莲·赫尔曼的巨作以富有洞察力和写作技巧著称。

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