• 2021-10-28 15:19:03

    Unit 4B - Two Cities

    Two Cities

    Stanley Kauffmann

    A young friend asked me recently what it's like to live in the city where I grew up. The question startled me. I never think of New York that way. True, when I walk along certain streets, I remember things that happened there, but the same city?

    When I went to grammar school in the mid-1920s on 63rd Street between Second and Third Avenues—now a chic residential neighborhood bristling with high apartment houses—I passed a blacksmith shop on the way from the corner to the middle of the block. I can still hear the hiss of the white-hot horseshoes being plunged into a bucket of water, can still sniff the burny smell of the hoof to which a warm shoe was fixed. I used to hitch rides to and from school on the back step of horse-drawn ice wagons. I used to go shopping with my mother in the pushcart markets that lined both sides of Second Avenue from 70th Street to 76th. Those pushcarts were under the Second Avenue El. We lived on 68th Street near the corner of Second, and if one of us was on the phone when an El train came along, we had to halt the conversation until it passed. (Other boroughs still have Els, but people under 50 can't imagine one in mid-Manhattan.)

    In those 1920s, near the end of the great immigration wave, my schoolmates were mostly Italian Catholic and Eastern European Jewish, the children of foreign-born in New York, as had both of my grandmothers. My schoolmates called me, semi-derisively, "the Yankee1." Once a teacher asked me to carry a note to the principal. In his outer office, an Italian woman, mother of one of the students, was waiting to see him. While waiting, she was unembarrassedly nursing a baby. I remember a blue vein in her very white breast.

    Radio was still new in those days, wondrous. Many of my schoolmates came from families too poor to own a set. I became something of a school celebrity because of radio and my father. He was a dentist, and in the professional society to which he belonged, he was in charge of a series of talks on dental hygiene that the society presented on the municipal radio station WNYC—fifteen minutes at midday once a week. Usually he invited other dentists to speak, but one week he did the talk himself. My mother wrote a note to my teacher asking that I be excused a half-hour before lunchtime that day, so that I could come home and hear my father. It was granted. I heard him, and I bragged. Some of my friends, especially the foreign-born ones, could hardly believe it. They actually knew someone whose father's voice had been broadcast all around New York City. One of them, probably quoting a parent, said, "Only in America."

    Earlier, until I was 7 years old, we lived in Washington Heights, near the northern tip of Manhattan. A photographer used to come around with a pony on which children would sit to have their picture taken. I still have mine taken at 4. (My future wife, then unknown to me, had her picture taken on the same pony a few years later.) In the summer, a truck came around with a small carousel on the back. The driver turned the carousel by hand. There was a big iron wheel at the side, and he pumped up and down while six or eight children rode around. I loved it. (My wife, a few years later, loved it too.) A man occasionally wandered through the streets, garments draped over his shoulder, calling out, "I cash clo'. I cash clo'." He bought old clothes, usually men's, that people wanted to get rid of, and then sold them somewhere. Opposite our apartment house was a large vacant lot that had never been built on. It was surrounded by apartment houses, but the lot itself was untouched. I used to clamber over rocks and climb trees that Indians had known. This was true of Central Park, too. I knew, but that was for the city. This was for me and my friends, our own Indian territory.

    I don't live in that city any more.

    Is New York worse now? Of course, and not just because many of my mementos are gone. We have an average of six murders a day, often including children. We have tens of thousands of homeless men and women, some of them mentally incompetent. We have a horrific drug problem. We share those miseries with other cities; one title we hold alone. New York streets are dirtier than those in any American city I've seen (let alone London or Paris).

    But the greatest single change in New York in my lifetime is in the view of equality. Blacks are no longer required to "know their place"—at any rate, not comparably with the rigors of the past. At least lip service is now paid to the idea of absolute equality. ("Assume a virtue, if you have it not," says Hamlet.) After World War II, Puerto Ricans flocked to New York. Soon came other Hispanics. Equality for them, too. The cash machine in my bank now asks, after I've inserted my card, whether I want my instructions in English or Spanish. New York has become, perhaps less willy than nilly, a gigantic testing ground for the idea that America has been mouthing for 200 years. This, too, is true of other American cities, but New York is the hugest crucible. Insofar as inherited hates and prejudices—in all of us—will permit, we are finding out whether equality can be more than a catchword, whether equality is possible in race, religion, sexual preference, gender (Female police officers, for example. Fully uniformed and packing pistols, they still avoid eye contact with a passing man, just like other women.) New York is at the head of the parade that is being asked to put its money where its Fourth-of-July mouth is.

    The process is expensive. It costs everybody something. It abrades those who grew up in a stratified New York. It harries those, particularly black or Hispanic, who are on the frontier and must bear both the resentments in others and the frustrations in themselves. Surely crime rates and drug abuse are connected to the tauntings of unfulfilled equality. Surely the decline in civic pride is connected to those same frustrations.

    "Super-faced Manhattan!" sang Whitman. "Comrade Americans! to us, then at last the Orient comes." Was he foreseeing sushi bars, Korean grocers and nail shops? Walt continued:

    To us, my city,

    Where our tall-topt marble and iron beauties range on opposite sides,

    to walk in the space between,

    To-day our Antipodes comes.

    Will the vast experiment succeed? I'll never know; but the fact that it is happening helps to reconcile me to this dirty and dangerous city, this second New York of my life.







    收音机在那时还是令人惊叹的稀罕物。我的许多同学家里太穷,买不起收音机。 因收音机和我父亲的缘故,我在学校里多少有点名气。父亲是个牙医,在他所厲的职业协会中,他负责关于牙齿卫生的系列讲座,这些讲座是协会在市无线电台——纽约公共无线电台推出的,每周一次,在中午播出15分钟。父亲通常邀请其他牙医做讲座,不过有一个星期是他亲自主讲的。母亲给老师写了个假条,请他允许我在那天午餐前离开半个小时,以便我赶回家听父亲的讲座。我的假被批准了,我听到了父亲的讲座,便吹嘘起来。一些朋友,特别是外国出生的朋友几乎难以相信这件事。他们居然认识这样一个人,他父亲的声音在全纽约市播出。其中一个同学大概是引用了一个家长的话说:“只有在美国才有这样的事。”












    Key Words:

    hoof [hu:f]    

    n. 蹄,人的脚 v. 以蹄踢,行走

    hiss [his]

    n. 嘘声,嘶嘶声 v. 发出嘘声(表示不满), 发嘶嘶

    celebrity  [si'lebriti]

    n. 名人,名誉,社会名流

    horrific    [hɔ'rifik] 

    adj. 令人毛骨悚然的,可怖的

    virtue      ['və:tju:]  

    n. 美德,德行,优点,贞操

    frontier   ['frʌntjə] 

    n. 边界,边境,尖端,边缘

    reconcile ['rekənsail]    

    vt. 和解,调和,妥协


    1. 现代大学英语精读(第2版)第四册:U4B Two Cities(1)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语
    2. 现代大学英语精读(第2版)第四册:U4B Two Cities(2)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语
    3. 现代大学英语精读(第2版)第四册:U4B Two Cities(3)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语
    4. 现代大学英语精读(第2版)第四册:U4B Two Cities(4)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语
    5. 现代大学英语精读(第2版)第四册:U4B Two Cities(5)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语

    现代大学英语精读(第2版)第四册:U4B Two Cities(6)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语

  • 阅卷组只得在请那位老师回忆了原文出处后,派了几位教师, 近5年的《人民日报》和《中国青年报》都搬了出来,一份份地找过去。 终于,在1984年5月17日的《中国青年报》上找到原文。 于是那篇文章被判为“抄袭”,...






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    高考催生出一种“状元经济”——状元笔记、状元错题、状元食谱 ……只要跟“状元”沾上点边,都会卖的还不错。


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    金榜题名 前程似锦!

  • Unit 11B -Secrets Secrets Bernard Maclaverty He had been called to be there at the end. His Great Aunt Mary had been dying for some days now and the house was full of relatives. ...

    Unit 11B - Secrets


    Bernard Maclaverty

    He had been called to be there at the end. His Great Aunt Mary had been dying for some days now and the house was full of relatives.

    He knelt at the bedroom door to join in the prayers. His knees were on the wooden threshold and he edged them forward onto the carpet. They had tried to wrap her fingers around a crucifix but they kept loosening. She lay low on the pillow and her face seemed to have shrunk by half since he had gone out earlier in the night. Her white hair was damped and pushed back from her forehead. She twisted her head from side to side, her eyes closed. The prayers chorused on, trying to cover the sound she was making deep in her throat. Someone said about her teeth and his mother leaned over her and took her dentures from her mouth. The lower half of her face seemed to collapse. She half opened her eyes but could not raise her eyelids enough and showed only crescents of white.

    The prayers went on. The noise that his aunt was making became intolerable to him. It was as if she were being drowned. She had lost all the dignity he knew her to have. He got up from the floor and went into her sitting-room.

    He was trembling with anger or sorrow, he didn't know which. He sat in the brightness of her big sitting-room at the oval table and waited for something to happen. On the table was a cut-glass vase of irises, dying because she had been in bed for over a week. He sat staring at them for a long time until he heard the sounds of women weeping from the next room.

    His aunt had been small, and seemed to get smaller each year. Her skin fresh, her hair white and waved and always well washed. She wore no jewelry except a ring on the third finger of her right hand and, around her neck, a gold locket on a chain. The boy had noticed the ring when she had read to him as a child. In the beginning fairy tales, then as he got older extracts from famous novels, Lorna Doone, Persuasion, Wuthering Heights and her favourite extract, because she read it so often, Pip's meeting with Miss Havisham from Great Expectations. She would sit with him on her knee, her arms around him and holding the page flat with her hand. When he was bored he would interrupt her and ask about the ring. He loved hearing her tell of how her grandmother had given it to her as a brooch and she had had a ring made from it. He would try to count back to see how old it was. Had her grandmother got it from her grandmother? And if so what had she turned it into?

    "Don't be so inquisitive," she'd say. "Let's see what happens next in the story."

    One day she was sitting copying figures with a dip pen when he came into her room. She didn't look up when he asked her a question. She just said, "Mm?" and went on writing. The vase of irises on the oval table vibrated slightly as she wrote.

    "What is it?" She wiped the nib on blotting paper and looked up at him over her reading glasses.

    "I've started collecting stamps and Mamma says you might have some."

    "Does she now—"

    She got up from the table and went to the tall walnut bureau-bookcase standing in the alcove. From a shelf of the bookcase she took a small wallet of keys and selected one for the lock. There was a harsh metal shearing sound as she pulled the desk flap down. The inner part was divided into pigeonholes, all bulging with papers. Some of them, envelopes, were gathered in batches nipped at the waist with elastic bands. There were postcards and bills. She pointed to the postcards.

    "You may have the stamps on those," she said. "But don't tear them. Steam them off."

    She went back to the oval table and continued writing. He sat on the arm of the chair looking through the picture postcards. Then he turned them over and began to sort the stamps. Spanish, with a bald man, French with a rooster, German with funny jerky print, some Italian with what looked like a chimney-sweep'bundle and a hatchet.

    "These are great," he said. "I haven't got any of them."

    "Just be careful how you take them off."

    "Can I take them downstairs?"

    "Is your mother there?"


    "Then perhaps it's best if you bring the kettle up here."

    He went down to the kitchen. His mother was in the morning room polishing silver. He took the kettle and the flex upstairs. Except for the dipping and scratching of his Aunt's pen the room was silent. It was at the back of the house overlooking the orchard and the sound of traffic from the main road was distant and muted. A tiny rattle began as the kettle warmed up, then it bubbled and steam gushed quietly from its spout. The cards began to curl slightly in the jet of steam but she didn't seem to be watching. The stamps peeled off and he put them in a saucer of water to flatten them.

    "Who is Brother Benignus?" he asked. She seemed not to hear. He asked again and she looked over her glasses.

    "He was a friend."

    His flourishing signature appeared again and again. Sometimes Bro Benignus, sometimes Benignus and once Iggy.

    "Is he alive?"

    "No, he's dead now. Watch the kettle doesn't run dry."

    When he had all the stamps off he put the postcards together and replaced them in the pigeonhole. He reached over towards the letters but before his hand touched them his aunt's voice, harsh for once, warned.

    "A-A-A," she moved her pen from side to side. "Do not touch," she said and smiled. "Anything else, yes! That section, no!" She resumed her writing.

    The boy went through some other papers and found some photographs. One was of a beautiful girl. It was very old-fashioned but he could see that she was beautiful. The picture was a pale brown oval set on a white square of card. The edges of the oval were misty. The girl in the photograph was young and had dark, dark hair scraped severely back and tied like a knotted rope on the top of her head—high arched eyebrows, her nose straight and thin, her mouth slightly smiling. Her eyes looked out at him dark and knowing and beautiful.

    "Who is that?" he asked.

    "Why? What do you think of her?"

    "She's all right."

    "Do you think she is beautiful?" The boy nodded.

    "That's me," she said. The boy was glad he had pleased her in return for the stamps.

    Other photographs were there, not posed ones like Aunt Mary's but Brownie snaps of laughing groups of girls in bucket hats like German helmets and coats to their ankles. There was a photograph of a young man smoking a cigarette, his hair combed one way by the wind against a background of sea.

    "Who is that in the uniform?" the boy asked.

    "He's a soldier," she answered without looking up.

    "Oh," said the boy. "But who is he?"

    "He was a friend of mine before you were born," she said. Then added, "Do I smell something cooking? Take your stamps and off you go. That's the boy."

    The boy looked at the back of the picture of the man and saw in black spidery ink "John, Aug' 15 Ballintoye."

    "I thought maybe it was Brother Benignus," he said. She looked at him not answering.

    "Was your friend killed in the war?"

    At first she said no, but then she changed her mind.

    "Perhaps he was," she said, then smiled. "You are too inquisitive. Put it to use and go and see what is for tea. Your mother will need the kettle." She came over to the bureau and helped tidy the photographs away. Then she locked it and put the keys on the shelf.

    "Will you bring me up my tray?"

    The boy nodded and left.

    It was a Sunday evening, bright and summery. He was doing his homework and his mother was sitting on the carpet in one of her periodic fits of tidying out the drawers of the mahogany sideboard. The boy heard the bottom stair creak under Aunt Mary's light footstep. She knocked and put her head round the door and said that she was walking to Devotions. She was dressed in her good coat and hat and was just easing her fingers into her second glove. The boy saw her stop and pat her hair into place before the mirror in the hallway. Devotions could take anything from twenty minutes to three quarters of an hour, depending on who was saying it.

    The boy left his homework and went upstairs and into his aunt's sitting room. He stood in front of the bureau wondering, then he reached for the keys. He tried several before he got the right one. The desk flap screeched as he pulled it down. He pretended to look at the postcards again. Then he put them away and reached for the bundle of letters. The elastic band was thick and old, brittle almost and when he took it off its track remained on the wad of letters. He carefully opened one and took out the letter and unfolded it.

    My dearest Mary, it began. I am so tired I can hardly write to you. I have spent what seems like all day censoring letters (there is a howitzer about 100 yds away firing every 2 minutes). The letters are heartrending in their attempt to express what they cannot. Some of the men are illiterate, others almost so. I know that they feel as much as we do, yet they do not have the words to express it. That is your job in the schoolroom to give us generations who can read and write well. They have...

    The boy's eye skipped down the page and over the next. He read the last paragraph.

    Mary I love you as much as ever—more so that we cannot be together. I do not know which is worse, the hurt of this war or being separated from you. Give all my love to Breden and all at home.

    It was signed, scribbled with what he took to be John. He folded the paper carefully into its original creases and put it in the envelope. He opened another.

    My love, it is thinking of you that keeps me sane. When I get a moment I open my memories of you as if I were reading. Your long dark hair—I always imagine you wearing the blouse with the tiny roses, the white one that opened down the back—your eyes that said so much without words, the way you lowered your head when I said anything that embarrassed you, and the clean nape of your neck.

    The day I think about most was the day we climbed the head at Ballycastle. In a hollow, out of the wind, the air full of pollen and the sound of insects, the grass warm and dry and you lying beside me your hair undone, between me and the sun. You remember that that was where I first kissed you and the look of disbelief in your eyes that made me laugh afterwards.

    It makes me laugh now to see myself savouring these memories standing alone up to my thighs in muck. It is everywhere, two, three feet in the clay and my head in the clouds. I love you, John.

    He did not bother to put the letter into the envelope but opened another.

    My dearest, I am so cold that I find it difficult to keep my hand steady enough to write. You remember when we swam the last two fingers of your hand went the colour and texture of candles with the cold. Well that is how I am all over. It is almost four days since I had any real sensation in my feet or legs. Everything is frozen. The ground is like steel.

    Forgive me telling you this but I feel I have to say it to someone. The worst thing is the dead. They sit or lie frozen in the position they died. You can distinguish them from the living because their faces are the colour of slate. God help us when the thaw comes... This war is beginning to have an effect on me. I have lost all sense of feeling. The only emotion I have experienced lately is one of anger. Sheer white trembling anger. If I live through this experience I will be a different person.

    The only thing that remains constant is my love for you.

    Today a man died beside me. A piece of shrapnel had pierced his neck as we were moving under fire. I pulled him into a crater and stayed with him until he died. I watched him choke and then drown in his blood.

    He sorted through the pile and read half of some, all of others. The sun had fallen low in the sky and shone directly into the room onto the pages he was reading making the paper glare. He selected a letter from the back of the pile and shaded it with his hand as he read.

    Dearest Mary, I am writing this to you from my hospital bed. I hope that you were not too worried about not hearing from me. I have been here, so they tell me, for two weeks and it took another two weeks before I could bring myself to write this letter.

    I have been thinking a lot as I lie here about the war and about myself and about you. I do not know how to say this but I feel deeply that I must do something, must sacrifice something to make up for the horror of the past year. In some strange way Christ has spoken to me through the carnage...

    Suddenly the boy heard the creak of the stair and he frantically tried to slip the letter back into its envelope but it crumpled and would not fit. He bundled them all together. He could hear his aunt's familiar puffing on the short stairs to her room. He spread the elastic band wide with his fingers. It snapped and the letters scattered. He pushed them into their pigeon hole and quickly closed the desk flap. The brass screeched loudly and clicked shut. At that moment his aunt came into the room.

    "What are you doing boy?" she snapped.

    "Nothing," he stood with the keys in his hand. She walked to the bureau and opened it. The letters sprung out in an untidy heap.

    "You have been reading my letters," she said quietly. Her mouth was tight with the words and her eyes blazed. The boy could say nothing. She struck him across the side of his face.

    "Get out," she said. "Get out of my room."

    The boy, the side of his face stinging and red, put the keys on the table on his way out. When he reached the door she called to him. He stopped, his hand on the handle.

    "You are dirt," she hissed, "and always will be dirt. I shall remember this till the day I die."

    Even though it was a warm evening there was a fire in the large fireplace. His mother had asked him to light it so that she could clear out Aunt Mary's stuff. The room could then be his study, she said.

    She took the keys from her pocket, opened the bureau and began turning papers and cards. She glanced quickly at each one before she flicked it into the fire.

    "Who was Brother Benignus?" he asked.

    His mother stopped sorting and said, "I don't know. Your aunt kept herself very much to herself."

    She went on burning the cards. They built into strata, glowing red and black. Now and again she broke up the pile with the poker, sending showers of sparks up the chimney. He saw her come to the letters. She took off the elastic band and began dealing the envelopes into the fire.

    "Mama," he said.


    "Did Aunt Mary say anything about me—before she died?"

    "Not that I know of—the poor thing was too far gone to speak, God rest her."

    When he felt a hardness in his throat he put his head down on his books. Tears came into the crook of his arm for the woman who had been his maiden aunt, his teller of tales, that she might forgive him.








    他的叔祖母本来就比较瘦小,好像变得一年比一年瘦小。她皮肤清爽,一头花白的卷发总是打理得很干净。她右手的中指上戴着一枚戒指,脖子上戴着一条项链,项链上有一个金的盒式项链坠,除此之外不佩戴其他任何首饰。当他还是个孩子时,叔祖母常给他读故事,那时,他就注意到了这枚戒指。一开始读的是童话故事,后来随着他长大,便读著名小说的选摘,比如《洛娜·杜恩》、《劝导》、《呼啸山庄》,她最喜欢的选摘是《远大前程》中皮普遇到郝维辛小姐的那一段,因为她经常读。她会让他坐在她的膝盖上,胳膊搂着他,一只手水平地端着书本。 在他觉得无聊时,他会打断她,问她戒指的事。他喜欢听她讲她的祖母是怎样把一个胸针送给她的故事,然后她把胸针做成了一枚戒指。他会倒推着计算这枚戒指的历史有多久。她的祖母是从自己的祖母那里得来的吗?如果是这样的话,她又把它变成了什么呢?



    “什么? ”她用吸墨纸擦拭着笔尖,抬头透过她的老花镜看着他。












    他下楼去了厨房。他的妈妈正在晨间起居室里擦拭银器。他拿着水壶和皮线上了楼。房间内很安静,只有叔祖母钢笔的蘸墨声和刷刷声。叔祖母的房间位于整个房子的深处,从这里可以眺望果园,听见远处车辆往来细微的声音。随着水温的升高,水壶发出微弱的咔嗒声,然后开始沸腾,蒸汽从壶嘴静静地冒出。明信片随着蒸汽的喷出开始微微卷起,然而她似乎并没 有在注意这一切。邮票脱落下来,他把它们放在一个盛着水的小碟子中,把它们展平。







    “啊——啊——啊,”她左右来回挥动着钢笔。“不要动,”她笑着说,“动其他东西,可以! 那部分,不行!”她又继续她的临摹。


    “她是谁? ”他问道。



    “你觉得她漂亮吗? ”男孩点点头。











    “也许是的,”她说,然后笑了,“你好奇心太强了。把它用在正道上,去看看要不要沏茶。 你妈妈需要这个水壶。”她来到书桌旁,帮忙把那些照片收拾起来。然后把它们锁了起来,把钥匙放在了架子上。





    开头是,我最亲爱的玛丽。我太累了,几乎无法给你写信了。我似乎一整天都在删剪信件 (100码外每两分钟便会有榴弹炮发射出来)。那些信令人心碎,因为他们试图用信表达出那些他们无法表达的东西。一些人根本不识字,其他人差不多也是。我知道他们和我们的感受一样,但是他们却无法用文字表达出来。你的教育工作的意义所在——培养一代代的学生们读书和写作的能力。他们已经……
















    “你在做什么,孩子? ”她生气地说道。




    男孩的脸又痛又红,他出去的时候把钥匙放在了桌子上。当他走到门□时,她叫住了他。 他停在那儿,手放在门把手上。




    “贝尼格纳斯兄弟是谁? ”他问道。








    Key Words:


    adj. 阻尼的;衰减的;被窒息的

    nib  [nib]

    n. 嘴,鹅管笔的尖端,笔尖

    inquisitive      [in'kwizitiv]    

    adj. 好奇的,好追根究底的,求知欲强的

    alcove     ['ælkəuv]

    n. 凹室,壁龛

    rattle       ['rætl]    

    vi. 嘎嘎作响,喋喋不休

    flex  [fleks]    

    v. 弯曲,伸缩,褶曲2

    orchard  ['ɔ:tʃəd]  

    n. 果园

    harsh      [hɑ:ʃ]     

    adj. 粗糙的,使人不舒服的,刺耳的,严厉的,大约的

    misty      ['misti]   

    adj. 有雾的,模糊的,含糊的

    hallway   ['hɔ:lwei]

    n. 门厅;玄关;走廊

    brittle      ['britl]     

    adj. 易碎的,敏感的,尖利的,冷淡的

    flap  [flæp]    

    n. 拍打,拍打声,片状垂悬物(口袋盖等),副翼

    separated      ['sepəreitid]   

    adj. 分居;分开的;不在一起生活的 v. 分开;隔开

    illiterate   [i'litərit]   

    adj. 文盲的,无知的

    texture    ['tekstʃə] 

    n. (材料等的)结构,特点,表面,基本结构

    slate [sleit]     

    n. 板岩,石板,石片,石板色,候选人名单

    glare       [glɛə]     

    n. 闪耀光,刺眼

    choke     [tʃəuk]    

    vi. 窒息,阻塞

    untidy     [ʌn'taidi]

    adj. 不整齐的,懒散的

    glowing  ['gləuiŋ] 

    adj. 灼热的,热情的,强烈的


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  • Unit 6 - The Museum The Museum Leila Aboulela At first Shadia was afraid to ask him for his notes.... the straight long hair that he tied up with a rubber band. She had never seen a man with an ...

    Unit 6 - The Museum

    The Museum

    Leila Aboulela

    At first Shadia was afraid to ask him for his notes. The earring made her afraid; the straight long hair that he tied up with a rubber band. She had never seen a man with an earring and such long hair. But then she had never known such cold, so much rain. His silver earring was the strangeness of the West, another culture shock. She stared at it during classes, her eyes straying from the white scribbles on the board. Most times she could hardly understand anything. Only the notation was familiar. But how did it all fit together? How did this formula lead to this? Her ignorance and the impending exams were horrors she wanted to escape. His long hair was a dull colour between yellow and brown. It reminded her of a doll she had when she was young. She had spent hours combing that doll's hair, stroking it. She had longed for such straight hair. When she went to Paradise she would have hair like that. When she ran it would fly behind her, if she bent her head down it would fall over her like silk and sweep the flowers on the grass. She pictured her doll, vivid suddenly, and felt sick that she was daydreaming in class, not learning a thing.

    The first days of the term, when the classes started for the M.Sc. in Statistics, she was like someone tossed around by monstrous waves-battered, as she lost her way to the different lecture rooms, fumbled with the photocopying machine, could not find anything in the library. She could scarcely hear or eat or see. Her eyes bulged with fright, watered from the cold. The course required certain background, background she didn't have. So she floundered, she and the other African students, the two Turkish girls, and the man from Brunel. Asafa, the short, round-faced Ethiopian, said, in his grave voice—as this collection from the Third World whispered their anxieties in grim Scottish corridors, the girls in nervous giggles—"Last year, last year, a Nigerian on this very same course committed suicide. Cut his wrists."

    Us and them, she thought. The ones who would do well, the ones who would crawl and sweat and barely pass. Two predetermined groups. Asafa, generous and wise, leaned over and said to Shadia: That boy Bryan is excellent."

    The one with the earring?

    Asafa laughed. "The earring doesn't mean anything. He'll get the Distinction. He was an undergraduate here; got First Class Honours. That gives him an advantage. He knows all the lecturers, he knows the system.

    So the idea occurred to her of asking Bryan for the notes of his graduate year. If she strengthened her background in stochastic process and time series, she would be better able to cope with the new material they were bombarded with every day. She watched him to judge if he was approachable. He was devoid of manners. He mumbled and slouched and did not speak with respect to the lecturers. He spoke to them as if they were his equals. And he did silly things. When he wanted to throw a piece of paper in the bin, he squashed it into a ball and aimed it at the bin. If he missed, he muttered under his breath. She thought that he was immature. But he was the only one who was sailing through the course.

    The glossy handbook for overseas students had explained about the "famous British reserve" and hinted that they should be grateful, things were worse further south, less "hospitable." In the cafeteria, drinking coffee with Asafa and the others, the picture of "hospitable Scotland" was something different. Badr, the Malaysian, blinked and whispered, "Yesterday our windows got smashed; my wife today is afraid to go out."

    “Thieves?" asked Shadia, her eyes wide.

    Racists, said the Turkish girl.

    In the cafeteria, Bryan never sat with them. They never sat with him. He sat alone, sometimes reading the local paper. When Shadia walked in front of him he didn't smile. "These people are strange… One day they greet, the next day they don't…"

    One Friday afternoon, as everyone was ready to leave the room after Linear Models, she gathered her courage and spoke to Bryan. He had spots on his chin and forehead, was taller than her, restless, as if he was in hurry to go somewhere else. He put his calculator back in its case, his pen in his pocket. She asked him for his notes, and his blue eyes behind his glasses took on the blankest look she had ever seen in her life. What was all the surprise for? Did he think she was an insect? Was he surprised that she could speak?

    A mumble for a reply, words strung together. So taken aback, he was. He pushed his chair back under the table with his foot.


    He slowed down, separated each word. “have them for ye on Monday."

    Thank you. She spoke English better than he did! How pathetic. The whole of him was pathetic. He wore the same shirt every blessed day. Grey and white stripe.

    On the weekends, Shadia never went out of the halls, and, unless someone telephoned long-distance from home, she spoke to no one. There was time to remember Thursday nights in Khartoum: a wedding to go with Fareed, driving in his red Mercedes. Or the club with her sister, sitting by the pool drinking lemonade with ice, the waiters all dressed in white. Here, in this country's weekend of Saturday and Sunday, Shadia washed her clothes and her hair.

    On the weekends, she made a list of the money she had spent: the sterling enough to keep a family alive back home. Yet she might fail her exams after all that expense, go back home empty hand-without degree. Guilt was cold like the fog of this city. It came from everywhere. One day she forgot to pray in the morning. She reached the bus stop and then realized that she hadn't prayed. That morning folded out like the nightmare she sometimes had, of discovering that she had gone out into the street without any clothes.

    In the evening, when she was staring at multidimensional scaling, the telephone in the hall rang. She ran to answer it. Fareed's cheerful greeting: "Here, Shadia, Mama and the girls want to speak to you." His mother's endearments: "They say it's so cold where you are…"

    Shadia was engaged to Fareed. Fareed was a package that came with the 7UP franchise, the paper factory, the big house he was building, his sisters and widowed mother. Shadia was going to marry them all. She was going to be happy and make her mother happy. Her mother deserved happiness after the misfortunes of her life. A husband who left her for another woman. Six girls to bring up. People felt sorry for her mother. Six girls to educate and marry off. But your Lord is generous: Each of the girls, it was often said, was lovelier than the other. They were clever too: dentist, pharmacist, architect, and all with the best of manners.

    We are just back from looking at the house. Fareed's turn again to talk. "It's coming along fine, they're putting the tiles down…"

    That's good, that's good, "her voice strange from not talking to anyone all day.

    The bathroom suites. If I get them all the same colour for us and the girls and Mama, I could get them on a discount. Blue, the girls are in favour of blue, "his voice echoed from one continent to another. Miles and miles.

    Blue is nice, yes, better get them all the same colour.

    He was building a block of flats, not a house. The ground-floor flat for his mother and the girls until they married, the first floor for him and Shadia. When Shadia had first got engaged to Fareed, he was the son of rich man. A man with the franchise for 7UP and the paper factory which had a monopoly in ladies 'sanitary towels. But Fareed's father died of a heart attack soon after engagement party (five hundred guests at the Hilton). Now Shadia was going to marry the rich man himself.

    There was no time to talk about her course on the telephone, no space for her anxieties. Fareed was not interested in her studies. He had said, "I'm very broad-minded to allow you to study abroad. Other men would not have put up with this…" It was her mother who was keen for her to study, to get a postgraduate degree from Britain and then have a career after she got married. "This way, "her mother had said, "you will have your in-laws' respect. They have money but you will have a degree. Don't end up like me. I left my education to marry your father and now…

    On Monday, without saying anything, Bryan slid two folders across the table towards her as if he did not want to come near her, did not want to talk to her. She wanted to say, "I won't take them till you hand them to me politely." But smarting, she said, "Thank you very much." She had manners. She was well brought up.

    Back in her room, at her desk, the clearest handwriting she had ever seen. Sparse on the pages, clean. Clear and rounded like a child's, the tidiest notes. She cried over them, wept for no reason. She cried until she wetted pages, smudged the ink, blurred one of the formulas. She dabbed at it with a tissue but the paper flaked and became transparent. Should she apologize about the stain, say she was drinking water, say that it was rain? Or should she just keep quiet, hope he wouldn't notice? She chided herself for all that concern. He wasn't concerned about wearing the same shirt every day. She was giving him too much attention thinking about him. He was just an immature and closed-in sort of character. He probably came from a small town, his parents were probably poor, low-class. In Khartoum she never mixed with people like that. Her mother liked her to be friends with people who were higher up. How else were she and her sisters going to marry well? She must study the notes and stop crying over this boy's handwriting. His writing had nothing to do with her, nothing to do with her at all.

    Understanding after not understanding is fog lifting, pictures swinging into focus, missing pieces slotting into place. It is fragments gelling, a sound vivid whole, a basis to build on. His notes were the knowledge she needed, the gap filled. She struggled through them, not skimming them with the carelessness of incomprehension, but taking them in, making them a part of her, until in the depth of concentration, in the late hours of the nights, she lost awareness and place, and at last, when she slept she became epsilon and gamma, and she became a variable.

    It felt natural to talk to him. As if now that she had spent hours and days with his handwriting, she knew him in some way. She forgot the offence she had taken when he had slid his folders across the table to her, all the times he didn't say hello.

    In the computer room, at the end of the Statistical Packages class, she went to him and said: Thanks for the notes. They are really good. I think I might not fail, after all. I might have a chance to pass." Her eyes were dry from all the nights she had stayed up. She was tired and grateful.

    He nodded and they spoke little about the Poisson distribution, queuing theory. Everything was clear in his mind; his brain was clear pane of glass where all the concepts were written out boldly and neatly. Today, he seemed more at ease talking to her, though he still shifted about from foot to foot, avoiding her eyes.

    He said, "Do ye want to go for coffee?"

    She looked up at him. He was tall and she was not used to speaking to people with blue eyes. Then she made a mistake. Perhaps because she had been up late last night, she made that mistake. Perhaps there were other reasons for that mistake. The mistake of shifting from one level to another.

    She said, "I don't like your earring."

    The expression in his eyes, a focusing, no longer shifting away. he shifted his hand to his ear and tugged the earring off. His earlobe without the silver looked red and scarred.

    She giggled because she was afraid because he wasn't smiling, wasn't saying anything. She covered her mouth with her hand, then wiped her forehead and eyes. A mistake had been made and it was too late to go back. She plunged ahead, careless now, reckless. "I don't like your long hair."

    He turned and walked away.

    Like most of the other students, she sat in the same seat in every class. Brcareus sat a row ahead which was why she could always look at his hair. But he had cut it, there was no ponytail today! Just his neck and the collar of the grey and white striped shirt.

    She was made up of layers. Somewhere inside, deep inside, under the crust of vanity, in the untampered-with essence, she would glow and be in awe, and be humble and think, this is just for me, he cut his hair for me. But there were other layers, bolder, more to the surface. Giggling. Wanting to catch hold of a friend. Guess what? You wouldn't believe what this idiot did!

    After the class he came over and said very seriously, without a smile, "Ah've cut my hair."

    A part of her hollered with laughter, sang: "You stupid boy, you stupid boy, I can see that, can't I?

    She said, "It looks nice." She said the wrong thing and her face felt hot and she made herself look away so that she would not know his reaction. It was true though, he did look nice; he looked decent now.

    She should have said to Bryan, when they first held their coffee mugs in their hands and were searching for an empty table, "Let's sit with Asafa and the others." Mistakes follow mistakes. Across the cafeteria, the Turkish girl saw them together and raised her perfect eyebrows. Badr met Shadia's eyes and quickly looked away. Shadia looked at Bryan and he was different, different without the earring and the ponytail, transformed in some way. Maybe the boys who smashed Badr's windows looked like Bryan, but with fiercer eyes, no glasses. She must push him away her. She must make him dislike her.

    He asked her where she came from and when she replied, he said, "Where's that?"

    Africa, with sarcasm. "Do you know where that is?"

    His nose and cheeks under the rims of his glasses went red. Good, she thought, good. He will leave me now in peace.

    He said, "Ah know Sudan is in Africa I meant where exactly in Africa."

    Northeast, south of Egypt Where are you from?

    Peterhead. it's north of here. By the sea.

    "your father works in Peterhead?"

    "Aye, he does."

    She had grown up listening to the proper English of the BBC World Service only to come to Britain and find people saying "yes" like it was said back home in Arabic: "aye."

    "What does he do, your father?"

    He looked surprised. "Ma dad's a joiner."

    Fareed hired people like that to work on the house. Ordered them about.

    "And your mother?" she asked.

    He paused a little, stirred sugar in his coffee with a plastic spoon. "She's a lollipop lady."

    Shadia smirked into her coffee, took a sip.

    My father, she said proudly, "is doctor, a specialist." Her father was a gynaecologist. The woman who was now his wife had been one of his patients.

    "And my mother," she blew the truth out of proportion, "comes from a very big family. A ruling family. If you British hadn't colonized us, my mother would have been princess now."

    ye walk like princess, he said.

    What a gullible, silly boy! She wiped her forehead with her hand and said, "You mean I am conceited and proud?"

    No, Ah didnae mean that, no. The packet of sugar he was tearing open tipped from his hand, its contents scattered over the table. "Ah shit… sorry…" He tried to scoop up the sugar and knocked against his office mug, spilling a little on the table.

    She took a tissue from her bag, reached over and mopped up the stain. It was easy to pick up all the bits of sugar with the damp tissue.

    "Thanks," he mumbled and they were silent. The cafeteria was busy: full of the humming, buzzing sound of people talking to each other, trays and dishes. In Khartoum, she avoided being alone with Fareed. She preferred it when they were with others: their families, their many mutual friends.

    Bryan was speaking to her, saying something about rowing on the River Dee. He went rowing on the weekends, he belonged to a rowing club.

    To make herself pleasing to people was a skill Shadia was trained in. It was not difficult to please people. Agree with them, never dominate the conversation, be economical with the truth. Now here was someone to whom all these rules needn't apply.

    She said to him, "The Nile is superior to the Dee. I saw your Dee, it is nothing, it is like a stream. There are two Niles, the Blue and the White, named after their colours. They come from the south, from two different places. They travel for miles over countries with different names, never knowing they will meet. I think they get tired of running alone, it is such a long way to the sea. They want to reach the sea so that they can rest, stop running. There is a bridge in Khartoum, and under this bridge the two Niles meet. If you stand on the bridge and look down you can see the two waters mixing together."

    Do you get homesick? he asked.

    Things I should miss I don't miss. Instead I miss things didn't think I would miss. The azan, the muezzin call to prayer from the mosque. I don't know if you know about it. I miss that. At dawn it used to wake me up.

    I would hear 'prayer is better than sleep' and just go back to sleep. I never got up to pray." She looked down at her hands on the table. There was no relief in confessions, only his smile, young, and something like wonder in his eyes.

    We did Islam in school, he said. "Ah went on a trip to Mecca." He opened out his palms on the table.


    "In a book."


    The coffee was finished. They should go now. She should go to the library before the next lecture and photocopy the previous exam paper.

    What is your religion? she asked.

    Dunno, nothing I suppose.

    That's terrible! That's really terrible! Her voice was too loud, concerned.

    His face went red again and he tapped his spoon against the empty mug.

    Waive all politeness, make him dislike her. Badr had said, even before his windows got smashed, that here in the West they hate Islam. Standing up to go, she said flippantly, "Why don't you become a Muslim then?"

    He shrugged. Ah wouldnae mind travelling to Mecca, I was keen on that book."

    Her eyes filled with tears. They blurred his face when he stood up. In the West they hate Islam and he… She said, "Thanks for the coffee, "and walked away, but he followed her.

    Shadiya, Shadiya, he pronounced her name wrongly, three syllables instead of two, "there's this museum about Africa. I've never been before. If you'd care to go, tomorrow…"

    Tomorrow she need not to show up at the Museum, even though she said that she would. She should have told Bryan she was engaged to be married, mentioned it casually. What did he expect from her? Europeans had different rules, reduced, abrupt customs. If Fareed knew about this… her secret thoughts like snakes…

    It was strange to leave her desk lock her room and go out on a Saturday. In the hall the telephone rang. It was Fareed. If he knew where she was going now… Guilt was like a hard-boiled egg stuck in her chest. A large cold egg.

    "Shadia, I want you to buy some of the fixtures for the bathrooms. Taps and the towel hangers. I'm going to send you a list of money…"

    I can't, I can't.

    "What do you mean you can't? If you go into any large department store…"

    You can get good things, things that aren't available here. Gold would be good. It would match…

    Gold. Gold toilet seats!

    "Shadia, gold-coloured, not gold. It's smart."

    "Allah is going to punish us for this, it's not right…"

    "Since when have you become so religious!"

    Bryan was waiting for her on the steps of the museum, familiar-looking against the strange grey of the city streets where cars had their headlamps on in the middle of the afternoon. He wore a different shirt, navy-blue jacket. He said, not looking at her, "Ah was beginning to think you wouldnae turn up."

    There was no entry fee to the museum, no attendant handing out tickets. The first thing they saw was a Scottish man from Victorian times. He sat on a chair surrounded by possessions from Africa: overflowing trucks, an ancient map strewn on the floor of the glass cabinet. Shadia turned away; there was an ugliness in the lifelike wispiness of his hair, his determined expression, the biway he sat. A hero who had gone away and come back, laden, ready to report.

    Bryan began to conscientiously study every display cabinet, to read the poster on the wall. She followed him around and thought that he was studious, careful; that was why he did so well in his degree. She watched the intent expression on his face as he looked at everything. For her the posters were an effort to read, the information difficult to take in.

    During the 18th and 19th centuries, northeast Scotland made a portionate impact on the world at large by contributing so many skilled and committed individuals. In serving an empire they gave and received, changed others and were themselves changed and often returned home with tangible reminders of their experiences.

    The tangible reminders were there to see, preserved in spite of the years. Her eyes skimmed over the disconnected objects out of place and time. Iron and copper, little statues. Nothing was of her, nothing belonged to her life at home, what she missed. Here was Europe's vision, the cliches about Africa: cold and old.

    "He looks like you, don't you think?" she said to Bryan. They stood in front of a portrait of soldier who died in the first year of the twentieth century. It was the colour of his eyes and his hair. But Bryan did not answer her, did not agree with her. He was preoccupied with reading the caption. When she looked at the portrait again, she saw that she was mistaken. The strength in the eyes, the purpose, was something Bryan didn't have. They had strong faith in those days long ago.

    Biographies of explorers who were educated in Edinburgh; they knew what to take to Africa: doctors, courage, Christianity, commerce, civilization. They knew what they wanted to bring back: cotton-watered by the Blue Nile, the Zambezi River. She walked after Bryan, felt his concentration, his interest in what was before him and thought, "In photograph we would not look nice together."

    She had come to this museum expecting sunlight and photographs of the Nile, something to relieve her homesickness: a comfort, a message. But the messages were not for her, not for anyone like her. A letter from West Africa, 1762, an employee to his employer in Scotland. An employee trading European goods for African curiosities.

    It was difficult to make the natives understand my meaning, even by an interpreter, to being a thing so seldom asked of them but they have all undertaken to bring something and laughed heartily at me and said, I was a good man to love their country so much…

    Love my country so much. She should not be here, there was nothing for her here. She wanted to see minarets, boats fragile on the Nile, people.

    "I know why they went away," said Bryan. "I understand why they travelled." At last he was talking. She had not seen him intense before. He spoke in a low "They had to get away, to leave here…"

    To escape from the horrible weather… She was making fun of him. She wanted to put him down. The imperialists who had humiliated her history were heroes in his eyes.

    He looked at her. "To escape…" he repeated.

    "They went to benefit themselves," she said, "people go away because they benefit in some way.

    "I want to get away," he said.

    She remembered when he had opened his palms on the table and said, "I went on a trip to Mecca." There had been pride in his voice.

    I should have gone somewhere else for the course, he went on. "A new place, somewhere down south."

    He was on a plateau, not like her. She was fighting and struggling for a piece of paper that would say she was awarded an M.Sc. from British university. For him, the course was continuation.

    Come and see, he said, and he held her arm. No one had touched her before, not since she had hugged her mother goodbye. Months now in this country and no one had touched her.

    She pulled her arm away. She walked away. She ran up the stairs to the next floor. Guns, a row of guns aiming at her. They had been waiting to blow her away. Scottish arms of centuries ago, gunfire in service of the empire.

    Silver muzzles, dirty grey now. They must have shone prettily once, under a sun far away. She shivered in spite of the wool she was wearing, layers of clothes. Hell is not only blazing fire, a part of it is freezing cold, torturous ice and snow. In Scotland's winter you have a glimpse of this unseen world, feel the breath of it in your bones.

    There was a bench and she sat down. There was no one here on this floor. She was alone with sketches of jungle animals, words on the wall. A diplomat away from home, in Ethiopia in 1903:

    It is difficult to imagine anything more satisfactory or better worth taking part in than a lion drive. We rode back to camp feeling very well indeed. Archie was quite right when he said that this was the first time since we have started that we have really been in Africa-the real Africa of jungle inhabited only by game, and plains where herds of antelope meet your eye in every direction.

    "Shadiya, don't cry." He still pronounced her name wrongly because she had not told him how to say it properly.

    He sat next to her on the bench the blur of his navy jacket blocking the guns, the wall-length pattern of antelope herds. She should explain that she cried easily, there was no need for the alarm on his face. His awkward voice: "Why are you crying?"

    He didn't know, he didn't understand. He was all wrong, not a substitute…

    "They are telling lies in this museum," she said. "Don't believe them. It's all wrong. It's not jungle and antelopes, it's people. We have things like computers and cars. We have 7UP in Africa, and some people, a few people, have bathrooms with golden taps… I shouldn't be here with you. You shouldn't talk to me…"

    He said, "Museums change, I can change…"

    He didn't know it was a steep path she had no strength for. He didn't understand. Many things, years and landscapes, gulfs. If she had been strong she would have explained, and not tired of explaining. She would have patiently taught him another language, letters curved like the epsilon and gamma he knew from mathematics. She would have shown him that words could be read from right to left. If she had not been small in the museum, if she had been really strong, she would have made his trip to Mecca real, not only in a book.







































    她因为害怕而咯咯地笑了,他从不笑,也不说话。她用手挡住了嘴巴,然后摸了摸她的前额和眼 睛。已经犯了一个无法弥补的错误。她又继续向前一步,变得更加的大胆、鲁莽。“我不喜欢你的长头发。”
























































































    Key Words:

    earring   ['iəriŋ]    

    n. 耳环,耳饰

    immature       [.imə'tjuə]      

    adj. 不成熟的

    keen       [ki:n]      

    adj. 锋利的,敏锐的,强烈的,精明的,热衷的

    monopoly      [mə'nɔpəli]    

    n. 垄断,专利,独占,控制

    engaged [in'geidʒd]     

    adj. 忙碌的,使用中的,订婚了的

    sparse    [spɑ:s]   

    adj. 稀少的,稀疏的

    pane       [pein]     

    n. 窗玻璃,方框,方格 v. 嵌窗玻璃

    dislike     [dis'laik] 

    v. 不喜欢,厌恶

    sip   [sip]

    n. 啜饮

    sarcasm  ['sɑ:kæzəm]  

    n. 挖苦,讽刺

    scoop     [sku:p]   

    n. 铲子,舀取,独家新闻,一勺,穴

    prayer    [prɛə]     

    n. 祈祷,祷告,祷文


    n. 乡愁

    plateau   ['plætəu]

    n. 高原;平稳;稳定状态


    1. 现代大学英语精读(第2版)第六册:U6 The Museum(1)_大学教材听力 - 可可英语
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