• 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.

### 参考译文——两个纽约

两个纽约

斯坦利·考夫曼

最近有一位年轻朋友问我，生活在从小长大的城市有何感受。这个问题使我大吃一惊，我还从未从这个方面想过纽约。说真的，我沿着几条街道漫步的时候，便回想起这里发生的历历往事，可这是同一座城市吗？

20世纪20年代中期，我去位于第二和第三大道之间的第63街上的小学上学——现在是公寓楼林立的雅致居民区——在从街角到街区之间的马路上，我要经过一家铁匠铺。现在，我似乎仍然能听到烧得白热的马蹄铁被投入水桶时所发出的咝咝声，仍能闻得到马蹄钉上热蹄铁时所发出的糊味。当时，我常常在往返学校的途中搭乘在拉冰马车的后面。我还常常和母亲一道去位于第70和76街之间的第二大道两边的手推货车市场买东西。这些手推货车停在第二大道上的高架铁路下面。我们住在靠近第二大道街角的第68街上，如果有人在打电话恰巧赶上高架铁路上火车隆隆经过，就只好等火车通过后才继续通话。（其他行政区仍然有高架铁路，可是50岁以下的人无法想象在曼哈顿区中心区曾有过一条这样的铁路。）

在20世纪20年代里，大规模移民浪潮已接近尾声，我的同学大多数为意大利天主教徒和东欧犹太人，他们的父母是外来移民，就像我的祖母和外祖母一样。我的同学们半嘲笑地称呼我“美国佬”。有一次，一位老师让我把一张字条带给校长。一位意大利妇女正在他办公室的外间等着见他，她是一位学生的母亲。在等待过程中，她毫不感到难为情地给婴儿哺乳。我还记得她那白皙的乳房上有一条青筋。

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。”

早些时候，我7岁以前，我家住在靠近曼哈顿北端的华盛顿高地。一位摄影师常常牵着一匹小马驹在这一带徘徊，孩子们往往骑在马上照相。我还保存着我4岁时骑马拍的照片。(我未来的妻子，当然我当时根本不认识她，几年后也骑在同一匹马上拍了照片。）夏日里，有一辆后面拉着一匹小型旋转木马的卡车常停在这一带。司机用手转动着木马，木马边上有一只大铁轮子，他上下移动操纵杆，6到8个孩子骑在上面旋转着。我喜欢坐旋转木马。（我妻子几年后也喜欢坐旋转木马。）一个男人偶尔在街上游荡，把衣服搭在肩上，嘴里吆喝着：“旧衣服换钱，旧衣服换钱。”他收购旧衣服，通常是人们不想要的男士衣服，再把它们卖往别处。我们住的公寓对面是一块空地，上面什么也没有。周围都是公寓，但这块空地从来没有人动过。我常常在大石头之间攀来爬去，还爬上印第安人所熟悉的树木。我知道，中央公园也是如此，但它是为这座城市准备的。而这块空地是为我和朋友们准备的，是我们自己的印第安人领地。

我不再生活在那座城市了。

纽约现在的情况更糟吗？当然，这并不仅仅是因为能引发我回忆的许多事物都消失了。这里平均每天发生六起凶杀案，被害者通常包括儿童。我们有成千上万的男男女女无家可归，其中还有智力不健全者。还有可怕的毒品问题。我们和其他城市一道承受着这些不幸，但有一个名声是我们独自享受的。纽约的街道要比我所见过的美国任何一座城市的都脏（更不要说伦敦或巴黎了)。

不过，在我一生中纽约发生的最大的一个变化要数人们对于平等的看法。黑人不再被要求“清楚自己地位低微而安守本分”——不管怎么说，与过去的苛刻已无法相比。至少在口头上已普及绝对平等的观念。(“假装你有美德吧，如果你没有的话”哈姆雷特这样说。）第二次世界大战结束后，波多泰各人涌入纽约。不久，其他讲西班牙语的人也来了。平等同样赋予了他们。在银行，我把信用卡插进去，自动取款机这时就问，我需要英语还是两班牙语提示。纽约也许无可奈何地成为美国言不由衷地重复了200年的观点的一个庞大的实验场。美国的其他城市也是如此，但纽约是最大的熔炉。在我们所继承的仇恨与偏见——在我们所有的人中都存在——允许的范围内，我们正在验证，平等是否只是一句口号，能否在种族、宗教、性取向和性别方面实现平等。（例如，女警官身穿制服。佩带手枪，但还是和其他妇女一样避免和路过的男入有目光接触。）纽约市在游行队伍中走在了前列，而人们要求此类游行把钱投到7月4日美国《独立宣言》所宣扬的地方去。

追求平等是要付出高昂代价的。每个人都要做出牺牲。它折磨着在阶层划分森严的纽约长大的人们。袭扰着那些生活在边远地带的人们，特别是黑人或讲西班牙语的人们，因为这些人必须忍受来自其他人的愤恨和来自自身的挫折感。高发的犯罪率与滥用毒品无疑与对未能实现平等权利的嘲弄有关。日益减弱的市民自豪感当然与他们遭受的同样的挫折直接相关。

“超级面孔的曼哈顿！”惠特曼在诗中写道。“美国同胞们！东方人最终会来到我们身边。”他能预见到寿司店、韩国杂货店和美甲店吗？沃尔特继续写道：

致我们，我的城市：

高入云端的大理石和钢铁美人矗立两侧，

行走其间，

澳新事物今天已经来到我们身边。

这一大规模实验会成功吗？我不得而知，但正在发生的一切使我甘于接受这座既肮脏又危险的城市，我生命中的第二个纽约。

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]

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

参考资料：

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

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## 1977-2019

四十四年高考

一个国家命运的拐点

千百万个人生的转折

1977

四十四年     四十四图

1977年12月10日的高考，

是中国历史上唯一的一次冬季高考。

这一天，570多万从农村、工厂、部队走来的年轻人，

怀揣着难得的名额和奋发的意气，

奔向考场。

由于报考人数过多，

国民经济也刚开始恢复，

国家一时竟拿不出足够的纸来印考卷，

中央果断决定调用印刷《毛泽东选集》第五卷的纸张。

最终，27万年轻人在第二年的春天，迈进了梦寐以求的大学校园。

1978

四十四年     四十四图

这一年的高考，全国首次实施统一命题，分省录取，这一考试制度基本沿用到现在。

这是一张珍贵的1978年高考成绩通知单，408分的总成绩在当时堪称学霸

1979

四十四年     四十四图

这一年，

饱经磨难的共和国迎来30岁生日，

“而立”之年的中国，

在改革开放的号角下，抖擞精神。

这一年开始，高考的日期定于7月7-9日举行，除了1983年外，一直实施到2002年。

1980

四十四年     四十四图

这张旧照摄于当年开考前的考场，

两名女生正在交谈。

她们的笑容给沉闷的考场带来一丝轻松的气息。

【微信公号：树儿微刊】

面对着未知的考试与前程，又有几个人能够真正轻松起来呢？

1981

四十四年     四十四图

这是1981年，

天安门广场，

华灯下，

复习高考内容的青年。

知识改变命运！

这一信念，越发坚定地扎根在年轻人心中。

1982

四十四年     四十四图

这一年，马云第一次参加高考。

志气高昂的他，在志愿表上填了北京大学，

不过遗憾的是他当时的数学只考了1分。

次年高考，他的数学也只考了19分，

不甘心的马云选择了“第三战”。

这第三次高考，他的数学终于考到了79分。

但遗憾的是，

他的总分与本科线还是差5分。

不知道是不是黄天不负苦心人，

由于同专业招生人数未满，

马云最终进入了杭州师范学院本科，被调剂进入外语专业。

1983

四十四年     四十四图

这一年的高考作文题。

第一次出现了一幅漫画，

这幅题为《这里没有水，再换个地方挖》的漫画，

描绘了一个人挖井，挖了很多次，都在快接近水面的时候放弃。

这道题的出现，

给当时习惯了根据一段材料或一个命题开始写作的考生们来了个措手不及。

曾担任过高考阅卷的北京语文特级教师薛川东回忆，

当时不少考生没有真正看懂这幅漫画，

有个学生在作文中写了“一个农村的坏分子，要把公社的大坝挖穿，幸亏没有挖穿，不然就出大事”的故事，让阅卷的老师们看得哭笑不得。

1984

四十四年     四十四图

10月27日，

报名参加上海市总工会举办的

高考复习培训班的年轻人，

将报名大厅围得水泄不通。

1985

四十四年     四十四图

这一年，高考向着减少高考科目的改革方向发展，

也是在这一年，一向由国家“统包”的招生制度，

变成了不收费的国家计划招生和收费的国家调节招生同时并存的“双轨制”。

1985年高考前夕，北京171中学的王琳和一位男生隔着几张课桌低头看书，他们在谈恋爱，后来考入同一所大学，结婚、离婚。

照片记录了一对恋人青涩的求学时光。

1986

四十四年     四十四图

“黄冈中学”，

是一个提起“高考“就不得不提的“神话”。

这一“神话”，在1986年，几乎达到巅峰。

当年，黄冈中学高考升学309人，

升学率达91.4%，600分以上高分者达30人，占全省1/9，

且囊括理科第一、二名，文科第一名。

打着“黄冈”旗号的试卷、辅导书，

以“偏、难、怪”著称，

恐怕是很多人学生时代的噩梦。

1987

四十四年     四十四图

这张老照片，记录了高考结束的考生们，

兴高采烈地走出考场的场景。

即使是30年前，这场面看上去和今天也并无两样。

1988

四十四年     四十四图

这一年，江苏高考第一次发现了抄袭作文。根据高考语文命题专家高朝俊曾在其书《高考作文那些事》中的描述，

这一年的高考作文要求以“习惯”为题，在选择“样卷”的过程中，大家一致认为一篇记叙类的文章写得太好，判为一类卷上等。

在把“样卷”发到阅卷教师手里以后，

就有教师来反映，这是一篇抄袭之作。

那时候可不像现在这样，

把“疑似抄袭”的文章中的关键词句“百度”一下，

把搜索到的有关文章对比一下，基本上就可以得出结论。

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，

把近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”，得了很低的分。

在高考恢复10年后，整个社会学习的热情越发高涨，这是大年初一的上海，求知的年轻人令图书馆的自习室座无虚席。

1989

四十四年     四十四图

这一年，

国家教委下发《普通高等学校招生全国统一考试标准化实施规划》，

标志着标准化考试正式进入实施阶段。

至此，高考这根指挥棒产生了空前的指挥效应。

标准化考试促使全国的基础教育都不得不跟着应试方向走。

标准化考试派生了标准化答案，

后来就用上了阅卷机器。

像这样70年代的高考阅卷现场，慢慢地就看不到了。

1990

四十四年     四十四图

当年10月，国家教委启动“三南改革”，

湖南、海南、云南三省将过去高考的文理科分组变为文史、理工、医农和地矿四类，每类只考4门，

而这一重大政策的宣布，

离次年高考只有不到9个月的时间。

无数人的命运因为这一纸文件而改变。

直到今天，高考的内容和形式仍在不断变化。

“上榜”这件事，对每位考生都充满了变数。

1991

四十四年     四十四图

在高考前不到三个月，

国家教委举行了记者招待会，

正式宣布：从1991年开始，在全国实行普通高中毕业会考制度。

会考原本只是学业水平考试，

但是后来，为了提高升学率，

一些地方依照会考成绩将一些学生提前驱除“出局”，

不被允许参加即将到来的全国统一高考。

1992

四十四年     四十四图

这一年，刘强东考取了江苏宿迁的高考状元。

据《年轻就是要：活出你自己》一书中描述，刘强东的小时候的梦想是从政，做县长，造福一方。

当时，以他的成绩完全可以上清华大学物理系，

但他早已经在填报志愿时，放弃了清华物理系，填写了人民大学社会学系。

那时候的他想当然地认为：

进了人大就能做官，

而社会学又是统管一切“小学科”的“大学科”。可惜的是，

在入学当晚，刘强东的美梦就破碎了。

因为同系的师哥告诉他，

社会学与从政无关，

而且就业状况在人大排倒数第二，仅次于人口系。

在今天，高考专业与就业不对口的情况，早已不是什么新闻了。

1993

四十四年     四十四图

这一年，国家教委大手一挥，开始在各省市中铺开“3+2”高考科目设置，

即文史类考语、数、外三科加政治、历史二科，

理科考语、数、外三科加物理、化学二科。这种科目设置一直沿用到2000年。

这是一张1993年的高考政治试卷，这样的卷面设计，让人分外熟悉。

1994

四十四年     四十四图

这一年，全国37所重点院校试行并轨制收费，

逐步建立起“学生上学自己缴纳部分培养费用、毕业生多数人自主择业”的机制。

以前国家发生活费相当于“国家干部”的大学生身份，

从此要自己掏钱读书。

湖北三峡坝区三斗坪镇东岳庙村黎开英的儿子望军在1994年全国高考中，以651分的好成绩考入清华大学汽车工程系，乡亲们纷纷来到他家祝贺。

金榜题名给这个农村家庭带来了无上的荣耀。

1995

四十四年     四十四图

即将进入考场的考生正在考场外进行着最后的温习。

1996

四十四年     四十四图

漫画作文题再一次出现已是1996年。

当年的高考作文题目给出了“给六指做整形手术”和“截错了”两幅漫画，

这在当时引发了极大的社会反响，

被评价为讽刺现实，直面社会阴暗面。

也由此引发了教育界与医务界的一点不愉快。

1997

四十四年     四十四图

7月28日，西安。

发榜了，许多高考生落榜。

国家办的大学有限，社会办学的大学便应运而生。

这是招生咨询会上，替儿子选学校的父母。

1998

四十四年     四十四图

这年高考结束后，

一位考生在清理自己的学习资料。

厚厚的资料摞起来，

超过了小伙子170厘米的身高。

1999

四十二年     四十二图

世纪之交的1999年，

我国开始了大规模的高校扩招。

“幸亏我妈没早生我一年！”，当收到大学录取通知书时，太多应届高中毕业生发出了这样的感慨。

这一年，高校招生比例猛增至47.4%，

而直到6月时，许多考生尚不知会有此意外之喜。

扩招，给了很多人圆梦大学的机会。

这一年的高校扩招引发了“大学新生潮”。图为武汉大学“迎新”场景。

2000

四十四年     四十四图

这一年，电脑和互联网还是稀罕物，

位于北京东大桥的百脑汇电脑城，

一大早就有许多考生和家长来到这里，

排队等待免费上网查分。

据工作人员说，一个上午就来了近百人，

查完了分数，

每个人的表情可以说是几家欢喜几家忧。

点此欣赏????国家放三孩，微信群沸腾了，我已笑死，大家保重

2001

四十四年     四十四图

这一年，高考取消了考生“未婚、年龄不超过25岁”的限制，

这给无数大龄考生以惊喜和机会。

以炒股为生的黄顺锋做梦也没有想到今生还有机会参加高考。他同众多大龄考生一样，成为高考新政策的第一批受益者。

2002

四十四年     四十四图

7月7日，上海市92800多名考生冒雨走进全市3800多个考场参加高考。

而首场语文考试的作文“面向大海”，

因取材范围过大，

颇让部分考生感到无所适从，纷纷表示心里没底。

这位女生刚出考场，便向母亲诉苦。

在“吐槽”还未被发明的时代，当时的考生也就无法享受到集体吐槽高考试题的乐趣。

2003

四十四年     四十四图

这一年，教育部决定将高考时间提前1个月，

固定安排在每年6月的7、8日，

高考终于告别酷暑。

678的谐音是“录取吧”，

在残酷竞争的考试中，

这也许正是考生需要的一点心理安慰。

这一年，全国爆发了大面积的非典疫情，想要进考场，还必须先过“体温测试”这一关。

2004

四十四年     四十四图

6月7日，63岁的“爷爷考生”邹伟敏在浙江嘉兴海宁一中考点参加考试。

像这样的大龄考生，如今并不罕见。

大学是一个美丽的梦，

而这个梦，

并不只属于年轻人。

2005

四十四年     四十四图

这一年，海南高考状元李洋“梦断清华”，

引发了全社会对“高考移民”及“高考公平”的大讨论。

当年，李洋先是被告知高考分数海南理科第一名，

海天学校还挂出醒目的条幅，祝贺李洋取得好成绩。

眼看就要实现上清华大学的梦想，

但因为有人举报，他在海南就读未满两年，不符合海南省报考本科第一批院校的要求，被取消了录取资格。

李洋后被香港城市大学录取。

2006

四十四年     四十四图

6月7日，南京金陵中学河西分校的老师，

在开考前，

送给每位考生一个贴有“心会跟爱一起考”的苹果，

预祝考生“平稳考出丰硕成果”。

一个苹果，代表祝福，也隐隐投射出教师群体在面对高考时的焦虑。

2007

四十四年     四十四图

高考，无时无刻不在牵动着整个社会的神经，

毕竟，谁家还没有个要高考的孩子呢？

2007年某公交公司出动公交车免费接送考生，并且在考场外设置了车厢服务站，让家长不必在酷热里等待，可以上车免费饮水和休息。

2008

四十四年     四十四图

7月3日，四川地震灾区延期高考举行。

在德阳人民医院的“病房考场”内，

4名东汽中学考生正在填写答题卡。

【微信公号：树儿微刊】

2009

四十四年     四十四图

高考结束，广东省四位“状元”骑着高头大马，霸气巡街。

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。

2010

四十四年     四十四图

高考结束，

也许是多年未曾见过的笑容绽放在考生和家长的脸上。

鲜花、拥抱，

毫不吝惜。

高考对每个人来说，都不亚于一场战争，

所有人都如释重负。

2011

四十四年     四十四图

高考这天，

工地停工了，

汽车不鸣笛了，

就连大妈们都不跳广场舞了，

整个社会，都在用自己的方式，

向考生释放善意。

一位考生在的哥、交巡警等人的爱心接力帮助下抵达考场后，不禁感动地哭了出来。

2012

四十四年     四十四图

6月8日下午，高考英语听力考试。

紧挨着南京市九中高考考点的道路上，

考生家长排成一排，堵住马路，

指挥过往的自行车、电动车绕道而行，

以免噪音影响考生的考试。

高考，从来就不是只考学生的。

2013

四十四年     四十四图

每年临近高考，

家长为了考生，做尽各式祈福，

试图为高考之战的胜利增加一块砝码。

2013年5月13日，江苏省南通市，当日是民间传说的文殊菩萨生日，考生家长前往当地剑山风景区——文殊菩萨庙烧香祈福，求菩萨保佑子女考出好成绩。

2014

四十四年     四十四图

临考前几天，

四川巴城部分学校考生，

用撕书、扔书的方式

释放压力，迎接高考。

2015

四十四年     四十四图

2015年6月5日早上8点8分，

一年一度的六安市毛坦厂中学送考开始。

42辆送考大巴载着数千名高三考生，

从这个号称“亚洲最大高考工厂”的学校驶出。送考车的车头车尾都坐着穿红衣服的学生，有学生打开车窗，喊着毛中必胜，

毛坦厂当地万余名群众和家长

自发来到车队两侧为考生送考，

家长们手持空色旗帜为高三考生呐喊助威，场面十分壮观。

2016

四十四年     四十四图

高考是许多中国人一生中最重要的考试，

为了维护高考公平性，

反作弊工作也在不断从“人防”向“技防”升级。

2015年《中华人民共和国刑法修正案（九）》的出台，

将国家教育考试作弊行为列入刑法之中，

使得2016年高考被社会评论为：

“史上最严高考”。

高考的公平公正，应是这个社会的底线。

2017

四十四年     四十四图

2017年6月8日下午5点10分，

最后一门英语考试结束，

孩子们欢呼着冲出校门口，

门外家长们纷纷举起手机拍下这一幕。

一些考生将老师和同学举起，

抛向空中，

他们打起V形手势以示庆祝。

点击链接????心灵干净的人，目光才会清澈

孩子，考好考坏，爸妈都等你回家吃饭！

2018

四十四年     四十四图

2018年高考正式拉开大幕，

首批“00”后考生们集体亮相步入考场。

莫言在《陪女儿高考的这一整天》一文中，写高考这天女儿的心情：“从7点开始，女儿就一趟趟地跑卫生间。对于高考，莫言只能感慨说，高考很坏，但没有高考更坏。

2019

四十四年     四十四图

6月8日，高考结束时，

安徽十中门口，曾发生感人一幕：

一个穿黄色T恤的男生，

考完最后一场英语，

步伐轻盈地走出来，

大步来到在考场外守候的妈妈面前。

妈妈还没反应过来，

男生扑通一声跪下说：

“妈，谢谢您，这些年您辛苦了”。

妈妈一把将孩子抱在怀中，

现场爆发出阵阵掌声。

下跪男生叫王恒杰，是个单亲家庭长大的孩子。他坦言，高考完的那一跪，不是策划，不是炒作，是他不论考好考坏，都要献给妈妈的礼物，感谢妈妈给了他最好认知。

6月23日，安徽高考成绩公布，王恒杰考了635分，高出安徽理科一本线139分，虽然不是状元，但堪称优秀。

2021

四十四年     四十四图

44年漫漫高考路

忠实记录了家国面貌、时代变迁

你我都曾是这千军万马中的一员

这条路

浸透了几代人的泪水、欢笑

写满青春，写就命运

车轮不会停下

故事未完待续……

预祝今年参加高考的学子们

金榜题名 前程似锦！

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• 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

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.

"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?"

"Yes."

"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.

"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.

"Yes?"

"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.

### 参考译文——秘密

秘密

伯纳德•麦克莱弗蒂

他是最后被叫去那里的。他的叔祖母玛丽已经病危好几天了，满屋子都是亲戚。

他跪在卧室门口，和众人一同祷告。他的膝盖跪在了木头门槛上，于是他慢慢向前移动到了地毯上。他们试图让她的手拿住耶稣受难像的十字架，然而她的手却松开着。她平躺在枕头上，和他晚上早些时候出去时相比，她的脸看上去皱缩了一半。她的白发被弄湿了，从前额梳到了后面。她来回扭动着头，眼睛闭着。祷告者们继续合唱着，尽力压过她喉咙深处发出的声音。有人说到她的牙齿，他的妈妈便倾身向前，从她的嘴里取出了假牙。她的脸的下半部分似乎要凹陷了。她的眼睛半睁着，眼皮却无法抬高，只露着月牙状的眼白。

祷告仍在继续。他的叔祖母所发出的声音让他开始无法忍受。那声音仿佛她溺水了一样。她已全然丧失了他所熟悉的为人的体面。他站起身来去了她的客厅。

他全身发抖，不知是因为生气还是悲伤。他坐在她大客厅里的椭圆桌子的光亮处，等待着某件事情的发生。桌上摆着一个雕花玻璃花瓶，里面的鸢尾花枯蒌了，因为她已经一个多星期卧床不起了。他坐在那儿盯着它们看了好久，直到他听到隔壁房间传来女人们的哭声。

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？

“别那么好奇，”她会这么说，“让我们看看这个故事接下来发生了什么。”

有一天，当他进入她的房间时，她正坐着用一支蘸水笔临摹肖像画。当他问她一个问题时，她并未抬头，只是说:“嗯？”然后继续临摹。在她临摹的时候，椭圆桌上装着鸢尾花的花瓶在轻轻摇摆。

“什么？ ”她用吸墨纸擦拭着笔尖，抬头透过她的老花镜看着他。

“我开始集邮了，妈妈说您这儿可能会有一些。”

“她现在——”

她从桌旁起身，走到壁凹处胡桃木制的带书桌的书架旁。她从书架上拿下一只小的钥匙包，找出了开锁的那一把。在她把书桌挡板拉下来时，发出刺耳的切割金属的声音。里面被分成了一个个的信件格，全部塞满了文件。有一些信封被分批收好，中间用橡皮筋捆着。还有一些明信片和账单。她指着那些明信片。

“你可以拿走那些信封上的邮票，”她说，“但是不要把它们撕下来。用蒸汽把它们弄下来。”

她回到椭圆桌旁继续临蓽。他坐在椅子的扶手上，翻看那些风景明信片。然后他把明信片都翻过来，开始整理邮票。西班牙的邮票上有个秃头的男人，法国的上面有只雄鸡，德国的上面印着搞笑的熏肉条，一张意大利的邮票上印着看起来是扫烟囱用的扫帚和一把短柄小斧。

“这些邮票真是太棒了，”他说，“这些我一张也没有。”

“注意好好把它们弄下来。”

“我可以把它们拿到楼下吗？”

“你妈妈在那儿吗？”

“是的。”

“那么也许你最好还是把水壶拿上来。”

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。

“贝尼格纳斯兄弟是谁？”他问道。她似乎没听到他的话。他又问了一次，她透过眼镜看着他。

“他是一个朋友。”

他那花体的签名一次又一次地出现。有时候签的是贝尼格纳斯兄弟，有时候是贝尼格纳斯，还有一次是伊吉。

“他还活着吗？”

“没有，他现在去世了。看着点水壶，别烧干了。”

当他把所有的邮票都弄下来后，他把那些明信片放在一起，把它们放回了那个信件格里。他的手伸向那些信，但是在他触摸到那些信之前，叔祖母警告声响起，就严厉了那么一下。

“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。

男孩翻看了一些其他文件，发现了一些照片。有一张上面是一位美丽的姑娘。那是很老式的照片，但是他能看出来姑娘很漂亮。照片是椭圆形的，泛着浅棕色，镶在一个白色的方形卡片上。椭圆形的边缘已经模糊了。照片中的姑娘很年轻，头发很黑很黑，梳得特别向后，扎得好像一根打结的绳子在头顶束起——眉毛高耸，鼻子挺直而细长，嘴巴微微笑着。她乌黑的眼睛看着他，含情脉脉，非常美丽。

“她是谁？ ”他问道。

“为什么要问？你觉得她怎么样？”

“她很好。”

“你觉得她漂亮吗？ ”男孩点点头。

“那是我，”她说。男孩很高兴自己让她高兴，作为获取邮票的一种回报。

那里还有其他的照片，不过并没有像玛丽叔祖母那样摆姿势的，然而有一群女童子军笑着的照片，她们戴着水桶帽，像是德国的头盔，身着到脚踝的大衣。还有一张照片上面是一位抽着烟的年轻男人，他的头发被风梳向了一边，背景是大海。

“穿制服的这个人是谁？”男孩问道。

“他是一名士兵，”她回答道，并没有抬头。

“噢，”男孩说，“但是，他是谁呢？”

“他是我的一位朋友，那时你还没出生，”她说。然后她补充道:“我是不是闻到做饭的味道了？拿着你的邮票下楼去吧。这才是我的好孩子。”

男孩看了看那张照片的背面，看到上面有细长的黑色墨迹“约翰，8月15日，巴林托伊”。

“我想他可能是贝尼格纳斯兄弟，”他说道。她看着他，没有回答。

“你的朋友是在战争中牺牲了吗？”

一开始她说没有，但是后来她改变了说法。

“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。

“你能把我的托盘拿上来吗？”

男孩点了点头，离开了。

那是一个周日的晚上，有种夏天特有的明亮。他在做功课，他的妈妈正坐在地毯上，进行着红木餐具柜抽屉的定期清洁工作。男孩听到楼梯最下面一阶传来嘎吱声，那是玛丽叔祖母特有的轻微脚步声。她敲了一下门，把头探进来，说她要走着去祈祷。她穿着一件质地很好的外套，戴着帽子，正在慢慢带上她的第二只手套。男孩看见她停了下来，在走廊的镜子前轻轻拍了拍整理自己的头发。祈祷会持续20分钟到45分钟，这要取决于讲话人。

男孩放下了功课，走上楼去，进入了叔祖母的客厅。他站在书桌前琢磨着，然后找到了钥匙。他试了好几把后才找到那把正确的钥匙。他拉开书桌挡板时，发出了刺耳的声音。他假装再看一次那些明信片然后他把它们放在一边，拿起了那捆信件。橡皮筋很粗而且很旧，快断了。当他取下橡皮筋时，那捆信上还留着它的痕迹。他小心翼翼地打开一个信封，取出信，然后展开了信纸。

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……

男孩跳过这一页，翻到下一页。他看到了最后一段。

玛丽，我一如既往地爱着你——爱得太深以致我们无法在一起。我不知道哪种情况更糟，是这场战争的伤害还是与你的分离。代我向布雷登和家里所有人献上所有的爱。

签名十分潦草，他觉得像是约翰。他小心翼翼地沿着原来的折痕叠起那封信，然后把它放入了信封。他打开了另一封。

我的爱人，只有想着你，我才能保持清醒，一有时间我便像读书般在回忆中温习你的样子。你长长的黑发——我时常想象着你穿着带有小玫瑰花的衬衫，那件白色的，后面底下开着口——你那会说话的眼晴，当我说任何让你尴尬的话时你低头的样子，还有你光洁的后颈：

我想的最多的是我们爬上巴里卡斯尔山顶的那一天。在山洞里，没有风，空气里满是花粉，还有昆虫的声音，草地温暖而干燥，你躺在我的身边，头发散着，散在我和阳光之间。你是否记得那是我笫一次亲吻你的地方，你眼中流露出难以置信的神情，以后每每回想起来，我就禁不住开怀大笑。

如今我独自站在深及大腿的淤泥中，回味着这些记忆，这让我发笑。到处都是这样，有两三英尺深的泥土，我的大脑充满幻想。我爱你。约翰。

他并未把那封信装入信封，而是打开了另一封。

我最亲爱的，我太冷了，我发现让自己的手稳稳地写字都很难。你是否还记得我们一起游泳的时候，你最后两根手指冻得顏色和质地如同蜡烛一般。那正是此刻我全身的感觉。几乎已经四天了，我的脚和腿还是没有任何知觉。一切都那么寒冷。大地冷得如同钢一般。

原谅我把这件事告诉你，但是我觉得我必须要把这件事告诉某个人。最糟糕的事情是那些死的人。他们就那样被冻死，保持着坐着或躺着的姿势。你可以把他们和活人分辨开来，因为他们的脸色像石板。冰雪消融时，上帝帮助了我们……这场战争开始对我产生影响。我已经失去了所有的感觉。最近我所经历的唯一的情感就是愤怒，完全苍白无力的、令人战栗的愤怒。如果我能在这次战争中存活下来，我会变成一个不同的人。

唯一不变的是我对你的爱。

今天一个人在我旁边死掉了。我们在战火中穿行时，一个弹片刺穿了他的脖子。我把他拖到一个弹坑中，陪伴着他一直到他死去，我眼看着他窒息，然后死在血泊中。

他整理着那堆信件，有些读了一半，其他的全都读完了。太阳已经落得很低，阳光直射到房间内，落在了他正在阅读的信纸上，信纸发出了刺眼的光。他从那沓信的后面挑了一封，在他读的时候用自己的手遮挡着阳光。

最亲爱的玛丽，我正在自己的病床上给你写这封信。我希望你没有因为没收到我的来信而感到担心。他们告诉我，我已经在这里待了两个星期。又过了两个星期我才能写这封信。

我躺在这里想了很多，关于战争，关于我和你。我不知道该如何表达，但是我深切地感觉到我必须做点什么，必须牺牲点什么来弥补过去这一年我所经历的恐怖。上帝已经用某种奇特的方式通过这场大屠杀与我对话……

突然，男孩听到了楼梯的嘎吱声，他手忙脚乱地试图把那封信塞回信封，可是信被弄皱了，放不进去。他把所有的信捆在一起。他能听到叔祖母从那一小段楼梯走向自己房间时发出的那种熟悉的喘息声。他用自己的手指把橡皮筋撑得很大。橡皮筋啪的一声绷断了，信全都散了。他把它们推入信件格里，迅速关上了挡板。黄铜轴发出巨大而刺耳的声音，然后咔哒一下关上了。就在那时，他的叔祖母进入了房问。

“你在做什么，孩子？ ”她生气地说道。

“没什么。”他站在那里，手里拿着钥匙。她走到书桌前然后打开了挡板。一堆信件凌乱地涌了出来。

“你看了我的信，”她轻轻地说道。说完这句话，她的嘴便紧紧地闭着，眼睛冒着火。男孩无言以对。她朝着他的一边脸扇了一巴掌。

“滚，”她说，“滚出我的房间。”

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。

“你真无耻，”她生气地低声说，“而且你将永远这么无耻。我到死的那天也不会忘记这件事。”

尽管这是一个暖和的夜晚，大壁炉中还烧着火。是他妈妈让他点燃的，这样她可以清理玛丽叔祖母的遗物。她说，以后那个房间会成为他的书房。

她从自己的口袋里拿出了钥匙，打开书桌，开始翻阅那些文件和明信片。每一个她都快速瞥一眼，然后把它扔入火中，

“贝尼格纳斯兄弟是谁？ ”他问道。

他妈妈停止了整理，说:“我不知道。你的叔祖母一直都不太与别人来往。”

她继续烧着明信片。它们都被烧成了一层一层的，散发着火红和黑色的光。她会时不时地用拨火棍拨弄火堆，激起的火星儿升向烟囱。他看到她走向那些信。她取下橡皮筋，然后开始把那些信扔入火中。

“妈妈，”他说。

“嗯？”

“玛丽叔祖母提到过我吗——在她死前？”

“据我所知没有——那件不幸的事已经过去太久了，不会被提起了。上帝保佑她安息。”

他感觉到自己如鲠在喉，他把自己的头埋进书中。眼泪流到了他的臂弯里，为这位曾是他叔祖母的未婚女人，为这位曾为他讲故事的女人，也许她已经原谅了他。

Key Words:

damped

nib  [nib]

n. 嘴，鹅管笔的尖端，笔尖

inquisitive      [in'kwizitiv]

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]

misty      ['misti]

hallway   ['hɔ:lwei]

n. 门厅；玄关；走廊

brittle      ['britl]

flap  [flæp]

n. 拍打，拍打声，片状垂悬物(口袋盖等)，副翼

separated      ['sepəreitid]

illiterate   [i'litərit]

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]

glowing  ['gləuiŋ]

参考资料：

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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

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."

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.

Pardon?

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.

"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.

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.

What!

"In a book."

"Oh."

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

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.

### 参考译文——博物馆

博物馆

利拉·阿布拉

起初，莎迪雅害怕向他借笔记。他的耳环、用橡皮筋绑着的长头发，都让她望而却步。莎迪雅从来没有见过带着耳环以及留着这么长头发的男人，正如她从未经历过如此寒冷如此多雨的天气。他的银色耳环是另一种文化冲击，代表着西方的冷漠。莎迪雅上课的时候眼睛一直盯着那副耳环，她的目光逐渐从黑板上白色的潦草字迹上游离。大多数时候，她什么都不明白，只熟悉那些符号。但是这些符号是如何组合在一起的呢？这个公式又是如何推导出另一个的呢？她的无知以及即将到来的考试都是让她想要逃离的恐怖的事情。他的长发是深黄棕色的，这让她想起她小时候玩过的一个玩偶。她曾花几小时的时间去为那个玩偶梳头发，抚摸她。莎迪雅也曾渴望过留这么长的头发。当她离开这个世界去天堂的时候，她就可以拥有那样的长发。当她奔跑的时候，长发会在她的身后飞扬，如果她把扎着的头发放下来，飘逸的长发会像丝绸一样，触碰到草地上的鲜花。她为她的玩偶画出生动的图画，莎迪雅发现她自己在课堂上坐着白日梦，突然间感到非常难受，因为什么都没有学到。

开学头几天，当统计学硕士课程刚开始时，她就像一个被巨浪抛来抛去的受伤的人。她找不到上课的教室，使用复印机时笨手笨脚，在图书馆里晕头转向，找不到自己要找的书和资料。她几乎什么也听不到，什么也吃不下去，看不下去。她的眼中充满了恐惧，仿佛在寒冷中淋着雨。这个课程需要一定的背景知识，而这种背景知识又恰恰是她所缺乏的。所以，她和其他的几个非洲同学、两个土耳其女孩、来自文莱的男同学，一起挣扎着。在苏格兰阴森的走廊里，第三世界的留学生们集体倾诉他们的焦虑，女孩们发出紧张的格格笑声。这时，阿萨法，一个小个头、圆脸盘的埃塞俄比亚人，用低沉的声音对大家说：“去年，就是去年，这门课上一个尼日利亚学生自杀了，割腕自杀的。”

我们和他们，她想，一群人的成绩会很好，另一群人拼尽全力可能才会勉强通过，这两组人的成绩已经决定了，善良又聪明的阿萨法弯下身子，对莎迪雅说：“那个叫布莱恩的男孩特别优秀。”

“那个戴耳环的？”

阿萨法笑了，“戴耳环又能怎么样，他会得到优秀奖。他在这里念的本科，得了一等奖。他有优势，他认识所有的老师，对学校的制度了如指掌。”

因此，她想到了向布莱恩借他本科毕业时的笔记。如果她能够加强自己在随机过程和时间序列这两门课的背景知识，她应该能更好地解决老师每天所提出的新材料。她观察他，看他是否容易接近。他没有礼貌。说话的时候含含糊糊，站着的时候懒懒散散，和老师说话时也毫无尊重可言。他和老师说话的时候，就好像老师是他的同龄人。他还做一些愚蠢的事情。当他想要把纸扔到垃圾箱里时，他把纸挤压成一个球，对准垃圾箱。如果他没投进去他会轻声地嘟囔。她认为他很幼稚。但他又是班级里唯一一个能顺利通过考试的人。

印刷漂亮的海外留学生手册解释了“人人皆知的英国人的拘谨矜持”，并暗示，留学生应该感到庆幸，因为再往南（指英格兰），情况更糟糕，那里还不如这里“热情友好”。莎迪雅、阿萨法还有其他几个非洲留学生一起在咖啡厅喝咖啡聊天，和“热情友好苏格兰”的图片有些不同，巴德尔，一个马来西亚人，眨着眼睛低声说，“昨天我们家的窗户被打碎了，我妻子今天都不敢出门。”

“有贼？”莎迪雅睁大眼睛问。

“种族主义者，”一个土耳其女孩说。

在咖啡厅，布莱恩从不和他们坐在一起。他们也从不和他坐在一起，他独自坐着，有的时候读当地的报纸。当莎迪雅经过他面前的时候他没有微笑。“这些人很奇怪……偶尔某一天打招呼，第二天就视而不见…………”

周五下午，在线性模型课下课后，当所有人都准备下课离开教室时，莎迪雅鼓足勇气对布莱恩说话。他下巴和前额上有一些污点，他比她高很多，显得焦躁不安，好像有急事要去其他地方似的，他把计算器放回包里，钢笔放回口袋中。她问他借笔记时，他的眼镜片后面的一双蓝眼睛露出了极度的茫然，她还从来没有见过如此茫然的表情。为什么如此惊讶？难道他认为他是一只昆虫？难道他诧异于她会说话？

他回答得很含糊，所有的话都黏在了一起。他就是这样。他用脚把椅子推到了桌子下面。

“你说什么？”

他把每句话都分开来，慢慢说道，“我下周一给你带来。”

“谢谢。”她的英语说得比他好！多么的可怜，他整个人都是如此的可怜。他竟然每天都穿同一件衬衫，那件灰白条子的衬衫。

周末的时候，莎迪雅几乎很少出去，除了偶尔接到从家里打来的电话，她几乎和谁都不说话。有时想起在喀土穆的某个周四的晚上，和法瑞德开着他的红色奔驰车一起去参加婚礼。或者和她的妹妹一起去俱乐部，坐在泳池边一起喝加冰的柠檬味汽水，侍者们都穿着白色衣服。而在这里，在这个国家的周末，莎迪雅能做的就只有洗衣服、洗头发。

周末时，她把她的花费列了一张清单，如果在她自己的国家，这些英国货币足够养活一个家庭。但是，在花费了这么多钱后，她很有可能会考试失败，最后两手空空，连个学位都没有地回到家里。罪恶感就像这个城市的雾一样，到处都是。有一天，她早上忘记了祷告。她到公交车站的时候才想起来。那个早上就像她经常会梦到的噩梦一样，在梦里，她什么都没穿地走在街上。

晚上的时候，她凝视着多维尺度分析，走廊里的电话响了。她跑去接电话。电话里传来了法瑞德欢快的问候：“喂，莎迪雅，妈妈和姐姐们想要和你说话。”电话里传来了妈妈亲切的问候：“听他们说，你那里很冷…………”

莎迪雅和法瑞德订婚了。法瑞德拥有七喜饮料的经销权，纸厂，他为他的姐姐和寡妇妈妈建了一所大房子。莎迪雅要和他们所有人结婚。她会很快乐，也要让她妈妈很快乐。她的妈妈在经历了人生的不幸以后，值得拥有幸福。她的丈夫离开了她，和另一个女人在一起了。妈妈让六个女儿受教育，结婚。但是主是慷慨的，人们常说，她的女儿一个赛一个的可爱。她们都很聪明，牙医、药剂师、建筑师，并且都很有礼貌。

“我们刚刚看完房子回来。”法瑞德又接回了电话“房子进展得很顺利，他们正在贴瓷砖。”

“那好，那好。”因为一整天没有和任何人说话，她的声音听起来怪怪的。

我们的卫浴套装。如果我给我们俩，还有妈妈和姐姐们都买相同的颜色，我就能够获得折扣。蓝色的，姐姐们喜欢蓝色的，”他声音的回音从遥远的另一个大陆传了过来。

“蓝色很好，可以的，都买相同的颜色吧。”

他正在建造一座公寓楼，不是一所房子。第一层给他的妈妈，还有那些没结婚的姐妹们准备的，第二层是他和莎迪雅住的。当莎迪雅刚和法瑞德订婚时，他还是一个有钱人的儿子。他的父亲拥有七喜饮料的经销权，纸厂专门生产女性卫生巾。但是法瑞德的父亲在订婚典礼之后，死于突发性心脏病（当时有500多名宾客在希尔顿酒店）。现在，莎迪雅要和自己变成有钱人的男人结婚了。

在电话里，法瑞德没有时间询问她的课程，也没有时间了解她的焦虑。法瑞德对她的学习一点都不感兴趣。他曾经说：“我能够让你去国外读书是非常开明的。其他的男人是不会允许的。”莎迪雅的妈妈对她的学习十分上心，希望她在英国获得研究生学历，并且婚后仍旧拥有她自己的事业。她妈妈说：“这样，你就会得到夫家人的尊重，他们有钱但你有学历。不要像我这样，没有念完书就和你爸爸结婚了，而现在……”

周一，布莱恩什么都没说，就把两个文件夹从桌子上滑给了她，好像他不想要靠近她，不想和她说话一样。她想说：“如果你不礼貌地把它们递到我的手上，我就不接它们。”但她足够聪明，她说：“非常感谢。”她很有礼貌，很有教养。

莎迪雅回到家，在她的桌子上，她看到了迄今为止最为清晰的笔记，字迹清晰，也是最整洁的笔记。她一直在哭，直到她的泪水弄湿了一页纸，墨水变成了污痕，一个方程式因此变得模糊不清。她用纸巾轻轻地擦拭，结果，纸被蹭薄了，变得透明了。应不应该为笔记上的污痕道歉呢？说她在喝水，或者因为下雨？又或者她干脆保持缄默，寄希望于他没有发现？她孩子般地考虑了所有的可能。他从来都没有意识到他每天都穿着同一件衬衫。她总是很关注他。他就是一个幼稚且自我封闭的人。他可能来自于一个小地方，他的父母可能很穷，是下层社会的人。在喀土穆，她从未和这样阶层的人打过交道。她妈妈希望她结交社会地位高的朋友。希望她和她的姐妹们都能嫁得很好。她必须好好研究笔记，停止对着这个男孩的笔记哭泣。他的笔记和她一点关系都没有，对她来说什么都不是。

由不理解变得有点儿理解，犹如云开雾散，图片摇摇摆摆地终于聚焦了，找不到的碎片也都一一归位了。碎片凝聚成一个完整而生动的整体，一个能够建造建筑的地基。他的笔记是她所需要的知识，是她需要填补的空白。她努力地阅读那些笔记，不是粗枝大叶不求甚解地略读，而是完全彻底地吸收，把笔记变成自身的一部分，直到在最深层的精神集中点，在深沉的夜里，她完全失去了时空概念，全然不知身处何时何地，最后，当她睡着了时，她自己变成了统计学中的符号和变量。

现在和他说话感觉自在了一点。正如她已经花费了几天的时间研读他的笔记，她稍微对他有了一些了解。她忘记了他把笔记从桌子上滑给她时的冒犯，以及从来都不对她打招呼。

在机房，统计软件包这门课要下课的时候，她走到他面前，说：“谢谢你的笔记，它们太棒了。我担心最后我可能还是会不及格，但我现在至少有及格的可能了。”她的眼睛因为熬夜而变得干燥。她很累但又很愉快。

他点了点头，他们在聊一些关于于泊松分布、排队论的事情。他脑中的每一件事情都很清晰；他的大脑仿佛是一个清晰的窗格，所有的概念都整洁地写在那里。今天，看起来他和她在一起时更放松了一点，尽管两只脚还在不断地换来换去，避免和她眼神接触。

他说：“你想去喝杯咖啡吗？”

她看着他。他很高，她还不习惯和有着蓝眼睛的人讲话。然后，她犯了一个错误。可能由于她昨晚熬夜了，她才犯了那个错误。可能这个错误的发生毫无其他原因可言。

她说：“我不喜欢你的耳环。”

他的眼神，变得聚焦，不再闪烁。他用手将耳环用力地拉了下来。他的耳垂因为没有了这个银色的东西而变得很红，又显得伤痕累累。

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。”

他什么也没说，转身离开了。

和大多数同学一样，她每节课都坐在相同的座位上。布莱恩坐在他的前一排，所以她总能看到他的头发。但是今天他把头发剪掉了，没有马尾辫了！只能看见他的脖子和灰白条子衬衫的衣领。

她的内心很复杂。在她内心深处，在虚荣的硬壳下面，在她真实的、未被改变的本性里，她会感到兴高采烈，肃然起敬，感到惭愧，心里会想，他做的这些都是为了我，他居然为我剪了头发。但是她的性格还有其他的层面，更接近表面，更加大胆放肆的层面。她想抓住一个朋友，咯咯地笑着对她说，我跟你说！你不会相信这个傻瓜居然会这么做！

下课后，他走了过来，非常严肃地说，“我把头发剪了。”

她内心深处大笑地喊着：“你这个傻子，你这个傻子，难道我看不见吗？”

她说：“这样很好。”她又说错话了，脸上感觉很烫，她把脸转过去，这样就不会看到他的反应。但是他真的看起来很好；他看起来很得体。

当他们拿着咖啡杯找空位子的时候，她本可以对莱恩说，“我们和阿萨法还有其他人坐在一起吧。”一个错误接着一个错误。经过咖啡厅时，那个土耳其女孩看到他们在一起，扬了扬她那漂亮的眉毛。巴德尔与莎迪雅眼神接触，很快就转移了目光。迪雅看着布莱恩，没有了耳环和马尾辫，他变得很不一样。可能那些打碎巴德尔玻璃的男孩就像布莱恩一样，但是他们有凶狠的眼神，不戴眼镜。她必须要把他从她身边赶走，她要让他不喜欢她。

他问她从哪里来，她回答以后，他说，“那又是在哪里？”

“非洲，”她带着讽刺说。“你知道它在哪吗？”

他的鼻子和眼镜下面的面颊变红了。很好，她想，太好了，他很快就会让我清净了。

他说：“我知道苏丹在非洲，我的意思是非洲的具体位置。”

“东北部，在埃及的南部，你来自于哪？”

“彼得黑德，爱丁堡的北部，靠近海边。”

“你爸爸在彼得黑德工作吗？”

“是的。”

她从小是听英国广播公司国际频道的标准英语长大的，不料到了英国却发现人们说“yes”时跟家乡人用阿拉伯语说“aye”的发音很相似。

“你爸爸是做什么的？”

他看起来很惊讶。“我爸爸是一名工匠。”

法瑞德就是雇佣像他爸爸这样的人在家里干活。对他们下命令。

“那你妈妈呢？”她又问。

他停了一会，用塑料勺搅拌咖啡里面的糖。“她是卖棒棒糖的。”

莎迪雅得意地笑了，然后了一口咖啡。

“我父亲，”她骄傲地说，“是一名医生，一名专家。”她爸爸是一名妇科专家。他现在的妻子就曾经是他的病人。

“我妈妈，”她夸大了事实，“她来自于一个大家族，一个统治家族。如果英国不在我们这里建立殖民地的话，我妈妈现在就是一个公主。”

“你走路很像一个公主，”他说。

真是一个容易受骗又愚蠢的男孩！她用手摸了摸额头说，“你的意思是我自负又骄傲？”

“不，我不是那个意思，不是的……”撕开的糖包从他手上掉了下来，里面的糖撒的桌子上到处都是。“哦，糟糕……不好意思……”他试着把糖舀上来，却又碰到了咖啡杯，里面的咖啡又洒到了桌子上一点。

她从包里拿出一张面巾纸，擦干了上面的污迹。用湿巾很容易就能把所有的糖拾起来。

“谢谢，”他含糊地说，他们之间突然变得很安静。咖啡馆里很吵：到处都是嗡嗡声，人们相互之间谈话的嘈杂声，以及托盘的声音。在喀土穆，她避免和法瑞德单独待在一起。她更喜欢他们俩和其他人在一起；和他们的家人，或他们共同的朋友。

布莱恩和她说了一些他在迪伊河上划船的事情。他周末的时候去划船，他是一个划船俱乐部的成员。

莎迪雅很擅长让别人感到愉快。愉悦别人并不难。同意别人说的话，不要控制谈话，也不要完全说实话。但是现在面对的这个人，却是不能使用这个规则的人了。

她对他说，“尼罗河比迪伊河要好太多了，我见过你说的迪伊河，什么都不是，就像一条小溪样。我们有两条尼罗河，青尼罗河和白尼罗河，各自以它们的颜色命名。他们从南面的两个不同的地方而来。他们流经不同的国家，却不知道它们会相汇。我想它们厌倦了独自流淌，因为流向大海还有好长的路要走。但它们想要流向大海，这样就可以休息了，不再流淌。在喀土穆有一座桥，在桥下，这两条尼罗河相汇了。如果你站在桥上向下看，你可以看到两条河交汇在了一起。”

“你是不是想家了？”他问。

“我本应该思念的东西我并没有思念，而我本以为不会思念的东西我却很想念。我想念宣礼者从清真寺发出的唱礼。我不知道你是否了解它。在黎明的时候，它呼唤我起床。

我听到‘唱礼比睡觉要好’，然后就又回去睡觉了。我从不起来祷告。”她看着她在桌子上的手。这样的告解毫无任何的解脱感可言，仅仅有他年轻的微笑，以及他眼中类似于惊讶的东西。

“我们在学校读过伊斯兰教，”他说，“我也曾去过麦加。”说着，他把手掌在桌子上摊开来。

“什么！”

“在书里去过。”

“哦。”

咖啡喝完了。他们要离开了。莎迪雅要赶在下一节课前去图书馆，还要把以前考试的卷子复印出来。

“你信什么宗教？”

没有，我想没有。”

“那太可怕了，真的太可怕了！”她的声音很大，又充满着担忧。

他的脸又变红了，他用勺子轻轻敲着空咖啡杯。

她必须要放弃她的礼貌，让他不喜欢她。在巴德尔的玻璃被砸碎之前，他就曾经说过，在西方，他们仇视伊斯兰教。她站起来，轻率地说，“你成为一个穆斯林怎么样？”

他耸耸肩。“我不介意去麦加旅行，我对那本书很感兴趣。”

她的眼中充满了泪水。当他站起来的时候她看不清他的脸了。在西方，他们仇视伊斯兰教，而他……她说：“谢谢你的咖啡，”说着就要离开，他很快跟上她。

“莎迪雅拉，莎迪雅拉，”他叫错了她的名字，两个音节的名字被他说成了三个音节，“在博物馆有个关于非洲的展览。我从来没有去过。如果你想去，明天……”

明天她不需要在博物馆出现，即使她说她会去。她本应该告诉布莱恩她已经订婚了，在不经意间告诉他。他从她身上还想要得到什么？欧洲人的规则不同，他们的风俗习惯是降了格的，唐突的。如果法瑞德知道这些……她的秘密想法就像蛇一样缠绕着她。

奇怪的是周六的时候，她离开桌子，锁上房门准备出去了。走廊上的电话响了，是法瑞德。如果法瑞德知道她现在要去哪里……她的内疚就像一颗煮透的鸡蛋噎住胸口。

“莎迪雅，我想让你买一些卫生间的设施。水龙头还有毛巾架。我给你发一张我想要买的东西的清单，还有钱……”

“不行，我不行。”

“你说你不行是什么意思？如果你去大商店……”

“你可以买到这里买不到的好东西。金子就很好。它很配……”

金子，金子做得马桶座圈！

“莎迪雅，是金色的，不是金子做的。它看起来很好。”

“真主阿拉会惩罚我们的，这样是不对的……”

“你什么时候变得如此虔诚！”

布莱恩在博物馆的台阶上等她，熟悉的样子，刚到下午，城市街道就呈现一片灰蒙蒙的景象，车都已经打开了前车灯。他穿了一件不同的外衣，一件海军蓝的夹克衫。他说，没有看着她，“一开始我还以为你不会出现了。”

到博物馆参观是免费的，服务人员也没有在门口发票。他们看到的第一件展品是维多利亚时代的一个苏格兰男人。他坐在一张椅子上，周围是他从非洲带回来的财产：装满物品的卡车，一张古老的地图摊在玻璃柜底部。莎迪雅把头扭了过去，他那逼真的一缕一缕的头发，他那坚定的表情以及坐姿都透着一种丑陋。一个刚刚出去的男人又返回来了，准备做讲解。

布莱恩开始认真地研究每一件展品，阅读墙上的海报。她跟在他身后，觉得他很认真、专心；这就是为什么他学习这么好。她看着他看每一件东西时脸上专心的表情。对她来说，墙上的海报勉强可以阅读一下，但是却难以接受里面的信息。

在19世纪和20世纪，苏格兰东北部出了大量具有专业技能、敬业的人士，对整个世界做出了超出它人口比例的重大贡献。在服务于帝国的过程中，他们做出了牺牲，也得到了回报；他们改变了他人，同时也改变了自己；他们回国时经常带回一些纪念他们经历的物品。

这些实物时刻都在那里供人们参观，经过这么多年，依旧保存得十分完好。她的眼睛略去那些与时间、空间毫无关联的物品。铁和铜，小型雕像。没有什么东西是她希望看到的，是属于她在家里的生活的，是她所思念的。这是欧洲人心目中的非洲，都是些冷漠无情的、老掉牙的陈词滥调。

“她看起来很像你，你不觉得吗？”她对布莱恩说。他们站在一个20世纪初期就死于战争的战士的塑像面前。战士眼睛和头发的颜色和布莱恩一样。但是布莱恩没有回应他。他正全神贯注地在阅读一个说明。当她再次看着那个塑像的时候，她觉得她错了。那个战士眼中的力量、目标，都是布莱恩所没有的。他们在过去，有着强大的信仰。

在爱丁堡学习的一个探索家的个人简介，他们知道把什么带到非洲：医生、勇气、基督教精神、商贸、文化。他们知道他们要带回什么：由青尼罗河水和赞比西河水所灌溉的棉花。她走在布莱恩的身后，感到到它的专注以及他对眼前展品的兴趣。她想，“在照片里我们俩看上去不会相配的。”

她来参观博物馆原本期待着能看到阳光和尼罗河的照片，某种能够减轻她思乡之情的东西，一后，感觉到他的专注以及他对眼前展的兴趣。她想片，1762年，一封来自于西部非洲，一名雇佣者写给他苏格兰老板的信。这个雇佣者以苏格兰的物品来换得非洲人的好奇心。

让当地人理解我的意思是很困难的，即使通过翻译，拿出一件东西，他们很少去问，但是他们却都知道带来一些东西交换，并发自内心地对我微笑着说，我是一个好人，我很爱他们的国家……

很爱我的国家。她不应该出现在这里，这里没有什么东西是为她准备的。她想要看宣礼塔、尼罗河上的船只，还有人。

“我知道他们为什么离开了，”布莱恩说。“我知道他们为什么要走。”最后他说道。她从未如此紧张地看着他。他用低沉的声音说话。“他们不得不走，不得不离开这里……”

“去逃离可怕的天气……”她和他开着玩笑。她想要贬低他。那些曾经羞辱过她的国家历史的人，现在在他的眼中是英雄。

他看着她。“去逃离……”他重复着。

“他们想要做对自己有利的事情，”她说，“那些人离开是因为他们想要在某些方面获利。

“我想要去其他地方看看，”他说。

她记得他曾经在桌子上摊开他的手掌说，“我去过麦加旅行。”声音中充满着骄傲。

“我应该为课程去一些其他的地方，”他继续说“一个新的地方，南部的某个地方。”

他情绪很稳定，不像她。她在为一张能证明她获得了英国大学的科学硕士学位的纸而苦苦挣扎。而对他而言，课程仅仅是一个附加的东西。

“到这边来看看，”他说，他挽着她的手臂。自从上次她和妈妈拥抱说再见以后，就再也没有有人碰过她。现在在这个国家，已经有好几个月没有人碰过她了。

她把手臂抽了出来。径直走开了。她上了一层楼。枪，一排的枪对着她。它们曾等待着将她赶走。几百年前苏格兰的武器，为部队服务的军火。

银色的枪口，现在是一种肮脏的灰色。它们曾经在太阳下闪闪发亮。尽管她穿着羊毛衫，好几层的衣服，她依旧忍不住地颤抖。地狱不仅是焰焰烈火，地狱的一部分是彻骨的寒冷，是令人遭罪的冰与雪。苏格兰的冬天，你看一眼这个模糊的世界，就能感觉到它在你骨骼中的呼吸。

她坐在一张长椅上。这层没有其他人。她和丛林中动物的骨骼，还有墙上的那些话单独待在一起。一名远离家乡，在埃塞俄比亚的外交官于1903年写道：

很难想象还有什么事可以比围追阻截狮子群更令人满足和更值得参与的了。我们返回营地的时候感觉确实非常棒。阿奇说得对，这是我们自从开始这个活动以来第一次真正体验到非洲——真正的非洲就是只有野禽栖息的原始丛林以及一望无际的、到处都是羚羊的大平原。

“莎迪雅拉，你不要哭。”他还是叫错她的名字，因为她没有告诉过他如何正确地发音。

他坐在她旁边的长椅上，深蓝色的夹克衫让她面前的枪支以及羚羊群变得模糊。她应该告诉他为什么哭，这样他脸上的表情就不会如此惊恐。他紧张地问她：“你为什么哭？”

他不知道，他不会理解。他完全是个错误，他不能替换她的未婚夫……”

“这个博物馆在撒谎，”她说。“不要相信他们。全都是错的。不是只有丛林和羚羊，我们还有人。我们也有像计算机和汽车一样的东西。在非洲我们有七喜，一些人，少量的一些人，他们的卫生间里有金子做的马桶座圈……我不应该在这里和你在一起。你不应该和我说话……”

他说，“博物馆可以改变，我也可以改变……”

布莱恩不了解克服他们两个人之间存在的文化障碍是一个极其困难艰巨的任务，甚至莎迪雅都没有勇气去触碰。他不理解许多的事情，时代、景色和分歧。假如她足够坚强，她会为他解释，而不是像现在这样懒得解释。假如她足够坚强，她就会耐心地教他一种字母像他数学中遇到的弯弯曲曲的希腊字母一样的新的语言。她应该向他展示如何从左到右地阅读这些文字。假如在博物馆里她不觉得是那么微不足道、无能为力；假如她真的坚强有力，她就会使他的麦加之行成为现实，而不仅在书本上。

Key Words:

earring   ['iəriŋ]

n. 耳环，耳饰

immature       [.imə'tjuə]

keen       [ki:n]

monopoly      [mə'nɔpəli]

n. 垄断，专利，独占，控制

engaged [in'geidʒd]

sparse    [spɑ:s]

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

homesickness

n. 乡愁

plateau   ['plætəu]

n. 高原;平稳;稳定状态

参考资料：

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