刺激年代 The Age of Thrills

2021年1月14日
评论
542

刺激年代 The Age of Thrills

This is, above all other ages, the age of thrills. The Romans, no doubt, had their Colosseum, but I doubt if even the Romans expected to be thrilled so continuously as we do nowadays. They had no cinemas running all day long in all parts of the city, or publishing-houses pouring out Tarzans and Sheiks by the hundred thousand. They know nothing of those excitements of speed which you can get nowadays from a race on a motor-omnibus. They did not possess a single aero-plane, and so were never able to sit with their hearts in their mouths watching “stunts” in the air. They seem to have had very little choice between reading Virgil and Caesar and other authors of famous schoolbooks, and going to see the gladiators. No schoolboy, however humane, will be surprised to learn that most of them preferred to go and see the gladiators.

I doubt, however, if we are any happier as a result of the multiplication of thrills in our daily lives. Few of our happiest memories are memories of sensations. Everybody who saw the first Zeppelin brought down over London in flames seemed very happy the next day: they had had the experience of having seen something unique, and for the moment they were able to flatter themselves on their superiority to those of their fellow-creatures who had missed the sensational spectacle. But who now feels happier in his memory for having enjoyed the horror and the triumph of that thrill? I sawonly two Zeppelins brought down in flames, but to remember them gives me no happiness that I would not gladly part with for a Jubilee sixpence. I prefer infinitely to remember lying on my back on a grass grown railway bridge on an Easter Monday, in the sun more than ten years before and eating two sorts of sandwiches wrapped in a newspaper. I do not remember the flavor of the sandwiches, but I remember the cousin who was with me and the sunshine and the grass and the feeling that I couldn't have been happier if I had been in Heaven. Looking backward, we are happier because we have liked somebody or something than because we have participated in the thrill of some at public event.

这是一个比以往任何时候都充满刺激的时代。毫无疑问,罗马人建了斗兽场,但我怀疑他们是否会像我们今天这样,想时时寻求刺激。他们没有现代城市各处从早到晚开放的电影院,也没有出版社发行成千上万本《人猿泰山》和《酋长》。他们不曾感受过现代人们在疾驰的公交车上体验到的速度带来的刺激感。他们一架飞机都没有,而且永远不会体验到观看空中特技表演时心吊到嗓子眼的感觉。除了读维吉尔、恺撒或其他名人写的教科书以及去看角斗士,他们好像就没有什么可选的娱乐方式了。所有的学生,无论多么富有同情心,都不会因为大多数同学要去观看角斗士表演而感到惊奇。

我不敢肯定日常生活中拥有这么多样的享乐方式是否让我们变得更快乐。我们最快乐的记忆几乎都不含真情实感。那些见到了“齐柏林”飞艇在烈焰中坠毁伦敦的人们,在第二天都显得很开心,是因为他们看到了独特的东西,还因为他们能向错过这一轰动场面的朋友炫耀,为自己的优先权自鸣得意。然而,现如今还有谁会因享受了这种刺激感带来的荣耀而感到快乐呢?我只见到过两艘在烈焰中坠下的“齐柏林”飞艇,但回忆这段经历我觉得并不快乐,以它换取区区一枚纪念版六便士硬币我都愿意。我更乐意回忆复活节后的星期一躺在长满青草的铁路桥上的日子:晒着太阳,吃用报纸包着的两种不同的三明治。我不记得三明治的味道了,但我记得和我在一起的表兄、阳光和青草,还有当时的感受——就算我在天堂也不会更快乐。回想过去,我们比现在更快乐是因为喜欢上了一个人或是一件事,而不是因为参与了某些大事件中惊心动魄的环节。

小e英语
匿名

发表评论

匿名网友 填写信息

:?: :razz: :sad: :evil: :!: :smile: :oops: :grin: :eek: :shock: :???: :cool: :lol: :mad: :twisted: :roll: :wink: :idea: :arrow: :neutral: :cry: :mrgreen: