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散文佳作108篇 第68期:Fame 声誉

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Fame

声誉
声誉

Fame is very much like an animal chasing its own tail who, when he captures it, does not knowwhat else to do but to continue chasing it. Fame and the exhilarating popularity thataccompanies it, force the famous person to participate in his or her own destruction. Ironicisn't it?

声誉很像一只追逐自己尾巴的动物,抓住后除了继续追逐不舍之外,再也没有其他方法了。声誉与随之而来的令人兴奋的赞扬迫着这位出了名的人走上自己的末路。这难道不令人啼笑皆非吗?

Those who gain fame most often gain it as a result of possessing a single talent or skill:singing, dancing, painting, or writing, etc. The successful performer develops a style that ismarketed aggressively and gains some popularity, and it is this popularity that usuallyconvinces the performer to continue performing in the same style, since that is what the publicseems to want and to enjoy. But in time, the performer becomes bored singing the same songsin the same way year after year, or the painter becomes bored painting similar scenes orportraits, or the actor is tired of playing the same character repeatedly. The demand of thepublic holds the artist hostage to his or her own success, fame. If the artist attempts to changehis or her style of writing or dancing or singing, etc., the audience may turn away and look toconfer fleeting fickle fame on another and then, in time, on another, and so on and so on.

在已经出了名的人们中间,绝大多数是因有一技之长,如唱歌、舞蹈、绘画、写作等等,而获此声誉的。这位成功的表演者展示出一种在市场上可以争雄制胜的风格,因而获得声誉。而且也就是这种声誉常使表演者确信必须把这种风格坚持下去,因为看来这正是大众所需要和喜爱的。可是随着时间之转移,歌手年复一年地依老调唱老歌,画师画同样的风景人物,演员反复重演同一角色,都会感到厌烦。为了维持自己的成功和声誉,群众的要求竟把这位艺术家如人质般束缚住了。如果这位艺术家企图改变笔调、舞步、唱腔的话,听众观众就会舍他而去,把那飘忽不定的称誉转移给别人。随后有转移给另一人,这样不停地转来转去。

Who cannot recognize a Tennessee Williams play or a novel by John Updike or ErnestHemingway or a poem by Robert Frost or W. H. Auden or T. S. Eliot? The same is true ofpainters like Monet, Renoir, Dali or Picasso and it is true of movie makers like Hitchcock, Fellini,Spielberg, Chen Kai-ge or Zhang Yimou. Their distinctive styles marked a significant change inthe traditional forms and granted them fame and forturn, but they were not free to developother styles or forms because their audience demanded of each of them what they originallypresented. Hemingway cannot even now be confused with Henry James or anyone else, norcan Forst be confused with Yeats, etc. The unique forms each of them created, created them.No artist or performer can entirely escape the lure of fame and its promise of endlessadmiration and respect, but there is a heavy price one must pay for it.

有哪个人会认识不出一本田纳西·威廉斯的剧本、一本约翰·厄普代克或欧内斯特·海明威的小说,或罗伯特·弗罗斯特,或W.H奥登或T.S艾略特所写的一首诗歌呢?画家中,如莫奈、雷诺阿、达利或毕加索的画,导演制片如希区科克、费利尼、斯皮尔伯格、陈凯歌、张艺谋等等的作品,不也正是这样吗?他们的独特风格,迥异于一般传统,给他们带来美誉及财富。但他们不能自由地另创风格或形式。这是因为群众向他们每个人所要求的正是他们原来所提供的一切。直到现在,海明威决不能与亨利·詹姆斯或其他任何人相混淆,弗罗斯特也决不能与叶芝相混淆,如此等等。他们每个人都创造了独特风格。也创遣了他们自己。没有一位艺术家或表演家能完全逃避荣誉的引诱,荣誉给他们带来无穷的赞扬和崇敬,但他们要付出的代价也是靠常昂贵的。

Fame brings celebrity and high regard from adoring and loyal fans in each field of endeavor andit is heady stuff. A performer can easily come to believe that he or she is as good as his or herpress. But most people, most artists do not gain fame and fortune. What about thoseperformers who fail, or anyone who fails? Curiously enough, failure often serves as its ownreward for many people! It brings sympathy from others who are delighted not to be you, andit allows family and friends to lower their expectation of you so that you need not competewith those who have more talent and who secceed. And they find excuses and explanations foryour inability to succeed and become famous: you are too sensitive, you are not interested inmoney, you are not interested in the power that fame brings and you are not interested in theloss of privacy it demands, etc. ---all excuses, but comforting to those who fail and those whopretend not to notice the failure.

在每个领域里,出了名就会使一些虔敬的入迷者表示赞扬和尊崇,但这也是一种容易使人陶醉的东西。一位表演家粮容易相信自己的成就当真和报章舆论所说的一样。可是大多数人,大多数艺人并没有得到声名财富。那些失败的表现者又如何呢?其他任何一个失败者又如何呢?真奇怪,对很多人来说,失败也常常会起一种报偿的作用!有些人庆幸自己不像你那样地失败,就会对你表示同情,你的亲朋们也会降低对你的期望,使你不必去同那些才智胜于你而获得成功的人们较量。他们会找借口解说你不成功不出名的原因,说什么:你太敏感了呀;你对金钱没有兴趣呀;你对声名所能带来的权力不感兴趣呀;因为声誉要使你丧失隐私权,因而你不感兴趣呀,等等--这一些无非都是借口而已,但对失败者或假装不关心自己失败的人来说,都多少带来一点安慰。

History has amply proven that some failure for some people at certain times in their lives doesindeed motivate them to strive even harder to succeed and to continue believing inthemselves. Thomas Wolfe, the American novelist, had his first novel Look Homeward, Angerrejected 39 times before it was finally published and launched his career and created his fame.Beethoven overcame his tyrannical father and grudging acceptance as a musician to becomethe greatest, most famous musician in the world, and Pestalozzi, the famous Italian educator inthe 19th century, failed at every job he ever had until he came upon the idea of teachingchildren and developing the fundamental theories to produce a new form of education.Thomas Edison was thrown out of school in fourth grade, at about age 10, because he seemedto the teacher to be quite dull and unruly. Many other cases may be found of people who failedand used the failure to motivate them to achieve, to succeed, and to become famous. But,unfortunately, for most people failure is the end of their struggle, not the beginning. There arefew, if any, famous failures.

历史已充分证明有些人在生命中某些时刻遭遇的失败确实促使他们更努力奋斗,继续深信自己,以求得成功。美国小说家托马斯·沃尔夫的第一部小说《天使,望故乡》出版之前,被退稿39次,终于开始了他的写作事业并赢得了声誉。贝多芬不屈服于他的专横的父亲,还忍气当过乐师,但终于克服一切,成为全世界最伟大最著名的音乐家。19世纪意大利著名教育家贝斯达洛齐从事各业一无成就,但最后专心于儿童教育,研讨了新教育法的基本原理,形成一种新的教育理论。托马斯·爱迪生十岁左右,从四年级里被赶出校外,因为教师觉得他又笨又倔强。这种以失败为动力,奋发有为,成名成家的人还有多例可举。但不幸的是,对多数人来说,失败是奋斗的结束,而不是开始。成名的失败事例即使有,也是少数。

Well then, why does anyone want fame? Do you? Do you want to be known to many peopleand admired by them? Do you want the money that usually comes with fame? Do you want themedia to notice everything you do or say both in public and in private? Do you want themhounding you, questioning you and trying to undo you? In American politics it is very obviousthat to be famous is to be the target of everyone who disagrees with you as well as of themedia. Fame turns all the lights on and while it gives power and prestige, it takes the you outof you: you must be what the public thinks you are, not what you really are or could be. Thepolitician, like the performer, must please his or her audiences and that often means sayingthings he does not mean or does not believe in fully. No wonder so few people trust politicians.But we have not answered the question at the beginning of this paragraph: why does anyonewant fame? Several reasons come to mind: to demonstrate excellence in some field; to gainthe admiration and love of many others; to be the one everyone talks about; to show familyand friends you are more than they thought you were. Probably you can list some otherreasons, but I think are reasonably common.

那么,一个人为什么要追求声誉呢?你追求声誉吗?你希望许多人都知道你赞赏你吗?你要那个往往随声誉而来的金钱吗?你要传播媒介注意你在公开或私下的一言一行吗?你要他们像猎狗似的追逐着你,向你提问,想办法拆你的台脚吗?在美国政界中非常明显,你要出名就得成为反对你的每个人的目标,也是传播媒介的目标。声誉把一切灯光打亮,一边给你权力和威望,另一边也把“你”赶出你的自身之外:你必须成为大众意想之中的你,而不是那个真实的你或者可能实现的你。像表演家一样,政治家必须讨好他的听众,这就往往意味着要讲一点自己并不完全相信或同意的话。所以相信政治家的人是如此之少,这就不足为奇了。但是我们还没有回答本节开始所提的问题:为什么人人都追求声誉呢?我们想到的是下列几点理由:为了显示出在某方面的超越成就;赢得许多人的景仰爱慕;做一个人人都在提到的人;在亲朋前显示你超乎于他们对你的想象之上。也许你还可加些其他理由,但我觉得上述各点当然是普遍的。

Is it possible to be famous and to remain true to yourself, the real you? Perhaps, but one ishard pressed to come up with the names of those who have done their thing their way andsecceeded in the fame game. Many political dissidents around the world, in particular, DawnAung Suu Kyi of Burma, is a rare exception to the rule that says maintaining unpopular viewsor unpopular attitudes or approaches in any field will destroy you. The famous Irish writerOscar Wilde, a very successful writer of stories, poems and plays, was known for his mostunusual clothing and eccentric behavior, social and sexual. This behavior brought him to theattention of the mother of a young man Oscar was intimate with and she accused him. He wasfurious about this and sued the young man's mother which led to a trial and imprisonment fortwo years. He remained true to himself and paid a heavy price for it by being ostracized anddefamed.

是否有可能既出名又保持着真实的你呢?也许可能。但我苦恩冥索实在想不出那些既能以己意行事而又能在声誉角逐中获胜的人的姓名来。世界上有许多持不同政见的人们,特别像缅甸的昂山苏姬,是稀有的超越常规的例外情况。因为一般常规是在任何场合里,如果你采取反群众的观点、态度及方法,必将使你自己毁灭。著名的爱尔兰作家奥斯卡。王尔德以小说、诗歌及剧本极为著称,同时,也因他的奇装异服和怪异的社交和性行为出了名。这种行为受到他的一位青年密友的母亲的注意。她指责了王尔德。王尔德为此大发雷霆,向这位青年的母亲提出控诉。之后,法庭判他两年徒刑。王尔德为了忠实于自己,付出了受社会排斥及丧失名誉的沉重代价。

Time magazine of June 17, 1996 devoted a good deal of its issue to discussing people (25 inAmerica) who are the most influential in the country in their opinion. They added a short essayon who are the most powerful people in America and no one on the first list appeared on thesecond list, and strangely enough, none of the poeple on either list was described as famous,although I think several surely are. Can we really distinguish influential people and powerfulpeople from those who are famous? Maybe, but their list of influential prople includes JerrySeinfeld the comedian and TV star, Courtney Love the singer and drug addict whose fame hascome largely through her husband Kurt Cobain, the guitarist who committed suicide, and thelist inbludes Oparh Winfrey the talk show host and Calvin Klein the clothing designer. All ofthese people are famous , but I believe, not very influential in the sense that they change theway most of us think or act. In Time magazine's list we find a Supreme Court justice, SandraDay O'Connorm, who is no more influential or powerful than any of other justices. PresidentClinton is not considered influential (?) but is considred powerful! You decide if you thinkfamous and influential and powerful are closely related, or different.

1996年6月17日那期的《时代》周刊以很多篇幅讨论他们心目中各国最有影响的人物(美国有25人)。他们又为美国最有权势的人加一篇短文。在第一个名单中(指最有影响的--译者注)没有一个人在第二个名单中(指最有权势的--译者注)出现。奇怪的是,在两个名单中,没有一个是被称为有声誉的,尽管我觉得其中有些人确有声誉。我们真的能把有影响的人、有权力的人同有声誉的人加以区分吗?也许可以。但他们的有影响人物名单中包括喜剧演员和电视明星杰里。圣菲尔德;歌手和吸毒者哥特尼·洛夫,此人的名望主要来自她的丈夫,那个自杀的吉他手库尔特·柯本。这名单里还包括脱口秀主持人奥柏拉。温弗里和服装设计师卡尔文·克莱恩。这些都是名人,但我想不是很有影响的,因为他们不是能够改变我们大多数人的思想或行为的人。在《时代》杂志表里我们也发现最高法院法官桑德拉·岱·奥康纳,她也并不比其他八位法官中的任何一位更有影响或更有权力。克林顿总统不算有影响(?),只被认为是有权力而已!如你以为有声誉、有影响和有权力三者是紧密相联或可以划分的话,那么,随你决定吧。

I believe that fame and celebrity, influence and power, success and failure, reality and illusionare all somehow neatly woven into a seamless fabric we laughingly call reality. I say to thosewho desperately seek fame and fortune, celebrity: good luck. But what will you do when youhave caught your tail, your success, your fame? Keep chasing it ? If you do catch it, hang onfor dear life because falling is not as painful as landing. See you soon famous and almostfamous, wayfarers on this unbright, nonlinear planet!

我相信声誉和赞扬、影响和权力、成功和失败、现实和幻想都好像是精密编织在一匹光洁无缝的织品之中,即我们笑称之现实的东西。对那些拼命追求声誉、财富和赞赏的人们,我说:祝您好运。但当你已抓住了尾巴、成功、声誉之后,你将做什么呢?一直追逐下去吗?如你确实抓住了它的话,那就舍命也不要松手,因为下坠总比坠地要少痛苦一点。走在这苍茫而不可理喻的星球上的芸芸过客们,我盼你们不久就功成名就,或近乎功成名就吧!


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