• Nov 29, 2005

    巴黎心影

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    http://www.blogbus.com/lefrisson-logs/1645596.html

    搭夜行的航班飞回伦敦。

    可今晚写巴黎简直就是亵渎,要等到心神定下来,身体恢复,一幕一幕地回忆。

    所以先报告杂托邦诸位同仁,我回来了,愤懑着,为什么没有早些去。

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  • 几日不来,这般繁茂了。

    很欣赏你们的对答录。互有锐气,好的。
    回复mango说:
    那就继续下去,对答是最好的研习方法了。
    2005-12-01 18:53:53
  • I thought about you when I read this story.

    The girl in it studies same things as you do.



    WENLOCK EDGE

    by ALICE MUNRO

    Issue of 2005-12-05

    Posted 2005-11-28



    My mother had a bachelor cousin a good deal younger than her, who used to visit us on the farm every summer. He brought along his mother, Aunt Nell Botts. His own name was Ernie Botts. He was a tall, florid man with a good-natured expression, a big square face, and fair curly hair springing straight up from his forehead. His hands, his fingernails were as clean as soap itself; his hips were a little plump. My name for him—when he was not around—was Earnest Bottom. I had a mean tongue.



    But I meant no harm. Or hardly any harm.



    After Aunt Nell Botts died Ernie did not come to visit anymore, but he always sent a Christmas card.



    When I started college in the city where he lived, he began a custom of taking me out to dinner every other Sunday evening. He did this because I was a relative—it’s unlikely that he even considered whether we were suited to spending time together. He always took me to the same place, a restaurant called the Old Chelsea, which was on the second floor of a building, looking down on Dundas Street. It had velvet curtains, white tablecloths, little rose-shaded lamps on the tables. It probably cost more, strictly speaking, than he could afford, but I did not think of that, having a country girl’s notion that all men who lived in the city, wore a suit every day, and sported such clean fingernails had reached a level of prosperity where indulgences like this were a matter of course.



    I always ordered the most exotic offering on the menu—chicken vol au vent or duck à l’orange—while he always ate roast beef. Desserts were wheeled up to the table on a dinner wagon: a tall coconut cake, custard tarts topped with strawberries, even out of season, chocolate-coated pastry horns full of whipped cream. I took a long time choosing, like a five-year-old trying to decide between flavors of ice cream, and then on Monday I had to fast all day, to make up for such gorging.



    Ernie looked a little too young to be my father. I hoped that nobody from the college would see us and think that he was my boyfriend.



    He inquired about my courses, and nodded solemnly when I told him, or reminded him, that I was in Honors English and Philosophy. He didn’t roll his eyes at the information, the way people at home did. He told me that he had a great respect for education and regretted that he hadn’t had the means to continue, after high school. Instead, he had got a job working for the Canadian National Railway, as a ticket salesman. Now he was a supervisor.



    He liked serious reading, he said, but it was not a substitute for a college education.



    I was pretty sure that his idea of serious reading would be the Condensed Books of the Reader’s Digest, and to get him off the subject of my studies I told him about my rooming house. In those days, the college had no dormitories—we all lived in rooming houses or in cheap apartments or in fraternity or sorority houses. My room was the attic of an old house, with generous floor space and not much headroom. But, being the former maid’s quarters, it had its own bathroom. Two other scholarship students, who were in their final year in Modern Languages, lived on the second floor. Their names were Kay and Beverly. In the high-ceilinged but chopped-up rooms of the ground floor lived a medical student who was hardly ever home, and his wife, Beth, who was home all the time, because they had two very young children. Beth was the house manager and rent collector, and she was often feuding with the second-floor girls over the way they washed their clothes in the bathroom and hung them there to dry. When Beth’s husband, Blake, was home he sometimes had to use that bathroom because of all the baby stuff in the one downstairs, and Beth said that he shouldn’t have to cope with stockings and other intimate doodads in his face. Kay and Beverly retorted that use of their own bathroom had been promised when they moved in.



    Why did I choose to tell this to Ernie, who flushed and said that they should have got it in writing?



    Kay and Beverly were a disappointment to me. They worked hard at Modern Languages, but their conversation and preoccupations seemed hardly different from those of girls who worked in banks or offices. They did their hair up in pincurls and polished their fingernails on Saturdays, because that was the night they had dates with their special boyfriends. On Sundays, they had to soothe their faces with lotion because of the whisker-burns the boyfriends had inflicted on them. I didn’t find either boyfriend in the least desirable and I wondered how they could.



    They said that they had once had some crazy idea of working as intepreters at the United Nations but now they figured they would teach high school, and with any luck get married.



    They gave me unwelcome advice.



    I had got a job in the college cafeteria. I pushed a cart around collecting dirty dishes and wiping the tables clean.



    They warned me that this job was not a good idea.



    “You won’t get asked out if people see you at a job like that.”



    I told Ernie about this and he said, “So, what did you say?”



    I told him that I’d said I wouldn’t want to go out with anybody who would make such a judgment, so what was the problem?



    Now I’d hit the right note. Ernie glowed; he chopped his hands up and down in the air.



    “Absolutely right,” he said. “That is absolutely the attitude to take. Honest work. Never listen to anybody who wants to put you down for doing honest work. Just go right ahead and ignore them. Keep your pride. Anybody that doesn’t like it, you tell them they can lump it.”



    This speech of his, the righteousness and approval lighting his large face, the jerky enthusiasm of his movements, roused the first doubts in me, the first gloomy suspicion that the warning might have some weight to it after all.



    When I got home that night, there was a note from Beth under my door, asking to talk to me. I guessed that it would be about my hanging my coat over the bannister to dry, or making too much noise on the stairs when Blake (sometimes) and the babies (always) had to sleep in the daytime.



    The door opened on the scene of misery and confusion in which it seemed that all Beth’s days were passed. Wet laundry—diapers and smelly baby woollens—was hanging from ceiling racks; bottles bubbled and rattled in a sterilizer on the stove. The windows were steamed up, and the chairs were covered with soggy cloths and soiled stuffed toys. The bigger baby was clinging to the bars of a playpen and letting out an accusing howl—Beth had obviously just set him in there—and the smaller one was in a high chair, with some mushy pumpkin-colored food spread like a rash across his mouth and chin.



    Beth peered out from all this with a tight expression of superiority on her small flat face, as if to say that not many people could put up with such a nightmare as well as she could, even if the world wasn’t generous enough to give her the least bit of credit.



    “You know when you moved in,” she said, then raised her voice to be heard over the bigger baby’s cries, “when you moved in I mentioned to you that there was enough space up there for two?”



    Another girl was moving in, she informed me. The new girl would be there Tuesdays to Fridays, while she audited some courses at the college.



    “Blake will bring the daybed up tonight. She won’t take up much room. I don’t imagine she’ll bring many clothes—she lives in town. You’ve had it all to yourself for six weeks now, and you’ll still have it that way on weekends.”



    No mention of any reduction in the rent.



    Nina actually did not take up much room. She was small, and thoughtful in her movements—she never bumped her head against the rafters, as I did. She spent a lot of her time sitting cross-legged on the daybed, her brownish-blond hair falling over her face, a Japanese kimono loose over her childish white underwear. She had beautiful clothes—a camel-hair coat, cashmere sweaters, a pleated tartan skirt with a large silver pin—the sort of clothes you would see in a magazine layout, under the headline “Outfitting Your Junior Miss for Her New Life on Campus.” But the moment she got back from the college she discarded her costume for the kimono. I also changed out of my school clothes, but in my case it was to keep the press in my skirt and preserve a reasonable freshness in my blouse or sweater, so I hung everything up carefully. Nina tossed her clothes anywhere.I ate an early supper at the college as part of my wages, and Nina always seemed to have eaten, too, though I didn’t know where. Perhaps her supper was just what she ate all evening—almonds and oranges and a supply of little chocolate kisses wrapped in red or gold or purple foil.



    I asked her if she didn’t get cold, in that light kimono.



    “Unh-unh,” she said. She grabbed my hand and pressed it to her neck. “I’m permanently warm,” she said, and in fact she was. Her skin even looked warm, though she said that was just a tan, and it was fading. And connected with this skin warmth was a particular odor that was nutty or spicy, not displeasing but not the odor of a body that was constantly bathed and showered. (Nor was I entirely fresh myself, owing to Beth’s rule of two baths a week.)



    I usually read until late at night. I’d thought that it might be harder to read, with someone else in the room, but Nina was an easy presence. She peeled her oranges and chocolates; she laid out games of solitaire. When she had to stretch to move a card she’d sometimes make a little noise, a groan or grunt, as if complaining about this slight adjustment of her b...
    回复Funfun说:
    谢谢小皮,我马上去找New Yorker来看。网上虽然有全文可还是纸质的杂志好。
    2005-11-30 09:05:50
  • 巴黎,明年我一定要去玩玩滴,恩还有伦敦~~~
    回复飞天肥狗狗说:
    来德国念书一定要好好旅行呢。
    2005-11-30 09:07:23