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时间:2006-09-22 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:clian1   字体: [ ]

     Peggy Noonan lives in New York and writes a weekly column for The Wall Street Journal. This piece is taken from one of them. In it she reflects on her week and on life in the city. Writing less than a year away from the destruction of the World Trade Center, her thoughts are inevitably1 affected2 by that terrible event.



The Nightmare and the Dreams
                                     -- How has Sept. 11 affected our national unconscious?


1     It is hot in New York. It is so hot that once when I had a fever a friend called and asked me how I felt and I said, "You know how dry and hot paper feels when it's been faxed? That's how I feel." And how I felt all day yesterday. It is hot. We feel as if we've been faxed.



2    I found myself fully3 awake at 5 a.m. yesterday and went for a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge. Now more than ever the bridge seems like a great gift to my city. It spans. In the changed landscape of downtown it is our undisturbed beauty, grown ever more stately each year. People seem to love it more now, or at least mention it more or notice it more. So do I. It's always full of tourists but always full of New Yorkers, too.

3    I am struck, as I always am when I'm on it, that I am walking on one of the engineering wonders of the world. And I was struck yesterday that I was looking at one of the greatest views in the history of man's creation, Manhattan at sunrise.

4    And all of it was free. A billionaire would pay billions to own this bridge and keep this view, but I and my jogging, biking and hiking companions have it for nothing. We inherited it. Now all we do is pay maintenance, in the form of taxes. We are lucky.

5    As I rounded the entrance to the bridge on the Brooklyn side, a small moment added to my happiness. It was dawn, traffic was light, I passed a black van with smoked windows. In the driver's seat with the window down was a black man of 30 or so, a cap low on his brow, wearing thick black sunglasses. I was on the walkway that leads to the bridge; he was less than two feet away; we were the only people there. We made eye contact. "Good morning!" he said. "Good morning to you," I answered, and for no reason at all we started to laugh, and moved on into the day. Nothing significant in it except it may or may not have happened that way 30 or 40 years ago. I'm not sure the full charge of friendliness4 would have been assumed or answered.       我从布鲁克林一边上桥时,一件小事更增添了我的快乐。天刚亮,车辆稀少,我与一辆车窗熏黑的黑色面包车擦肩而过。窗开着的驾驶座里坐着一个30岁左右的黑人,帽子低低地压在眉檐上,戴着一副厚厚的黑色太阳镜。我走在通往大桥的人行道上,他距我不到两英尺;周围只有我们两个人。我们目光对视。“早上好!”他说。“早上好,”我回答着,两人随即无缘无故地大笑起来,笑罢各人继续各人的生活。这事并没有什么特别的意义,只是30年或40年前是不是会发生这样的事。我不知道那时会不会有这种完全友好的表示,又会不会得到回应。

6    It made me think of something I saw Monday night on TV. They were showing the 1967 movie "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" with Katharine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier and Spencer Tracy, about a young white woman and a young black man who fall in love, hope to marry and must contend with disapproving5 parents on both sides. It's held up well, and parts of it seemed moving in a way I didn't remember, and pertinent6.

7    There was a bit of dialogue that packed a wallop. Spencer Tracy as the father of the would-be bride is pressing Mr. Poitier on whether he has considered the sufferings their mixed-race children might have to endure in America. Has he thought about this? Has his fiancée? "She is optimistic," says Mr. Poitier. "She thinks every one of them will grow up to become president of the United States. I on the other hand would settle for secretary of state." Those words, written 35 years ago may have seemed dreamy then. But in its audience when the movie came out would likely have been a young, film-loving Army lieutenant7 named Colin Powell who, that year, was preparing for a second tour of duty in Vietnam. And now he is secretary of state. This is the land dreams are made of. Does that strike you as a corny thing to say and talk about? It is. That's another great thing.

8    Late Tuesday, on a subway ride from Brooklyn to the north of Manhattan, I resaw something I'd noticed and forgotten about. It is that more and more, on the streets and on the train, I see people wearing ID tags. We all wear IDs now. We didn't use to. They hang from thick cotton string or an aluminum8 chain; they're worn one at a time or three at a time, but they're there.

9    I ponder the implications. What does it mean that we wear IDs? What are we saying, or do we think we're saying? I mean aside from the obvious.

10    I imagined yesterday the row of people across from me on the train, looking up all of a sudden from their newspaper and answering one after another:

11    "It means I know who I am," says the man in blue shirt and suspenders.

12    "It means I can get into the building," says the woman in gray.

13    "It means I am a solid citizen with a job."

14    "I am known to others in my workplace."

15    "I'm not just blowing through life, I'm integrated into it. I belong to something. I receive a regular paycheck."

16    "I have had a background check done by security and have been found to be a Safe Person. Have you?"

17    I wonder if unemployed9 people on the train look at the tags around the other peoples' necks and think. Soon I hope I'll have one too. I wonder if kids just getting their first job at 17 will ever know that in America we didn't all use to be ID'd. Used to be only for people who worked in nuclear power plants or great halls of government. Otherwise you could be pretty obscure. Which isn't a bad way to be.

18    A month ago there were news reports of a post-Sept. 11 baby boom. Everyone was so rocked by news of their mortality that they realized there will never be a perfect time to have kids but we're here now so let's have a family. I believed the baby boom story and waited for the babies.

19    Then came the stories saying: Nah, there is no baby boom, it's all anecdotal, there's no statistical10 evidence to back it up. And I believed that too. But I've been noticing something for weeks now. In my neighborhood there is a baby boom. There are babies all over in Brooklyn. It is full of newborns, of pink soft-limbed infants in cotton carriers on daddy's chest. It is full of strollers, not only regular strollers but the kind that carry two children -- double-wides. And triple-wides. I don't care what anyone says, there have got to be data that back up what I'm seeing: that after Sept. 11, there was at least a Brooklyn baby boom.

20    A dream boom, too. The other day I spoke11 with a friend I hadn't seen since the world changed. He was two blocks away when the towers fell, and he saw everything. We have all seen the extraordinary footage of that day, seen it over and over, but few of us have seen what my friend described: how in the office buildings near the World Trade Center they stood at the windows and suddenly darkness enveloped12 them as the towers collapsed13 and the demonic cloud swept through. Did you see those forced to jump? I asked.

21    "Yes," he said, and looked away.

22    Have you had bad dreams?

23    "Yes," he said, and looked away.

24    I thought about this for a few days. My friend is brilliant and by nature a describer of things felt and seen. But not this time. I spoke to a friend who is a therapist. Are your patients getting extraordinary dreams? I asked.

25    "Always," he laughs.

26    Sept.11-related?

27    "Yes," he says, "mostly among adolescents. "

28    I asked if he was saving them, writing them down. He shook his head no.

29    So: The Sept. 11 Dream Project. We should begin it. I want to, though I'm not sure why. I think maybe down the road I will try to write about them. Maybe not. I am certain, however, that dreams can be an expression of a nation's unconscious, if there can be said to be such a thing, and deserve respect. (Carl Jung thought so.)

30    To respect is to record. Send in your Sept. 11 related dream -- recurring14, unusual, striking, whatever. I will read them, and appreciate them and possibly weave them into a piece on what Sept. 11 has done to our dream lives and to our imaginations, when our imaginations are operating on their own, unfettered, unstopped, spanning.



1 inevitably x7axc     
  • In the way you go on,you are inevitably coming apart.照你们这样下去,毫无疑问是会散伙的。
  • Technological changes will inevitably lead to unemployment.技术变革必然会导致失业。
2 affected TzUzg0     
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
3 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
4 friendliness nsHz8c     
  • Behind the mask of friendliness,I know he really dislikes me.在友善的面具后面,我知道他其实并不喜欢我。
  • His manner was a blend of friendliness and respect.他的态度友善且毕恭毕敬。
5 disapproving bddf29198e28ab64a272563d29c1f915     
adj.不满的,反对的v.不赞成( disapprove的现在分词 )
  • Mother gave me a disapproving look. 母亲的眼神告诉我她是不赞成的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Her father threw a disapproving glance at her. 她父亲不满地瞥了她一眼。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 pertinent 53ozF     
  • The expert made some pertinent comments on the scheme.那专家对规划提出了一些中肯的意见。
  • These should guide him to pertinent questions for further study.这些将有助于他进一步研究有关问题。
7 lieutenant X3GyG     
  • He was promoted to be a lieutenant in the army.他被提升为陆军中尉。
  • He prevailed on the lieutenant to send in a short note.他说动那个副官,递上了一张简短的便条进去。
8 aluminum 9xhzP     
  • The aluminum sheets cannot be too much thicker than 0.04 inches.铝板厚度不能超过0.04英寸。
  • During the launch phase,it would ride in a protective aluminum shell.在发射阶段,它盛在一只保护的铝壳里。
9 unemployed lfIz5Q     
  • There are now over four million unemployed workers in this country.这个国家现有四百万失业人员。
  • The unemployed hunger for jobs.失业者渴望得到工作。
10 statistical bu3wa     
  • He showed the price fluctuations in a statistical table.他用统计表显示价格的波动。
  • They're making detailed statistical analysis.他们正在做具体的统计分析。
11 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
12 enveloped 8006411f03656275ea778a3c3978ff7a     
v.包围,笼罩,包住( envelop的过去式和过去分词 )
  • She was enveloped in a huge white towel. 她裹在一条白色大毛巾里。
  • Smoke from the burning house enveloped the whole street. 燃烧着的房子冒出的浓烟笼罩了整条街。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 collapsed cwWzSG     
  • Jack collapsed in agony on the floor. 杰克十分痛苦地瘫倒在地板上。
  • The roof collapsed under the weight of snow. 房顶在雪的重压下突然坍塌下来。
14 recurring 8kLzK8     
  • This kind of problem is recurring often. 这类问题经常发生。
  • For our own country, it has been a time for recurring trial. 就我们国家而言,它经过了一个反复考验的时期。
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