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VOA慢速英语2010年-O. Henry's Surprising Life Before He W

时间:2011-01-03 05:23来源:互联网 提供网友:hp2786   字体: [ ]
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DOUG JOHNSON: Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC1 in VOA Special English.

(MUSIC)

I'm Doug Johnson.

This week we answer a question about the life of magician2 Harry3 Houdini ...

We also play music by some of this year’s biggest concert money-makers ...

But first, we visit the former home of one of America’s best-loved writers.

(MUSIC)

O. Henry Museum

DOUG JOHNSON: One of America's best-loved writers of short stories was William Sydney Porter -- better known as O. Henry. Beginning in eighteen ninety-three he lived with his family in a house in Austin, Texas. It is now a museum. Katherine Cole has our story.

KATHERINE COLE: Visitors to central Austin will find many huge hotels and modern buildings. It would be easy to miss one very small, old house where one of America’s favorite writers once lived. It is now called the O. Henry Museum. It was saved from destruction, moved, and turned into a museum in nineteen thirty-four. The museum is a good way to learn about the interesting life of O. Henry.

O. Henry's house in Austin, Texas

William Porter rented this house in Austin and lived there with his wife Athol and daughter Margaret for about two years. Many objects in the museum belonged to the Porters. Others did not, but are in the house to recreate the way it looked during their lifetime. Our guide takes us into the living room.

GUIDE: “Another important piece in the room is the original photograph over here. It was taken here in the house about eighteen ninety-five. The piano dates back to the eighteen sixties. His wife took lessons on it when she first moved to Austin.”

William Porter did not start his career as a successful writer. He worked at a pharmacy4, farm, land office and bank. He also loved words and writing. The museum has special proof of Porter’s love of language -- his dictionary.

GUIDE: “Very, very well used. It’s said that he has read every word in that dictionary.”

Porter started a small publication called the Rolling Stone.

William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry

GUIDE: “We have a copy of the Rolling Stone magazine. He wasn’t being published early on, so he published himself.”

His funny stories, poems, and drawings were published in the magazine. But it was too costly5 to continue for long, so he closed the project after about one year.

Other troubles would lead the Porters to leave Austin. Porter was accused of financial wrongdoing at the bank and lost his job. Fearing a trial, he fled the country. But he returned because his wife was dying. After her death, he faced trial and was found guilty. He served three and a half years in a federal prison in Ohio.

William Porter would keep his time in prison a secret. But there was one good thing about it. It provided him with time to write. By the time of his release, he had published fourteen stories and was becoming well-known as O. Henry.

Porter would later move to New York City and find great success there. He published over three hundred eighty stories in the last eight years of his life.

One of his most famous stories is “The Gift of the Magi.” You can hear it next Saturday, December twenty-fifth, on the Special English program AMERICAN STORIES.

The Great Houdini

DOUG JOHNSON: Our listener question this week comes from Anemina Raente Vaijero who wants to know about the life of magician Harry Houdini.

His real name was Ehrich Weisz. He was born in Budapest, Hungary in eighteen seventy-four. His father was a rabbi, a Jewish religious leader. His family moved to the United States two years later.

Young Ehrich loved show business. At the age of nine, he called himself “The Prince of the Air” as he performed on a swing high above the audience. But Ehrich always dreamed of becoming a magician.

One of his favorite entertainers was a French magician named Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin. Ehrich took his last name, changed the pronunciation, added an “i” and began calling himself Harry Houdini. At first, he performed many different kinds of magic. But in eighteen ninety-nine, he decided6 to spend most of his time working on “escapes.”

Harry Houdini began performing his escape from the Chinese Water Torture Cell in 1913

One of his most famous tricks was the “Chinese Water Torture.” His feet were locked together and he was lowered, upside down, into a glass box filled with water. A curtain was placed in front of the box so the audience could not see how he did the trick. Several minutes would go by. Just when everyone was sure the Great Houdini had drowned, the curtain would drop. There stood Houdini on the stage, free from the deadly box.

Harry Houdini also was famous for escaping from handcuffs. He said he would give one hundred dollars to anyone who could lock him into a set of handcuffs from which he could not escape. In his long career, he never had to pay the money.

Harry Houdini enjoyed a long career as a magician and escape artist. He wrote books and performed in movies. He became the most famous magician in the world. But it all came to an end on Halloween, October thirty-first, nineteen twenty-six. Houdini died after being hit several times in the stomach by a college student.

In October, the Jewish Museum in New York City opened an exhibit called “Houdini: Art and Magic.” Visitors can see old photographs, posters and videos of his escapes. They can also see some of the things he used in his magic tricks, including a straitjacket and eleven pairs of handcuffs.

Although Houdini did not believe in talking with the dead, his wife, Bess, tried to communicate with his spirit. Did she succeed? This Sunday on the Special English program PEOPLE IN AMERICA we will tell more about Houdini’s magic and how he lived and died. And we will also tell you why the words “Rosabelle, believe” are important for magicians7 around the world.

Big Money Music

DOUG JOHNSON: Americans attended fewer live music shows this year. And there were fewer concerts than last year. That is the report from Billboard8 Magazine’s yearly study of the subject.

But Billboard’s Boxscore also shows a few musicians still had some very profitable9 concert tours this year. Barbara Klein has more.

BARBARA KLEIN: Who made the most money this year in a concert series? Rock and roll band Bon Jovi. Billboard says it has sold more than one hundred forty-five million dollars worth of tickets. The band has played sixty-nine sold-out shows. “The Circle Tour” continues into next year. Bon Jovi will have performed in thirty countries during the series of shows.

Bon Jovi performing in London last June

Recently, the twenty-seven year old band released a greatest hits album. Here Bon Jovi performs “I’ll Be There for You” from nineteen eighty-eight.

(MUSIC)

Lady Gaga also had a big year with her concert series. She made about one hundred ten million dollars on her tour. She performed at more than one hundred twenty shows.

Last week, Billboard magazine named Lady Gaga its Artist of the Year. Only six other women have made the list. They include names like Madonna and Taylor Swift.

Here is Lady Gaga performing her Grammy-nominated song “Bad Romance10.”

(MUSIC)

Finally, the Irish band U2 also had successful concerts this year. The stage design of “U2 360” puts the band in the middle of the audience.

U2 formed in nineteen seventy-eight. It has been together even longer than Bon Jovi. We leave you with a U2 song from two thousand. Here is “Beautiful Day.”

(MUSIC)

DOUG JOHNSON: I’m Doug Johnson. Our program was written by Dana Demange, Jim Tedder11 and Caty Weaver12, who also was our producer.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 mosaic CEExS     
n./adj.镶嵌细工的,镶嵌工艺品的,嵌花式的
参考例句:
  • The sky this morning is a mosaic of blue and white.今天早上的天空是幅蓝白相间的画面。
  • The image mosaic is a troublesome work.图象镶嵌是个麻烦的工作。
2 magician 287zL     
n.魔术师,变戏法的人,术士
参考例句:
  • With a wave of his hand,the magician made the rabbit vanish.魔术师手一挥兔子便不见了。
  • The magician transformed the man into a rabbit.魔术师把那个人变成了兔子。
3 harry heBxS     
vt.掠夺,蹂躏,使苦恼
参考例句:
  • Today,people feel more hurried and harried.今天,人们感到更加忙碌和苦恼。
  • Obama harried business by Healthcare Reform plan.奥巴马用医改掠夺了商界。
4 pharmacy h3hzT     
n.药房,药剂学,制药业,配药业,一批备用药品
参考例句:
  • She works at the pharmacy.她在药房工作。
  • Modern pharmacy has solved the problem of sleeplessness.现代制药学已经解决了失眠问题。
5 costly 7zXxh     
adj.昂贵的,价值高的,豪华的
参考例句:
  • It must be very costly to keep up a house like this.维修这么一幢房子一定很昂贵。
  • This dictionary is very useful,only it is a bit costly.这本词典很有用,左不过贵了些。
6 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
7 magicians 5f06503f549e860637bf9794c247a512     
n.魔术师( magician的名词复数 );巫师;术士;施妖术的人
参考例句:
  • Like all magicians, he kept his secrets to himself. 象所有魔术师那样,他对此守口如瓶。 来自辞典例句
  • The early priests were also doctors and magicians. 早期的僧侣又是医生又是巫士。 来自辞典例句
8 billboard Ttrzj     
n.布告板,揭示栏,广告牌
参考例句:
  • He ploughed his energies into his father's billboard business.他把精力投入到父亲的广告牌业务中。
  • Billboard spreads will be simpler and more eye-catching.广告牌广告会比较简单且更引人注目。
9 profitable 5QJxW     
adj.有益的,能带来利益的,有利可图的
参考例句:
  • That business became profitable last year.那项生意去年变得很赚钱。
  • The convention business is very profitable for the hotel industry.承办会议业务能给旅馆业带来很高的利润。
10 romance KXGx1     
n.恋爱关系,浪漫气氛,爱情小说,传奇
参考例句:
  • She wrote a romance about an artist's life in Tokyo.她写了一个关于一位艺术家在东京生活的浪漫故事。
  • They tried to rekindle the flames of romance.他们试图重燃爱火。
11 tedder 2833afc4f8252d8dc9f8cd73b24db55d     
n.(干草)翻晒者,翻晒机
参考例句:
  • Jim Tedder has more. 吉姆?特德将给我们做更多的介绍。 来自互联网
  • Jim Tedder tells us more. 吉姆?泰德给我们带来更详细的报道。 来自互联网
12 weaver LgWwd     
n.织布工;编织者
参考例句:
  • She was a fast weaver and the cloth was very good.她织布织得很快,而且布的质量很好。
  • The eager weaver did not notice my confusion.热心的纺织工人没有注意到我的狼狈相。
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