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VOA慢速英语2010年-She Told Stories About People Living i

时间:2011-01-03 06:40来源:互联网 提供网友:hp2786   字体: [ ]
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SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: I'm Shirley Griffith.

RAY FREEMAN: And I'm Ray Freeman with the VOA Special English program, People in America. Today, we tell about writer Flannery O’Connor.

(MUSIC)

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Late in her life someone asked the American writer Flannery O’Connor why she wrote. She said, "Because I am good at it."

She was good. Yet, she was not always as good a writer as she became. She improved because she listened to others. She changed her stories. She re-wrote them, then re-wrote them again, always working to improve what she was creating.

Flannery had always wanted to be a writer. After she graduated from Georgia State College for women, she asked to be accepted at a writing program at the State University of Iowa. The head of the school found it difficult to understand her southern speech. He asked her to write what she wanted. Then he asked to see some examples of her work.

He saw immediately that the writing was full of imagination and bright with knowledge, like Flannery O’Connor herself.

RAY FREEMAN: Mary Flannery O’Connor was born March twenty-fifth, nineteen twenty-five, in the southern city of Savannah, Georgia.

The year she was born, her father developed a rare disease1 called lupus. He died of the disease in nineteen forty-one. By that time the family was living in the small southern town of Milledgeville, Georgia, in a house owned by Flannery's mother.

Life in a small town in the American South was what O’Connor knew best. Yet she said, "If you know who you are, you can go anywhere."

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Many people in the town of Milledgeville thought she was different from other girls. She was kind to everyone, but she seemed to stand to one side of what was happening, as if she wanted to see it better. Her mother was her example. Her mother said, "I was brought up to be nice to everyone and not to tell my business to anyone."

Flannery O'Connor grew up in the small southern town of Milledgeville, Georgia.

Flannery also did not talk about herself. But in her writing a silent and distant anger explodes from the quiet surface of her stories. Some see her as a Roman Catholic2 religious writer. They see her anger as the search to save her moral3 being through her belief in Jesus Christ4. Others do not deny her Roman Catholic religious beliefs. Yet they see her not writing about things, but presenting the things themselves.

RAY FREEMAN: When she left the writing program at Iowa State University she was invited to join a group of writers at the Yaddo writers' colony5. Yaddo is at Saratoga Springs in New York state. It provides a small group of writers with a home and a place to work for a short time.

The following year, nineteen forty-nine, she moved to New York City. She soon left the city and lived with her friend Robert Fitzgerald and his family in the northeastern state of Connecticut. Fitzgerald says O’Connor needed to be alone to work during the day. And she needed her friends to talk to when her work was done.

(MUSIC)

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: While writing her first novel, “Wise Blood”, she was stricken with the disease lupus that had killed her father. The treatment for lupus weakened6 her. She moved back to Georgia and lived the rest of her life with her mother on a farm outside Milledgeville. O’Connor was still able to write, travel, and give speeches.

“Wise Blood” appeared in nineteen fifty-two. Both it and O’Connor's second novel, “The Violent Bear it Away,” are about a young man growing up. In both books the young men are unwilling7 to accept the work they were most fit to do.

Like all of Flannery O’Connor's writing, the book is filled with humor8, even when her meaning is serious. It shows the mix of a traditional world with a modern world. It also shows a battle of ideas expressed in the simple, country talk that O’Connor knew very well.

RAY FREEMAN: In “Wise Blood”, a young man, Hazel Motes9, leaves the Army but finds his home town empty. He flees to a city, looking for "a place to be.” On the train, he announces that he does not believe in Jesus Christ. He says, "I wouldn't even if he existed. Even if he was on this train."

Many people in the town of Milledgeville thought she was different from other girls.

His moving to the city is an attempt to move away from the natural world and become a thing, a machine. He decides that all he can know is what he can touch and see.

In the end, however, he destroys his physical sight so that he may truly see, because he says that when he had eyes he was blind. Critics say his action seems to show that he is no longer willing to deny the existence of Jesus but now is willing to follow him into the dark.

The novel received high praise from critics. It did not become popular with the public, however.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: O’Connor's second novel, “The Violent Bear it Away,” was published in nineteen sixty. Like “Wise Blood,” it is a story about a young man learning10 to deal with life.

The book opens with the young man, Francis Marion Tarwater, refusing to do the two things his grandfather had ordered him to do. These are to bury the old man deep in the ground, and to bring religion to his uncle's mentally sick child.

Instead, Tarwater burns the house where his grandfather died and lets the mentally sick child drown during a religious ceremony.

RAY FREEMAN: Critics say Tarwater's violence comes from his attempt to find truth by denying religion. In the end, however, he accepts that he has been touched by a deeper force, the force of the word of God, and he must accept that word.

Both of O’Connor's novels explore the long moment of fear when a young man must choose between the difficulties of growing up and the safe world of a child.

(MUSIC)

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Flannery O’Connor is at least as well known for her stories as for her novels. Her first book of stories, “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” appeared in nineteen fifty-five. In it she deals with many of the ideas she wrote about in “Wise Blood,” such as the search for Jesus Christ.

In many of the stories there is a conflict between the world of the spirit and the world of the body. In the story, "The Life You Save May Be Your Own," a traveling workman11 with only one arm comes to a farm. He claims to be more concerned with things of the spirit than with objects.

RAY FREEMAN: The woman who owns the farm offers to let him marry her deaf daughter. He finally agrees when the mother gives him the farm, her car, and seventeen dollars for the wedding trip. He says, "Lady, a man is divided into two parts, body and spirit. . . The body, lady, is like a house: it don't go anywhere; but the spirit, lady, is like a automobile12, always on the move. . . "

He marries the daughter and drives off with her. When they stop to eat, the man leaves her and drives off toward13 the city. On the way he stops and gives a ride to a wandering boy.

We learn that when the one-armed man was a child, his mother left him. Critics say that when he helps the boy, he is helping14 himself.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: In nineteen sixty-four, O’Connor was operated on for a stomach disease. One result of this operation was the return of lupus, the disease that killed her father. On August third, nineteen sixty-four, Flannery O’Connor died. She was thirty-nine years old.

Near the end of her life she said, "I'm a born Catholic, and death has always been brother to my imagination."

RAY FREEMAN: The next year, in nineteen sixty-five, her final collection of stories, “Everything That Rises Must Converge,” appeared. In it she speaks of the cruelty of disease and the deeper cruelty that exists between parents and children. In these stories, grown children are in a struggle with parents they neither love nor leave. Many of the children feel guilty about hating the mothers who, the children feel, have destroyed them through love. The children want to rebel15 violently, but they fear losing their mothers' protection.

In nineteen seventy-one, O’Connor's “Collected Stories” was published. The book contains most of what she wrote. It has all the stories of her earlier collections. It also has early versions16 of both novels that were first published as stories. And it has parts of an uncompleted novel and an unpublished story.

In nineteen seventy-two this last book won the American book industry's highest prize, The National Book Award. As one critic noted17, Flannery O’Connor did not live long, but she lived deeply, and wrote beautifully.

(MUSIC)

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: This Special English program was written by Richard Thorman. I'm Shirley Griffith.

RAY FREEMAN: And I'm Ray Freeman. Join us again next week for another People in America program on the Voice of America.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 disease etMxx     
n.疾病,弊端
参考例句:
  • The doctors are trying to stamp out the disease.医生正在尽力消灭这种疾病。
  • He fought against the disease for a long time.他同疾病做了长时间的斗争。
2 catholic irxzd     
adj.天主教的;n.天主教徒
参考例句:
  • The Pope is the supreme leader of the Roman Catholic Church.教皇是罗马天主教的最高领袖。
  • She was a devoutly Catholic.她是一个虔诚地天主教徒。
3 moral 36oz9     
adj.道德(上)的,有道德的;n.品行,寓意,道德
参考例句:
  • Moral beauty ought to be ranked above all other beauty.品德之美应列于其他美之上。
  • He deceived us into believing that he could give us moral support.他骗得我们相信他能给我们道义上的支持。
4 Christ dVSyl     
n.基督,救世主,耶稣
参考例句:
  • I regarded him as the Christ.我把他当作救世主。
  • Christ preached that we should love each other.基督在布道中说人们应该互爱。
5 colony 7qNzN     
n.殖民地;(同类人的)聚居地
参考例句:
  • There lived a colony of bees on the tree.树上生活着一群蜜蜂。
  • They live in an artists'colony.他们住在艺术家聚居区。
6 weakened c1f3d06fe73213e90240cb347ea5a049     
adj.虚弱的v.(使)削弱, (使)变弱( weaken的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • The team has been weakened by injury. 这个队因伤实力减弱。
  • In his weakened condition, he is very susceptible to cold. 他身体很弱,因此很容易患感冒。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 unwilling CjpwB     
adj.不情愿的
参考例句:
  • The natives were unwilling to be bent by colonial power.土著居民不愿受殖民势力的摆布。
  • His tightfisted employer was unwilling to give him a raise.他那吝啬的雇主不肯给他加薪。
8 humor 4crxX     
n.(humour)幽默,诙谐
参考例句:
  • He is distinguished for his sense of humor.他以其幽默感著称。
  • American humor is founded largely on hyperbole.美式幽默主要以夸张为基础。
9 motes 59ede84d433fdd291d419b00863cfab5     
n.尘埃( mote的名词复数 );斑点
参考例句:
  • In those warm beams the motes kept dancing up and down. 只见温暖的光芒里面,微细的灰尘在上下飞扬。 来自辞典例句
  • So I decided to take lots of grammar motes in every class. 因此我决定每堂课多做些语法笔记。 来自互联网
10 learning wpSzFe     
n.学问,学识,学习;动词learn的现在分词
参考例句:
  • When you are learning to ride a bicycle,you often fall off.初学骑自行车时,常会从车上掉下来。
  • Learning languages isn't just a matter of remembering words.学习语言不仅仅是记些单词的事。
11 workman XfRw6     
n.工人,工匠,技工
参考例句:
  • A bad workman finds much fault with his tools.蹩脚的工匠总是埋怨自己的工具不好。
  • There was a workman up the ladder.有一个工人在梯子上工作。
12 automobile rP1yv     
n.汽车,机动车
参考例句:
  • He is repairing the brake lever of an automobile.他正在修理汽车的刹车杆。
  • The automobile slowed down to go around the curves in the road.汽车在路上转弯时放慢了速度。
13 toward on6we     
prep.对于,关于,接近,将近,向,朝
参考例句:
  • Suddenly I saw a tall figure approaching toward the policeman.突然间我看到一个高大的身影朝警察靠近。
  • Upon seeing her,I smiled and ran toward her. 看到她我笑了,并跑了过去。
14 helping 2rGzDc     
n.食物的一份&adj.帮助人的,辅助的
参考例句:
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
15 rebel VANz2     
n.叛徒,起义者;vi.造反,反抗,反感;adj.造反的,反抗的,反叛者的
参考例句:
  • The rebel army is attempting to subvert the government.反叛军队企图颠覆政府统治。
  • The rebel army has readjusted its strategy.叛军已经重新调整了策略。
16 versions b17be6650251f2e6c7d4e90209beb4e0     
n.译本( version的名词复数 );版本;(个人对事件的)描述;(原物的)变体
参考例句:
  • There are two versions of the game, a long one and a short one. 这游戏有两个版本,一长一短。
  • When both versions of the story were collated,major discrepancies were found. 在将这个故事的两个版本对照后,找出了主要的不符之处。 来自《简明英汉词典》
17 noted 5n4zXc     
adj.著名的,知名的
参考例句:
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
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