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2007年VOA标准英语-Journalist Author Brings Al-Qaida to Stage

时间:2007-06-01 01:03来源:互联网 提供网友:minzixin   字体: [ ]
By Kane Farabaugh
New York City
20 April 2007

In 1998, screenwriter Lawrence Wright had no idea that his movie "The Siege" would touch on the frayed1 nerves of Americans three years later in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  But it is the research for that movie, and his subsequent Pulitzer Prize-winning book "The Looming2 Tower" that provide the basis for Wright's one-man New York stage production called, "My Trip To Al-Qaida."  VOA's Kane Farabaugh spoke3 with the author about his work, and about the enemy the United States now faces.

Lawrence Wright
Lawrence Wright
As the screenwriter for "The Siege," Lawrence Wright knows all too well that it is almost never a good sign in Hollywood when your movie does not draw crowds on the opening weekend.

Little did he know in 1998 that this movie would be different.

" 'The Siege' was a box office failure, but it was the most rented movie in America after 9/11, and I reflected on that," says Wright.

In the movie, an FBI agent – played by Denzel Washington – tries to knock out a terrorist sleeper4 cell in New York City before it has a chance to strike.  It is a race against time as an overzealous army general, played by Bruce Willis, curbs5 the civil rights of Muslims while the city is under martial6 law.

In the wake of the September 11th attacks, the movie seemed eerily7 similar to real events playing out in the United States.

Wright tells us, "I began, with some dread8, to wait for the next thing to happen because we had already predicted it in the movie."

While "The Siege" ends well, Wright does not believe life in the post-9/11 world is imitating the art he brought to the big screen.

"I think that one reason people turned to 'The Siege' after the strikes on 9/11 is that the movie turns out well.  We behave well as a country, finally.  We turn to our original constitutional guarantees of liberty and due process and so on.  It's not clear if we're going to have the real life good ending anytime soon.  We have a lot of work to do to restore those liberties."

After the attacks, Wright set out to research al-Qaida as the basis for a book that would provide a detailed9 history of the radical10 Muslim movement.  Called "The Looming Tower," it is now a national bestseller and one of the most prominent books on the subject.

Wright stars in his own one-man show about al-Qaida
Wright stars in his own one-man show about al-Qaida
It is also the basis for a one-man stage show that premiered in New York in March. Called "My Trip To Al-Qaida," it features Wright as himself.  Equipped with books, notes, and a projector11, he sets out to share with the audience his discoveries and research.

"Most Americans simply, after five years, don't really understand the nature of this movement,” says Wright. “No one really has sat down and laid it all out for them in an understandable fashion.  And that's what I'm attempting to do – explain to them who these people are.  What radicalized them?  What caused this appetite for blood that is so characteristic of al-Qaida? These are things that, you know, have never really been understood.  So I hope that through the play that people can get a sense of who these people are, and why they attacked America, and what we can do about it."

Wright has tackled other issues as a columnist12 for The New Yorker magazine.  He also wrote the screenplay to the film "Noriega" about the ousted13 Panamanian dictator.  But no issue has driven him as much as his work trying to understand the rise of terrorism against the West, and the lessons to learn.

"What's really important for Americans to understand is al-Qaida can't destroy America, but we can undo14 some of the most important things that set our country apart.  We're the ones that can destroy some of the things that are really meaningful about America.  America really does stand for something in the world.  Without America, the world is a more dangerous place.  We're the ones -- we're the custodians15 of this liberty, and we have to be very careful to guard it."

After his stage show comes to a close at the end of April, Wright plans to make a public speaking tour at universities across America.


1 frayed 1e0e4bcd33b0ae94b871e5e62db77425     
adj.磨损的v.(使布、绳等)磨损,磨破( fray的过去式和过去分词 )
  • His shirt was frayed. 他的衬衫穿破了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The argument frayed their nerves. 争辩使他们不快。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
2 looming 1060bc05c0969cf209c57545a22ee156     
n.上现蜃景(光通过低层大气发生异常折射形成的一种海市蜃楼)v.隐约出现,阴森地逼近( loom的现在分词 );隐约出现,阴森地逼近
  • The foothills were looming ahead through the haze. 丘陵地带透过薄雾朦胧地出现在眼前。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Then they looked up. Looming above them was Mount Proteome. 接着他们往上看,在其上隐约看到的是蛋白质组山。 来自英汉非文学 - 生命科学 - 回顾与展望
3 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。
4 sleeper gETyT     
  • I usually go up to London on the sleeper. 我一般都乘卧车去伦敦。
  • But first he explained that he was a very heavy sleeper. 但首先他解释说自己睡觉很沉。
5 curbs 33e58ba55cb8445083b74c118601eb9a     
v.限制,克制,抑制( curb的第三人称单数 )
  • In executing his functions he is not bound by any legal curbs on his power. 在他履行职务时,他的权力是不受任何法律约束的。 来自辞典例句
  • Curbs on air travel were being worked out and would shortly be announced. 限制航空旅行的有关规定正在拟定中,不久即将公布。 来自辞典例句
6 martial bBbx7     
  • The sound of martial music is always inspiring.军乐声总是鼓舞人心的。
  • The officer was convicted of desertion at a court martial.这名军官在军事法庭上被判犯了擅离职守罪。
7 eerily 0119faef8e868c9b710c70fff6737e50     
  • It was nearly mid-night and eerily dark all around her. 夜深了,到处是一片黑黝黝的怪影。 来自汉英文学 - 散文英译
  • The vast volcanic slope was eerily reminiscent of a lunar landscape. 开阔的火山坡让人心生怪异地联想起月球的地貌。 来自辞典例句
8 dread Ekpz8     
  • We all dread to think what will happen if the company closes.我们都不敢去想一旦公司关门我们该怎么办。
  • Her heart was relieved of its blankest dread.她极度恐惧的心理消除了。
9 detailed xuNzms     
  • He had made a detailed study of the terrain.他对地形作了缜密的研究。
  • A detailed list of our publications is available on request.我们的出版物有一份详细的目录备索。
10 radical hA8zu     
  • The patient got a radical cure in the hospital.病人在医院得到了根治。
  • She is radical in her demands.她的要求十分偏激。
11 projector 9RCxt     
  • There is a new projector in my office.我的办公室里有一架新的幻灯机。
  • How long will it take to set up the projector?把这个放映机安放好需要多长时间?
12 columnist XwwzUQ     
  • The host was interviewing a local columnist.节目主持人正在同一位当地的专栏作家交谈。
  • She's a columnist for USA Today.她是《今日美国报》的专栏作家。
13 ousted 1c8f4f95f3bcc86657d7ec7543491ed6     
驱逐( oust的过去式和过去分词 ); 革职; 罢黜; 剥夺
  • He was ousted as chairman. 他的主席职务被革除了。
  • He may be ousted by a military takeover. 他可能在一场军事接管中被赶下台。
14 undo Ok5wj     
  • His pride will undo him some day.他的傲慢总有一天会毁了他。
  • I managed secretly to undo a corner of the parcel.我悄悄地设法解开了包裹的一角。
15 custodians 03ce3c93d02f85e2c50db81bda2600c1     
n.看守人,保管人( custodian的名词复数 )
  • If we aren't good custodians for our planet, what right do we have to be here? 如果我们作为自己星球的管理者不称职我们还有什么理由留在这里? 来自电影对白
  • Custodians primarily responsible for the inspection of vehicles, access, custody. 保管员主要负责车辆的验收、出入、保管。 来自互联网
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