36. better known as mark twain
the remarkable man went to a log-cabin school until he was twelve years old. that was the end of his formal education. in spite of this, he became the most famous literary figure of his generation .
mark twain was born in a small missouri village near the mississippi river2 in 1835. at that time, andrew jackson3 was the president of the country. abraham lincoln was still a young farm laborer in illinois. the first railroad had been built seven years before. the industrial revolution was at hand. 4 the economic collapse of american prosperity, called the panic of 1837, still lay ahead. this was also the literary period later called the“new england renaissance ”
mark twain was not a healthy baby. in fact, he was not expected to live through the first winter. but with his mother’s tender care , he managed to survive. he had been born in a tiny two-room cabin. eight people lived together there . he had four brothers and sisters. a slave girl lived with them too.
as a boy, mark twain caused much trouble for his parents. he used to play practical jokes on all of his friends and neighbors. the nature of his jokes often led to violence . he hated to go to school, and he constantly ran away from home. he always went in the direction of the nearby mississippi. he was fascinated by that mighty river. he liked to sit on the bank of the river for hours at a time and just gaze at the mysterious islands and the passing boats and rafts. he was nearly drowned nine different times. he learned many things about the river during those days. he learned all about its history and the unusual people who rode up and down5 it. he never forgot those scenes and those people. he later made them part of the history of america in his books tom sawyer and huckleberry finn6.
Ⅰ. this is the summary of the passage. try to fill in the blanks with proper words :
mark twain was born in a small village near the __________river in 1835. he was not a healthy baby, so he was not expected to live __________ the first winter. thanks to his mother’s __________care, he managed to survive . he has been born in a tiny two-room __________ . __________people lived together there. he had __________brothers and sisters and a girl live with them too. when he was a boy, he used to play __________jokes on his friends and neighbors. he hated to go to school but was __________ by the mighty river. he learned all about its history and __________the unusual people who rode __________ and __________ it. later in his works tom sawyer and he made them part of american history.
1. what has four eyes ( Ⅰ) but cannot see?
2. it is said that river is richer than any other things. why?
Ⅰ. mississippi / through / tender / cabin / eight / four / slave / practical / fascinated up / down / huckleberry finn
Ⅱ. 1. mississippi. 2. because on each side of the river, there is one bank.
这 位声名显赫的人物12 岁前在一所由原木搭建的小木屋学校上学, 他的正规教育仅 此而已。尽管如此, 他仍成为他那一代最著名的文学家。
马克· 吐温, 1835 年出生于密苏里州的一个小村庄, 靠近密西西比河。那时, 安德 鲁· 杰克逊是这个国家的总统。亚伯拉罕· 林肯仍是伊利诺斯州的一位年轻的农场工人。 第一条铁路七年前就已建成。第一次工业革命迫在眉睫。美国繁荣经济的崩溃, 即“ 1837 年大恐慌”, 也即将发生。这也是后来在文学史上被称为“ 新英格兰文艺复兴”的时期。
马克· 吐温从小体弱多病。事实上, 谁也没料到他能活过第一个冬天。然而, 在母亲 的悉心照料下, 他还是活了下来。马克· 吐温出生在一幢仅两室的狭小木屋里。那屋里挤了 八口人, 他有四个兄弟姐妹, 还有一个女奴和他们一起住。
马克· 吐温小时候给父母惹了很多麻烦。他老是对他所有的朋友和邻居制造恶作剧。 他的恶作剧常常招来一顿暴打。他讨厌上学, 还不断地从家里跑出来, 总是朝着附近的密 西西比河方向走去。马克· 吐温被那条浩瀚壮观的河流迷住了: 他喜欢在岸边一坐几个小 时, 目不转睛地盯着一个个神秘的岛屿和过往的船只与竹筏。有九次他都差点溺水而亡。 在那些日子里, 马克· 吐温学了很多有关这条河的知识, 了解了它的历史和河上来来往往 不同寻常的人。他永远都忘不了那些景色和那些人。后来, 马克· 吐温把那一切作为美国 历史的一部分写进了他的著作《汤姆· 索耶历险记》和《哈克贝里· 费恩历险记》。
古老的密西西比河奉献给马克·吐温的是永不枯竭的灵感, 从而令他创作出不朽的作 品。他不仅为美国文学开辟了一个新的领域———地方色彩文学, 给人类文学史库增添了一 笔宝贵的财富, 更对海明威等后来的文人影响深远。难怪他被称为“第一流的美国作家”, “ 文学上的林肯”, 就连鲁迅先生也赞扬他“是前世纪( 19 世纪) 末至现世纪( 20 世纪) 初有 名的幽默家”。
1. 马克·吐温———19 世纪后期美国批判现实主义文学的卓越代表、杰出的幽默讽刺家。 他的本名叫塞缪尔·兰霍恩·克莱门斯( samuel langhorne clemens) 。马克·吐温只是 他的笔名。他曾做过水手。笔名源自水手们测量水深时呼喊的术语。“mark twain”原意为“记下( mark) , 两英寻( twain, 两英寻等于十二英尺) ”。在这个深度, 领航员就可 以放心地领航了。于是, 塞缪尔就把这一响亮的呼喊声当作自己的笔名以作永久的纪 念。
2. 密西西比河, 美国主要河流, 也是世界上最长的河流之一, 全长6 020 公里, 支流遍及从 阿巴拉契亚山脉到落基山脉之间的21 个州, 流域面积约322 万平方公里, 约占美国国土 面积十分之四。“密西西比”, 印第安语即“ 大河”, 美国黑人爱把它称为“ 老人河”。它 素有“百河之父”之称。
3. 安德鲁·杰克逊( 1767—1845) , 美国第七任总统, 美国历史上第一位生于“ 小木屋”的总 统。他粗犷好斗, 绰号“老核桃”, 曾在新奥尔良大败英军, 是西部新兴势力的象征。
4. industrial revolution, 工业革命, 是18 世纪60 年代从英国开始的产业革命。词组at hand 的意思是“ 即将到来, 即将发生”, 下文出现的lay ahead 同它意思相近。同hand 组成的短 语很多, 如: have an open hand ( 慷慨, 大方) ; at close hand ( 在附近, 在近处) ; wash one’s hands of ( 洗手不干, 断绝关系) 。谚语“ 人多好办事”即many hands make light work。
5. 词组up and down 不只是字面上“ 上上下下”的意思, 这里是“ 来来回回, 往返”的含义。 这个词组可作“沿⋯⋯来回, 在各处”解, 如: his eyes moved up and down the rows of people, looking for his son’s face. ( 他来回扫视一排排的人, 寻找他的儿子
6.《汤姆·索耶历险记》取材于美国内战前的社会生活, 作家通过对自己童年生活的回顾 来引起人们关注现实生活。《哈克贝里·费恩历险记》是一部反对种族歧视, 探索黑人 命运问题的长篇小说。该书是马克·吐温名垂青史之作, 美国作家海明威曾称赞它为美 国历史上所有书中最好的一本。两部作品都是马克·吐温的代表作, 均以儿童冒险经历 为主要线索, 它们被称为姐妹篇。