新足迹

 找回密码
 注册

精华好帖回顾

· 俺的奥运Preview 3 (2008-8-11) joaquin · 十二年股市风雨路回忆 (更新完毕) (2006-11-24) JasonLiu@Au
· Stanford University, California (2007-1-28) bulaohu · pangpang东欧游之布达佩斯(已完成) (2011-7-13) pangpang
查看: 3076|回复: 18

READ <DOWN UNDER> BY BILL BRYSON (首次英文写作的尝试) [复制链接]

Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7

发表于 2006-11-10 00:02:04 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 东食西宿 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 东食西宿 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
One would think “how hard can it be to write a travel book”? As a travel book writer you go to a fascinating place, do a bit sightseeing and records what you see. You then go back to your hotel room and jump on Google.com to search for anything about this place that is of historical, biological or geographical significance (like, the extinction of an exotic species, the discover of gold or a massacre) and copy them down too. And there you have it, a travel book ready to be published and stay on the top seller chart for weeks to pay for your next trip.

At first glance, that is precisely what Bill Bryson, the popular American travel writer, has done with the book <Down Under> (also know as <in the Sunburned Country>). He faithfully visited all the famous attractions on this vast and remote continent of Australia and in between he covered some of the less-famous and totally-unknowns, including the extremely hostile Australian outback. And as the writer who later published <A Short History of Nearly Everything>, Bryson loaded his readers with informative facts along the way... There really isn’t much more to it.

Or is there?

Every tourist attraction I go, there are almost certainly free pamphlets on the Information Desk or at the front entrance for me to pick up. They are colour-printed and packed with statics and facts, very informative, but I can’t see myself paying for them. Instead, I go to the book shop and pay a good twenty bucks for Bryson’s paperback. The reason? Well, I have yet to find a free-to-take pamphlet that makes me laugh until my eyes filled with tears and my stomach ache. This guy is truly hilarious. I particularly enjoyed Part 3 of this book, where Bryson teased his poor travel companion Alan Sherwin ruthlessly whenever he had a chance, and dragged as many people in as possible at the same time. Like when they arrived the dusty and bare outback town Daly Waters and decided to spend a night in the crappy local pub:

He rummaged in a drawer and produced two keys with unmatching tags. ‘This one’s a single,’ he said, laying a key on my palm, ‘and this one’s got a double bed in it – in case one of yers gets lucky tonight.’ He bounced his eyebrows in a slightly salacious manner.

‘And do you think that’s likely?’
‘Hey, miracles happen.’

The rooms were in a separate block that stood alongside the pub, ten or so of them ranged on either side of a central corridor. I insisted Allan take the double as he was far more likely to get lucky than I was.

‘Out here?’ He gave me a hollow laugh.
‘There’s eighty million sheep in the outback, Allan. They can’t all be picky.’


The motive for me to read Bryson’s book is bit different from the ordinary. Being in Australia myself, I have actually been to a lot of the places he mentioned in this book and even wrote journals about them. I am curiously to find out how Bryson, an American tourist, nevertheless a well-read and well-informed one, sees Australia through his eyes.

And so I read passages like the following:

The thing about Ayers Rock is that by the time you finally get there you are already a little sick of it. Even when you are a thousand miles from it, you can’t go a day in Australia without seeing it four or five or six times – on postcards, on travel agent’s posters, on the cover of souvenir picture books – and as you get nearer the rock, the frequency of exposure increases. So you are aware, as you drive to the park entrance and pay the ambitiously pitched admission fee of $15 a head and follow the approach road around, that you have driven 1,300 miles to look at a large, inert, loaf-shaped object that you have seen photographically portrayed a thousand times already. In consequence, your mood as you approach this famous monolith is restrained, unexpectant – pessimistic even.

And then you see it, and you are instantly transfixed.

There, in the middle of a memorable and imposing emptiness, stands an eminence of exceptional nobility and grandeur, 1,150 feet high, a mile and a half long, five and a half miles around, less red than photographs have led you to expect but in every other way more arresting than you could even have supposed. I have discussed this since with many other people, nearly all of whom agreed that they approached Uluru with a kind of fatigue, and were left agog in a way they could not adequately explain. It is not that Uluru is bigger than you had supposed or more perfectly formed or in any way different from the impression you have created in your mind, but the very opposite. It is exactly what you expected it to be. You know this rock. You know it in a way that has nothing to do with calendars and the covers of souvenir books. Your knowledge of this rock is grounded in something much more elemental.




My instant reaction when I read the above page was to nod my head hard. This is it! This is exactly how I felt when I saw Uluru (Ayers Rock) with my very own eyes. The feeling haunted me long after my return and now this American guy has nailed it. This is probably why his book has sold thousands, for its precision in describing feelings and experiences beyond ordinary people’s description when they are at a remarkable place like the Uluru. So being a travel writer isn’t that easy after all.

There is another one of my favourite passages where he wrote about the beautiful Great Barrier Reef. Again, a short and accurate account of my feeling when I was there:

It was, as I expected, precisely like being at a public aquarium, except of course that this was entirely wild and natural. I was amazed, no doubt foolishly, by what a difference this made.   



It was with a great deal of understanding and pride that I read the following part about my city, Adelaide:

Adelaide is the most overlooked of Australia’s principal cities. You could spend weeks in Australia and never suspect it was there, for it rarely makes the news or gets a mention in anyone’s conversation. It is to Australia essentially what Australia is to the world – a place pleasantly regarded but far away and seldom thought about. And yet it is unquestionably a lovely city. Everyone is agreed on that, including millions who have never been there.



And I wish I could type out all the interesting stories Bryson has told in his book to share with you. There are fascinating stories about the adventures of the early settlers and the many unique and a lot of times extremely dangerous species this land and its waters has to offer. A particular point to make is that Bryson has throughout his book reinforced the fact that Australia is a place filled with danger, yet he did it in a black-humoured way that this becomes fascinating in itself. At this point this review has gone uncontrollably long and I just have to stop. I will conclude it as I always do with book reviews, that is, go and read it yourself. It is a very worthwhile experience.


这应该算我第一次正经八百的用英文写作,真难,我从七点半一直写到十一点,没停,中间想停来着,不是因为不会写,而是不太习惯自己的语气。用英文写就好像说惯了方言的人初讲普通话,讲也讲得,然而就不畅快,老端着似的。然而,写完了,成就感是很大的。

请大家多多指正!

[ 本帖最后由 东食西宿 于 2006-11-10 16:10 编辑 ]
已有 6 人评分积分 收起 理由
purpleme + 1
baolqun + 20
午夜飞行 + 10

总评分: 积分 + 62   查看全部评分

Rank: 10Rank: 10Rank: 10Rank: 10Rank: 10Rank: 10Rank: 10Rank: 10Rank: 10Rank: 10

退役斑竹

发表于 2006-11-10 12:50:13 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 joaquin 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 joaquin 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

Rank: 11Rank: 11Rank: 11Rank: 11Rank: 11Rank: 11Rank: 11Rank: 11Rank: 11Rank: 11Rank: 11

发表于 2006-11-10 13:20:53 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 bulaohu 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 bulaohu 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

Rank: 6Rank: 6Rank: 6Rank: 6Rank: 6Rank: 6

发表于 2006-11-10 13:38:25 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 麦嘟 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 麦嘟 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7

发表于 2006-11-10 13:51:01 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 东食西宿 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 东食西宿 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

2007 年度奖章获得者 参与宝库编辑功臣 飞天奖章

发表于 2006-11-10 14:34:31 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 astina 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 astina 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

Rank: 1

发表于 2006-11-13 13:51:03 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 sanfile 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 sanfile 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

特殊贡献奖章

发表于 2006-11-13 14:12:19 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 飞行 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 飞行 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

2007 年度奖章获得者 参与宝库编辑功臣 飞天奖章

发表于 2006-11-14 13:07:53 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 astina 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 astina 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7Rank: 7

退役斑竹

发表于 2006-11-14 13:10:51 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 baolqun 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 baolqun 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

特殊贡献奖章

发表于 2006-11-14 13:16:06 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 飞行 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 飞行 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

Rank: 1

发表于 2006-11-14 13:20:28 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 sanfile 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 sanfile 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

Rank: 8Rank: 8Rank: 8Rank: 8Rank: 8Rank: 8Rank: 8Rank: 8

发表于 2006-11-14 13:32:16 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 cheers 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 cheers 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

Rank: 9Rank: 9Rank: 9Rank: 9Rank: 9Rank: 9Rank: 9Rank: 9Rank: 9

发表于 2006-12-9 18:08:01 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 pangpang 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 pangpang 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

Rank: 5Rank: 5Rank: 5Rank: 5Rank: 5

发表于 2006-12-10 02:45:09 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 西门吹哨 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 西门吹哨 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

Rank: 3Rank: 3Rank: 3

发表于 2007-1-4 15:06:04 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 roger 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 roger 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

Rank: 5Rank: 5Rank: 5Rank: 5Rank: 5

发表于 2007-1-6 10:11:47 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 jasonnewman 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 jasonnewman 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册

Rank: 5Rank: 5Rank: 5Rank: 5Rank: 5

发表于 2007-1-6 10:16:29 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 jasonnewman 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 jasonnewman 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册
附件: 你需要登录才可以下载或查看附件。没有帐号?注册

Rank: 5Rank: 5Rank: 5Rank: 5Rank: 5

发表于 2007-1-13 04:21:31 |显示全部楼层
此文章由 purpleme 原创或转贴,不代表本站立场和观点,版权归 oursteps.com.au 和作者 purpleme 所有!转贴必须注明作者、出处和本声明,并保持内容完整
您需要登录后才可以阅读回复 登录 | 注册
上善若水——天下莫柔弱于水,而攻坚强者莫之能胜,此乃柔德;故柔之胜刚,弱之胜强坚。

发表回复

您需要登录后才可以回帖 登录 | 注册

回顶部