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感受文字之美 尽享英语之乐:英语专业学生必读小说20本(图)

http://en.eol.cn  来源:  作者:中国教育在线  2013-07-26    

 

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  6.Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray 《名利场》萨克雷著内容简介······

  Vanity Fair was a turning point in Thackeray's life and career. A gentleman by birth and education, Thackeray was forced to earn his living by writing because most of his money had been lost in a financial crash. The articles, reviews, essays, and sketches he produced for magazines and newspapers did not provide sufficient income either to support a gentleman's status or to provide for the futures of his two daughters. In addition, writing for a living made his status as a gentleman somewhat tenuous. The serialization of Vanity Fair, which was a financial success, quickly established Thackeray's literary reputation. Thackeray was jubilant, "There is no use denying the matter or blinking it now. I am become a sort of great man in my way--all but at the top of the tree: indeed there if the truth were known and having a great fight up there with Dickens." Though Thackeray's novels never sold at the rate of Dickens's novels (in the tens of thousands), he became financially secure with Vanity Fair. Also his social status as a gentleman was assured because of his acknowledged genius; he was no longer an amusing, talented hack writer, just one of a crowd of London journalists.

  《名利场》是英国十九世纪小说家萨克雷的成名作品,也是他生平著作里最经得起时间考验的杰作。故事取材于很热闹的英国十九世纪中上层社会。当时国家强盛,工商业发达,由榨压殖民地或剥削劳工而发财的富商大贾正主宰着这个社会,英法两国争权的战争也在这时响起了炮声。中上层社会各式各等人物,都忙着争权夺位,争名求利,所谓“天下攘攘,皆为利往,天下熙熙,皆为利来”,名利、权势、利禄,原是相连相通的。

  故事主角是一个机灵乖巧的漂亮姑娘。她尝过贫穷的滋味,一心要掌握自己的命运,摆脱困境。她不择手段,凭谄媚奉承、走小道儿钻后门,飞上高枝。作为陪衬的人物是她同窗女友、一个富商的女儿。她懦弱温柔,驯顺地随命运播弄。从贫贱进入富裕的道路很不平稳!富家女的运途亦多坎坷,两人此起彼落的遭遇,构成一个引人关怀又动人情感的故事。穿插的人物形形色色,都神情毕肖。萨克雷富讥智,善讽刺,《名利场》是逗趣而又启人深思的小说。

  穷画家的女儿蓓姬·夏普,自幼失去父母,但绝顶聪明。她以半工半读的方式从寄宿学校毕业后,由一名家庭小教师起步,牢牢抓住每一个机会,削尖了脑袋钻进维多利亚时代的上流社会,成为一颗光芒四射的交际明星。这一尤物的发迹历程,在滑铁卢战役波澜壮阔的历史大背景映衬下,展现了堪称世界文学中最成功的一个女冒险家艺术形象。萨克雷的词锋犀利,机智幽默,解剖人生精妙入微。本书问世将近一百六十年来,一直被誉为一面讽世明镜、一部警世宝典。

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