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Leo Tolstoy: Searching for the Meaning of Life
Youth -- 1702
 

Leo Tolstoy: Searching for the Meaning of Life

托尔斯泰:终生寻找生命意义

 

By Corrie Haluga

翻译:Wendy

 

美式发音     适合泛听

听力难度1  Track05

语速:85/分钟

 

“幸福的家庭都是相似的,不幸的家庭各有各的不幸。”140年前,俄国作家托尔斯泰(18281910)用这句话开始了他的巨著《安娜·卡列尼娜》。这是人们熟悉的一句话,但许多人不知道的是,这本书不仅仅讲述了一个女人的爱情悲剧,更反映了作者对人生,对哲学,对宗教的苦苦探索。托尔斯泰是一名优秀作家,同时还是一位卓有成就的思想家和哲学家。他在不同时期的作品是他一生精神追求的写照。

“A question brought me to the point of ending my life when I was fifty years old. My question was the most simple one that lies in every person. It is the question without which life is impossible: Why do I live? Why do I wish for anything, or do anything? Is there anything in my life that will not be 1)destroyed by my death?”

These are the words of the famous Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. Like Tolstoy, many people ask these difficult questions. And they struggle to find meaning in their life. Tolstoy spent his whole life trying to answer difficult questions like these. His search for answers influenced his writing.

On August 28th, 1828, Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born in the country of Russia.

As a child, Tolstoy was a member of the Russian Catholic Church. But as a young man, he began to question that faith. Tolstoy wanted to make his own moral decisions; he was tired of being told what to believe. He thought people could achieve a 2)degree of perfection—if they tried hard enough. So he worked very hard at being the best in everything he did. He thought that he would find meaning and truth in success.

In the 1850s, Leo Tolstoy wrote his first stories. He wrote about his experiences in the military. He also told stories about when he was a child. These works were published and Tolstoy became a well-known writer.

Tolstoy was finally successful. He earned the respect he always wanted. Many wealthy and 3)intelligent men met and talked with Tolstoy. Some of the men were writers like him. They talked a lot about faith and the meaning of life. But soon Tolstoy recognized that these men were not perfect. They were proud and they made very bad moral choices. Tolstoy had thought these rich and powerful men could answer his questions about faith. Now he knew they could not.

So in the 1860s, Tolstoy tried a different way to find meaning. He opened a school for the children of his 4)serfs—the people who worked on his land. These workers were very poor. He wanted to help them because he thought they were more honest than the wealthy people he knew.

Tolstoy learned many things from his workers. He respected how they worked hard to provide for their families. He began to believe that marriage and family would give his life meaning. So in 1862, Leo Tolstoy married a young woman named Sonya Bers.

The next 15 years were the best years of Tolstoy’s life. It was during this time that he wrote his most famous books—War and Peace and Anna Karenina. Many literature experts say that War and Peace is one of the greatest books ever written.

Both War and Peace and Anna Karenina communicate Tolstoy’s beliefs about the Russian nation, church and people. They also communicate what he thought was the answer to all his questions. Tolstoy believed humans were supposed to live a simple life and take care of their families. Tolstoy thought this would satisfy him and bring him happiness.

Leo Tolstoy is still a very respected writer today. His faith and writings have influenced many people. Tolstoy’s search for the meaning of life is something everyone can understand. His teachings still interest people all over the world.

 

1)        destroy [dI5strCI] v. 破坏,毁坏

2)        degree [dI5^ri:] n. 等级,程度

3)        intelligent [In5telIdV(E)nt] adj. 有才智的,聪明的

4)        serf [s\:f] n. 农奴

 

见招拆招

*        我们常常听到有同学说写不好作文是因为自己的英语水平不高,只能写简单的短句。如果仔细看看这篇介绍托尔斯泰的文章,你会发现它通篇都是短句,大部分句子在十一、十二个词左右,最长的也不超过二十个词。文章的句子虽然短,句子结构也不复杂,但作者注意变换句式,避免文章陷于单调无味。在整篇文章里,没有连续三句话以上是用同一个词开头的——仅这一点就值得在写作文时句句都以I或者We开头的同学多加注意了。好文章不在于深奥难懂的词,也不在于复杂的长句。这篇文章就是一个例子。

*        It was during this time that he wrote his most famous books—War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

这是一个强调句型。尽管句子讲的是作家写出了巨作,却用强调句型突出事情发生的时间,表明这一特定时间段的重要性。

 

参考译文

“当我五十岁的时候,有一个问题几乎让我结束了自己的性命。我的问题也是每个人都会想到的最简单的问题——如果没有这个问题,人简直无法活下去:我为什么活着?我为什么想得到点什么?或者想做一些事情?在我的生命中,有什么东西不会因我的逝去而毁灭吗?”

以上是著名的俄国作家列夫·托尔斯泰的话。很多人也像托尔斯泰一样提出过这些难以回答的问题,并努力寻找生命的意义。托尔斯泰穷毕生之力去寻找答案,这种努力对他的写作产生了影响。

1828828,列夫·尼古拉耶维奇·托尔斯泰在俄国出生。

童年时的托尔斯泰是一名俄罗斯天主信徒,但到了青年时期,他开始对自己的信仰产生了疑问。托尔斯泰想要建立自己的一套道德标准,他已经厌倦了由别人告诉他该相信什么。他认为人们只要真的付出努力,就可以达到一定程度的完美境界。因此他力求自己事事做到最好,他觉得自己可以在成功中找到人生的意义和真谛。

19世纪50年代,列夫·托尔斯泰写了他的第一批小说,讲述了自己从军的经历,还写了一些关于他童年生活的小说。这些作品出版面世后,托尔斯泰成了一位著名作家。

托尔斯泰终获成功,赢得了他一直希望得到的尊重。很多有钱人及智者纷纷与托尔斯泰会面、交谈,有些人跟他一样,也是作家。他们谈论大量关于信仰及生活意义的话题。但托尔斯泰很快意识到这些人并不完美,他们很傲慢,而道德标准却极低。托尔斯泰曾经以为这些有钱有势的人可以回答他关于信仰的问题,现在他知道他们无济于事。

所以,在19世纪60年代,托尔斯泰尝试用一种不同的方法去寻找生命的意义。他为自家农奴(即在他的土地上工作的人)的孩子办了一所学校。这些工人非常贫穷,他想帮助他们,因为他觉得他们比他认识的富人s 真诚得多。

托尔斯泰从他的工人身上学到了很多东西,他敬重他们勤奋工作、供养家庭的生活方式。他开始相信婚姻和家庭可以给他的生命赋予意义。于是在1862年,列夫·托尔斯泰与一个名叫索妮娅·别尔斯的年轻姑娘结了婚。

此后的15年是托尔斯泰一生中最美好的时光,正是在这期间,他写出了他最出名的著作——《战争与和平》及《安娜·卡列尼娜》。很多文学评论家认为《战争与和平》是人类有史以来最伟大的作品之一。

《战争与和平》和《安娜·卡列尼娜》这两本书都体现了托尔斯泰对俄罗斯民族、教会及人民的情怀,亦传达了他对所探索的所有问题的想法。托尔斯泰认为人类应该过着简单的生活,并照顾好家庭。托尔斯泰相信这样的生活会令他心满意足,给他带来幸福。

直到今天,列夫·托尔斯泰仍然是一个备受尊敬的作家,他的信念及作品影响了很多人。每个人都可以理解托尔斯泰对人生意义的追求,他的学说仍然吸引着世界各地的人们。

 

 

 

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