2015年考研暑假必读文章:Mystery Man

来源:网络 2019-04-17

Mystery Man

He's famed as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, but Conan Doy1e's letters show the scope of his ambitions.

Within that exclusive group of literary characters who have survived through the centuries-from Hercules to Hamlet to Huckleberry Finn-few can rival the cultural impact or staying power of that brilliant sleuth, Sherlock Holmes. Since his debut 120 years ago, the gaunt gentleman with the curved pipe and a taste for cocaine, the master of deductive reasoning and elaborate disguise, has left his mark everywhere--in crime literature, film and television, cartoons and comic books. Even his home on Baker Street has for decades been one of London's most popular tourist destinations: the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

At Holmes' side, of course, was Dr. Watson-trusted friend, occasional accomplice and engaging narrator. Looming even larger, however, was another doctor, one whose medical practice was so slow it allowed him plenty of time to pursue his literary ambition. His name: Arthur Conan Doyle. As the creator of these fictional icons, Conan Doyle has himself become something of a cult figure, the object of countless critical studies, biographies and fan clubs.

Yet only now with the publication of Arthur Conan DoyleA Life in Letters, do we have a

candid, personal portrait of the writer, with little of the Victorian reserve of his memoirs, Mast of the nearly 1,000 letters are to his beloved mother, Mary Doyle, beginning in 1867, when he was an 8-year-old boy at a Jesuit boarding school, and continuing until 1920, when Mary died. The book's editors--two Conan Doyle scholars and the author's great-nephew-also provide plenty of background material, rare drawings and photographs, and relevant excerpts from Conan Doyle's other works, making this the most comprehensive single volume out there.

Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859, into a respectable middle-class Catholic family. Still, it was far from an easy life. There was never enough money; they moved frequently in search of lower rents; and his father, a civil servant and illustrator, was an alcoholic who had to be institutionalized, Yet the early letters are surprisingly upbeat, concerned mainly with food, clothes, allowances and schoolwork. At 14 came his first unforgettable visit to London, including Madame Tussaud's, where he was "delighted with the room of Horrors, and the images of the murderers".

A superb student, Conan Doyle went on to medical school, where he was entranced by Dr. Joseph Bell, a charismatic professor with an uncanny ability to diagnose patients even before they opened their mouths. For a time he worked as Bell's outpatient clerk and would watch , amazed ,at how the location of a callus could reveal a man's profession, or how a quick look at a skin rash told Bell that the patient had once lived in Bermuda. In 1886, Conan Doyle-by now an eye doctor-outlined his first novel, A Study in scarlet, which he described asa simple tale of mystery to make a little extra money." Its main character , initially called Sherringford Hope and later rechristened Sherlock Holmes, was based largely on bell. But Holmesdebut went almost unnoticed, and the struggling doctor devoted nearly all of his spare time to writing long historical novels in the vein of Sir Walter Scott-novels that he was convinced would make his reputation. It wasn't to be. In 1888, Holmes reappeared in A Scandal in Bobemia, a short story in Strand Magazine. An immediate hit, its hero took the foggy, crime-ridden London of gas street lights and Jack the Ripper by storm--and Conan Doyle's life would never be the same.

But he quickly tired of the tales, complaining to his mother that Holmes "takes my mind from better things". So, in 1893, he sent the detective over the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland during a struggle with his underworld nemesis, Professor Moriarty."Killed Holmes" was all Conan Doyle deigned to scribble in his notebook. The public was devastated, as was his mother, but it would take 10 years of pleading and pressure before he gave in and resurrected Holmes from his watery grave.

The later letters are those of an important public figure, dining with the King and earning a knighthood with an impassioned defense of Britain's role in the Boer War at a time when world opinion was against it, not least due to the British Army's use of scorched earth tactics. His final years were marked by tragedy-he lost his brother Innes and his son Kingsley to World WarⅠ—and by controversy, as he became Britain's most famous defender of spiritualism, convinced of our ability to communicate with the dead through a medium. (Among those he contacted: his son and Dr. Bell.) It brought personal solace and public ridicule. In one of his last letters to his mother, who never embraced these beliefs, he wrote: “What does it matter what anyone says of me. I have a good hide by this time" After his death in 1930, all of this would be forgotten and Conan Doyle would be immortalized as the creator of Sherlock Holmes. It was not the legacy he wanted-but in the end, it was not for him to decide.

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重点单词
curved  
【文中释义】adj弯曲的
【大纲全义】adj考曲的

elaborate 
【文中释义】adj精细的,详尽的,精心的
【大纲全义】v./ adj精心制作(的);详细阐述(的)

disguise /dis'gaiz/
【文中释义】n.假装
【大纲全义】n./v.彼装,伪装;掩盖,掩饰

engaging
【文中释义】adj迷人的,有魅力的
【大纲全义】adj动人的,迷人的,有魅力的

critical
【文中释义】adj.批评的
【大纲全义】adj.批评的,评论的;危急,紧要的;临界的

rent /rent/
【文中释义】n.租金
【大纲全义】v.租,租货;以一定租金出租,借出 n租金

civil /sivl/
【文中释义】adj.公民的
【大纲全义】adj.介民的,市民的;民间的;民用的;有礼貌的;民事的,民主的

allowance
【文中释义】n.津贴,零用钱
【大纲全义】n.补贴,津贴;零用钱;减价,折扣;允许

delighted /dilaitid/
【文中释义】adj.高兴的,兴奋的
【大纲全义】adj高兴的,兴奋的,喜欢的

diagnose
【文中释义】v.诊断
【大纲全义】v.诊断(疾病);判断(问题)

outline
【文中释义】 v.草拟,写作
【大纲全义】 n.枪廊,略图;大纲,梗概 v. 概述,略述;描…外形,描…轮廓

vein/ vein/
【文中释义】 n.风格
【大纲全义】 n.血管;静脉;叶脉;纹理;情绪;风格u使成脉络

convince /k?n'vins/
【文中释义】 n.使信服,使确信
【大纲全义】v.(of)使信服,使确信

超纲单词
sleuth n.侦探 debut n.初次登场
gaunt adj憔悴的 accomplice n.共犯,同谋
institutionalize v把……送交专门机构 upbeat adj乐观的
charismatic adj有魁力的 rechristen v.重命名
rechristen v.重命名 crime-ridden adj.充满犯罪行为的,犯罪倡狠的

重点段落译文
在那一群杰出的千古流传的文学人物中——从海格力斯(大力士)到哈姆雷特,再到哈克贝利?费恩——在文化影响力或持久力上,没有人能敌过头脑敏锐的侦探福尔摩斯。自从120年前首次亮相以来,这位憔悴的总是叼着弯曲的烟斗、喜好吸烟,并善于演绎推理和精心伪装绅士,在犯罪文学、电影电视及卡通和戏剧作品中到处都留下子自己的身影。

福尔摩斯身边,华生医生无疑是值得信任的朋友,偶尔也会充当同谋者和吸引的叙述者。然而,如果再深入的话,他最信任的朋友应该是另一位医生。他的医学实践进程缓慢,这样他就有很多时间去实现自己在文学方面的抱负。他的名字是亚瑟?柯南道尔。作为这些虚构偶像的创造者,柯南道尔自己也一定程度上成了一个受顶礼膜拜的人物,成了无数批评性研究的对象、无数传记的主人公和无数粉丝俱乐部的追捧对象。

柯南道尔1859年出生于爱丁堡一个受人尊重的中层天主教家庭中。然而,他的生活远非安逸。他们没有足够的钱,为了寻找租金更低的房子经常搬来搬去;并且他身为公务员和插图画家的父亲还是一个不折不扣的被收养教育的酒鬼。然而他早期的信件却出奇的乐观,主要谈论这食物、衣服、津贴和学校功课。14岁时,他有了第一次去伦敦的难忘之行;期间他还参观了图索夫人家,那里“恐怖的房间和杀人犯的图像让他感到兴奋。”

作为一位优秀学生,柯南道尔得以进入医学院深造,并被约瑟夫?贝尔医生接收。约瑟夫?贝尔教授有着超凡的魅力,有着在病人开口之前就能对其进行诊断的不可思议的能力。1886年,已经成为眼科医生的柯南道尔完成了他的第一部小说《血字的研究》。该小说被他描述为“用来赚点外快的传奇故事”。其主人公很大程度上是基于贝尔塑造的,开始被命名为歇陵福特?霍普,后改为歇洛克?福尔摩斯。然而福尔摩斯的首次亮相几乎没有引起人们的关注,但这位与瓦尔特?司各特先生有着类似写作风格的医生非常努力,几乎将他全部的空闲时间都用在了他确信会使其成名的长篇历史小说上。事实并非如此。1888年,福尔摩斯再次出现在了刊登在《海滨》杂志上的短片小说《波西米亚丑闻》中。而这次却一炮走红,小说里的主人公给雾蒙蒙的、犯罪猖狂壁并且灯红酒绿、纸醉金迷的伦敦以震撼。从此,柯南道尔的生活展开了新的一页。




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