《愛麗絲夢遊奇境》問世一百五十週年,你最愛哪個古怪場景?

costumes-695358_640

《愛麗絲夢遊奇境》出版第一百五十週年,它最令人印象深刻(impressive)的莫過於它的古怪世界。愛麗絲追著白兔掉進兔子洞,發現不只動物和植物會說話,每個人的表現舉止都荒唐可笑(ridiculous)。你曾發現那些看似胡鬧又無意義的舉動(nonsense)其實暗藏玄機嗎?不妨一探究竟作者路易斯・卡羅如何在故事裡運用他的學識(knowledge)玩弄文字遊戲吧!

Author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pseudonym Lewis Carroll, was born on January 27th, 1832 in Daresbury, England. Homeschooled until he was 14, Dodgson was an excellent student in mathematics and was under great pressure to follow in the footsteps of his father, who was an Anglican priest and former mathematics lecturer at Oxford. After attending Oxford himself, Dodgson was also offered a position as a mathematics lecturer there. Yet while he became an Anglican deacon, he never did become a priest. Some people believe that this was because he suffered from a stammer and did not believe in his ability to preach.

作家查爾斯・路特維奇・道奇森,以他的筆名路易斯・卡羅較為人知,一八三二年一月二十七日出生於英格蘭的戴斯伯理。道奇森十四歲之前都是在家自學,是位數學資優生,身負繼承父親衣缽的強大壓力,他的父親是英國國教的牧師,也曾任牛津大學數學講師。在他自己就讀牛津之後,道奇森也受邀在此擔任數學講師的職位。雖然後來他成為英國國教教會的執事,但終究沒有成為牧師。有人認為這是因為他深受口吃之苦,不相信自己有能力講道。

On top of his mathematical talents, Dodgson showed promise as a writer of poetry and short stories. But he didn’t become internationally known until he published Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865 under the pen name Lewis
Carroll. The book was an instant success, enjoyed by both children and adults alike. Famous fans of the story included Queen Victoria and Oscar Wilde. Carroll went on to publish a sequel, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, in 1871, and wrote books on mathematics and logic as well.

除了數學天分,道奇森還展現出成為詩人和短篇小說作家的潛力。但是直到一八六五年他以路易斯・卡羅這個筆名出版《愛麗絲夢遊奇境》,他才揚名國際。這本書一推出就大獲成功,小孩和大人同樣都喜歡。這個故事的知名粉絲包括維多利亞女王和作家奧斯卡・王爾德。一八七一年,卡羅繼續出版續集《愛麗絲鏡中奇緣》,也撰寫關於數學和邏輯的書。

Written into the magical tale of Alice’s adventures are many mathematical concepts, which are included in the most unlikely of places. The concept of limits is hinted at when Alice changes sizes after eating and drinking different items; inverse relationships are suggested during the discussion of the semantic values of sentences at the Mad Tea Party; and the substitution of variables is referred to when a pigeon says that little girls are like snakes because they both eat eggs. Very strange indeed!

愛麗絲歷險的魔幻故事寫進了許多數學概念,這些概念隱藏在最意想不到的地方。愛麗絲吃喝各種不同東西後會變大變小,暗示「極限」的概念;瘋狂茶會上討論句子的語義價值時,則是提到了「反比關係」;當鴿子說小女孩就跟蛇一樣,因為他們都會吃蛋時,則是意指「變數代換」。確實非常奇怪!

Carroll also included many historical references in his tale. Perhaps the most obvious reference is to the War of the Roses. When Alice finds herself in the garden of the Queen of Hearts, she learns that the queen likes red roses and loathes white roses. While not apparent to most children reading the story, adults can easily pick up on this reference to the badges of the English House of Lancaster (a red rose) and their rivals, the House of York (a white rose).

卡羅在他的故事裡也加入了許多歷史暗示。最明顯的或許就是玫瑰戰爭。當愛麗絲發現自己置身於紅心皇后的花園,她得知皇后喜歡紅玫瑰、厭惡白玫瑰。雖然對大多數讀這個故事的小孩來說並不明顯,但大人可以輕易察覺這指的是英國蘭開斯特王朝的國徽(紅玫瑰),以及他們的死對頭約克王朝的國徽(白玫瑰)。

單字字彙
pseudonym (n.) 筆名,雅號
lecturer (n.) 講師
stammer (n.) 口吃,結巴
on top of (phr.) 除此之外
sequel (n.) 續集
logic (n.) 邏輯
inverse (a.) 反向的,倒轉的
concept (n.) 觀念,概念
semantic (a.) 語義的,語義學的
substitution (n.) 代替,代換
variable (n.) 變數,可變因素
loathe (v.) 極討厭,厭惡
badge (n.) 徽章,標誌
rival (n.) 對手,競爭對手

摘選自《EZTalk總編嚴選:歷史名人堂 Hall of Fame

發佈留言