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與陌生人社交的藝術(上)

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Book Review

書評

Hello, Stranger. By Will Buckingham.

《你好陌生人》威爾·白金漢

The Power of Strangers. By Joe Keohane.

《陌生人的力量》喬·基奧恩

Fractured. By Jon Yates.

《斷裂》喬恩·耶茨

Attitudes to strangers tend to follow a familiar pattern. Children are taught never to speak to unknown grown-ups, especially those regarded by their parents as untrustworthy. The onset of adolescence and young adulthood brings a bursting desire to interact with all sorts of people, particularly the kind who might not elicit family approval. Whether the resulting encounters are sexual or social, they confer a thrilling frisson of escape.

人們對陌生人的態度往往遵循一種常見的模式。孩子們被教育永遠不要和不認識的成年人說話,尤其是那些被父母認為不可信賴的人。隨著青春期和成年初期而來的,是一種與各種人交往的強烈愿望,尤其是那些可能得不到家人認可的人。無論最終的邂逅是性的還是社交的,它們都給予人一種逃避的快感。

Social circles generally narrow again as people find life-partners, form households and produce offspring of their own. Time becomes scarce; new friendships are often based on sharing the burden of child care. Some people never recover the youthful zest for unforeseen liaisons. Professional duties swell even as parental ones diminish, and the inclination sags. In old age, even if curiosity and charisma remain undimmed, frailty makes new serendipitous connections harder to establish.

當人們找到生活伴侶、組建家庭、繁衍后代時,社交圈通常會再次縮小。時間變得稀缺;新的友誼通常建立在分擔照顧孩子的負擔之上。有些人永遠無法恢復年輕時對意外邂逅的熱情。即使作為父母的職責減少,職業責任也會增加,從而降低社交傾向。到了老年,即使好奇心和魅力絲毫不受影響,脆弱也會使新的邂逅更難建立。

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But that is not the whole story. In mid-life and beyond people can still experience the joy of a random meeting, however short, which somehow touches a nerve. That might involve nothing more than a smile, or a chance remark that hits an emotional spot; or it might be an unexpectedly deep conversation on a plane or train, a surge of mutual understanding that is life-affirming even if the interlocutor is never seen again. This aspect of the promise and peril of strangers has enticed storytellers — from the rapture of “Brief Encounter” and “Before Sunrise” to the ruin of “Strangers on a Train”. The knowledge that the exchange will be a one-off can permit a delicious, uninhibited frankness.

但這并不是故事的全部。人到中年或中年以后,仍能體驗到偶遇的快樂,盡管這種快樂很短暫,但不知何故卻觸動了人們的神經??赡苤皇且粋€微笑,或者是一句觸及到情感點的偶然評論;也可能是在飛機或火車上的一次意外的深度對話,即使相互再也見不到,這股相互理解的浪潮也會給生活帶來積極影響。從《相見恨晚》和《愛在黎明破曉前》的狂喜到《火車怪客》的毀滅,陌生人的承諾和危險吸引了各路故事講述者。認識到交流是一次性的這個前提,才能體會美好的、無拘無束的坦率。

In the age of covid-19 and Zoom, the chronological pattern has been warped. Instead of their hazy possibilities and risks, strangers have assumed an all-too-literal role as a looming source of infection. During lockdowns they are officially to be avoided. Yet youngsters still long, dangerously, for the ecstasy of communion, not just with edgy individuals but anonymous crowds. People of all ages have come to miss the human stimulation of busy high streets or trains, or the comforting sense of fellowship in a cinema or theatre audience.

在新冠肺炎和視頻交流的時代,一直以來的模式被改變了。陌生人不再是他們模糊不清的可能性和風險,而是承擔了一個完全字面意義上的潛在傳染源的角色。在封鎖期間,與陌生人接觸是被禁止的。然而,危險的是,年輕人仍然渴望交流的狂喜,不僅想與令人激動的個人交流,也想與無名的人群交流。各個年齡層的人已經開始懷念繁忙的大街小巷和車流帶給人的刺激,或者在電影院或劇院觀眾間的舒適的友誼感。

譯文由可可原創,僅供學習交流使用,未經許可請勿轉載。

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ecstasy ['ekstəsi]

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n. 狂喜,入迷
Ecstasy
n

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permit ['pə:mit,pə'mit]

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n. 許可證,執照
v. 允許,許可

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scarce [skɛəs]

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adj. 缺乏的,不足的,稀少的,罕見的
ad

 
escape [is'keip]

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v. 逃跑,逃脫,避開
n. 逃跑,逃脫,(逃

 
fellowship ['feləuʃip]

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n. 友誼,團體,會員資格,獎學金

 
social ['səuʃəl]

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adj. 社會的,社交的
n. 社交聚會

 
conversation [.kɔnvə'seiʃən]

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n. 會話,談話

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elicit [i'lisit]

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vt. 引出,誘探出

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swell [swel]

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v. (使)膨脹,(使)鼓起,(使)增長
n.

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diminish [di'miniʃ]

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vt. 減少,變小,減損
vi. 變少,逐漸變

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