Lesson 5 The Libido for the Ugly
Henry L. Mencken
Additional background information
author, critic ―The bad boy from Baltimore‖, renowned for his
Henry Louis Mencken (1880--1956) American educator,
tough,cynical style and wit,editor of The Smart Set（时髦
者） and The American Mercury（美国水星）.
About the author
Henry Louis Mencken (1880 - 1956) --- the first American to be widely read as a critic --- the most prominent newspaperman --- book reviewer --- political commentator --- a prolific writer of his day.
About the author
? He was a prolific writer of his day.
?--- - his prose is as clear as an azure sky --- --his rhetoric as deadly as a rifle shot
Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) was the first American to be widely read as a critic. Though, earlier, James Lowell and Edgar Allan Poe had been better endowed with critical intelligence, their proficiency in other literary forms had obscured to some degree their skills as critics. Mencken was born in Baltimore, Md., on Sept. 12, 1880, and privately educated there. After graduation from Baltimore Polytechnic institute at the age of 16, he became a reporter on the Baltimore Herald. He rose rapidly; soon he was the Herald‘s city editor.
About the author
In 1906 Mencken joined the organization known as the Sun papers, which he served in a variety of ways until his retirement. His outstanding piece of journalism, widely syndicated, concerned the Scopes trial of 1925 in Tennessee, in which a high school instructor was prosecuted for teaching evolution, contrary to the law. The Smart Set（时髦者） and The American Mercury（美国水星）, both of which Mencken shared in editing, were additional vehicles for his opinions.
About the author
Mencken‘s journalistic skills became his chief handicap as a critic, for he sacrificed discrimination for immediate attention, esthetic and philosophical distinctions for the reductions of easy reading, and subtleties of statement for buffoonery and bombast. Yet, though one may deplore his methods, they gained a wide audience and opened the way for the development of criticism, though he himself has no disciples. Mencken‘s appreciation of the juicy phrase interested him in its informal aspects. Behind this interest was a distrust of Englishmen--a philo-Teutonism– that deluded him into holding that American speech was the unique product of a new environment. By the time of his death on Jan. 29,1956, in his beloved Baltimore, recognition of his service to the language was everywhere admitted.
Mencken is well-known for his bombastic style and acid tongue and in this piece he doesn‘t just berate and revile the ugliness of Westmoreland, he attacks the whole American race --- a race that loves ugliness for its own sake, that lusts to make the world intolerable; a race which hates beauty as it hates truth. *he chooses the strongest words possible, words bordering on the abusive---dreadfully hideous abominab
le, agonizing ugliness, revolting monstrousness, leprous hill, and so on ad nauseam. *he uses figures of speech profusely to create nauseating and dreadful images to reinforce his verbal attack, such as hyperbole, sarcasm, ridicule and irony.
Bombastic style and acid language Exaggeration Hyperbole Over rhetorical pompous ? Language----biting/sharp
Mencken’s quotation: A cynic is a man who, when he smells a flower, looks around for a coffin. (A cynic is a person who believes that all men are selfish. He sees little or no good in anything and shows this by making unkind and unfair remarks about people and things.) 好冷嘲人生者，是個當他聞到花香之時就會四處找尋棺材的人。
I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind - that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking. I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious. I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty... I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect. I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech. I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run. I believe in the reality of progress. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant. He jeered at American sham, pretension, provincialism, and prudery, and he ridiculed the nation‘s organized religion, business and middle class.
?Emotional description: The Libido for the Ugly is a piece of subjective, impressionistic or emotional description. Description conveys the sensations, emotions and impressions that affect a writer experiencing a person, place, object or idea. The writer describes what hesees, feels or tastes, and it often includes his emotional reactions to the physical sensations of the experience.
Introduction to the Passage
The dominant impression.---ugliness --- In this strong impressionistic or highly emotional piece of description, ugliness, as the dominant impression, stands out vividly and prominently. s the dominant ? iDescription Description --- --- person person --- --- place place --- --- object object --- --- idea
?Description is organized usually by space order. bye ? --- --- from a fixed position to moving position moving p --- --- from close up to distance --- --- from general to specific from general to specific --- --- from subjective to objective from subjective to objective
General word? Meaning? Why
does Menken choose the term?
The Libido for the Ugly
He wants to demonstrate that what he describes has psychological and scientific foundation. Usually, people love things beautiful, but a group of people in the US love things ugly for its own sake (because they are ugly) WHY? There must be some scientific and psychological reasons.
Title of the text
*The Libido for the Ugly: psychoanalytic term The strong urge to love things ugly. Mencken deliberately chooses the word ―libido‖ in order to give his subject a scientific coloring， to create the impression that his description and analysis has some scientific foundation. 媚丑之欲 libido ---concept originated by Sigmund Freud to signify the instinctual physiological or psychic energy. Emotional energy; sexual desire * a special psychoanalytic term meaning psychic energy generally; * or specifically basic form of psychic energy, comprising the positive, loving instincts and manifested variously at different stages of personality development. 精神能量的一种基本形式，包含积极的爱的本能，并在性格发展的不同阶段 中表现出来
*Love is a Fallacy: ordinary sense & logical term 爱情是谬误
By revealing the ugliness of Westmoreland,the author attacks the whole American race--- a race that loves ugliness for its own sake, that lusts to make the world intolerable; a
race which hates beauty as it hates truth.which
beauty as it hates truth.
Fifty States in the U.S
California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois
（CA） （CO） （CT） （DE） （FL） （GA） （HI） （ID） （IL）
加利福尼亚 科罗拉多 康乃狄格 特拉华 佛罗里达 佐治亚 夏威夷 爱达荷 伊利诺斯
Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri
（LA） （ME） （MD） （MA） （MI） （MN） （MS） （MO）
路易西安那 缅因 马里兰 马萨诸塞 密西根 明尼苏达 密西西比 密苏里
Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire
（NE） （NV） （NH）
内布拉斯加 内华达 新罕布什尔
New Mexico New York
North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania
（NC） （ND） （OH） （OK） （OR） （PA）
北卡罗来纳 北达科他 俄亥俄 俄克拉荷马 俄勒冈 宾夕法尼亚
South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington
（SC） （SD） （TN） （TX） （UT） （VT） （VA） （WA）
南卡罗来纳 南达科他 田纳西 得克萨斯 犹他 佛蒙特 费吉尼亚 华盛顿
Pennsylvania State Profile
State Unique Name Capital City Location Bird Border States The Keystone State Harrisburg 40.27605 N, 076.88450 W Ruffed Grouse
Delaware - Maryland - New Jersey – New York - Ohio - West Virginia
Economy Agriculture Flower The Mountain Laurel Largest City Philadelphia Land Area 44,892 sq.mi. Population 1,20,19,661 Statehood December 12, 1787 Tree Hemlock http://i.cn.yahoo.com/jxlnjzm/blog/p_73/
University of Pennsylvania
Ivy League school 常春藤高校联盟
? ? ? ? ?
成： 布朗大学 (Brown University)、 哥伦比亚大学(Columbia University) 康奈尔大学 (Cornell University)、 达特茅斯学院 (Dartmouth University)、 哈佛大学 (Harvard University)、 普林斯顿大学 (Princeton University)、 宾夕法尼亚大学 (University of Pennsylvania)、 耶鲁大学 (Yale University)
Pittsburgh: a city in Southwest Pennsylvania. It is one of the most important industrial cities of America, and a center of rail and river transportation. Termed the ―Steel City‖ or ―Smoky City‖, it is the center of rich bituminous-coal(生煤) region, producing also natural gas, oil and limestone; a large part of U.S. steel and iron is produced here.→→→ wealth beyond computation,almost beyond imagination Westmoreland county: a county in Southwest Pennsylvania. Its county seat is Greensburg. It is a mining and manufacturing region. Greensburg: a county city of Westmoreland county, Southwest central Pennsylvania. 25 miles east southwest of Pittsburg.
The great wealth of this region & the abominable human habitations in Westmoreland county
structure & sentences & words
Part I (Para 1-5) Description of the ugliness : coverage, design, color; conclusion-championship In ugliness
Part II (Para 6-9) Analysis of the source of the ugliness—the libido for the ugliness
Section I (Para 1-2): general impression of Westmoreland; rich but ugly Section II (Para 3-5): Description of the design and color of the houses
Section I (Para 6-8): analysis The reason and cause why the people in Westmoreland love such ugly houses Section II (Para 9):conclusion Menken is being very critical of the American race and society which hates beauty as it hates truth
PART I Para 1--- The writer contrasts the great wealth of this region with the abominable human habitations seen everywhere. Para 2 ---The writer describes the coverage of the ugliness in the county. Para 3 ---The writer describes the ugliness of the house design Para 4 ---The writer describes the ugliness of the color of the bricks Para 5 ---The writer evaluates the ugliness of this region as the
top one in the world. PART II Para 6 ---The writer tries to trace the source of the ugliness from the foreigners Para 7 ---The writer speculates on a solution for the puzzle: libido for the ugly Para 8 ---The writer shows evidence to prove himself right Para 9 ---The writer finally gives an answer.
Main idea of each paragraph
Words and Expressions (Para 1)
appalling: horrifying, shocking, 令人震惊的 roll: to travel in a wheeled vehicle lucrative: producing wealth or profit; profitable; 有利可图的 hideous: horrible to see, hear, etc; very ugly or revolting; dreadful 非常丑陋的, bleak: cheerless, gloomy, desolate, depressing 荒凉的 forlorn: in pitiful condition; wretched; miserable 悲惨的, 不幸的 aspiration: strong desire or ambition, as for advancement, honor 热望,渴望 macabre: gruesome; grim and horrible; ghastly 令人毛骨悚然的 abominable: nasty and disgusting; vile; loathsome 讨厌的 alley: a narrow street or walk; especially, a lane behind a row of buildings or between two rows of buildings that face the adjacent streets. 胡同
Paraphrasing (Para 1)
1.Boy and man, I had been through it often before. As a boy and later when I was a grown-up man, I had often traveled through the region 2.Here … heart of industrial America, the center of its most lucrative and characteristic activity, the boast and pride of the richest and greatest nation ever seen on earth— Metaphor, comparing this center to the heart of a human body; hyperbole: exaggerating the richness and grandeur of the region and of America as a whole. Here was the center of the most profitable and characteristic American activity – industrial activity.; and here was a scene so dreadfully hideous, to a macabre and depressing joke. The scene that met the eye was terribly ugly and the whole region was so miserable and gloomy that it was unbearable. This dreadful scene makes all human endeavors to advance and improve their lot appear as a ghastly, saddening joke. 3.Here was wealth beyond computation, almost beyond Imagination –and here were human habitations so abominable that they would have disgraced a race of alley cats. Hyperbole: exaggerating the wealth that was beyond computation and imagination; And habitations so abominable that even homeless cats would have felt ashamed to live in them;
Words and Expressions (Para 2)
filth: disgustingly offensive dirt, garbage, etc. Agonizing: very painful sheer : absolute, complete, downright revolting: disgusting, offensive, loathsome monstrousness: strange shape lacerate: mangle (something soft, as flesh) wound or hurt (one‘s feelings, etc.) deeply; distress pretentious—seem important or significant, used to show disapproval(自命不凡,爱夸耀的,虚饰的,野心勃勃的) e.g. He was a talented but pretentious writer.
Crazy: (collo) foolish, insensible Misshapen---deformed, badly shaped shabby--- poor-looking, mean, unfair e.g. The beggar‘s clothes were shabby.
Leprous: having leprosy
This pub was of a very different type, smaller, less pretentious.
The mental patients received shabby treatment. What a shabby trick, leaving me to walk home alone.
Paraphrasing (Para 2)
1.What I allude to is the unbroken and agonizing ugliness, the sheer revolting monstrousness, of every house in sight. hyperbole, an exaggeration that every house is ugly. unbroken ugliness: ugliness that was continuous and uninterrupted. It was ugly no matter where you looked. agonizing ugliness: ugliness that caused great pain (to people who saw it) sheer revolting monstrousness: the absolute disgusting hideousness. 2.one blinked before them as one … a man with his face shot away. a simile. The ugliness of these houses was as gruesome as a face that has been shot and mangled. 3.A few linger in memory, horrible even there. Some of the houses remain in one‘s memory and later when one pictures them in one‘s mind they still appear to be horrible. 4.There was not a single decent house within …. There was not one that was not misshapen, and there was not one that was not shabby. The repetition of the same structural pattern and the use of double negatives help to emphasize the two words ―misshapen‖ and ―shabby‖.
similes ? ①a crazy little church --like a dormer-window on the side of a bare leprous hill; ? ②the headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars ---a steel stadium like a huge rattrap somewhere.
Words and Expressions (Para 3)
uncomely: having unpleasant appearance grime: dirt, esp. sooty dirt gully: a channel or hollow worn by running water; small narrow ravine 狭沟 High-pitched: steep in slope side of roofs dingy: dirty-colored; not bright or clean, grimy clapboard: a thin, narrow board with one edge thicker than the other, used as siding 护墙板, 隔墙 preposterous: so contrary to nature, reason, or common sense as to be laughable; absurd; ridiculous 反常的, 十分荒谬的 pier: a heavy column, usually square, used to support weight, as at the end of an arch 支柱 perpendicular: exactly upright; vertical, straight up and down 垂 直的 precarious: uncertain; insecure; risky 不安全的 streak ---vt to mark or cover with lines on… Eczematous/eczemas: of itching skin disease 湿疹的
Chalet---a type of Swiss house, built of wood with balconies
and overhanging eaves瑞士式小木屋
chalet with a high-pitched roof, to throw off the heavy Winter snows, but still essentially a low and clinging building, wider than it was tall)
1.The country itself is not uncomely not uncomely: litotes, meaning quite comely or pleasant to look at. The country itself is pleasant to look at. 2.…there are very few solid blocks. solid block: a group of buildings with no breaks or empty space separating them. Even in the larger towns there are very few solid blocks of houses, so there are still many empty spaces on which new buildings can be put up. 3. if there were architects of any professional sense or dignity
in the region, they would have perfected a chalet… sarcasm. It sarcastically emphasizes the fact that there were no architects worthy of the honor or the high standards demanded of by its profession. 4.They have taken as their model a brick set on end. The model they followed was a brick standing upright. 5.And one and all they are streaked in grime, with dead and eczematous patches of paint peeing through the streaks.每幢房屋上都积有一道道的尘 垢印痕，而那一道道 垢痕的间隙中，还隐隐约约露出一些像湿疹痂一样的油漆 斑痕。 metaphor, comparing the patches of paint to dried-up scales formed by a skin disease. All the houses here are smeared with sooty dirt, and some paint which is not covered up by the soot looks like dried-up scales formed on the skin by eczema.
Paraphrasing (Para 3)
A Brief Introduction to Litotes
not uncomely—quite pleasant, beautiful
Litotes 曲言法(正话反说), 是(understatement) 低调陈述中的一种 表现形式. 主要是用no, not, none, never以及否定词缀等否定词 或否定表达法来表述肯定的内容. e.g. The face wasn‘t a bad one; it had what they called charm. The man is no fool. It was no small skill to putting a knife into the mouth without getting hurt.
(understatement) 低调陈述的另一种表现手法是弱说代替强说. 常用sort of, something of, rather, hardly, scarcely, almost 之 类的词. e.g. ―Money,‖ she says with quiet understatement, ―is kind of tight.. But I manage.‖
Her score is far from being satisfactory. Her score leaves much to be desired Mr. Li is something of a professor.
Words and Expressions (Para 4)
downright----adj. straightforward, frank e.g. Her downright answer startled us present. He is a downright sort of person. ---adj. complete e.g. You are a downright cheat. She told a downright lie. downright ---adv. Absolutely, 彻头彻尾的 e.g. He was downright rude to us. It makes me downright angry to see food thrown away. loathsome----adj. to be disgusting, hated e.g. Some people think snakes are loathsome creatures while others think otherwise. The villain of the play was completely loathsome. uremia: a toxic condition caused by the presence in the blood of waste products normally eliminated in the urine and resulting from a failure of the kidneys to secrete urine.
Paraphrasing (Para 4)
1.When it has taken on the patina of the mills it is the color of an egg long past all hope or caring. ridicule and irony, laughing scornfully at the color of these houses; also metaphor, comparing the color of the bricks to color of rotten eggs. When the brick is covered with black soot of the mills it takes on the color of a rotten egg. 2.No more than it was necessary to set all of the houses on end. Neither was necessary. The writer poses the question in order to provoke the questioning of the cause. 3.Red brick, even in a steel town, ages with some dignity. Red brick, even in a steel town, looks quite re
spectable with the passing of time. Even in a steel town, old red bricks still appear pleasing to the eye. 4.But in Westmoreland they prefer that uremic yellow, But it seems that people in Westmoreland county prefer that yellow color produced by the disease uremia. 5.and so they have the most loathsome towns and villages ever seen by mortal eye. hyperbole, exaggerating the ugliness of the towns and villages. mortal eye: human eyes
Sarcasm: a bitter or wounding remark, 主要用于伤人感情的那一类幽默, 常运用嘲笑或讽刺性反语 e.g. Obviously, if there were architects of any professional sense of dignity in the region, they would have perfected a chalet to hug the hillsides. …having chosen it, they let in mellow into its present shocking depravity. ? Sarcasm and irony e.g. I award this championship only after laborious research and incessant prayer. It is incredible that mere ignorance should have achieved such masterpieces of horror. ? Ridicule- make fun of, deride, laugh at. Make ridiculous e.g. …a steel stadium like a huge rat-trap somewhere further down the line. …they made it perfect in their own sight by putting a completely impossible penthouse. ? irony (saying one thing and meaning the opposite)
A Comparison of Sarcasm(讽刺), ridicule(嘲弄), irony(反讽),
Words and Expressions (Para 5)
laborious: involving much hard work; difficult; industrious; hardworking decompose: break up or separate into basic components or parts; rot malarious: of fever conveyed by mosquitoes forsake: give up; renounce ( a habit, idea, etc.) hamlet: a very small village aberrant: turning away from what is right, true, etc; deviating from what is normal or typical uncompromising: not yielding; firm; inflexible; determined inimical: like an enemy; hostile; unfriendly; adverse; unfavorable ingenuity: cleverness, originality, skill, etc. grotesquery: the quality or state of being grotesque diabolical: of the devil or devils; fiendish concoct: devise, invent, or plan
Paraphrasing (Para 5)
1. I award this championship only after laborious research and incessant prayer. sarcasm and irony. I came to the conclusion that Westmorland had the most loathsome towns and villages only after visiting anc comparing many places not only in the United States but also in other countries and after constantly praying to God for guidance. championship: used ironically to describe not the best but the worst. 2. I have seen…. I am familiar with…, and have made scientific explorations …. Safe in a Pullman, I have whirled through … I have been to… Parallel structures to show his visits to those places. in a pullman: traveling in a pullman car. (which was named after its inventor George M. Pullman (1831-97) antonomasia back streets: small, mean streets; streets in slum area God-forsaken villages: gloomy. Desolate villages tidewater hamlet: very small village near the sea affected by the rise and fall of tides 3. They are incomparable in co
lor, and they are incomparable in design. sarcasm. People cannot find such terrible color and design in any other region.
4.It is as if some titanic and aberrant genius, uncompromisingly inimical to man, had devoted all the ingenuity of Hell to the making of them. 仿佛有什么与人类不共戴天的、能力超常的鬼才，费尽心机，利用鬼斧神工， 才造出这些丑陋无比的房屋来。 genius: used ironically to mean an evil genius, having great ability to do evil. Hell: the powers of evil or darkness hyperbole and irony. It is as some genius of great power, who didn‘t like to do the right things and who was an inflexible enemy of man, employed all the cleverness and skill of hell to build these ugly houses. 5.They show grotesqueries of ugliness that, in retrospect, become almost diabolical. They show such fantastic and bizarre ugliness that, in looking back, they become almost fiendish and wicked. 6. one can scarcely imagine human beings bearing life in them. One can scarcely imagine people living in these houses and bearing and bringing up children in them
Words and Expressions & Paraphrasing (Para 6)
1.Are they so frightful because the valley is full of foreigners—dull, insensate brutes, with no love of beauty in them? insensate: not feeling, or not capable of feeling Rhetoric question for effect. Are the houses so frightfully ugly because the valley is inhabited by a lot of foreigners who are stupid and unfeeling like animals and who have no love of beauty in them? 2.—saving perhaps in the more putrid parts of England. putrid: decomposing; rotten and foul-smelling you won’t find any abominable houses in Europe, except in some rotten and decaying areas in England. 3.But in the American village and small town the pull is always toward ugliness, and in that Westmoreland valley it has been yielded to with an eagerness bordering upon passion. pull: drawing force, appeal border upon: to be like, almost be sarcasm. But in the American village and small town, the appeal is always towards ugliness, and in that Westmoreland valley people have given in to this appeal eagerly or almost passionately. 4.It is incredible … achieved such masterpieces of horror. sarcasm and irnoy. It is hard to believe that people built such horrible houses just because they did not know what beautiful houses were like.
Words and Expressions & Paraphrasing (Para 7)
1.There seems to be a positive libido for the ugly, as on other and less Christian levels there is a libido for the beautiful.美国某些阶层的人们当中似乎的的确确存在着一 种爱丑之欲，如同在另一些不那么虔信基督教的阶层当中存在着一种爱美之心一样。 antithesis. People in certain strata of American society seem definitely to hunger after ugly things; while in other less Christian strata, people seem to long for things beautiful 2.it is impossible to put down the wallpaper that defaces the average American home of the lower midd
le class to mere inadvertence, or to the obscene humor of the manufacturers. put down (to) attribute (to) deface: spoil the appearance of ; disfigure; mar 损坏外表 inadvertence: the quality of being inadvertent; oversight, 粗心大意，疏忽 obscene: offensive to one‘s feelings, or to prevailing notions of modesty of decency; lewd; disgusting 猥渎的， 可憎的 3.They meet, in some unfathomable way, its obscure and unintelligible demands. 它们以某种莫名其妙的方式满足了这种人的某种晦涩难解的心理需要。 unfathomable: which cannot be understood; which cannot be reached. These ugly designs, in some way that people cannot understand, satisfy the hidden and unintelligible demands of this type of mind.
Words and Expressions & Paraphrasing (Para 8)
1.But they chose that clapboarded horror with their eyes open, and having chosen it, they let it mellow into its present shocking depravity. with eyes open: with full understanding of what is involved mellow: to make full, rich, soft, gentle. Mencken uses this word ironically to mean ―to let it deteriorate, to let it go from bad to worse‖ depravity: a depraved condition; corruption; wickedess They chose, fully understanding what they were doing, this horrible house made of clapboard and then let it deteriorate to this present shocking, sinful condition 2.They like it as it is: beside it, the Parthenon would no doubt offend them. sarcasm. If one were to put a beautiful building like the Parthenon there, they would be offended. 3.After … they made it perfect in their own sight by putting a completely impossible penthouse, painted a staring yellow, on top of it. impossible: not capable of being endured, used, agreed to; hard to tolerate ridicule. They put a penthouse on top of it, painted in a bright, conspicuous yellow color and thought it looked perfect but they only managed to make it absolutely intolerable. 4.The effect is that of a fat woman with a black eye. ….of a Presbyterian grinning. metaphors, comparing the ugliness to a woman and a Prebyterian grin
The Parthenon(帕台农神庙) A beautiful doric temple built in honor of the virgin (Parthenon) goddess Athena on the Acropolis in Athena around 5th century B.C. 帕台农（特侬)神庙是女神雅典娜的主要 神庙，位于雅典卫城上，建于公元前 447年和公元前432年之间，被认为是 多利安式建筑的杰出代表。 帕特侬神庙几经天灾人祸，真是历尽人 间沧桑。公元393年它被改作基督教堂。 在土耳其统治时期，它又成了伊斯兰的 寺院。公元1687年威尼斯军队炮轰城堡， 引爆了土耳其人堆放在神庙里的炸药， 把庙顶和殿墙全部炸塌。19世纪初，英 国驻君士坦丁堡的大使埃尔金，雇用工 匠，把表现雅典娜勋业的巨型大理石浮 雕群像劫走。这批稀世之珍，有些在锯 凿过程中破碎损毁，有些因航海遇难而 沉入海底，幸存的至今仍陈列在英法
Words and Expressions & Paraphrasing (Para 9)
etiology: the assignment of a cause, or the cause assignment 病源学 in obedience to: according to pathological: of pathology; of or concerned with diseases 病理学的
1.Out of the melting pot emerges a race which hates beauty as it hates truth. melting pot: a country, place, etc. in which immigrates of various nationalities and races are assimilated. From the intermingling of different nationalities and races in the United States emerges the American race which hates beauty as strongly as it hates truth. 2.It arises and flourishes in obedience to biological laws, and not as a mere act of God. The birth and development of this madness is governed by the scientific laws of biology and not due to some supernatural act of God. 3.Let some honest Privat Dozent in pathological sociology apply himself to the problem. Privat Dozent: in German universities, an unsalaried letterer paid only by his students‘ fees. apply: to concentrate one‘s faculties on; employ oneself diligently Let some lectuerer in pathological sociology work diligently on this problem
In the 9th paragraph, the writer restated the reasons that Americans love ugliness, makes his writing sound scientific: psychological madness, abnormal state of mind 1. What‘s referred to as ?melting pot‘?
As immigrants from different regions and cultures came to live in the United States, their old ways of life melt away and they became part of the American culture.
2. In the last sentence, the writer leaves the problems to some university professors. Is it a psychological problem or social problem?
A piece of subjective, impressionistic or emotional description ( Contrary to Unit Two) 2) Excessive use of strong language, words bordering upon the abusive e.g ugliness described on all levels:
Profuse use of hyperboles, metaphors, similes ;over-rhetorical(AS far as description is concerned, he defeats his own purpose by the over use of rhetorical devices.) Use of images of diseases: leprosy, eczemas, uremia to create the impression of US. Being very sick. eczematous(湿疹一样的） uremic（尿毒症的） malarious(疟疾的） leprous(麻风病 的） Drawbacks: The excessive use of strong language is self-defeating. On the one hand, all the force of diction, structure and figures only to batter his readers into insensitivity; on the other hand, the average reader begins to doubt the objectivity and fairness or even the honesty of the writer.
adj.: hideous, abominable nouns: abominations, horrors, monstrousness adv + adj: dreadfully hideous; intolerably bleak -ing + n.: revolting monstrousness phrases: like a fat woman with black eye clauses: as one blinked before a face shot away
VII. Detailed Study of the Text
Part I Paragraph 1 Sentence 1: Pittsburgh: city in Southwest Pennsylvania, one of most important industrial cities, center of rail and river transportation. Ter
med “Steel City” / “Smoky City”. A large part of U. S. steel and iron is produced here. Westmoreland county: county in Southwest Pennsylvania, its county seat is Greensburg. It is a mining and manufacturing region. Sentence 2: Boy and man: As a boy and later when I was a grown-up man Sentence 3: paraphrase: But somehow in the past I never really perceived how shocking and wretched this whole region was.
Sentence 4: Here was…joke: Many figures of speech are used in the long sentence. 1, metaphor, compare this most important centre of industrial America to the heart of a human body 2, hyperbole, exaggerating the richness and grandeur of this region and of America as a whole—the boast and pride of the richest and grandest nation ever seen on earth 3, antithetical contrast, “the richest and grandest region” contrasted with “the hideous, bleak and forlorn scene”. lucrative and characteristic activity: profitable and characteristic American industrial activity (manufacture and production of goods as distinguished from agriculture) and here was a scene so dreadfully…joke: the scene that met the eye was terribly ugly and the whole region was so miserable and gloomy that it was unbearable.
Sentence 5: Two figures of speech are used in this sentence. 1, hyperbole, exaggerating the wealth that was beyond computation and imagination; and habitations so abominable that even homeless cats would have felt ashamed to live in them 2, antithetical contrast of wealth and abominable habitations
paraphrase: People could not imagine or calculate the amount of wealth that was to be found in this region. And in this same region there were such terrible and disgusting houses that even homeless, mongrel cats would feel ashamed to live in them.
Paragraph 2 Sentence 3: unbroken ugliness: ugliness that was continuous and uninterrupted. It was ugly no matter where you looked. agonizing ugliness: ugliness that caused great pain to people who saw it sheer revolting monstrousness: the absolute disgusting hideousness paraphrase: hyperbole, an exaggeration that is hard to believe. Actually not every house could have been that ugly.
Sentence 4: paraphrase: Every house a passenger saw when traveling by train from East Liberty to Greensburg, was so ugly that it offended and hurt his eyes.
Sentence 5: they were…pretentious: these houses that were especially ugly were also important buildings, claiming some distinction. one blinked…shot away: a simile, the ugliness of these houses was as gruesome as a face that has been shot and mangled/cut, hurt. Sentence 6: A few linger…there: Some of the houses remain in one’s memory and later when one pictures them in one’s mind they still appear to be horrible. a crazy…leprous hill: a simile, a foolish little church just west of Jeannette was built like a dormer-window on a hillside that was bare and looked as repulsive as the skin of a leper. a steel stadium…the line: simile and ridicule. It was a larg
e round oval structure made of steel and looked like a big rat trap. This headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars was a bit further down the railway line than the church at Jeanette.
Sentence 7: paraphrase: This is my general impression of most of the houses. They are horrible from one to another. Sentence 8: yard: a railway centre where trains are made up, serviced, switched from track to track, etc. paraphrase: When traveling from Pittsburgh to Greensburg, one did not see a single decent house. Sentence 9: Repetition of same structure pattern and the use of double negatives help to emphasize the two words “misshapen” and “shabby”.
Sentence 1: paraphrase: The country itself is pleasant to look at, despite the sooty dirt spread by the innumerable mills in this region. Sentence 3: paraphrase: In this area a great number of people live close together but it doesn’t give the impression of being overcrowded. Sentence 4: paraphrase: Even in the larger towns there are very few solid blocks of houses, so there are still many empty spaces on which new buildings can be put up. Sentence 6: Obviously…the hillsides: sarcasm, the “if” clause sarcastically emphasizes the fact that there were no architects worthy of its name (the honor or the high standards demanded of by its profession) in this region. If there had been such architects they would naturally have built Swiss-type houses which would lie low and clinging to the hillsides. a chalet with…snows: a chalet whose roof was steep in slope so that heavy Winter snows would slide off them easily.
Sentence 8: They have taken…on end.: The model they followed in building their houses was a brick standing upright. All the houses they built looked like bricks standing upright. Sentence 9: paraphrase: These brick-like houses were made of shabby, thin wooden boards and their roofs were narrow and had little slope. Sentence 10: paraphrase: The whole house was set upon (supported by) thin and ridiculous looking brick columns. Sentence 11: paraphrase: simile, comparing these houses to gravestones in a big, rotting cemetry. Sentence 12: on their low sides…mud: metaphor, comparing the houses to pigs wallowing in the mud. Since these houses are built on the hillsides and set on brick piers, one side is high and the other is low. The low sides make them look like pigs burying themselves in the mud.
Sentence 15: And one and all…the streaks.: metaphor, comparing the patches of paint to driedup scales formed by a skin disease. The piling up of images (gravestones, bury swinishly, dead and eczematous patches) tends to weaken the picture of ugliness. paraphrase: All the houses here are smeared with sooty dirt, and some paint which is not covered up by the soot looks like dried-up scales formed on the skin by eczema.
Part II Paragraph 4 Sentence 2: paraphrase: elliptical. But what (terrible) brick (it is)! expressing shock, surprise, wonder, etc.
Sentence 4: ridicule and irony,
laughing scornfully at the color of these houses; also metaphor, compare color of bricks to color of rotten eggs. patina: green or greenish-blue color that ageing brings to bronze or copper objects. Here uses it ironically to describe the grime of the mills. long past all hope or caring: (facetious) egg long past time, no hope edible; no people concern about it, it was a thoroughly rotten egg. paraphrase: When the brick is covered with the black soot of the mills it takes on the color of a rotten egg.
Sentence 7: Paraphrase: (old) red brick, even in a steel town, looks still quite respectable (pleasing to the eye) with the passing of time. Sentence 9: uremia: a toxic condition caused by the presence in the blood of waste products normally eliminated in the urine and resulting from a failure of the kidneys to secrete urine. they have the most…mortal eye: hyperbole, exaggerating the ugliness of the towns and villages in Westmoreland county Paraphrase: But it seems that people in Westmoreland county prefer that yellow color produced by the disease uremia (color of rotten egg or of urine plus blood). And so the towns and villages in that area were the ugliest and sickest ones in the human history.
Sentence 1: sarcasm and irony championship: use this word ironically to describe not the best but the worst. prayer: asking God to help him come to a correct decision. It is terrible to call a place the ugliest in the world so he must not make a mistake. paraphrase: I have given Westmoreland the highest award for ugliness only after visiting and comparing many places not only in the U. S. but also in other countries and after constantly praying God for guidance.
Sentence 5: Safe in …Georgia: pullman: a railway car with private compartments as seats that can be made up into berths for sleeping. It is so-called after the U.S. inventor, George M. Pullman (1831-97). whirl: move, go, drive, etc. swiftly tidewater hamlet: very small village near the sea affected by the rise and fall of tides Paraphrase: Traveling in a pullman car, I passed through the gloomy, desolate villages of Iowa and Kansas, and the malaria infested hamlets of Georgia.
Sentence 8: They are incomparable…in design. incomparable: beyond comparison; unequaled; matchless. This word has the connotative meaning of superb excellence but Mencken uses it ironically to mean that the color and design were so bad that you couldn’t find any which was worse. Paraphrase: sarcasm. People can’t find such terrible color and design in any other region.
Sentence 9: genius: used ironically to mean an evil genius, having great ability to do evil Hell: the powers of evil or darkness paraphrase: hyperbole and irony. It is as if some genius of great power, who didn’t like to do the right things and who was an inflexible enemy of man, employed all the cleverness and skill of hell to build these ugly houses.
Sentence 10: grotesquerie: a grotesque thing; a thing characterized by disto
rtions or striking incongruities in appearance, shape, manner, etc.; fantastic; bizarre diabolical: of the devil paraphrase: When one looks back at these houses whose ugliness is so fantastic and bizarre one feels they must be the work of the devil himself.
Sentence 1: insensate: not feeling, or not capable of feeling, sensation brute: of or like an animal; having no consciousness or feelings Paraphrase: rhetorical question for effect. Are the houses so frightfully ugly because the valley is inhabited by a lot of foreigners who are stupid and unfeeling like animals and who have no love of beauty in them? Sentence 3: paraphrase: In fact, you won’t find any abominable houses in Europe, except perhaps in some rotten and decaying areas in England.
Sentence 6: But in the American…upon passion. pull: drawing force, appeal yield: surrender, give in to border upon: to be like, almost be paraphrase: sarcasm. But in the American village and small town, the appeal (drawing power) is always towards ugliness, and in that Westmoreland valley people have given in to this appeal eagerly or almost passionately.
Sentence 7: masterpiece: a thing made or done with masterly skill; great work of art or craftsmanship. Here using this word ironically to say that the houses were so horrible that no one could build worse ones. paraphrase: sarcasm and irony. It is hard to believe that people built such horrible houses just because they did not know what beautiful houses were like.
Part III Paragraph 7 Sentence 1: level: position, rank considered as one of the planes in a scale of values Christian: Mencken mocks at the Christians and attacks their code of behavior. The Christians are supposed to have the qualities of love, kindness, humility, etc., but Mencken thinks they do not know what is beautiful. Pagans, not Christians, know what is beautiful. paraphrase: antithesis, balancing “libido for the ugly” against “libido for the beautiful”. People in certain strata of American society seem definitely to hunger after ugly things; while in other less Christian strata, people seem to long for things beautiful.
Sentence 2: paraphrase: The wallpaper made the houses of the lower middle class quite ugly, but we cannot say it is only caused by their oversight or by the indecent humor of the builders. Sentence 3: paraphrase: It is clear that the horribly ugly designs on the wallpaper give real delight to a certain type of people.
Sentence 4: paraphrase: These ugly designs, in some way that people cannot understand, satisfy the hidden and unintelligible demands of this type of mind. Sentence 5: paraphrase: It is just like a secret / incredible why those people like such ugly houses, and yet it is as common as that we cannot understand why some people like theology and the poetry by Edgar A. Guest.
Sentence 1: paraphrase: And so I suspect (though I admit I don’t know exactly / am not quite sure) that almost all (at least 90%) the people
( including all the Americans) in this area like, respect and take pride in living in these ugly houses. Sentence 3: paraphrase: Of course, there are lots of / enough empty buildings along the railway, and some are much more good-looking. So we cannot understand why the Veterans of Foreign Wars chose the horrible building as their headquarters /office site. Sentence 5: with their eyes open: with full understanding of what is involved mellow: to make full, rich, soft, gentle, etc. Mencken uses this word ironically to mean “to let deteriorate, to let it go from bad to worse”. paraphrase: They chose, fully understanding what they were doing, this horrible house made of clapboard and then let it deteriorate to this present shocking, sinful condition.
Sentence 6: paraphrase: sarcasm. They like things ugly and do not know what is beautiful. If one were to put a beautiful building like the Parthenon there, they would be offended. Sentence 7: paraphrase: metaphor, The creators/makers of the round oval structure that was like a rat-trap that I mentioned before also made a deliberate choice (to make the building ugly), fully knowing what they were doing. Sentence 8: impossible: not capable of being endured, used, agreed to, etc. because disagreeable or unsuitable; hard to tolerate they made it perfect…of it: ridicule. They put a penthouse on top of it, painted in a bright, conspicuous yellow color and thought it looked perfect but they only managed to make it absolutely intolerable.
Sentence 9: black eye: a discoloration of the skin or flesh surrounding an eye, resulting from a sharp blow or contusion. paraphrase: metaphor, comparing the ugly rat-trap stadium with an impossible yellow penthouse to a fat woman with a black eye. Sentence 10: paraphrase: Menken assumes that Presbyterians are puritanical, somberfaced people who never smile or laugh. Hence people are shocked by the unexpected and incongruous sight of a Presbyterian grinning.
Paragraph 9 Sentence 1: for its own sake: loving ugliness just for the purpose of loving ugliness. They loved ugliness because it was ugly and for no other reason. lust: overmastering desire; intense enthusiasm paraphrase: So far psychologists haven’t paid sufficient attention to the problems of the love of ugliness for its own sake, and the lust to make the world intolerable. Sentence 2 paraphrase: The place where this psychological attitude is found is the United States.
Sentence 3: melting pot: a country, place, etc. in which immigrants of various nationalities and races are assimilated paraphrase: From the intermingling of different nationalities and races in the United States emerges the American race which hates beauty as strongly as it hates truth.
Sentence 5 : it arises…act of God. paraphrase: The birth and development of this madness is governed by the scientific laws of biology and not due to some supernatural act of God. Sentence 8: Privat Dozent: in German universities, an unsalaried lecturer p
aid only by his students’ fees Pathological sociology: science dealing with the diseases of human society apply: to concentrate one’s faculties on; employ oneself diligently paraphrase: Let some lecturer in pathological sociology work diligently on this problem.
(allude to, there is not one that…, revolt, incomparable, in retrospect, border upon, put down…to…, if there is any , sheer, concoct) 1) 这种行为简直是愚蠢. Such behavior was sheer foolishness. 2) 不要将所有的不幸都归因于命运. Don’t put down all your misfortunes to fate. 3) 回想起来, 他所作的一切都是为了让我们全家过上像样的日子. In retrospect, he did everything so that our family could live a decent life. 4) 他没有指名道姓,但我们都明白他是在讲我. He did not mention a name, yet we all knew that he alluded to me. 5) 他那副自命不凡的德行真让人感到恶心. His pretentious manner revolted me. 6) 我们的校园大而美,这在湖南省高校中是首屈一指的. Our campus is incomparable in size as well as in beauty among all the universities in Hunan Province. 7) 她对摇滚乐的喜爱近似于疯狂. Her love for rock’n’roll borders upon craziness. (She has a strong love for rock’n’roll bordering upon craziness) 8) Jenny编造了一个没有交作业的借口, 老师居然相信了. Jenny concocted an excuse for failing to hand in her exercises, and the teacher believed her. 9) 考试结束了, 人人都松了一口气. There was not one who was not relieved at the end of the examination. 10) 你如果还有一点羞耻感的话, 你早就该认认真真地把这件事做完了. If there were any sense of shame in you, you should have finished it seriously long ago.