“Nice comes from the Latin word for “stupid”,’ said Griffin. ‘We do not want to be nice.” Nice comes to us by way of the Old French nice (‘weak, clumsy, silly’), from the Latin nescius (‘ignorant, not knowing’).
“The English made regular use of only two flavours – salty and not salty – and did not seem to recognize any of the others. For a country that profited so well from trading in spices, its citizens were violently averse to actually using them; in all his time in Hampstead, he never tasted a dish that could be properly described as ‘seasoned’, let alone ‘spicy’.”
“Tabby cats were named after a striped silk that was in turn named for its place of origin: a quarter of Baghdad named al-‘Attābiyya.”
“New words in English were a game to him, for in understanding the word he always came to understand something about English history or culture itself. He delighted when common words were, unexpectedly, formed from other words he knew. Hussy was a compound of house and wife. Holiday was a compound of holy and day. Bedlam came, implausibly, from Bethlehem. Goodbye was, incredibly, a shortened version of God be with you.”
Language was always the companion of empire, and as such, together they begin, grow, and flourish. And later, together, they fall.
The phrase tantú （坦途）literally meant ‘a flat road’, metaphorically, a ‘a tranquil life’. This is what he wanted: a smooth, even path to a future with no surprises. The only obstacle, of course, was his conscience.
The Persian word farang, which was used to refer to Europeans, appeared to be a cognate of the English foreign. But farang actually arose from a reference to the Franks, and morphed to encompass Western Europeans.”
The origins of the word anger were tied closely to physical suffering. Anger was first an ‘affliction’, as meant by the Old Icelandic angr, and then a ‘painful, cruel, narrow’ state, as meant by the Old English enge, which in turn came from the Latin angor, which meant ‘strangling, anguish, distress’. Anger was a chokehold. Anger did not empower you. It sat on your chest; it squeezed your ribs until you felt trapped, suffocated, out of options. Anger simmered, then exploded. Anger was constriction, and the consequent rage a desperate attempt to breathe.”
It doesn’t translate well into English. It means “whereabouts”. A place where one feels like home, where they feel like themselves. She wrote out the kanji characters for him in the air – 居場所 – and he recognised their Chinese equivalents. The character for a residence. The characters for a place.
《使女的故事》大结局第十集十分动人。很同意剧作人的说法“the most romantic season for Nick and June, even though they were physically far apart.” 有《英伦病人》的感觉。两个人花了整整一季来说服自己对方不再需要自己。可以各回各家，分道扬镳了。Nick “was trying on the Gilead shoes.” Nick相信Lawrence的说辞要把Gilead改好。他也认为在多伦多June是安全的。但是最后知道Gilead开始暗杀June而且几乎得手，他放弃了一切换来在她依然昏迷时看看她。最后在桥上和Mark Tuello的对话让我泪目。
Nick: I will keep my end of the deal. You just keep her safe. Mark:I will do everything I can. Nick: That’s not good enough. Gilead wants her to suffer, they will keep coming for her, then her family. They won’t stop. I need to know you will protect her.
Mark:When you met June, when you were at the Waterford’s. You still held rank in the eyes, didn’t you? Nick: Yes, most of the drivers work for the eyes. Mark: That would give you the chance to run. Maybe not Canada. But there were places you could have gone. You could have run away with her. Nick: [Thoughtful for a bit] She has people who care for her. She doesn’t need me. I’m nothing. Mark:No, you are not. Commander. Not to her.
“What do you mean, you’ve never heard of Lydia Tár? Come on, you must know her. She was a protégée of Bernstein’s. She’s the one who conducted orchestras in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, and New York before taking charge of the Berlin Philharmonic. She has a Grammy, an Oscar, a Tony, and an Emmy—the royal flush of accolades. It’s true that she happens to be a fictional character, incarnated by Cate Blanchett in Todd Field’s new movie, “Tár,” but that is a footling detail. This woman is alive, ominously articulate, crisply styled, and all too present. She burns like a cool flame.”- Cate Blanchett Is Imperious and Incandescent in “Tár”
电视剧 － 使女的故事第五季
The Handmaind’s Tale第五季在Hulu上开播了，每周放一集，上周放到第七集。一如既往的好看和感动。
Ursula K. Le Guin的 “The Found and the Lost”短篇小说集中文版刚出版。也是在豆瓣看到力荐，发现自己没有读过。前两天去旧金山公立图书馆借了英文有声书，刚听了两个半故事，觉得简直太好了。虽然说是短篇但是人物巨多，时间线巨跳，听得糊里糊涂，就去把电子版也借出来，听两耳朵读两页。觉得Ursula K. Le Guin真是女性写作的奶奶，那不勒斯四部曲和Broken Earth Trilogy写到的东西Ursula K. Le Guin很久前就开始写了。。。
第一篇”Vaster than Empires and More Slow” 就被惊艳到。瑰丽而奇异的异世界，优美而精致的深入人性。在豆瓣看到标题来自这首诗
To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell Had we but world enough and time, This coyness, lady, were no crime. We would sit down, and think which way To walk, and pass our long love’s day. Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide Of Humber would complain. I would Love you ten years before the flood, And you should, if you please, refuse Till the conversion of the Jews. My vegetable love should grow Vaster than empires and more slow; An hundred years should go to praise Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze; Two hundred to adore each breast, But thirty thousand to the rest; An age at least to every part, And the last age should show your heart. For, lady, you deserve this state, Nor would I love at lower rate. But at my back I always hear Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near; And yonder all before us lie Deserts of vast eternity. Thy beauty shall no more be found; Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound My echoing song; then worms shall try That long-preserved virginity, And your quaint honour turn to dust, And into ashes all my lust; The grave’s a fine and private place, But none, I think, do there embrace. Now therefore, while the youthful hue Sits on thy skin like morning dew, And while thy willing soul transpires At every pore with instant fires, Now let us sport us while we may, And now, like amorous birds of prey, Rather at once our time devour Than languish in his slow-chapped power. Let us roll all our strength and all Our sweetness up into one ball, And tear our pleasures with rough strife Through the iron gates of life: Thus, though we cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we make him run.
刚看完第四篇”The Matter of Seggri”。 想象一个跟地球相反的女性社会，男性只是用来传种接代或者装饰起来观赏的花瓶（战斗花瓶）。各种让人莞尔的妙句：
the man have all the privilege and the women have all the power.
…that learning was very bad for men: it weakens a man’s sense of honor, makes his muscles flabby, and leaves him impotent..“What goes to the brain takes from the testicles,” she said. “Men have to be sheltered from education for their own good.”
we don’t let the men kill each other, we protect them, they’re our treasures.
this is a terrible place to be a man.
Maybe some day it will be possible for a boy to choose his life. Among your peoples a man’s body does not shape his fate, does it? Maybe some day that will be so here.
Even highly educated, enlightened women have difficulty accepting men as their intellectual equals.
Elena Ferrante这名字在纽约客出现过几次。我知道这是个意大利的”匿名作家“。顶着这个笔名写了一系列畅销小说。那不勒斯四部曲(neapolitan novels)是最新的一个系列，也是最红的。而且小说以女性视角来写。据说功力非凡。史无前例。更有意思是作者坚决不露面。只有TA的编辑知道其真面目。所以大家沸沸扬扬猜来猜去。甚至有人说是位男作家冒着女人的名字写的（这是有多大男子主义啊！写的好的小说就一定是男性作家？！！）
The language is Italian and its dialects. The genre is neorealist melodrama, with a sumptuous nostalgia for the Golden Age films of Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, and Luchino Visconti. The costumes and art, with their deep colors and stylized shabbiness and sumptuous austerity, are like a Prada ad for working-class gloom. The bricklayer’s son seethes about economic injustice while sporting an excellent maroon turtleneck. The atmosphere is thick in a way that sometimes verges on self-parody and sometimes feels appropriate amid the ferocity of the friendship between Elena and Lila and the intensity of the adult intrigues as the children understand them. Tales of adultery and usury roll down to their ears by way of gossip, misheard whispers, and cautionary folklore, and they snowball into thrilling myth. Beneath the show’s heavy coats of operatic varnish and prestige-TV enamel, it demonstrates a humble tenderness.
I’m comforted by stories that emerge through horror to a turning point, stories in which someone is redeemed as confirmation that peace and happiness are possible, or that one can return to a private or public Eden. But I tried to write a story like that, long ago, and I discovered that I didn’t believe in it. I’m drawn, rather, to images of crisis, to seals that are broken. When shapes lose their contours, we see what most terrifies us, as in Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” Kafka’s “Metamorphosis,” and Clarice Lispector’s extraordinary “Passion According to G.H.” You don’t go beyond that; you have to take a step back and, to survive, reënter some good fiction. I don’t believe, however, that every fiction we orchestrate is good. I cling to those that are painful, those that arise from a profound crisis of all our illusions. I love unreal things when they show signs of firsthand knowledge of the terror, and hence an awareness that they are unreal, that they will not hold up for long against the collisions. Human beings are extremely violent animals, and the violence they are always ready to use in order to impose their own eternal, salvific life vest, while shattering those of others, is frightening. －https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-tu … a-ferrante