楼主:乐视助手 时间:2019年10月20日 18:25:32 点击:0 回复:0
TERROR, stagnation, exile, hope and disillusion are the fabric of Russian history in the last century. These are also the backdrop for Owen Matthews’s poignant history of his family’s battle with Soviet bureaucracy at its most callous and Western officialdom at its most complacent.His father Mervyn was one of the earliest British graduates allowed to study in Russia in the 1950s. This changed his life. First, he fell in love with Lyudmila, the frail, brainy daughter of a senior communist purged in the 1930s. Second, he flirted with the KGB. They insisted that he work for them. When he refused, he was expelled, permanently, from the Soviet Union. Lyudmila’s repeated applications for an exit visa were denied.That could have been the end, among millions of other commonplace tragedies in the decades that the Kremlin devoted to creating paradise on earth. But it wasn’t. Showing great reserves of determination, Mervyn Matthews spent the next five years running a thbare but relentless campaign to get Lyudmila to Britain. He buttonholed any public figure who could help, harassed the press and infuriated Foreign Office mandarins who regarded the whole affair as an irrelevant nuisance. He travelled round Europe to try to lobby visiting Soviet bigwigs, and even managed twice to slip into the Soviet Union on visa-free day trips from Finland to see her.In between he wrote daily to Lyudmila in spare but affectionate prose. He carefully kept copies of his own letters and of her replies, which are steeped with frustrated uxoriousness (love mixed with fussing about his diet and clothes). Through these extracts the er can almost smell the longing and the willpower. They also show how the couple’s unhappy families—Mervyn’s father is absent because he disliked his relations, Lyudmila’s because he died in the Gulag—made them seem to match each other so neatly.The campaign for Lyudmila cost Mervyn his academic career. He did not publish his work on Soviet sociology for fear of offending the Kremlin. After lobbying a visitor to his Oxford college too brusquely, he was eased out and took a job at another university which he despised. In Moscow, Lyudmila was hounded for her love affair with someone from the enemy camp.Astonishingly, the sacrifices were vindicated. In 1969 the Matthews case and that of two other couples were bundled up with an East-West spy swap. Lyudmila came to Britain. The marriage proved less than blissful, although it was saved by dogged loyalty on both sides. Lyudmila adapted poorly to English life; her shy, spartan husband’s grit in adversity proved greater than his husbandly capabilities.But the marriage did produce the author, a legendary hellraiser in Moscow in the 1990s, and now a respectable foreign correspondent. The crisp and admirably self-deprecating vignettes of his own life, both emotional and professional, give his parents’ story a fitting perspective. Few books say so much about Russia then and now, and its effect on those it touches. 恐怖、萧条、流放、希望和觉醒构成了20世纪俄罗斯历史的主旋律。在这段悲怆的历史背景下,作者欧文#8226;马修斯(Owen Matthews)描述了家人同最冷酷无情的苏联当局和最自鸣得意的西方官僚展开的一段争斗历史。在20世纪50年代,欧文的父亲茂文#8226;马修斯正是最早获准留学苏联的英国毕业生之一。不过,这一留学生涯却改变了父亲茂文的人生。首先,茂文爱上了身体娇弱但聪明伶俐的柳德米拉。柳德米拉是一位曾在30年代遭受清洗运动迫害的俄共高级官员的女儿。其次,茂文对苏联国家安全委员会举动轻率。苏联国家安全委员会坚持要求马修斯为他们工作,但遭到拒绝。随后,苏联永久地把欧文#8226;马修斯驱逐出境。柳德米拉屡次申请出国签却屡遭拒绝。在那几十年,克里姆林宫沉迷于创造世间天堂却引发了成千上万件司空见惯的人间悲剧。热恋情人分居两地可能就是最终结局。然而,事实并非如此。为使恋人能够来到英国,茂文#8226;马修斯表现出了巨大的决心,进行了五年微不足道但却不屈不挠的抗争。茂文求助了任何一位能提供帮助的公众人物,烦扰了新闻媒体并激怒了那些认为如此麻烦琐事同外交部毫不相关的官员。他还周游欧洲设法游说前来访问的苏联权贵,甚至有两次从芬兰通过免签入境旅行而悄悄溜入苏联与其相见。在此期间,茂文每天有空时都会给柳德米拉写信,文笔简练却爱意绵绵。他小心翼翼地保留了书信复件和恋人的所有回复,深深沉湎于深受挫折的爱妻情怀(对自己衣食的操心对自己情人的爱心交织不清)。通过以上摘录,读者几乎可察觉到马修斯的相思之苦和毅力之坚。摘录还透露出这对鸳鸯的家人是如此的不幸——茂文的父亲因反对这一婚姻关系而疏远儿子,柳德米拉的父亲因客死古拉格 (劳动改造营总)而永别爱女——以致双方似乎可如此恰好地相偎相依。为情人柳德米拉而奔走呼告的活动却促使茂文的学术事业付之东流。茂文因担心得罪克里姆林宫没有出版自己的苏联社会学研究。他因过于冒然地游说一位访客前往牛津大学的一所学院被免去职务,随后茂文前往另一所其曾不屑一顾的大学执教。在莫斯科,柳德米拉因同敌对阵营的人员有段“风流韵事”而受人骚扰不断。令人惊讶的是,受害者所付出的牺牲最终得到了补偿。在1969,为和一位刺探东西方国家情报的间谍互换,马修斯案和其他二对夫妇的问题一块得以解决。柳德米拉因此来到了英国。尽管忠贞不渝的情深伉俪在勉强维系着婚姻关系,但双方的婚姻后来仍被明并不幸福。妻子柳德米拉并不适应英国式的生活,而羞涩、坚毅的茂文未能同那段艰苦岁月一样,表现出勇气和毅力来尽到作为丈夫的职责。不过,作为一名莫斯科90年代传奇的荒诞作家和一位在当前值得尊敬的驻外记者,本书作者正是这一悲剧爱情的结晶。作者以自我嘲讽的笔调描述了自己那段不同寻常的亲身经历,既富有情感而又颇为专业,从一个恰当的角度叙述了亲生父母的真实故事。极少有书籍会如此详细地介绍俄国的当年和现状,以及简略论述其深远影响。 /200807/45058A donation that the Twins Days festival is getting from the estate of two frugal bachelor farmers is enough to make some people do a double-take (1): as much as million.John and William Reiff, once recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's most identical twins, left most of their estate to the festival in Twinsburg (2), about 15 miles southeast of Cleveland. John Reiff died in 2005 and William five years earlier, but only recently have plans to develop part of the twins' suburban Philadelphia farm been worked out.With the land deal expected to be completed this year, about million to million will go to the festival, according to a lawyer for the Twins Days Festival Committee. The festival committee intends to invest the money to help pay for operating costs (3).The Reiffs, who attended their first Twins Days festival in the late 1970s, always dressed alike, talked alike and enjoyed dating other twins. The wiry, bespectacled pair won many "most identical" competitions over the years.The annual Twins Days festival, a three-day event that begins Aug. 3 this year, attracts about 3,000 sets of twins, triplets (4) and quadruplets (5) and features contests such as those for the most alike and least alike twins. Over the years, it also has attracted scientists interested in genetic research.Between trips to Twinsburg and to other twin events, the Reiffs lived frugally (6) on a 154-acre farm that had been in the family for three generations. It was no model of agriculture. A wood stove heated the house, and a 20-cow herd barely supported the dairy.Before his death in 2005, John Reiff cut a deal with a development group that planned to use the farm, a rare piece of undeveloped land near Philadelphia, for residential housing.Neighbors sued, but local officials, the developer and residents have finally agreed on a plan to build six houses and a park on the site, and 40 houses elsewhere.The Reiff brothers, who never married, gave most of their fortune to the Twins Days festival but also left 0,000 to four churches. None of their four living sisters was named in their will. 两位简朴的单身农夫向双胞胎日捐赠了价值5百万美元的资产,足以让人们为之惊讶。约翰雷夫和威廉雷夫曾经被吉尼斯世界纪录认为是世界上长得最像的双胞胎。他们把自己大多数的资产都赠给了特温斯堡市的双胞胎节日,即在克里夫兰东南部的15英里地。约翰于2005年去世,而威廉比约翰早去世5年。然而,直到最近,对这对双胞胎兄弟在费城城郊的农场的开发计划才得以实现。据一位双胞胎节日委员会的律师称,随着这项土地交易在今年的完成,双胞胎节日将获得4到5百万美元。节日委员会打算将这笔钱用于付其运营成本。雷夫兄弟俩第一次参加双胞胎节日是在70年代末。他们总是穿同样的衣,用同样的方式讲话,喜欢和另外的双胞胎约会。多年来,这对瘦但结实的双胞胎兄弟参加了很多“最相像”比赛并获奖。双胞胎节日每年都会举办一次,一共持续三天。今年是在8月3日举行的,吸引了有3000对双胞胎、三胞胎和四胞胎的参与,举办了长得最像和最不像之类的比赛。很多年来,这项活动同样也吸引了那些对基因研究感兴趣的科学家们。在往返于参加特温斯堡市和其他双胞胎活动之外,雷夫兄弟在一块154英亩的农场上过着俭朴的生活。这个家族有三代人在这块农场上生活过。这里不是模范的农场。整个屋子靠一个木制火炉取暖,20头牛勉强维持产奶。一个开发商原本打算在这块费城附近的稀有的未开发土地上修建住房,但约翰雷夫在2005年去世以前和该公司缔结了土地交易。邻居们起诉了他,但到最后,当地政府、开发商和居民还是达成一致,计划就在那修建6座房子和一个公园,然后在别的地再修40 座房子。雷夫兄弟一生未婚,并把他们大多数财产都捐给了双胞胎节日,把另外的25万美元赠与了4座教堂。在遗嘱里,他们根本没有提及四个还健在的。 /200807/43317Until recently, I thought Snapchat was an app used primarily by tweens and teenagers to send each other silly pictures. No longer. This week, I interviewed Frederic Cumenal, chief executive of Tiffany amp; Co, at a Financial Times luxury summit in San Francisco.直到不久以前,我还一直认为Snapchat是一款主要是20几岁和十几岁年轻人用来互相发送愚蠢图片的应用软件。现在我不再这么认为了。上周,我在英国《金融时报》在旧金山主办的一次奢侈品峰会上采访了蒂芙尼(Tiffany amp; Co)首席执行官弗雷德里克#8226;科莫纳尔(Frederic Cumenal)。During our conversation, Cumenal revealed that Tiffany had recently created a sparkly Snapchat “filter” that communicates the dazzle of a diamond to anyone with a mobile phone. It even allows would-be purchasers to virtually “try on” the rings, without ever needing to go into one of those reverentially hushed Tiffany stores.在我们谈话期间,科莫纳尔透露,蒂芙尼最近开发了一款闪闪发光的Snapchat“过滤器”,把钻石的璀璨光芒传递到任何拥有手机的人。它甚至允许潜在购买者虚拟“试戴”戒指,而不需要进入那些安静得令人惶恐不安的蒂芙尼门店。Is this a good idea? That is the big question — actually, the 2bn question, if we go by the sector’s annual sales — hanging over the luxury goods world today. One of the reasons companies such as Tiffany are creating Snapchat filters is that they are keen to catch the cyber buzz — and appeal to “millennials”.这是个好主意吗?这是个大问题,实际上,是一个价值2220亿美元的问题——如果我们根据如今奢侈品行业的年销售额计算的话。蒂芙尼等公司创建Snapchat过滤器的一个原因在于,它们希望在网上引发热议,吸引“千禧一代”。Another factor is that the luxury sector is under pressure to do something — anything — to persuade sceptical investors that it can continue to grow, because, right now, it seems to be at an inflection point. In the decade leading up to the financial crisis of 2007-08, rich consumers in the west gobbled up luxury goods amid the credit boom. Then, when the slowdown hit, cash-rich consumers in places such as China, Russia and Brazil jumped in to provide a new source of demand.另一个原因是奢侈品行业正面临压力,要求他们有所作为(任何行动),说持怀疑态度的投资者:该行业能够继续壮大,因为目前它似乎正处于一个拐点。在2007年至2008年全球金融危机之前的10年里,西方富有消费者在信贷热潮期间大量买入奢侈品。后来,当经济放缓出现时,中国、俄罗斯和巴西等国现金充沛的消费者进入市场,带来新的需求来源。Now those emerging market countries are in the doldrums, and an anti-corruption drive in China has halted jewellery sales. Meanwhile, demand in Europe remains weak, and even in the US, which is supposed to be recovering, the picture is far from buoyant. Little wonder, then, that the share price of Tiffany (like many luxury goods companies) has tumbled by almost one-third in the past year.如今,这些新兴市场国家正处于低潮,同时中国的反腐运动遏制了珠宝销售。与此同时,欧洲需求仍然疲弱,甚至在理应处于复苏阶段的美国,前景也远非光明。难怪过去一年蒂芙尼的股价(与很多奢侈品公司一样)下挫近三分之一。People such as Cumenal argue that this partly reflects the vagaries of the business cycle. But what is really interesting for sociologists and anthropologists — albeit more worrying for those luxury executives — is that consumer habits in the west could be undergoing an even bigger structural change. In the 20th century, it was taken for granted that when rich people wanted to “enjoy” their wealth and display status, they acquired expensive goods such as houses, cars, art — and diamonds. But according to Sarah Quinlan, a MasterCard executive who analyses vast reams of spending data each month, there has recently been a shift in terms of how wealthy and not-so-wealthy people are spending money.科莫纳尔等人认为,这在一定程度上反映出商业周期的变幻莫测。但对于社会学家和人类学家而言,真正有趣(不过对于那些奢侈品高管而言这点更令人担忧)的一点在于,西方的消费习惯可能在经历更重大的结构性变革。在20世纪,人们想当然地认为,当富人希望“享受”他们的财富并炫耀其地位时,他们会购买昂贵商品,例如房产、汽车、艺术品和钻石。但据万事达(MasterCard)高管、每月分析大量消费数据的萨拉#8226;昆兰(Sarah Quinlan)称,富人以及不那么富有的人士的消费方式近年出现了变化。These days, overall consumer spending is growing (albeit more among the rich than the poor). This growth is occurring almost entirely in services such as restaurants, hotels, travel and holidays, not just in the middle market but in the luxury sector too. “One thing that comes out of these great recessions is that we like our friends and families again — we prize spending time with them,” Quinlan says. “The majority of [the growth] in spending is going to travel and leisure, not goods.” Or, as a report by Deloitte consultants notes: “All consumers, but especially millennials, value experiences#8201;.#8201;.#8201;.#8201;spend by people travelling accounts for 40 per cent of the personal luxury markets.”如今,整体消费出在增长(尽管富人消费增幅超过穷人)。这种增长几乎全部出现在餐厅、酒店、旅游和度假等务业方面,不仅仅在中档市场,在高端市场也是如此。“近年的大衰退带来一个现象,那就是我们再次爱我们的朋友和家人,珍惜与他们一起的时光,”昆兰表示,“大部分消费(增长)来自旅游和休闲,而非商品。”或者,正如德勤(Deloitte)咨询顾问们撰写的报告所指出的那样,“所有的消费者,特别是千禧一代,重视体验……旅游消费占个人奢侈品市场的40%。”According to Quinlan, this shift can be explained by changes in lifestyles and values: today’s millennials often live in cities, not suburbs, so have less physical space in which to store “stuff”; they also prize concepts such as “sustainability” and “community”.据昆兰称,生活方式和价值观的变化能够解释这种变化:如今的千禧一代往往生活在城市,而非郊区,因此没有那么多可以存储“东西”的物理空间;他们还重视“可持续发展”和“社区”等概念。#8201;.#8201;.#8201;.#8201;……I suspect there is another factor too: in the cyber age, physical goods simply do not feel very “exclusive” any more. Think once again about those diamonds. Fifty years ago, a scruffy teenager couldn’t wander into a jewellery store and try on a diamond ring; indeed, 100 years ago, poor people barely knew what the rich were wearing. But the internet has democratised the view: anyone can now “see” luxury goods and buy them online.我认为还有一个因素:在网络时代,实物商品不再让人感觉非常“专属”。再想想那些钻石吧。50年前,一个衣衫不整的年轻人是无法逛珠宝店和试戴钻石戒指的;的确,100年前,穷人根本不知道富人穿什么。但互联网拓宽了每个人的视野:任何人现在都能“亲眼见到”奢侈品并在线购买。What remains more exclusive are “experiences”, precisely because these cannot be commoditised online. One of the most powerful forms of conspicuous consumption today is not the accumulation of goods but the accumulation of memories — and stories. These are precious because they cannot be replicated.仍然比较专属的是“体验”,这恰恰是因为这些无法在网上商品化。如今,最强有力的炫耀性消费形式之一不是商品的累积,而是回忆(和故事)的累积。它们之所以珍贵是因为它们无法被复制。That does not mean that people will stop buying diamonds. But it does mean that luxury goods companies are being advised to mix experiences with goods to create prestige. Don’t just put diamonds on Snapchat; offer rich clients the chance to meet the master craftsman too.这并不意味着人们不会再购买钻石。但它确实意味着奢侈品公司正被建议将体验与商品混合在一起来创建显赫声望。不要只是在Snapchat上晒钻石了;还要向富有客户提供与手工艺大师见面的机会。To put it another way, the more that our lives are hijacked by robots and cyber links, the more valuable the individual — human — touch starts to become. It is a striking reminder of just how arbitrary our ideas of “value” — and luxury — really are. And perhaps a reason for cheer.换句话说,我们的生活被机器人和网络链接操纵得越多,个人(人类)风格也就开始变得越重要。这有力地提醒我们,我们对于“价值”(和奢侈品)的看法实际上是多么武断。或许这是一个值得拍手称快的理由。 /201606/448280

You are never too old to learn. This is never too right for a man who started his ballet dream at the age of 79. An 88-YEAR-OLD man starred in his first ballet production Sunday after learning to dance at the tender age of 79. Retired teacher John Lowe, of Witchford, Cambridgeshire, has been busy perfecting his pirouettes ahead of his role in Prokofiev's The Stone Flower. The pensioner, who has 11 grandchildren, said: "I practise each day and I've got a rope at home that I use to pull my leg up higher. "I'm lucky that I don't have any problem with the routines but that's because I exercise." Mr Lowe started ballet nine years ago, having watched his daughter Alison become a professional dancer. "I think it's a wonderful thing to do and I can't understand why more men don't do it," he said. "There's nothing effeminate about it — you have to be incredibly fit to dance. I see some people crawling around, hunched over smoking a cigarette — they should be doing ballet. "It's a wonderful feeling. I had always wanted to dance and it's never too late to learn." Mr Lowe, who is part of the Lantern Dance Theatre Company, acted a lumberman in the play. 活到老,学到老。这句话用在一位79岁开始“追逐”芭蕾之梦的老人身上最贴切不过了。 上周日,一位88岁的老人上演了他的芭蕾“处女秀”,他在79岁那年才开始学芭蕾。 这位老人就是来自(英国)剑桥郡威奇福德市的退休教师约翰#8226;劳伊。劳伊的“处女秀”是普罗柯菲耶夫的芭蕾舞剧《宝石花》,在演出开始之前,他一直在练习脚尖旋转动作。 现享受退休金的劳伊共有11个孙子。他说:“我每天都练功,我家里有根绳子,专门用来吊腿。” “我很庆幸自己做这些动作没什么问题,不过这主要是因为我经常锻炼。” 九年前,劳伊看到女儿艾莉森成为一名职业舞蹈演员,便开始学习芭蕾。 他说:“我觉得跳芭蕾是件十分美妙的事,我不明白为什么大多数男性都不愿意做这件事。” “其实芭蕾并不‘女人气’,反而需要健康的体魄才能跳好。我看到一些人四处闲逛、弯腰驼背、叼着烟——他们应该考虑去学芭蕾。” “跳芭蕾的感觉很美妙。我一直都想学会跳舞,只要你想学,年龄永远不是问题。” 劳伊目前是“灯之舞剧团”的一名演员,他在剧中饰演一名伐木工人。 Vocabulary: tender age:the time when you are young or do not have much experience(幼年或没经验的年龄段) routine:a set of movements(一套动作) /200801/25618

China begins first freight train service toLondon中国开始首列通往伦敦的货运列车务LONDON: China has begun its first freighttrain service toLondon fromYiwu, a famedwholesalemarket town in theeasternprovince of Zhejiang, the Xinhua news agency reported.伦敦:中国开启首列从义乌到伦敦的货运列车务,义乌是中国浙江省著名的批发市场,新华社报道。The train will travel for 18 days over more than 7,500 miles (12,000km) toreach Britain from China, Xinhua said. It will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia,Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before arriving in London.这辆列车将耗时18天行程超过7500英里(12000公里),最终抵达英国,新华社报道。将经过哈萨克斯坦,俄罗斯,白俄罗斯,波兰,德国,比利时和法国,最终抵达伦敦。 /201701/487112

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