2009年12月26日 星期六



Give gold, not myrrh

Dec 21st 2009
From Economist.com

Ban presents. Give money instead

DECEMBER dismays Joel Waldfogel, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the author of a new book called “Scroogenomics”. Mr Waldfogel objects to the ritualised frenzy of shopping for gifts that precedes the enormous meals and awkward family reunions that are the other hallmarks of Christmas in the Western world.

Such complaints are hardly new. Harriet Beecher Stowe, an American abolitionist, grumbled in 1850 about “worlds of money wasted, at this time of year, in getting things that nobody wants and nobody cares for after they are got”. But unlike most criticisms of festive wastefulness, Mr Waldfogel’s objections are based on economic theory rather than morality or taste. When people buy something for themselves, they believe that their purchase is worth at least the price paid. But most gift-givers are only dimly aware of the desires and tastes of the beneficiaries of their largesse. As a result, they often give people presents that are worth far less to the person getting them than the gift-giver paid for them.

 Presents? Humbug!

The result of all these inappropriate presents—ranging from the sweaters that people will never wear to games they will never play—is what Mr Waldfogel calls a “deadweight loss” from Yuletide generosity. This is the difference between the satisfaction a person gets when she spends a dollar on herself and when a well-meaning benefactor spends that dollar on a present for her. Over a period of time, a series of surveys have led him to conclude that the average deadweight loss from gift-giving is around 18%. Given his estimate that Americans spent $66 billion on Christmas presents in 2007, this amounts to a whopping $12 billion of lost value. Where others see generosity, Mr Waldfogel sees an orgy of value destruction.

Of course, not all presents are such bad value for money. What matters is how good people are at anticipating what others want. People who are in close contact with recipients usually do a very good job when it comes to choosing presents. Gifts from siblings, Mr Waldfogel’s research has found, create only a tiny deadweight loss, creating $0.99 in satisfaction for every dollar spent. Partners are excellent gift-givers; parents, reassuringly, do better than average. Unfortunately, aunts and uncles (like others who are only in occasional contact with the beneficiaries of their festive largesse) tend to give gifts that create only about 75-86 cents in satisfaction per dollar spent.

So what should people, especially those obliged to bestow holiday gifts on those whose tastes they do not know well, do? Since the best a gift-giver can do is give the recipient exactly what he wants, economic theory has a simple solution: give cold, hard cash. However, social norms make it a bit awkward to give money to all but a small subset of (usually much younger) relations in most societies.

But there may yet be hope. Gift vouchers are close to cash in that they leave the choice of exactly what to buy in the hands of the recipient, and have increased in popularity in recent years. Unfortunately (except for the retailer), human forgetfulness and the propensity to procrastinate mean that about 10% of such vouchers are never actually redeemed.

So is there no escape from the wanton wastefulness of Christmas spending? Mr Waldfogel offers a proposal of his own—gift vouchers that are designed to expire after a set period of time, with unused balances going to a charity of the giver’s choice. People would give more to charity if they could afford to and it were made easier, he argues. His proposal also chimes well with the spirit of Christmas. Whether Scrooge would have approved of it is less clear.
Op-Ed Columnist

Tidings of Comfort

Published: December 24, 2009

Indulge me while I tell you a story — a near-future version of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.” It begins with sad news: young Timothy Cratchit, a k a Tiny Tim, is sick. And his treatment will cost far more than his parents can pay out of pocket.

Skip to next paragraph
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Paul Krugman


Times Topics: Health Care Reform

Readers' Comments

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

Fortunately, our story is set in 2014, and the Cratchits have health insurance. Not from their employer: Ebenezer Scrooge doesn’t do employee benefits. And just a few years earlier they wouldn’t have been able to buy insurance on their own because Tiny Tim has a pre-existing condition, and, anyway, the premiums would have been out of their reach.

But reform legislation enacted in 2010 banned insurance discrimination on the basis of medical history and also created a system of subsidies to help families pay for coverage. Even so, insurance doesn’t come cheap — but the Cratchits do have it, and they’re grateful. God bless us, everyone.

O.K., that was fiction, but there will be millions of real stories like that in the years to come. Imperfect as it is, the legislation that passed the Senate on Thursday and will probably, in a slightly modified version, soon become law will make America a much better country.

So why are so many people complaining? There are three main groups of critics.

First, there’s the crazy right, the tea party and death panel people — a lunatic fringe that is no longer a fringe but has moved into the heart of the Republican Party. In the past, there was a general understanding, a sort of implicit clause in the rules of American politics, that major parties would at least pretend to distance themselves from irrational extremists. But those rules are no longer operative. No, Virginia, at this point there is no sanity clause.

A second strand of opposition comes from what I think of as the Bah Humbug caucus: fiscal scolds who routinely issue sententious warnings about rising debt. By rights, this caucus should find much to like in the Senate health bill, which the Congressional Budget Office says would reduce the deficit, and which — in the judgment of leading health economists — does far more to control costs than anyone has attempted in the past.

But, with few exceptions, the fiscal scolds have had nothing good to say about the bill. And in the process they have revealed that their alleged concern about deficits is, well, humbug. As Slate’s Daniel Gross says, what really motivates them is “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, is receiving social insurance.”

Finally, there has been opposition from some progressives who are unhappy with the bill’s limitations. Some would settle for nothing less than a full, Medicare-type, single-payer system. Others had their hearts set on the creation of a public option to compete with private insurers. And there are complaints that the subsidies are inadequate, that many families will still have trouble paying for medical care.

Unlike the tea partiers and the humbuggers, disappointed progressives have valid complaints. But those complaints don’t add up to a reason to reject the bill. Yes, it’s a hackneyed phrase, but politics is the art of the possible.

The truth is that there isn’t a Congressional majority in favor of anything like single-payer. There is a narrow majority in favor of a plan with a moderately strong public option. The House has passed such a plan. But given the way the Senate rules work, it takes 60 votes to do almost anything. And that fact, combined with total Republican opposition, has placed sharp limits on what can be enacted.

If progressives want more, they’ll have to make changing those Senate rules a priority. They’ll also have to work long term on electing a more progressive Congress. But, meanwhile, the bill the Senate has just passed, with a few tweaks — I’d especially like to move the start date up from 2014, if that’s at all possible — is more or less what the Democratic leadership can get.

And for all its flaws and limitations, it’s a great achievement. It will provide real, concrete help to tens of millions of Americans and greater security to everyone. And it establishes the principle — even if it falls somewhat short in practice — that all Americans are entitled to essential health care.

Many people deserve credit for this moment. What really made it possible was the remarkable emergence of universal health care as a core principle during the Democratic primaries of 2007-2008 — an emergence that, in turn, owed a lot to progressive activism. (For what it’s worth, the reform that’s being passed is closer to Hillary Clinton’s plan than to President Obama’s). This made health reform a must-win for the next president. And it’s actually happening.

So progressives shouldn’t stop complaining, but they should congratulate themselves on what is, in the end, a big win for them — and for America.

2009年12月19日 星期六


Word of the Day:


An expression involving a familiar proverb or quotation and its facetious sequel. It usually comprises three parts: statement, speaker, situation.
"Everyone to his own liking," the old woman said when she kissed her cow.
"We'll have to rehearse that," said the undertaker as the coffin fell out of the car.

After Sam Weller and his father, characters known for such utterances in Charles Dickens's novel Pickwick Papers (1837).

"All of the Shavian proverbs and most of the wellerisms have been recorded in a literary context ... Anyhow, 'So far so good,' as the boy said when he had finished the first pot of his mother's jam." — W F H Nicolaisen; The Proverbial Bernard Shaw; Folklore (London, UK); 1998.

再參考 法國中尉的女人

2009年12月3日 星期四


今天獨到 CD 專家大力批評此書本著所謂 SIGNIFICANT FORM 想法批評 CD的 艱難時世 Hard Times 等 特地找出它來 2009



【美】彼得·蓋伊著『歷史小說』劉森堯譯,北京大出版社出版, 2006,定價: 18.00

「狄更斯、福樓拜、湯瑪斯·曼是讀者熟悉現實主義小說但他們真是在"寫實"嗎?在歷史看來,真相遠非如此簡單。美國文化史彼得·蓋伊認為,這幾位 19 世紀偉大作都具有一種共同特性:對他們各自社會憤世嫉俗。狄更斯在作品中所展現與其說是個歷史,倒不如說是個宣傳,在他《荒涼屋》一書中,英國司法以及整體社會改革必要性被嚴重誇大了。在《包法利夫人》中,福樓拜憑藉其令人目眩神移獨特風格,施展了他對當時法國中產階級社會報復。至於湯瑪斯·曼,他在《布登勃洛克一》裡,為讀者勾勒出幾乎就是一幅諷刺漫畫:一個正在式微高傲中產階級文化。」


[ 原書名:SAVAGE REPRISALS : Bleak House, Madame Bovary, Buddenbrooks by Gay, Peter ]

台灣版:彼得‧蓋伊 / 歷史小說》( Savage Reprisals: Bleak House, Ma dame Bovary, Buddenbrooks 2002))劉森堯譯,台北:立緒, 2004

日本版: 小説から歴史へディケンズ、フロベール、トーマス・マン

金子 幸男【訳】,東京:岩波書店 (2004-09-28出版)


台灣版和日本版都未將原書名: SAVAGE REPRISALS翻譯出來,也沒解釋原題目之意思 其實在第一、二、章之內文都舉出各作之「怒」之創作之「報復」意圖。介紹文中談到「細緻之報復」,可是不敢用,所以各取書名之別名。這方面,日本較老實,台灣版花招 ---如果硬要讓 Peter Gay說教,實際五」,因為「序曲」和「結語」都自成一「」。還有未翻譯參考資料來源和索引。

彼得‧蓋伊著作都值得一讀。不過劉森堯先生譯文雖然通順,有問題可能百處以上。(我是在 http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0393325091/002-7097857-0210450?

)讀和用字 search-inside--尤其「序曲」和「結語」問題可能特別多,因為它們牽涉到「歷史 - -……」等問。台北立緒出版社翻譯品質很不穩定,因人而異。



1章 怒れるアナーキスト『荒涼館』におけるチャールズ・ディケンズ
2章 恐怖症に挑む解剖学者 『ボヴァリー夫人』におけるギュスターヴ・フロベール
3章 反抗な名門市民 『ブッデンブロークの人 』におけるトーマス・マン


用「」翻譯「 in」是錯誤,因為原文為Charles Dickens in Bleak House 等等。

雖然改成類似『巴金在巴黎』『狄更斯在《荒涼屋》』有點奇,但是習慣就好,因為大作們作品多,其時間之跨度長,投入每部作品「心」「力」都可能不同 ….



「從柏拉圖時代以至十九世紀初瑞士教育改革者斐 …….時代」其中educators 漏掉,意思差多(p.13

"... the Victorians; it had been no news to the ancient Greeks and to educators in the centuries from Plato to Pestalozzi. A hundred years before Freud made a theory of it, Wordsworth had famously proclaimed that the Child is father of ..."


34頁:「這其中最精彩莫過於對於柯魯克突然暴斃描寫,這是一個畏瑣而卑鄙專收破爛小商人,有一天他突然倒斃在他那堆破爛當中,這個特別死亡方式未必能夠贏得讀者一掬同情之淚 ……」( . But none of these can rival the sudden exit of Krook, the coarse, mean- spirited owner of a wretched junkshop, who shuffles off his mortal coil by collapsing into dust. This particular death did not play on the reading public's love of a good cry but on its credulousness. Krook's end, Dickens expected his vast readership to believe, was."

我自己了英文: shuffles off his mortal coil 典出『哈姆雷特』,表示一命嗚呼。

對於將 coarse, mean- spirited owner of a wretched junkshop翻譯成「一個畏瑣而卑鄙專收破爛小商人」不滿意。 Junkshop日文解釋「(安物の)古物商」,不知道是否真為「破爛東西」,其修飾詞 wretched翻譯成什麼? Krook 是否真死在破爛中(這是原文沒)?
對於coarse mean-spirited 翻譯也不解?




許多名詞完全直譯、不加注,可能讓讀者不知所云。譬如說,第 36heart of hold Newgate novel(「新門小說」)【案:我印象中這是監獄之所在】。


以下關於 paradigm shifts之句有數處錯:翻譯成「圖例變動理論曾被相對論者評為不適」( p.207

Even Thomas Kuhn, probably the twentieth century's most influential historian and philosopher of science, whose brave talk of paradigm shifts has been misappropriated by relativists, maintained that the external world is real, neither constructed nor invented.

其他哲術語如什麼「理想主義」(案:通常稱為「唯心觀」? p.205


They have nothing in common except their severity with the devotees of Clio. The first holds that novelists and poets reach higher-which is to say deeper-truths, truths that historians, pedestrian, document- ridden fact grubbers that they are, can never even approach.

翻譯:「這兩個方法除了一樣對史詩與歷史女神克萊歐特別熱衷之外,並無共同之處 ……….」【p.206

「史詩」不之來自何處?「特別熱衷」應為「特別熱衷者(們)」( devotees);原文 severities with (嚴厲待之)漏譯…….


漏譯: multiplep.210

The delightful stories a historian can tell, in Simon Schama's words, "dissolve the certainty of events into the multiple possibilities of alternative narrations." Such cheerfulness runs counter to the ..."

誤會:不知道為什麼 "Objectivity is not neutrality." 翻譯為「客關性並不等於公正性」( p.215

The American his- torian Thomas L. Haskell has put it trenchantly: "Objectivity is not neutrality." In fact, in the right hands, a certain way of look- ing ..."

翻譯成:「一般人會發生對於一場戰役錯誤觀念」( p.217

Fabrice erring about the battlefield of Waterloo in Stendhal's La Chartreuse de Parme unfolds a confusing, almost incomprehensible scene of battle, typical of most battles; but it is through Fabrice's consciousness that ..."

2009年11月27日 星期五

tableau, pump and tub

《永恆的日記──每一天的音樂》 (A Musical Book of Days: A Perpetual Diary)

Saint François d'Assise is an opera in three acts and eight scenes by French composer and librettist Olivier Messiaen, written from 1975 to 1983. It concerns Saint Francis of Assisi, the title character, and displays the composer's devout Catholicism. The world première took place in Paris on November 28, 1983.
其怪的是 牛津大學出版社的書 都說初演是12月 3 acts, 8 tableaux

Director Lone Scherfig does a fine job of painting a tableau of a conservative society as the residents struggle with the rumor of a male streaker in their midst.
Little Giant 566760 Verdigris Calabria Fountain 566760
Calabria Fountain This Italian-style fountain and tub features a hand-finished, weathered verdigris appearance. Water streams continuously into the oval tub from the authentic-looking hand pump. The tub is decorated with classic Latin designs.25"L x 17"W x 28TVerdigris in color

A Pump and Tub.

The pump and tub is a piece of furniture that can be built in the Kitchen of a player-owned house with the Construction skill. Players can, using an empty bucket or other such item, receive water from the pump and tub.

Building a pump and tub requires at least 27 Construction and 10 Steel bars.

大戰狄更斯三百回合:《尼古拉斯 尼克爾貝》緣

2003 年讀到王辛笛家翻譯*狄更斯《尼古拉斯 尼克爾貝》** 之故事。

2006 年元月買到它。

前天瑞麟兄介紹(tableau n. - 生動的場面, 戲劇性局面。日本語 (Japanese) :n. - 絵画, 活人画, 絵画的な描写, 印象的な配列。 此字answers.com資料和圖片俱全,值得參考。)

There was a round of applause every time he spoke. And when, at last, in the pump-and-tub scene, Mrs Grudden lighted the blue fire, and all the unemployed members of the company came in, and tumbled down in various directions--not because that had anything to do with the plot, but in order to finish off with a tableau--the audience (who had by this time increased considerably) gave vent to such a shout of enthusiasm as had not been heard in those walls for many and many a day.
Source: Charles Dickens : « The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby » Chapter 24

他的神氣、他的身形、他的步態、他的眼光、他的每句話和每個動作,都受到贊揚。他一開口,就來一陣喝彩。最後,就是有水泵和洗衣盆的那一場,格拉敦太太點著了藍色的火,剛才未上場的劇團成員全體出台,大摔跟頭,方向各各不同 這跟劇情毫無關係,只是用個熱鬧場面作結罷了 全場觀眾(此時又增加了不少)熱情大喊大叫,是這個劇場裡好多好多天以來不曾聽見過的。


rl 回信;謝謝to rl 那段譯文,我會把前一句原文也補上。


「辛笛的生活要是沒有文綺照料的話,就不太有規律,他總是不記得準時吃藥,有一頓沒一頓的,他的糖尿病在 "文革 "結束後又復發了。每天早上文綺把他要吃的藥放在小瓶蓋子裏,倒好了開水,督促他服用,多少年來如一日,直到文綺自己病得再也無法行動為止。每當限制他吃甜食時,他就發牢騷說: "不能吃糖,那活著多沒勁!再不吃點甜的,我都要低血糖了! "所以文綺善解人意,也會網開一面,隔一段時間讓他解解饞。

早在 "文革" 結束後,上海譯文出版社就有計劃準備出一套狄更斯文集,約請辛笛翻譯其中一部七十餘萬字的長篇小說《尼古拉斯 尼克爾貝》。繁忙的社會活動使辛笛遲遲無法坐下來開展譯事。於是他建議,由杜南星與他兩人合譯此書。
  從此,文綺每天忙完家務,就坐在她的小桌前,一段一段地翻譯,先寫在小紙片上,斟酌修改後再清清楚楚地謄寫在稿紙上。就這樣,日積月累,終於在八十年代末完成。而南星在此之前早已完成了前一半譯稿,並寄至上海。辛笛大病一場後,居家調養,他為文綺堅持不懈的精神所感動,也奮力參加了全書的校譯工作,在 1990年秋將南星和文綺分別翻譯兩部分的譯稿通校了一遍,並寫了長篇譯本序《漫談狄更斯的魅力》,譯稿及序在九十年代初交到了出版社,於 1998年出版。

辛笛很珍視這段日子: "這時,我們兩人共同感到的快慰,不止是在生活而且是在同一工作當中,兩個人的生命河流匯合得更加美好無間,漸漸地,河流變寬了,河岸擴展了,河水流得更平穩了,我們在老境中重新獲得了青春般的喜悅,再沒有時間去留意衰老了。 "」(王聖思 文學報200310 23

詩人伉儷情深 http://www.chinawriter.org/zjljl/zjys/zjys000060.asp

我花了幾年功夫寫成的《智慧是用水寫成的——辛笛傳》清樣出來後,每天讀給母親文綺聽。讀完徵求她的意見,她微微一笑,輕聲說:"你寫的比我現在記得的更全面。" 2003 930 日下午5 05她在平靜和安詳中溘然長逝。



---** 這本最早林紓先生翻譯為『滑稽外史』

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, (or Nicholas Nickleby for short) is a comic novel of Charles Dickens. Originally published as a serial from 1838 to 1839, it was Dickens' third novel.

The lengthy novel centres around the life and adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, a young man who must support his mother and sister after his father dies. His Uncle Ralph, who thinks Nicholas will never amount to anything, plays the role of an antagonist.

Like nearly all of Dickens' works, the novel has a contemporary setting. Much of the action takes place in London, with the exception of several chapters taking place in Dickens' hometown of Portsmouth, as well as settings in Yorkshire and Devon.

The tone of the work is burlesque, with Dickens taking aim at what he perceives to be social injustices. Many memorable characters are introduced, including Nicholas' malevolent uncle Ralph, and the villainous Wackford Squeers, who operates a squalid boarding school at which Nicholas temporarily serves as a tutor.

While some consider the book to be among the finest works of 19th century comedy, Nicholas Nickleby is occasionally criticized for its lack of character development. It has been adapted for stage, film or television at least seven times. Perhaps the most extraordinary version was produced in 1980 when a large-scale stage production of the novel was produced by David Edgar with music by Stephen Oliver . It was a theatrical experience which lasted more than ten hours with intermissions and a dinner break. It was first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company and later recorded for television. Many of the actors played multiple roles because of the huge number of characters.

Source: Thomas Hardy : « Tess of the d'Urbervilles » A Pure Woman Chapter XXXV
"O Tess, forgiveness does not apply to the case! You were one person; now you are another. My God--how can forgiveness meet such a grotesque--prestidigitation as that!"


Source: Charles Dickens : « Oliver Twist Or The Parish Boy's Progress » Chapter XXX
There were assembled, in that lower house of the domestic parliament, the women-servants, Mr. Brittles, Mr. Giles, the tinker (who had received a special invitation to regale himself for the remainder of the day, in consideration of his services), and the constable. The latter gentleman had a large staff, a large head, large features, and large half-boots; and he looked as if he had been taking a proportionate allowance of ale--as indeed he had.
Source: Jane Austen : « Mansfield Park » Chapter XLV
They had been long so arranged in the indulgence of her secret meditations, and nothing was more consolatory to her than to find her aunt using the same language: "I cannot but say I much regret your being from home at this distressing time, so very trying to my spirits. I trust and hope, and sincerely wish you may never be absent from home so long again," were most delightful sentences to her. Still, however, it was her private regale. Delicacy to her parents made her careful not to betray such a preference of her uncle's house.
珍‧奧斯汀:《曼斯菲爾莊園》第四十五章── ……然而,這畢竟是她個人的盛宴。體貼父母使得她小心翼翼地避免辜負這次優先選擇叔叔房子的機會。

Source: Rudyard Kipling : « Captains Courageous » Chapter 5
Salters protested that this kind of yarn was desperately wicked, if not indeed positively blasphemous, but he listened as greedily as the others; and their criticisms at the end gave Harvey entirely new notions on "germans," clothes, cigarettes with gold-leaf tips, rings, watches, scent, small dinner-parties, champagne, card-playing, and hotel accommodation.
Source: Leo Tolstoy : « Anna Karenina » Part 6 Chapter 12
"Well, if that's what he wishes, I'll do it, but I can't answer for myself now," she thought, and darted forward as fast as her legs would carry her between the thick bushes. She scented nothing now; she could only see and hear, without understanding anything.

tableau n. - 生動的場面, 戲劇性局面

日本語 (Japanese)
n. - 絵画, 活人画, 絵画的な描写, 印象的な配列

Source: Charles Dickens : « The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby » Chapter 24
There was a round of applause every time he spoke. And when, at last, in the pump-and-tub scene, Mrs Grudden lighted the blue fire, and all the unemployed members of the company came in, and tumbled down in various directions--not because that had anything to do with the plot, but in order to finish off with a tableau--the audience (who had by this time increased considerably) gave vent to such a shout of enthusiasm as had not been heard in those walls for many and many a day.

他的神氣、他的身形、他的步態、他的眼光、他的每句話和每個動作,都受到贊揚。他一開口,就來一陣喝彩。最後,就是有水泵和洗衣盆的那一場,格拉敦太太點著了藍色的火,剛才未上場的劇團成員全體出台,大摔跟頭,方向各各不同 這跟劇情毫無關係,只是用個熱鬧場面作結罷了 全場觀眾(此時又增加了不少)熱情大喊大叫,是這個劇場裡好多好多天以來不曾聽見過的。

杜南星 徐文綺譯

tab·leau (tăb'lō', tă-blō')
n., pl. tab·leaux or tab·leaus (tăb'lōz', tă-blōz').
A vivid or graphic description: The movie was a tableau of a soldier's life.
A striking incidental scene, as of a picturesque group of people: "New public figures suddenly abound in the hitherto faceless totalitarian tableaux" (John McLaughlin).
An interlude during a scene when all the performers on stage freeze in position and then resume action as before.
A tableau vivant.
[French, from Old French tablel, diminutive of table, surface prepared for painting. See table.]

Tableaux Vivant or Tableau Vivant (or sometimes simply Tableau), is French for "living picture". It describes a striking group of suitably costumed artist's models, carefully posed and often theatrically lit. The people shown do not speak or move. The approach thus marries the art forms of the stage with those of painting/photography, and as such it has been of interest to modern photographers.

On a stage
Before radio, film and television, they were popular forms of entertainment. Before the age of colour reproduction of images the tableaux vivant was sometimes used to recreate paintings "on stage", based on an etching or sketch of the painting. This could be done as an amateur venture in a drawing room, or as a more professionally produced series of tableaux presented on a theatre stage, one following another, usually to tell a story without requiring all the usual trappings of a "live" theatre performance. They thus 'educated' their audience to understand the form taken by later Victorian and Edwardian era magic lantern shows, and perhaps also sequential narrative comic strips.

Since stage censorship often strictly forbade actresses to move when semi-nude on stage, tableaux also had a place in presenting erotic entertainment at private clubs (e.g.: the Windmill Theatre) and fairground sideshows. This was superceded by colour pornographic magazines from around the mid 1950s.

Source: William Makepeace Thackeray : « Vanity Fair » Chapter XV In Which Rebecca's Husband Appears for a Short Time
Every reader of a sentimental turn (and we desire no other) must have been pleased with the tableau with which the last act of our little drama concluded; for what can be prettier than an image of Love on his knees before Beauty?

Source: O Henry : « The Four Million » By Courier
"Tell him that I entered the conservatory that evening from the rear, to cut a rose for my mother. Tell him I saw him and Miss Ashburton beneath the pink oleander. The tableau was pretty, but the pose and juxtaposition were too eloquent and evident to require explanation. I left the conservatory, and, at the same time, the rose and my ideal. You may carry that song and dance to your impresario."

January 24, 2006

Among the many temptations of the digital age, photo-manipulation has proved particularly troublesome for science, and scientific journals are beginning to respond.

Some journal editors are considering adopting a test, in use at The Journal of Cell Biology, that could have caught the concocted images of the human embryonic stem cells made by Dr. Hwang Woo Suk.


vt. 混ぜ合わせて作る, 調合する; でっち上げる, 仕組む.

At The Journal of Cell Biology, the test has revealed extensive manipulation of photos. Since 2002, when the test was put in place, 25 percent of all accepted manuscripts have had one or more illustrations that were manipulated in ways that violate the journal's guidelines, said Michael Rossner of Rockefeller University, the executive editor. The editor of the journal, Ira Mellman of Yale, said that most cases were resolved when the authors provided originals. "In 1 percent of the cases we find authors have engaged in fraud," he said.

The two editors recognized the likelihood that images were being improperly manipulated when the journal required all illustrations to be submitted in digital form. While reformatting illustrations submitted in the wrong format, Dr. Rossner realized that some authors had yielded to the temptation of Photoshop's image-changing tools to misrepresent the original data.

In some instances, he found, authors would remove bands from a gel, a test for showing what proteins are present in an experiment. Sometimes a row of bands would be duplicated and presented as the controls for a second experiment. Sometimes the background would be cleaned up, with Photoshop's rubber stamp or clone stamp tool, to make it prettier.

Some authors would change the contrast in an image to eliminate traces of a diagnostic stain that showed up in places where there shouldn't be one. Others would take images of cells from different experiments and assemble them as if all were growing on the same plate.

To prohibit such manipulations, Dr. Rossner and Dr. Mellman published guidelines saying, in effect, that nothing should be done to any part of an illustration that did not affect all other parts equally. In other words, it is all right to adjust the brightness or color balance of the whole photo, but not to obscure, move or introduce an element.

They started checking illustrations in accepted manuscripts by running them through Photoshop and adjusting the controls to see if new features appeared. This is the check that has shown a quarter of accepted manuscripts violate the journal's guidelines.

In the 1 percent of cases in which the manipulation is deemed fraudulent - a total of 14 papers so far - the paper is rejected. Revoking an accepted manuscript requires the agreement of four of the journal's officials. "In some cases we will even contact the author's institution and say, 'You should look into this because it was not kosher,' " Dr. Mellman said.

He and Dr. Rossner plan to add software tests being developed by Hani Farid, an applied mathematician at Dartmouth. With a grant from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is interested in ways of authenticating digital images presented in court, Dr. Farid is devising algorithms to detect alterations.

His work has attracted interest from many people, he said, including eBay customers concerned about the authenticity of images, people answering personal ads, paranormal researchers studying ghostly emanations and science editors.

For the latter, Dr. Farid is developing a package of algorithms designed to spot specific types of image manipulation. When researchers seek to remove an object from an image, such as a band from a gel, they often hide it with a patch of nearby background. This involves a duplication of material, which may be invisible to the naked eye but can be detected by mathematical analysis.

If an object is enlarged beyond the proper resolution, Photoshop may generate extra pixels. If the object is rotated, another set of pixels is generated in a characteristic pattern.

An object introduced from another photo may have a different angle of illumination. The human eye is largely indifferent to changes in lighting, Dr. Farid said, but conflicting sources of illumination in a single image can be detected by computer analysis and are a sign of manipulation.

"At the end of the day you need math," Dr. Farid said. He hopes to have a set of tools available soon for beta-testing by Dr. Rossner.

Journals depend heavily on expert reviewers to weed out papers of poor quality. But as the Hwang case showed again, reviewers can do only so much. The defined role of reviewers is not to check for concocted data but to test whether a paper's conclusions follow from the data presented.

The screening test addresses an issue reviewers cannot easily tackle, that of whether the presented data accurately reflect the real data. Because journal editors now have the ability to perform this sort of quality control, "they should do it," Dr. Rossner said.

The scientific community has not yet come to grips with the temptations of image manipulation, Dr. Mellman said, and he would like to see other journals adopt the image-screening system, even though it takes 30 minutes a paper. "We are a poor university press," he said, without the large revenue enjoyed by journals such as Nature, Science and Cell. "If they can't bear this cost, something must be dreadfully wrong with their business models," he said.

Science, in fact, has adopted The Journal of Cell Biology's guidelines and has just started to apply the image-screening test to its own manuscripts. "Something like this is probably inevitable for most journals," said Katrina Kelner, a deputy editor of Science.

She became interested as a quality control measure, not because of the concocted papers of Dr. Hwang, two of which Science published. Dr. Mellman says the system would have caught at least the second of Dr. Hwang's fabrications, since it "popped out like a sore thumb" under the image screening test.

But other editors are less enthusiastic. Emilie Marcus, editor of Cell, said that she was considering the system, but that she believed in principle that the ethics of presenting true data should be enforced in a scientist's training, not by journal editors.

The problem of manipulated images, she said, arises from a generation gap between older scientists who set the ethical standards but don't understand the possibilities of Photoshop and younger scientists who generate a paper's data. Because the whole scientific process is based on trust, Dr. Marcus said: "Why say, 'We trust you, but not in this one domain?' And I don't favor saying, 'We don't trust you in any.' "

Rather than having journal editors acting as enforcers, she said, it may be better to thrust responsibility back to scientists, requiring the senior author to sign off that the images conform to the journal's guidelines.

Those guidelines, in her view, should be framed on behalf of the whole scientific community by a group like the National Academy of Sciences, and not by the fiat of individual editors.

2009年11月26日 星期四


今天無意間發現小辭典都收 Fagin 辭條
所以可以 copy

Fagin (pronounced /ˈfeɪɡɪn/) is a fictional character who appears in the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, referred to in the preface of the novel as a "receiver of stolen goods", but referred to more frequently within the actual story as the "merry old gentleman" or simply the "Jew".




Born in London, Fagin is described as "disgusting" to look at. He is the leader of a group of children, the Artful Dodger among them, whom he teaches to make their livings by pickpocketing and other criminal activities in exchange for a roof over their heads. At the time of the novel, he is said by another character, Monks, to have already made criminals out of "scores" of children who grow up to live—or die—committing the same crimes as adults. Bill Sikes, one of the major villains of the novel, is hinted to be one of Fagin's old pupils, and Nancy clearly was.

Whilst portrayed as relatively humorous, he is nonetheless a self-confessed miser who, despite the amount he has acquired over the years from the work of others, does very little to improve the squalid lives of the children he takes in, allowing them to smoke pipes and drink gin "with the air of middle-aged men". In the second chapter of his appearance, it is shown, albeit when talking to himself, that he cares less about those children who are eventually hanged for their crimes and more about the fact that they do not "peach" on him and the other children. Still darker sides to the character's nature are shown in when he beats the Artful Dodger for not bringing Oliver´s back making Charley cry for mercy and his attempted beating of Oliver for trying to escape after the thieves have kidnapped him, and in his own involvement with various plots and schemes throughout the story. He could also be said to be indirectly responsible for Nancy's death, due to his deliberately misinforming Sikes that she had betrayed him. Near the end of the book, Fagin is hanged following capture, in a chapter that portrays him as being pitiful in his anguish.

Historical basis

Dickens took Fagin's name from a friend he had known in his youth while working in a boot-blacking factory.[1]

Fagin's character was based on the criminal Ikey Solomon, who was a fence at the centre of a highly-publicised arrest, escape, recapture, and trial.[2][3] Some accounts of Solomon also describe him as a London underworld "kidsman". A kidsman was an adult who recruited children and trained them as pickpockets, exchanging food and shelter for goods the children stole. The popularity of Dickens' novel caused "kidsman" to be renamed "fagin" in some crime circles, or an adult who teaches minors to steal and keeps a major portion of the loot.


Fagin is noted for being one of the few Jewish characters of 19th century literature, let alone any of Dickens's pieces. Fagin has been the subject of much debate over antisemitism both during Dickens's lifetime and up to modern times. In an introduction to a 1981 Bantam Books reissue of Oliver Twist, for example, Irving Howe wrote that Fagin was considered an "archetypical Jewish villain."[4] The first 38 chapters of the book refer to Fagin by his racial and religious origin 257 times, calling him "the Jew", with just 42 uses of "Fagin" or "the old man". In 2005, novelist Norman Lebrecht wrote that "A more vicious stigmatisation of an ethnic community could hardly be imagined and it was not by any means unintended."[5] Dickens claimed that he had made Fagin Jewish because "it unfortunately was true, of the time to which the story refers, that that class of criminal almost invariably was a Jew".[6] He also claimed that by calling Fagin a Jew he had meant no imputation against the Jewish faith, saying in a letter, "I have no feeling towards the Jews but a friendly one. I always speak well of them, whether in public or private, and bear my testimony (as I ought to do) to their perfect good faith in such transactions as I have ever had with them..."[7]

In later editions of the book printed during his lifetime, Dickens excised many of the references to Fagin's Jewishness. [8]

This occurred after Dickens sold his London home to a Jewish banker, James Davis in 1860, and became acquainted with him and his wife Eliza, who objected to the emphasis on Fagin's Jewishness in the novel. When he sold the house to them, Dickens allegedly told a friend, "The purchaser of Tavistock House will be a Jew Money-Lender" before later saying, "I must say that in all things the purchaser has behaved thoroughly well, and that I cannot call to mind any occasion when I have had moneydealings with anyone that has been so satisfactory, considerate and trusting."[5]

Dickens became friendly with Eliza, who told him in a letter in 1863 that Jews regarded his portrayal of Fagin a "great wrong" to their people. Dickens then started to revise Oliver Twist, removing all mention of "the Jew" from the last 15 chapters. Dickens later wrote in reply, "There is nothing but good will left between me and a People for whom I have a real regard and to whom I would not willfully have given an offence." In one of his final public readings in 1869, a year before his death, Dickens cleansed Fagin of all stereotypical caricature. A contemporary report observed, "There is no nasal intonation; a bent back but no shoulder-shrug: the conventional attributes are omitted."[7] [5]

In 1865, in Our Mutual Friend, Dickens created a number of Jewish characters, the most important being Mr Riah, an elderly Jew who finds jobs for downcast young women in Jewish-owned factories. One of the two heroines, Lizzie Hexam, defends her Jewish employers saying, "The gentleman certainly is a Jew, and the lady, his wife, is a Jewess, and I was brought to their notice by a Jew. But I think there cannot be kinder people in the world."[7]

The comic book creator Will Eisner, disturbed by the antisemitism in the typical depiction of the character, created a graphic novel in 2003 titled Fagin the Jew. In this book, the back story of the character and events of Oliver Twist are depicted from his point of view.

Film and theatre

Numerous prominent actors have portrayed Fagin.

In the 1922 film, Lon Chaney, Sr. played Fagin, while Alec Guinness performed the role in the 1948 film version directed by David Lean. His performance was so controversial that the film was banned in the U.S. for three years, on charges of being anti-Semitic.

Ron Moody's portrayal in the original London production of Oliver! and in the 1968 film is recognisably influenced by Guinness' portrayal, as was Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley's portrayal of Fagin in Roman Polanski's 2005 screen adaptation, although the supposedly "anti-semitic" quality of Guinness's portrayal was considerably toned down in the musical.

When Oliver! was brought to Broadway in 1964 Fagin was portrayed by Clive Revill, but in a 1984 revival, Moody reprised his performance opposite Tony Award winner Patti LuPone who played Nancy.

Fagin is made somewhat lovable in the musical, and completely innocent of Nancy's murder. He presumably evades the police at the end.

In the 1982 made-for-tv movie version, Fagin is portrayed by George C. Scott. Though the character is generally portrayed as elderly, diminutive and homely, Scott's version of the character was markedly younger, stronger, and better looking.

In the 1985 miniseries, Fagin is portrayed by Eric Porter.

In Disney's animated version, Oliver & Company (1988), Fagin is a poor but kind-hearted man who lives on a houseboat with his dogs, and is voiced by Dom DeLuise.

In 1994, Oliver was revived in London. Fagin was played by many noted British actors and comedians including Jonathan Pryce, George Layton, Jim Dale, Russ Abbot, Barry Humphries - who had played Mr Sowerberry in the original 1960 London production of Oliver! - and Robert Lindsay, who won an Olivier Award for his performance. Costumes are changed in the stage productions, for each different actor. Some suit different looks. This is seen clearly in the various coats that are used. Pryce used a patched red and brown coat, while Lindsay used the traditional dark green overcoat seen in the 1968 film version.

In Disney's 1997 live action television production, Fagin is played by Richard Dreyfuss.

In the 2003 film Twist (a film loosely based on Dickens' Oliver Twist) Fagin is played by actor Gary Farmer.

In the 2007 BBC television adaptation Fagin is played by Timothy Spall. Contrary to his appearance in the novel, he is beardless and overweight in this version. He is also a sweet and kindly character.

In December 2008, Oliver! was revived at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London with Rowan Atkinson playing the character. This role was taken over by Omid Djalili in July 2009.

Further reading

Howe, Irving (28 October 1997). Selected Writings, 1950-1990. Thomson Learning. ISBN 0156806363.


  1. ^ Ackroyd, Peter (3 September 1990). Dickens. Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd. pp. 77-78. ISBN 1856190005.
  2. ^ Sackville O'Donnell, Judith (2002). The First Fagin: the True Story of Ikey Solomon. Acland. ISBN 0958557624.
  3. ^ Montagu, Euan; Tobias, John J (28 March 1974). The Prince of Fences: Life and Crimes of Ikey Solomons. Vallentine Mitchell & Co Ltd. ISBN 0853031746.
  4. ^ Dickens, Charles (22 January 1982). Oliver Twist (A Bantam classic). Bantam USA. ISBN 0553210505.
  5. ^ a b c Lebrecht, Norman (29 September 2005). "How racist is Oliver Twist?". La Scena Musicale. http://www.scena.org/columns/lebrecht/050929-NL-twist.html. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
  6. ^ Howe, Irving. "Oliver Twist - introduction". http://books.google.com/books?id=R63Gk3ntfFkC&lpg=PR19&ots=P4wFGPAxxu&dq=charles%20dickens%20%22that%20class%20of%20criminal%20almost%20invariably%20was%20a%20Jew%22&pg=PR19#v=onepage&q=&f=false. Retrieved 2009-10-21.
  7. ^ a b c Johnson, Edgar (1 January 1952). "4 - Intimations of Mortality". Charles Dickens His Tragedy And Triumph. Simon & Schuster Inc. http://dickens.ucsc.edu/OMF/johnson.html. Retrieved 8 February 2009.
  8. ^ Nunberg, Geoffrey (15 October 2001). The Way We Talk Now: Commentaries on Language and Culture. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 126. ISBN 0618116036.

External links