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經濟學人:西西莉·泰森-佳人絕世而獨立(1)

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Obituary Cicely Tyson

訃告 西西莉·泰森

Beauty and defiance

佳人絕世而獨立

Cicely Tyson, actress, died on January 28th, aged 96

女演員西西莉·泰森於1月28日去世,享年96歲

Slowly, with infinite effort, the elderly black woman got out of the car. Helped by a friendly arm, she laboured up the steps to the terrace. But there, squaring her shoulders, lifting her chin, she shrugged her helpers off. She knew how to walk, and she could walk from here. Her aim was to get to the water fountain by the sheriff’s office, the one that said “White Only”. Step by dragging step, leaning on her cane, she pressed on.

這位年邁的黑人老婦慢悠悠、費勁地下了車。在別人善意的攙扶下,她吃力地走上台階,來到露台。剛一站定,她就挺直脊背,抬高下巴,謝絕了旁人的攙扶。她知道怎麼走路,從這裏開始她就能自己走了。她的目的地警長辦公室旁邊的飲水機,上面寫着“僅白人可用”。她拄着枴杖一步一步地向目標靠近。

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The white officers by the door let her pass; they could hardly obstruct an old woman. At the fountain she turned on the water, took a smallish sip, let it flow round her mouth to savour it. Then, with a cursory glance at the officers, she went slowly back.

門口的白人官員讓她過去了;他們怎麼好攔截這位年邁的婦人。到了飲水機旁,她打開水龍頭,抿了一小口,讓水緩慢流進嘴裏,再細細地品味。然後,她匆匆地瞥了官員一眼,又緩慢地踱回去。

To play this lead role in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman”, in 1974, Cicely Tyson spent months preparing. The film required her to age from 19 to 110, when the fountain incident occurred. She herself was somewhere midway, 49, though her elfin body and taut skin might have made her half that.

為了在《簡·皮特曼小姐的自傳》影片中飾演好這個主角,1974年,西西莉·泰森花了數月的時間籌備。這部影片要求她演繹主角的生平,從19歲演到飲水事件發生時的110歲。拍攝影片時,49歲的西西莉正好處於中間的年齡段,儘管她身材窈窕輕盈和皮膚緊緻,看起來也就二十多歲的模樣。

To delve inside the being of this ancient woman, once a slave, she put on blurring contact lenses and studied residents in nursing homes, noticing how their hands shook and their memories came and went. What she did not need to study was Miss Pittman’s defiance.

為了探究這位曾是奴隸的老婦的內心世界,她特意戴上隱形眼鏡,模糊自己的視線,認真觀察療養院裏的老人,研究他們的雙手如何顫抖,他們的記憶如何時好時壞。唯一不需要探究的就是皮特曼小姐的孤傲。

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sheriff ['ʃerif]

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n. 郡治安官,郡長

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glance [glɑ:ns]

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v. 一瞥,掃視,匆匆一看,反光,閃爍,掠過

 
cursory ['kə:səri]

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adj. 匆匆忙忙的,草率的,粗略的

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incident ['insidənt]

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n. 事件,事變,插曲
adj. 難免的,附帶

 
sip [sip]

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n. 啜飲
v. 啜飲,啜

 
fountain ['fauntin]

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n. 噴泉,源泉,儲水容器,泉水
v. 使像噴

 
defiance [di'faiəns]

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n. 蔑視,違抗,挑釁

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obstruct [əb'strʌkt]

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v. 阻隔,妨礙,阻塞

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infinite ['infinit]

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adj. 無限的,無窮的
n. 無限

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shrug [ʃrʌg]

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n. 聳肩
v. 聳肩

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