【写作】2018“外研社·国才杯”写作大赛亚军吴晓灵记叙文展示

2018/12/27 16:24:30

       2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛圆满落幕,才华横溢、博古通今的选手们以笔墨塑造天地,以思维判清世界,以我手绘我心。
       今天就为大家展示今年写作记叙文真题,呈现选手佳作与写作思路,并力邀写作领域专家解读点评。


真题分享

记叙文题目
Write a story based on the following painting entitled Nighthawks by Edward Hopper in 1942.

You should write between 600 and 800 words.
 

       在记叙文部分,大赛决赛阶段首次采用图片形式作为引入,展示了美国绘画大师爱德华•霍普的知名画作《夜游者》,要求选手发挥想象力,根据该画作写一篇记叙文。


选手破题思路
 

吴晓灵 厦门大学(指导教师:Jasen Grant)
2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛亚军


       Narrative writing和argumentative writing对我来说其实是完全不同的两种体裁。对argumentative writing,我更注重逻辑、句式和词汇;而在narrative writing中,氛围和主题是最重要的。也可能是因为这样的想法,我看到题目“write a story based on the given painting”时并没有很诧异。因为不过于注重复杂的情节,我在拿到题目时从画作入手,让这幅画引导我写一篇故事。或许是因为这学期接触了较多西方艺术史的缘故,我对art本身是有兴趣的,在此也启发大家平时要广泛涉猎,接触不同的领域。因此,我从composition(构图)、subject(人物)、environment(环境)、color combination (色彩)及历史大背景(二战)入手分析这幅画,自然地在分析过程中得出画家传达给观众的二战时期年轻人的迷茫心态及战争带来的影响。在本篇文章写作中,我没有写大段对话,而是把对话作为推动故事发展的节点,在主人公(bartender)的独白和回忆中给读者展现二战时期人们的精神生活。我希望打破时空的局限,因此在最后留下开放式结尾,希望通过这个故事建立读者与画中人之间的联系,引导他们反思自己、反思过去,走进这幅画,走进自己的心灵。


作品欣赏


       I am a bartender. I have worked at Phillies for nearly ten years, and multiple horrible events happening in the last decade have transformed me from a talkative, dynamic man to a silent, middle-aged bartender. I don't want to talk; sometimes I just sit on the chair, witnessing pedestrians striding quickly by without any emotions revealed from their faces. To be frank, being surrounded by a brown triangular wooden table edge assures my mind, partially due to the caprices of life - perhaps my brother will die in the next second.
       I smell the war; it has been ongoing for five years, and people have learnt how to bear and live with it - some of them have become relentlessly resilient after the war started, and others have initiated a carefree lifestyle seemingly in search of the ultimate goal of life. Here come three guests tonight; apparently, people no longer relish in the peaceful life once the nation plunged into the war - they do not cherish that pleasure and these people who came here tonight, I guess, are merely another bunch of men and women who are seeking the meaning of life in a chaotic world. Having served hundreds of guests since I was 19, I have developed an eagle eye that can penetrate one's mind and read inner thoughts. That's the reason why I don't usually talk, at least for the time being - I appreciate my observant quality and quite often, I realize the potential to investigate and examine the fragile relationship between strangers, friends, couples, and families. The lady is in a scarlet dress and with blonde hair, leaving me a unique impression the first moment she entered the Phillies. Having ordered a glass of beer, she barely talks and is carefully, if not indifferently, watching the smoke - another lost girl dragged down by the dismal reality, with the air exhaling from her mouth turning into a string of glowing circles. In contrast, the man next to her did not order anything, and he seems to know the girl just a few days ago yet he does not initiate any casual talk with the girl. That's a norm nowadays though, with no one listening and talking to you; rather, everyone is trapped in the small triangle of their inner self - we only feel emotionally stable and consistent when we stare at the surrounding without anything interrupting our life. Admittedly, we do not expect any incandescently surprising or ecstatic moments, which are almost impossible in a time bombarded with guns and shrieks.

       I pretend to be wiping the silverware, while my eyes are fixed on the other man sitting across from me. He wears a black hat and a black suit, perfectly matching the lifeless bar in the stale air. All of a sudden, he asks, "How long have you been working here?" "Ten years," the two words spring from my mouth like bullets, piercing through the bleak autumn night and punctuating the silence of our favorite. "Oh, so many unpredictable changes happened in these years," another snide remark that I’m trying to ignore. Definitely, I understood his sarcasm; we were both born in the roaring 20s, when we could dance to the jubilant jazz music, and spoiled ourselves with a thick wad of notes, and most importantly, we had a buoyant life at that time. Whereas now, we are just cautious enough not to refer to the traumatic word - war, which has left a unrecoverable scar on the heart, especially in the nightmare every time I awaken to the bloody red scar stretching all the way along my brother's right cheek - he deserves a salubrious life, yet he is tortured and tormented by the bottomless war groaning like a wild wolf that is desperate to suck human blood. Gentle as my brother is, he shouts at me sometimes, complaining that he has suffered unbearable pains from the war and his life - all his friends go to the battlefield and they have never been in contact with each other since the war began; he becomes nostalgic, and so do I.
       "A beer, please," the man sitting beside the blonde-haired girl pulls me from a distant hurtful memory with a heavy metallic voice. I've always wondered why alcohol was invented - Was it because the inventor wanted to escape from the bloody truth wrapped in a net of lies? Was it because he could not find any panacea to heal himself but resorted to alcohol? Was it an accident like what was happening all the time at the incarnadine battlefield? All in all, he must be like any one of us; we would rather sweet intoxication to sobriety – it is just too painful to remain tuned to the turbulent reality.
       "Da..da..dada...," the girl is whispering some babyish words, simple yet meaningless. Pathetically, we are all the same - meaninglessness is the ultimate meaning of our generation.
       (为真实展示选手赛场上的写作风貌,文章为从iTEST 大学外语测试与训练系统中摘出的原生作品,仅供学习分享使用。)


名师点评

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田朝霞教授 南京师范大学
2018“外研社·国才杯”全国英语写作大赛评委


       文学博士,剑桥大学、伦敦大学学院、墨尔本文法学校访问学者。南京师范大学“教学十佳”及“教书育人”奖获得者。2001年起指导学生参加各类英语赛事,多次获国家和省级奖项。自2015年起,多次担任“外研社杯”全国英语写作、阅读大赛评委,《“外研社杯”全国英语写作大赛官方指南》作者及阅读大赛学术总顾问。

       油画完成于1942年珍珠港事件之后,描绘人们坐在小餐厅吃晚餐的情景。三位客人,一个伙计,整个场景笼罩着一种苦闷、孤独和迷惘。当然,不同的观众可能有不同的解读。
       虽然题目并未要求选手必须回应1942年所蕴含的信息,但是许多选手仍选择了二战背景。这一篇也是以二战为背景,但却能脱颖而出,令人久久不能忘怀。玩味再三,初读时感受到的那种亦近亦远、清晰又似隔着一层纱的场景依旧让人欲罢不能,那种沉迷而又迷惘的情绪依旧笼罩心头。在89篇决赛记叙文中,这一篇故事通过一位小餐厅(酒吧)伙计的眼睛和心理活动透视世界。其写作手法娴熟,独具匠心,是一篇难得的英语记叙文!

       大学生常感到英语记叙文很陌生,无从下手,不知所措。很多记叙文的故事或不完整,或过于平淡,或没有寓意,或英语表达的不达不雅。而这一篇记叙文几近完美,表现出选手深厚的功力,在四个方面可以作为示范。
       第一,主题明确,中心突出。这是英语作文中常说的“unity”,也是记叙文最难达到的境界——整个故事围绕一个中心展开。这篇看似没有主线的故事实际上充满了故事,画面中每一个人的故事碎片合在一起,渲染了一个世界,营造了一种情绪。主人公餐厅伙计从意气风发的青年到沉默忧郁的未老心已衰,目睹人世的艰难,感受兄弟身体与心灵的伤痛,品味战争的味道,明白物是人非,但还能从观察人来人往之中获得一些兴致。红衣金发的女子迷失在灰暗的现实中,只凝视吐出的烟圈,不知所思。身边的男子毫无热恋的兴致,甚至不愿开口交谈。另一角落,一位与伙计年龄相仿的黑衣黑帽男子,与这毫无生机的环境融为一体。冷不丁地对“我”开口:“这许多年,已物是人非了”——淡然而不无讽刺的语气。我们看到,每一个人都有自己的故事,几乎一句话就是一个小故事。而这所有的故事又汇成同样的一个故事,所有人的故事都是同一个时代的同样故事——这就是这篇故事的unity所在。在英语作文中能够做到形散而神不散,可见选手对故事的驾驭能力。值得点赞!
       第二,描写刻画细致,烘托手法高明。人物刻画细致入微,如Having ordered a glass of beer, she barely talked and carefully, if not indifferently, watched the fog - another lost girl dragged down by the dismal reality, with the smoke exhaling from her mouth turning into a string of glowing circles。文字与画面相映,女子的形象更加鲜活,所传递的情感更加清晰。这种例子在文中比比皆是。讲故事其实是传递思想,但是好的故事不会明说,只是展现。这是我们常说的“show instead of tell”。这篇故事的人物容貌和心理的刻画以及环境的描写,均旨在烘托一种情绪,一种语言表达不清楚的情绪,一种长期的战争带给所有人的一种淡淡的无尽头的迷惘和孤独感。虽远离硝烟,但是每一个人都被囚困在战争中了。他们以不同的形式展示着战争所带来的“囚困”感,正如文中所言:everyone was trapped in the small triangle of their inner self - we only felt emotionally stable and consistent when we stared at the surroundings without nothing interrupting our life. 多数选手能够讲出(tell)这种苦闷,但是能够如此清晰、准确、深刻地用英语语言描绘出来的人寥寥无几。这位选手的技艺,用炉火纯青来形容也不算太夸张。
       故事的倒数第二段达到一个小高潮:人们为什么喜欢醉于酒中呢?选手用一列排比,道出人们欲逃离战争现实的事实,也算是给全文烘托的一个交代。
       第三,英语语言运用准确、娴熟。选手不仅词汇量大,而且使用准确。上面一段中的两个例子已能够体现。再例如“... secures my mind”、“capricious life”、“smelt the war”、“examine the fragile relationship”、“turbulent reality”等搭配使用的准确;“he deserved a salubrious life, yet he was tortured and tormented by the bottomless war groaning like a wild wolf that is desperate to suck human blood”等句子中头韵、拟人、比喻等多重修辞手法在同一个句子中的使用;“I've always wondered why the alcohol was invented - Was it …? Was it …? Was it …?”排比的使用。语言使用中可圈可点的地方很多,足以判断这位选手“浸泡”在英语中已久。
       第四,对艺术的感悟能力极强。如果这位选手之前并不了解这幅世界名画,那么她对艺术的感悟力令人惊叹。她描绘的深夜小餐厅的一幕就是战争影响和改变着的人们。每个人都被“trapped”,都“lost”;人们需要一点儿“alcohol”,“we would love to be drunk than sober - it was too painful to remain tuned to the turbulent reality”;战争时期的生活意义对这一代人都一样,“Pathetically, we are all the same - meaninglessness is the ultimate meaning of our generation”。这样的感悟力,既说明名画之出色,更说明我们这位选手之出色。
       若说还有一点儿遗憾,有两点。第一,结尾处(最后两段)的高潮似乎还不够强烈,但也可能是选手有意为之——就是要让人感觉意犹未尽。第二,有个别语言疏忽,但也有情可原,毕竟是在竞赛场景的有限时间所完成。
       总体来说,这是一篇难得的优秀记叙文。