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卖笑者


□ Heinrich Böll

  The Laugher
  张蜀生/选注
  
  微笑、冷笑、酣畅淋漓的笑、歇斯底里的笑……
  当卖笑成了他的谋生手段之后,笑的真实意义已经离他远去。
  When someone asks me what business I am in, I am seized with embarrassment: I blush and stammer, I who am otherwise known as a man of poise.I envy people who can say: I am a bricklayer. I envy barbers, bookkeepers and writers the simplicity of their avowal, for all these professions speak .for themselves and need no lengthy explanation, while I am a laugher. An admission of this kind demands another, since I have to answer the second question: "Is that how you make your living?" truthfully with"Yes." I actually do make a living at my laughing, and a good one too,for my laughing is-commercially speaking-much in demand. I am a good laugher, experienced, no one else laughs as well as I do, no one else has such command of the fine points4 of my art. For a long time, inorder to avoid tiresome explanations, I called myself an actor, but my talents in the field of mime and elocution are so meager that I felt this designation to be too far from the truth:I love the truth, and the truth is: I am a laugher. I am neither a clown nor a comedian. I do not make people gay6, I portray gaiety: I laugh like a Roman emperor, or like a sensitive schoolboy, I am as much at home in the laughter of the seventeenth century as in that of the nineteenth, and when occasion demands I laugh my way through all the centuries, all classes of society, all categories of age: it is simply a skill which I have acquired, like the skill of being able to repair the shoes. In my breast I harbor the laughter of America, the laughter of Africa, white, red,yellow laughter-and for the right fee I let it peal out in accordance with the director's requirements. ......
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摘自:英语学习
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