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 1998年E-C:   IagreetosomeextentwithmyimaginaryEnglishreader.Americanliteraryhistoriansareperhapspronetoviewtheirownnationalscenetoonarrowly,mistakingprominenceforuniqueness.Theydoover-phrasethe...


  I agree to some extent with my imaginary English reader. American literary historians are perhaps prone to view their own national scene too narrowly, mistaking prominence for uniqueness. They do over-phrase their own literature, or certainly its minor figures. And Americans do swing from aggressive over phrase of their literature to an equally unfortunate, imitative deference. But then, the English themselves are somewhat insular in their literary appraisals. Moreover, in fields where they are not pre-eminent — e. g. in painting and music —they too alternate between boasting of native products and copying those of the Continent. How many English paintings try to look as though they were done in Paris; how many times have we read in articles that they really represent an “English tradition” after all.
  To speak of American literature, then, is not to assert(断言、声称)that it is completely unlike that of Europe. Broadly speaking, America and Europe have kept step(同步). At any given moment(在任何时候) the traveler could find examples in both of the same architecture, the same styles in dress, the same books on the shelves. Ideas have crossed the Atlantic as freely as men and merchandise, though sometimes more slowly. When I refer to American habit, thoughts, etc., I intend some sort of qualification(限制、限定、资格) to precede(领先、超前) the word, for frequently the difference between America and Europe (especially England) will be one of degree(唯一只是在程度上), sometimes only of a small degree. The amount of divergence(分歧、差异) is a subtle (微妙的)affair, liable(有可能的) to perplex the Englishman when he looks at America. He is looking at a country which in important senses (重要的感觉)grew out of his own, which in several ways still resembles his own — and which is yet a foreign country. There are odd overlappings and abrupt unfamiliarities; kinship(亲缘关系) yields to a sudden alienation(疏远关系), as when we hail(打招呼) a person across the street, only to discover from his blank(没有表情的) response that we have mistaken a stranger for a friend. 






  The current visit to Taiwan for exchange, brief and cursory as it is, has enabled us to see many places, to visit old friends while making new acquaintances. Whenever people gather together, an important topic of discussion has been how the Chinese nation can become prosperous and powerful in the 21st century. Although the young people on the Mainland and in Taiwan live in different social contexts (environments / milieus), with their individually different experiences of life, in the innermost recesses of their hearts are wrought an indelible mark by the fine traditions of the Chinese culture. They all cherish the same ideal to rejuvenate the Chinese nation (They share the same ideal to rejuvenate the Chinese nation). In this great epoch at the turn of the century, our motherland is developing toward greater prosperity and powerfulness. People across the Taiwan Straits are bound to strengthen their exchanges and will mutually promote the earliest possible achievement of the great cause of reunification of the motherland. The precious opportunities and the tremendous challenges at the turn of the century have pushed the young people to the foreground (forefront) of the historical arena (stage). At this transitional phase between the two millennia, in what way the young generation should embrace the forthcoming new century replete with hopes is a question to which we have to seek an answer.