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      英語世界
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      Stephen Hawking, the ‘Superhuman’ Pop Culture Star
      發布時間:2018年07月01日     王一宇 譯  
      來源: 英語世界
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      Stephen Hawking, the ‘Superhuman’ Pop Culture Star

      霍金——超人般的流行文化明星


      By Fiachra Gibbons & Laurence Thomann

      文/菲亞克拉·吉本斯、勞倫斯·托曼


      Very few people may have read and understood “A Brief History of Time”, but the physicist Stephen Hawking carved himself out a place in pop culture equalled only by Albert Einstein.


      可能很少有人通讀過并看懂了《時間簡史》,但其作者物理學家斯蒂芬·霍金卻為自己在流行文化領域開拓了一方天地,史上唯有阿爾伯特·愛因斯坦可與其媲美。


      While the brilliant mind behind the theory of relativity was instantly recognisable by Einstein’s unruly “mad scientist” hair, Hawking’s wheelchair and his synthesised voice made him every bit as iconic.


      愛因斯坦凌亂的“瘋狂科學家”發型,讓其蘊含在相對論背后的智慧瞬間具有辨識性;而霍金的輪椅及其合成語音,讓他同樣極具標志性。


      Both knew how to play to the gallery[1], and that the key to scientific evangelism was not to take yourself too seriously – in public.


      兩位“科學布道者”都深諳如何吸引公眾視線,他們的秘訣是:別太把自己當回事——尤其在公共場合。


      [1] play to the gallery 嘩眾取寵;賣弄噱頭。


      Einstein famously stuck out his tongue out for a picture in 1951 and Hawking never passed up a chance to show his rapier wit.


      愛因斯坦1951年拍的那張吐舌照片就十分出名,而霍金更是抓住每個機會展示他敏捷的才思。


      Within months of his 1988 best-seller – dubbed “the greatest unread book in history” – entering the Guinness Book of Records, the British cosmologist had became a star of the television chat show circuit and a pop cultural fixture.


      他于1988年出版的《時間簡史》成了暢銷之作,被稱為“史上最偉大的天書”。在該書被收入《吉尼斯世界紀錄大全》幾個月后,這位英國宇宙學家已成為電視脫口秀明星和流行文化的熟面孔。


      He appeared as himself in everything from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” – playing poker with a hologram of Einstein – to “The Simpsons” where he conceded that Homer[2]’s “theory of a donut-shaped universe is intriguing”.


      他總是本色出演,不僅在《星際迷航:下一代》中與愛因斯坦的全息影像打橋牌,還在《辛普森一家》中承認霍默·辛普森的“甜甜圈形宇宙的理論挺有意思”。


      [2] 與下文中斯金納校長同為動畫片《辛普森一家》人物。


      In fact, he appeared five times in the cartoon series as “the world’s smartest man”, and became such a running gag[3] that he had his own Simpsons figurine.


      事實上,他曾在這部動畫系列片中五次出場,飾演自己——“世界上最聰明的人”,他還憑借不斷顯露的幽默風趣獲得了自己在該片所飾形象的專屬小雕像。


      [3] running gag 連續重復的插科打諢。


      In his 1999 debut, “They Saved Lisa’s Brain”, he even started a brawl by punching Principal Skinner.


      1999年,他在《辛普森一家》之“他們拯救了麗莎的大腦”一集中首次亮相,甚至在劇中因拳擊斯金納校長而引發一場群毆。


      He was usually called on to deliver pearls of gnomic self-deprecating wisdom such as: “Sometimes even the smartest of us can be the most childish. But not me, never…”


      他還經常被要求展現精辟的自嘲式智慧,比如:“有時候最聰明的人也可能是最幼稚的,但我不是,絕不是……”

       

      ‘Imprisoned mind’ roaming cosmos

      被禁錮的大腦遨游宇宙


      The scientist was a regular too on another US show, “The Big Bang Theory”.


      這位科學家還成了另一美劇《生活大爆炸》的???。


      Artists even found his TV adverts inspiring.


      藝術家也受到他的電視廣告的啟發。


      Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour sampled his voice from a 1994 British telephone ad for his song, “Keep Talking”, after Hawking declared: “Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this.”


      霍金曾稱:“人類最偉大的成就在交談中逐漸成形,而最大的失敗則源自交談的缺失。事情不必非得如此?!敝?,搖滾樂團平克·弗洛伊德的戴維·吉爾摩從1994年英國的一個電話廣告中采集了霍金的聲音,用在自己的歌曲《保持交談》里。


      Hawking’s colleague at Cambridge University, the Astronomer Royal Professor Lord Martin Rees, said the key to his appeal was that his brilliant brain had been imprisoned in a wheelchair and that he had been robbed of his own voice.


      皇家天文學教授馬丁·里斯勛爵是霍金在劍橋大學的同事。他認為,霍金之所以吸引大眾,關鍵在于霍金非凡的大腦被禁錮在輪椅上,同時還被剝奪了自己的聲音。


      “The concept of an imprisoned mind roaming the cosmos plainly grabbed people’s imagination” and made him a cult figure, Lord Rees said in an appreciation[4] of his friend.


      里斯勛爵在評價友人霍金時曾說,“一個被禁錮的大腦卻能在宇宙遨游,這顯然調動了人們的想象力”,并使他成為偶像人物。


      [4] 此處是可數名詞,意為(對藝術家、表演者或其作品的)評論、評價。


      “If he had achieved equal distinction in (say) genetics rather than cosmology, his triumph of intellect against adversity probably wouldn’t have achieved the same resonance with a worldwide public,” he added.


      他補充表示:“假如說,他在遺傳學而非宇宙學取得同等的成就,那他憑借智慧對抗逆境取得的勝利可能不會在世界范圍引起像現在這么大的共鳴?!?b>

       

      Postmodern superhero

      后現代超級英雄


      But for French science writer and YouTube star Bruce Benamran, Hawking was a kind of postmodern superhero.


      但對法國科普作家、視頻網站 YouTube 明星布魯斯·貝納赫來說,霍金是后現代超級英雄。


      “He was clearly handicapped by his illness but at the same time he was kind of superhuman.”


      “顯然,他是備受病痛困擾的殘障人士,但同時,他也是一位超級英雄?!?b>


      “He seemed to live in a kind of energy that was almost superhuman even as he was imprisoned in his wheelchair and obliged to talk through an artificial interface, which made him even more recognisable,” he added.


      貝納赫還說:“霍金似乎是以某種超能維持生命,雖然他被禁錮在輪椅上,被迫通過擬聲器發聲,這些都更能讓人們一眼認出他?!?b>


      Despite the black hole of a body wracked by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Hawking was able to fill the Albert Hall in London and other huge venues across the world and hold audiences spellbound with his ideas.


      盡管軀體因肌肉萎縮性側索硬化癥而像黑洞一樣萎縮,霍金卻能用思想讓倫敦皇家阿爾伯特音樂廳及世界各地的大禮堂座無虛席,讓觀眾入迷。


      Hawking’s personal life also became public property through the success of “The Theory of Everything”.


      電影《萬物理論》的成功讓霍金的個人生活也暴露在公眾面前。


      Based on the book by his first wife, Jane, Lord Rees said the film “conveyed with sensitivity how the need for support (first from a succession of students, but later requiring a team of nurses), strained his marriage to breaking point, especially when augmented by the pres-sure of his growing celebrity.”


      這部電影改編自霍金第一任妻子簡的回憶錄。里斯勛爵說,該片“細微刻畫了在尋求救治幫助的過程中(先是一連串學生,后是一群護士),他的婚姻如何被推向崩裂的邊緣,尤其在霍金與日俱增的名氣帶來的壓力下,裂痕一再加大?!?b>


      Hawking later married one of those nurses, Elaine Mason, whose former husband had designed Hawking’s speech synthesiser, although the relationship did not last either.


      后來,霍金與其中一名護士伊萊恩·梅森再婚,而梅森的前夫正是霍金語音合成器的設計者,不過他們兩人的婚姻也并不長久。


      In later life, he wrote a series of much-praised books for children with his daughter, Lucy.


      晚年,霍金和女兒露西撰寫了一系列廣受贊譽的兒童讀物。


      While more than 10 million copies of “A Brief History of Time” were sold, Lord Rees said “probably more readers got to the end” of his other books which explained his ideas, such as “Our Universe in a Nutshell” and “The Grand Design”.


      雖然《時間簡史》售出1000余萬冊,但里斯勛爵認為,“可能更多讀者能從頭讀到尾的”還是他其他幾本解釋其思想的著作,比如《果殼中的宇宙》和《大設計》。


      Benamran, however, said his gift for explaining the most complex concepts was the key to his stardom.


      貝納赫則認為,霍金成為流行文化明星的關鍵在于,他擁有闡明最復雜概念的天賦。


      “He was someone who could explain simply and clearly the most difficult subjects without loading them with scientific baggage,” he said.


      他說:“霍金可以將最難的課題簡單明了地展示給世人,不會讓它們背上科學的包袱?!?


      (譯者單位:南京師范大學)

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