18.12.24【英语美文】敌人死亡的味道闻起来不总是那么的好—残酷现实主义战争小说《狙击手》

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周一嘉宾 Judy #看书有道,美文名篇# Reading makes a full man 

周一主题:【英语美文】敌人死亡的味道闻起来不总是那么的好残酷现实主义战争小说《狙击手》Liam O’Flaherty “ The Sniper”


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Liam O’Flaherty, (born August 28, 1896, Inishmore, Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland—died September 7, 1984, Dublin), Irish novelist and short-story writer whose works combine brutal naturalism, psychological analysis, poetry, and biting satire with an abiding respect for the courage and persistence of the Irish people. He was considered to be a leading figure of the Irish Renaissance.

The Sniper- Introduction

The city of Dublin, Ireland, is undergoing a battle; it is Civil War (1922-1923). The night is silent, except for the occasional machines guns and rifles. On a rooftop, a sniper is keeping watch. War has made him, as many others, insensitive to the fact that he kills people on a daily basis. In this story we get to follow him on one of his shifts. Having escaped death several times in less than 2 hours, finally killing his ‘enemy’ – a sniper of the opposing party- makes him realize what many people understand only after peace is restored: war never has a winner. 

六月漫长的黄昏,都柏林被内战的黑暗笼罩,咆哮的机枪声刺破城市夜空。一位共和党的狙击手正在躲避子弹擦着头皮飞过,他大汗淋漓,虚弱不堪,伤口的剧痛令他的牙齿抖个不停,他一边诅咒着这场战争一边在微弱的光线下又一次完成了高难度的击发,强烈好奇心驱使他想去看一眼与他交战后被击毙的敌军狙击手尸体…

The Sniper 

ByLiam O'Flaherty

1.   The long June twilight faded into night. In the distance, heavy guns roared. Here and there through the city, machine guns and rifles broke the silence of the night, spasmodically, like dogs barking on lone farms. It was war, civil war. On a rooftop near O'Connell Bridge, a sniper lay watching. His eyes were deep and thoughtful, the eyes of a man who is used to looking at death.

2.   He was considering whether he should risk a smoke. It was dangerous. The flash might be seen in the darkness, and there were enemies watching. He decided to take the risk. Placing a cigarette between his lips, he struck a match, inhaled the smoke hurriedly and put out the light. Almost immediately, a bullet flattened itself against the parapet of the roof. The sniper took another whiff and put out the cigarette.

3.   Cautiously he raised himself and peered over the parapet. There was a flash and a bullet whizzed over his head. He had seen the flash. It came from the opposite side of the street. There was nothing to be seen--just the dim outline of the opposite housetop against the blue sky. His enemy was under cover.

4.   Just then, an armoured car came across the bridge and advanced slowly up the street. It was an enemy car. He wanted to fire, but he knew it was useless. His bullets would never pierce the steel that covered the gray monster. Then round the corner of a side street came an old woman. She began to talk to the man in the turret of the car. She was pointing to the roof where the sniper lay. An informer. The turret opened. A man's head and shoulders appeared, looking toward the sniper. The sniper raised his rifle and fired. The head fell heavily on the turret wall. The woman darted toward the side street. The sniper fired again. The woman whirled round and fell with a shriek into the gutter.

5.   Suddenly from the opposite roof a shot rang out and the sniper dropped his rifle with a curse. The rifle clattered to the roof. He stooped to pick the rifle up. He couldn't lift it. His forearm was dead. "I'm hit," he muttered. With his left hand he felt the injured right forearm. The blood was oozing through the sleeve of his coat. There was no pain--just a deadened sensation, as if the arm had been cut off. He lay still against the parapet, and, closing his eyes, he made an effort of will to overcome the pain.

6.   The sniper lay still for a long time nursing his wounded arm and planning escape. Morning must not find him wounded on the roof. The enemy on the opposite roof covered his escape. He must kill that enemy and he could not use his rifle. He had only a revolver to do it. Then he thought of a plan. Taking off his cap, he placed it over the muzzle of his rifle. Then he pushed the rifle slowly upward over the parapet, until the cap was visible from the opposite side of the street. Almost immediately a bullet pierced the cap.

7.   His ruse had succeeded. The other sniper, seeing the cap and rifle fall, thought that he had killed his man. He was now standing before a row of chimney pots, looking across, with his head clearly silhouetted against the western sky. The sniper smiled and lifted his revolver above the edge of the parapet. The distance was about fifty yards--a hard shot in the dim light, and his right arm was paining him like a thousand devils. He took a steady aim. His hand trembled with eagerness. Pressing his lips together, he took a deep breath through his nostrils and fired. Then when the smoke cleared, he peered across and uttered a cry of joy. His enemy had been hit.

8.   The dying man on the roof crumpled up and fell forward. The body turned over and over in space and hit the ground with a dull thud. Then it lay still. The sniper looked at his enemy falling and he shuddered. The lust of battle died in him. He became bitten by remorse. Weakened by his wound and the long summer day of fasting and watching on the roof, he revolted from the sight of the shattered mass of his dead enemy.

9.   Taking a whiskey flask from his pocket, he emptied it a drought. He felt reckless under the influence of the spirit. He decided to leave the roof now and look for his company commander, to report. Everywhere around was quiet. There was not much danger in going through the streets. He picked up his revolver and put it in his pocket. Then he crawled down through the skylight to the house underneath.

10. When the sniper reached the laneway on the street level, he felt a sudden curiosity as to the identity of the enemy sniper whom he had killed. He decided that he was a good shot, whoever he was. He wondered did he know him. Perhaps he had been in his own company before the split in the army. He decided to risk going over to have a look at him. The sniper darted across the street. A machine gun tore up the ground around him with a hail of bullets, but he escaped. He threw himself face downward beside the corpse. The machine gun stopped. Then the sniper turned over the dead body and looked into 。。。。。。。。。。。。。。。.


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