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Theodor Seuss Geisel

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What is the lecture mainly about?
  • A. Early influences that shaped the career of Theodor Seuss Geisel

  • B. The use of Dr. Seuss books in modern elementary schools

  • C. The literary and artistic approach of Theodor Seuss Geisel

  • D. Two prominent authors of twentieth-century children’s literature

显示答案 正确答案: C

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    NARRATOR:Listen to part of a lecture in a children's literature class.

    MALE PROFESSOR:Today we'll start looking at the most important children's book authors of the twentieth century.And I'd like to start with an author-illustrator whom some of you probably grew up reading: Dr. Seuss... his actual name was Theodor Seuss Geisel.

    Geisel's work was hugely popular among beginning readers and their parents, but it wasn't always considered "literature" or subjected to serious academic inquiry until relatively recently.In fact, not only weren't his books considered literature, but they weren't always considered good schoolbooks.

    In the late-1950s and even through the '60s, U.S. teachers resisted Seuss books because they perceived them as having a comic-book style—fun, maybe, but not... uh, not appropriate for the classroom.None of Geisel's books individually won him a Pulitzer Prize, and he didn't receive any top children's literary awards, either.Although the Pulitzer Prize Committee did give him a citation in 1984 for his, ah [reciting quote] "special contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America's children and their parents." But again, that wasn't until 1984.

    Perhaps one reason his books weren't taken seriously is that even though they often use rhyme, you wouldn't call him a great poet.Geisel's rhyme schemes are very simple, and often, to make things rhyme, he'd use silly names for his imaginary creatures—like, uh, the "Grinch" and "sneetches."In fact, one book features 34 pairs of rhymed words, but only eight of those pairs consist entirely of real words. The rest are made-up words.

    Geisel also illustrated his own books and created lots of highly memorable characters from a visual standpoint.Yet, as far as his artistic talent, no one's ever really called him a "great" artist or "great" illustrator.For his human characters, he pretty much drew the same face over and over; except for minor accessories, all the people in his books look the same.Not exactly something you'd be encouraged to do in art school! And the way he drew even nonhuman characters was dismissed by many critics as being overly simplistic.

    His landscapes, on the other hand, they are simple, but they're also extremely clever.He had this uncanny knack for creating the illusion of great distance with some very simple shapes and lines.

    But what about from a pedagogical standpoint?Well, let's consider Geisel's most famous book, The Cat in the Hat.Now, in a way, this book, The Cat in the Hat, captures the essence of Geisel's particular genius as a children's author.Geisel actually wrote it in response to an article written in 1954 by an acclaimed novelist named John Hersey.

    In this article, Hersey criticized the textbooks being used in elementary schools, uh, to teach children to read.He called the books boring, contrived, and utterly humorless.After seeing Hersey's article, Geisel must've wondered what made the books so dull. And one thing he found was... they used only words from the Dolch list.

    The Dolch list contained a few hundred common sight words—words like, well, "cat" and "hat."At the time, the Dolch list was widely adhered to by publishers of textbooks for beginning readers.

    Well, using only words from the Dolch list, Geisel tapped into his fertile imagination, and... the result was an incredibly funny and engaging storyline about a talking cat that convinces a brother and sister to let him make a huge mess in their house while their mother is away.Another character, a talking fish, tries to warn the children that they'll be blamed for the cat's crazy antics.You can really feel the tension building up in those kids as the cat makes the house messier and messier.Ultimately, the house gets straightened up in the nick of time.And the kids are left speechless when their mom shows up and casually asks if anything interesting happened in her absence.The kids, and presumably Geisel's readers, are left thinking: Should they tell the truth? And that's where the book ends. [Slight pause for dramatic effect]Brilliant. There aren't too many authors who can set up a moral dilemma like this and then get children to think about it for themselves.

  • 旁白:请听儿童文学课上的部分内容。

    教授:今天我们将开始学习20世纪最重要的儿童书籍作者。我想从一位插画作家开始,你们中一些人可能是看着他的书长大的,他就是Seuss博士。他的本名叫做Theodor Seuss Geisel。

    Geisel的作品在初级读者和他们的父母中超级受欢迎,但是它并不总是被当做文学作品或者受到认真的学术研究,直到最近才有所改观。事实上他写的书不仅不被认为是文学作品,还不被认为是好的教材。

    在二十世纪五十年代末甚至一直到六十年代,美国老师们都抵制Seuss的书,因为他们觉得这些书有漫画书的风格,也许有趣但不适合用在教室里。没有任何一本Geisel的书令他获得过普利策奖,他也没赢得过任何顶尖的儿童文学奖项。虽然普利策组委会1984年对他进行过褒奖,说他......对美国儿童及其家长的教育和乐趣做出了近半个世纪的特殊贡献。但是这也是直到1984年才出现的。

    也许他的作品没有受到重视的一个原因是,虽然它们通常都使用了韵律,但你不会称他为一个伟大的诗人。Geisel的韵律组合非常简单,通常为了押韵,他会给他虚构的生物取很傻的名字,比如Grinch和Sneetches。事实上,有一本书中有34对押韵的单词,但其中只有8对完全由真正的单词组成。剩余的都是捏造的单词。

    Geisel还给他自己的书画插图,并且创造出了很多视觉上非常令人难忘的角色。然而就他的艺术才能而言,从没有人称过他为一个伟大的艺术家或一个伟大的插画家。他基本上给他书中的人类角色重复画的同样的脸。除了配角,他书里的所有人看上去都长一个样。你在艺术学校不太会被鼓励这么做。甚至他画非人类角色的方式被很多批评家指责过于简单化。

    但是,他的山水画,虽然很简单,但也极其巧思。他用很神奇的手法来创造远距离的错觉——利用一些简单的形状和线条。

    但是从教育学的角度来看呢?我们来看看Geisel最有名的作品The Cat in the Hat在某种程度上,这本书The Cat in the Hat抓住了Geisel作为一位儿童文学作家特有的天分的精髓。事实上,Geisel写这本书是为了回应一位饱受赞扬的小说家1954年写的一篇文章。这个小说家的名字叫做John Hersey.

    在这篇文章中,Hersey批判了小学学校教儿童阅读所用的课本。他说这些书“无聊、做作而且全然缺乏幽默感。”看到Hersey的文章后,Geisel一定很好奇是什么使得这些书如此无趣。他发现的一点是他们只选用了来自多尔希词汇表的单词。

    多尔希词汇表囊括了几百个常见的单词,比如cat和hat。那时,初级阅读者所用课本的出版商广泛拥护多尔希词汇表。

    只使用多尔希词汇表中的单词,Geisel发挥了他丰富的想象力。结果创作出了一个非常有趣并吸引人的故事情节,这个故事讲述了一只会讲话的猫说服了一对兄妹,放任它趁着他们母亲不在,把他们家弄得一团糟。另一个角色,一条会讲话的鱼试着警告这两个孩子,他们将会因为这只猫疯狂的行为而受到责备。你能切实感受到随着这只猫把房子弄得越来越乱,这些孩子身上不断增加的紧张感。最终这座房子在最后一刻被清理干净了。当他们的妈妈出现,并随意地问起她不在时有没有发生任何有趣的事情时,这两个孩子不发一言。孩子们,Geisel的读者们大概都在思考:他们应该说出真相吗?而整本书恰恰就在这里结束了。太有才了!没有多少作家能够设置这样一个道德上两难的情况,并且接着让孩子们自己思考这个问题。

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    题型分类:主旨题

    原文定位:文章开头无信号,需总结全文排除选项。讲座开头,教授引入主人公:Theodor Seuss Geisel. 之后介绍其儿童文学艺术作品从不被认可到被认可的过程及原因。

    选项分析A选项的shaped the career 错误;B use of Dr. Seuss books错误; DTwo prominent authors错误。因此正确答案为CTheodor Seuss Geisel运用的文学与艺术手法。


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