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1 .<-NARRATOR:->Listen to part of a lecture in a literature class. The professor is discussing Henry David Thoreau.
旁白：请听一段文学讲座的节选片段。这堂课的教授正在讲Henry David Thoreau。
1 .<-MALE PROFESSOR:->Nowadays, trains are pretty much taken for granted.
2 .But in the United States, in the first part of the nineteenth century when Thoreau lived,the railroad was a big deal, a technological revolution.
3 .It was kinda earth-shattering to ride in a mechanical conveyance,at 50 kilometers an hour in the 1830s.
4 .The train-or "iron horse," as people called it-unlocked all sorts of new experiences of time, space...Thoreau himself praised trains for changing the way people experienced their own bodies...for stirring the imagination in new ways.
5 .So, in Thoreau's famous book, Walden... As, uh, you know,Walden is one of the central literary texts of the United States from that time period.
6 .And in it, Thoreau offers both praise and criticisms of trains.
1 .Um, Thoreau is sometimes seen as being anti-modern,but he's not.
2 .He uses poetic language,descriptive metaphors to inspire,to awe his readers,to communicate the fact that the railroad was a feat of human ingenuity.
3 .Thoreau also associates trains with commerce and trade.
4 .Though his attitudes toward commerce are complicated,he credits trains for delivering goods that feed and clothe society...things that improve human life.
1 .But Thoreau also critiques trains on what we could call philosophical grounds.
2 .He points out that riding on trains distorts people's experiences of the natural world,trees... wildlife...landscapes just zip right past you.
3 .And this is a real problem for him.
1 .Thoreau also worries that trains had become an "institution" regulating a whole country.
2 .He worries about people doing things in "railroad fashion"...conforming to the train's timetable,letting their lives be governed by this mechanical device that's making its way into the fabric of society.
1 .And he extends this critique to other inventions of the day, like, uh,the penny press,this very fast, steam-driven press.
2 .He talks about popular literary genres, like penny newspapers and dime novels,which were being published in mass quantities.
3 .He worries about people no longer thinking for themselves and uncritically accepting all this cheap, popular literature...and the trivial details of the news.
1 .So, Thoreau is offering here a critique of technology that might be relevant for our own times...and I think it's important to take it seriously.
2 .When there's a new invention-a new computer or mobile phone technology,some new gadget-there's a tendency to think that we need to have that thing...just as people were doing in the nineteenth century with respect to railroads-[emphasizing] accepting them as a necessity without considering the possible negative consequences or trade-offs that can flow from them.
3 .OK, can anybody offer an example of what I'm talking about? Debra?
1 .<-FEMALE STUDENT:->Yeah. There was this new computer game that my brother just had to have.
2 .So, he saved his money and bought it,wh-which was good, I guess, that he saved his money and all.
3 .But now, he spends like all his spare time playing that game instead of riding bikes with his friends or reading books,like he used to do.
4 .And it's causing some friction between him and our parents.
1 .<-FEMALE PROFESSOR:->Perfect example, Debra.
2 .So this is one way to think about Thoreau's text-not just as an important book in its time-for what it tells us about the nineteenth century-but also as a text that can teach us certain things about ourselves in contemporary society.