托福综合写作背景知识:

  贾科莫•卡萨诺瓦(Giacomo Girolamo Casanova,1725年4月2日-1798年6月4日),极富传奇色彩的意大利冒险家、作家、“追寻女色的风流才子”。18 世纪享誉欧洲的大情圣。生于意大利威尼斯,卒于波希米亚的达克斯(现捷克杜克卓夫)。卡萨诺瓦一生中最为重要的作品当属其穷尽晚年精力的创作《我的一生》(Histoire de ma vie),这部法语写成的自传式小说讲述了卡萨诺瓦一生中的故事。(来自百度百科) 这个人跟今天的题目有什么关系呢?卡萨诺瓦喜欢被人称为塞恩加尔骑士,就是文中的Chevalier de Seingalt。

  阅读材料:

  Toward the end of his life, the Chevalier de Seingalt (1725-1798) wrote a long memoir recounting his life and adventures. The Chevalier was a somewhat controversial figure, but since he met many famous people, including kings and writers, his memoir has become a valuable historical source about European society in the eighteenth century. However, some critics have raised doubts about the accuracy of the memoir. They claim that the Chevalier distorted or invented many events in the memoir to make his life seem more exciting and glamorous than it really was.

  塞恩加尔骑士在晚年写了一部长篇回忆录以描写他冒险的一生。骑士先生是一个充满争议的人物。但是由于他同很多包括国王和作家在内的很多名人都有交集,所以他的这本回忆录对于研究十八世纪欧洲历史有一定价值。然而,一些评论家对这本回忆的准确性提出了质疑。他们认为骑士先生为了让他的一生显得更富有传奇性,他虚构和编撰了很多事件。

  For example, in his memoir the Chevalier claims that while living in Switzerland, ha was very wealthy, and it is known that he spent a great deal of money there on parties on gambling. However, evidence has recently surfaced that the Chevalier borrowed considerable sums of money from a Swiss merchant. Critics thus argue that if the Chevalier had really been very rich, he would not have needed to borrow money.

  比如说,骑士先生忆录中说当他在瑞士居住的时候是非常富有的,而且在各种派对和赌局上挥金如土。然而最近揭示的证据却表明当时骑士先生曾跟一个瑞士商人借了一大笔钱。批评家因此声称,如果骑士先生真的非常有钱,他就不会需要举债度日。

  Critics are also skeptical about the accuracy of the conversations that the Chevalier records in the memoir between himself and the famous writer Voltaire. No one doubts that the Chevalier and Voltaire met and conversed. However, critics complain that the memoir cannot possibly capture these conversations accurately, because it was written many years after the conversations occurred. Critics point out that it is impossible to remember exact phrases from extended conversations held many years earlier.

  同时,批评家们还对他跟著名作家伏尔泰之间过于精确的对话。骑士先生和伏尔泰曾经会面和交谈是确信无疑的。但是,批评家们回忆录是不可能把对话记录的这么精确的,因为这本回忆录是对话发生多年之后才写的。批评家们指出人是不可能记住话题广泛对话的具体用词的,尤其事情发生多年。

  Critics have also questioned the memoir’s account of the Chevalier’s escape from a notorious prison in Venice, Italy. He claims to have escaped the Venetian prison by using a piece of metal to make a hole in the ceiling and climbing through the roof. Critics claim that while such a daring escape makes for enjoyable reading, it is more likely that the Chevaliers jailers were bribed to free him. They point out that the Chevalier had a number of politically well-connected friends in Venice who could have offered a bribe.

  批评家还对回忆录中的一个细节提出了质疑,就是骑士先生对于自己从意大利威尼斯一个臭名昭著的监狱逃出的情节。骑士自己声场他是越狱逃出的,用一块铁片在天花板上弄出洞,然后从屋顶翻出来。批评家说尽管这种冒险的越狱行为让这本书更具有可读性,但是事实上是骑士先生通过贿赂狱卒的方式获得自由的。批评家们指出,骑士先生在威尼斯政界有不少朋友,而这些朋友可以帮他贿赂狱卒。

  托福综合写作阅读部分需要提取的观点是:

  - Main point: 塞恩加尔骑士的回忆录不够精确

  - Sub point 1:回忆录声称自己很有钱,但是事实上不是

  - Sub point 2:回忆录上对于他跟伏尔泰交谈记录得过于详细,不合常理

  - Sub point 3:他声称自己在威尼斯越狱,但实际上他是政界朋友帮忙行贿才获得自由的

  托福综合写作听力材料:

  No memoir can possibly be correct in every detail, but still, the Chevalier’s memoir is pretty accurate overall, and is, by and large, a reliable historical source. Let’s lookat the accuracy of the three episodes mentioned in the reading.

  所有的回忆录在细节上都会有瑕疵。但是尽管如此,塞恩加尔骑士的回忆录总体上看还是相当精确的,而且总体上说是具有史料价值的。我们看一下阅读部分质疑细节的精确性吧。

  First, the loan from the merchant. Well, that doesn’t mean that the Chevalier was poor. Let me explain. We know that in Switzerland, the Chevalier spent huge amounts of money on parties and gambling, and he had wealth. But it was a kind of property you have to sell first to get money. So it usually took a few days to convert his assets into actual money. So when he ran out of cash, hehad to borrow some while he was waiting for his money to arrive, but that’s not being poor.

  首先,是向商人借债的问题。当然,这不能就说明骑士先生是平穷的。我来解释一下。我们都知道骑士先生生活在瑞士的时候把大把的钱都花在了派对和赌博上了。他是非常富有的,但是他所拥有的财产都不是现金,是需要变卖的。所以,当他的钱花光了之后,他就需要暂时借钱周转。他是在等着现金到位,而不是因为穷。

  Second, the conversations with Voltaire. The Chevalier states in his memoir that each night immediately after conversing with Voltaire, he wrote down everything he could remember about that particular night’s conversation. Evidently the Chevalier kept his notes of these conversations for many years and referred to them when writing the memoir. Witnesses who lived with the Chevalier in his later life confirmed that he regularly consulted notes and journals when composing the memoir.

  第二,是跟伏尔泰的对话。骑士先生在他的回忆录中曾说,每次同伏尔泰交夜间交谈之后,他就会迅速记录下能记住的谈话细节。很明显,骑士先生连续几年记录着他跟伏尔泰的谈话,并在撰写回忆录的时候用到了记载的细节。有在其实先生晚年伴随其左右的人证明,在骑士先生撰写回忆录的时候会常常查找笔记和期刊。

  Third, the Chevalier’s escape from a prison in Venice. Other prisoners in that prison had even more powerful friends than he did, and none of them were ever able to bribe their way to freedom. So bribery hardly seems likely in his case. The best evidence, though, comes from some old Venetian government documents. They indicate that soon after the Chevalier escaped from the prison, the ceiling of his old prison room had to be repaired. Why would they need to repair a ceiling unless he had escaped exactly as he said he did.

  第三,是关于骑士先生在威尼斯越狱的事情。监狱里其他人拥有比他有权有势的朋友,但是也没有以贿赂的方式获取自由。所以,他应该不是采取了贿赂的方法。然后,有一个来自于威尼斯政府文件的记载很有利地支持了骑士先生的记录。文件上说当其实先生离开监狱不久,监狱就进行了修缮。如果真想不是如他所说,那么为什么监狱要修缮屋顶呢?

  托福综合写作听力笔记:

  Main point: accurate

  Sub point one: property, sell first, a few days, waiting for his money

  Sub point two: wrote down everything, kept his notes, Witnesses, consulted notes and journals

  Sub point three: more powerful friends, none, bribe, government document, repaired

  本篇范文可以借鉴的模板

  The reading passage raises several doubts about_________, whereas the professor defends_________by clarifying the seeming contradictions in__________.

  The professor argues tha________. According to the professor, _________. The reading, however, holds that________.

  Moreover, the professor challenges the skepticism expressed in the reading regarding the __________. She explains that________________.

  Finally, the professor rejects the claim in the reading that_________________. She says that the fact that__________shows that__________. Furthermore, she points to__________, citing this as strong evidence that__________.

  托福综合写作范文(仅供参考):

  The reading passage raises several doubts about the accuracy of the memoir written by the hevalier de Seingalt, whereas the professor defends the memoir in the lecture by clarifying the seeming contradictions inthe Chevalier’s accounts.

  The professor argues that because the Chevalier was rich in assets but poor in cash while he was living in Switzerland, he occasionally had to borrow funds to pay for expensive recreational activities. According to the professor, having low amounts of cash is not the same as being financially poor. The reading, however, holds that as someone who had to borrow large amounts of money from others, the Chevalier must have fabricated stories of his wealthy life in Switzerland.

  Moreover, the professor challenges the skepticism expressed in the reading regarding the reliability of the conversations with Voltaire that the Chevalier recorded in his memoir. She explains that because the Chevalier had a habit of recording each conversation with Voltaire in a diary immediately afterward, he was able to recall those discussions in detail even years later. Finally, the professor rejects the claim in the reading that the Chevalier bribed his way out of a prison in Venice. She says that the fact that none of the other prisoners, even those with better resources, had been able to do so shows that bribery was unlikely. Furthermore, she points to a government paper that recorded the repair work done to the Chevalier’s prison cell, citing this as strong evidence that the account of his escape from the prison was indeed accurate.

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