第97回 脚の組み替えと口調の関係は……

一行翻訳コンテスト2015.08.16

■オススメの一冊 その1

『Even Happier: A Gratitude Journal for Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment』
(Tal Ben-Shahar 著/McGraw-Hill)

Even Happier: A Gratitude Journal for Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment

では今月の1冊目。Tal Ben-Shaharの『Even Happier』。日記形式の本で、どうやったらもっと幸せになれるかという話。最近は日本もそうなってきていると感じますが、アメリカはとにかくHow toものが大好き。デール・カーネギーとか、ナポレオン・ヒルとか、ああいう本が売れるのはやっぱり独特だと思うんですね。前にご紹介した『金持ち父さん貧乏父さん』みたいな本もそうです。たとえば第3週を見てみましょう。

Physical Activity

More and more studies in the area of mind-body medicine show the mental health benefits of physical exercise. Michael Babyak and his colleagues at Duke University Medical School, for example, showed that exercising three times a week for thirty minutes each time was as helpful for patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder as taking an antidepressant. Moreover, those who were on the drug were four times more likely to relapse into depression once the intervention ended than those who exercised.

In exercising, then, like taking an antidepressant? Not exactly. In essence, not exercising is like taking a depressant. We have the need for exercise, and when this need is not fulfilled, we pay a price. We were not made to be inactive, sitting in front of a computer screen all day, or spending our days in meetings. We were made to run after an antelope for lunch, or run away from a lion so that we don’t become lunch. We frustrate a physical need when we don’t exercise, and when we frustrate a need ―whether of vitamins, proteins, or exercise―we pay a price.

なかなかきちんと書かれていて面白かったですよ。

■オススメの一冊 その2

『The Great Zoo of China』
(Matthew Reilly 著/Orion)

The Great Zoo of China

今月の2冊目は、Matthew Reileyの『The Great Zoo of China』です。この作家の存在に気付いたのは3~4年前かなあ。凝った文章を書く人ではないですが、アクション映画のような話の展開でつい勢いよく読めてしまう。スケアクロウ・シリーズが有名ですが(先日新作が出ました)、これは(いまのところ)単発もの。アメリカの小説は、その時々のアメリカのライバル国がしばしば部隊とか敵役になります。冷戦時代のソ連や東欧諸国。経済摩擦時代の日本や中東危機の頃の中近東(これはいまも続いていますが)、そして最近では中国や北朝鮮などが取り上げられることも増えてきました。で、こちらは中国が舞台のジュラシック・パークと考えるといいかな。恐竜の代わりは内緒にしておきます(笑)。主人公を含むグループが中国政府に招かれて(ジュラシック・パークは民間でしたが)、そこで見せられたものは……。プロローグの一部を抜粋。

How America came to dominate global culture is nothing short of astonishing.
   After defeating the Axis powers in the Second World War with its military and industrial might, the United States then set about waging and winning a far more subtle war against the whole world: a war of cultural superiority.
   This war was not fought with guns or tanks. It was fought with movies and music, Coke and Pepsi, Fords and Cadillacs, and, of course, arguably America’s greatest weapon in soft diplomacy: Disneyland.
   Put simply, American culture became the world’s culture―drive-in burger joints of the 50s, Easy Rider in the 60’s, platform shoes in the 70s, Coca-Cola ads in the 80s.
   Hollywood played a big part in this, helped along later by MTV. Thanks to hundreds of American movies, TV shows and music videos set in America, the names of American cities, towns, roads and products became known worldwide: New York, Vegas, Fargo, Key Largo; Route 66, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny; DeLorean, Nike, American Express.
   Apart from Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, can you name another Chinese city? Can you name a Chinese brand of sport shoe?
   What I ask you, apart from the panda bear and a very long wall, is singularly and uniquely Chinese?

And here lies China’s problem in the twenty-first century.
   It has nothing truly its own.

前置きの部分なんですけど、面白そうでしょ? ちなみに本のタイトルもシャレになっています。「万獣の動物園」かな。

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