voa慢速英语:Remembering Five Interesting Americans

发表时间:2008-12-28内容来源:VOA英语学习网

VOICE ONE:

I'm Steve Ember.

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Barbara Klein with PEOPLE IN AMERICA in VOA special english. Today we remember five interesting people who died this year. We begin with the writer David Foster Wallace. His inventive stories and books explored human emotions and the complexities of modern American culture.

VOICE ONE:


David Foster Wallace


Wallace's first novel, "The Broom of the System," was published in nineteen eighty-six. He was twenty-four years old at the time.

David Foster Wallace is probably best known for the novel "Infinite Jest" published ten years later. This book was over a thousand pages long. It is an intelligent and darkly humorous desCRIption of American society. Wallace was known for using footnotes to explain details in his stories. He experimented with unusual ways to structure stories.

The book "Consider the Lobster" is a collection of Wallace's many intelligent essays. They are about subjects including food, politics, and literature. His sharp observations make readers think about common subjects in new ways.

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David Foster Wallace grew up in Champaign, Illinois. He studied philosophy and English at Amherst College in Massachusetts. He later taught creative writing at Illinois State University, then at Pomona College in California.

Wallace suffered from severe depression for many years. He committed suicide in September. He was forty-six years old.

One literary CRItic called David Foster Wallace one of the most influential writers of the past twenty years. He said Wallace brought experimentation of form and a sense of play to the American novel.

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VOICE ONE:


That was "Jack O Diamonds" by the folk and blues singer known as Odetta. She was an important performer during the American civil rights movement of the nineteen fifties and sixties. She sang a wide range of musical notes with her powerful voice.

Singer and songwriter Bob Dylan has said that he first became interested in folk singing after listening to the album "Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues." Dylan said there was something alive and very personal about her songs.

Odetta Holmes was born in the southern state of Alabama in nineteen thirty. She grew up listening to prison and work songs from the rural south. Odetta desCRIbed these songs as freedom songs. She said the people in the songs were trapped by society and they could either lie down and die or insist upon life. www.youtheme.cn

Odetta went to music school and trained in classical music. But she said this music had nothing to do with her life. She said folk music taught her about the human spirit.

VOICE TWO:

Odetta became very active in the civil rights movement for racial equality. In the nineteen sixties, she performed alongside Martin Luther King, Junior at major political events. Later in her career, she made albums honoring the jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald and the blues guitarist Leadbelly.

Odetta died in December of heart disease. She had been sick for several years. She had been hoping to sing during President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony next month.


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VOICE ONE:

For many people, the name Baskin-Robbins is linked to sweet memories of eating ice cream. Irvine Robbins, who helped create this famous company, died in May at the age of ninety. His life's work of making fun and exciting ice cream flavors changed the way Americans enjoy this food.

Irvine Robbins opened his first ice cream store in nineteen forty-five in California. At the time, there were no stores that sold only ice cream. His sister's husband, Burton Baskin, also opened his own ice cream stores.


In nineteen forty-eight, they combined their six stores into one business. Baskin and Robbins realized that they were too busy to operate each store well. So, they decided to sell part of each operation to the manager of that store. This permitted the company to grow quickly.

By nineteen fifty-three, they renamed their company Baskin-Robbins. They advertised that they sold thirty-one kinds of ice cream to show the many choices buyers had. There was one flavor for every day of the month.

VOICE TWO:

Robbins and Baskin had fun inventing wild new ice creams. They sold "Lunar Cheesecake" the day after astronauts landed on the moon in nineteen sixty-nine. Other flavors included "ChaChaCha," for cherry chocolate chip, and Robbins' personal favorite, "Jamoca Almond Fudge." They said: "We sell fun, not just ice cream."

By nineteen sixty-seven there were five hundred Baskin-Robbins stores in the United States. The business partners sold their company that year. Today, there are more than five thousand eight hundred Baskin-Robbins stores around the world.

Irvine Robbins never went long without his favorite food. He started every day with a breakfast meal of cereal topped with Baskin-Robbins banana ice cream.

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VOICE ONE:


Cyd Charisse was a dancer known for her beautiful legs and beautiful moves. She starred in famous Hollywood musicals alongside the great dancers Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Astaire once described Charisse as "beautiful dynamite."

Cyd Charisse was born Tula Ellice Finklea in nineteen twenty-two. She grew up in Amarillo, Texas where she started dance lessons at a young age. Her brother was unable to pronounce the"sister" so he called her "Sid" and the name stuck. As a teenager, she went to California to train as a professional dancer. She became a member of the traveling dance group called the Ballet Russe of Monte Carlo and performed under the name Felia Sidorova. She married her first husband, the dance teacher Nico Charisse, when she was eighteen years old.

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