PBS高端访谈:艺术与科学密不可分

发表时间:2018-11-09内容来源:VOA英语学习网

Judy Woodruff: Next, we turn to another episode of our weekly series Brief But Spectacular. Tonight, we hear from journalist, professor and author Walter Isaacson. His biographies of influential figures range from Leonardo da Vinci to Ada Lovelace. Isaacson believes that those who thrive at the intersection of arts and sciences are the ones who will become a part of history.

Walter Isaacson: You know, I had a mentor in New Orleans, sort of a family friend, great novelist, Walker Percy. And he said, there were two types of people who come out of Louisiana, preachers and storytellers. He said, for heaven's sake, be a storyteller. The world has too many preachers. I like to take on subjects for my biography that stand in the intersection between the arts and the sciences, because, whether it was Benjamin Franklin or Steve jobs or Leonardo da Vinci, I think that's what gives creativity. Steve Jobs, whenever he did a product launch, would show street signs showing that intersection of the arts and sciences. That's what Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man is all about. And when Einstein was looking for the theories of relativity, he pulled out his violin to play Mozart. And, of course, Benjamin Franklin flying a kite in the rain, those electricity experiments helped him understand the notion of checks, balances, pluses, minuses that we see in our Constitution. When I was working on Leonardo da Vinci, the biggest insights I had was going page by page through the 7,200 pages of notebooks that he had left behind. And I realized, since I couldn't get Steve Jobs' notes from the 1990s, because they were all on some computer where the operating system no longer worked, how wonderful of a technology for the storage of information paper is. Its battery never runs down. Its operating system never goes out of style. And, 500 years later, we can just sit there and marvel at Leonardo's notebooks. Leonardo da Vinci never outgrew his wonder years. He even had a question that I loved, which is, describe the tongue of a woodpecker. Who wakes up one morning and puts that on their to-do list? Whether I was at The Aspen Institute or "TIME" magazine or CNN, I know a lot of smart people. But it soon occurred to me that smart people are a dime a dozen. And they often don't amount to much. What matters is being innovative, creative and imaginative. And that requires that type of out-of-the-box thinking and curiosity you see in everybody from Leonardo da Vinci to Steve Jobs. I like being a storyteller, and when I was a young writer at "TIME," and I could do cover stories and talk about a person who had changed history, like Jeff Bezos in the 1990s. We made him person of the year. And you think, wow, that's interesting.

That's satisfying, to show how somebody is changing the course of history. And so, to be a writer, where I can look at other people's lives and realize it's part of something larger than myself or ourselves, but how people become a part of history. I'm Walter Isaacson, and this is my brief and perhaps spectacular take and what it's like to write about people.

Judy Woodruff: And Walter has written some remarkable biographies.

朱迪·伍德拉夫:新一期周更的《简短而精彩》又跟大家见面啦。今晚,我们将请听记者、教授兼作家沃尔特·艾萨克森的故事。他为很多有影响力的名人写过传记,从达芬奇到爱达·勒芙蕾丝不一而足。艾萨克森认为,兼备艺术和科学领域才能的人将为历史所铭记。

沃尔特·艾萨克森:您可能有所了解,我在新奥尔良有一位恩师,这位恩师就像我的亲人、朋友,他是最伟大的作家,他就是沃克·珀西。他说,从路易斯安那州出来的有两种人:一种是传教士,一种是作家。他还说过,看在老天爷的面儿上,还是做一名作家吧,因为世界上有太多传教士了。我愿意在自己撰写的传记中融入艺术与科学的元素,因为无论是本杰明·富兰克林也好,史蒂夫·乔布斯也好,达芬奇也罢,我觉得这就是创造力生发的源泉。史蒂夫·乔布斯无论何时进行新品发布会,都会展示路标,他展示的路标一定是兼具艺术与科学特色的。而达芬奇的《维特鲁威人》也体现了这一点。每当爱因斯坦搜寻相对论的时候,他总是会拿出自己的小提琴,演奏莫扎特的曲目。当然了,本杰明·富兰克林在雨中放风筝的经历等电学实验都助力他理解了我们在宪法中可以看到的制衡。我研究达芬奇的时候,我获得最大启发的源泉就是一页一页地翻阅他留下的7200页笔记。然后我发现,虽然我无法得到乔布斯上世纪90年代留下的手稿,因为他的手稿在一些计算机上,而这些计算机上的操作系统已经崩溃了,所以才体会到存储信息的科技有多棒。其电池永远不会耗尽,其操作系统也永远不会崩溃。而且,500年后的今天,我们坐在这里就能读到达芬奇的笔记。达芬奇永远保持着一颗好奇心。他有一个问题,也是我本人很喜欢的,那就是描述啄木鸟的舌头。谁早上起来之后会把这件事放在待办事项里呢?无论是在阿斯奔研究所还是《时代》杂志亦或美国有线电视新闻网络上,我都结识了很多机智聪慧的人。但我很快就意识到,机智聪慧的人多如牛毛,而且通常成不了大事。重要的是一个人是否有创造力和想象力。这两种能力需要跳出既定思维,用好奇心看待每一件事,典型代表就有达芬奇和乔布斯。我喜欢讲故事,我在《时代》杂志写专栏的时候,我既能讲故事,谈论改变历史的人的经历,比如上世纪90年代的杰夫·贝索斯。我们将他评为了年度风云人物。我们会觉得,这很有意思。展示某人是如何改变历史的那种感觉让人心满意足。因此,要成为一名作家,就是要审视人们的生活,并意识到这样做已经抽离于我自己或者人类这个群体,因为作家是要展示人类是如何融入历史的。我是沃尔特·艾萨克森,这就是我的简述,或许并不精彩,但这就是我对写传记的感受。

朱迪·伍德拉夫:沃尔特先生确实创作过很多令人叹为观止的传记作品。

来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20181109/pbs181012_3716603paA.html