我最近剛開始上一堂文學課,教的是科幻和幻想世界的文學作品。
老師讓我們讀一篇寓言(伊索寓言改編來的,作者是神職人員 G.F. Townsend
這裡面有很強烈的象徵 symbolism。例如生計(食物)、家庭/家族(包括尾巴在西方文學中代表著性能力),和聖經創世篇呼應。
 
The Man and the Serpent 

A Countryman's son by accident trod upon a Serpent's tail, which turned and bit him so that he died. The father in a rage got his axe, and pursuing the Serpent, cut off part of its tail. So the Serpent in revenge began stinging several of the Farmer's cattle and caused him severe loss. Well, the Farmer thought it best to make it up with the Serpent, and brought food and honey to the mouth of its lair, and said to it:

"Let's forget and forgive; perhaps you were right to punish my son, and take vengeance on my cattle, but surely I was right in trying to revenge him; now that we are both satisfied why should not we be friends again?"

"No, no," said the Serpent; "take away your gifts; you can never forget the death of your son, nor I the loss of my tail."

Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten.(傷害可以被原諒,但是不能忘記)

 

對這節課有興趣的朋友,請上 coursera.org。這節課叫做 Fantasy and Science Fiction,由我的母校 University of Michigan 提供。

Coursera 是由兩個史丹佛軟體工程教授發起,希望免費提供有心學習但沒有機會接受高品質教育的人士一個機會。只要有網路,懂英文就能上課(還有要每個禮拜寫功課)。每堂課4到16周不等,所以請好好規劃行程喔。科目包含科技、醫療、人文等等,以後還會擴充。

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To Live! And to Write for Life!

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