The War Prayer

马克·吐温 Mark Twain
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战争的祈祷文(The War Prayer)简介:

"The War Prayer," a short story or prose poem by Mark Twain, is a scathing indictment of war, and particularly of blind patriotic and religious fervor as motivations for war.

The structure of the work is simple, but effective: an unnamed country goes to war, and patriotic citizens attend a church service for soldiers who have been called up. The people call upon their God to grant them victory and protect their troops. Suddenly, an "aged stranger" appears and announces that he is God's messenger. He explains to them that he is there to speak aloud the second part of their prayer for victory, the part which they have implicitly wished for but have not spoken aloud themselves: the prayer for the suffering and destruction of their enemies. What follows is a grisly depiction of hardships inflicted on war-torn nations by their conquerors. The story ends on a pessimistic note: the messenger is ignored.

The piece was left unpublished by Mark Twain at his death, largely due to pressure from his family, who feared that the story would be considered sacrilegious.[1] Twain's publisher and other friends also discouraged him from publishing it.[citation needed] According to one account, his illustrator Dan Beard asked him if he would publish it regardless, and Twain replied that "Only dead men can tell the truth in this world. It can be published after I am dead."[2] Mindful of public reaction, he considered that he had a family to support[1], and did not want to be seen as a lunatic or fanatic.[2]

"The War Prayer" wasn't published until six years after Twain's death, in unusual circumstances. World War I had broken out more than two years previously, and in that time had produced unprecedented casualties on both sides, yet with the U.S. still officially neutral, and President Wilson running for re-election on the slogan He Kept Us Out of War. Twain's story appeared in Harper's Monthly, November 1916. Had the attempt been made to publish it five months later, in April 1917, it might ironically have been seen as too unpatriotic for print.

In April, 2007, a short film adaptation was shot by Lyceum Films. Marco Sanchez wrote the adaptation, which was directed by Michael Goorjian. The film stars Jeremy Sisto as "The Stranger" and Tim Sullivan as "The Preacher".

这篇是马克吐温不满美国干预菲律宾独立而写的短文,因为言词太过激进,The women's magazine 拒绝刊登,直到他去世后,1916年11月才由Harper's Monthly 出版,那时候第一次世界大战正呈白热化,短文刊登正是时候。 Philippine American War(Philippine Insurrection)是因为菲律宾脱离西班牙殖民之后,继续反抗美国掌控,而引起的冲突。官方说词是1899–1902年,实际上直到1913年战乱才正式结束。


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  • 战争的祈祷文 The War Prayer