英文名著精讲:The Kite Runner 追风筝的人
They called him "flat-nosed" because of Ali and Hassan's characteristic Hazara Mongoloid features. For years, that was all I knew about the Hazaras, that they were Mogul descendants, and that they looked a little like Chinese people. School text books barely mentioned them and referred to their ancestry only in passing. Then one day, I was in Baba's study, looking through his stuff, when I found one of my mother's old history books. It was written by an Iranian named Khorami. I blew the dust off it, sneaked it into bed with me that night, and was stunned to find an entire chapter on Hazara history. An entire chapter dedicated to Hassan's people! In it, I read that my people, the Pashtuns, had persecuted and oppressed the Hazaras. It said the Hazaras had tried to rise against the Pashtuns in the nineteenth century, but the Pashtuns had "quelled them with unspeakable violence." The book said that my people had killed the Hazaras, driven them from their lands, burned their Homes, and sold their women. The book said part of the reason Pashtuns had oppressed the Hazaras was that Pashtuns were Sunni Muslims, while Hazaras were Shi'a. The book said a lot of things I didn't know, things my teachers hadn't mentioned. Things Baba hadn't mentioned either. It also said some things I did know, like that people called Hazaras "mice-eating, flat-nosed, load-carrying donkeys". I had heard some of the kids in the neighborhood yell those names to Hassan.
The following week, after class, I showed the book to my teacher and pointed to the chapter on the Hazaras. He skimmed through a couple of pages, snickered, handed the book back. "That's the one thing Shi'a people do well," he said, picking up his papers, "passing themselves as martyrs." He wrinkled his nose when he said the word Shi'a, like it was some kind of disease.
But despite sharing ethnic heritage and family blood, Sanaubar joined the neighborhood kids in taunting Ali. I have heard that she made no secret of her disdain for his appearance.
"This is a husband?" she would sneer. "I have seen old donkeys better suited to be a husband."
In the end, most people suspected the marriage had been an arrangement of sorts between Ali and his uncle, Sanaubar's father. They said Ali had married his cousin to help restore some honor to his uncle's blemished name, even though Ali, who had been orphaned at the age of five, had no worldly possessions or inheritance to speak of.
Ali never retaliated against any of his tormentors, I suppose partly because he could never catch them with that twisted leg dragging behind him. But mostly because Ali was immune to the insults of his assailants; he had found his joy, his antidote, the moment Sanaubar had given birth to Hassan. It had been a simple enough affair. No obstetricians, no anesthesiologists, no fancy monitoring devices. Just Sanaubar lying on a stained, naked mattress with Ali and a midwife helping her. She hadn't needed much help at all, because, even in birth, Hassan was true to his nature:
He was incapable of hurting anyone. A few grunts, a couple of pushes, and out came Hassan. Out he came smiling.
descendants n. 后代，后裔
They are the descendants of Queen Victoria.
Etiquette has been passed down from him to his descendants.
barely adv. 几乎不；刚刚；勉强
He is so weak that he can barely stand up.
I had barely started speaking when he interrupted me.
We had barely enough money to last through the weekend.
ancestry n. 祖先
Many of the early settlers in America had English ancestry.
sneak v. 偷偷摸摸地做，偷偷地拿、带
He sneaked a chocolate from the box.
I'll see if I can sneak him in after dark.
I can sneak you out without being noticed.
stunned adj. 震惊的，惊讶的
One woman was stunned as, ironically, the ladybirds seemed to be attracted to her canary yellow VW Beetle.
Stunned by the market response, lawmakers regrouped and added new items to the bill to win votes.
persecute v. 迫害
They persecute those who do not conform to their idea.
They came to America after being persecuted for their religious beliefs.
rise v. 反抗
The king's cruelty excited the people to rise against him.
quell v. 压制，平息
Soldiers were sent in to quell the riots.
The armed force had to be called out to quell violence.
snicker v. 切窃笑
The shuffle and snicker become the comedian's trademark.
martyr n. 烈士，殉道者
He is a martyr of his country.
He was posthumously accepted as a martyr.
heritage n. 遗产，继承物
It is the heritage of all human beings.
taunt v. 辱骂，嘲弄
But in England if the palm faces inward it's a taunt, especially if executed with an up-ward jerk of the fingers.
suspect v. 怀疑，猜想
They suspected an ambush.
I suspect he was lying by the boy's abnormal behaviour.
restore v. 回复，还原，复原
The new manager's job is to restore the company to profitability.
I feel quite restored to health after my holiday.
blemish v. 玷污，损害
His reputation was blemished by a newspaper article alleging he had taken bribes.
retaliate v. 报复，回敬
He was waiting for an opportunity to retaliate.
He slapped his sister, who retaliated by kicking him.
tormentor n. 使人痛苦的人或物
Vowing revenge, he got hold of a gun and tracked down his tormentor.
immune adj. 免疫的
I'm immune to smallpox as a result of vaccination.
anesthesiologist n. 麻醉学家，麻醉师
The anesthesiologist told me I was the calmest person he'd ever seen.