the odyssey of our goals
as i scan the books on my shelf at home, i notice an unfinished book with a bookmark nestled in its pages. it is a book that routinely gets noted in "best of" lists that you can see in any number of publications. it is also a book that is notoriously difficult to read and understand. it is a book famous for its references to the greek epic the odyssey (《奥德赛》) and its early use of modern stream-of-consciousness (意识流) narrative.
the book is james joyce's ulysses (《尤利西斯》). it just so happens that i chose to pick it up this past summer. i read through 130 of its long, long pages and then put it back on my shelf to collect the dust of the past six months. call it a new year's resolution or simple stubbornness (倔强). either way, i am going to find a way to finish it before another year comes to a close.
why? you may ask. well, because it is there. it is a goal, and there is no day like the present to finish what we have started, or at least to make headway (取得进展) on our life goals.
when the new year rolls around (重新降临), many of us tally up (总结) the gains and losses of the past year. if we're lucky, we can proudly say that we have marked some progress in our lives.
my new years are often bogged down (陷入困境) with regrets. they are more than light-hearted cheers and a glass of champagne can easily wash down. even though that is my life and yours is yours, i have a feeling that we are probably on the same page. there are those goals that have been set aside (把……抛在脑后) for more interesting distractions or in the bustle of (在匆匆忙忙中) everyday living. they, however, are goals that we have set for ourselves, that have some larger meaning to our lives, and which perhaps can only be deciphered (破译) by ourselves. the point in the end is to check the items off of the bucket list (愿望清单), not merely to pass the debt off to a new year.
the symbol of a life of regret is to leave incomplete, like unfinished books, the narrative we really envision (展望) for ourselves. so whatever goals you have set for yourself, pick up where you left off, because a life of regret is never a story worth telling.
1. how much do you know about the odyssey? what does the epic talk about?
note: the odyssey is one of two major ancient greek epic poems attributed to homer. it is, in part, a sequel to the iliad (《伊利亚特》). the poem mainly focuses on the greek hero odysseus (奥德修斯) (known as ulysses in roman myths), king of ithaca (伊萨卡岛), and his journey home after the fall of troy (特洛伊). it takes odysseus ten years to reach ithaca after the ten-year trojan war.
2. what do you usually do to celebrate the new year? have you made any new year resolutions for 2019?
1. as① i scan the books on my shelf at home, i notice an unfinished book with a bookmark nestled in its pages②.
② 过去分词短语nestled in its pages在句子中作后置定语。nestle的意思是“舒适地坐定；偎依”，用在这里有拟人的意味。
2. the symbol of a life of regret is to leave incomplete, like unfinished books①, the narrative we really envision for ourselves②.
① like unfinished books在这里作插入语。
② 如把like unfinished books去掉，不定式短语to leave incomplete the narrative the narrative ... for ourselves在这个句子中作表语。如将主语和表语的位置互换：to leave incomplete the narrative ... is the symbol of a life of regret，句子意思保持不变。
complete each sentence using one word from the box in its correct form. note that there is one word more than you need and you can use each word only once.
unfinished difficult happens simple probably check
1. as i waited outside, i became aware of something ________ in the house.
2. low-lying islands and other countries are ________ victims of global warming.
3. bad weather heightened the ________ for them to carry out the task.
4. we waited a few minutes outside his office until he ________ his meeting.
5. some students lose marks ________ because they don't read the question properly.
key: happening probable difficulty finished simply
1. as the heat of the day passes, many travelers choose to tour the island via motorbike.
2. at present, there is no way to predict which individuals will develop the disease.
3. my goal is to help every child understand why going green is important to them.
choose the best answer.
1. what's the author's intention in mentioning james joyce's ulysses?
a. to recommend this book to readers.
b. to tell readers that the book is difficult to read.
c. to declare that he will finish the book in 2019.
d. to inspire readers to finish the goals they have set for themselves.
2. why does the author decide to finish ulysses before 2020?
a. because he finds the book interesting.
b. because he feels it important to finish something he's started.
c. because this book has an important meaning for him.
d. because he enjoys stream-of-consciousness narrative.
3. what can we learn from the article?
a. the author never puts up his new year's resolutions until the next year.
b. due to many reasons, many people don't finish the goals they have set.
c. most people set aside their new year's resolutions soon because they are too busy.
d. most people's lives are filled with regret for what they haven't done.
what do you think are the reasons why some people fail year after year when it comes to fulfilling their new year's resolutions, while others are successful? do you have any suggestions for people to stick to their resolutions?
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