Autors: Dídac Pujol, Anna Espunya

Processos informàtics: Anna Puigví

Text: Alan Lightman's biography


Nivell recomanat: inicial.

Índex conceptual d'ítems pedagògics: connectors (while); determinants (article indefinit); gerundi (calc); aspecte imperfectiu; calc lèxic; calc de puntuació; passiva; terme cultural; terme cultural (procediment de traducció: amplificació o addició d'informació); sigles; metàfora; procediments de traducció (modulació: pla concret i real a pla abstracte o intel·lectiu); metàfora (estàndard); documentació; complements del nom (densitat: substitució de -ed per una clàusula de relatiu).

Objectius: posar en pràctica els procediments de traducció necessaris per evitar calcs lingüístics i per traduir termes culturals.

Lectures prèvies recomanades: Manual de traducció anglès-català, capítol 5 i 3.6.1.

Activitats complementàries: Manual de traducció anglès-català, capítol 1, exercicis 1 i 2 (sobre els procediments de traducció); capítol 5, exercicis 3 (sobre el gerundi en anglès) i 8 (sobre la veu passiva); capítol 3, exercici 5 (sobre els termes culturals). Tots els exercicis tenen solució.

Instruccions: Llegiu el text i llavors traduïu les frases en negreta.


Alan Lightman's biography

Just as Alan Lightman has joined art and science in his life, so has he done in his best-selling book Einstein's Dreams, the novel chosen for the freshman orientation experience at UW Oshkosh for the 1997-98 school year. Memphis, Tennessee, was the birthplace in 1948 of Lightman, the oldest of four sons. His father owned a movie theater while his mother was a dance teacher. As a schoolboy, Lightman was interested in both science and art as he explains: "Far back as I can remember, I built rockets and wrote poetry....I always felt torn between two worlds." He talks about his early interest in science: "By age seven, I had a chemistry set and burned a hole in the rug. I built something like a tesla coil, which is a lot of wires that put out a high frequency radio signal. The whole thing runs off a six-volt battery. When I turned it on, it knocked out every TV in the neighborhood. The neighbors became wary of me. I used to fire off rockets that came down in their backyards or through their windows, so they gave me a wide berth."

As an undergraduate he attended Princeton , choosing to major in physics because, as he explains it, "I know a few scientists who had become writers, but I didn't know of any writers who had become scientists, so I figured that I should start my career in science and then come back to the writing." He graduated in 1970 and went on to earn his Ph.D. in theoretical astrophysics from Caltech in 1974. While at Caltech he studied under Kip Thorne and occasionally he and other graduate students were able to discuss their work over lunch with Richard Feynman. As Lightman comments, "It was a very exciting time to be a graduate student in physics." It was while continuing his postdoctoral work at Cornell that he met his future wife Jean Greenblatt, a student in urban-planning and an artist. Each was attracted by the artistic side of the other, and they were married in 1976. They have two daughters, Elyse and Kara.

Between 1976 and 1988 Lightman taught astronomy and physics at Harvard, moving to MIT in 1989 because there he was given the chance to teach both of his loves - as a physicist and as the director of the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies.

During his teaching years he began writing, attempting to make science understandable for the layman and writing essays that explained the relationships between science, art, and literature. These essays were published in magazines such as Smithsonian and The New Yorker . He continued writing, mostly in the summer, publishing several textbooks as well as work in his field of study before plunging into fiction with Einstein's Dreams , which he wrote in 1991 at his summer home on a small island off the coast of Maine. The book was so successful that it is now available in thirty languages. He credits Salman Rushdie as having the greatest influence on his fiction along with Italo Calvino and the magic realists Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez. He senses them as "writers who distort reality in order to see reality more clearly..." He goes on to give a more detailed explanation of how and why some of these writers influence him: "I feel that to most people the scientific culture is like a foreign country. I always enjoy writers who live in a foreign culture and try to convey that to a wider audience. Rushdie writes about India, García Márquez writes about Latin America, and both convey a mentality which is not like any other mentality. I take special delight when I can read a good writer from another culture, bringing me into that world. That's something I would like to do with the scientific culture."

Recently he has published a novel, Good Benito (1995), and a book of essays, Dance for Two (1996). Because of time constraints caused by the writing of fiction, Lightman no longer has the time to devote to physics research.

Lightman is a member of several professional societies: the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1996 he was given the Andrew Germant Award of the American Institute of Physics, presented to persons responsible for linking physics to humanities and the arts.