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About O.Henry

园林151 宋晨曦


O. Henry is famed for his ‘twist’ endings(出人意料的结尾), and as such, many of his short stories fall into a formula(公式). That said, it‘s a pretty good formula, and if more writers that are published could find themselves

a formula that works as well it would be a lot better for world to read in. Yet,
even the best of formulae lend themselves to needless repetition (b不必要 的重复) and unpredictability(不可预测性). While there are a handful of

tales(叙述) that are great, most are merely solid, for O. Henry lacks a
modern feel to his character development. In one tale he can be as realistic as turn of the Twentieth Century fiction can be and in the next he can give merely slight caricatures(讽刺) and corny sight gags.

O.Henry, with Maupassant and Chekhov, were honored as the three masters of short stories in the world. Again and again, his w orks were published all over the world, and were enjoyed by many readers, which showed its strong vitality ]. O.Henry was a hig hproducing writer who left a novel and nearly three hundreds short stories. Writing at the rate of more than one story per week, O. Henry published ten collections of stories. In 1919 the O. Henry Memorial Awards for the best American short stories published e ach year were founded by the Society of Arts and Sciences. William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910), known by his pen name O. Henry, was an American writer. O. Henry's short stories are known for their wit, wordpl ay, warm characterization, and surprise endings. When you read his book, you will find the ending is always unexpected. For exa mple, in the book The Cop and the Anthemf , the hero Souby wanted to live in the prison for a settled life, so he caused some troubles, entertaining the intention of drawing the policeman’s attention. But unfortunately, things didn’t happen as he had wished. Later, Souby read an anthem by chance and de cided to be a good guy. When readers, even Souby himself, believed that he would start a new life from then on, a policeman, wh o had once been longing for by Souby, was appeared and took Souby into the curt. The ending is out of blue, but you will find it is also resonable. It was this unique character made O.Henry’s works distinctive.O.Henry designed the ending as the soul of the w hole book. He was good at writing the story dramatically and preparing the hints hidden in the unromantic and humor narration.


欧· 亨利与法国的莫泊桑、俄国的契诃夫并称为世界三大短篇小说

巨匠。近百年来,欧· 亨利的小说在全世界一版再版,始终拥有大
量的读者,足见其作品的生命力。1918年,美国设立一年一度的 “欧· 亨利纪念奖”,专门奖励短篇小说的成就。欧· 亨利的名字 早已和短篇小说的创作,和小人物的悲喜连在了一起。他是一位 高产的作家,一生中留下了一部长篇小说和近三百篇的短篇小说 。他的短篇小说构思精巧,风格独特,以表现美国中下层人民的 生活、语言幽默、结局出人意料(即“欧· 亨利式结尾”)而闻名 于世。

? However, there are also some cri tics hold an opposite view, for the y think that his works was a little shallow— even O.Henry himself agreed tha t. He once said to one of his frien ds:”I am not satisfied with my wor ks, and I’m afraid about being na med as a ‘famous writer’.” Althou gh the critic is reasonable to a ce rtain degree, it can not be denied that O.Henry was a greatful writ er. His works satirized the unfairn ess in that age powerfully and stil l have an influence.


正面 欧· 亨利的成功主要在于他善于捕捉和把握 生活中的典型场面,在一个个生活的片断里,处 于两难中的主人公必须面对抉择,这时不仅能集 中刻画人物心理,也能充分展示生活中固有的矛 盾。再加上欧· 亨利具有把情节剪裁得恰到好处 的本领,因而能在很短的篇幅内达到一种思想与 艺术相结合的完美效果,给人以强烈的印象,而 这也正是短篇小说成功的关键。 反面 有的外国 评论家曾说过:“(欧· 亨利的小说)不要真实 性,没有道德意识,没有人生哲理。”——不过 这种说法被多数评论家所否定。当时有人批评他 的“欧· 亨利式结尾”读多了就没意思。——不 过这种说法也被多数评论家所否定。 有人认为 他的小说写的浅薄。有人说:“在欧· 亨利的所 有小说中 ,找不出一个写得真实的人物。”欧· 亨利对自己的小说也不满意,一次他在给一位朋 友的信中说过:“我是个失败的人。我的小说究 竟如何呢?老实说,我并不满意。我就害怕人们 说我是什么‘名作家’。”

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