2016-04-20 15:39



  Directions: In this section, you are going to read a passage with ten statements attached to it.Each statement contains information given in one of the paragraphs. Identify the paragraphfrom which the information is derived. You may choose a paragraph more than once. Eachparagraph is marked with a letter. Answer the questions by marking the corresponding letter onAnswer Sheet 2.

  Why the Mona Lisa Stands Out

  A. Have you ever fallen for a novel and been amazed not to find it on lists of great books? Orwalked around a sculpture renowned as a classic, struggling to see what the fuss is about?If so, you've probably pondered the question a psychologist, James Cutting, asked himself:How does a work of art come to be considered great?

  B. The intuitive answer is that some works of art are just great: of intrinsically superiorquality. The paintings that win prime spots in galleries, get taught in classes and reproduced inbooks are the ones that have proved their artistic value over time. If you can't see they'resuperior, that's your problem.

  It's an intimidatingly neat explanation. But some social scientists have been asking awkwardquestions of it, raising the possibility that artistic canons (名作目录) are little more thanfossilised historical accidents.

  C. Cutting, a professor at Cornell University, wondered if a psychological mechanism knownas the "mere-exposure effect" played a role in deciding which paintings rise to the top of thecultural league. Cutting designed an experiment to test his hunch (直觉). Over a lecture coursehe regularly showed undergraduates works of impressionism for two seconds at a time. Someof the paintings were canonical, included in art-history books. Others were lesser known but ofcomparable quality. These were exposed four times as often. Afterwards, the studentspreferred them to the canonical works, while a control group of students liked the canonicalones best. Cutting's students had grown to like those paintings more simply because they hadseen them more.

  D. Cutting believes his experiment offers a clue as to how canons are formed. He

  reproduced works of impressionism today tend to have been bought by five or six wealthy andinfluential collectors in the late 19th century. The preferences of these men bestowed (给予)prestige on certain works, which made the works more likely to be hung in galleries andprinted in collections. The fame passed down the years, gaining momentum from mereexposure as it did so. The more people were exposed to, the more they liked it, and the morethey liked it, the more it appeared in books, on posters and in big exhibitions. Meanwhile,academics and critics created sophisticated justifications for its preeminence (卓越). After all,it's not just the masses who tend to rate what they see more often more highly. Ascontemporary artists like Warhol and Damien Hirst have grasped, critics' praise is deeplyentwined (交织) with publicity. "Scholars", Cutting argues, "are no different from the public inthe effects of mere exposure."

  E. The process described by Cutting evokes a principle that the sociologist Duncan Watts calls"cumulative advantage": once a thing becomes popular, it will tend to become more popularstill. A few years ago,Watts, who is employed by Microsoft to study the dynamics of socialnetworks, had a similar experience to Cutting's in another Paris museum. After queuing to seethe "Mona Lisa" in its climate- controlled bulletproof box at the Louvre, he came awaypuzzled: why was it considered so superior to the three other Leonardos in the previouschamber, to which nobody seemed to be paying the slightest attention?

  F. When Watts looked into the history of "the greatest painting of all time", he discovered that,for most of its life, the"Mona Lisa"remained in relative obscurity. In the 1850s, Leonardo daVinci was considered no match for giants of Renaissance art like Titian and Raphael, whoseworks were worth almost ten times as much as the "Mona Lisa". It was only in the 20th centurythat Leonardo's portrait of his patron's wife rocketed to the number-one spot. What propelledit there wasn't a scholarly re-evaluation, but a theft.

  G. In 1911 a maintenance worker at the Louvre walked out of the museum with the "MonaLisa" hidden under his smock (工作服). Parisians were shocked at the theft of a painting towhich, until then, they had paid little attention. When the museum reopened, people queued tosee the gap where the "Mona Lisa" had once hung in a way they had never done for the paintingitself. From then on, the "Mona Lisa" came to represent Western culture itself.

  H. Although many have tried, it does seem improbable that the painting's unique status canbe attributed entirely to the quality of its brushstrokes. It has been said that the subject'seyes follow the viewer around the room. But as the painting's biographer, Donald Sassoon,dryly notes, "In reality the effect can be obtained from any portrait." Duncan Watts proposesthat the "Mona Lisa" is merely an extreme example of a general rule. Paintings, poems and popsongs are buoyed (使浮起) or

  events or preferences that turn into waves of influence, passing down the generations.

  I. "Saying that cultural objects have value," Brian Eno once wrote, "is like saying that telephoneshave conversations." Nearly all the cultural objects we consume arrive wrapped in inheritedopinion; our preferences are always, to some extent, someone else's. Visitors to the "MonaLisa" know they are about to visit the greatest work of art ever and come away appropriatelyimpressed--or let down. An audience at a performance of "Hamlet" know it is regarded as awork of genius, so that is what they mostly see. Watts even calls the preeminence ofShakespeare a "historical accident".

  J. Although the rigid high-low distinction fell apart in the 1960s, we still use culture as abadge of identity. Today's fashion for eclecticism (折中主义) "I love Bach, Abba and Jay Z" is,Shamus Khan, a Columbia University psychologist, argues, a new way for the middle class todistinguish themselves from what they perceive to be the narrow tastes of those beneaththem in the social hierarchy.

  K. The intrinsic quality of a work of art is starting to seem like its least important attribute.But perhaps it's more significant than our social scientists allow. First of all, a work needs acertain quality to be eligible to be swept to the top of the pile. The "Mona Lisa" may not be aworthy world champion, but it was in the Louvre in the first place, and not by accident.Secondly, some stuff is simply better than other stuff. Read "Hamlet" after reading even thegreatest of Shakespeare's contemporaries, and the difference may strike you as unarguable.

  L. A study in the British Journal of Aesthetics suggests that the exposure effect doesn't workthe same way on everything, and points to a different conclusion about how canons areformed. The social scientists are right to say that we should be a little sceptical of greatness,and that we should always look in the next room. Great art and mediocrity (平庸) can getconfused, even by experts. But that's why we need to see, and read, as much as we can. Themore we're exposed to the good and the bad, the better we are at telling the difference. Theeclecticists have it.


  46. According to Duncan Watts, the superiority of the "Mona Lisa" to Leonardo's other worksresulted from the cumulative advantage.

  47. Some social scientists have raised doubts about the intrinsic value of certain works of art.

  48. It is often random events or preferences that determine the fate of a piece of art.

  49. In his experiment, Cutting found that his subjects liked lesser known works because ofmore exposure.

  50. The author thinks the greatness of an art work still lies in its intrinsic value.

  51. It is true of critics as well as ordinary people that the popularity of artistic works is closelyassociated with publicity.

  52. We need to expose ourselves to more art and literature in order to tell the superior fromthe inferior.

  53. A study of the history of the greatest paintings suggests even a great work of art couldexperience years of neglect.

  54. Culture is still used as a mark to distinguish one social class from another.

  55. Opinions about and preferences for cultural objects are often inheritable.


  46.【定位】由题干中的Duncan Watts,superioritv和cumulative advantage定位到E)段首句和末句。

  47.【定位】由题干中的social scientists和raiseddoubts定位到B)段末句。

  48.【定位】由题干中的random events和preferences定位到H)段末句。

  49.【定位1由题干中的experiment,Cuttin9和Jcanonical works定位到c)段最后两句。

  50.【定位1由题干中的an art work和intrinsic value I定位到K)段首句。

  51.【定位】由题干中的critics,ordinary people和publicity定位到D)段最后两句。

  52.【定位】由题干中的expose和tell the superior from the inferior定位到L)段倒数第二句。

  53.【定位1由题干中的the history of the greatestpaintings定位到F)段首句。


  55.【定位】由题干中的0pinions,preferences和cultural objects定位到I)段第二句。


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