詹姆士.希尔顿根据美国自学成才的植物学家洛克系列游记或考察报告,写出了一本充满神秘、乌托邦色彩的小说《消失的地平线》,并于1933年获得了英国霍桑顿文学奖。一个叫康威的人,在印度乘坐一架小飞机撤离。一觉醒来,机上的几位乘客发现飞行员已经换了人。他们在喜马拉雅山某个地点迫降,被几个僧人救回。一行人住进一个寺庙里,那个地方叫香格里拉。一位不知道有几百岁的高僧跟康威谈话,要他留下来,继承他的位置。不久之后,高僧便圆寂。另一位个头小巧的中国女人,看起来很年轻、漂亮。雪山脚下,寺庙里与世隔绝的生活,有美食,有美女,有音乐,有至高的知识和学问和丰富的图书典籍。然而,就是有人要走。康威无奈,只能答应一起这个将他们“囚禁”的地方。不过,这些内容都是从一个人的手稿上得知的,他们最后的结果如何呢?作品中,“我”的朋友说,他相信手稿上的故事,他要去找康威。于是,后来,就有了云南的香格里格县和四川的香格里拉镇。
The night dragged on, as if each minute were something heavy and tangible that had to be pushed to make way for the next. Moonlight faded after a time, and with it that distant specter of the mountain; then the triple mischiefs of darkness, cold, and wind increased until dawn. As though at its signal, the wind dropped, leaving the world in compassionate quietude. Framed in the pale triangle ahead, the mountain showed again, gray at first, then silver, then pink as the earliest sun rays caught the summit. In the lessening gloom the valley itself took shape, revealing a floor of rock and shingle sloping upwards. It was not a friendly picture, but to Conway, as he surveyed, there came a queer perception of fineness in it, of something that had no romantic appeal at all, but a steely, almost an intellectual quality. The white pyramid in the distance compelled the mind's assent as passionlessly as a Euclidean theorem, and when at last the sun rose into a sky of deep delphinium blue, he felt only a little less than comfortable again.

 

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