Литература 1890-1960 Учебное пособие по английскому языку - страница №1/4
Н.И. Леонова, Г.И. Никитина
Учебное пособие по английскому языку
объединением высших учебных заведений
по педагогическому образованию
ББК 81.2 Англ. УДК 802.0
Составители: Леонова Наталья Игоревна,
Никитина Галина Ивановна
Рецензент: кафедра английского языка Московского
института повышения квалификации работников образования
(зав. каф. проф. К. С. Махмурян)
Леонова Н. И., Никитина Г. И.
Л 47 Английская литература 1890-1960: Учебное пособие по английскому языку. -2-е изд. -М.: Флинта, Наука, 2000. - 144 с.
ISBN 5-7695-0062-х (Флинта)
ISBN 5-02-022505-3 (Наука)
В пособие включены литературоведческие тексты об английской литературе и фабульные отрывки из произведений известных авторов. Цель данной книги – развить навыки реферирования, чтения специальных оригинальных текстов и активизировать устную речь.
Для студентов и магистров гуманитарных и др. специальностей, а также для лиц, самостоятельно изучающих английский язык и английскую литературу.
ББК 81.2 Англ.
ISBN 5-7695-0062-х (Флинта)
ISBN 5-02-022505-3 (Наука) © Издательство "Флинта", 1998
Книга ставит целью развить навыки реферирования, чтения специальных оригинальных текстов и развития устной речи по предложенной тематике. Тематика пособия имеет литературоведческую направленность. В пособие включены тексты об английской литературе из книг и статей известных ученых: А. Ворда, Дж. Ривса, И. Моргана, С. Купера и др. Помимо литературоведческих текстов в пособии приводятся фабульные отрывки из книг, знакомящие учащихся со стилем того или иного автора. При этом язык оригинала сохраняется. Тексты на русском языке предназначены для активизации лексики и суммарного пересказа.
Пособие не содержит грамматических объяснений и предназначено для лиц, ранее изучавших английский язык: студентов и магистров гуманитарных специальностей. Оно может быть также использовано при изучении английского языка студентами других специальностей, так как дисциплина «иностранный язык» входит в федеральный компонент образовательно-профессиональных программ.
Компактность и умеренная сложность языкового материала пособия делают его доступным и универсальным в использовании для различных типов учебных заведений. Пособие может быть рекомендовано в качестве самостоятельного учебного материала и дополнения к любому традиционному учебнику английского языка. Курс позволяет изучать английский язык и английскую литературу одновременно.
Учебное пособие подготовлено на кафедре английского языка гуманитарных факультетов Московского педагогического государственного университета имени В.И. Ленина.
I. Read the text and do the assignments following it.
British Novelists, 1890-1929 Traditionalists
The forty years between 1890–1929 were the most fertile and diverse period of the British novel. During these years marked by the Great War and changes in the social, political, and economic structures of Britain, the novel became a much broader reflector of the aims, confusions, concerns, ideas, and attitudes of all classes of the British people, effectively mirroring forces of change in the culture. It was at that time that the novel in Britain established itself as the dominant literary genre. More than any other literary form, it most completely absorbed and pointed to the fundamental changes in consciousness that were taking place.
There were two strong but not mutually exclusive impulses among novelists – first, to write largely out of the tradition that immediately preceded them at the same time that they confronted the changing shape of the world; and second, to attempt to break sharply from the traditions and values that they inherited and reflected in form, technique, and subject matter an altered vision of the world and the self. Such divisions are, however, obvious only on the surface. For example, the works of Joseph Conrad contrasted with those of James Joyce demonstrate division, but there are important similarities in their fiction as well. Among minor writers these distinctions blur.
Conrad, the most imposing figure of that period, retained frame of the traditional realist novel, but his work reflects his preoccupation with the moral self. The shift from individual to social principles in the moral world lies at the centre of his work, hence the sea, the jungle, the remote in general provide the contexts in which he studies his characters.
Closer to the tradition of the nineteenth century realist novel in Britain were Arnold Bennett and John Galsworthy, whose novels reveal the changing social conditions in England. Both looked with irony at the unquestioned goals of progress, the iniquities and even injustices in society, but their work seldom transcends the period because of their failures to impose social consciousness needed to provide moral force.
Ford Madox Ford and E.M. Forster have achieved greater status than Bennett and Galsworthy, because rather than embodying a distant or lofty moral objectivity, they brought to their novels a controlled subjectivity which gave them immediacy as well as a moral perspective.
(From "Foreword to Dictionary of Literary Biography " by Thomas F. Staley)
II. Translate the following words and word combinations into Russian and use them in sentences of your own:
the most fertile and diverse period, to become a reflector of, to mirror, the dominant literary genre, to point to, to confront the changing shape of the world, to break from traditions, the subject matter, to contrast with, similarities, distinctions, to retain, a shift from...to, to achieve status, subjectivity.
III. Answer the following questions:
1. What was the most fertile and diverse period of the British novel?
2. What did the novel reflect?
3. When did the novel establish itself as the dominant literary genre?
4. How did the writers of that period react to the altered vision of the world?
5. Why is J. Conrad considered to be the most imposing figure?
6. What authors achieved great status during that period?
7. Have you read "The Forsyte Saga" by John Galsworthy? What is the idea of the novel?
As a general rule, the novelist, though following in the tracks of classical realists, breaks away from the literary polish, the fine descriptive style that was kept up to the very end of the 19th century. At the same time as Shaw, Wells and Bennett, Galsworthy starts a new tradition of bringing the language of .literature (in the author's speech, no less than in that of the personages) close to the language of real life. He does away with the elaborate syntax of 19th century prose and cultivates somewhat abrupt sentences, true to the rhythm and the intonation of the spoken language and full of low colloquialisms and even slang.
V. Read the text about life and work of J. Conrad and make up a summary.
Joseph Conrad (1857–1924) is now widely accepted as one of the modernist masters of serious narrative fiction. Historically placed, he is a major figure in the transition from Victorian fiction to the more perplexed forms and values of the twentieth century literature. Now, unlike in his lifetime, he is one of the most read British novelists of his period. However, his twenty volumes of novels and stories vary greatly in quality and interest. Since he was primarily a commercial storyteller aiming at the popular market, only a limited part of his work will bear much serious response and intellectual consideration. The works such as "Heart of Darkness," "Nostromo," "The Secret Sharer" and "The Secret Agent" are generally acknowledged to be outstanding.
He started by writing exotic romances, a highly commercial popular form of late nineteenth century literature – many of his sources appear to be French. His three linked novels placed in Malay – "Almayer's Folly" (1895), "An Outcast of the Islands" (1896), and "The Rescue" (1920) - fancifully expand upon some episodes and characters drawn from his maritime experiences.
Conrad's later writing became more disciplined and polished in manner, it had a tone of ominousness, mysteriousness and ironic reflectiveness which distinguishes some of Conrad's fiction from simpler commercial exoticism.
Clearly the best of the early stories is the satiric "An Outpost of Progress" (1897). Here Conrad makes his first fictional use of the brief period he spent in the Belgian Congo nearly a decade earlier. Perhaps because of his great anger at what he saw there, this story shows little moral ambivalence.
Committed to prolific writing, Conrad was extending the range of his subject matter. His third published novel "The Nigger of the 'Narcissus'" launched his reputation as a noted writer about the sea. While it is better written, more stylistically disciplined than the Malayan novels, it is hardly the "masterpiece" that some later critics have called it.
In the period of his best writing, from "Heart of Darkness" through "The Secret Agent," he achieved a distinctive moral resonance and rhetorical intensity. He achieved some victories over Victorian pathology.
(From "Dictionary of Literary Biography " by Kingsley Widmer)
VI. Render the text in English using the following key words and word combinations:
to reveal, to depict, to expose, a theorist, an observer, bourgeoise, landlord, to warn, to become obvious, property, to be difficult to separate from, to consolidate one's rights, to be a security, continuity of the family, morality, a prejudice, hypocrisy, ambiguous.
В этом мире, все реальности которого уже раскрыты, объяснены, описаны, подвергнуты критике и разоблачены в произведениях литературы, мистер Голсуорси избирает темой своей книги Семью – институт, существующий, по моему мнению, так же давно, как самая старая, хотя не самая почтенная сказка. Но мистер Голсуорси не теоретик, а наблюдатель, и в поле его зрения попала семья определенного типа. Это семья буржуазная, вернее, ей место в рядах крупной буржуазии, о чем нас предупреждает подзаголовок романа, и подобные семьи можно видеть всюду и везде, если не сегодня, то еще вчера <...>.
<...> Прочность основы, на которой мистер Голсуорси строит свой превосходный роман, сразу становится очевидной. Ибо началась ли организация общества с семьи, или с собственности, или с того и другого одновременно, так как вначале их, в сущности, трудно было отделить друг от друга, – совершенно ясно, что именно в тесном объединении этих двух институтов нашло общество путь к развитию, и именно в нем обрело оно надежду на спасение. Чувство собственности помогает Форсайтам упрочить их права и является залогом продолжения их рода. Это инстинкт, примитивный инстинкт. Практицизм Форсайтов возвел его в принцип; их идеализм превратил его в своего рода религию, под влиянием которой сформировались их понятия о счастье и благопристойности, их предрассудки и ханжество, скудные их мысли и даже самый строй их чувств. Жизнь в целом стала доступной их пониманию только в тех случаях, если ее можно было выразить на языке собственности. Удержать – приобрести, приобрести – удержать. Законы, мораль, искусство и наука, по их представлениям, не лишенным основания, посвящены достижению этой двойственной и, в то же время, единой цели. Таков их символ веры. <...>
(Дж. Конрад. «Джон Голсуорси»)
I. Read the text and do the assignments following it.
Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)
When a great writer dies high in honour and in fame, criticism is for a while at a loss; as the applause dies down, praise sounds unnaturally loud. So it had to be with Bernard Shaw. Even now he begins to assume a position in English drama second only to Shakespeare. He built up his own new drama: true, Shaw followed the inspiration of Ibsen, but he would seem to have been himself ready to be the English Ibsen.
He turned to the drama as his medium of expression. That Shaw chose the drama as the means to criticize and educate society was due to a most happy combination of experience, coincidence and chance. His own experience had taught him that he had no promising future in the novel.
In his long period of dramatic writing, more than twice the length of Shakespeare's, Shaw displayed the many-sidedness of his genius in a great variety of plays. It is hard, however, to discern any clear periods or trends in his development. There is on the whole a change of theme from the particular to the general, from the contemporary scene to the future, and of attitude from the satiric and destructive to the philosophic and constructive, from the materialistic to the mystic.
Shaw's drama gave a powerful impulse to developing of the English theatre.
The first period of Shaw's creative work consists of three cycles: "Unpleasant Plays" ("Widower's Houses”1, 1892; "The Eater of Hearts,"2 1893; "Mrs. Warren's Profession,"3 1894); "Pleasant Plays" ("Arms and the Man,"4 1894; "Candida,"5 1894; "The Man of Destiny,"61895); "Three Plays for Puritans" ("The Devil's Pupil,"7 1896-1897; "Caesar and Cleopatra,"8 1898; "Captain Brassbaund's Address,"9 1899).
The high spirits which characterized his plays before 1914, often bringing into his comedy a lively element of farce, did not appear so much afterwards. Instead something of grandeur and poetry found expression in famous passages of "Saint Joan"10 and "Back to Methuselah."11 Before "Heartbreak House, "12which was finished during the war, he had certainly never written a play with such deep underlying seriousness. He called it "a fantasia on English themes in the Russian manner," by which he alluded to his being inspired by Chekhov.
Bernard Shaw's publicist attitude towards the drama demanded an effective language. His ideas are expressed in short wise, witty sayings, aphorisms, as they are called. When writing on the social contradictions of the 20th century, he often uses striking paradoxes, which bring out his attitude to England's 19th century conventions. B. Shaw has introduced a new form of drama, the publicistic drama. His plays are suited for reading as much as for acting. He expresses his ideas not only through the individual characters but through the settings of the plays as well. Each play has a preface in which portraits of the persons in the play are drawn, and the setting described.
1. "Widower's Houses" – пьеса «Дома вдовца»
2. "The Eater of Hearts" – «Сердцеед»
3. "Mrs. Warren's Profession" – «Профессия миссис Уоррен»
4. "Arms and the Man" – «Оружие и человек»
5. "Candida" – «Кандида»
6. "The Man of Destiny" – «Избранник судьбы»
7. "The Devil's Pupil" – «Ученик дьявола»
8. "Caesar and Cleopatra" – «Цезарь и Клеопатра»
9. "Captain Brassbaund's Address" – «Обращение капитана Брасбаунда»
10. "Saint Joan" – пьеса «Святая Иоанна»
11. "Back to Methuselah" – «Назад к Мафусаилу»
12. "Heartbreak House" – «Дом, где разбиваются сердца»
II. Give Russian equivalents to the following English words and word combinations. Use them in the sentences of your own:
to assume a position, inspiration, to display the many-sidedness of one's genius, a variety of plays, to find expression in, to allude to, social contradictions, to introduce a new form of drama, to be suited for, a setting.
III. Translate Shaw's aphorisms into Russian. Discuss the problems raised in them.
... the love of money is the root of all evil.
...When people are very poor, you cannot help them, no matter how much you may sympathize with them. It does them more harm than good in the long run.
... the dirtier a place is the more rent you get...
I'll have to learn to speak middle-class language from you, instead of speaking proper English.
The great secret ... is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls...
Time enough to think of the future when you haven't any future to think of.
Independence? That's middle-class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth.
With the union of assertion and provocation his style is never dull.
In the plays it rarely has a chance to be dull, for there is the further animation given by the dramatic clash of dialogue.
The principal characters of the play are Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins. Eliza, a girl of eighteen, comes from the lowest social level and speaks with a strong Cockney accent, which is considered to be the most illiterate English.
Eliza's father is a dustman. Eliza will not stay with her father and her stepmother, she makes her own living by selling flowers in the streets of London.
The play shows how Eliza struggles to rise to a higher cultural level. Bernard Shaw knew the common fate of those who were born in poverty. There was no rising from it to another standing without outward culture. The Cockney English spoken in the East End of London was like a stamp on a person's reputation.
Henry Higgins is a professor of phonetics. He studies the physiological aspects of a person's speech, that is the sounds of the language. When in the street one day, he points out the flowergirl, Eliza, to his friend Colonel Pickering, a phonetician studying Indian dialects.
"You see this creature with her kerbstone English: the English that will keep her in the gutter to the end of her days. Well, sir, in three months I could pass that girl off as a duchess at an ambassador's garden party. I could even get her a place as lady's maid or shop assistant, which requires better English. That's the sort of thing I do for commercial millionaires. And on the profits of it I do genuine scientific work in phonetics."
Eliza hears this conversation and is impressed. She sees a chance of being pulled out of the gutter. The next day she goes to the professor's house and insists on being taught. Higgins makes an agreement with Picketing and bets him that he will pass her off as a duchess in six months.
Шоу высоко ценили лучшие и крупнейшие представители литературы его времени. Среди них были Горький и O'Кейси.
В 1931 году Горький писал Шоу, приехавшему в Москву на празднование своего 75-летия: «Три четверти столетия прожили Вы, и неисчислимы сокрушительные удары, нанесенные Вашим острым умом консерватизму и пошлости людей».
Высказав ряд ценных наблюдений о творчестве Шоу в своих литературно-критических статьях, Шон O'Кейси посвятил драматургу целую главу – «Уголок Шоу» – в автобиографическом романе «Заход солнца и вечерняя звезда».
I. Read the text and do the assignments following it.
John Boynton Priestley (1894–1984)
J.B. Priestley, critic, essayist, storyteller, broadcaster, novelist and playwright, has the rare distinction, for an Englishman, of being well known all over the world. He has the power to entertain and his plays in particular are the work of a man who provokes thought.
He was born in Bradford in 1894 and ever since his first appearance as an author in 1919, he has poured out a succession of books of very diverse kinds. At first it was as an essayist that he won recognition. Then, gradually, changing over to fiction, he achieved resounding success in 1929 with his long, episodic and robust novel "The Good Companions." It was what the schoolboys call "a smasher." It was twice the normal length; it had a Dickensian scope as well near-Dickensian vigour; it had a host of characters and a swirl of movement. "The Good Companions" was also a smasher in its success. It was filmed and dramatized as well as selling vastly in book form in many countries. The survey of Bruddersford, with which the book opens, is Priestley at his best and the unfolding panorama of small provincial towns with their mouldering theatres and concert halls, their drab hotels sustains the high level of social landscape.
The next novel "Angel Pavement"2 (1930) took its name from a typical side street, an alley which housed, among others none too prosperous, a firm of timber dealers, now in financial trouble. The atmosphere of gayety characteristic of the first novel is changed by sad humour. The ending of the book is bleak indeed, for all the employers of the broken tinber firm are left in the air, the cold economic air of the nineteen-thirties, when unemployment cruelly swept the world. The period of "Angel Pavement" was, for millions of people, grey with fear, fear of never getting a job, fear of losing the job, and fear of an existence without security and without hope.
The shorter novels are very numerous in most cases. Priestley drew on immediate scenes and happenings, the wartime "blackout," the coming of demobilization and release, and the readjustments to a new economy. One of the best of them is called "Bright Day" (1946). The description of Boxing Day at Mr. Ackworth's is wonderful comedy. Written with tenderness as well as gusto, it responds with friendliness to the cult of "good stuff in food and drink and musicmaking.
As a playwright Priestley occupied a prominent place in English literature in the thirties. He wrote more than 40 plays, the most significant of them are "Dangerous Corner"3 (1932), "Time and the Conways"4 (1937), "An Inspector Calls"5 (1946).
Some critics hold the view that Priestley is at his best in plays of this kind, realistic in style, cordial in their comedy, sympathetic in mood. But he himself became impatient with the humdrum and the natural. Realism in the arts has been dismissed. One of the earlier ventures in escape was the creation of "Johnson over Jordan" (1939). Expressionism, a foolish and unhelpful term, is a name applied to such a form of playwriting.
In the plays followed "They Came to a City" (1944) and "Home Is Tomorrow" (1949) Priestley brought news and views of the great world changes and fresh outlooks into the wartime and after-war entertainment.
Priestley's work, especially his dramatic work, has found much admiration outside Britain. He has certainly proved himself to be one of the most versatile, as well as one of the most vivid, of British authors. A man of such various gifts belongs to no "school." He creates, and recreates, in his own way. He is immensely himself.
2. "Angel Pavement" – роман «Улица ангела»
3. "Dangerous Corner" – «Опасный поворот»
4. "Time and the Conways" – «Время и семья Конвей»
5. "An Inspector Calls" – «Визит инспектора»
2. What can you say about the author's first novel? and the second one?
3. What place in English literature does Priestley occupy as a playwright?
4. In what play did he dismiss realism?
5. Why is J.B. Priestley admired not only in Britain but outside it as well?
"My own choice, he wrote, is Broad Comedy, which is stronger in situation than Light Comedy, and more frankly farcial and less intellectual than High Comedy. It is, I believe, peculiarly suitable to the English temperament, it is the field of comedy in which I have chosen to work."
(From "J.B. Priestley" by Ivor Brown)
VI. Read the article and make up a short summary of it. Discuss it with your groupmates.
There are many illusions about the theatre among people who have never worked in it. One is that what happens on the stage is improvised. Actually, in a serious production the smallest movement, the shortest speech, is carefully rehearsed.
Another illusion is that while acting might be very difficult to the ordinary man, it is very easy for a man born to be an actor. Ability to imitate a voice, a walk, a gesture, is often thought to be enough to make a man an actor. Though there have been great actors with little formal training, most actors nowadays were once students in drama schools.
There they learnt how to use their voice, how to speak clearly, how to control their breathing. They were taught good body movements; how to walk, to sit down and get up, to dance, to fence. In advanced schools they learnt to observe and interpret character.
Each great capital city has several dramatic schools, some attached to particular theatres, like the Comedie Francaise in Paris. London's largest dramatic school, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, is not attached to any dramatic company but to London University. Russia's Moscow Art Theatre runs its own state-supported school where students selected from all over the country study for four years. Here the more advanced instruction is based on methods devised by the co-founder of the Moscow Art Theatre, Konstantin Stanislavsky, himself a magnificent actor.
The Actors' Studio in New York, which teaches "The Method," has been much influenced by Stanislavsky. "The Method" teaches the actor to identify himself inwardly with the character he has to play; to work from this inner identification to outward signs of character tricks of voice, gait and gesture. What must be remembered is that acting, like everything belonging to the Theatre, has a double aspect: the actor must be the character he is playing and also himself.
morals and mode of life, the plot of the novel, narration, cunning swindlers, to depict, to make an impression if, "parliamentary twins."
В романе «Эта старая страна» ("It's an Old Country," 1967) нравы и быт современной Англии показаны глазами главного героя, приехавшего из Австралии. Том Адамсон, преподаватель Сиднейского университета, едет в Англию, чтобы разыскать своего отца – Чарльза Адамсона, которого не видел тридцать три года. Действия, предпринятые для этого Томом Адамсоном, составляют сюжетную линию романа. Повествование строится в форме обозрения различных характеров. В основном это бизнесмены или ловкие мошенники, в сатирическом свете изображены парламентские деятели Дадли и Ноукс. Они все время спорят, так как представляют в парламенте разные партии. Но по существу между ними нет никакой разницы, и автор называет их «парламентскими двойниками».
Англия производит на Тома Адамсона впечатление «мрачного и холодного ада, в котором нет ни тепла, ни света, ни настоящих ценностей ума и сердца». По словам Тома, «Англия пытается двигаться вперед и одновременно стоять на месте, а это, разумеется, весьма трудно».
(Г.В. Аникин. «История английской литературы»)
I. Read the text and do the assignments following it.
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)
The work of Aldous Huxley developed through four of the most interesting decades in the history of Western Man and he responded all the time to what was going on around him: the breaking of Europe, the technological revolution, the population explosion with the appearance of Mass Man, the economic revolution. During these decades violent oppositions came into being. It became possible for the population to be properly fed, clothed and housed; it became possible for them to be destroyed in a few minutes.
Huxley was always sensitive to these oppositions, the eternal balance, between good and evil in nature and in a human society. He spent much time in exploring the new possibilities of advantage to man. He believed in the individual, and he saw the possibilities of greater awareness for the individual.
A. Huxley was born in 1894, and would have gone to war if he had not been nearly blind. The rich creative years of early manhood were spent in a society which was trying to forget the horrors of war, and the social earthquakes it had brought. He began with books of verse and intellectual satirical novels. The verses showed promise but never said much; a characteristic of most verses in England ever since. The prose was witty and he discovered a gift of style.
This was the first decade of his writing, and the second, the thirties, was the decade of anxiety. The pursuit of pleasure in writing gave way to the search for sanity in human affairs. In the novels the lighter play of the intellect was enriched by a serious search for truth in human affairs which would make stable belief in human ideals possible.
Huxley's novels from "Crome Yellow'1 (1921) through "Antic Hay"2 (1923), and "Point Counter Point"3 (1928) to "Brave New World" (1932) reveal his ironical manner and awareness of the ills of the world.
In the mid-thirties Huxley gave up satire for the sake of sermons ("After Many a Summer," 1939, "Time Must Have a Stop," 1944, "The Island," 1962).
A. Huxley has left a very considerable amount of novels, short stories, essays, anthologies, travel books, biographies and in them all he has left strong impressions of his own spirit. His sense of style never deserted him and we see him in all his writings as clearly as through a windowpane. His work has that double interest we expect in any writing worth studying; it is by an interesting and powerful individual, and it has something unique to say. Huxley in his life, and in his writing demonstrates an admirable way of coping with our extraordinary world.
1. "Crome Yellow" – «Желтый хром»
2. "Antic Hay" – «Шутовской хоровод»
3. "Point Counter Point" – «Контрудар»
to respond to, to come into being, to be sensitive to, awareness, witty, a gift of style, anxiety, to be enriched by, the ills of the world, to cope with.
III. Answer the following questions discussing the creative work of A. Huxley:
1. What can you say about the historical background of A. Huxley's life and creation?
2. How did he respond to reality?
3. What trend in literature did he represent?
4. What are the main themes of his novels?
5. Why is A. Huxley considered to be a great satirist of our time?
6. Have you read any novels or short stories by A. Huxley?
IV. Read the text given below with the help of a dictionary and make up a summary of it.
More than any other contemporary novelist he takes in the whole range of the individual's life, from birth to death. His world is not one exclusively of young men or middle-aged men or old men; it is a world of children and adolescents as well as adults.
"Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shame, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision." Those, who study the souls of children in hopes of finding out something about the souls of men, will be disappointed. This difference between child and adult, between innocence and falsity seems to have made a deep impression on Huxley.
V. Give a literary translation of the following passages.
1. Aldous Huxley published his first novel when he was twenty-seven, and he had no trouble in completing his design.
He takes us, like so many English novelists before him, to a country house and there the characters talk to one another just as peacocks did. The characters are sketches, caricatures, characters in the old literary sense rather than people who react upon one another. There are young people, so there are love affairs but they exist only to be thwarted in an entirely comic atmosphere. There are old people, typed and true to their types, and they talk and do nothing. It is all very agreeable, for the scene unfolds in unnoticeable prose and it is intelligent and amusing, with no thought of stresses or clashes or vulgarity or anything disagreeably real. The young novelist has lived a little and read a great deal and he relies on his reading and his sense of comedy to carry him through. There is no criticism of life, because life does not intrude on this fantasy, but there is a good deal of criticism of literature in the pleasant and precise way of parody.
(From "On 'Crome Yellow'" by Laurence Brander)
2. We visit the right restaurants in this novel, go to the right picture dealers, listen to the right music in the right concert halls. Huxley fulfils the traditional obligation of the London novelist so well fulfilled by Thackeray in his grandfather's time, to take us to places most of us would never otherwise see and to introduce us to people we should never meet. Huxley, in the twenties, was allowed to show us a side of life that the English novelist had not been allowed to show us a very long time.
In the beginning of the novel there is an instruction on education, architecture, politics and music, but that mood soon gives way to jazz, restaurants, taxies and the lights of London.
"Antic Hay," when it was published, was a very daring novel. It was a stronger piece of writing than either "Crome Yellow" or the early short stories.
I. Read the text and do the assignments following it.
William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)
William Somerset Maugham is one of the best known English writers of modern literature. He was not only a novelist of considerable rank, but also one of the most successful dramatists and short-story writers. His first novel "Liza of Lambeth" came out in 1897, and he went on producing books at the rate of at least one a year for sixty odd years. "Of Human Bondage,” the first of his masterpieces, came out in 1919. This is a fine achievement, some part of which is recollective of phases of his own life. With the publication in 1919 of the "The Moon and Sixpence"2 his reputation as a novelist was established. "Cakes and Ale"3 written in 1930 had brilliance, genuine pathos and beauty. It is his best novel, for, here, sardonic wit and satire do not drive out human sympathy and understanding. It represents the backstage life of the literary profession and unmasks the scheming and humbug behind the popularity to which Driffield, the hero of the novel and "A Grand Old Man of Letters" is exposed.
Novels and novelists are usually meant chiefly for the literary genre, but the story of Driffield – whose attraction to common things and common people in bar parlour makes him faintly derisive of his own fame as an author – has a much wider appeal. The character of Rosie, the barmaid who becomes Driffield's first wife, is S. Maugham's masterpiece and one of the great creations in English fiction.
Always keeping in the public eye and striving to satisfy the public tastes so as to make his books sell, Maugham achieved a great popularity with the reading public in England and especially in the USA.
He triumphed not only as a novelist but as a short-story writer as well. He produced some of the finest stories in modern English literature. They are usually very sincere, well-constructed and logically developed. No matter how many times you read them, they always give you the same feeling of freshness and excitement that you experienced on the first reading.
Many of Maugham's stories are set in foreign lands where the author was as easily at home as he was in his native England. They were inspired by his travels in China, Malaya, Borneo, Siam and many other countries.
His rich experience of life and his acute insight into human nature gave Maugham an analytical and critical quality which found its expression in the vivid depiction of characters and situations.
The technique of short-story writing always interested Maugham. He has stated repeatedly that a story must have a beginning, a middle and an end. "I should define a short story as a piece of fiction that has unity of impression and that can be read at a single sitting." Maugham believes that the charm of a story lies in its interesting plot and exciting situation, but we cannot share this opinion: his own stories, though they are indeed interesting and exciting, at the same time convey deep thought, keen observation and sharpness of characterisation. These very qualities assure Maugham of an outstanding place in the annals of literature and in the hearts of all who love good stories.
1. "Of Human Bondage" – «Бремя страстей человеческих»
2. "The Moon and Sixpence" – «Луна и грош»
3. "Cakes and Ale" – «Пироги и пиво»
2. What was his first novel?
3. What can you say about the novel "Of Human Bondage"?
4. Why is "Cakes and Ale" considered to be his best novel?
5. What does it represent?
6. Why did S. Maugham achieve such a great popularity with the reading public?
7. Can we speak about the influence of Chekhov and de Maupassant upon the works of S. Maugham?
8. What qualities assure Maugham of an enduring place in literature?
9. What novels or short stories by this author have you read?
2. The only two dramatists in our time who have made their mark as thinkers are Ibsen and Shaw. Both were fortunate in the time of their appearance. Ibsen's advent coincided with the movement for the liberation of women from their inferior position in which they had so long stood; Shaw's with the revolt of youth from the conventionality of the Victorian epoch. They had to their hands subjects new to the theatre that could be displayed with dramatic effectiveness. Shaw had the advantage, useful to any dramatist, of high spirits, rollicking humour, wit and fertility of comic invention. Ibsen as we know had a meagre power of invention; his characters under different names are very dully repeated, and his intrigue from play to play is little varied. It is not a gross exaggeration to say that his only gambit is the sudden arrival of a stranger who comes into a stuffy room and opens the windows; whereupon the people who were sitting there catch their death of cold and everything ends unhappily.
(From "The Summing Up" by W.S. Maugham)
V. Read the two extracts and answer the questions following them.
1. His only passion was for the beauty of nature and he sought felicity in the simple and natural things that life offers to everyone. You may say that it was a grossly selfish existence. It was. He was of no use to anybody, but on the other hand he did nobody any harm. His only object was his happiness, and it looked as though he had attained it. Very few people know where to look for happiness; fewer still find it. I don't know whether he was a fool or a wise man. He was certainly a man who knew his own mind. The odd thing about him to me was that he was so immensely commonplace. I should never have given him a second thought but for what I knew, that on a certain day, ten years from then, unless a chance illness cut the thread before, he must deliberately take leave of the world he loved so well.
(From "The Lotus Eater" by W.S. Maugham)
2. For thirty years now I have been studying my fellow men. I do not know very much about them. I suppose it is on the face that for the most part we judge the persons we meet. We draw our conclusions from the shape of the jaw, the look in the eyes, the shape of the mouth. I shrug my shoulders when people tell me that their first impressions of a person are always right. For my own part I find that the longer I know people the more they puzzle me; my oldest friends are just those of whom I can say that I don't know anything about them.
(From "A Friend in Need" by W.S. Maugham)
1. What impressions did the hero of "The Lotus Eater," Wilson, make on the author?
2. On what do most people judge the persons from Maugham's point of view? (See extract 2.)
3. Which sentences of these extracts can serve as Maugham's sayings? Comment on them.
to concentrate on, a triumph over, public opinion, a compatriot, natural aspiration, humiliating, a clearly-cut plot, dependence on, artistic details, to give a reserved appraisal, to ensure demand and success of the play, a link in a chain connecting... .
Один из самых проницательных в английской литературе XX столетия авторов, писавших о трагикомедии жизни, Моэм делал упор на комедии, но не с меньшим мастерством изображал трагические судьбы, торжество «общественного мнения» над естественными стремлениями личности. Он предпочитал говорить своим соотечественникам вещи малоприятные и даже оскорбительные. В этом он продолжал традиции Свифта, Филдинга, Смоллета, Диккенса, Теккерея.
Моэм не пролагал новых путей в литературе, но создал свой оригинальный стиль, составляющими которого были крепко сбитый сюжет, строгий отбор жизненного материала, емкость художественной детали, естественный диалог, подчинение своим целям богатств родного языка. Он писал выразительно и точно, экономно и просто.
Биограф Моэма Энтони Кертис давал довольно сдержанную оценку его драматургическому наследию: «Моэм... превратил себя в своеобразный компьютер по производству пьес, заложив в программу все элементы, необходимые для того, чтобы обеспечить пьесе спрос и успех».
Он писал для того, чтобы его читали, он этого хотел, и он этого добился: с его смерти минуло более 30 лет, а его читают все так же. Как-то незаметно он перешел из современников – в классики.
Пьесы Моэма – неотъемлемая страница английской драматургии XX века, звено в цепочке, соединяющей драматургию О. Уайльда, Д. Б. Пристли и Д. Осборна.
2. I would sooner read a timetable or a catalogue than nothing at all. They are much more entertaining than half the novels that are written.
3. It is very seldom that life provides the writer with a ready-made story.
4. We know our friends by their defects rather than by their merits.
I. Read the text and do the assignments following it.
Richard Aldington (1892-1962)
Early in 1929 a great number of antiwar books appeared in different countries. Erick Maria Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front"1 (1929) proclaimed to millions of readers all over the world that the First World War had been fatal to a whole generation of youth by causing moral and spiritual death, though it had spared their physical lives. The years of the spiritual growth of this generation were, those of the bloody imperialist war, in the course of which all human values seemed to have been lost. The deadly reality of war made all the fine phrases of politicians and demagogues empty and meaningless.
The hero of Ernest Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms"2 (1929) threw aside the traditional values of society as hypocritical. The ex-soldiers could not find a place in postwar life, and therefore were called "the lost generation." The term was coined by Gertrude Stein, an American woman writer, who once said to Hemingway: "You are the lost generation." The name "lost generation literature" was later applied to the wings of many authors, including Hemingway in the USA, Remarque in Germany and Aldington in Great Britain.
Richard Aldington is one of the most prominent twentieth century English authors. He began his literary work in the years preceding the First World War. His participation in the War left a deep mark on his general outlook and greatly influenced his work as a writer. Most of his novels and short stories are a passionate bitter protest against the senseless cruelty and brutality of the war. Among these antimilitary books "Death of a Hero"3 (1929) undoubtedly occupies the first place. It is a story of a young man, George Winterbourne, of his childhood and youth, first love and marriage, his service in the fighting British army and, finally, his tragical death at the front. The book is extremely powerful and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.
Of the other books by R. Aldington especially famous are "All Men Are Enemies,"4 "Very Heaven," "The Colonel's Daughter" and some short stories. He is also the author of several biographies (O. Balzak, D.H. Lawrence).
R. Aldington was a very versatile and talented man-of-letters who produced important work in several different genres of literature. His best poetry and prose fiction should survive as "minor classics" of the twentieth century.
1. "All Quiet on the Western Front"– «Ha Западном фронте без перемен»
2. "A Farewell to Arms" – «Прощай, оружие»
3. "Death of а Него" – «Смерть героя»
4. "All Men Are Enemies" – «Все люди – враги»
II. Translate the following word combinations into Russian and use them in sentences of your own:
to proclaim, to cause moral and spiritual death, human values, meaningless, hypocritical, to coin a term, to apply to, to leave a deep mark on, a passionate bitter protest against, to occupy the first place, to leave a lasting impression on.
III. Answer the following questions:
1. What books appeared in 1929?
2. What did Erick Maria Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front" proclaim to millions of readers?
3. What did the war cause?
4. Who was called "the lost generation"?
5. Who coined the term "the lost generation"?
6. When did R. Aldington begin his literary work?
7. What do most of his novels and short stories demonstrate?
8. What place does the novel "Death of a Hero" occupy among the antimilitary books?
9. What other novels by R. Aldington do you know?
"Death of a Hero" is a lyrical improvisation in prose where the author, sometimes sympathetic, sometimes ironic, sometimes indignant, appears not only as narrator, but as friend to the main character. He often comments on the action and expresses his opinion of the characters, and his commentary occupies a larger place in the book than the actual story itself.
Aldington begins his Prologue on a very personal note. The author-narrator informs the reader of the death of George Winterbourne only a few days before the end of the war, and then proceeds with the description of how several people closely related to his late friend, that is George's father and mother, and also his wife and his mistress, reacted to the fact. The parents did not care much, being deep in their own problems. Their response was much more conditioned by the conventional patterns of behaviour than by any deep personal feeling. The Winterbournes are for the author a symbol of the English bourgeoisie. "It is the tragedy of England," he says, "that the war has taught its Winterbournes nothing."
As for George's wife, Elizabeth, and his mistress, Fanny, they soon dried their tears after George's death. So the narrator feels it necessary to tell the story of George Winterbourne's. The author hopes to find and expose the forces in the social life of prewar England that made it possible for a whole generation to perish in the fire of a world war.
The Winterbournes were ignorant, snobbish, selfassured. They were ready to condemn everything that departed from the acceptable, long settled bourgeois way of life. But young George Winterbourne turned way from the gods of his class and found an alternative in art and literature. It was the concept of Beauty that he opposed to the hateful narrow-minded bourgeois way of thinking. He reveals his own ideas in conversations with his future wife Elizabeth. They talked a great deal about social problems and the need for social reform.
Aldington, like his hero, hated the society he was part of. In his novel he tells the bitter truth about it. But like his hero he could not overcome his individualistic view of life, and that is why George Winter-bourne's fate is so tragic.
V. Give a literary translation of the following extracts. Compare the two extracts.
Given below are two fragments from Aldington's novel "Death of a Hero." In the first (Part II, Chapter 2) George Winterbourne, the main character of the novel, is shown in times of peace. George is a painter and journalist. At a party he meets Elizabeth Paston. George and Elizabeth become interested in each other. They are both young and full of life and a happy future seems to await them.
The second fragment (Part II, Chapter 8) shows George at the front and describes the horrors of war.
1. "What do you do?"
"Oh, I'm a painter, and I write hack articles for Shobbe and such people to earn a living. "1
"But don't you sell your pictures?"
"I try to, but you see, people in England aren't much interested in modern art, not as they are on the Continent or even in America. They want the same old thing done over again and done with more sugar. One thing about the British bourgeois – he doesn't know anything about pictures, but very stoutly stands for what he likes, and what he likes is anything except art."
"Surely there are some up-to-date collectors in England."2
"Why, yes, of course, probably as many as anywhere else but too many of them collect pictures as an investment and so only take what the dealers advise them to buy."
...At that moment they were interrupted by the gentle Mrs. Shobbe.
"Excuse me for interrupting you, Mr. Winterbourne. Elizabeth dear, do you know how late it is? I'm afraid you'll miss the last bus, and you know I promised your dear mother I would look after you..."
1. I write hack articles for Shobbe and such people to earn a living – Чтобы заработать на жизнь, я пишу статейки по заказу Шобба и ему подобных.
2. Surely there are some up-to-date collectors in England – В Англии наверняка есть коллекционеры, интересующиеся современным искусством.
3. They easily found the new Front life in the daylight. Directions in English had been hastily scrawled on the old German trench notices and they wondered how on earth, they could have missed the way the night before. The Front line was full of infantry: some on sentry duty, some sitting hunched up on the fire-steps; many lying in long, narrow holes like graves, scooped in the side of the trench. They found an officer who took them along to show them the new communication trench was wanted. Winterbourne, turning to answer a question from Evans struck the butt of his rifle sharply against a sleeping man in one of the holes. The man did not stir.
"Your fellows are sleeping soundly," said Evans.
"Yes," said the officer tonelessly, "but they may be dead for all I know.1 Stretcher-bearers too tired to take down all the bodies. Some of 'em2 are dead, and some asleep. We have to go round and kick 'em to find which is which."
2. 'em = them
VI. Read the article and speak about R. Aldington's contribution to world literature.
Richard Aldington is best known as one of the leaders of the imagist movement, during the second decade of the twentieth century. His role as an imagist poet and theorist, however, was only a small part of a literary career which lasted nearly fifty years and which witnessed the publication of more than a hundred different books in England and America. He continued to write poetry for many years after imagism had ceased to function as a movement, and his volumes include a series of long poems which embody a variety of poetic techniques. In addition, he has produced several novels and collections of short stories, the majority of which have been published in other languages. He has also published many biographies, translations and volumes of critical essays; he has edited and written introductions to a large number of books.
In addition to the imagist poems and his famous war novel "Death of a Hero," his best long poems are "Life Quest," "The Crystal World" and "A Fool in the Forest." His other good novels are "All Men Are Enemies," "The Colonel's Daughter," "Seven Against Reeves" and "The Romance of Casanova." Along with "Death of a Hero," all but the last of these novels are satires on English society. Two collections of short stories "Roads to Glory" and "Soft Answers" must be included among his best prose fiction.
English Writers of the Period Between the Wars (1920-1940)
The period between the wars (1920–1940) was marked by: Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, and James Joyce. Woolf and Joyce permanently altered novelistic technique through the development of the stream of consciousness style of writing; Lawrence brought to the novel a fresh strain of vitality.
I. Read and translate the texts about the authors mentioned above and discuss their creative work:
1. What literary trends did they belong to?
2. What contribution to English literature did they make?
3. What major works did they create?
4. Speak about each writer's peculiar manner of writing.
5. Why is each writer considered to be great?
David Herbert Lawrence (1885–1930)
David Herbert Lawrence began his literary career with "The White Peacock" (1911) and "The Trespasser" (1912). Following a limited success with these novels, he stepped into the front rank of contemporary novelists with "Sons and Lovers" (1913). He led a wandering life which in Australia yielded material for "Kangaroo" (1923) and in Mexico for "The Plumed Serpent" (1926). One of his purposes was to revolutionize the modern English attitude towards sex, and in "Lady Chatterley's Lover" (1928) he threw off such restraints of convention as had hitherto kept that purpose in leash. The book was temporarily repressed on the charge of obscenity.
Coming from the working class, Lawrence was inevitably class-conscious. He was a good hater, hating principally the lust for money and the "modern" way of living.
However, his few attempts to touch upon the problem of class struggle are somewhat obscure and rather insecurely supported by psychological analysis in the Freudian manner.
The stylistic quality of Lawrence's writing is of great interest. His methods of character creation are original. He seems intimately close to his characters, and the reader is brought into immediate relation with them through the sheer urgency of his writing; the words seem hot and quivering on the page. Lawrence takes us right inside his characters. He captures, it seems, the moment of life itself, both in men and women and in the physical world of nature.
Yet, the world of his books is a somewhat lop-sided world, in which the conflict between man and woman takes disproportionate dimensions.
D.H. Lawrence's reputation has greatly varied since his death in 1930. His work undoubtedly had a great deal of influence on the writers of the 1930s, both in prose and verse, but there was at the same time a widespread feeling that he had been overrated because of the personal appeal he exercised. The usual critical opinion was that, while undoubtedly gifted, he was an artist manque. But in the 1950s Lawrence was acclaimed as a great novelist.
The best thing Lawrence wrote in novel form may be the early part of his semi-autobiographical "Sons and Lovers" (1913). It has a freshness and candour he never achieved again. At one time it was alleged that Lawrence could not create character but the best answer to the allegation is that Lawrence could create character – in "Sons and Lovers."
Are there any better drawn characters in English fiction than Mr. and Mrs. Mord? Another attractive area in Lawrence's work is the travel book, to which he gave a distinctive form. Verse, apart from a few striking poems, was something Lawrence wrote a lot of but did not do well: the most poetically effective passages in his work occur in the novels and tales. But in the "Birds, Beasts and Flowers" volume he created a new kind of poem. Lawrence is unsurpassed in another new genre created by him in "Studies, in Classic American Literature." Completely original in method and challenging in judgment these "Studies" have won applause from American critics and have influenced the way they see the history of their own literature.
Lawrence died in 1930, but he remains a living writer, not only studied as a literary classic, but avidly read. He divides opinion, as he always did. Some readers cannot stand the sultriness of his work. Others are put off him because they resent the way in which the doctrinaire of sex usurps the place of the poet of love. Eut there is quite a different side to Lawrence's work. A miner's son from the English Midlands, he knew in a way that few great English writers have done the life of the men and women who do the practical work of the world. Though like many writers of the twentieth century he was a restless traveller, and some of his best work evoke the impact on an English temperament of the exotic, of peoples and cultures remote in time or space, again and again the tone sardonic, Sharp-tongued English Midlander returns. Whatever their defects, Lawrence's books always suggest things that are living and moving and growing. It seems probable that he is one of the leading writers of the world.
James Joyce (1882–1941)
James Joyce is a famous English writer of Irish descent. He was born and educated in Dublin which forms the scene of his "Dubliners" (1914), fifteen stories of Dublin life. Joyce is also the author of "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man"1 (1916) (autobiographical novel), the world-famous "Ulysses"2 (1922) and "Finnegan's Wake"3 (1939).
He is one of the first authors who introduced in literature the so-called stream of consciousness technique by which is meant an attempt to render the character's consciousness in itself as it flows from moment to moment, placing the reader, as it were, within the mind of this or that personage.
This method found its supreme expression in "Ulysses" in which it resulted in complete loss of bonds with objective reality and in utter destruction of literary form.
Joyce's formalistic experimenting had a considerable number of followers among the more reactionary modernist writers.
Yet, "Dubliners" (his first great book, "Dubliners" is a collection of stories, each dealing with life in Dublin) represent the before-stream-of-consciousness period of Joyce's creative work. They are written in a frank and factual way, and the author of "Ulysses" is made recognizable here only by his deep interest in psychological matters.
Most of the stories depict a cheerless life of lonely, unhappy people of Dublin. The theme of hopelessness and frustration of best human aspirations runs more or less through all of them as a kind of leitmotiv.
"A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" was a revision of an unpublished book, "Stephen Него," а fictionalized autobiography of Joyce's formative years. As with "Dubliners," this story is a small-scale model not just of Dublin, but of all human life, indeed of all history and geography. The creation of such a microcosm continued to be one of Joyce's major objectives throughout his career.
Joyce had no questions about own genius and that his proper medium was fiction. He made these decisions early in his life and never deviate from them.
In his two great master novels, "Ulysses"2 and "Finnegan's Wake"3 (1939), Joyce broke completely with traditions of the Victorian novel. "Ulysses" unfolds on a single day in 1904 in the life of three people: Leopold Bloom, an Irish Jew; his wife, Molly; and Stephen Dedalus, the hero of "A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man."4 In this book Joyce further developed the stream-of-conciousness technique of moving into and recording the thought processes of characters as they went through the affairs of daily life. Each incident corresponds to an incident in Homer's "Odyssey," so that the immediate becomes historical and universal. Joyce felt that Ulysses was the most complete man ever depicted and he compares Bloom to him.
His final work, "Finnegan's Wake," takes its departure from an old folktale of the corpse that returns to life at a wake when whiskey is poured on him. The wake becomes an awakening. Weaving in and out of history, literature, and languages, Joyce creates a dense tapestry that continues to puzzle scholars. Often he creates new words or combines parts of words in a new way. Publication of Joyce's works was fraught with difficulties. The publication of "Dubliners" was held up for years because both Irish and English publishers had changed or eliminated words and phrases without his permission. "Ulysses" was banned in both the United States and England when published, and it took nine years before an American court lifted the ban. England soon followed suit.
2. "Ulysses" – «Улисс»
3. "Finnegan's Wake" – «Поминки по Финнегану»
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)
Virginia Woolf, like Joyce, and unlike Lawrence, was an aesthete. She does not seek to judge life, only to depict it. Objections have been raised that depiction without judgment is impossible, because human life cannot exist without moral decisions. But this is only to say that the characters must be shown as judging, not that the author has to be.
In Woolf s novels, plot has become only a minor element. Woolf s novels are basically a series of interior monologues, or inner soliloquies. Although she was a bold stylistic pioneer, Woolf was never popular with reading public. But she exerted a major influence on the writers that followed. There is a constant stream of publications devoted to the doings of her literary circle. "To the Lighthouse" (1930) is agreed to be her best novel because of the effective depiction of "Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay," no doubt based on her own parents. "The Waves" (1931), the most experimental of her novels, is more effective in quotation than as a whole; the best things in it are short prose-poems, Virginia Woolf‘s songs of solitude. The critics who admire Mrs. Woolf s work are divided about her rank among writers. It seems best to regard her as occasionally great but very uneven.
«Orlando» is one of the poorest novels by V. Woolf. While «Orlando» (1928) may lack the subtle internal lyricism of "Mrs. Dalloway," or the brilliant artistic revelations of "To the Lighthouse," it manages to expose, Woolf ‘s specific shortcomings as a writer. By rejecting classical techniques. Woolf simply could not transcend the traditional understanding of human nature (something that her 'colleague and contemporary, James Joyce, was able to do). Be that as it may, the writer's admirers will find this book interesting, and they are numerous indeed. Another master of 20th century world literature, Garcia Marquez, once said: "It's strange that not a single critic ever discovered the influence Virginia Woolf has had on me, an influence that truly exists. She has an atsonishingly keen perception of the world, and most importantly, a keen perception of time, and this is precisely what helped me write."
II. Read and reproduce the jokes:
1. Critic: The poets of today put plenty of fire into their verses.
Poet: The trouble with some of them is that they do not put enough of their verses into the fire.
2. Old man: Why are you looking so bad, dear boy?
Young poet: Brown does not know who Shakespeare was.
Old man: Well, how does that concern you?
Young poet: I have been thinking that one day I too may be forgotten.
3. Critic: Which are the two best novels of the year, sir?
Novelist: I am sorry, I can't tell, for I have published only one of my novels this year.
I. Read the text and do the assignments following it.
Survey of Poetry
There was a profound change in the climate of literature during the decade immediately following the end of the First World War. Poetry, which appears most contemporary in spirit, has a different look from that which preceded it. Such is the shifting character of historical reality that poems which looked important in the 1930s owing to their contemporaneity look less important in 1960. What appeared outmoded in the 1920s may be called Georgianism; what was new may be called Modernism.
One of the greatest English poets is William Butler Yeats (1865–1939). He derived a poetic style from Pre-Raphaelites and the subject matter from Celtic legend. Some of Yeats's early poems now appear precious and others such as "Down by the Salley Gardens" have become a part of the lyrical tradition of English poetry. In his middle period, that of "Responsibilities" (1914) and "The Wild Swans at Coole" (1917) he adopted a plainer, more homespun style, and themes of more immediate contemporary interest.
But it was the work of his last period that earned him his posthumous reputation as one of the most talented poets. His later poetry resolves the conflict between the romantic pseudo-philosophical and mystical side of Yeats's character and the ambitious politician: the feudal realist.
Given below is W.B. Yeats's famous poem "When You Are Old."
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look,
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep.
How many loved your moments of glad grace
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim's soul in you
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
Alfred Edward Housman (1859–1936) was a forerunner of the Georgian movement which was, during the First World War and for some years after it, the leading force in English poetry. As a movement it was very loosely co-ordinated and had no formal platform or programme.
Housman had localized his poems in the agricultural county of Shropshire, and like him the Georgians were consciously English in reaction against the Continental influences. The outbreak of war in 1914 gave the movement a still stronger patriotic impulse. Its Englishness consisted rather in an extremely articulate consciousness of the beauty of the English landscape, its ancient villages and declining rural crafts. One of the causes of the later reaction against Georgianism was its failure to take note of urban and industrial manifestations, except by way of protest.
With certain exceptions the Georgians mostly wrote short poems, free from didactic intention, simple in theme, neither strenuously passionate nor intellectually demanding. They accepted traditional lyrical forms and metres and were unexperimental.
They appealed to, and reached, a very wide public, and during the period of their ascendancy poetry achieved a popularity it has lacked since their decline.
A.E. Housman's work consists of two volumes of short poems – "A Shropshire Lad" (1896) and "Last Poem" (1922). In a short poem from the first collection he sings praise to the beauty of the English landscape which is in harmony with the youth's feeling.
In the happy field of hay,
Oh, we looked at one another
In the light of day.
In the blue and silver morning,
In the haycock as we lay,
Oh, we looked at one another
And we looked away.
In his poem "When I Was One-and-Twenty" he says:
When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
Give pounds and crowns and guineas
But not your heart away:
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free,
But I was one-and-twenty
No use to talk to me.
When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
'tis1 paid with sighs aplenty
And sold for endless rue.
And I am one-and-twenty
And oh, 'tis true, is true.
At the age of seventy-three he embodied in a single lecture his unorthodox and provocative views on "The Name and Nature of Poetry" (1932). The distinguishing marks of his poems are a concrete and economical vocabulary, a rhythm regular but without monotony, a classic brevity. These lyrics, partly because of their technical assurance and partly because of their unmistakable emotional conviction, gained wide and rapid currency. The English quality background made a strong national appeal.
Among the most prominent and prolific of the Georgians was John Masefield, whose "Salt Water Ballads" (1902) celebrated the English seafaring tradition, and made a great many readers think they were more nautically minded than they were. In 1911 "The Everlasting Mercy" inaugurated a new series of realistic narrative poems whose brutality of theme and treatment aroused considerable attention. In 1919 Masefield expressed the Englishman's love of fox-hunting in his long Chaucerian narrative of "Reynard the Fox," which attained enormous popularity. As a lyric and reflective poet he was somewhat neglected, and his wide appeal was due to his fellow-country-men's love of action.
Walter de la Mare also made his first appearance in 1902 with "Songs of Childhood." This was followed by further collections of short of unusual imaginative quality, notable "The Listeners" (1912) and "Peacock Pie" (1913), one of the most beautiful books of poems of his generation.
Tom sang for joy and Ned sang for joy
and old Sam sang for joy;
All we four boys piped up loud, just like one boy;
And the ladies that sat with the Squire,
their cheeks were all wet,
For the noise of the voice of us, boys,
when we sang our Quartette.
1. Read the text and do the assignments following it.
Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888–1965)
An American by birth and early training, T.S. Eliot settled in England in 1914 and became a British citizen in 1927. Since he published his first volume of poems ("Prufrock,"1 1917) T.S. Eliot had gradually overcome the incomprehension of critics and has won an authority such as no other poet in English has ever enjoyed an authority as a poet seconded by his prestige as a critic, publicist and playwright. His poetry and criticism embraced a tradition from Homer to Dante and Shakespeare and included a special preference for the 17th century English metaphysical poets and the French symbolists. His technique was formed out of learned reference and echoes from Ecclesiastes, Shakespeare, Dante, Homer and classical myths mingling strangely with slang, scraps of popular music, poetry and scenes from high and low life in contemporary London.
"The Waste Land"2 (1922), the masterpiece of his earlier manner, expresses powerfully, through the use of ancient myths translated into contemporary social life, man's need for Salvation. The poem was generally read as giving voice to the disillusionment of the post-war world.
With years Eliot became aescetic and contemplative and developed a more composed lyrical style to suit his new meditative manner ("Ash Wednesday,"3 1930)».
From 1935 he experimented with the verse drama ("Murder in the Cathedral," "Family Reunion," "The Cocktail Party").
Eliot received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1948, with a citation recognizing his innovations in modern poetry. The poems of T.S. Eliot together with his critical essays are now regarded as among the most influential literary documents of the twentieth century. As a critic puts it, "we owe an immense debt to Eliot for extending the range of English poetry. But it is a chilling reflection of the poet and on his age that so distinguished a writer should have spent so much of his energy in negation."
2. "The Waste Land" – поэма «Бесплодная земля»
3. "Ash Wednesday" – поэма «Пепельная среда»
4. "Four Quartets" – «Четыре квартета»
II. Translate into Russian the following phrases and use them in your own sentences:
the first volume of poems; to win an authority as; one's prestige as a critic, publicist and playwright; scenes from high and low life; aescetic; contemplative; to develop a more composed lyrical style; a mature masterpiece; the starting point for one's probing into; to receive the Nobel Prize; innovations in modern poetry; the most influential literary documents; for extending the range of English poetry.
III. Speak on the creative work of T.S. Eliot, the leading poet of the English-speaking nations. Use some additional material.
IV. Learn the poems. Try to translate them into Russian.
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still.
(From "Collected Poems")
An every phrase
And sentence that is right
(where every word is at home),
Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious,
An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity,
The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together
Every phrase and every sentence is
an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph.
Слава Т.С. Элиота давно перешагнула границы англоязычного мира. В 1948 году ему была присуждена Нобелевская премия. Сочинение критических статей о нем, по верному определению А. Мортона, стало крупной отраслью литературной индустрии Запада: написанное об Элиоте в сотни раз превосходит его собственное литературное наследие. Причины огромного и до сих пор не ослабевающего интереса к Элиоту разнообразны. Главная в том, что он оказался великим обновителем английской поэзии. Семидесятилетний Йетс, не будучи поклонником музы Элиота, признал его наиболее революционным поэтом своего времени, имея в виду стилистический переворот, который произошел в английской поэзии в 10–20-е годы и в котором Элиоту принадлежала ведущая роль.
2. modernism, phenomenon, to break away from, established literary traditions, extravagance of forms, approach, to assert, associativeness, prefer to, rational meaning.
Модернизм (от лат. modernus – новый, современный) – общее обозначение явлений искусства и литературы XX века, порывающих с традициями и утверждающих новый подход к изображению жизни. Основная черта модернизма – метафорическое построение образа по принципу ассоциативности. Модернисты предпочитали рациональной мысли экстравагантность формы.
VI. Choose the right word (criticism, worship, unfounded, universal, influence, delivered) and insert it in the the text.
Thomas Stearns Eliot
"The Use of Poetry"
For the first time in Russia, a collection of critical articles by the great British poet, essayist, and Nobel Prize laureate has appeared. One of the major spiritual teachers of contemporary times, Eliot had an enormous (___) on modern poetry and literary (_____), talk of his intellectual diktat, which was popular in the middle of the century, was obviously not (___). Despite this, Eliot's ideas (denial of freedom of choice, avoidance of emotion, (___ ) of tradition, etc.) look fairly debatable and largerly conditional on his personal experience. However, there is no doubt that it was Eliot who, like no one else, was able to return a (____) scale to poetry and cross the border into a new epoch in poetry. The book includes a series of lectures "The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism," (___) at Harvard University from November, 1932, through March, 1933, as well as articles from various years devoted to the subtleties of poetic mastery or to different poets (Dante, Byron, Keats).
VII. Answer the following questions:
1. What writers were preoccupied with experiments in form and structure?
2. What common features were typical of modernists?
3. Why do you think modernism deserves the attention of the reader?
4. What is it preoccupied with?
5. Have you read any books by Lawrence or Joyce?
2. What is vice today may be virtue tomorrow.
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