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wisdom ['wizdom] n мудрость

Questions and Tasks

  1. Where was Chesterton born?

  2. Where was he educated?

  3. How did he begin his literary career?

  4. What were the three main areas of his writings?

  5. Comment on them.

  6. What do readers value most highly in his work?

  7. Speak on his novels and detective stories.

  8. Prove that Chesterton was a prolific writer.

  9. What is his contribution to English literature?

Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

William Somerset Maugham [mo:m] is one of the best known writers of the present day. He was not only a novelist of considerable rank, but also one of the most successful dramatists and short-story writer.

William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris in 1874. His father was a solicitor for the British Embassy. His mother died when he was eight. Two years later his father fol­lowed, and the orphan child was sent to his uncle, a clergyman in Whiteable, Kent. At thirteen he was sent to Kings School, Can- ,„....

3 William Somerset Maugham



terbury, with an intention that he should go to Oxford and prepare to enter the church.

But he had always wanted to write, and in 1890 he went abroad and studied at the University of Heidelberg, from which he re­turned in 1892. According to his uncle's will he had to choose a profession and he chose medicine, thus entering St Tomas Hos­pital in London. In 1898 he got his medical degree, but he never practised, except for a year in the Lambeth slums.

Of this period of his life he writes: "All this was a valuable ex­perience to me. I do not know a better training for a writer than to spend some years in the medical profession.

In those six years I must have witnessed pretty well every emo­tion of which man is capable. It appealed to my dramatic instinct. It excited the novelist in me. I saw how men died. I saw how they bore pain. I saw what hope looked like, fear and relief. I saw dark lines that despair drew on a face".

His experience in treating the sick in the slums gave Maugham material for his first work, Liza of Lambeth (1897), a realistic novel characterized by a powerful photographic por­traiture of life. After that he decided to devote his life to litera­ture. Soon after the publication of his first novel Maugham went to Spain and then travelled to all parts of the world. He visited Russia, America, Asia and the Polyneisian Islands, and wherever he was, he always sought material for his books. He was a keen observer of life and individuals.

During World War I he enlisted with a Red Ambulance Unit. Later he was transferred to the Intelligence Service (Secret Service). Early in the 1930's Maugham settled down near Paris. At the outbreak of World War II he was appointed to special work at the British Min­istry of Information in Paris. The Nazi advance overtook him there; he managed, however, to reach England, leaving behind him all his belongings and many of his unfinished manuscripts. In the years following he settled down in England.

The most mature period of Maugham's literary career began in 1915, when he published one of his most popular novels Of Human Bondage. It was started in 1905, abandoned for a time and then taken up again. The book is considered to be his masterpiece.

Cakes and Ale (1930) was named by Maugham himself to be best of his books. It represents the backstage life of literary pro­fession.

The revolt of the individual against the accepted customs of society is a theme which has always fascinated Somerset Maugham. It inspired his novel The Moon and Sixpence (1919).

The novel which has rather an unusual plot is partly based on the life story of the famous French painter Gauguin, [дэг/gaen] who was an innovator and rebel in art.

The hero of the novel, Charles Strickland, is a prosperous stock­broker. At the age of forty he leaves his wife and children and goes to Paris, where he devotes himself to painting. Strickland is aware of all the hardships in store for him1, but his desire to paint is so strong that no arguments can convince him'to change his decision to devote his life to art.

Strickland's life in Paris is "a bitter struggle against every sort of difficulty". But the hardships do not affect him. He is indifferent to comfort. Canvas and paint are the only things he needs.

Strickland does not care for fame. Nor does he care for wealth. He does not sell his pictures and he is almost starving. His only aim in life is to create beauty. The only person who understands Strickland's creative genius is the painter Dirk Stroeve ['straw]. Trying to save Strickland from a terrible disease and starvation, Dirk Stroeve brings him home where he sacrifices his time, his comfort and his money for Strickland. But instead of gratitude Strickland shows his inhumanity towards Dirk Stroeve. He seduces Stroeve's wife Blanche who falls in love with him. When Strickland takes no more interest in her, she commits suicide. These two men with their sharply contrasting characters are equally responsible for Blanche Stroeve's tragic death, which is caused both by her husband's kindness and by Strickland's cruelty.

Thus after years of resultless struggle in Paris Strickland moves to Marseilles [ma: 'seilz]. He spends about four months at Mar-

1 in store for him — которые ждут его впереди



Other most prominent works by Somerset Maugham are the novels: Theatre (1937) and the Razor's Edge (1944). He has written nineteen novels, twenty-four plays and a large number of short stories, in addition to travel works and an autobiography.

Few of his plays have stood the test of time. He is primarily a short-story writer and a novelist.

The most popular stories are Rain, The Unconquered, Gigolo and Gigolette, The Man with the Scar, The Luncheon. A realistic portrayal of life, keen character observation, interesting plots, beautiful, expressive language and a simple style, all place Somer­set Maugham on a level with the greatest English writers of the 20th century.

seilles where he finds it impossible to earn the small sum he needs to keep body and soul together. His imagination being haunted for a long time by "an island all green and sunny, encircled by sea more blue than is found in the Northern latitude", he de­cides to go to the South Seas. By a chance of luck he boards a ship bound for Australia, where he works as a stoker thus get­ting to Tahiti [ta 'hitlj. There he marries a Polynesian woman Ata and devotes the rest of his life to painting. Strickland dies of leprosy.

According to his will his wife burns their house the walls of which had been covered from ceiling to floor with compositions by Strickland. Only on discovering some canvases Strickland had once put aside during his years of unrewarded work, the world art realizes it has lost a genius. Strickland is concentrated on his art. He is indifferent to love, friendship and kindness. He ruins the life of Dirk Stroeve and is wife who nursed him when he was dangerously ill. He does not care for his own wife and children and brings misfortune to all the people who come in touch with him. But on the other hand we cannot deny his talent as an artist, a creator of beauty. Strickland cannot care for anything else but art as art is the only means for him to express himself.

Society, however, is hardly ever patient with geniuses. Most often a genius has to die before he is acknowledged.

Maugham shows how blind the bourgeois public is to real beauty. Later Strickland's works are bought by the public because it is fashionable to have them in one's flat.

Another important character of the novel, Dirk Stroeve, is a very kind man, but a bad artist, though he possesses a keen sense of beauty and is the first to appreciate Strickland's talent. Stroeve paints easily and is able to satisfy the vulgar tastes of the public.

The author shows that the public lacks imagination, therefore real art is as far for the rich as the moon is. The title serves to Maugham as a symbol for two opposing worlds — the material world which is left by Strickland, where everything is thought of in terms of money and the world of art.


abandon [a'baendan] v оставлять

acknowledge [sk'nohcfc] v признавать

affect jVfekt] v влиять

ambulance ['aembjubns] л врачебный пункт

appeal [э'рй] v привлекать

aware [s'wes] а знающий to be aware сознавать

backstage ['baek'steicfc] а закулисный

bear [Ьеэ] v(bore; born) переносить

bore [bo:] past от bear

considerable [ksn'sidarebl] а большой

despair [dis'pea] n отчаяние

emotion [I'maufan] п чувство

enlist [m'hst] v зачислять

fascinate ['faesmeit] v приводить в вос­хищение

haunt [ho:nt] v не давать покоя; пре­следовать

innovator ['mauveita] n новатор

lack [lsek] v не хватать

latitude ['lsetitju:d] n широта

leprosy ['lepresi] n проказа

mature [ma'tjua] а зрелый Nazi [na:tsi] а нацистский opposing [э 'pauzirj] а противостоя­щий outbreak ['autbreik] n начало portraiture ['po:tntfa] n портрет primarily [ 'praimanli] adv первона­чально rank [rserjk] n ранг rebel [n'bel] n бунтарь revolt [гГvault] n бунт seduce [sa'dju:s] v соблазнять seek [si:k] v (sought) искать slum [skm] n p/трущобы solicitor [sa'hsita] n юрисконсульт sought [so:t] post и р. р. от seek stockbroker [„stok'breuka] n биржевой

маклер stoker ['stauka] n кочегар transfer [trsens'f3:] v переводить treat [tri:t] v лечить

unrewarded [Ann'wo:did] а невознаг­ражденный



Questions and Tasks

  1. Say a few words about Somerset Maugham's life.

  2. What was his first work?

  3. When did the most mature period of Maugham's literary career begin?

  4. What is the main theme of the novel The Moon and Sixpence?

  5. Give a brief summary of the contents of The Moon and Sixpence.

  6. Discuss the main character of the novel Charles Strickland.

  7. In what way did Strickland fulfil the purpose of his life?

  8. Which character is shown as an antipode to Charles Strickland?

  9. What idea does Maugham deal with in the novel?

  1. What can you say about the title of the book?

  2. Name some other prominent works by Somerset Maugham.

  3. What stories by Somerset Maugham are the most popular?

  4. Speak on Somerset Maugham's place in English literature.

Edward Morgan Forster (1879-1970)

Edward Morgan Forster belongs to the elder generation of the 20th century writers. He was educated at Tonbridge School and King's College, Cambridge. Forster gradually became interested in literature, and wrote a novel at twenty, but it was never completed. After his graduation he began to write short sto­ries, some of which appeared in print.

When he had left Cambridge he lived for a time in Italy writing there two novels: Where Angels Fear to Tread (1905) Edward Morgan Forster and A Room with a View (1908). These

novels had an Italian background, but The Longest Journey (1907) dealt with Tonbridge and Cambridge. Forster returned to Eng­land in 1907, delivered lectures at the Working Men's College,

and finished off A Room With a View, which was soon followed by Howards End (1910), his most mature novel thus far1.

In 1911 Forster was engaged in literary journalism. He wrote a play The Heart of Bosnia, which never saw the stage. Then he went to India, where he collected material for what was to be his novel. During World War I he was in Alexandria faelig'zaendna], doing civilian war work. While there he contributed to the Egyptian [i' cfeipjan] Mail a number of studies and wrote Alexandria: a History and Guide (1922).

After the war Forster returned to London and did a great deal reviewing several daily papers, acting for a short time as literary editor of the Labour Daily Herald.

He went to India again in 1921 and in 1924 brought out A Pas­sage to India, which is considered his best work. It is a brilliant study of the difficulties experienced by an Indian and some Eng­lish people; and it won prizes in 1925.

In 1927 Forster was invited to Cambridge to deliver lectures on his Aspects of the Novel (the book appeared in the same year).

In 1928 he published The Eternal Moment, a collection of short stories. Another production of the twenties Abinger Harvest (1926) consists of some reprints of reviews and articles out of various jour­nals. He has also written essays collected in Two Cheers for Demo­cracy (1951).

Forster's power of characterization, his wit, and irony, and the peculiarity of his style places the author on a level with the greatest writers of his time.


civilian [si'viljan] a гражданский contribute [kan'tnbju:t] уделать вклад;

сотрудничать peculiarity [pi^ku:lfaenti] n особенность

reprint ['ri:'print] n новое неизменен­ное издание review [n'vju:] n обзор

1 thus far — до сих пор



A Passage to India

In 1911 Forster had the opportunity to live in India, and it meant a great deal to him as a novelist. A Passage to India arose from his own experience. It is a novel about the relations of Englishmen living in India as representatives of the British Empire on the one hand and the natives of India on the other hand.

The novel is divided in 3 sections: Mosque frrrosk], Caves and Temple, and each depicts different scenes from Anglo-Indian life. The novel begins with Mrs Moore's and Miss Quested's arrival in India with a view to visit Mrs Moore's son Ronny, a government official in the colonial country.

The general meaning of the first part of the novel is best ex­pressed in the scene between Mrs Moore and Aziz, a young Indian doctor whom she meets in a mosque. In a dialogue they reach a surprisingly friendly relationship and mutual sympathy. From this scene and from similar episodes the reader comes to the conclu­sion that the communication between Britons and Indians is pos­sible.

Adela Quested feels real sympathy towards the native inha­bitants of the country, and wants to get closely acquainted with their way of life. Thus when Aziz proposes a trip to the Marabar Caves, it seems that the expedition will be a triumph of Anglo-Indian friendship.

But Ronny, the official representative of the English govern­ment, interprets the episode as a native insolence.

Adela and Ronny quarrel rather bitterly over Aziz's invitation. Seing Ronny's arrogance, Adela suddenly realizes that she has left out love in deciding to marry him. The connection between the caves and the unsatisfactoriness of marriage is made at various points in the narrative of Adela's and Ronny's engagement.

But after the tour to the Marabar Caves had taken place, the caves symbolized the failure of all communication between the two nations: the English and the Indians.

Doctor Aziz is brought to trial for having molested Miss Quested in the Caves. At the trial Adela understands everything, and is sure that Aziz did not assault her.

But their attempt to make some kind of contact between an Englishman and an Indian failed completely.

In the last section of the novel Temple the author describes a meet­ing between Aziz and Mr Fielding who defended him at the trial. It is a story about an Englishman and an Indian who are trying to under­stand each other to resume their relationship. But this attempt is a failure.

For a brief time Fielding and Aziz are friends, but their friendship is unstable. In the concluding words of the novel we are told that "The Temples" do not want them to be friends.

Forster as a social observer describes Anglo-Indian relations, and shows that they split completely, with the exception of Mrs Moore, Miss Quested and Mr Fielding who are always informal and honest with the Indians.

Mrs Moore is one of the central figures of the novel. She expresses Forster's own point of view, his belief that democracy is a kind of medicine for all human diseases; tolerance, sympathy and good will are all that really count.

The attitude of the heroes of the novel shows that they are firmly convinced that personal relationship is more important than the relations of the countries.

But the social wrongs the Indians suffered so long do not allow them to appreciate the few honest Englishmen who have no prejudices against their community.

Although Forster's sympathy is with those who feel the necessity of friendly relations, he fails to see that friendship and human contact among people of different nations is possible without equality in their relationship.


arrogance ['aeragans] n высокомерие molest [mau'lest] v приставать

assault [a'so:lt] v подвергать нападкам mosque [rrmsk] n мечеть

attitude ['astitjir.d] n отношение narrative ['nasratrv] n рассказ

community [кэ'mjuimti] n сообщество prejudice f preqjudis] n предубеждение

exception [ik'sepfan] n исключение resume [n'zjurm] v возобновлять

insolence ['insalans] n наглость, дерзость similar ['simila] а подобный

interpret [m't3:pnt] v объяснять split [split] v (split) разрушать



temple ['tempi] n храм unsatisfactoriness ['лп,satis'fektgrmis]

tolerance ['tobrens] n терпимость п неудовлетворенность

trial [traisl] n суд unstable [An'steibl] а неустойчивый

Questions and Tasks

  1. Relate the story of Forster's life. Name his notable works.

  2. What novel is considered to be his best work?

  3. What can you say about the plot and the main characters of A Pc to India?

  4. What is the main theme of the novel?

  5. What character of the book is Forster's sympathy with?

  6. What character of the novel expresses Forster's own point of view?

  7. What places Forster on a level with the greatest writers of his time?

English Literature of the 20th Century

(the 20s-30s)

The years between 1917 and 1930 form the first period in Eng­lish 20th century literature. These were years of changes. Basic religious and political beliefs were guestioned by more people. The crisis of the bourgeois world reached its highest point. The writers of this period were greatly influenced by various decadent philo­sophical theories which led to the creation of works marked by great pessimism.

A symbolic method of writing had already started early in the 20th century. Along with works of Critical Realism produced by Shaw, Wells and Galsworthy there were writers who refused to acknowledge reality as such. They thought reality to be superficial. They were sure that everything that happened, — that is, what led to events — was the irrational, the unconscious and the mystical in man. These writers called the inner psychological process "the stream of consciousness" and based a new literary technigue on it.

The most important author who used this new literary technigue was James Joyce (1882— 1941). Decadence marks his works. He


influenced many writers. A remoteness from actuality is clearly seen in the works of Virginia Woolf (1882— 1941). Mystification on contemporary society are to be traced in the works of Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894-1963). Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965) belongs to the same trend of writers for whom individualism and pessimism became the most chracteristic traits.

The second period in the development of English literature was the decade between 1930 and World War II.

The thirties are marked by an acute struggle of the writers realists representing different generations against decadent and modernist tendencies in English literature.

While the works of some writers are imbued with progressive ideas there are many writers who take a neutral position of non­interference.

Questions and Tasks

  1. Characterize the years between 1917 and 1930.

  2. What were the writers of this period greatly influenced by?

  3. When did a symbolic method start?

  4. What writers were there along with the writers of Critical Realism?


acknowledge [ak'rralicfc] v признавать

actuality [,sektju'aeliti] n действитель­ность

acute [a'kju:t] а острый

contemporary [кэп Четрэгэп] о со­временный

crisis ['kraisis] n кризис

decadence fdekgdons] n декадентство, упадничество

decadent ['dekgdsnt] а декадентский, упадочнический

generation [^азепэ'ге1|эп] n поколение

imbue [im'bju:] а насыщать; наполнять

inner ['тэ] о внутренний


irrational [i'rajbnl] о неразумный, не­рациональный

mystification Lmistifi'keijbn] n мисти­фикация

neutral ['nju:tral] а нейтральный

non-interference ['rmn^mta'fiarens] n невмешательство

philosophical [ ,fib 'snfiksl] а фило­софский

remoteness [n'msutms] n отдаление

superficial [^sjurps'fijbl] а поверхност­ный, неглубокий

symbolic [sim'tmhk] а символический

technique [tek'ni:k] n метод

theory ['бюп] п теория

trace [treis] v находить

unconscious [An'kmijas] а бессозна­тельный

  1. Comment on a new literary technique.

  2. What author used this new literary technique?

  3. Speak about the writers for whom remoteness from actuality, mystification of society, pessimism became the most characteristic traits.

  4. When was the second period in the development of English literature of the 20th century?

  5. Comment on the works of the writers of this period.

James Joyce (1882-1941)

James Joyce was born in Dublin on February 2, 1882. His family was middle class and very large. He was educated at a Catholic School, then at a Jesuit col­lege, and finally at University College, Dublin. His school interests were Lan­guages, Poetry, Latin and Philosophy.

James Joyce

James Joyce first published work was a volume of poems called Chamber Music (music played with a small group of instruments) (1907). He wrote in many genres. In 1914 Joice wrote Dub-liners, a collection of fifteen short stories set in Dublin. "It is a chapter of the moral history of my country", Joyce comment­ed. It has become one of the best known books of its time.The short story form, dating back to the middle years of the 19th century, is used by Joyce in this collection of tales to show the lives and experi­ences of people in Dublin.

Joyce analyses Dublin as a city which cannot change, and whose people are dying. The collection starts with Eveline, a story of ado­lescence, and finishes with the story The Dead, the title of which signifies the conclusion both of the life and of the book. Each story presents a moment of self realization in the life of one per­son from Dublin. Joyce took inspiration for his short stories from Anton Chekhov.

235 «

The same theme is found in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, published in 1914—1915. This is almost an authobiography, although the hero is called Stephen Dedalus ['stirvn 'deddlos].

He wants to become a writer, like Joyce himself, and finally has to leave Ireland to find his true voice as an artist.

He says, near the end of the novel: "I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fa­therland or my church, and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use, silence, exile1 and cunning2"


In 1922, James Joyce's Ulysses FjuJisiz] was published. It was published in Paris, and immediately caused great controversy — some people saw it as the most important novel of the country, but for others, including the British authorities, it was obscene, and was banned until 1936.

The novel concerns the experiences of two men during one day, 16th June, 1904, in Dublin, and one of the main characters, is Stephen Dedalus again. Leopold ['liapsuld] Bloom and Molly Bloom are the other main figures in the novel, which follows the two men through a day, and ends with a stream-of-consciousness monologue by Molly: "What shall I wear shall I wear a white rose those cakes in Liptons I love the smell of a rich big shop at 7 V2d a pound or the other ones with cherries in them of course a nice plant for the middle of the table I love flowers I'd love to have the whole place swimming in roses".

Molly's thoughts and feelings here flow in a stream of con­sciousness. There is no punctuation as thoughts, memories and reflections move into one another.

Joyce also uses a wide range of references as well as using the styles of many works of literature from The Odyssey of Homer1, on which the structure of Ulysses is based, through Chaucer to the moderns. Joyce wanted to write the novel that was the climax of the traditions of English literature.

And after Ulysses he went further. He wrote Finnegan's Wake, which was finally published in 1939. Joyce took the novel and language to new limits. It is a highly experimental novel and very surprising to read. The main theme is Fall and Resurrection, told about Dublin settings. The novel uses dreams, play on words, in­vented words and jokes to make a unigue text.


Jesuit ['(feezjiKt] а иезуитский mode [maud] n образ действий

mode of life образ жизни obsence [t)b'si:n] а неприличный reference ['refrsns] л ссылка reflection [п'АекГэп] л размышление resurrection ^гегэ'гекГэп] л возрожде­ние signify ['signrfai] v означать unique [ju:'ni:k] а удивительный

adolescence [,sedau'lesns] n юность

analyse ['senslaiz] v анализировать

ban [been] v запрещать

climax ['klaimeeks] n кульминационный пункт

comment fknmant] v комментировать; объяснять

controversy ['ktmtrevasi] n спор, дис­куссия

genre [за:пг] л литературный жанр

inspiration [jnspa'reijbn] л вдохновение

Questions and Tasks

  1. When was James Joyce born?

  2. Where was he educated?

  3. What were his school interests?

  4. What was Joyce's first published work?

  5. Speak on Joyce's collection of short stories Dubliners.

  6. What can you say about the plot and the main character of Joyce's novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'?

  7. Give a brief summary of the contents of the novel Ulysses.

  8. Comment on Joyce's last novel Finnegan's Wake.

1 exile — departure from your own country

2 cunning — cleverness

1 The Odyssey frxiisi] of Homer ['пэитэ] — «Одиссея» Гомера, легендарного греч. поэта



Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Virginia Woolf [va'dsinja'wulf] was born in London in 1882. She had two brothers, Thoby and Adrian, and one sister, Vanes­sa. Her mother, Julia, died in 1895, when Virginia was thirteen years old.

Her father, Leslie Stephen flezh 'stirra],

was a noted intellectual of the day, a phi­
losopher and a critic. He was connected
with many of the leading artists and writers
of that period. After the death of his wife,
he became depressed and suffered a great Virginia Woolf


Virginia's early life was very hard. She witnessed her father's depression and suffered a mental breakdown herself after her mother's death. She was to suffer another breakdown in 1914, when her father died, this time trying to commit suicide.

After the death of their father, Thoby, Adrian, Vanessa and Vir­ginia moved to Bloomsbury, and the two sisters began experiment­ing, painting and writing. Their house in Bloomsbury became the centre of literary interest among the intellectuals and artists of that time — the Bloomsbury Group.

In 1917 Virginia, now married to Leonard [ 'lerad] Woolf, started the publishing company that printed, apart from some of Virginia's own work, Thomas Stearns Eliot1, Edward Morgan Forster and Virginia's best friend, Katherine Mansfield2.

Virginia Woolf s first novel was The Voyage Out (1915). It was followed by Night and Day (1919). Then in 1922, she pub­lished Jacob's Room. It was set during the first World War, and

1 Thomas Steams ['st3:nz] Eliot (1888 — 1965) — Томас Стернз Элиот, англ.

поэт-модернист, драматург

2 Katherine Mansfield [' mffinsffid] (1888 — 1923) Кэтрин Мэнсфилд, англ.


tells a story very close to the death of the authors's own brother Thoby. It was the first of her novels to use the impressionistic technique which were to make her famous. She wanted to leave realism, and move into a new kind of expression which would allow a more internal exploration of the described events and emotions. She continued this in her next novels, Mrs Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927). In The Waves (1931), which is her most experimental novel, Woolf shows six different charac­ters, all at different points in their lives, and explores how they are each affected by the death of someone well known to all of them.

Orlando (1928) is a very literary fantasy which takes its main character from the Elizabethan age to modern times, and through a change of sex, as he/she meets all sorts of literary and historic figures.

She spoke out for women, particularly in A Room of One's Own (1929). She also published a lot of criticism, such as The Com­mon Reader (two series, 1925 and 1932). Her final works The Years (1937) and Between the Acts (1941) continue her experiments, and prove her to be one of the most important and original novelists of the 20th century.

Virginia Woolf committed suicide in 1941.


affect [a'fekt] v влиять internal [m't3:nl] а внутренний

apart [a'pa:t] adv отдельно mental ['mentl] о умственный

apart from кроме того noted ['nsutid] a известный

breakdown ['breikdaun] n расстройство witness ['witnis] v быть свидетелем

Questions and Tasks

  1. Relate the main facts of Virginia Woolf's life.

  2. What was her first novel?

  3. Give a brief account of Woolf's literary career.

  4. What were the main literary principles of Virginia Woolf?

  5. What is the contribution of Woolf to English literature?


Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965)

Thomas Steams Eliot ['rom3s'st3:nz 'eljat] was born in America, in St Louis, Missouri in 1888. His family had emi­grated from England in the 17th cen­tury, to Massachusetts, and had played an active part in the spiritual and intel­lectual life of the growing nation. Tho­mas Stearns Eliot was educated first in St Louis and then went to Harward. At Harward Eliot developed his interest in poetry, writing, contributing and editing the literary review The Har­ward Advocate.

In 1910 Eliot left America and went to Paris to study at the Sorbonne. In 1914 he went to Oxford, where he wrote his doctoral thesis.

In England, Eliot quickly made a home. His first volume was pub­lished in 1917. This was Prufrock and Other Observations. It con-tains one of Eliot's best-known poems The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock which was first published in 1915. The poem shows Eliot's way of writing — he uses images, fragments and memorable phrases to build up a broad picture of the character, his anxieties, and his time. The poem is about time, and wasted time and how the different inner parts of the character of Prufrock grow old and see his life become more and more meaningless:

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons

I grow old... I grow old

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

We understand from the poem that J. Alfred Prufrock, a bit of dandy, worried about his clothes, going bald and growing old, unsuccessfully tries to find the courage and finally feels the enor­mous futility of his life falling on him.

Should I after tea and cakes and ices

Have the courage to force the moment to its crisis.

He suffers terrible self-agonies, as memoires fill his conscious­ness. He is constantly aware of the passing of time, but not the clock time of the modern period; he measures the passing of time with "coffee spoons", with the changing light and the afternoons becoming evenings. He physically feels himself ageing and is unable to act, to be or to do.

In 1922 Thomas Stearns Eliot published The Waste Land and, ever since, it has been considered the most important single poem of the century. It takes the ideas of time, and waste, already found in Prufrock and extends them to all societies, all times, and all cultures. It is a poem full of references to other texts, and is one of the most complex.

The subject of the poem is the collapse of spirituality in modern society, and with it, the cultural and spiritual desolation of the world. The poet expresses his desire to reconstruct civilization.

The poem begins with an echo of Chaucer's Prologue to the Canterbury Tales. Chaucer writes of the sweet showers of spring, using April as the month which brings the coming of spring, but Eliot changes that positive idea with the words:

April is the cruelest month.

The poem then goes on to describe London, and the image of all the poem is of wastelands, deserts — the same kind of futi­lity.

The image of the wasteland has come to be one of the most common images of modern times, and Eliot's poem has been dis­cussed and examined by a great many cities.

Eliot believed that post-First World War Europe had become a "waste land" due to the cultural and spiritual desolation.

By 1930, Eliot had entered into a new phase of poetic produc­tion. Ash Wednesday, a deeply spiritual poem, was followed by other "religious" works, including Murder in the Cathedral, a verse drama, The Four Quartets, published between 1936— 1942, and the play The Family Reunion (1939).



futility [fju:'tiliti] n пустота measure ['шезэ] v измерять memorable ['тетэгэЫ] а незабыва­емый prologue ['prsuhxj] n пролог reference ['refsrsns] n ссылка revival [n'vaivsl] л возрождение shower fjaus] n ливень spiritual ['spiritjsl] а духовный spirituality Lspintju'celiti] n духовность thesis ['9i:sis] n диссертация wasteland ['weistlaend] n пустошь
In 1947 Thomas Stearns Eliot was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He continued his revival of verse-drama and poetic plays, writing three more plays, The Cocktail Party (1950), The Confidential Clerk ( 1954) and The Elder Statesman (1959).

Thomas Stearns Eliot died in London in 1965 at the age of 77. His influence on English literature was enormous, not only from the point of view of his creative work, but also for his critical articles and essays. He is considered by many critics to be the most important poet in English in the 20th century.


age [eidj] v стареть agony ['аедэш] n мука anxiety [serj'zaisti] n тревога collapse [ka'lseps] n крах, крушение consciousness ['kmijbsms] n сознание constantly ['krmstanth] adv постоянно desolation [^desaTeifan] n опустошение echo ['екэи] п подражание edit ['edit] v редактировать enormous [I'rmnas] а огромный extend [iks'tend] v распространять fragment ['fraegmgnt] n фрагмент; от­рывок

Questions and Tasks

  1. Where was Thomas Stearns Eliot born?

  2. Where was he educated?

  3. What was his first volume?

  4. What Eliot's best-known poem does it contain?

  5. What is the main idea of the poem?

  6. What Eliot's poem has been considered the most important one of the century?

  1. Comment on the subject of the poem The Waste Land.

  2. Characterize the late period of Eliot's literary activity.

  3. When did he die?

  4. Speak on Eliot's place in English literature.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Aldous Leonard Huxley ['o:kfos 'lenad 'h/\ksli] was born on July 26, 1894, into a family that included some of the most distinguished members of the English intellectual elite.

Aldous Leonard Huxley

Aldous'father was the son of Tho­mas Henry Huxley1, a great biolo­gist. His mother was the sister of Mrs Humphrey Ward2, the novelist; the niece of Matthew Arnold3, the poet; and the grand-daughter of Thomas Arnold4, a famous educator and the real-life headmaster of Rugby School.

Undoubtedly Huxley's heritage and upbringing had an effect on his work. But his own experiences made him stand apart from the class into which he was born. Even as a small child he was con­sidered different, showing an alertness, an intelligence, what his brother called a superiority. He was respected and loved for these abilities.

When Huxley was 16 and a student at the prestigious school Eton, an eye illness made him nearly blind. He recovered enough vision to go on to Oxford University and graduate with honors, but not enough to fight in World War I, an important experience for many of his friends, or to do the scientific work he had dreamed of. Scientific ideas remained with him, however, and he used them in many of his books.

1 Thomas Henry Huxley (1825- 1895) — Томас Генри Хаксли, англ. биолог

2 Humphrey Ward ['riAmfhword] (1851 -1920) — Хамфри Уорд, англ. писа­

3 Matthew Arnold [masGju:' u:nld] (1822 -1988) — Мэтью Арнольд, англ. поэт

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Английская и американская литература: Курс лекций для школьников старших классов и студентов / Тексты, примеч. Н. Л. Утевской. — СПб.: Учитель и ученик КОРОНА принт, 2002. — 384 с.

ISBN 5-7931-0176-4

Книга представляет собой лекции по программе, утвержденной для школ с углубленным изучением английского языка. Лекции включают краткий и емкий обзор различных литературных направлений, стилей, школ, а также жизнеописание и анализ творчества писателей и поэтов за последние де­сять веков. Пособие окажет неоценимую помощь учащимся и преподавате­лям школ и вузов, а также всем изучающим английский язык.


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