Курс лекций для школьников старших классов и студентов Saint Petersburg corona print Uchitel & Uchenic


Download 2.29 Mb.
Size2.29 Mb.
TypeКурс лекций
1   ...   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   ...   20


and Italy, settled in Paris where he lived until his death, concen­trating on writing.

In Paris, he became friends with many leading intellectual figures of the day. including James Joyce, and dedicated him­self to studying and writing.

During the war, Beckett joined the French Resistence and fought against the Fascist occupation of France. He was arrested in 1942, as a result of his activities, and went into hiding, spend­ing the rest of the war period working on the land in Provence1. After the war, he visited Ireland for a short period, before re­turning to France as an interpreter with the red Cross. He set­tled in Paris in 1946.

(Beckett's literary production includes prose, novels and short stories, poetry, drama and critical essays. In 1921 he published Dante... Bruno... Vico... Joyce, a collection of critical essays, and the monograph, Proust [pru:st] in 1931. More Pricks than Kicks (1934) was his first experiment with the short story genre, fol­lowed in 1938 by his first novel Murphy. In 1944 he wrote the experimental novel Watt that was published in 1953. This was

followed by a trilogy of novels Molloy( 1955), Malone Dies (1956) and The Unnameable (1958). In all, Beckett wrote more than nine novels and seven volumes of shorter fiction.

The play Wayting for Godot was published first in French in 1952 and was translated into English in 1954. It was immediately received with critical appraisal and met with mu«:h popular in­terest. Some other plays are Krapp's Last Tape (1959), Happy Days (1961) Not /(1973) and Breath (1970).

Beckett had found a big English-speaking public that had

never read his novels. Controversy and scandal surrounded the
dramatic works of Beckett, but he also benefited from the ap­
preciation in literary critics and directors. He was awarded the
Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. >

Samuel Beckett died in Paris in 1989.

'Provence ['pro:'vu:ns] — ист. провинция Прованс (Франция)



Waiting for Godot

The absurd play Waiting for Godot was produced for the first time at the Theatre de Babylone, Paris on January 5, 1953.

It was translated into more than twenty languages, including English (1954). The first English performance was at the Arts The­atre Club, London in August 1955, where it was so successful that it was transferred to the West End, the home of commercial Eng­lish theatre.

The play is divided into two acts. In Act I, the two central charac­ters, Estragon and Vladimir, who call each other Didi and Gogo, are on a country road, near the tree, in an attitude of waiting. They ex­plain that they are waiting for Godot, but seem unsure as to why or when this figure will arrive.

They spend their time talking, quarrelling and inventing games, oppressed by the fact that nothing happens.

Two more characters arrive, Pozzo and Lucky, a strange couple who appear to be a master and his slave.

After this couple leave, a boy arrives with a message from Go­dot, saying that he will not come that day, but that he will arrive tomorrow.

Act two begins in the»same place, with the same two charac­ters waiting again for Godot. Their uncertainty increases, and the second act is full of desperation and panic.

When Lucky and Pozzo return, they are horribly transformed.

Pozzo is blind and Lucky has lost his powers of speech.

At the end of the day, the boy arrives again, to inform Vladimir and Estragon that Godot will not come that day, but that he will arrive tomorrow.

The play ends, as it began, with the two tramps waiting on the edge of the road, unable to sleep or move or even hang them­selves, which they try to do unsuccessfully.

The four main characters are organized symbolically in a care­ful pattern of opposites.

Vladimir and Estragon are complementary parts of a single whole, Estragon is the poet and the dreamer, Vladimir is practical and never dreams. Estragon is cynical about Godot while Vladimir

persists in the wait. Estragon is weak, he complains that every night someone comes and beat him, while Vladimir is more courageous. Their costumes and the stage directions suggest that they are clowns. They appear to be fond of each other and need each other in order to survive. Pozzo and Lucky have a complementary rela­tionship too. Pozzo, who represents the power of the master and the body, loses his sight in the second act and becomes much weaker. Lucky, with his ironic name, is slavish and represents the power of the mind.

For the two tramps, the arrival of Godot will end the wait. While the wait seems to suggest hope, the arrival of Godot suggests sal­vation, a rescue from the uncertainties of time. The boy, a messen­ger of salvation, never denies the arrival of Godot, but is unable to confirm it either. Hope keeps the tramps on the road, and hope prevents them from hanging themselves.

The characters in Waiting for Godot try and fail to comuni-cate with each other through language, and in this play, in which costumes, scenery and action hardly exist, language is the most important to the development of meaning. Apart from dialogue, silence is important to the development of meaning. The pauses that Beckett uses show the incapacity of words to express mean­ing.


cynical ['smikl] а циничный desperation [^despa'reifsn] n отчаяние oppress [s'pres] v удручать pattern ['pastan] n образец resistance [n'zistsns] n сопротивление slavish ['slsevij] а рабски покорный symbolically [sim'bDhkali] adv симво­лически tramp [traemp] n бродяга transfer [traens'f3:] v перемещать transform [trsens'fom] v изменять, uncertainty [An's3:tntil n неуверенность

appraisal [s'preizsl] п оценка appreciation [э^ргцГГегГэп] n высокая

оценка attitude ['aetitju:d] n положение; поза benefit ['bensfit] v приносить пользу clown [klara] n клоун complementary [ ,kt>mpli'mentan] a

дополнительный confirm [k3n'f3:m] v подтвердить controversy ['kratrev3:si] n дискуссия,

полемика couple ['клр1] п пара



Questions and Tasks

  1. Where was Samuel Beckett born?

  2. Where was he educated?

  3. Where did he work after graduating Trinity College?

  4. What did Beckett do during the war?

  5. Where did he live after the war?

  6. What does Beckett's literary production include?

  7. Characterize the first period of his literary activity.

  8. What plays did he write?

  9. What can you say about the plot and the main characters of Waiting for Godof?

10. When was Beckett awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature?

William Golding (born in 1911)

William Golding was born in Cornwall, England in 1911. He attended the famous private school, and then went to Brase-nose College, Oxford, where he started to study science*. After a short period he changed to study English Literature. Golding graduated from Oxford in 1935 and started a career in teaching.

William Golding

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Golding joined the Royal Navy and was involved in active service throughout the war. The effects of the war on Golding were enormous and helped to create his pessimistic view of human nature.

After the war he returned to teaching, a career that he con­tinued even after achieving fame as a writer. His first novel, Lord of the Flies, was published in 1954 and was accepted as an immediate critical success. This was followed by The Inheritors (1955), a novel set in the prehistoric age.

Pincher Martin (1956) was followed by Free Fall, and then by The Spire in 1964. There was a pause in Golding's literary production, and then in 1979 he published Darkness Visible and Rites of Passage in 1980. In 1983 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The novel Lord of the Flies touches some unusual themes. It received huge critical and popular acclaim on its publication and became an important novel, often studied, cited and read through the '50s, '60s and '70s. Now it remains one of the most important contributions to English literature made this century.

The novel is in the form of the fable. A fable is a tale that tells one story through another. The characters exist on two levels: as indi­viduals and as types. i

In this novel a group of boys, refugees from an atomic war, are on a deserted island. After an initial sense of liberty and adventure in this tropical paradise, the boys begin to organize themselves into a little democratic society, electing Ralph as their leader. The group hold meetings, go on expeditions to patrol the island, start building shelters to live in, organize the supply of water, and decide to keep a fire burning constantly, with the hope of signalling to passing boats. The group is composed of "littluns" of about six years old and "bi-guns" of about twelve. Apart from Ralph, another of the biguns, Jack, helps lead the group, by organizing a group of choirboys into a band of hunters, whose task it is to hunt pigs. However, things begin to get out of control. The littluns are afraid by the idea of a "beastie" or "snakey-thing" that they believe lives in the forest.

At night the children suffer from nightmares, even when the rational Piggy, an unpopular but intelligent fat boy, tries to tell them that there is no beast on the Island.

The rational projects that they originally established are gradu­ally abandoned, and under the influence of Jack, the boys return to the savage state based around hunting and the fear of the beast, which Jack develops into a kind of God, the Lord of the Flies. Ralph and Piggy try to keep control of the group, but Jack is too strong and all the boys except Ralph, Piggy and Simon, a strange, solitary boy, leave the first camp and follow Jack to live a savage life.

The boys now become hunters, painting their faces, chanting and dancing, throwing stones and spears. Maurice and Roger act as Jack's assistants. The fear of the beast grows, particularly when



one night a dead man on a parachute falls onto the island. The boys think that the parachute is the beast. Jack encourages the boys to leave "sacrifices" to the beast every time they kill on a hunt.

One night, Simon discovers the true nature of the parachute/ beast, but when he goes to the camp to tell the boys, he is killed, mistaken for the beast. After Simon's death, the hunters led by Jack, Roger and Maurice, kill Piggy and then decide to kill Ralph and to offer him as a human sacrifice to the Lord of the Flies. Ralph is forced to hide while they hunt him.

During the hunt, the boys set fire to the island and a passing ship sees the flames and lands to rescue them, thus saving Ralph's life.

Golding's development of the novel form during the 1950s and 1960s led him to an interesting experimentation with genre. He used the science fiction genre and the fantasy story to provide an effective narrative style for his analyses of human nature.


outbreak f'autbreik] n начало (войны) paradise ['pasredais] n рай patrol [ps'treul] v охранять refugee Lrefju:'d3i] n беглец sacrifice [ 'sasknfais] n жертвоприно­шение savage ['saevidj] а дикий shelter ['Jelta] n кров, пристанище solitary ['sohtsn] а одинокий spear [spia] n копье

abandon [э'Ьагпёэп] v отказываться;

оставлять acclaim [э'Иеип] п шумное приветствие chant [tfa:nt] v петь choir boy ['kwaigboi] n участник хора

мальчиков cite [salt] v цитировать initial [I'nijbl] а первоначальный involve [m'vnlv] v вовлекать narrative f naerativ] а повествовательный nightmare ['naitmea] n кошмар; страш­ный сон

Questions and Tasks

  1. Relate briefly the story of Golding's life.

  2. What was his first novel?

  3. What can you say about the plot and the main characters of Lord of the Flies'?

  4. What form is the novel written?

  5. What genres did Golding use in the novel Lord of the Flies'?

  6. Name his other notable works.

  7. Speak on Wiliam Golding's place in English literature.


Iris Murdoch (1919-1999)

Iris Murdoch [ 'aians 'm3:dt)k] was bom in Dublin. Her mother was Irish and her father was an English civil servant who served as a cavalary officer in the World War I. The family moved to Lon­don in her childhood and she grew up in the western suburbs of it.

Murdoch studied classics, ancient history and philosophy at Somerville College, Oxford. During World War II she was an active member of the Com­munist Party, but soon she became dis­appointed with its ideology and re­signed. Some years later Murdoch took up a postgraduate studentship in philosophy. In 1948 she was elected a fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford, working there as a tutor until 1963. Since then Murdoch devoted herself entirely to writing. Between the years 1963 and 1967 she also lectured at the Royal College of Art.

Murdoch published her first novel in 1954. This was Under the Net, a comedy. Most of her novels, however, are more philosophical than comic. They have a wide range of themes, and show that serious novels can still become best-sellers. Among the best-known works are The Bell (1958), which depicts an Agli-can religious community, and a novel about the Irish rebellion in 1916, The Red and the Green (1965). Perhaps her best works from the 1970s are Black Prince (1973), A World of Child (1975) and The Sea, the Sea, which won the Booker Prize in 1978. It is con­sidered her major work.

Murdoch published over twenty novels. She was a prolific and highly professional novelist. Murdoch dealt in her works every­day ethical or moral issues.

The novels combine realistic characters with extraordinary situations, and many of them have a religious or philosophical


theme. She is always concerned with moral problems of good and bad, right and wrong, art and life, and the nature of truth. Iris Murdoch died in Oxford on February 8, 1999.

prolific [prg'hfikj а плодовитый resign [n'zam] v слагать с себя обя­занности tutor [ 'tju:ta] n руководитель группы студентов

ethical ['eOikal] о этический fellow [Те1эи] п член совета колледжа issue ['isju:] n вопрос postgraduate fpsust'grffidjuit] а аспи­рантский

Questions and Tasks

  1. Relate briefly the story of Iris Murdoch's life.

  2. When did she publish her first novel?

  3. What kind of novel was it?

  4. What novels are considered to be her best-known ones?

  5. What novel won the Booker Prize?

  6. What issues did Murdoch deal in her works?

  7. How many novels did Murdoch publish?

  8. What moral problems did^he touch on her novels?

  9. When did she die?

American Literature

The Beginning of Literature

I in America


In the 17th— 18th centuries there were founded a number of col­onies in America. At the beginning the Portuguese and Spaniards occupied the rich gold and silver fields of south America. The Dutch and the French began the colonization of North America. The Dutch created their own colony around the Hudson River. They called it New Netherlands. The French occupied the territory which is Canada today and the land around it. They called it Louisi­ana [Лиш'жпэ].

England played a very important role in the colonization of North America. The first England settlement was made at Jamestown in 1607. In 1620 a large group of Englishmen landed their ship, the Mayflower, near Cape Cod and founded the colony of Plymouth ['р1нпэв]. It is from these two centres, that the English settlements developed. The war of 1972 — 1674 between the English and the Dutch made New Netherlands an English colony. This made almost the whole Atlantic coast English. During the seven year war (1756 — 1763) England took Canada from France and Florida from Spain.


After that a vast territory of land was under the English rule. Alongside with the wars between different nationalities of set­tlers there was a struggle against the native inhabitants, the Indian tribes. The extermination of the Indian people was one of the first manifestations of the appearence of the American "civilization".

There was little artistic literature in the colonial period. Eng­lishmen who came to America were not from the intellectual cir­cles in England.

Literature was the privilege of the clergy. They wrote mostly in the form of religious sermons, journals, letters and diaries. Early colonial literature cannot be regarded national American litera­ture. It did not reflect the life, ideas and thoughts of the simple people.


cape [keip] n мыс Portuguese [, po:tju'gi:z] n португалец
extermination [eks,t3:mrneijbn] n ис- the Portuguese португальцы

требление sermon ['S3:m3n] n проповедь

manifestation [,mEenifes'teiJbn] n об- Spaniard ['spaenjad] n испанец

наружение the Spaniards испанцы

Netherlands ['nedgbndz] n Нидерланды

Questions and Tasks

  1. When were a number of colonies in America founded?

  2. What countries took part in the colonization of North America?

  3. What role did England play in the colonization of North America?

  4. When was the first English settlement made?

  5. Where did a large group of Englishmen land their ship, the Mayflower?

  6. When was New Netherlands made an English colony?

  7. Explain how a vast territory of land became under the English rule.

  8. Characterize American litrature in the colonial period.


In America the literature of the Enlightenment is closely con­nected with the War for Independence against the British Em­pire. It lasted for eight years (1776—1783).

The war ended in adopting the Declaration of Indepedence. A Federative Democratic Republic — the United States of Ame­rica — was founded.This event was extremely significant for the further development of the country, as it gave freedom and inde­pedence to the American colonies.

But the Bourgeois Revolution had its drawbacks. It did not abolish slavery, nor did it improve the life of American colo­nists, the working people and farmers.

The progressive writers of that time protested against the in­justice of slavery and the growth of reaction.

American literature of the Enlightenment period is charac­terized by its fighting character. The writers of that time wrote political pamphlets and revolutionary poetry. The most popular writers of the time were Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, and the poet Philip Freneau [fre'no:].

Thomas Paine (1737— 1809) was the most democratic repre­sentative of the American Enlightenment movement.

In 1775 he published his pamphlet Common Sense which urged the separation of the American colonies from England.

During the War of Independence he wrote The Crisis (1776 — 1783), a series of pamphlets, containing his comments on the events of the war against England. While in France he wrote The Rights of Man (1791 - 1792), a political essay.

Thomas Jefferson (1743— 1826) was a writer of the revolu­tionary period in America. Besides he was a lawyer, philoso­pher, architect, statesman. In 1776 as a member of the Conti­nental Congress he was in the committee of five to draft the Declaration of Independence. He outlined the principles of revo­lutionary bourgeois democracy. In 1800 Jefferson won the elec­tions and served two terms as President of the USA.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) is the most significant repre­sentative of the Enlightenment period in American literature.



He distinguished himself as a great statesman, a scientist, a jour­nalist, an economist, and a philosopher.

Franklin's most important pamphlets and essays were pub­lished in his famous Poor Richard's Almanac (1732— 1757) which played a very important role in spreading ideas of the Enlighten­ment period.

Franklin made a fundamental contribution to the Declaration of Independence.

Philip Freneau (1752— 1832) was the most outstanding poet of the Revolution. He wrote political poems.

A Poem of the Rising Glory of America (1772) was full of belief in the birth of a new world where freedom would reign. In the poem To the Americans (1775) the poet called for a rebellion against the British rule.

The Republican Genius of Europe welcomed the French Revo­lution. In his poems Freneau described his disappointment with the revolution as he thought that the American Bourgeous Revo­lution had not satisfied the demands of the people.

Though Freneau's political verse was his most important con­

tribution to American poetry, he wrote also lyrical poems of which
The Indian Burying Ground and The Wild Honey Suckle are the

best. «

Freneau also wrote prose. He published some letters and essays. Philip Freneau is considered to be one of the first truly American poets. He was the poet of American independence. He was the poet-journalist of contemporary affairs. All his life he fought for freedom in America.

Questions and Tasks

  1. What is the literature of the Enlightenment in America closely connected with?

  2. What was adopted when the war ended?

  3. Why was this event extremely significant for the country?

  4. What drawbacks did the Bourgeois Revolution have?

  5. What is American literature of the Enlightenment period characterized by?

  6. What did the writers of that time write?

  7. Name the most popular writers of that time.

  8. What were Pain's famous works before and during the Revolution?

  9. Characterize Jefferson as a writer and a statesman.

  1. What did Franklin do for the American Revolution as a journalist, and as a statesman?

  1. Give a brief account of Philip Freneau's literary career.

  2. Why can Freneau be considered one of the first truly American poets?


abolish [s'bDliJ] v уничтожить outline ['autlam] v обрисовать, наметить

adopt [a'ctopt] v принимать statesman fsteitsimn] n государствен-
draft [dra:ft] v составлять (документ) ный деятель

drawback ['dro:baek] n недостаток urge [з:ф] v настаивать


American Literature in the First Half of the 19th Century


The literary current of Romanticism appeared in America as the result of the Bourgeois Revolution of 1776—1783. It was inspired also by the deep disillusionment of the progressive people in the results of the revolution.

The contradictions between the rich and the poor were as strong as ever. Negro slavery flourished in the Southern states, the. Indian tribes were exterminated.

Romanticism brought with it the first important works of American poetry and fiction, and the first foundations of American national literature were laid.

Romanticism in America differed in some ways from the European Romanticism. European writers could at any moment look back on the cultural heritage of their countries; Americans began everything, including their literature from scratch1.

' from scratch — на пустом месте 272

The writers of Romanticism depicted life as a struggle between vice and virtue, and insisted that virtue should defeat evil. But when they looked for the triumph of virtue in real life, they could not find it. Here we come to the most characteristic feature of Romanticism: this is the great gap between reality and the ideal — the dream of the poet, artist or writer.

Another feature of Romanticism was that the writers, having cre­ated personages, wished through them to bring moral judgement on the nation as a whole, disregarding the existence of classes, or different sections of the population.

The romantic poets and writers produced a powerful literature with wide variations. They developed such genres as the novel (historical, social, fantastic), the romance and the short story. They gave their readers a taste for old ballads, epics, and the folk-tales of the Indians.

Nature is one of the major themes of the American Romanti­cists. It was a time when new lands were discovered. Courageous pioneers and trappers penetrated into the wilderness of the bound­less forest and prairies. Man's struggle with nature and his victory over it inspired many of the American writers.

The writers of Romanticism were true patriots. They loved their country and recognized the importance of developing national literature and national history.

In Romanticist literature a reader finds a complicated plot, dynamic development of the events and sudden changes in the fates of the heroes. Many complicated dramatic conflicts were solved with the help of chance accidents, fatal meetings or the discovery of dreadful secrets.

Flourishing from 1820-ies to the 1850-ies, Romanticism can be divided into Early Romanticism (the twenties and thirties) and Late Romanticism (the forties and fifties).

The early period began with the romances and short stories of Washington Irving (1783— 1859). These forms were developed later by other American writers. The historical novel began in America with Fenimore Cooper (1789— 1851). Romantic poetry appeared in great variety; most outstanding were the poems of Edgar Allan Рое (1809- 1849).

The Late Romanticism were the years of mature Romanticism in American literature. Characteristic of this period were Cooper's later


novels, Edgar Allan Poe's romances and poems written during the last eight years of his life, the works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 -1882), and the poems by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892).

Early Romanticists were more optimistic about the American reality than Late Romanticists were. Criticizing the drawbacks of American civilization, they believed that it provided vast possibilities for development.

Late Romanticism developed in an atmosphere of sharp class contradictions, influenced by the development of capitalism in the country. The fiction of Late Romanticists was permeated with a tragic mood, sharp conflicts, confused feelings. American Romanticism as part of world romantic literature played an important role in the cultural life of America. The works of romantic writers of America are still read and admired.


boundless ['baundhs] о безграничный fatal ['feitl] а роковой

complicated fkomplikeitid] а сложный gap [дэгр] п разрыв

confused [kan'fju:zd] а спутанный heritage ['henticfc) n наследство

contradiction [^knntre'dikfsn] n проти- penetrate ['penatreit] v проникнуть

воречие permeate ['p3:mieit] v проникать

disregard [,dis'nga:d] v не принимать sharp [fa:p] а острый

во внимание trapper [Чгаерэ] п охотник, ставящий
drawback ['dro:b£ek] n недостаток капканы

exterminate [aks'temmert] ууничтожать

Questions and Tasks

  1. When did the literary trend of Romanticism appear in America and what social events led to it?

  2. How did Romanticism in America differ from the European Romanticism?

  3. Characterize the principal features of Romanticism.

  4. What genres did the romantic poets and writers produce?
  5. What is one of the major themes of the American Romanticists?

  6. What was the creative method of the writers of Romanticism?

  7. When did Romanticism in America flourish?

  8. What periods can it be divided into?

  9. What are the main representatives of Early and Late Romanticism?

10. Why were early Romanticists more optimistic about the American reality
than late Romanticists?

Washington Irving (1783-1859)

Washington Irving ['wqjintan 'з:\тл], the first American romantic writer was bom in New York in a wealthy merchant's family. Washington, the youngest of eleven child­ren, being sickly in childhood, was not sent to school. His English-bom mother had ed­ucated him at home. He was well read in Chaucer and Spenser1, and the 18th cen­tury English literature. He used to read a lot. Books of voyages and travels were his passion. He was fond of legends, fairy-tales and records of ancient and local customs.

Washington was fond of wandering

around the COUntry-Side. On the outskirts Washington Irving

of his native city he made himself familiar with places famous in history and legends. When he grew older, he longed to travel.

At fifteen he tried his hand at writing. Some little satires on New York life were even printed in his brother's magazine. Writing became his hobby, but his father wanted him to be a lawyer, and at seventeen he was set to studying law.

In 1806 he was admitted to the bar. Yet the law did not fascinate him and he decided to become a writer.

After two years of travelling in Germany, Spain, France, Italy and England Washington Irving returned to the United States. With some friends he started a paper called SalmagundP. The very title of the paper showed it to be a humorous periodical published by the authors just for fun. The Salmagundi papers possess, in addition to their interest as humorous sketches, historical value as pictures of social life in New York during the first decade of the 19th century.

1 Spencer ['spensa] Edmund (1552-1599) — Спенсер Эдмунд, англ. поэт

2 Salmagundi [ ,saelm9 'gAndi] (from French) — салмагунди (мясной салат с
анчоусами, яйцами и пикулями)



Irving' s first maj or work was A History of New York, published in 1809. The book was an immediate success. Washington Irving's humour was highly appreciated by Walter Scott and Charles Dickens.

After a brief period of military service, a partnership in his brother's firm and a couple of years of travelling and writing Irving completed his most famous works, a series of sketches, short stories and essays, which were published in New York in 1819 — 1820 and in London in 1820, under the title of The Sketch Book.

Irving's other story books are Bracebridge Hall (1822), Tales of a Traveller (1824) and The Alhambra (1832), mostly covering descriptions of Europe in which the author discovered romantic castles and a departed glory unknown to America. Irving also wrote historical biographies: A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus f knstafaks'kmbas] (1828); The Life of Oliver Goldsmith1 [ 'nliva'gauldsmiG] (1840) and The Life of George Washing­ton ['(fcoxfe 'wormian] (1855- 1859).

On November 28, 1859 he died, at the age of 76.

Irving was the Father of the American short story. His graceful style and colourful descriptions of landscapes made him the Father of American prose. He started that clever humour, the mixture of fine irony and jolly caricature. Irving's wit was caught up and developed by many American writers.

He was the first American writer to win European approval.


admit [ad'mit] v давать право на заня­тие должности to be admitted to the bar получить право адвокатской практики в суде appreciate [a'prijieit] v оценивать approval [э'рш:уэ1] п одобрение caricature [,кэепкэ'Ц'да] п карикатура decade ["dekeid] n десятилетие departed [di'pa:tid] а былой

familiar [fa'miljg] о близкий

to make oneself familiar ознакомиться jolly ['djnli] а веселый local ['1эикэ1] а местный long [lrjrj] v страстно желать; стремиться mixture ['mikst/э] n смесь outskirt ['autsk3:t] n p/окрестности partnership fpartngfip] n участие passion ['рэе/эп] л страсть record ['rekad] n pi материалы

•OliverGoldsmith ['gsuldsmiG] (1728 тель и драматург


1774) — Оливер Голдсмит, англ. писа-

The Sketch Book

It consists of 34 sketches depicting both English and American life. The majority of the sketches are descriptions of rural England, the most famous being Stratford-on-Avon, Westminster Abbey, Rural Life in England. Yet, Irving's main merit lies in his creation of folk-tales of the Dutch colonial settlers of New York and sketches of the American Indians. They express the character, ways of thought, ideals and aspirations of the American simple people. The best known sketches of American life aieRip Van Winkle [ 'np'vaen'wirjkl] and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

In his sketches Irving uses legends, fairy-tales and records of customs and characters which he had collected from personal talks with old folks and which, to his mind, created the genuine history of society. Irving also describes the charm of American countryside with their lakes, their majestic mountains, wild forests, fertile valleys and boundless plains.

The Sketch Book is more than a romantic fairy-tale about the past of America. It contains rather sharp social observations. Thus, when Rip awakes after his 20 years' sleep, he finds America unchanged though a very important event, the American Revolution has taken place. Irving describes Rip's return to his village during an electioneering campaign with much irony.

The Sketch Book established Irving as one of the creators of the genre of story in America. The style of Irving's writing is easy, natural and graceful. His style and colourful descriptions of landscapes make him Father of American prose.


aspiration [^asspa'reijbn] л стремление boundless ['baundhs] а безграничный campaign [kasm'pein] n кампания electionary [I'lekjbnsn] а выборный fertile ['f3:tail] а плодородный

genuine Гфегушп] а подлинный graceful ['greisful] а изящный majestic [ma'djestik] a величественный merit ['merit] л заслуга rural ['гиэгэ1] а сельский


Questions and Tasks

  1. Give the main facts of Washington Irving's life.

  2. What was Irving's first major work?

  3. What was his most famous work?

  4. Comment on the composition of The Sketch Book.

  5. Speak on Irving's other works.

  6. Why is Irving called the Father of American prose?

Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)

James Fenimore Cooper ['cfceimz 'fenimo: 'ки:рэ] was born in Burling­ton, New Jersey, in the family of a rich landowner.

James Fenimore Cooper

This place now called Coopers-town, was a frontier town; beyond it was wooded wilderness. The future author grew up in Cooperstown where he saw the varied life on the border of wilderness. Ые heard many tales of adventures and learned to feel the mystery of the dark forest.

He studied at Yale for three yeas but most of their education he got from out-door life. When James was ten years old, he could ride on horseback, fish, swim, shoot with bow and arrow and skate. In 1806 he joined the navy and for a year he served on a merchant ship as an ordinary sailor and then he was a midshipman in the United States Navy. In 1810 James Cooper married and settled down to a life of a farmer and country gentleman.

Cooper began writing at the age of thirty. In 1820 he produced his first novel Precaution. This novel on English manners was a failure but it succeeded in arousing persistence in the young writer. In 1821 he published his second book The Spy which dealt with events of the War of Independence. The book was an immediate success in England and America. Its success made him write

another book The Pioneers, and later The Last of the Mohicans. He wrote six novels for five years, and they established his repu­tation as a writer.

In 1826 Cooper went to Europe for a tour. He had spent seven years (1826— 1834) travelling in England, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. He worked all the time. He wrote seven novels, a lot of articles, essays and letters.

Cooper left about 40 books belonging to various genres: 1) five romances of the American frontier The Leatherstocking Tales; 2) sea tales, the most famous among which are The Pilot (1823), Red Rover (1827), and The Two Admirals (1842); 3) historical novels, such as Lionel Lincoln (1825), The Bravo (1831), TheHei-denmauer (1832) and The Headsman (1833); 4) a social satire The Monikins (1836).

According to their merits Cooper's works are very unequal and his views on various subjects are contradictory. In his his­torical novels on Europe Cooper showed the superiority of Amer­ican democracy. Later, when he returned from the trip to Eu­rope, he was disappointed in American life. In his novels Home­ward Bound (1838), Home as Found (1838) and his essays A Latter to his Countrymen (1834) and The American Democrat (1838) Cooper criticized the bourgeoisie, its lack of culture and the cor­ruption of the press.

James Fenimore Cooper died at Cooperstown on September 14, 1851.


arouse [s'rauz] v вызывать persistence [pa'sistans] n настойчивость

contradictory Lkontre'diktan] а про- succeed [ssk'si:d] v суметь сделать

тиворечивый что-л.

frontier ['frAntja] о пограничный wilderness [ 'wildsnis] n дикая мест-
midshipman ['midjipmsn] n корабель- ность

ный гардемарин



The Leatherstocking Tales

Cooper's fame as a novelist rests on his five novels of the American frontier, called The Leatherstocking Tales. To follow the sequence of events we should read them in the order given below: The Deerslayer (1841), The Last of the Mohicans (1826), The Pathfinder (1840), The Pioneers (1823) and The Prairie (1827). The name of the hero is Natty Bumppo ['naeti: 'Ьлтри:].

The author describes the America of the 18th century when it was still being explored and colonized by Europeans who settled there and drove the Indians from their land. н3£е/ис&1 'The Deerslayer shows Bumppo's youth as a hunter brought up * among the Delaware [' debwea] Indians. He is a perfect woodsman. The Delaware Indians are his best friends. They have taught him to read the signs of the virgin forest, to follow trail, to become a good marksman.

Every leaf or twig tells him a whole story of people and wild animals passing through the wood. Cooper stresses that Bumppo's nobility of spirit, his self-reliance, justice and fidelity have been developed by the life he has led in the forest and his closeness to the Indians. The writer emphasizes that the white people, intruding on the Indian hunting-grounds, provoke wars and bring corruption to the noble and simple Indians.

In The Pioneers Natty Bumppo comes into an open conflict with the bourgeois law which defends property. He is punished for hunting a deer out of season.

In The Prakie, Natty, now an old man, leaves his forests, being driven out by the advance of civilization, and lives as a trapper on the Western Plains. The sound of the axe drives him further and further to the West. He dies conquered by the civilization he hates.

Cooper was a good storyteller. His descriptions of nature, exciting incidents, pursuits, last-minute rescues keep the reader in suspense. His fame rests on the variety of dramatic incident and vivid depiction of romantic backgrounds.

The portraits of the Indians depend on whether they support the English or their enemies, the French. The supporters of the English are noble whereas those of the French are cunning.


Yet, the customs of the Indian tribes and their struggle against the invaders have been described in detail and true to historical facts.

Cooper's main merit lies in the fact, that he managed to convince the readers of the human worth of the Indians. The character of Natty Bumppo will remain in the reader's memory as one of the most remarkable fictional heroes in world literature.


sequence ['sirkwans] n порядок следо­вания

suspense [sas'pens] n тревога ожидания to keep smb in suspense держать кого-л. в напряженном ожидании

trail [treil] n тропа

trapper ['гтэерэ] п охотник

twig [twig] n веточка

virgin ['v3:qjm] а девственный

woodsman ['wudzman] n лесной жи­тель

worth [W3:9] n достоинство

advance [sd'vains] n приближение emphasize ['emibsaiz] vподчеркивать fictional ['fikjbnl] о вымышленный fidelity [fi'dehti] n верность intrude [m'tru:d] v вторгаться marksman ['marksman] л меткий стре­лок provoke [pra'vsuk] v вызывать pursuit [pa'sjuit] n погоня rescue freskju:] n спасение self-reliance ['selfn'laians] n уверен­ность в себе

Questions and Tasks

  1. Relate the story of James Fenimore Cooper's life.

  2. When did Cooper start writing?

  3. What book was an immediate success in England and America?

  4. How many books did Cooper write?

  5. What genres do they belong to?

  6. Name the five novels Cooper's fame rests on.

  7. Describe the hero of the novels Natty Bumppo.

  8. Why do Cooper's novels keep the reader in suspense?

  9. Comment on Cooper's contribution to American literature.


10. What does his main merit lie in?

Edgar Рое (1809-1849)

Edgar Allan Рое fedga 'эе1эп 'рэи], out­standing romantic poet and short-story wri­ter, was one of the first professional writers of the United States. But in his lifetime he was more popular in Europe than at home.

Edgar Рое was born in Boston in 1809. The son of actor parents, he was left an orphan at the age of three. And though he was taken under protection of a pros­perous tobacco merchant John Allan, his childhood was miserable. Mr Allan's business took him abroad, and from 1815 to 1820 Рое lived with the family in Scot­land and England. He attended a fine clas­sical preparatory school. There he wrote Latin verses and learned boxing. Back in the United States, he was sent to the University of Virginia. These studies he combined with writing poetry, and all the while he read and read^and read. Yet Рое was unhappy at the university. His sensitive pride was wounded by the social barrier between him and the rich Southern boys. At the end of the first year Mr Allan decided to remove him from the university. The tobacco merchant had never understood the boy's vocation for art. He made him a clerk in his business. Рое immediately ran away and went to Boston. In Boston he published his first volume of poetry Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827). Not a single copy was sold. Then he published in Baltimore his second volume of poems Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems (1829). His poems again passed unnoticed. In 1831 Рое published his third edition of poems, this time in New York. However, Рое first became famous not as a poet, but as a writer of fiction, with a story he wrote for a magazine. It was the story MS1 Found in a Bottle, It was printed in the Baltimore

1 MS — сокр. от manuscript 282

Saturday Visitor and won him a prize of 50 dollars. In 1835 he got a position on the Southern Literary Messenger. He published his old and new tales and poems in this magazine. He wrote many book reviews which won popularity for the magazine. After Рое had married a very young girl Virginia Clemm, the daughter of his father's sister, Maria, he spent the rest of his life in Philadelphia and New York. Soon his young wife became very ill with tuberculosis. In 1847 his wife died, and in October 1849 Edgar Allan Poe's life ended. During his lifetime only a few of his stories and poems won fame.

Edgar Рое distinguished himself in three fields: in the short story, poetry and criticism. He wrote about 60 stories and 48 poems. The writer is a great master of the short story. His prose is direct, energetic, clear and aimed to focus the reader's attention on one particular idea. His aim in every work, he said, was to make a strong impression on the reader. Poe's stories may be divided into: 1) horror stories and 2) detective stories.

The most distinguished horror stories are: The Fall of the House of Usher, The Black Cat, The Descent into Maelstrom. The horror stories concentrate on various forms of suffering. They represent a psychological study of anxiety and terror, of passion, anger, revenge and other emotions suffered by men who think they are destined for some strange fate. All Poe's best stories show some triumph of mind over the danger to which the hero seems doomed.

The detective stories are mathematical at their foundation. Having invented a combination of events and circumstances the author logically follows step by step their development and the consequence comes with the precision of the solution of a mathematical problem.

Рое is the father of the detective story in America. He created the first of a long line of fictional master detectives Auguste Dupin [o:'gAst dju:pe]. Dupin is a very attractive character in Allan Poe's stories. The reader delights in his common sense, wit and optimism. The author endows him with extraordinary powers of deduction and analysis. Dupin is the forerunner of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.


focus ['faukss] v сосредоточивать forerunner |Тэ:'глпэ] п предшественник harmony ['гт:тэш] п соответствие precision [pn'si3sn] n точность psychological [,saika'lt)d3ik3l] а психо­логический sensitive ['sensitrv] а уязвимый solution [ss'lujan] n решение vocation [vsu'keijan] n склонность
Poe's best known detective stories are: The Murder in Rue Morgue and The Mystery of Marie Roget.

Рое is a poet of beauty. His constant themes are the death of a beautiful woman and the grief caused by it.

Poe's best poems are: The Raven, The Bells, Annabel Lee, and some of the lyrics and sonnets.

The European poets appreciated the harmony between idea and form achieved by Edgar Allan Рое. The Russian composer Rakhmaninov was so impressed by The Bells that he set it to music; and the poet Valery Bryusov translated many of his poems and called Рое the greatest poet of the United States.


anxiety [aen'zaisti] n тревога barrier ['Ьэепэ] п барьер combine [кэт'Ьат] v сочетать consequence [ 'ktmsikwans] n резуль­тат deduction [di'dvkfan] n дедукция destine ['destm] v предопределять doom [du:m] v обрекать endow [m'dau] v наделять „

Questions and Tasks

  1. Give a brief account of Poe's lif

  2. When was the beginning of his literary career?

  3. Did he write some more poems?

  4. Did Рое become famous as a poet or as a writer of fiction?

  5. What story won him a prize?

  6. What fields of literature did Рое distinguish himself?

  7. Characterize Poe's stories.

  8. Comment on his horror stories and detective ones.
  9. Name Poe's most distinguished horror and detective stories.

  1. Who is a very attractive character in Allan Poe's stories?

  2. What are the themes of Poe's poems?

  3. What are his best poems?

  4. What did the European poets appreciate in his poems?

  5. Who were the prominent men in Russia who were impressed by Poe's work?

Henry Longfellow (1807-1882)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [ 'henn 'w3:d2W3:8 'lnnfelau] was bom in the little town of Portland, in the State of Maine on the Atlantic coast in the family of a well-to-do lawyer.

The family kept alive the memory of the War of Independence, and as a boy Longfellow was told about the heroic deeds of his grandfather who had been a general in Washington's army, and about his uncle Henry who had been an officer in the US Navy and had been killed in 1804 while defending his coun- enry a swor 'm9 e m try. The family traditions of heroism played a great role in the life of young Longfellow.

Prepared mostly at private schools, he attended Bowdoin fbtwdn] College from 1821 to 1825, and there he wrote his first verses and stories and showed great aptitude for foreign languages. Having published his first poem at thirteen he dreamed of a literary career. On his graduation, he was made professor of Modern Languages at Bowdoin. He spent three years in France, Spain, Italy and Germa­ny, studying European languages and literature.

In 1829 Longfellow returned home and began teaching foreign languages, first at Bowdoin College and then, in 1834, as a professor of Harvard University.

In 1835 Longfellow published his first book Outre-Mer1 [.ulrei'mer]: A Pilgrimage Beyond the Sea, a series of travel-sketches modelled on Washington living's Sketch Book. In 1835 he made a second trip to Europe, visiting Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Holland, where he studied German and Northern literatures to qualify himself for his appointment at Harvard. In 1839 he published his novel Hyperion

Outre-Mer — фр. «За морем»



[hai'pianan] and a collection of poems Voices of the Night. In 1841 anew book of poems Ballads and Other Poems saw print. By that time he was well known as an American poet, and his fame steadily spread.

After his third trip to Europe Longfellow published his masterpiece, a collection of verses Poems on Slavery (1842). Slavery had become the most urgent question of the day. In these verses Longfellow con­demned the shameful institution of slavery. In his political lyrics he gives the sad and shameful picture of slavery in the South of America.

In the poem The Slave's Dream a black slave, on a hot summer noon on a Southern plantation, weary from his heavy work, falls asleep in the sun, his hand grasping the reaping hook. He dreams he is back in his native Africa. He sees his wife and children. Sud­denly this vision is rudely and cruelly interrupted by two severe blow of a long whip. The raging overseer whips the slave to death.

In another poem, The Negro in the Dismal Swamp, the author describes a typically American scene of those days — the hunt­ing down of a slave.

In the dark fens of the Dismal Swamp The hunted Negro1 lay; He saw the fire of the midnight camp, And heard at times a horse's tramp And a bloodhound's distant bay.

Where hardly a human foot could pass,

Or a human heart would dare,

On the quaking turf of a green morass

He crouched in the rank and tangled grass,

Like a wild beast in his lair.

A poor old slave, infirm and lame;

Great scars deformed his face;

On his forehead he bore the brand of shame2,

And the rags, that hid his mangled frame,

Were the livery of disgrace.

1 The hunted Negro — загнанный негр

2 the brand of shame — клеймо позора (на лицах негров иногда выжигали
букву или какой-либо знак, чтобы легче было их опознать в случае побега)

All things above were bright and fair, All things were glad and free; Lithe squirrels darted here and there, And wild birds filled the echoing air With songs of Liberty!

On him alone was the doom of pain1, From the morning of his birth; On him alone the curse of Cain2 ' Fell, like a frail on the garnered grain, And struck him to the earth!3


The Poems on Slavery were published eighteen years before the Civil War broke in 1861. Longfellow foretold the coming of a war that would free the Negro slaves at a time when nobody believed it could be possible.

Another poem which was finished in 1847 was Evangeline [i 'vaend3ili:n]. It was the story of how the Acadian [э 'keidian] farmers4 were driven away from their village. It was the most beautiful poem Longfellow had written so far.

Longfellow's philosophical lyrics were a great success in the fifties and sixties during the Civil War. Especially popular was his poem The Building of the Ship. The people in Longfellow's poem are represented by a tireless master worker who spares no effort to build a beautiful ship — a democratic state, a republic, where the freedom and equality of the citizens is the supreme law. In this poem Longfellow clearly expresses his social ideals.

In his mature years Longfellow created beautiful lyrics about nature. American nature came to life under Longfellow's pen.

1 On him alone was the doom of pain — Он один был обречен на страдание

2 the curse of Cain — проклятие Каина (согласно библейской легенде, Каин

был первым убийцей среди людей и своим преступлением навлек вечное

проклятие на все человечество)

3 struck him to the earth — сразило его, повергло его на землю

4 the Acadian farmers — фермеры из Акейдии (Новая Шотландия, провин­
ция Канады)



Не compiled and translated a vast anthology called Poets of Eu­rope. This colossal work of translating poets of different times and different peoples was finished by the end of the seventies when the last of the 31 volumes saw print. Up to the present day this anthology remains one of the best of this kind. Besides this collection of European, lyrical poetry Longfellow translated in 1865-1867 Dante's Divine Comedy.

By the end of his life Longfellow had won recognition all over the world. Many universities awarded him with honorary degrees, so did the Russian Academy of Sciences of which he became a member. He was also elected to membership by the Spanish, British and French Academies of Sciences. Even when already an old man, Henry Longfellow continued writing. Longfellow died at the age of 75. He is the only American poet whose bust is in Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner.

Before him the descriptions of nature by poets, though very beautiful, were abstract. He was especially skilful in depicting the seasons of the year.

Share with your friends:
1   ...   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   ...   20

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.


The database is protected by copyright ©hestories.info 2019
send message

    Main page