Литература Для специальности 1-02 03 06-01 Английский язык. Немецкий язык. 3-й

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Е.В.Якименко, преподавателем кафедры, магистром педагогических наук (в соответствии с Положением о контролируемой самостоятельной работе студентов БарГУ, утвержденным 18.08.2009 № 341)

Барановичи 2011


Острова и островитяне: литература раннего и позднего Просвещения (1696 – 1776)

  1. Философские концепции просветителей как основа становления и эволюции новой литературы.

  2. Даниэль Дефо как родоначальник реалистического романа.

  3. Джонатан Свифт как великий сатирик.

  4. Разнообразие жанров позднего Просвещения.

  5. Сентиментализм в литературе.


Информационно-методическая часть


(1696 – 1736)
The expiry of the Licensing Act in 1695 halted state censorship of the press. During the next 20 years there were to be 10 general elections. These two factors combined to produce an enormous growth in the publication of political literature. Senior politicians saw the potential importance of the pamphleteer in wooing the support of electorate, and numberless hack writers produced copy for the presses. Richer talents also played their part. Writers like Defoe and Swift did not confine themselves to straightforward discursive techniques in their pamphleteering but experimented deftly with mock forms and invented personae to carry the attack home.

According to contemporary testimony, Defoe's Shortest-Way with the Dissenters so brilliantly sustained its impersonation of a High Church extremist that it was at first mistaken for the real thing. This avalanche of political writing whetted the contemporary appetite for reading matter generally and, in the increasing sophistication of its ironic and fictional maneuvers, assisted in preparing the way for the astonishing growth in popularity of narrative fiction during the subsequent decades.

The new development on the literary scene was the advent of literary journals. The beginning is associated with the activities of Sir Richard Steele and Joseph Addison.

Sir Richard Steele, English essayist, playwright, and statesman, founded and contributed frequently to the influential journals. On April 12, 1709, Steele brought out, under pseudonym, the first issue of the Tatler, a triweekly journal featuring essays and brief sketches on politics and society. In addition to his own essays, Steele published a number of papers by the English essayist Joseph Addison, whom he had met during his school days and who became an important colleague and friend. This publication was succeeded by the more famous Spectator with both Steele and Addison as contributors. Many of the ideas for articles were Steele's, with Addison filling in the details and polishing the prose. Perhaps the best-known portion comprises a series of essays, which, in the person of a kindly and eccentric old country gentleman, present an idealized portrait of the 18th-century English squire. This character was conceived by Steele and named for an old English dance. When the last issue of the Spectator appeared, Steele had contributed 236 papers and Addison 274.

Daniel Defoe (1660-1731) was English novelist and journalist. His work reflects his diverse experiences in many countries and in many walks of life. Besides being a brilliant journalist, novelist, and social thinker, Defoe was a prolific author, producing more than 500 books, pamphlets, and tracts.

Defoe was born in London, the son of a candle merchant named Foe. Daniel added “De” to his name about 1700. He was educated for the Presbyterian ministry but decided to go into business. He became a merchant, and his business gave him frequent opportunities to travel throughout Western Europe.

An opponent of the Roman Catholic King James II, Defoe took an active part in the unsuccessful rebellion led by the Duke of Monmouth against the king. He obtained a government post in 1695 and the same year wrote An Essay upon Projects, a remarkably keen analysis of matters of public concern, such as the education of women.

Especially noteworthy among his writings during the next several years was the satiric poem The True-born Englishman, an attack on beliefs in racial or national superiority, which was directed particularly toward those English people who resented the new king, William III, because he was Dutch.

Defoe anonymously published a tract entitled The Shortest Way with the Dissenters, which satirized religious intolerance by pretending to share the prejudices of the Anglican Church against Nonconformists. When it was found that Defoe had written the tract, he was arrested and given an indeterminate term in jail. During his imprisonment Defoe's business had been ruined, so he turned to journalism for his livelihood.

He issued a news journal entitled The Review, for which he did most of the writing. Defoe wrote strongly in favor of union with Scotland, and his duties as secret agent may have entailed other activities on behalf of union.

Defoe's first and most famous novel, The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner, appeared in 1719, when he was almost 60 years old. The book is commonly known as Robinson Crusoe. A fictional tale of a shipwrecked sailor, it was based on the adventures of a seaman, Alexander Selkirk, who had been marooned on one of the Juan Fernandez Islands off the coast of Chile. The novel, full of detail about Crusoe's ingenious attempts to overcome the hardships of the island, has become one of the classics of children's literature.

More novels followed, including Captain Singleton, and The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders, the adventures of a London prostitute, which is regarded as one of the great English novels. Among his other important writings are A Journal of the Plague Year, Colonel Jack, Roxana, and other works.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Anglo-Irish satirist and political pamphleteer, is considered one of the greatest masters of English prose and one of the most impassioned satirists of human folly and pretension. His many pamphlets, prose, letters, and poetry were all marked by highly effective and economical language.

Swift was born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College in that city. He obtained employment in England as secretary to the diplomat and writer Sir William Temple. Swift's relations with his employer were not amicable, and the young man went back to Ireland, where he took religious orders. He returned to Temple's household in 1696. Swift's stay, although frequently marred by quarrels with his employer, gave him the time for an immense amount of concentrated reading and for writing.

Among Swift's earliest prose work was The Battle of the Books, a burlesque of the controversy then raging in literary circles over the relative merits of ancient and modern authors. His Tale of a Tub is the most amusing of his satirical works and the most strikingly original. In it Swift ridiculed with matchless irony various forms of pretentious pedantry, mainly in literature and religion.

We have religion enough to make us hate, but not to make us love one another.

At 46, Swift was appointed dean of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin. In 1724 and 1725 he anonymously issued his Drapier's Letters, a series of highly effective pamphlets that secured the end of the royal patent granted to an Englishman coining copper halfpence in Ireland. Swift was trying to protect the Irish people from a further debasement of their currency.

For his championship of their cause in these essays and in A Modest Proposal, Swift became a hero of the Irish people. The pamphlet embodies the mordantly ironic suggestion that the children of the Irish poor be sold as food to the wealthy, thus turning an economic burden to general profit.

I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of 120.000 children already computed, 20,000 may be reserved for breed, whereof only one-fourth part to be males; which is more in we allow to sheep, black cattle, or swine; and my reason is, that these children are seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by our savages, therefore one male will be sufficient to serve four females. That the remaining 100,000 may at a year old, be offered in sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.

Swift's masterpiece, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, more popularly titled Gulliver's Travels, was published anonymously in 1726; it met with instant success. Swift's satire was originally intended as an allegorical and acidic attack on the vanity and hypocrisy of contemporary courts, statesmen, and political parties, but in the writing of his book, which is presumed to have taken more than six years, he incorporated his ripest reflections on human society. Gulliver's Travels is, therefore, a savagely bitter work, mocking all humankind.

As these noble Houyhnhnms are endowed by Nature with a general Disposition to all Virtues, and have no Conceptions or Ideas of what is evil in a rational Creature; so their grand Maxim is, to cultivate Reason, and to be wholly governed by it. Neither is Reason among them a Point problematical as with us, where Men can argue with Plausibility on both Sides of a Question; but strikes you with immediate Conviction; as it must needs do where it is not mingled, obscured, or discoloured by Passion and Interest. I remember it was with extreme Difficulty that I could bring my Master to understand the Meaning of the Word Opinion, or how a Point could be disputable; because Reason taught us to affirm or deny only where we are certain; and beyond our Knowledge we cannot do either. So that Controversies, Wranglings, Disputes, and Positiveness in false or dubious Propositions, are Evils unknown among the Houyhnhnms. In the like Manner when I used to explain to him our several Systems of Natural Philosophy, he would laugh that a Creature pretending to Reason, should value itself upon the Knowledge of other Peoples Conjectures, and in Things, where that Knowledge, if it were certain, could be of no Use. Wherein he agreed entirely with the Sentiments of Socrates, as Plato delivers them; which I mention as the highest Honour I can do that Prince of Philosophers. I have often since reflected what Destruction such a Doctrine would make in the Libraries of Europe; and how many Paths to Fame would be then shut up in the Learned World.

Friendship and Benevolence are the two principal Virtues among the Houyhnhnms; and these not confined to particular Objects, but universal to the whole Race. For, a Stranger from the remotest Part, is equally treated with the nearest Neighbour, and where-ever he goes, looks upon himself as at home. They preserve Decency and Civility in the highest Degrees, but are altogether ignorant of Ceremony. They have no Fondness for their Colts or Foles; but the Care they take in educating them proceedeth entirely from the Dictates of Reason. And, I observed my Master to shew the same Affection to his Neighbour's Issue that he had for his own. They will have it that Nature teaches them to love the whole Species, and it is Reason only that maketh a Distinction of Persons, where there is a superior Degree of Virtue.
 Further development of English literature is connected with the elaboration of the novel as a literary form. Several authors of note contributed to this. One of them was Samuel Richardson (1689-1761). He was apprenticed to a printer in his youth and later set up his own printing shop in London. Richardson became known as a gifted letter writer, and he began to write a volume of model letters for the use of the country reader. While engaged in writing the form letters he also wrote and published the celebrated novel Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded (1740), telling, in the form of letters, the story of a young maid-servant's defense of her honor.

Clarissa; or the History of a Young Lady (1747-1748), which explores and re-explores the same events from the points of view of several of the characters, is considered his best work. It was praised for its lofty moral tone, sentimentality, and understanding of emotions and the feminine mind.

His last important work was The History of Sir Charles Grandison (1753-1754), in which he presented his ideal of a true Christian gentleman. All of Richardson's novels are in epistolary form — a structure that he refined and developed. For this reason, Richardson is considered a founder of the English modern novel.

Another writer who actually established the English novel tradition was Henry Fielding (1707-1754). As a young man, he was a theatrical manager and playwright in London. Of his 25 plays, the most popular was the farce Tom Thumb. Later in his life, as justice of the peace, he worked hard to reduce crime in London. Meanwhile his career as a novelist began. His first published novel was intended as a parody of the sentimental moralizing of the popular novel by Samuel Richardson.

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (1749) is regarded by critics as one of the great English novels, is in the picaresque tradition, involving the adventures and misadventures of a roguish hero. It tells in rich, realistic detail the many adventures that befall Tom, an engaging young libertine, in his efforts to gain his rightful inheritance.

Fielding is highly regarded for his innovations in the development of the modern novel. Although he was not the first novelist, he was the first writer to break away from the epistolary method. Fielding devised a new structure and theory that laid the foundation for the works of Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, and the Victorian domestic novelists.

The major figure in 18th-century literature as an arbiter of taste, renowned for the force and balance of his prose style was Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), English writer and lexicographer, Johnson, usually referred to as Dr. Johnson by his contemporaries and later generations, was the son of a bookseller. He attended the local school, but his real education was informal, conducted primarily among his father's books as he read and studied the classics, which influenced his style greatly. A brilliant but eccentric young man, he was plagued by a variety of ailments from which he suffered the rest of his life. After his father died, Johnson tried teaching and later organized a school. His educational ventures were not successful, however, although one of his students, David Garrick, later famous as an actor, became a lifelong friend.

The 1750s marked the beginning of a period of great literary activity. He founded his own periodical in which he published a considerable number of eloquent, insightful essays on literature, criticism, and moral theory. While busy with other kinds of writing and always burdened with poverty, Johnson was also at work on a major project — compiling a dictionary commissioned by a group of booksellers. After more than eight years in preparation, the Dictionary of the English Language appeared in 1755. This remarkable work contains about 40,000 entries elucidated by vivid, idiosyncratic, still-quoted definitions and by an extraordinary range of illustrative examples.

Now a celebrity, he and the eminent English portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds founded the Literary Club. Johnson's last major work, The Lives of the English Poets, was begun when he was nearly 70 years old. The work is a distinctive blend of biography and literary criticism. In contemporary studies Johnson emerges as a troubled but undaunted man, compassionate to the poor and oppressed, relentless in his quest for truth, a humanist par excellence. His writing, in defense of reason against the wiles of unchecked fancy and emotion, championed the values of artistic and moral order.

Other important writers of the mature Enlightenment are Laurence Sterne and Thomas Gray. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), English novelist and humorist, wrote The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, one of the great 18th-century masterpieces of English fiction. It caused a literary sensation. Tristram Shandy was a highly original and innovative work; it exploded the budding conventions of the novel and confounded the expectations of its readers. Sterne had unique ideas about perception, meaning, and time that made Tristram Shandy a precursor to the modern novel and stream of consciousness.

At 52, Sterne made a lengthy tour of France and Italy. A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy records his appreciation of the social customs he encountered in France. Somehow, the title gave the name to the whole school of writing, sentimentalism.

Sentimentalism is manifest in the poetic works of Thomas Gray (1716-1771), English poet, was a forerunner of the romantic movement. At 33, he finished the poem for which he is best known, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, and sent it to his friend, the author Horace Walpole, at whose insistence it was published. Since that time the work has remained a favorite.

Horace Walpole (1717-1797) was English novelist and letter writer. After an education at Eton College and the University of Cambridge, he traveled in France and Italy with his friend the English poet Thomas Gray. Walpole entered Parliament and remained a member until his retirement. His political career was limited to minor posts, which he received primarily through the influence of his father, the Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole. His estate became a showplace because of its pseudo-Gothic architecture, its fine library, and its collections of art and curios. He established a printing press there, and the fine books he produced influenced the development of English printing and bookmaking. Walpole dabbled in all the literary arts and made a real contribution to art history. He is better known, however, for his novel The Castle of Otranto (1764); pervaded by elements of the supernatural, it is one of the first works of the genre known as the Gothic romance. Walpole's literary reputation also rests firmly on his correspondence, which provides witty and incisive commentaries on his time.

Manfred, prince of Otranto, had one son and one daughter: the latter, a most beautiful virgin, aged eighteen, was called Matilda. Conrad, the son, was three years younger, a homely youth, sickly, and of no promising disposition; yet he was the darling of his father, who never showed any symptoms of affection to Matilda. Manfred had contracted a marriage for his son with the marquis of Vicenza's daughter, Isabella; and she had already been delivered by her guardians into the hands of Manfred, that he might celebrate the wedding as soon as Conrad's infirm state of health would permit. Manfred's impatience for this ceremonial was remarked by his family and neighbours. The former, indeed, apprehending the severity of their prince's disposition, did not dare to utter their surmises on this precipitation. Hippolita, his wife, an amiable lady, did sometimes venture to represent the danger of marrying their only son so early, considering his great youth, and greater infirmities; but she never received any other answer than reflections on her own sterility, who had given him but one heir. His tenants and subjects were less cautious in their discourses: they attributed this hasty wedding to the prince's dread of seeing accomplished an ancient prophecy, which was said to have pronounced, That the castle and lordship of Otranto should pass from the present family, whenever the real owner should be grown too large to inhabit it. It was difficult to make any sense of this prophecy; and still less easy to conceive what it had to do with the marriage in question. Yet these mysteries, or contradictions, did not make the populace adhere the less to their opinion.
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