Учебное пособие по английскому языку Второе издание


НазваниеУчебное пособие по английскому языку Второе издание
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PART II




Unit X



I. Read the text and do the assignments following it.

English Postwar Literature



After World War II the novel continued to be the dominant genre in postwar literature and many writers depicted the postwar world in realistic colours. Several major writers like C.P. Snow, Gr. Greene came to the fore in interwar period, but their specific manner outlined itself most markedly in their postwar work. Young writers like James Aldridge, who are ready to keep up the standard of wholesome optimism, deserve notice.

In the fifties there appeared a very interesting trend in literature, the followers of which were called "The Angry Young Men." The postwar changes had given a chance to a large number of young people from the more democratic layers of society to receive education at universities. But on graduating, these students found they had no prospects in life. Unemployment had increased after the war and besides that, English society continued to follow the old conservative rules of life and apparently did not need them. No one was interested to learn what their ideas on life and society were. They felt deceived and became angry. The young people's disillusionment determined the character of fiction created by a group of writers, among them were Kingsley Amis, John Wain, John Osborne. Through their characters these writers were eager to express their anger with society.

Many works of English writers of the period were dedicated to the philosophical problems. The most influential philosophical trends of twentieth-century thought often evoked an existential attitude. It implied a certain skepticism about ever knowing the nature of a human being. Existentialist philosophy placed limitations on man's knowledge and power.

The influence of existentialist ideas left a profound impression on the creation of Iris Murdoch. She created a series of intricate novels that deal with the nature of man and his delusions. With I. Murdoch the trend in creative writing moved to philosophical fiction.

William Golding's novels and especially his most successful novel "Lord of the Flies" are notable for their symbolic treatment of human nature.

The proclaimed need was, in fiction for a return to straightforward narrative with no symbolic, trickery, interesting plots and well-rounded characters in the approved 19th century way. "The novel should not only tell a story," it should take an intelligent observant interest in the world in which ordinary people lived their day-to-day lives. And in poetry there was a demand for strict forms. There was a natural desire to cling to familiar cultural forms in a strange and unsettling world.

^ The major achievements in the postwar English novel are William Cooper's "Scenes from Provincial Life," Kingsley Amis's "Lucky Jim," Angus Wilson's "The Old Men at the Zoo," William Golding's "Lord of the Flies," Iris Murdoch's "Under the Net."
II. Translate and learn the following words and word combinations from the text. Use them in the sentences of your own.
a dominant genre, to depict in realistic colours, to come to the fore, to deserve notice, democratic layers of society, to follow the conservative rules of life, to determine the character of fiction, to be dedicated to, to evoke an existential attitude, to leave a profound impression on, a series of intricate novels, to be notable for, straightforward narrative, to cling to, major achievements in.
III. Answer the following questions:
1. What literary genre was dominant in postwar literature?

2. Why is the movement of "The Angry Young Men" called like that?

3. What writers belonged to that literary trend? Have you read any novels by these writers?

4. How can you classify the works of Iris Murdoch and William Golding?

5. Do you remember the quotation about the predestination of the novel?

6. What are the major achievements in postwar literature?
IV. Read the following texts and render them in English.
1. William Cooper's "Scenes from Provincial Life" appeared in 1950. This novel looks at the everyday lives of a group of young people in a Midlands city luring the spring and summer of 1939 just before the outbreak of war: their love affairs and jobs and casual social collisions. The characters are fairly ordinary young people working as school teachers, accountants, commercial artists. And the setting is ordinary, too chools and cafes and trams. During the fifties many other writers used Cooper's manner of writing in novels that were set in the provinces in lower middle-class or occasionally working-class situations.

2. Among them is Kingsley Amis with his celebrated work «Lucky Jim" (1954). Jim Dixon, Amis's skeptical hero desperately trying to hold down a job he does not want as a junior lecturer in a provincial university is a representative type. Jim's desire to find a comfortable niche for himself, his hatred of anything that could be called pretentious were the qualities that appealed to young intellectuals who had been educated in local grammar schools.

3. The next important writer who began as a realistic commentator on social life and has steadily tried to push beyond realism is Angus Wilson. Wilson is a highly intelligent writer who is interested in the problems of power and responsibility, the conflict between generations in contemporary England. He began in the tradition of the 19th century realistic fiction but in "The Old Men at the Zoo" (1961) he wrote a fable that showed a desire to move on from realism. Even in an age when the dominant taste was for unexperimental realism novelists felt the pull towards a different kind of fiction, to fantasy, fable or allegory, even some who began as realists like Amis and Wilson. And in fact, some of the best admired fiction of the 50s was written in this vein of fable or fantasy.

4. Thus in 1954 William Golding published "Lord of the Flies," a work which was to achieve global popularity. Golding is a brilliant storyteller and his novel "Lord of the Flies" is an exciting story about the fate of a party of English schoolboys who are marooned on a desert island. But it is also a philosophical allegory about the nature of evil and good.

5. The mid-fifties also saw the publication of Iris Murdoch's first novel "Under the Net." This is an engaging story of the casual adventures of a young Irish writer living in London. She has published innumerable other novels. She usually writes about intelligent sensitive characters whose lives are complicated by secrets and mysteries. It is not always easy to believe in Murdoch's characters, they often seem like puppets acting out their author's love of pattern-making.
(From "A Short History of English Literature " by I. Evans)
V. Render the following text in English. Use the key words and word combinations given below:
to be marked by, to make a noise, a playwright, "Hurry on Down" by John Wain, "Look Back in Anger" by J. Osborn, to approve enthusiastically, indignation, resentment, conservative.
Начало 50-х годов ознаменовалось в литературной жизни Англии событием, которое произвело немало шума как в самой стране, так и за ее пределами. На литературную арену вышли прозаики, поэты и драматурги, получившие название "разгневанных", или "рассерженных", – родилась литература "рассерженной молодежи".

"Рассерженные" выступили в 1953 году, когда были опубликованы романы Кингли Эмиса "Счастливчик Джим" и Джона Уэйна "Спеши вниз" (1960). С тех пор, в особенности с момента появления на сцене пьесы Осборна "Оглянись во гневе" (1956), вся Англия заговорила о "рассерженной молодежи" как общественном явлении. Одни говорили с одобрением и даже восторгом, другие с возмущением и брезгливым пренебрежением. Но не заметить ее было невозможно; она волновала, хотя и по-разному, молодых и старых, передовых и консервативных людей страны.

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Автор: Лебедева Е. А., доцент кафедры языкознания и иностранных языков Ростовского
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