Розмовні теми частина 2 - Т. М. Гужва 2003

Books and Writers
Additional topics


Topic 1

William Shakespeare (1564—1616)

William Shakespeare was born at Stratford-on-Avon. While a youth, he left for London and became attached to a company of players. He was an actor, and produced his own plays which were staged at the Globe Theatre.

Shakespeare is the greatest playwright in the history of English and world literature. His prodigious vitality remains unimpaired for centuries. The poet wrote of the eternal things in life: love, death and high human aspirations. He reflected the spirit of the Renaissance, the epoch of great discoveries and darings, with all its contradictions and tragedies. Shakespeare taught to understand the essence of human relations, passions and conflicts, and presented them with great dramatic vigour. He gave lively representations of his contemporaries and historical types.

Shakespeare wrote 37 plays altogether. His creative work can be divided into four periods.

The first period (1590—1593) may be named his period of apprenticeship. It includes histories and comedies: «King Henry VI,» «King Richard III,» «The Comedy of Errors,» «The Taming of the Shrew, » and «Titus Andronicus.»

In the second period (1594—1600), apart from comedies and histories: «A Midsummer Night’s Dream, » «Much Ado About Nothing, » «As You Like It, » «Twelfth Night, or What You Will, » «King Richard II,» «King Henry IV, » etc.,— Shakespeare wrote his first notable tragedies, «Romeo and Juliet» and «Julius Ceasar.» These periods of the playwright’s creative activities are remarkable mostly for optimism, sunny, sparkling joyousness, and faith in the Renaissance. Still, the historical plays first put forth the problems later to be developed in his great tragedies.

The third period (1601—1608) includes tragedies which appear in succession: «Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, » «Othello, » «The Moor of Venice, » «King Lear» and «Macbeth. » Light-hearted, buoyant joyousness that brightens up his comedies gives way to dark and gloomy colours. Shakespeare emphasizes dramatic circumstances in human life.

The fourth period (1609—1612) contains «Cymbeline, » «The Winter’s Tale, » «The Tempest, "and «King Henry VIII. "It suggests philosophic meditation on the eternal verities of human life.

Shakespeare is also known as the author of two poems and 154 sonnets.

His plays, translated into many languages, are performed on the stages of the best theatres of the world.

Shakespeare died at the age of fifty-two in 1626. He was buried in Stratford Church.

to attach — примыкать, присоединяться • приєднуватися

prodigious vitality — удивительная живучесть • дивна живучість

unimpaired — нетронутый, незатронутый, непосредственный • незайманий, безпосередній

aspiration — стремление, сильное желание • прагнення, сильне бажання

the spirit of the Renaissance — дух эпохи Возрождения • дух епохи Відродження

contradictions — противоречия • суперечності

passion — страсть • пристрасть

dramatic Vigour — драматургическая сила, энергия • драматургічна сила, енергія

apprenticeship — учение, ученичество • навчання, учнівство

Topic 2

Robert Burns (1759-1796)

Robert Burns is the national pride of Scotland. He was bom in the family of a small tenant farmer and grew up in poverty. Still a child, he had to do a man’s work in the fields.

Burns was a self-educated poet. He began writing poetry at the age of seventeen, but he was twenty-seven when his first volume — «Poems: Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect» — was published (1786), which won him immediate success. It contained some of his celebrated popular poems and songs.

The source of Bums’ poetry is the life of common toilers and Scottish folklore. His democratic sympathies always remain unalterable. A manly sense of liberty is the animating force of his genius.

The simplicity remained with Burns throughout his brief life of thirty seven years, no one had a deeper love of the ordinary things of the countryside, nor a richer understanding of ordinary people, than this peasant poet, who speaks for Scotland the world over. His poems are still spoken, his songs are constantly sung.

An essential feature in the poetry of Bums is the inborn gift of quiet mirth and gaiety which brings with it a touch of fine irony.

The most popular poems by Bums are: «John Barleycorn, » «The Tree of Liberty,» «Jolly Beggars,» «My Heart’s in the Highlands,» «A Man’s a Man for All That,» «Auld Lang Syne » and some others.

poverty — бедность • бідність

unalterable — неизменный, устойчивый • незмінний, стійкий

animating force — вдохновляющая сила • надихальна сила

genius — гений, гениальность; чувства • геній, геніальність; почуття

Topic 3

George Gordon Noel Byron (1788—1824)

The life and works of Byron symbolize the champion of oppressed, love of freedom, protest against tyranny.

Byron’s genius has been less recognized in England than on the Continent, where he has exercised a marked influence on Romantic literature. His views found their expression in «Byronism» — an ideological trend in literature. Byronism could be found in the literature of any country. Great Russian poets and writers owed much to Byron.

Young Pushkin found in the English poet a reflection of his freedom-loving sentiment and his romantic protest.

George Gordon Byron was bom in London in 1788. After the death of his father (1791) his mother moved with him from London to Aberdeen, in Scotland. In his eleventh year, the little lame boy became a lord and heir to the family estate. He returned to England and was educated at Harrow and Cambridge.

His first volume of poetry, «Hours of Idleness » appeared in 1807 and was furiously attacked in the Edinburgh Review. He replied in the satire «English Bards and Scotch Reviewers,» and then went abroad to Spain, Malta, Turkey and Greece.

After his return to England, he published the first two cantos of «Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, "which give a poetical account of his travels. The publication of this poem at once made him famous.

Deeply wounded by the general outcry raised against him after the divorce with his wife, the poet left England never to return.

He went to Brussels, then to Switzerland. In 1823 he set out for Greece, to assist the Greeks in their stmggle for independence, but he died of a fever at Missolonghi on 19th of April, 1824.

on the Continent — в континентальной Европе • в континентальній Європі

ideological trend in literature — идеологическое направление в литературе • ідеологічний напрям

heir — наследник • нащадок

furiously — яростно, жестоко • яро, жорстоко

the poet left England never to return — поэт навсегда покинул Англию • поет назавжди покинув Англію

Topic 4

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Charles Dickens is one of the four best English writers of the 19th century. Dickens, Thackeray, Charlotte Bronte, Gaskell constitute the glorious school of English novelists.

The great delight of Dickens’ early boyhood was the reading of a little library which he discovered in an upstairs room of his father’s house in Portsmouth. His father was a clerk, he could never make both ends meet and was thrown into the debtor’s prison. In those days a man who was imprisoned for debt could have his family to live with him in the prison, where a fair amount of liberty was allowed. And so Dickens’ mother, with her other children, went to stay at the prison. Little Charles was sent to work. He stuck labels on blacking-bottles. When his father got a legacy and was set free, the boy was able to leave his dirty work of label-pasting and was sent to school.

Soon he entered a lawyer’s office. He learned shorthand and by spending much of his time at the British Museum managed to make up for the shortcomings in his education.

Dickens was nineteen years old when he became a reporter. While he was working for his newspapers he began writing sketches of the characters he had observed; and in the year 1836 they were collected into a book under the title of «Sketches by Boz.»

In 1836 « The Pickwick Papers’’ was published. The book brought fame and money. He worked rest and produced many novels.

All his writings, whether sad or happy, serious or gay, are alive with warm-hearted sympathy for people.

Dickens’ world-wide popularity is immense and enduring. More than a century has passed since the publication of his first novel «The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club» (1837). Nowadays this book is known all over the world as well as many others by Dickens.

In the books by Dickens we have an astonishing combination of creative vigour, inimitable humour and abundant variety. Every personality Dickens describes is full of life.

Dickens is one of the novelists representing critical realism in English literature. He showed the life of the English society of his time and touched upon the most significant social problems.

The reader is greatly impressed by the humanity reflected in every page of Dickens’s novels. The writer arouses kind and pure feelings imperceptibly giving the lessons of love for man.

His well-known novels are: «The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, » «The Adventures of Oliver Twist, » «The Personal History of David Copperfield, » «Little Dorrit, » «Great Expectations » and «Our Mutual Friend.»

Dickens died in 1870 and was buried in Westminster Abbey, as he wished with nothing on the stone but his name «Charles Dickens.»

to make both ends meet — сводить концы с концами • зводити кінці з кінцями

debtor’s prison — долговая тюрьма • боргова в’язниця

to touch upon the most significant problems — касаться наиболее важных проблем • заторкувати найважливіші проблеми

imperceptibly — незаметно • непомітно


Topic 5

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

The second half of the 19th century is marked by the growing of realistic tendencies in American literature. The most outstanding American author of this period is Mark Twain.

Mark Twain’s real name was Samuel Clemens. His boyhood was spent in Hannibal on the Mississippi River. He told about his boyhood in the book «The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.» When he was 12, his father died and the boy had to earn his own living. He worked as a printer and afterwards as a pilot on the Mississippi River. America, as it was in fact, passed before the eyes of the youth. He was beginning to get to know his country. He was 27 when his first sketches and stories began to appear under his pen-name — Mark Twain.

Soon Twain was acknowledged as the best short-story writer in America. He published with great success «The Jumping Frog of Calaveras Country, » «The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, » «The Innocents Abroad, » «The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, » «The Prince and the Pauper,» etc.

Mark Twain started as a humorist. In earlier years he believed in American democracy and civilisation, but later he got rid of these illusions. In his stories and pamphlets he shows the power of gold that rules the country.

Mark Twain’s laughter and sharp satire will always sound in defence of the great humane calling a Man, in defence of the people, full of energy and joy of life.

That is why his stories enjoy widespread popularity. His characters are always well-drawn, his stories are true-to-life and the plots of his stories are skilfully built up.

Many years have passed since Mark Twain’s death, but even now we enjoy reading his works. Besides being a humorist, Mark Twain is also a realist — the author of biting satires and bitterly critical pages revealing a good deal of the truth about American way of life.

get rid of — отделаться от • позбавитися

Topic 6

Arthur Hailey (b. 1920)

Arthur Hailey was bom in 1920 at Luton, England, where he attended school and then worked as an office boy and clerk. At the outbreak of World War II he joined the Royal Air Force. He served in the flying corps successfully throughout the war and towards the end of it rose to the rank of a Fight Lieutenant.

In 1947 he emigrated to Canada where he lived for almost two decades. The year 1956 was a turning-point in his life. It marked the beginning of his career as a full-time author. Before that he had changed a number of jobs working successively as a real-estate salesman, business magazine editor and a sale and advertising executive. After the success of his widely acclaimed television play «Flight into Danger» he decided that his work was not compatible with an author’s life and devoted himself completely to literature.

A. Hailey is a prolific writer. He has published novels and plays, he has written for the theatre and for the television.

In 1965 he moved to California where he lived for four years and since 1969 he has made his home in the Bahamas.

A series of successful novels has established his reputation as one of the most popular writers of today.

These novels are: «The Final Diagnosis» (1959), «In High Places» (1962), «Hotel» (1965), «Airport» (196S), «Wheels» (1971), «The Money-changers» (1975).

His novels have been filmed, his plays have been staged in the theatre and on TV, his books have been translated into 27 languages.

A. Hailey is the winner of several awards for creative achievements. His books are completely absorbing and present a closely- knit web of fiction and reality. The world-wide fame of his novels is largely due to his being a brilliant story-teller. He knows how to keep the reader in suspense. Apart from that his books provide a great deal of accurate and interesting information. Whatever sphere of life is in the limelight in his novel, whether a hotel or an airport, a hospital or a major bank, he is well informed and knows what he is writing about.

His books are peopled with men and women whose private pressures and passions are unfolded against the background of contemporary life palpitating with dynamic rhythm, presented in all its complexity.

advertising executive — работник рекламы • працівник реклами

prolific writer — плодотворный писатель • плодовитий письменник

to keep the reader in suspense — держать читателя в напряжении • тримати читана в напрузі

Topic 7

О. Henry (1862-1910)

One day when the century was young O. Henry was dining with several friends at a New York restaurant favoured by theatrical and writing folk. Eager to learn how O. Henry wrote, the friends began asking him where he found his plot. «Oh, everywhere,» replied O. Henry. «There are stories in everything.» He picked up the bill of fare, on which the dishes of the day were typewritten. «There’s a story in this,» he said. And then he outlined substantially the tale called «Springtime a la Carte.»    

O. Henry was bom William Sydney Porter, in Greensboro, North Carolina, September 11, 1862. Bill’s mother had died when he was three. His education stopped at fifteen, but his aunt, who had a private school, stimulated his reading and story-telling. Bill Porter worked five years in his uncle’s drugstore.

In 1884 O. Henry went to Austin, where he married. In Austin he obtained a job as a teller in a bank. When irregularities were found in Porter’s accounts, a shortage of less than a thousand dollars, he was found guilty and sent into the prison. In the prison he worked as a drug clerk, and there he began seriously to write. It was there also that he was supposed to have picked up the name O. Henry from a prison guard named Orrin Henry, though Porter never gave a clear explanation of its origin.

After the prison O. Henry lived in a shabby bedroom in Pittsburgh for three months. In 1902 he moved to New York. What followed is a fabulous story of success. In less than eight years O. Henry became the most widely read story-teller in the country.

In the «Cabbages and Kings» (1904) appeared his stories about Central America. In his second book, «The Four Million,» he collected stories about New York. Other tales appeared in «Trimmed Lamp »(1907), «Heart of the West» (1907), «The Voice of the City» (1908), «Roads of Destiny» (1909), «Options» (1909), «Strictly Business» (1910), «Whirligigs» (1910), and in three books issued after his death.

O. Henry died in 1910 at the age of forty-seven. Like Edgar Allan Poe, O. Henry is now one of the legendary characters of New York. He was a kindly, considerate man, who liked to walk about the city at night, studying faces and inventing stories about them. «I’ve got some of my best yarns from park benches, lamp-posts and newspaper stands,» he said. That was O. Henry’s way, to seize on something commonplace, part of the routine of living, and associate it with one of his favourite subjects, the experience of two lovers, kept apart in the maze of a great city, united by a providential accident — and a trick of story-telling.

O. Henry is a master of make-believe, who puts a romantic glow over everyday living. By drawing characters who are wistful when lucky and brave in adversity, he answers the eternal demand for a good story.

to favour — уделять внимание • приділяти увагу

substantially — основательно • ґрунтовно

a la Carte (Fr.) — в меню • в меню

drugstore (Am.) — аптека • аптека

to obtain — получать • одержувати

teller (Am.) — кассир • касир

irregularity — нарушение • порушення

accounts — счета • рахунки

shortage — недостача • недостача

guilty — виновный • винний

shabby — бедный, убогий • бідний, вбогий

«The Trimmed Lamp» — «Горящий светильник» • «Лампа, що палає»

«Options» — «На выбор» • «На вибір»

«Strictly Business» — «Деловые люди» • «Ділові люди»

yam — рассказ • оповідання

commonplace — банальный • банальний

maze — лабиринт • лабіринт

providential — счастливый • щасливий

make-believe — фантазия • фантазія

wistful — опечаленный • засмучений, зажмурений

adversity — беда • біда


Topic 8

Taras Shevchenko (1814—1861)

Taras Shevchenko is an outstanding Ukrainian poet, artist and thinker. His first collection of verse, «Kobzar» (1840), marked a new stage in the development of Ukrainian literature. His famous poems «Kateryna,» «Haidamaky, » drama «Nazar Stodolya» (1841—1843), collection of verse «Three Summers» (1843—1845), "The Woman Servant,» «Heretic» «My Testament» (1845) are mainly focused on the theme of struggle against czarist autocracy. His poetry greatly influenced the formation of social and moral traits of Ukrainian people.

Shevchenko’s outstanding talent helped him quickly absorb spiritual environment, for this reason he was recognized as a competent person in arts and the national literature.

The dissolution of the Brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, arrest and exile failed the poet’s iron will. Verse written in exile appeared as the «Barracks» series. It was also in exile that Shevchenko created his unmatched philosophic «landscape» and intimate lyrical pieces, historical works and prose writings.

For many years Shevchenko hoped to return to Ukraine and buy a plot of land there to build his own hut. But his last dream wasn’t destined to come true...

Taras Shevchenko, bom 9 March, 1814, in Moryntsi, Kyiv gubernia, died 10 March, 1861, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Artist, poet, and national bard of Ukraine.

Born a serf, Shevchenko was orphaned in his early teens and grew up in poverty and misery. He was taught to read by the village precentor and was often beaten for «wasting time» on drawing, for which he had an innate talent. At the age of 14 he was taken by his owner, P. Engelhardt, to serve as a houseboy, and travelled extensively with him, first to Vilnius and then to St. Petersburg. Engelhardt noticed Shevchenko’s artistic talent and apprenticed him to the painter V. Shiriaev for four years. During that period he met his compatriots I. Soshenko, Ye. Hrebinka, V. Hryhorovych, and O. Venitsianov. Through them he met the Russian painter K. Briullov, whose portrait of the Russian poet V. Zhukovsky was disposed of in a lottery, the proceeds of which were used to buy Shevchenko’s freedom from Engelhardt in 1838.

Shevchenko enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg and pursued his art studies as well as his general education. In 1840 he published his first collection of poems, «Kobzar». It was followed by the epic poem «Haidamaky" (1841) and the ballad «Hamalia» (1844). In 1840s Shevchenko visited Ukraine three times. Those visits made a profound impact on him. He was, furthermore, struck by the ravaged state of Ukraine.

After graduating from the academy (1845) he became a member of the Kyiv Archeographic Commission. That position gave rise to extensive travels during which he sketched a lot, and wrote some of his most satirical and politically subversive poems («Dream,» «Caucasus » and others).

In 1846 Shevchenko came to Kyiv and joined the secret Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood. A denunciation resulted in the arrest of the members of the brotherhood. Shevchenko was arrested in 1847 and sent as a private to the Orenburg special corps in a remote area of the Caspian Sea. Csar Nickolai I himself initiated the sentencing order preventing the prisoner from writing and painting. But Shevchenko managed to continue doing both.

Shevchenko was released in 1857 but he was not allowed to live in Ukraine. He lived in St. Petersburg and was buried there, but afterward his remains were transferred to the Chemecha Hill near Kaniv, in Ukraine.

Shevchenko has a uniquely important place in Ukrainian history. He created the conditions that allowed the transformation of the Ukrainian literature into a fully functional modem literature. His influence on the Ukrainian political thought and his role as an in-spirer of a modem democratic ideal of renewed Ukrainian statehood are without parallel. His poetry contributed greatly to the evolution of national consciousness among the Ukrainian intelligentsia and people, and his influence on various facets of cultural and national life is felt to this day.

Shevchenko’s literary output consists of one middle-sized collection of poetry («Kobzar»); the drama «Nazar Stodolya»; two dramatic fragments; nine novelettes, a diary, and an autobiography in Russian; and over 250 letters.

Although Shevchenko is seen mainly as a poet, he was also a highly accomplished artist. There are 835 works extant from that domain of his creativity. Another 270 are known but have been lost. Shevchenko painted over 150 portraits, 43 of them self-portraits. He also painted numerous landscapes which recorded the architectural monuments of Ukraine. He was also very proficient in water-colour, aquatint, and etching.

"My Testament» — «Завещание» • «Заповіт»

czarist autocracy — царское самодержавие • самодержавство

dissolution of the Brotherhood of Sts. Cyril and Methodius — разгром Кирило-Мефодиевского братства • розгром Кирило-Мефодіївського братства

exile — ссылка • заслання

iron will — железная воля • залізна воля

intimate lyrical pieces — интимная лирика • інтимна лірика

wasn’t destined to come true — не было суждено осуществиться • не судилося статися

serf — крестьянин • селянин

to be orphaned — осиротеть • осиротіти

misery — нищета, бедность • злидні, бідність

precentor — регент хора • регент хору

innate — природный, врожденный • природний, вроджений

to apprentice — отдать в учение • віддати в науку

compatriot — соотечественник • співвітчизник

proceeds — выручка • виручка

to enroll — записаться, вступить • записатися, поступити

to pursue — продолжать • продовжувати

ravaged — разоренный • розорений

to give rise to — дать повод • дати привід

to sketch — делать эскизы • малювати ескізи

subversive — подрывной • підривний

denunciation — открытие • відкриття

corp (Фр.) (pl. corps) — воeн, корпус; род войск, служба • військовий корпус; рід військ, служба

remote — отдаленный • віддалений

sentence — приговор • вирок

to release — освободить • звільнити

consciousness — сознание • свідомість

facet — аспект • аспект

output — продукция, выпуск • продукція, випуск


The mighty Dnieper roars and bellows,

The wind in anger howls and raves,

Down to the ground it bends the willows

And mountain-high lifts up the waves.

The pale-faced moon picked out this moment

To peek out from behind a cloud.

Like a canoe upon the ocean

It first tips up, and then dips down.

The cocks have not proclaimed the morning,

There’s not a sound as yet of man.

The owls in glades call out their warnings,

And ash-trees creak and creak again.

Translated by John Weir


It does not touch me, not a whit

If I live in Ukraine or no,

If men recall me, or forget.

Lost as I am, in foreign snow, —

Touches me not the slightest whit.

Captive, to manhood I have grown

In strangers’ homes, and by my own

Unmoumed, a weeping captive still,

I’ll die; all that is mine, I will

Bear off, let not a trace remain

In our own glorious Ukraine,

Our own land — yet a stranger’s rather.

And speaking with his son, no father

Will recall, nor bid him: Pray,

Pray, son! Of old, for our Ukraine,

They tortured all his life away.

It does not touch me, not a whit,

Whether that son will pray, or no...

But it does touch me deep if knaves,

Evil rogues lull our Ukraine

Asleep, and only in the flames

Let her, all plundered, wake again...

That touches me with deepest pain.

Translated by Vera Rich

to roar — реветь • ревіти

to bellow — бушевать • стогнати

to howl — завывать • завивати

to bend — гнуть • гнути

willow — ива • верба

glade — просека, поляна • просіка, галявина

warning — предостережение • попередження

ash-tree — ясень • ясен

to creak — скрипеть • скрипіти

captive — взятый в плен • взятий в полон

unmounted — не оплаканный • не оплаканий

weeping — плачущий • що плаче

trace — след • слід

to bid — просить • просити

to pray — молиться • молитися

rogue — негодяй • негідник

Topic 9

Lesya Ukrainka (1871-1913)

Larissa Kossach (pen-name Lesya Ukrainka) was born in Novgorod-Volynsky on February 25, 1871, which is now Zhytomir Region. Her father was a lawyer and her mother was a Ukrainian writer (pen-name Olena Pchilka). Her sister was married to Mykhailo Drahomanov, a scholar, public figure and political emigrant, who was to play a great role in Lesya’s life.

When Lesya was nine, her parents moved to the town of Lutsk and settled at an estate near Kovel. Because of-weak health and the absence of school with instruction in the Ukrainian language, Lesya received education at home. She had a remarkable aptitude for the humanities.

Esya’s close ties with distinguished public and cultural figures of her time played a positive role in her formation as a poet. Apart from M. Drahomanov and I. Franko, the Kossaches’ friends included the composer M. Lysenko, the poet, playwright and one of the founders of the Ukrainian professional theatre N. Staritsky, the bibliographer M. Komarov, and other poets. Such a medium made Lesya try her hand at writing poetry early. At the age of nine she wrote her first verses, and at 13 her first poem was published in the Lviv magazine «Zorya.« From then her poetry appeared regularly in the Ukrainian publications.

Unfortunately, the outset of her literary career coincided with the first symptoms of what was then an incurable disease — tuberculosis of the bones. Her poor health made her travel from one warm country to another — Vienna, Crimea, Italy, Georgia, Egypt.

In 1893 her book of verse, «On Wings of Songs, "was published. It was favourably received both by the readers and critics. Then followed her books of verse «Thoughts and Dreams, » «Responses, » which earned her, alongside I. Franko, a leading place in Ukrainian literature at the turn of the century. Just then she turned to play- wrighting. Her first work of drama were based on subjects from the Bible. Among her best plays are «The Forest Song» and «The Stone Host. »

Beginning with 1894 Lesya lived in Kyiv. Here she started learning foreign languages. Later on she read and spoke English as well Ukrainian. With a full command of German, French, Italian and English she could write not only prose, but also poetry in all these languages.

L. Ukrainka died on August 1, 1913 in Georgia, and was buried in Kyiv. Her works reveal the dominant feature of her talent — exceptional public sensitivity and the ability to grasp and express in vivid images the idea and tendencies of her time.

pen-name — литературный псевдоним • літературний псевдонім

scholar — ученый • вчений

emigrant — эмигрант • емігрант

instruction — обучение • навчання

remarkable — необычайный, выдающийся • незвичайний, видатний

aptitude — способность • здатність

close ties — тесные узы • тісні узи

distinguished — выдающийся, отличительный, характерный • видатний, помітний, характерний

playwright — драматург • драматург

medium — среда • середовище

verse — стихотворение • вірші

outset — начало • початок

Topic 10

Vasyl Symonenko (1935—1963)

Vasyl Symonenko is one of the greatest and most popular Ukrainian poets. He began to write his poems when he was studying at Kyiv University. It was in the middle of 1950, but Vasyl didn’t hurry to publish them. So his first book of poems «Silence and Thunder» appeared in 1962, and this was a great period of the Ukrainian poetry revival. We admire the great world of Symonenko’s poetry as a whole, and each of us finds some special lines for himself which open Symonenko’s great and generous heart for us, his sympathy and respect for the Ukrainian people. I hope no one is challenging the view that he occupies an outstanding place in Ukrainian literature and culture. His first book of poetry proved the fact that the new name which was worth attention of contemporaries appeared.

Vasyl Symonenko was bom in 1935 in the village of Biyevtsi of Poltavska region. In 1952 he left secondary school and entered Kyiv University at the Department of Journalism. His father died when Vasyl was a little boy and his life was rather hard. Those were the years of sufferings, the most difficult years of his life. Later he described his hard life and poverty in his poems.

Vasyl Symonenko is not only a great poet, he is a perfect man combining brilliant talent and civil courage and moral integrity. His name is associated with love for his Motherland, native language and the best in our life.

His individual style of writing attracts attention of many readers, because his poetry differs from the poetry of other Ukrainian poets due to his own attitude to the events surrounding him. His poetry created a new type of poetry — a poetry of love for people and native land.

Hundreds of new concepts had appeared in our language in the years that passed since his death, but not a single word of this poems became obsolete. The old forms of life went to the past, but everything written by Symonenko continues to live. His poem «The Shore of Expectations » gained a wide audience.

Vasyl Symonenko died in 1963, but his feelings and views still correspond to the views and feelings of Ukrainian people.

Whatever Simonenko’s work we read we see portrayal of Ukrainian soul, the life of the Ukrainian land, Ukrainian people.

to appear — показываться, появляться • з’являтися

to admire — восхищаться, приходить в восторг • захоплюватися

generous — благородный, великодушный, щедрый • шляхетний, великодушний, щедрий

sympathy — симпатия • симпатія

respect — уважение • повага

to challenge — оспаривать • суперечити

to occupy an outstanding place — занимать выдающееся место • посідати видатне місце

to prove the fact — подтверждать факт • підтверджувати факт

to be worth attention — стоить того, чтобы обратить внимание • варте того, щоб звернути увагу

poverty — бедность • бідність

to combine brilliant talent and civil courage — сочетать яркий талант и гражданское мужество • узгоджувати яскравий талант і громадянську мужність

to attract attention — привлекать внимание • привертати увагу

concept — понятие, идея, общее представление • поняття, ідея, загальне уявлення

obsolete — устарелый, отживший • застарілий, віджилий

to gain a wide audience — завоевать широкую аудиторию • завоювати широку аудиторію

to correspond (to) — соответствовать (ч.-л.) • відповідати (чомусь)

portrayal — изображение, описание • зображення, опис

soul — душа • душа

Topic 11

Books in Ukraine

The oldest book using the Cyrillic alphabet was «Ostromyrove Yevanheliye » (the Gospels of Ostromyr, 1056—1057). It was only natural that the literary works of the ancient times were of a religious nature (sermons, hymns, etc.).

With time the number of books grew. Yaroslav the Wise set up a library at St. Sophia Cathedral.

At first books were written using specially treated animal skin, called parchment. It was very expensive, and from the 14th century paper was mostly used.

During the Ukrainian renaissance (16th—17th centuries) a lot of libraries appeared in Ostroh, Lviv, Kyiv’s Monastery of the Caves.

Book printing came to Ukraine from the West, long before Fedorov’s first book appeared in print in Moscow. Ivan Fedorov was a founder of book printing in Ukrainian lands. The first printed books in Ukraine were «The Apostle» (1574), «The Bible of Ostroh »(1581). «Books are actually the river which nourishes the Universe,» an old Ukrainian author wrote.

The following statistics testify to the development of book printing in Ukraine: in 1591—1622, the print shop of Lviv put out 13 books; the one at the Kyiv Monastery of the Caves — 40 books; the print shop in Chemihiv produced more than 50 books over a short period of time.

A new type of literature, fiction, appeared in Ukraine at the end of the 18th century. Public libraries began to function in many Ukrainian cities and towns. The situation with Ukrainian books changed after the revolution of 1917.

A new stage in book printing in Ukraine began in 1980. A number of new publishing houses specializing in a variety of spheres were set up. Book printing became an inseparable component of the national economy, assuming an important role in the democratization of society, in the cultural and linguistic rebirth of the nation.

In the early 1990s Ukraine numerated 25,292 public and university libraries with over 400.9 million volumes, of which books and magazines in Ukrainian constituted 36%.

The biggest collections are at the Vernadsky Central Reference Library of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences (some 13,000,000).

parchment — пергамент • пергамент

to nourish — питать, кормить • годувати, живити

to testify — свидетельствовать • свідчити

inseparable component of the national economy — неотъемлемый компонент национальной экономики • невід’ємний компонент національної економіки

Topic 12

Literature in Ukraine

Old Ukrainian literature took centuries to develop, influenced by two bookish languages and, therefore, two literary styles. The introduction of Christianity broadened the usage of Church Slavonic which for almost 800 years remained the means of inter-Slavic communication.

«The Precepts of Volodymyr Monomakh » is an outstanding literary memorial of the distant past, in which the image of a virtuous Christian, wise politician, loving father and demanding teacher was skilfully described.

«The Kyiv-Pechersk Patericon» describes the lives of the Fathers of the Caves, «The Lay of the Host of Ihor » was a gem of ancient literature, a poetic masterpiece whose brilliant author combined rare literary talent with political wisdom and profound knowledge of history.

In the 16th century poetry received a powerful impetus. The late 17th—18th centuries, the period of Ukrainian literary baroque, saw the spreading of religious philosophic ideas and panegyrical literature, poetry and dramaturgy. It was the time of Hrigoriy Skovoroda, the most outstanding philosopher and writer.

Ivan Kotlyarevsky’s epic burlesque «Aeneid, » abundant with juicy Ukrainian folk witticisms, skilfully coloured realistic portrayals and aphoristic characters, turned out the first creation of new Ukrainian literature.

Came the 19th century, the Golden Age of Ukrainian literature.

The new epoch in the progress of Ukrainian literature, the language and the whole of culture and national self-consciousness started with the appearance of Taras Shevchenko’s verse and works of art. In 1840, his «Kobzar» came off the press. His creative endeavours reflected the best folk poetic traditions, acquiring universal humanistic significance as an eloquent expression of the hopes and aspirations of a downtrodden nation. For the first time the Ukrainian language echoed across the world with a Shakespearean strength and philosophic depth.

Realism flourished in the second half of the century. It was the time of such literary giants as Ivan Franko, Ivan Nechui-Levytsky, Panas Myrny, Mykola Hrabovskyand Lesya Ukrainka.

In the 20th century the Ukrainian literary process was rather complicated.

Cataclysms of the stormy 20th century forced a considerable part of the creative intelligentsia to leave Ukraine. Thus emerged a whole cultural «massif’ commonly known as «Ukrainian literature in the Diaspora.»

At present, the Writers’ Union of Ukraine has a membership of 1,500.

(from magazine «Computer Systems »)

«The Precept of Volodymyr Monomakh» — «Поучения Владимира Мономаха» • «Повчання Володимира Мономаха»

distant past — далекое прошлое • далеке минуле

virtuous Christian — добродетельный христианин • доброчинний християнин

«The Kyiv-Pechersk Patericon» — «Киево-Печерский патерик» • «Києво-Печерський патерик»

the Fathers of the Caves — печорские отцы • печерські отці

«The Lay of the Host of Ihor» — «Слово о полку Игореве» • «Слово о полку Ігоревім»

poetic masterpiece — поэтический шедевр • поетичний шедевр

baroque — барокко • бароко

panegyrical literature — хвалебная литература • панегірична (хвалебна) література

burlesque — бурлеск, пародия, фарс, карикатура • бурлеск, пародія, фарс, карикатура

abundant with juicy Ukrainian folk witticism — с изобилием сочного народного юмора • з великою кількістю соковитого народного гумору

national self-consciousness — национальное самосознание • національна самосвідомість

endeavour — стремление, попытка • прагнення, спроба

eloquent — красноречивый • красномовний

to flourish — процветать • процвітати

complicated — сложный, запутанный • складний, заплутаний

cataclysm — катаклизм, политический или социальный переворот • катаклізм, політичний або соціальний переворот

Topic 13

American Literature

Colonial period dominated by theological works. Revolution marked great period of political writing. Independence gave rise to native American themes in working of living. 19th century «American Renaissance» heralded by works of Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman. Such writers as Henry James and Mark Twain reached national audiences in post-Civil War decades (Lost Generation of post-W.W.I writers included Dos Passos, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner). Negro authors began receiving critical attention in the 1930s and 1940s.

In Colonial America’s early days a secular literature was scarcely suffered to exist; most published works were trash displaying a ferocious Puritan piety. Poetry in Colonial times was also uniformly pious, notably the works of Anne Bradstreet (1612—1672), Edwards Taylor (16440—1729) and-Michael Wiggleworth (1631—1705).

The ferment of the American Revolution and the achievement of independence gave rise to some of the noblest political writing in the English language. The «Declaration of Independence,» save for a few minor alterations, was wholly the work of the awesomely talented Thomas Jefferson (1743—1826). Equally brilliant were the federalist papers of James Madison (1750—1836), Alexander Hamilton (1755—1804) and John Jay (1745-1829).

Ironically, most aspiring writers of the early post-Revolutionary era craved recognition in Britain above and else — and the first to get it were two men whose work was rooted in native American themes. Entirely out of the American mainstream were the works of Edgar Allan Poe (1809—1849). Poe’s fascination with the'exotic and macabre as expressed in his poems and short stories and his incisive literary criticism, long made him far more popular in Europe than at home. Most 19th-century Americans were more comfortable with the healthy, outdoor romanticism of poets William Cullen Bryant (1794—1878), Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807—1882) and John Greenleaf Whittier (1807—1892).

In the single decade between 1850 and 1860 New England was the scene of an astonishing outburst of literary creativity that has since become known as the American Renaissance. Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804—1864) published «The Scarlet Letter,» Herman Melville (1819—1891) wrote «Moby Dick. "During this decade Brooklyn’s Walt Whitman (1819—1892) published his first version of «Leaves of Grass.» These writers were all high-minded, reformists, intensely American. The end of the Civil War marked a new development in American literature: though much writing remained regional in style and subject, it became increasingly national in audience. The gold- rush stories of Bret Harte (1836—1902), the Southern poetry of Sidney Lanier (1842—1881), — all were the boisterous, eccentric genius whose talent transcended his own regionalism; Mark Twain whose real name was Samuel Langhome Clemens (1835—1910). His masterpiece, «The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (1884), has been called by some critics the one true American epic.

Toward the end of the 19th-century three «schools» of American novelists took three distinct directions. The Naturalists, including, Stephen Crane (1871—1900) and Theodore Dreiser (1871—1945), depicted the nature in stark detail. Upholding the flag of realism was William Dean Howells (1837—1920), who insisted that «ordinary» middle-class experience was the basic truth of American life. The third direction was represented by Henry James (1843—1916), master of psychological fiction and the novels of manners.

In the 20th-century US writers have produced an amazing explosion of literature, which may yet be called the «Second American Renaissance.» In this same period, before and during the gigantic upheaval of World War I, influential poets such as Ezra Pound (1885—1972) and N. S. Eliot (1888—1965) led the final break from the romantic «prettiness» of 19th-century poetry into a severe intellectual realm where the exact word counted above all. The face of the novel and short story, too, was dramatically changed by a quintet of writers who began to publish just after the war: Sherwood Anderson (1876—1941), F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896—1940), Ernest Heming way (1898—1961), John Dos Passes (1896—1970) and William Faulkner (1897—1962). This group created a challenging and widely imitated array of new styles: Anderson's dead-level observations of the American scene, Dos Passes’ cinematic techniques, Hemingway’s rhythmic and deceptively simple language, and the complex, mythic quality of Faulkner's work. They also spawned a new trend toward frankness of language that would lead to bitter censorship quarrels in the world of Book Publishing — a trend exemplified by Henry Miller’s raw «Tropic of Cancer» (1934). This same period brought new life to the American theater, particularly with the works of Eugene O’Neill (1888—1953), perhaps the greatest dramatist in US history. In more recent years yet another group of remarkably diverse novelists and short-story writers has broken new ground in literature. Their styles range from the rambling tragicomic novels of Saul Bellow to the subtly polished prose of Truman Capote and the calculated outrages of Norman Mailer. Mailer also has helped to develop what has become known as the «new journalism» exemplified by his «Armies of the Night,» an account of the massive anti-Vietnam War demonstration at the Pentagon.

Beginning in the late 1930s an outspoken group of black writers began to flourish. The pioneer was Richard Wright.

ferocious — жестокий, свирепый, дикий, ужасный, сильный • жорстокий, дикий, жахливий, сильний

piety — благочестие, набожность • благочесна побожність

pious — набожный, благочестивый, религиозный • побожний, благочестивий, релігійний

alteration — изменение, перемена, перестройка • зміна, переміна, перебудова

awesomely — устрашающе, испуганно • погрозливо, злякано

fascination — очарование, обаяние, прелесть • зачарування, чудо

macabre — мрачный, ужасный • похмурий, жахливий

boisterous — неистовый, бурный, шумливый • нестримний, бурхливий, шумливий

upheaval — сдвиг, переворот, смещение • зсув, поворот, зміщення

realm — королевство, государство, сфера • королівство, держава, сфера

array — масса, одеяние, войска • маса, вдяганка, війська

censorship — цензура, должность цензора • цензура, посада цензора

to flourish — процветать • процвітати

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