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Speaking about Authors

1. What do you know about the author’s background?

to spring from a … family;

to come of (from) a … family;

to show promise (at an early age);

to earn (make) one’s living as a writer;

to live by writing;

to live by one’s pen

2.What do you know about the author’s literary career?

to try one’s hand at drama (a play, a short story, etc.);

to draw on one’s own experience;

to choose the novel (the short story, etc.) as one’s medium;

to write in the genre of the short story (the detective story, etc.);

to gain (win) recognition;

recognition was slow to come (to him);

to set out as a critic of social ills, to set out to expose the rottenness of bourgeois

society, etc.;

not to have the courage (the talent, the consistency, etc.) to carry it through;

to be a success, to have success;

to be a failure;

to be a critical and commercial success (failure);

to be a critically and commercially a success (a failure);

to be a writer of (outstanding, great) promise;

to be a writer to watch;

a critic’s (reviewer’s) appraisal (evaluation) of a writer’s work (novel, play, etc.);

to subject smb., smth. to scathing (devastating, scorching, etc.) criticism;

to take smb. as one’s model;

to come to (literary, dramatic) prominence, to become famous, to gain fame (popularity);

to be (make) a (smashing, crashing) hit;

to be a best seller;

to make a stir, to be a sensation;

to draw one’s subjects (characters) from everyday life (from one’s own environment, etc.);

to turn to everyday life, etc. for one’s subjects, characters;

to be a prolific author (writer);

to be at the height of one’s popularity (one’s creative powers, etc.);

to be (now) at work on … .


Speaking about Books

1. What do you think of the story (novel, etc.)? What is your opinion of the story (novel, etc.)? What is your general impression of the story?

it’s a mature (immature) work

it’s a very enjoyable book

it’s a powerful story (novel, etc.)

the power of the story (novel, etc.)

to be (make) good (easy, difficult, etc.) reading

to hold the reader’s attention (interest), to keep the reader interested

to keep the reader in suspence, to have (a sense of) suspence

to blur the central conflict

the greatness (merit) of the book lies (rests) in its profound satire but the satire is not sustained, the satire soon fizzles out

to read a story with unflagging (with never slackening) interest (attention)

one’s interest (attention) never flags (dwindles)

to have great metits

to have some limitations (defects)

to rate a novel among the best in …

of all time

to be the glory of one’s heritage

not (never) to date

to deal with problems of topical interest

the book is chiefly concerned with … (chiefly deals with…)

it is a novel (written, meant) for teenagers (adolescents, young people) etc./ the novel is addressed to teenagers, etc.

some of the scenes are not quite satisfactory (did not come off)

the author is successful at (in) …

(not) to be the author’s strong point (forte)

2.What is the central (main) idea of the novel? What is the theme of the story (novel)?

the main point the author is trying to make (to put across), the main idea he is trying to convey (express) is …

to carry (have) a deep social (psychological) message

to expose the ills (evils, faults) of society

to preach retreat (escape) from reality

(not) to cut oneself off from the outside world

the novel is impregnated (penetrated) throughout with these ideas the hero’s outlook (ideals)



3.What can you say about the author’s method of characterization?

the author endows (invests) the hero (the character) with the following traits (features, characteristics)

to bring in (introduce) a lot of (very few) characters (personages)

to draw (portray) character truthfully (faithfully), with convincing strokes

to represent (present, depict, portray) a character truthfully, convincingly, etc.

a truthful, life-like, etc. representation (presentation, depiction, portrayal) of a character

fidelity of representation

insight into character, penetration into (of) character

the character is merely sketched in


4.What is the impact of the story due to?

Discuss the literary qualities of the story.

to bring out an idea (a point, a mood, feelings, etc.) more clearly

a vivid (graphic) description of smth. (HE B r i g h t)

to abandon (reject) the traditional form of narrative (technique, etc.)

the story (scene) is set in … the scene is laid in …;

The story is set (the scene is laid) in Dublin, in the late nineteenth century

the action takes place, begins, ends, etc.;

The action of the novel begins before the Revolution

not to claim to be smth. (to be a masterpiece, a comprehensive study of smth., etc.), not to have any pretensions to smth. (to great depth, refinement, etc.)

distinctive traits, features

the probability of incident, of the historical setting (background), etc.

the novel is (a little) lacking in action

as the plot progresses (goes on), as the story unfolds

the boldness (originality) of (the author’s) concept (conception) an interesting (bold, original) treatment of the subject

the author favours involved plots

the speech (language) of the characters

the author has a feeling for (a sense of) …

he sets down his observations (a scene of) …

he sets down his observations (a scene) with spontaneity (immediacy)

the story is written in the first person, it is (a) first-person narration

the narrator

stock (trite, hackneyed) phrases, expressions, metaphors, similes, comparisons, words

a clear, lively, swift, free-flowing, exciting narrative

the writing (language) is vivid (crisp)

to be described vividly, with infinite skill, with subtle irony, etc.

a conflict

the climax

the outcome, solution, resolution

the story has brilliant wit, sparkling (glittering) humour

the author’s power (gift) of observation

the author has a fluent pen, the author writes with facility

the story has a happy, tragic, unexpected, ‘forced’ ending

the story would gain (lose) if…


Date: 2016-01-03; view: 1056

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