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C) Do library research and reproduce a talk with an important writer.
5. Read the following extract and observe the way literary criticism is written:
Jane Austensaw life in a clear, dry light. She was not without deep human sympathies, but she had a quick eye for vanity, selfishness, but vulgarity, and she perceived the frequent incongruities between the way people talked and the realities of a situation. Her style is quiet and level. She never exaggerates, she never as it were, raises her voice to shout or scream. She is neither pompous, nor sentimental, nor flippant, but always gravely polite, and her writing contains a delicate but sharp-edged irony.
L.P. Hartleyis one of the most distinguished of modern novelists; and one of the most original. For the world of his creation is composed of such diverse elements. On the one hand he is a keen and accurate observer of the process of human thought and feeling; he is also a sharp-eyed chronicler of the social scene. But his picture of both is transformed by the light of a Gothic, imagination that reveals itself now in fanciful reverie, now in the mingled dark and gleam of a mysterious light and a mysterious darkness... Such is the vision of- life presented in his novels.
Martin Amisis the most important novelist of his generation and probably the most influential prose stylist in Britain today. The son of Kingsley Amis, considered Britain's best novelist of the 1950s, at the age of 24 Martin won the Somerset Maugham Award for his first novel The Rachel Papers (his father had won the same prize 20 years earlier). Since 1973 he has published seven more novels, plus three books of journalism and one of short stories. Each work has been well received, in particular Money (1984), which was described as "a key novel of the decade." His latest book is The Information (1995). It has been said of Amis that he has enjoyed a career more like that of a pop star than a writer.
A) Turn the above passages into dialogues and act them out.
b) Choose an author, not necessarily one of the greats, you'd like to talk about. Note down a few pieces of factual information about his life and work. Your fellow-students will ask you questions to find out what you know about your subject.
Pair work. Discussing books and authors involves exchanging opinions and expressing agreement and disagreement. Team up with another student to talk on the following topics (Use expressions of agreement and disagreement (pp.290).
"A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good."
"A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read."
"There's an old saying that all the world loves a lover. It doesn't. What all the world loves is a scrap. It wants to see two lovers struggling for the hand of one woman."
"No furniture is so charming as books, even if you never open them and read a single word."
"Books and friends should be few but good."
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