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Ernest Hemingway: Tragic Genius.

Quiz for Literature Experts


1. What is ‘epigram’?


a) an ending, or an extra part after the end of a book or play

b) a short, funny, sharp poem or remark

c) something written on a tombstone, or a poem about someone after their death


2. How do they call something that has a second meaning, often the opposite, and often with a bitterly humorous tone?


a) metaphor

b) satire

c) irony


3. When was the period of Romanticism in prose?


a) late 16th – early 17th centuries

b) late 17th – early 18th centuries

c) late 18th – early 19th centuries


4. What was characteristic of Romanticism?


a) admiring wild (not man-made) beauty and feelings (emotions) – not thought

b) trying to show life as it really is

c) representing nature, character, etc. realistically and in great detail


5. Which of these American writers belongs to the Romantic period in literature?


a) Washington Irving

b) John Steinbeck

c) Ernest Hemingway

6. Who is a Transcendentalist?


a) one who believes that the “traditional” forms in all aspects of life are becoming outdated

b) one who thinks that man can find truth through his own feelings

c) one who posits that individual human beings create the meaning and essence of their lives


7. What is ‘stanza’?


a) one of the groups of lines that make up a poem

b) the writer’s introduction to his or her book

c) short piece of writing on a single subject


8. How do they call the way of describing something by saying that it is like something else using the words ‘like’ or ‘as’?


a) metaphor

b) simile

c) idiom


9. Which of these writers does not belong to the “Lost Generation”?


a) Scott Fitzgerald

b) Ezra Pound

c) James Fenimore Cooper


10. What is ‘pun’?


a) leaving out words which give the full sense

b) any kind of work written to be performed on the stage

c) play on words


Vocabulary Practice

I. Find a synonym from the text to the underlined words and word combinations:

1) from time to time

2) to stress, to underline

3) freedom

4) sympathy

5) the highest point

6) dramatist

7) device and assistance

8) to enroll in the army

9) to provide smb. with smth.

10) American literature

11) to have to face

12) to bear bravely

13) to support the traditional reputation

14) to be appointed



II. Translate into English:


1) прорваться сквозь границы языка

2) сохраняться

3) быть тяжело раненым

4) реализовать свое стремление

5) эмигрант

6) извлечь выгоду

7) наделять кого-либо чем-либо, приписывать кому-либо что-либо

8) трогательный очерк

9) передать (опыт)

10) улов

11) оставить один скелет

12) совершить самоубийство

13) тяжелая жизнь

14) вымучивать

15) следовательно

16) ученый

17) расколоться от напряжения

18) ясновидение

19) вследствие чего-либо

20) отчужденный

21) самоуверенный, нахальный

22) ослаблять

23) расстаться

24) не доверять

25) набросать

26) осмысленное изложение

27) главный герой

28) пойти незамеченным

29) сложные обстоятельства

30) воплощение

III. Fill in the blanks with prepositions where necessary:


  1. It was the car accident that influenced … his life so greatly.
  2. After graduation … university he decided to enlist … the army, though he was already appointed … the post of the chief accountant.
  3. The main purpose of their work was to contribute … the development of the world science.
  4. Despite the fact that a lot of people own a car nowadays, bicycles are still … daily use.
  5. Believe me, you’ll never regret if you get to know him better, you can only profit … this acquaintance.
  6. … all probability he won’t touch … the matter that interests you.
  7. The professor started his speech with enumerating the problems and went … with describing the ways of solving them.
  8. In 1954 Hemingway was awarded … the Nobel Prize for Literature.
  9. He didn’t change his mind and insisted on dismissing the worker though later he often suffered … fits of remorse.
  10. It’s difficult for a teacher to understand at once what the students are capable … . Therefore after the first lesson the teacher’s assessment … the group may be wrong.

The Roaring Twenties.


The following are paragraphs of one text. Read them carefully and place them in the correct order. Explain your choice.


A In 1928 the American people elected a new President, Herbert Hoover. Hoover was sure that American prosperity would go on growing and that the poverty in which some Americans still lived would be remembered as something in the past. He said that there would soon be “a chicken in every pot and two cars in every garage.”


B Girls dancing the Charleston. Gangsters carrying machine guns. Charlie Chaplin playing comical tricks. These are some of the pictures that come into people’s minds when they think of the United States in the 1920s. The “roaring twenties.” Good times. Wild times.


C Yet there were lots of poor Americans. A survey in 1929 showed that half the American people had hardly enough money to buy sufficient food and clothing. In the industrial cities of the North, such as Chicago and Pittsburgh, immigrant workers still labored long hours for low wages in steel mines, factories and slaughter houses. In the South thousands of poor farmers, both black and white, worked from sunrise to sunset to earn barely enough to live on. The wealth that Republicans said would benefit everyone never reached people like this…


D Coolidge’s words help to explain the policies of American governments in the 1920s. These governments were controlled by the Republican Party. Republicans believed that if the government looked after the interests of the businessman, everybody would become richer. Businessmen whose firms were doing well, they claimed, would take on more workers and pay more wages. In this way their growing would benefit everybody…


E Looking at the way their standard of living had risen during the 1920s, many other Americans thought the same.


F The United States was very rich in these years. Because of the First World War, other countries owed it a lot of money. It had plenty of raw materials and plenty of factories. Its national income – the total earnings of all its citizens – was much higher, than that of Britain, France, Germany and Japan put together…


G Businessmen became popular heroes in the 1920s. Men like Henry Ford were widely admired as the creators of the nation’s prosperity. “The man who builds a factory builds a temple,” said Calvin Coolidge, the President from 1923 to 1929. “The man who works there, worships there.”


H The growth of industry made many Americans well-off. Millions earned good wages. Thousands invested money in successful firms so that they could share in their profits. Many bought cars, radios and other new products with the money. Often they obtained these goods by paying a small deposit and agreeing to pay the rest of the cost through an “installment plan.” Their motto was “Live now, pay tomorrow” – a tomorrow which most were convinced would be like today only better, with even more money swelling their wallets.



I. Read the passage and find the following information in it:

a) the name that the Latin Quarter got in the 17th century;

b) one of the possible reasons why the term ‘Lost Generation’ appeared;

c) the reasons why Paris was attractive for writers;

d) the place where Hemingway preferred to write;

e) Common problems of many writers of this period which in some cases had a tragic outcome

The Lost Generation

The Left Bank

References to the Left Bank have never lost their power to evoke the most piquant images of Paris. The Left Bank's geographic and cerebral hub is the Latin Quarter, which takes its name from the university tradition of studying and speaking in Latin, a practice that disappeared at the time of the French Revolution. The area is populated mainly by students and academics from the Sorbonne, the headquarters of the University of Paris. Most of the St-Germain cafés, where the likes of Sartre, Picasso and Hemingway spent their days and nights, are patronized largely by tourists now. Yet the Left Bank is far from dead. It is a lively and colorful district, rich in history and character. To the south, dwarfed beneath its 59-story Tower, lies Montparnasse, the bohemian center of interwar Paris.

During the 17th century, students from the Latin Quarter had jokingly given this area the pompous name of Mont Parnasse (Mount Parnassus). It developed during the 18th century into a center for popular entertainment, as bars, restaurants and cabarets -- which were at that time just outside the city boundaries -- could serve tax-free wine. That tradition survived even after the district became part of Paris during the latter half of the 19th century. While the area of Montmartre had been popular in bohemian circles through the 1890s, during the period immediately prior to World War I, artists and poets suddenly moved to Montparnasse on the Left Bank, thereby bringing it into the limelight and attracting painters and composers as well. Even Russian political refugees such as Lenin and Trotsky became a part of the intellectual community whose social life centered around four cafés on the boulevard Montparnasse -- la Coupole, le Select, la Rotonde, and le Dôme.

The Lost Generation

Though several stories conjecture on how the Lost Generation came to be called thus, the most plausible seems to be this: One summer in Belley, while Gertrude Stein's Ford auto was in need of some repair, it was serviced quickly by a young garage mechanic at the hotel where she was staying. When she mentioned the young man's efficiency to the proprietor, her friend M. Pernollet, he replied that boys of his age made good workers, though it was different with the ones who had gone to war. Young men became civilized between the ages of 18 and 25, while the soldiers had missed that civilizing experience. They were, he said, une génération perdue.

When Hemingway heard the story at the rue de Fleurus, he decided to use the sentence "You are all a lost generation" (attributing it to Gertrude Stein) as an epigraph for his first novel, The Sun Also Rises, a story about the 'uncivilized', aimless lives of the very people M. Pernollet had in mind. Due to the book's tremendous success, the phrase was guaranteed enduring fame.

Although the description -- in its original sense -- only applied to survivors of the war who had been unable or unwilling to settle back into the routines of peacetime life, other writers eagerly adopted the catch phrase, using it more and more loosely until 'The Lost Generation' came to signify the whole anonymous horde of young Americans abroad, particularly those with literary or artistic inclinations.

Paris was indisputably the capital city of the Lost Generation. It passed, of course, through other towns en route, from Munich to Madrid, Pamplona to Rapallo. Humphrey Bogart's Casablanca can even be counted as a border outpost. But the greatest concentration of expatriates was always to be found in Paris, and more specifically in the streets around the boulevard Montparnasse on the Left Bank that provided the scene for the first part of Hemingway's novel. It was there that the wanderers came closest to finding a home.

The city had a double attraction for writers. Its artistic reputation had never been higher. It was the home of all that was most daringly modern. As Gertrude Stein used to say, Paris was where the twentieth century was. Secondly, it was also a city where Americans could live on very little money. Even young writers with nothing to show for their ambitions but bundles of rejection slips could live like boulevardiers on small allowances from back home. In the exchange bonanza of the 1920s it took real dedication to starve. Writers who had always wanted to live in Paris suddenly made the discovery that it was a practical economic proposition.

Ezra Pound was one of the first to arrive, coming from England where he had lived throughout the war. He had come to the conclusion that postwar London was dead. "There is no longer any intellectual life in England," he wrote to William Carlos Williams in 1920, "save what centers in this eight by ten pentagonal room." He and his wife Dorothy moved to what he called "the Island of Paris", convinced that it was the one live spot in Europe and hoping to find there "a poetic serum to save English letters from postmature and American letters from premature suicide and decomposition."

He soon made his presence felt on the Paris literary scene, at the salons in the rue Jacob and the rue de Fleurus and in the little magazines. He was living in a ground floor flat on the rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, where he set about making the furniture he needed from packing cases, canvas and wooden boards. Though reticent about his writing, he was boastful on the subject of his carpentry. He used to point out the fine points of the workmanship to guests who came to perch uncomfortably on the hard wooden chairs.

Soon writers were arriving thick and fast. Sherwood Anderson paid his first brief visit in 1921. Later that year the 22-year-old Ernest Hemingway arrived in town with his bride, Hadley. He was a shy, good looking young man, who tended to listen more than talk. He was living off his wife's allowance and the income from occasional pieces written for a Canadian newspaper.

Another significant visitor in the summer of 1921 was Scott Fitzgerald. Unlike Hemingway, Fitzgerald had already made a name for himself with his first novel. His wife Zelda and he spent only a few days in Paris at this time. Three disillusioning years were to pass before the two of them, worn out with parties, were to return to the city where Scott had decided that they could work, live cheaply and escape from the burden of their friends.

Throughout the twenties, when money was plentiful and exchange rates favorable, other writers drifted in and out of town. Not the least of Paris' attractions for writers was that it was a good place to get published. It was the home of a succession of expatriate literary reviews. The first of these was Ford Madox Ford's transatlantic review, edited from a loft on the Ile St. Louis, which featured the works of Pound, Hemingway and Stein, among others.

The literary colony was based in Montparnasse, known familiarly as the Quarter. In the center of Montparnasse, then as now, lay the four large cafés that dominate the crossroads where the boulevard Montparnasse meets the boulevard Raspail. The Coupole and the Rotonde, the Dôme and the Sélect soon had international reputations. The twenties' expatriates were as closely identified with these cafés as Sartre and the Existentialists were with the Flore and the Deux Magots on the boulevard St. Germain in their day.

Hemingway preferred La Closerie des Lilas, tending to shun much of the Montparnasse crowd in favor of his work. In fact, while many of the American expatriates' literary careers and lives -- perhaps most notably that of Scott Fitzgerald -- succumbed to alcohol and patronage of the cabarets, Hemingway was quite dedicated, arranging his schedule and surroundings to provide the least distraction to his writing. At first, he had rented a garret room in a hotel on the rue du Cardinal Lemoine to work, but later took to writing in cafés in the daytime when there were few people to disturb him. His customary arsenal on the Closerie's marble-topped tables included his blue-backed notebooks, two pencils and a pencil sharpener.

Sadly, many other talents in the Quarter did not posess the same dedication. Poet and author Robert McAlmon was to be the prime literary casualty of Paris in the twenties. Although he was a generous patron of other people's talents, publishing works by Hemingway, Stein, Ford and William Carlos Williams, his own writing languished as he buried himself in drink. Perhaps it was a reaction to Prohibition back home or a natural side effect of café life, but the writers took to alcohol with gusto. The poet Hart Crane managed to flatten four waiters and knock out a gendarme in a drunken display at the Sélect. Perhaps most tragic was the fate of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald: because of their incessant partying, Scott was frequently carried home, too drunk to stand up, and Zelda was soon institutionalized. Ezra Pound disapproved of his peers' mounting excesses, which is one of the reasons why he eventually moved to Italy. In many ways, living in the fast lane as they were, this 'Lost Generation' was hell-bent on self-destruction, more than amply living up to its adopted name. By the end of the decade, many of the expatriate community had either returned to the States or moved on to other locales.

II. Translate the words and word combinations into English:


− интеллектуальный центр

− сделать центром внимания

− наиболее правдоподобная история

− крылатая фраза

− практичное экономическое предложение

− годы рахочарований

− литературное обозрение

− пасть жертвой алкоголя

− приспособиться к чему-либо

− щедрый покровитель

− жить на полную катушку



III. Translate the following into Russian:


− to evoke the most piquant images

− to become civilized

− to use (a term) loosely

− towns en route

− to live on small allowances

− to be arriving thick and fast

− the prime literary casualty

− incessant partying

− mounting excesses


1. He and his wife Dorothy moved to what he called “the Island of Paris”, convinced that it was the one live spot in Europe and hoping to find there “a poetic serum to save English letters from postmature and American letters from premature suicide and decomposition.”

2. Though reticent about his writing, he was boastful on the subject of his carpentry.

3. It was the home of all that was most daringly modern.



Read the text about Gertrude Stein and find the answers to the following questions:

1. Where did Stein spend most of her life?

2. Who visited her salon in Paris?

3. What was her theory of writing?

4. What was Stein’s only book that reached a wide public?

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