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Gertrude Stein - brief biography

Gertrude Stein (b. Feb. 3, 1874, Allegheny, Pa., U.S.--d. July 27, 1946, Paris) was an avant-garde American writer, eccentric, and self-styled genius, whose Paris home was a salon for the leading artists and writers of the period between World Wars I and II.

Stein spent her infancy in Vienna and Paris and her girlhood in Oakland, Calif. At Radcliffe College she studied psychology with the philosopher William James. After further study at Johns Hopkins medical school she went to Paris, where she was able to live by private means. From 1903 to 1912 she lived with her brother Leo, who became an accomplished art critic; thereafter she lived with her lifelong companion Alice B. Toklas (1877-1967).

Stein and her brother were among the first collectors of works by the Cubists and other experimental painters of the period, such as Pablo Picasso (who painted her portrait), Henri Matisse, and Georges Braque, several of whom became her friends. At her salon they mingled with expatriate American writers, such as Sherwood Anderson and Ernest Hemingway, and other visitors drawn by her literary reputation. Her literary and artistic judgments were revered, and her chance remarks could make or destroy reputations. In her own work, she attempted to parallel the theories of Cubism, specifically in her concentration on the illumination of the present moment and her use of slightly varied repetitions and extreme simplification and fragmentation. The best explanation of her theory of writing is found in the essay Composition and Explanation, which is based on lectures that she gave at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge and was issued as a book in 1926. Among her work that was most thoroughly influenced by Cubism is Tender Buttons (1914), which carries fragmentation and abstraction beyond the borders of intelligibility.

Her first published book, Three Lives (1909), the stories of three working-class women, has been called a minor masterpiece. The Making of Americans, a long composition written in 1906-08 but not published until 1925, was too convoluted and obscure for general readers, for whom she remained essentially the author of such lines as "A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose." Her only book to reach a wide public was The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933), actually Stein's own autobiography. The performance in the United States of her Four Saints in Three Acts (1934), which the composer Virgil Thomson had made into an opera, led to a triumphal American lecture tour in 1934-35. Thomson also wrote the music for her second opera, The Mother of Us All (published 1947), based on the life of feminist Susan B. Anthony.

Stein became a legend in Paris, especially after surviving the German occupation of France and befriending the many young American servicemen who visited her. She wrote about these soldiers in Brewsie and Willie (1946).



Translate the following word combinations from the text into Russian:


− self-styled genius

− to live by private means

− accomplished art critic

− to mingle with expatriate American writers

− to revere smb.’s judgments

− illumination of the present moment

− beyond the borders of intelligibility

− too convoluted and obscure

− to befriend smb.


Gertrude Stein was often quoted by her contemporaries. These are some of her quotes. Translate them and comment on them.


Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.


Все так опасно, что можно ничего особенно не опасаться.


Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.


Свободная женщина - это та, которая позволяет себе секс до свадьбы и работу после свадьбы.


It takes a lot of time to be a genius, you have to sit around so much doing nothing, really doing nothing.


Деньги всегда есть, только карманы меняются.


Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.


Вычеркнуть у автора даже самое короткое слово - все равно что вычеркнуть все.


The first hope of a painter who feels hopeful about paiting is the hope that the painting will move, that it will live outside its frame.

Part 7

Eleanor Roosevelt: “Her Glow Warmed the World”

There are many anecdotes about public figures like Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Below is one of the most popular ones. Read it and retell it in English:


Однажды ранним воскресным утром супруга 32-го президента США Элеонор Рузвельт отправилась с благотворительным визитом в тюрьму. Проснувшись и не обнаружив дома жены, Франклин Рузвельт спросил дежурного секретаря, а где, собственно, первая леди. «В тюрьме», – ответил секретарь. «Это меня не удивляет, – сказал президент. – За что именно она туда угодила?»

Vocabulary Practice

I. Fill in the right prepositions where necessary:


1. The strange behavior of the newcomer set him ... from the rest of the company.

2. Though his parents opposed ... his idea to become an engineer, he wouldn’t listen to them.

3. The new social reforms brought ... forth so much criticism that there were a lot of strikes ... the country.

4. ... contrast ... her natural shyness, she always had her own position ... the most controversial matters and later was able even to speak ... on them in public.

5. Following her husband’s death she took charge ... his business affairs and several years later became very active both ... business and politics.

6. Life is never perfect, there’s always something to complain ... .

7. Driven ... the idea of saving the world ... large, he didn’t notice how miserable his own family was.

8. The son decided to have the matters his own way, and the mother cut him ... ... his inheritance.

9. Despite ... his friend’s opinion, he was able to see ... the girl’s plain-looking face and soon developed a strong affection ... her.

10. To make up his lack of knowledge he enrolled in evening classes ... math and physics.

11. A white dove is considered a symbol ... peace.



II. Find synonyms (and antonyms) to the following words:


− to recognize s, a

− sense

− to rise

− to preserve

− to assess

− to distinguish oneself

− to experience

− compassion

− despair

− to reduce smb. to smth.

− awkward

− destitute

− to urge s, a

− prominent s, a

− sincere s, a

− despite smth.

− to overcome smth. s, a

− to employ s, a

− to exercise

− to overlook

− naïve


III. Translate into Russian:


− “wandering population”

− unschooled children

− a high pitched voice

− a do-gooder

− from all walks of life

− to set up

− a life-mate

− was stricken with polio

− thoroughly aligned with ...

− motivated by a trust in humanity

− to embody one’s words

− to take over the leadership

− to act as a spur

− her personal concept of duty

− a rallying place for young people

− was active in relief service

− torn by the Great Depression


IV. Translate into English:


− авторская колонка в газете

− откровенная критика

− привести брак на грань разрыва

− примириться

− прикованный к инвалидному креслу

− вызывать критику

− обделенные

− нуждающиеся

− чувство долга

− неуклюжесть и смущение

− родить ребенка

− программы благотворительности и социальной помощи

− социальная несправедливость


1. Чтобы заставить его сказать правду, ей пришлось лгать самой.

2. Обдумав все возможные последствия, он решил не вмешиваться в это дело.

3. Благодаря своей безграничной энергии, Элеонор Рузвельт смогла вселить надежду на лучшее и уверенность в себе во многих людей.

4. Элеонор Рузвельт возглавляла Комиссию по Правам человека ООН с 1946 по 1950 гг.

5. Великая депрессия довела многих людей до крайней нищеты.

6. В его одиноком и несчастном детстве единственным близким ему человеком была бабушка с материнской стороны.



The next three short texts show very clearly the situation in which the USA was when Roosevelt came to power.



Crash and Depression

Read the first text and make its summary.


In the heart of New York City lies a narrow street enclosed by the walls of high office buildings. Its name is Wall Street.

One Thursday afternoon in October 1929, a workman outside an upper floor window of a Wall Street office found himself staring into the eyes of four policemen. They reached out to catch hold of him. “Don’t jump!” shouted one of the policemen. “It’s not that bad!” “Who’s going to jump?” asked the surprised worker. “I’m just washing windows!”

To understand this incident we need to look at what had been happening in Wall Street in the months and years before that October afternoon in 1929.

Wall Street is the home of the New York Stock Exchange. Here dealers called brokers buy and sell valuable pieces of paper. The pieces of paper are share certificates. Each certificate represents a certain amount of money invested in a company.

Every year in the 1920s the sales of cars, radios and other consumer goods rose. This meant bigger profits for the firms which made them. This in turn sent up the value of shares in such firms.

Owning shares in a business gives you the right to a share of its profits. But you can make money from shares in another way. You can buy them at one price, then, if the company does well, sell them later at a higher one.

More and more people were eager to get some of this easy money. Like most other things in the United States in the 1920s, you could buy shares on credit. Many people borrowed large amounts of money from the banks to buy shares in this way – “on the margin”, as it was called. Their idea was to spot shares that would quickly rise in value, buy them at one price and then sell at a higher one a few weeks later. They could then pay back the bank, having made a quick profit.

By the fall of 1929 the urge to buy shares had become a sort of fever. Prices went up and up.

Yet some people began to have doubts. By the fall of 1929 the profits being made by many American firms had been decreasing for some time. If profits were falling, thought more cautious investors, then share prices, too, would soon fall. Slowly, such people began to sell their shares. Soon so many people were selling shares that prices did start to fall. A panic began. By the end of the year the value of all shares had dropped by $40,000 million. Thousands of people, especially those who had borrowed to buy on the margin, found themselves facing debt and ruin. Some committed suicide. This was what the policemen thought that the window cleaner was planning.

This collapse of American share prices was known as the Wall Street Crash. It marked the end of the prosperity of the 1920s.


“You Walk”


A writer described what it was like to be jobless and homeless in an American city in the early 1930s. What is the general mood of this passage and how is it created?


“You get shoved out early; you get your coffee and start walking. A couple of hours before noon you get in line. You eat and start walking. At night you sleep where you can. You don’t talk. You eat what you can. You walk. No one talks to you. You walk. It’s cold, and you shiver and stand in doorways or sit in railroad stations. You don’t see much. You forget. You walk an hour and forget where you started from. It is day, and then it’s night, and then it’s day again. And you don’t remember which was first. You walk.”


The next text describes the situation in the USA at the time of the Great Depression. Read it and translate the word combinations in italics:


The Bonus Army


In the spring of 1932 thousands of unemployed ex-servicemen poured into Washington, the nation’s capital. They wanted the government to give them some bonus payments that it owed them from the war years. The newspapers called them the “bonus army.”

The men of the bonus army were determined to stay in Washington until the President did something to help them. They set up a camp of rough shelters and huts on the edge of the city. Similar camps could be found on rubbish dumps outside every large American city by this time. The homeless people who lived in them named their camps “Hoovervilles,” after the President.

This gathering of desperate men alarmed President Hoover. He ordered soldiers and the police to burn their camp and drive them out of Washington. As the smoke billowed up from the burning huts of the bonus army, a government spokesman defended Hoover's decision. He said that in the circumstances “only two courses were left open to the President” – that is, that the President could do only one of two things:” One was to surrender the government to the mob. The other was to uphold law and order and suppress [crush] the mob.”

An anonymous poet took a different view of what had happened:


Only two courses were open,

As anyone can see:

To vindicate law and order

Or yield to anarchy.

Granted! – the Chiefs of Government

Cannot tolerate mobs –

But isn’t it strange you never thought

Of giving the workless jobs?


Only two courses were open –

When men who had fought for you

Starved in the streets of our cities,

Finding no work to do –

When in the richest of the countries

Babies wept unfed –

Strange it never occurred to you

To give the hungry bread!


Despite women’s strive for independence and equality in rights there are not many of them in the spheres of life where men rule. Eleanor Roosevelt was one of them. Margaret Thatcher was another. She was a controversial figure, “the longest serving Prime Minister of the twentieth century.

Her style and her views appealed to many British people who had lost confidence in the welfare state and in the direction the nation had taken. In some ways she was the first genuine leader the nation had had since Churchill, the politician on whom she consciously modeled herself. In spite of the fact that over half the nation disagreed with her policies, they were unable to vote her out of office.”

Read the text about Margaret Thatcher and decide which of these sentences suit the blanks in the text. Explain your choice.

(A) Among her first fights: a struggle against Britain's out-of-control trade unions, which had destroyed three governments in succession.

(B) Thatcher warmly encouraged Reagan to rearm and thereby bring Russia to the negotiating table.

(C) He too began to reverse the Ratchet Effect in the U.S. by effective deregulation, tax cutting and opening up wider market opportunities for free enterprise.

(D) The daughter of a Grantham shopkeeper, she studied on scholarship, worked her way to Oxford and took two degrees, in chemistry and law.

(E) By 1980, everyone knew the answer: Thatcher governs.

(F) British Steel, which lost more than a billion pounds in its final years as a state concern, became the largest steel company in Europe.

(G) Even left-oriented countries, which scorned the notion of privatization, began to reduce their public sector on the sly.

(H) The world enters the 21st century and the 3rd millennium a wiser place, owing in no small part to the daughter of a small shopkeeper, who proved that nothing is more effective than willpower allied to a few clear, simple and workable ideas.

(I) She combined a flamboyant willpower with evident femininity.

(J) Her case is awesome testimony to the importance of sheer chance in history.


Margaret Thatcher
Champion of free minds and markets, she helped topple the welfare state and make the world safer for capitalism

Monday, April 13, 1998
She was the catalyst who set in motion a series of interconnected events that gave a revolutionary twist to the century's last two decades and helped mankind end the millennium on a note of hope and confidence. The triumph of capitalism, the almost universal acceptance of the market as indispensable to prosperity, the collapse of Soviet imperialism, the downsizing of the state on nearly every continent and in almost every country in the world — Margaret Thatcher played a part in all those transformations, and it is not easy to see how any would have occurred without her.

Born in 1925, Margaret Hilda Roberts was an enormously industrious girl. (1) Her fascination with politics led her into Parliament at age 34, when she argued her way into one of the best Tory seats in the country, Finchley in north London. Her quick mind (and faster mouth) led her up through the Tory ranks, and by age 44 she got settled into the "statutory woman's" place in the Cabinet as Education Minister, and that looked like the summit of her career. But Thatcher was, and is, notoriously lucky. (2) In 1975 she challenged Edward Heath for the Tory leadership simply because the candidate of the party's right wing abandoned the contest at the last minute. Thatcher stepped into the breach. When she went into Heath's office to tell him her decision, he did not even bother to look up. "You'll lose," he said. "Good day to you."

But as Victor Hugo put it, nothing is so powerful as "an idea whose time has come." And by the mid-'70s enough Tories were fed up with Heath and "the Ratchet Effect" — the way in which each statist advance was accepted by the Conservatives and then became a platform for a further statist advance.

She chose her issues carefully — and, it emerged, luckily. The legal duels she took on early in her tenure as Prime Minister sounded the themes that made her an enduring leader: open markets, vigorous debate and loyal alliances. (3)Thatcher turned the nation's anti-union feeling into a handsome parliamentary majority and a mandate to restrict union privileges by a series of laws that effectively ended Britain's trade-union problem once and for all. "Who governs Britain?" she famously asked as unions struggled for power. (4)

Once the union citadel had been stormed, Thatcher quickly discovered that every area of the economy was open to judicious reform. Even as the rest of Europe toyed with socialism and state ownership, she set about privatizing the nationalized industries, which had been hitherto sacrosanct, no matter how inefficient. It worked. British Airways, an embarrassingly slovenly national carrier that very seldom showed a profit, was privatized and transformed into one of the world's best and most profitable airlines. (5)

By the mid-1980s, privatization was a new term in world government, and by the end of the decade more than 50 countries, on almost every continent, had set in motion privatization programs, floating loss-making public companies on the stock markets and in most cases transforming them into successful private-enterprise firms. (6) Governments sent administrative and legal teams to Britain to study how it was done. It was perhaps Britain's biggest contribution to practical economics in the world since J.M. Keynes invented "Keynesianism," or even Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations.

But Thatcher became a world figure for more than just her politics. (7) It attracted universal attention, especially after she led Britain to a spectacular military victory over Argentina in 1982. She understood that politicians had to give military people clear orders about ends, then leave them to get on with the means. Still, she could not bear to lose men, ships or planes. "That's why we have extra ships and planes," the admirals had to tell her, "to make good the losses." Fidelity, like courage, loyalty and perseverance, were cardinal virtues to her, which she possessed in the highest degree. People from all over the world began to look at her methods and achievements closely, and to seek to imitate them.

One of her earliest admirers was Ronald Reagan, who achieved power 18 months after she did. (8) Reagan liked to listen to Thatcher's various lectures on the virtues of the market or the minimal state. "I'll remember that, Margaret," he said. She listened carefully to his jokes, tried to get the point and laughed in the right places.

They turned their mutual affection into a potent foreign policy partnership. With Reagan and Thatcher in power, the application of judicious pressure on the Soviet state to encourage it to reform or abolish itself, or to implode, became an admissible policy. (9) She shared his view that Moscow ruled an "evil empire," and the sooner it was dismantled the better. Together with Reagan she pushed Mikhail Gorbachev to pursue his perestroika policy to its limits and so fatally to undermine the self-confidence of the Soviet elite.

Historians will argue hotly about the precise role played by the various actors who brought about the end of Soviet communism. But it is already clear that Thatcher has an important place in this huge event.

It was the beginning of a new historical epoch. All the forces that had made the 20th century such a violent disappointment to idealists--totalitarianism, the gigantic state, the crushing of individual choice and initiative--were publicly and spectacularly defeated. Ascendant instead were the values that Thatcher had supported in the face of sometimes spectacular opposition: free markets and free minds. (10)


set in motion – приводить в действие

indispensable - необходимый

downsizing - уменьшение

fascination – увлечение политикой

statutory - законный

summit of smb’s career – вершина, предел карьеры

she was notoriously lucky – Ей незаслуженно повезло

awesome testimony – удивительное доказательство

sheer chance – абсолютная случайность

step into the breach – занять чье-либо место

be fed up with smth. – быть сытым по горло чем-либо

emerge - появляться

tenure – пребывание в должности

vigorous debate – оживленное обсуждение

loyal alliances – надежные союзы

mandate – наказ избирателей

to toy with smth. – забавляться с чем-либо

hitherto – до сих пор

sacrosanct - неприкосновенный

slovenly - небрежный

float a company on the stock market – пускать компанию на продажу на фондовой бирже

on the sly - тайком

Keynesianism - кейнсианство (философские, идеологические и аналитические взгляды большинства американских экономистов, а также разделяемые ими теории занятости и практических путей стабилизации экономики)

flamboyant - яркий

willpower – сила воли

to make good the losses – покрыть потери

fidelity – верность

perseverance – настойчивость, упорство

to implode – взрывать(-ся)

admissible – допустимый, приемлемый

to rearm – перевооружать

to dismantle – разоружать

to undermine – подрывать

ascendant – господствующий



Part 8

Frank Lloyd Wright:

Architect Extraordinary

Architecture Periods Quiz

There are many architects, but few true architect geniuses. Genius is, afterall, quite exceptional. What is an architectural genius? A genius is someone who has an extraordinary knack for architectural designs.

Do you think you could make it as an architect? Well, it's going to be tough. So, take this quiz and figure out if you've got what it takes.

1. What was the time period of the Neoclassicism?


a) 1890-1914

b) 1760-1830

c) 1500-1600

d) 1400-1700


2. What was Neo-classicism?


a) quite distinct movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture.

b) high-tech architectural improvements

c) the dark, sinister outlooks on buildings, dark, in the medieval times


3. When was the gothic period?


a) WW1

b) WW2

c) 20th century

d) during the high and late medieval period


4. What were some features of the gothic period?


a) rib vaults

b) flying buttress

c) pointed arches

d) all of the above


5. What century did modernism appear in?


a) 20th

b) 18th

c) 14th

d) 16th


6. What is Modernism?


a) going back to original designs, rather than improving and updating

b) quite distinct movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture.

c) a tendency rooted in the idea that the "traditional" forms of art, architecture had become outdated; therefore it was essential to sweep them aside, bringing new ideas to the surface

d) the dark, sinister outlooks on buildings, dark, in the medieval times


7. What are some high-tech materials?


a) steel

b) glass

c) brick

d) both 1 and 2


8. What was architecture first evolved for?


a) shelter

b) security

c) worship

d) all of the above


9. When was the Renaissance period?


a) 20th century

b) 14th-17th century

c) 20th century

d) 12th-11th century


10. What did the Renaissance period contain?


a) going back to original designs, rather than improving and updating

b) quite distinct movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture.

c) encompassed the revival of learning based on classical sources, the rise of courtly and papal patronage, the development of perspective in painting, and advancements in science high-tech architectural improvements



Vocabulary Practice

I. Translate into English:


− строительный подрядчик

− чувство пространства

− оказывать огромное влияние на что-либо

− использовать какой-либо термин

− чертежник

− разрушительное землетрясение

− высокий уровень подземных вод

− финансовая поддержка

− возобновить производство

− гражданское строительство

− неплодородная подпочва

− пробиваться сквозь пол

− фондовая биржа

− сравнять с землей

− крыша с низкими скатами

− задумывать

− уходить далеко в прошлое

− придерживаться какого-либо стиля

− подробно писать о чем-либо

− проделывать дыру в чем-либо



II. Translate into Russian:


− to establish an American form of architecture

− ripe for challenges

− “space within as reality”

− “blending of a house with its natural surroundings”

− a successful rendition of the architect’s efforts

− to a pace setter for industrial and office design

− by way of one’s own contribution to it

− to dissolve in glass

− with unmarred consistency

− ‘of the root’

− ‘to the root’

− to leave off

− continuity and flow of space

− to vie with somebody or something

− to be totally in charge

− architectonicness

− Japanese prints

− by hook or crook

− solar design

− experiential but harmonious

− first and foremost

− iconoclast

− nonconformist



III. Translate the sentences into Russian paying attention to the underlined words:


1. It had no sense of unity at all nor any sense of space as should belong to a free man among a free people in a free country.

2. It’s a part of its environment and it graces its environment rather than disgraces it.

3. Wright directed that a pipe organ be installed on the ground floor for half-hour concerts by an employee each morning and afternoon, a precursor to the lunch-hour concerts given in building corridors or courtyards, for office workers today.

4. Eventually, hundreds of promising young architects were to work with Wright in Wisconsin and at Taliesin West, his winter studio in Arizona which he built in 1938.

5. Your golden moment is all of the time – when you’re in service, when you’re in action and when you’re doing things. This is a kind of learning by doing; and by doing you’ll soon get into a way of being.

6. His plan for the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, designed during World War II when Wright was already in his seventies, so confounded the City building department and challenged its codes that it was not completed until 1959, the year of Wright’s death.

7. We can sit and talk architecture, you know, until kingdom come, but until you have the experiences you had when you went into the Robie House on the south side of Chicago, something happens to you.

8. He did not believe everybody should go through the same piece of machinery. That if you’re Japanese you should have the essence of being Japanese.



‘Responsible architecture’ is a term used to describe a recent trend in architecture aimed at constructing buildings from cheap materials that bring no harm to nature. Read the following text, answer the question put at the end and do the tasks below it.



Earth Houses


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