Джеффри Чосер - это прям максимально “аутентичное”: этот литератор 14-го века считается ни много, ни мало отцом английской поэзии, одним из основоположников английской национальной литературы и литературного английского языка. Джеффри первым начал писать свои сочинения не на латыни, а на родном языке.
А его книга “Кентерберийские истории” - это английский “Декамерон”.
group of people went on a pilgrimage to Canterbury, a town in England. Their aim was Canterbury Cathedral. At the beginning of their journey one member of the group suggested a game to entertain everybody. All of them had to tell one story. The best story would win a prize at the end of the journey. Everyone had something he wanted to share. The stories were very different. You'll hear much interesting from a Knight, a Clerk, a Merchant, a Franklin and a Pardoner.
Группа людей отправляется в паломничество в английский город Кентербери, а точнее - в Кентерберийский Собор. в начале путешествия один из пилигримов предложил развлечься, рассказывая истории - по одной на каждого. Рассказчику с лучшей истории в конце будет присужден приз…. Вы услышите (а точнее - прочтете) много интересного от Рыцаря, Клерка, Купца, Франклина (свободного землевладельца) и продавца индульгенций.
“Кусочек” текста для пробы:
It's a beautiful day! The weather is good. The birds are singing. The grass is green, and there are flowers everywhere. Now, my story can begin. My name's Geoffrey. And today, I'm going on a pilgrimage to Canterbury. I'm going to Canterbury with a group of people. We're going there together. I met these people yesterday, at an inn, in London.
I arrived at the inn in the afternoon. I was very tired, and hungry. 'Good afternoon!' I said to the man who worked at the inn. He was the innkeeper. 'I'd like a room for the night. I'm going to Canterbury tomorrow. The road to Canterbury is long. I need to sleep well before I start.'
'Good afternoon,' said the innkeeper. 'Do you know that some other people are going to Canterbury tomorrow? They're staying here tonight.'
'I'd like to meet them,' I said to the Innkeeper.
In the evening, I met the other people. The inn was big and there was a lot of good food and drink. Everybody had dinner together. And the innkeeper gave good food to everybody. The innkeeper was a nice person. He was a very big man and he enjoyed speaking to people. He was very good at his job. Everybody enjoyed their dinner.
F.Scott Fitzgerald - The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Да-да, тот самый роман, в экранизации которого снялся Брэд Питт))
Краткое описание книги (хотя сюжет, я думаю, и так, в общих чертах, знаком всем):
Button came into the world in far 1860, it was the last day of the War. He looked like an old, little man. His father was upset and wanted to kill him, but then he exposed him to the hospitage. People around thought that this man was born for suffering, but he had become one of the happiest people in the world. The nature’s anomaly had given the great opportunity – converse life. He wasn't getting older like everybody, he was becoming younger the whole his life. He had a hard way, full of sense, friendship, and good people. And the most important – by love. Our hero got acquainted with the world around through communication with old people that’s why he avoided mistakes, which usual people always make.
Баттон пришел в этот мир в далеком 1860-м году, в последний день Войны. Он выглядел глубоким стариком, и отец хотел убить своего странного сына, но затем сменил гнев на относительную милость и отдал его в богадельню. Люди думали, что этот мужчина рожден для страданий, но он сумел стать одним из самых счастливых смертных. Природная аномалия подарила ему замечательную возможность - прожить свою жизнь задом наперед...
И, как обычно - маленький кусочек текста:
On the September morning consecrated to the enormous event he arose nervously at six o'clock dressed himself, adjusted an impeccable stock, and hurried forth through the streets of Baltimore to the hospital, to determine whether the darkness of the night had borne in new life upon its bosom.
When he was approximately a hundred yards from the Maryland Private Hospital for Ladies and Gentlemen he saw Doctor Keene, the family physician, descending the front steps, rubbing his hands together with a washing movement - as all doctors are required to do by the unwritten ethics of their profession.
Mr. Roger Button, the president of Roger Button & Co., Wholesale Hardware, began to run toward Doctor Keene with much less dignity than was expected from a Southern gentleman of that picturesque period.
"Doctor Keene!" he called. "Oh, Doctor Keene!"
The doctor heard him, faced around, and stood waiting, a curious expression settling on his harsh, medicinal face as Mr. Button drew near.
"What happened?" demanded Mr. Button, as he came up in a gasping rush. "What was it? How is she" A boy? Who is it? What -"
"Talk sense!" said Doctor Keene sharply, He appeared somewhat irritated.
"Is the child born?" begged Mr. Button.
Doctor Keene frowned. "Why, yes, I suppose so - after a fashion." Again he threw a curious glance at Mr. Button.
"Is my wife all right?"
"Is it a boy or a girl?"
"Here now!" cried Doctor Keene in a perfect passion of irritation, "I'll ask you to go and see for yourself. Outrageous!" He snapped the last word out in almost one syllable, then he turned away muttering: "Do you imagine a case like this will help my professional reputation? One more would ruin me - ruin anybody."
Да, это не совсем новогодняя книга - но поверьте, она достаточно атмосферна и увлекательна, чтобы подарить вам немало замечательных предновогодних минут!
'The Moonstone' is a remarkable book written by Willkie Collins. It has a really interesting structure: five witnesses in turn to tell their version of the events. The unusual story takes place in England in the 19th century. Colonel Herncastle served in India and stole a diamond from the statue of an Indian god. The legend says that three priests guard the diamond and follow it wherever it goes. So nobody can own it without getting into trouble. In his will Colonel Herncastle left the diamond to his niece Rachel. She receives it on her birthday. But the following day the diamond is gone. All the people who visited her house the night before are suspects now. But Rachel conducts herself in a strange way. What if she knows some terrible secret about the loss of the diamond?
Чем интересен роман: необычной структурой (пятеро свидетелей по очереди пересказывают свое видение событий). Локация: атрибуты хорошего, качественного приключенческого романа на месте - украденный бриллиант, экзотические страны (Индия) и викторианская Англия, ужасная тайна одного из героев…
An extract from the text:
The next day I showed the bottle to Mr Franklin. 'They believe the boy can see where eyes cannot see,' he said. He smiled. 'If he can see into the bank, they won't trouble us here any longer.' Maybe the boy could see through walls because they never came near the house again in the weeks before Rachel's birthday. They simply remained in Fritzinghall, doing their magician's trade.
On May 29th, Miss Rachel and Mr Franklin decided to make a horrible smell and a great mess and spoil a door. Mr Franklin was an expert on 'decorative painting', and had invented a special way of mixing paint. Special substances were sent from London, the revolutionary paint was mixed, and smelled so bad that it made even the dogs sneeze. The unlucky door was Miss Rachel's sitting-room door. For days they were as busy as bees, spoiling it with complicated designs, and the pleasure they took in each other's company became obvious to everyone. There was no doubt that Mr Franklin was in love. Miss Rachel's feelings, however, were not so obvious. Some (such as Penelope) were sure they would marry. I doubted it.
Miss Rachel is the finest, most graceful of women. Dark, beautifully shaped, she is a pleasure to the eyes. Although cheeky, playful and secretive by nature, there is nothing false about her (I have never known her lie or break her word). She has however, one fault. Many times I have heard my lady say 'Rachel's worst enemy is herself!' Yes, I know few as devilishly stubborn as her. She only ever goes one way - her own. Which brings me to my opinion of her views about marriage.
Not too hard - actually, easy enough for an Advanced learner to enjoy the process, huh?
Ну как, заинтересовались? А теперь хватайте горячий глинтвейн и бегом за книжки доказывать, что мы — самая читающая нация. Самая читающая даже на английском.
Новый год не повод расслабляться. В январе стартует новый этап курса Эволюции. Для кого-то это будет новый этап, для кого-то — следующий. Если вы всё ещё в сомнениях, приходите на бесплатный пробный урок, и вам всё сразу станет понятно.