Remedial English Test Series 43

Remedial English Test Series 43

  Identify  the ONE mistake in each line and make corrections    (1 mark for each correct answer. Total score   ___ )

01 Greatness has to do with range – and with characters. You have to feel a writer is talking with some kind of authority about
02 how to live your life. There has to be what Keats called “negative capable”, by which he meant an ability to move into the
 03 heads of all his characters so that you don’t feel he is telling it just from one point of view. There has to be a dispassion
04 understanding of how the world work, and this is very rare. Amis is a classy writer. He is very much a stylist, interested in
05 using the language stylishly and sharp. But does he have this range? I don’t know. Great is a very big word. I don’t know
06 That I would apply it to any living British writers. One of the undoubted  great writers of the past 50 years is the Polish poet
07 Zbigniew Herbert. He had that kind of range and authority. Perhaps it is something that was more possible to achieved
08 living under repression in the eastern bloc. There has to be some kind of moral force in great writing – a non-egotistic
09 desire to get it right – and an inward quality that show in the rhythm of the prose.  (Al Alvarez) 
10 Amis was very good in the 80s, but he has been writing the same book ever since. He has got stuck, and had more or less
11 admitted that. When he said that he was go back to university, as a professor at Manchester, to learn from his students,
12 that was the first bit of self-aware we have seen from him for a while. So I would not plump for Amis, or any of your
13 McEwans or Ishiguros. They are quite patchy. I would be tempted to say John le Carré, but he has gone of too. If you
14 could edit out some of the rubbish, I would still put Le Carré up there. JG Ballard has write some good books and fewer
15 bad one than some other people. And Jonathan Coe has written two of the books I have really loved in the past 20 years –
16 What A Carve Up! and The House of Sleep. (John Crace)  One name comes to mind immediate – Harold Pinter. But
17 playwrights are often overlook  because plays do not have to be literary to be good. Indeed, if they are over-literary, they
18 will often fail. Determining the “greatest live author” must have something to do with age, experience and longevity, and
18 the ability to work in mixed forms with the same precision. Michael Frayn is a name I would lob in. He has produce
20 novels, plays and philosophic essays, and got better with the years. Amis must be there or thereabouts. Julian Barnes
21 writes rich, elegance prose. What about non-fiction? Could the greatest living author be a biographer – someone like Peter
22 Ackroyd or Michael Holroyd? Or the journalistic and travel writer Colin Thubron? But in the end I come back to the theatre.
23 Tom Stoppard is hard to gauge, because his plays have such surface dazzle that it doesnt always translate unless you
24 have a genius actor. But his best work – Arcadia and The Real Thing – will survive. Alan Ayckbourn is underestimate
25 because he writes comedies, but half a dozen of his play  will survive. And then there is Pinter. His 60s plays now come up
26 constantly. There are plays that in the instant look very good,yet do not revive well. But his work unquestionable  stands
27 the test of times, and it is not fantastic or absurd to compare him not just with Beckett but with Ibsen and Chekhov.(M. Billington) 

      

 

KEY TO Remedial English Test Series 43   Note the correct answers below

 

01 Greatness has to do with range – and with character. You have to feel a writer is talking with some kind of authority about
02 how to live your life. There has to be what Keats called “negative capability“, by which he meant an ability to move into the
 03 heads of all his characters so that you don’t feel he is telling it just from one point of view. There has to be a dispassionate
04 understanding of how the world works, and this is very rare. Amis is a classy writer. He is very much a stylist, interested in
05 using the language stylishly and sharply. But does he have this range? I don’t know. Great is a very big word. I don’t know
06 That I would apply it to any living British writers. One of the undoubtedly great writers of the past 50 years is the Polish poet
07 Zbigniew Herbert. He had that kind of range and authority. Perhaps it is something that was more possible to achieve
08 living under repression in the eastern bloc. There has to be some kind of moral force in great writing – a non-egotistical
09 desire to get it right – and an inward quality that shows in the rhythm of the prose.  (Al Alvarez) 
10 Amis was very good in the 80s, but he has been writing the same book ever since. He has got stuck, and has more or less
11 admitted that. When he said that he was going back to university, as a professor at Manchester, to learn from his students,
12 that  was the first bit of self-awareness we have seen from him for a while. So I would not plump for Amis, or any of your
13 McEwans or Ishiguros. They are quite patchy. I would be tempted to say John le Carré, but he has gone off too. If you
14 could edit out some of the rubbish, I would still put Le Carré up there. JG Ballard has written some good books and fewer
15 bad ones than some other people. And Jonathan Coe has written two of the books I have really loved in the past 20 years –
16 What A Carve Up! and The House of Sleep. (John Crace)  One name comes to mind immediately – Harold Pinter. But
17 playwrights are often overlooked because plays do not have to be literary to be good. Indeed, if they are over-literary, they
18 will often fail. Determining the “greatest living author” must have something to do with age, experience and longevity, and
18 the ability to work in mixed forms with the same precision. Michael Frayn is a name I would lob in. He has produced
20 novels, plays and philosophical essays, and got better with the years. Amis must be there or thereabouts. Julian Barnes
21 writes rich, elegant prose. What about non-fiction? Could the greatest living author be a biographer – someone like Peter
22 Ackroyd or Michael Holroyd? Or the journalist and travel writer Colin Thubron? But in the end I come back to the theatre.
23 Tom Stoppard is hard to gauge, because his plays have such surface dazzle that it doesn’t always translate unless you
24 have a genius actor. But his best work – Arcadia and The Real Thing – will survive. Alan Ayckbourn is underestimated
25 because he writes comedies, but half a dozen of his plays will survive. And then there is Pinter. His 60s plays now come up
26 constantly. There are plays that in the instant look very good, yet do not revive well. But his work unquestionably stands
27 the test of time, and it is not fantastic or absurd to compare him not just with Beckett but with Ibsen and Chekhov.(M. Billington)