Lust for Life. Irving Stone. Lust for Life(1). Lust for Life is biographical novel of Irving Stone. The dramatic life of Dutch Artist Vincent Van Gough is drawn by the author. This story is based on Van Gough ’ s three volume of letters to his brother Theo (1927-1930). Lust for Life(2).
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The Painting Machine
And my aim in my life is to make pictures and drawings, as many and as well as I can; then, at the end of my life, I hope to pass away, looking back with love and tender regret, and thinking, ‘Oh, the pictures I might have made!’”
Theodorus van Gogh, a preacher in the Dutch Reformed Church, and Anna Cornelia Carbentus, daughter of a bookseller, marry in 1851. Their son Vincent Willem van Gogh, the second of six children, is born on March 30, 1853, in Zundert, a village in Brabant, in the south of the Netherlands. Four years later, in 1857, Vincent's favorite brother, Theodorus (Theo), is born. Vincent begins his education at the village school in 1861, and subsequently attends two boarding schools. He excels in languages, studying French, English, and German. In March 1868, in the middle of the academic year, he abruptly leaves school and returns to Zundert. He does not resume his formal education.
Vincent moves to the London Goupil branch in June 1873. Daily contact with works of art kindles his appreciation of paintings and drawings. In the city's museums and galleries, he admires the realistic paintings of peasant life by Jean-François Millet and Jules Breton. Gradually Vincent loses interest in his work and turns to the Bible. He is transferred in 1874 to Goupil's Paris branch, where he remains for three months before returning to London. Vincent's performance at Goupil's continues to deteriorate. In May 1875 he is sent again to Paris. He attends art exhibitions at the Salon and the Louvre, and decorates his room with art prints by Hague School and Barbizon artists. In late March 1876 Vincent is dismissed from Goupil's. Driven by a growing desire to help his fellow man, he decides to become a clergyman.
Vincent returns to England in 1876 to teach at a boarding school. In July he is offered a position as a teacher and assistant preacher at Isleworth, near London. On a visit to his parents, Vincent is persuaded not to return to England. Determined to become a minister nonetheless, he moves to Amsterdam in 1877 and attempts to enroll in theology school. When he gives up his preparatory studies, Vincent briefly enters a missionary school near Brussels and in December 1878 leaves for the Borinage, a coal-mining district in southern Belgium, to work as a lay preacher. Vincent lives like a pauper among the miners, sleeping on the floor and giving away his belongings. His extreme commitment draws disfavor from the church and he is dismissed, although he continues to evangelize.
This is a characteristic example of an Impressionist painting. Freely applying light, unmixed colors, Monet gave a rapidly executed impression of a quintessentially Dutch landscape of bulb fields and windmills. The painter was apparently delighted by the subject: during his stay in Holland in 1886 he painted - in under ten days - no fewer than five paintings of bulb fields.
In early 1887, Paul Gauguin spent a few months in Martinique. This island paradise, with its friendly inhabitants still living close to nature, was the inspiration for many colorful paintings. Although its thin brushstrokes appear to be a legacy of Impressionism, this work is more than a snatched impression of reality. Gauguin drew the imagery for his work from fantasy and his imagination. To convey a particular atmosphere or feeling, he frequently chose colors that diverged from the normal. His work was thus a reaction to Impressionism, whose cardinal principle was to reflect reality as it was visually perceived. For this reason Gauguin is counted as one of the so-called Postimpressionists.
fierce / adj. intense, uncontrollably strong
e.g. a fierce effort; a fierce loyalty
fierce pride; fierce pain
a fierce silence
Gee, it was fierce of me!
burn off / v. to destroy by fire; to clear up
e.g. The farmers burnt off the fields.
e.g. It will burn off before noon.
encase / vt. Surround or cover sth. with a case (often in passive)
e.g. His broken leg was encased in plaster.
e.g. His feet were encased in his best
en-+n. = v. enslave encourage
en-+a. = v. enlarge enfeeble
en-+v. = v. Enclose encamp
a.+-en = v. deepen sharpen
n.+-en = v. lengthen heighten
n.+-en = a. woolen ashen
tell…from / v. recognize the difference,
e.g. tell one twin from the other
e.g. tell natural silk from artificial
ploughland / n. cultivated land, arable land
about 120 acres of land which
8 heads of cattle plough yearly
in blossom / bearing blossom
e.g. The apple trees are in blossom.
vicious / adj. brutal; savage
e.g. a vicious killer
the most vicious system
We were chained to a vicious circle
spring up / v. to appear or come into existence quickly
e.g. Computer stores are springing up all
over the place.
e.g. A fresh wind had sprung up.
at intervals / happening again and again
e.g. at regular intervals
e.g. at weekly intervals
e.g. at monthly intervals
e.g. at quarterly intervals
e.g. at yearly intervals
in between / in the space or period of time
separating two points
e.g. The shadows and the spaces in
between the trees were turning from
grey to black.
sparkle / v. glitter; shine
e.g. The lawn outside was sparkling with
e.g. He is quite different at parties, and
he really sparkles.
at the risk of / with the possibility of
e.g. At the risk of seeming callous, I
propose that we go straight to
the football match after the
e.g. He saved her at the risk of his
swindle / v. cheat sb., esp. in business
e.g. You are easily swindled. (~ + n.)
e.g. I have been swindled out of $5.
(~ sb. out of sth.)
e.g. She swindled $1000 out of the Social
Security. (~ sth. out of sth./sb.)
swindle / n. act of swindling; person or thing
that is wrongly expressed so as
to cheat people
e.g.victims of a tax swindle
e.g. The newspaper story is a complete
swindler / n. person who swindles
e.g. The biggest swindler in finance
give up thoughts of / don’t think about
come one’s way / occur or present itself to one
e.g. An opportunity like that doesn’t often come
vitality / n. physical or mental energy
e.g. The vitality of the movement is threatened.
vital / adj. essential or important to life
e.g. The heart performs a vital bodily function.
adj. essential to the existence of sth.
e.g. Vital information
ALPHONSE DAUDET was born at Nîmes in the south of France on May 13, 1840. His father was an unsuccessful silk manufacturer, and his boyhood was far from happy.
In 1872 he produced the first of his three volumes on the amazing “Tartarin of Tarascon,” probably the most vital of all his creations.
“Tartarin” reappeared in all his buoyancy in “Tartarin sur les Alpes,” and, less successfully as a colonist in “Port-Tarascon.”
He died at Paris on December 17, 1897.
“The Siege of Berlin,”“The Last Class,” and “The Bad Zouave” are not only classics of the art of the short story; they contain the essence of French patriotism
stimulating / adj. inspiring new ideas
e.g. The stimulating effect of coffee
stimulus/stimuli /n. sth. that produces a reaction
e.g. to respond to auditory stimuli, etc.
stimulation / n. stimulus
e.g. The stimulation of fierce competition
burn up / v. to destroy by fire
e.g. The satellite had burned up on re-entering the
deter / v. to discourage or prevent sb. from doing
e.g. The punishment did not deter him.
vitalize / v. to fill with life
e.g. to vitalize the patriotism
e.g. to vitalize the progress
Tales of Tartarin by Daudet
stimulant / n. (drink containing) a drug that
increases physical or mental activity
e.g. Coffee and tea are mild stimulants.
e.g. stimulant drugs
stimulate / v. to encourage to start or progress
e.g. To stimulate interest’s in the artist’s works
e.g. Failure did not deter him from making
ooze / v. come or flow out slowly, usually ~ from/out
e.g. All the toothpaste had oozed out.
e.g. Their courage was oozing away.
no more … than …/同…一样不…
e.g. He is no more able to read Spanish than I am.
e.g. You are no more capable of speaking Chinese than I am.
e.g. He is no more a good player than I am.
e.g. I am no more satisfied than she is.
e.g. A dolphin is no less a clever animal than a dog is.
not more…than…./ 不比…更…
e.g. The new edition is not more expensive than the old edition.
e.g. She was not more pleased than I was.
c.f. She was no more pleased than I was.
not less…than… / 不亚于
e.g. She is not less charming than her daughter.
no more than / only, at most
e.g. It cost him no more than 10 dollars a week.
e.g. It is no more than a mile to shops.
e.g. She ate no more than a slice of toast for
e.g. The theatre was no more than a painted barn.
no less than / as many (much) as
e.g. There are no less than eight thousand
students in our university.
…could do without…; …could do without…;
…could do without…; …could do without….
This structure is called Parallelism, which is used to
Try to find the faulty parallelism in the following:
3. My job with a travel agency paid well and excitement was provided.
4. I hope either to spend vacation in France or Spain.
5. He is a man of wide experience and very popular with the workers.
6. I am interested in electronics, because it is a new field and which offers interesting opportunities to one who knows science.
Part 1 (paras 1~2)
Vincent’s daily life, like a blind painting machine.
Part 2 (paras 3~9)
Vincent was drunk with color.
Part 3 (paras 10~17)
Vincent painted hard without paying attention to anything else.
Part 4 (paras 18~19)
Beautiful Nature was the sources of Vincent’s creation.
Part 5 (paras 20~21)
Vincent lived on the power and ability to create.
To make the image of painting machine vivid and
full, the writer gives detailed pictures of Vincent’s
daily life and his creation process: he got up early
and returned with finished canvases by evening; he
kept doing the same day by day with beautiful
nature as his sources of creation; he put everything
he experienced in his painting; he was dissatisfied
with himself and what he was painting, with this in
his mind, he went on painting without thinking of food, wife, children, or home; he painted on and on just like a blind painting machine.
Summary and abstract
A summary is an expression of the chief content of
any writing while an abstract is a very concise
summary of the main points of a formal paper ,
esp. an academic one.
To write a summary well, it is important to read the
original carefully to understand the author’s purpose.
Then it is necessary to select the central idea and
its supporting ideas. The next step is to write the
summary in brief form without referring directly to
the original, and the key point is to condense the
above ideas without distorting their rank.
Visitors to Britain are often surprised to find
that the weather is an almost inexhaustible topic of
conversation. This is not because the British are too
dull to think of anything else to talk about, but
because there is always an element of surprise in
the British climate. In some countries, people can
put away their raincoats for several weeks and let
out their fires during the burning heat of the
summer. Not so in England, where they never know from one day to the next what is in store for them.
One year, they had a spell of very hot weather in
early June and Mr. and Mrs. Brown decided to spend
the weekend at the seaside. When everything was in
the car, Mr. Brown drove towards the coast. Not for
long, the sky began to cloud over, and by the time
they arrived, it was dismal and wet. The cold
wind reminded them sharply of winter. They had to
sit round the fire playing indoor games.
The doctor is making the rounds of the wards. He
asks the patient many questions. But he seems to be
a little hard of hearing. He cannot hear the patient’s
words. So the nurse repeats the patient’s words to
the doctor. The patient wants to know if he is in hospital, if there has been an accident, if he has been badly hurt, and if he will be in hospital long. The doctor answers all his questions. He says that he is in hospital, that there has been an accident, that he has not been badly hurt, and that he will not be in hospital long.