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Задание 9. Прочитайте текст и выполните задания 1 – 7, выбирая букву A, B, C или D. Установите соответствие номера задания выбранному вами варианту ответа.

The introduction to a new biography of Gannibal by the author.

Alexander Pushkin was not only Russia’s greatest poet, but he was also the great-grandson of an African slave. The slave, whose godfather was Peter the Great, claimed to have royal blood of his own. Certainly his Russian descendants believed that he was an African prince. His descendants have included members as well as close friends of the English royal family. So the legend goes on.

Pushkin told the story of his black ancestor in “The Negro of Peter the Great”, but this biography tells a different version. The main difference is between fact and fiction. The Russian poet hoped to discover a biographical truth by sticking to the facts, only to discover that facts are slippery and not always true. His biography turned into a novel. Even then, it was left unfinished after six and a half chapters. The scrawled manuscript comes to an end with a line of dialogue – ‘Sit down, you scoundrel, let’s talk!’ — and a line of dots. Pushkin could be speaking to himself. In any case, it’s now time to stand up and carry on with the story. I have tried to join up the dots.

This is a book, then, about a missing link between the storyteller and his subject, an African prince; between the various branches of a family and its roots; between Pushkin and Africa; Africa and Europe; Europe and Russia; black and white. It is the story of a remarkable life and it poses the question: how is such a life to be explained?

My own explanation began in 2001, while I was living in Russia and working there as a journalist. The first draft was written during the war in Afghanistan, on the road to Kabul, but it describes my journey to the frontline of a different kind of war in Africa between the armies of Ethiopia and Eritrea. According to legend, Pushkin’s ancestor was born there, on the northern bank of the River Mareb, where I was arrested for taking photographs and compass readings, on suspicion of being a spy. Understandably my captors didn’t believe that I was only a journalist researching the life of Russia’s greatest writer. At the military camp, where I was held for a number of hours, the commandant looked me up and down when I asked, in my best posh English accent, ‘I say, my good man, can you tell me, basically, what is going on here?’ ‘Basically,’ he replied, with distaste, ‘you are in prison!’ The incident taught me something. Journalists, like biographers, are meant to respect facts, and by retracing Gannibal’s footsteps, I hoped to find a true story.

Some of those journeys lie behind the book, and are used whenever it is helpful to show that the past often retains a physical presence for the biographer – in landscapes, buildings, portraits, and above all in the trace of handwriting on original letters or journals. But my own journeys are not the point of the book. It is Gannibal’s story. I am only following him.

Descriptions of Africa and the slave trade result from my journeys, but this is not a book about a ‘stolen legacy’, nor certainly about the intellectual wars that have been part of black history in recent years. Biographers, like novelists, should tell stories. I have tried to do this. I should, however, point out from the outset that Gannibal was not the only black face to be seen in the centre of fashionable St Petersburg at that time. Negro slaves were a common sight in the grand salons of Millionaires’ Street and they appeared in a variety of roles, such as pets, pages, footmen, mascots, mistresses, favourites and adopted children. At the Winter Palace, so-called court Arabs, usually Ethiopians dressed in turbans and baggy trousers stood guard like stage extras in the marble wings.


1. The slave’s Russian descendants believe that the slave

A) had Russian royal blood in him.

B) was Peter the Great’s godfather.

C) belonged to the royal family in his native land.

D) was a close friend of the English royal family.

2. According to the narrator, the biography of Pushkin’s ancestor turned into a

novel because Pushkin

A) didn’t like the true biographical facts he had discovered.

B) found it impossible to stick to the facts that were doubtful.

C) could not do without describing fictional events.

D) found the true facts of the slave’s biography uninspiring.

3. The narrator’s objective in writing the book was to

A) write a new version of the novel “The Negro of Peter the Great”.

B) continue the story from where it was left unfinished.

C) interpret’s attitude to his ancestor.

D) prove that Pushkin’s ancestor was an African prince.

4. The narrator says that his research for the book

A) brought him to Russia to work as a journalist.

B) made him go to the war in Afghanistan.

C) led him to take part in the war in Africa.

D) brought him to a river bank in Africa.

5. The lesson that the narrator learnt from his arrest was

A) not to use a camera and compass at the frontline.

B) to avoid speaking to people in his best posh English accent.

C) not to distort information about real events.

D) never to tell people about his research.

6. The narrator thinks that his journeys

A) helped him find some visible traces of the past.

B) made him to feel sympathy to a “stolen legacy”.

C) deepened his understanding of the concept of intellectual wars.

D) turned out to be the main contents of his book.

7. The narrator points out that at the time of Gannibal

A) negro slaves played a variety of roles in the theatre.

B) black slaves were like stage extras in royal processions.

C) many Africans made a brilliant career at the court.

D) Africans were not a novelty in the capital of Russia.




Задание 10. Прочитайте текст и выполните задания 1 – 7, выбирая букву A, B, C или D. Установите соответствие номера задания выбранному вами варианту ответа.


Tonight, do yourself a favor. Shut off the TV, log off the Internet and unplug the phone. Relax, take a bath, maybe sip some herbal tea. Then move into the bedroom. Set your alarm clock for a time no less than eight hours in the future, fluff up your pillows and lay your head down for a peaceful night of restorative shut-eye. That’s what American doctors advise.

American sleep experts are sounding an alarm over America’s sleep deficit. They say Americans are a somnambulant nation, stumbling groggily through their waking hours for lack of sufficient sleep. They are working longer days – and, increasingly, nights – and they are playing longer, too, as TV and the Internet expand the range of round-the-clock entertainment options. By some estimates, Americans are sleeping as much as an hour and a half less per night than they did at the turn of the century – and the problem is likely to get worse.

The health repercussions of sleep deprivation are not well understood, but sleep researchers point to ills ranging from heart problems to depression. In a famous experiment conducted at the University of Chicago in 1988, rats kept from sleeping died after two and a half weeks. People are not likely to drop dead in the same way, but sleep deprivation may cost them their lives indirectly, when an exhausted doctor prescribes the wrong dosage or a sleepy driver weaves into someone’s lane.

What irritates sleep experts most is the fact that much sleep deprivation is voluntary. “People have regarded sleep as a commodity that they could shortchange,” says one of them. “It’s been considered a mark of very hard work and upward mobility to get very little sleep. It’s a macho attitude.” Slumber scientists hope that attitude will change. They say people have learned to modify their behavior in terms of lowering their cholesterol and increasing exercise. Doctors also think people need to be educated that allowing enough time for sleep and taking strategic naps are the most reliable ways to promote alertness behind the wheel and on the job.

Well, naps would be nice, but at the moment, employers tend to frown on them. And what about the increasing numbers of people who work at night? Not only must they work while their bodies’ light-activated circadian rhythms tell them to sleep, they also find it tough to get to sleep after work. Biologists say night workers have a hard time not paying attention to the 9-to-5 day because of noises or family obligations or that’s the only time they can go to the dentist. There are not too many dentists open at midnight.

As one might imagine, companies are springing up to take advantage of sleeplessness. One of the companies makes specially designed shift-work lighting systems intended to keep workers alert around the clock. Shift-work’s theory is that bright light, delivered in a controlled fashion, can help adjust people’s biological clocks. The company president says they are using light like a medicine. So far, such special lighting has been the province of NASA astronauts and nuclear power plant workers. He thinks that in the future, such systems may pop up in places like hospitals and 24-hour credit-card processing centers. Other researchers are experimenting with everything from welder’s goggles (which night workers wear during the day) to human growth hormones. And, of course, there is always what doctors refer to as “therapeutic caffeine use,” but everyone is already familiar with that.

So, is a good night’s sleep an impossible dream for Americans? Maybe so.


1. The advice of American doctors is all about

A) ways to reduce negative effect of modern technologies.

B) complex measures that ensure healthy sleep.

C) positive effect of herbal therapy.

D) the process of restoring from unexpected psychological stress.

2. Americans are referred to as a “somnambulant nation” because they

A) need special help to fall asleep.

B) are sleepwalkers.

C) regularly wake up at night.

D) don’t get enough sleep to function effectively.

3. Experiments with sleep deprivation proved that

A) it inevitably leads to death.

B) its repercussions have finally become predictable.

C) it is likely to result in cardio or nervous problems.

D) animal and human reaction are almost alike.

4. There is a tendency to sleep less because

A) people want to look tough at any cost.

B) people think they can reduce sleeping hours without any harm .

C) people have learned to cope with less sleep just as they have learned to lower cholesterol.

D) otherwise they lose career and social opportunities.

5. Having naps during the day would be nice, but

A) doctors do not find them effective.

B) people won’t take them voluntarily.

C) bosses are against this.

D) it is difficult to arrange.

6. People who work at night can hardly

A) fulfill traditional family obligations.

B) consult doctors when needed.

C) socialize to their liking.

D) ever sleep without ear-plugs.

7. The main aim of specially designed shift-work lighting system is

A) to help people feel alert at night.

B) to provide better lightning.

C) to prevent heart diseases.

D) to stimulate human growth hormones.

Ответы к заданиям по чтению ( высокий уровень)


9. 1-C; 2-B; 3-B; 4-D; 5-C; 6-A; 7-D

10. 1-B; 2-D; 3-C; 4-B; 5-C; 6-B; 7-A

Категорія: Мои статьи | Додав: znoenglish (24.03.2009)
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