Я думаю не надо представлять этого американского писателя, которого называют грустным сказочником XX века. Свои рассказы он писал для простых людей: клерков, продавщиц, бродяг, ковбоев, мелких авантюристов, фермеров. Они и были героями его произведений. Его рассказы были короткими. Именно поэтому его иногда сравнивают с Чеховым. И хотя его рассказы проникнуты грустью, они оптимистичны, а неожиданная развязка всегда радует. Проведение всегда спасает его героев, казалось, идущих к неминуемой гибели. Да, почти все рассказы О. Генри заканчиваются хорошо, ведь люди не любят плохих концов. Однако жизнь самого писателя была трагической…
Хотите продолжить знакомство с американским писателем О. Генри? — Прочитайте его краткую биографию на английском языке.
Short Biography of O. Henry (in English)
Thе real name of the writer O. Henry was William Sydney Porter. He was born in a small town Greensboro in the USA (the state of North Carolina) in the family of a doctor. He was brought up by his aunt because his mother died when he was a small boy.
After finishing school at the age of fifteen, Porter worked in his uncle’s chemist shop in Greensboro. Then he went to Texas because he wanted to see new places. For two years he worked on a farm, then he became a clerk in an office and at last got a job in a small bank. During this period he studied languages and became interested in literature.
Soon he married Athol Roach; they had a daughter. Porter was a happy husband and father, but his happiness did not last long.
One day a theft of a thousand dollars was discovered at the bank where he worked. Though it was not he who had taken the money, Porter left the town and went to Central America where he stayed for some time. But when he heard that his wife was very ill, he returned home but was immediately put into prison for three years.
His wife died and his little daughter was raised by the relatives. The little girl was told that her father had gone very far away and would not return soon. In prison William often thought about her and was very sorry that she would not receive a Christmas present from him that year. Porter decided to write a story and send it to one of the American magazines to get some money for a present. The story called «Whistling Dick’s Christmas Present» was published in 1899. Porter had signed it «O. Henry» — the first pen-name that came into his head. While still in prison, he published many other stories.
In 1901, when he was released from prison, he settled in New York, and continued writing short stories for different magazines. Very soon he became one of the most popular short-story writers in America.
O. Henry’s stories won great popularity and have been translated into many languages. Most of them have unexpected endings and the reader is always taken by surprise.
During the short period of his literary activity, O. Henry wrote 273 short stories and one novel «Cabbages and Kings» (1904).
In his stories O. Henry describes amusing incidents of everyday life in large cities, on the farms, and on the roads of America. In most of his stories he does not touch upon important social problems, but the author’s sympathy is with the common people of America, whose life he knew very well. His greatest wish was that people should be happy.
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Short Biography of O. Henry (presentation)
Speak about O. Henry, using the presentation
1. Speak about O. Henry’s childhood and youth.
2. Say a few words why he was sent to prison.
3. Where and why did he write his first short story?
4. What did he describe in his short stories?
5. Why did the American people like his stories?
6. Why did O. Henry give happy endings to most of his stories?
7. Did O. Henry touch upon social problems in his short stories?