Sunday, 27 November 2011

Objective Proficiency p 58. Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau. Extra Listening

Allure: /əˈlʊə(r)/ the quality of being attractive and exciting. Sp. seducción, atracción, fascinación. E.g. sexual allure. The allure of the big city.

Fill in the gaps
At the end of the 19th century, a 1___________, new style was taking Europe by 2____________. It was the 3 ________/ ______/ __________, the 4____________, decadent but also 5____________ end of the 19th century and the style was Art Nouveau.
Art Nouveau grew out of the dark, 6__________ energies of the industrial city. In the age of Darwin and Freud it was 7_________ with nature, sensuality and sex.
In the 8___________ of a decade or so Art Nouveau became pervasive. 9_______/ ______ by the 10_____________ middle classes of Europe, it was 11_____________ and mass produced.
What began as a revolution in the name of truth, beauty and nature, ended in 12____________, decadence and 13__________.
I'll be visiting the great cities of Europe, where the work of 14___________ like Emile Galle, artists like Gustav Klimt and 15____________ like Arthur Liberty 16_______________ all too briefly.
Paris at the end of the 19th century loved its bullet-straight boulevards, its 17____________ monuments and classically inspired architecture. However, beyond the 18____________, the population had exploded from half a million to 2.5 million people by 1900. Those elegant boulevards were 19_______________ with horses, carriages and crowds. Things needed to change. The city planners came up with a radical solution, the underground. Citizens were shocked because the entrances were like 20____________ wings, 21____________ metals, sensuous curves. It was a 22_______ declaration of the new art for the new century.
The World Fair of 1900 was when the city would show off its 23________________ new style.
Le Grand Palais is 24____________, isn't it?


1 luxurious /lʌɡˈʒʊəriəs/

2 storm (take something/ somebody by storm: to be extremely successful very quickly in a particular place or among particular people. Sp. arrasar. E.g. The play took London by storm.

3 fin de siècle /ˌfæ̃ də ˈsjekl/ typical of the end of the 19th century, especially of its art, literature and attitudes.

4 glamorous /ˈɡlæmərəs/ especially attractive and exciting, and different from ordinary things or people
glamorous movie stars.

5 anxious

6 restless unable to stay still or be happy where you are, because you are bored or need a change. Sp. agitado, inquieto. E.g. The audience was becoming restless. After five years in the job, he was beginning to feel restless. The children always get restless on long trips. 

7 fixated: always thinking and talking about somebody/ something in a way that is not normal. Sp obsesionado. E.g. He is fixated on things that remind him of his childhood.

8 space a period of time E.g. Forty-four people died in the space of five days.

9 Lapped up (lap something up: (informal) to accept or receive something with great enjoyment, without thinking about whether it is good, true or sincere. E.g. acoger con entusiasmo. E.g. It's a terrible movie but audiences everywhere are lapping it up. She simply lapped up all the compliments.

10 burgeoning /ˈbɜːdʒənɪŋ/ begining to grow or develop rapidly. Sp. floreciente. E.g. a burgeoning population. Burgeoning demand.

11 mimicked (mimic: to look or behave like something else. Imitate. E.g. The robot was programmed to mimic a series of human movements.)

12 derision: /dɪˈrɪʒn/ a strong feeling that somebody/ something is ridiculous and not worth considering seriously, shown by laughing in an unkind way or by making unkind remarks. Scorn. Sp. mofa, burla, escarnio. E.g. my stories were greeted with derision and disbelief.

13 decay the gradual destruction of a society, an institution, a system, etc. Sp deterioro, decadencia, declive. E.g. Economic/ moral/ urban decay. The decay of the old industries.

14 visionaries  /ˈvɪʒənriz/ 

15 entrepreneurs (entrepreneur /ˌɒntrəprəˈnɜː/ a person who makes money by starting or running businesses, especially when this involves taking financial risks. Sp. empresario, emprendedor. E.g. many entrepreneurs see potential in this market.

16 blossomed (blossom /ˈblɒsəm/ to become more healthy, confident or successful. Sp. florecer. E.g. She has visibly blossomed over the last few months.)

17 imposing /ɪmˈpəʊzɪŋ/ impressive to look at; making a strong impression. Sp. imponente, impresionante E.g. a grand and imposing building. A tall imposing woman.

18 grandeur /ˈɡrændjə(r)/ /ˈɡrændʒə(r)/ the quality of being great and impressive in appearance. Splendour. Sp. grandeza, majestuosidad, esplendor. E.g. the grandeur and simplicity of Roman architecture.

19 gridlocked a situation in which there are so many cars in the streets of a town that the traffic cannot move at all. Sp. paralizado. E.g. traffic is gridlocked in the cities.

20. bat 

21. sinuous /ˈsɪnjuəs/ turning while moving, in an elegant way; having many curves. E.g. a sinuous movement. The sinuous grace of a cat. The sinuous course of the river.

22. bold /bəʊld/ brave and confident; not afraid to say what you feel or to take risks. Sp. valiente, atrevido. E.g. It was a bold move on their part to open a business in France.

23. cutting-edge (the cutting edge (of something) the newest, most advanced stage in the development of something. Sp. innovador. E.g. working at the cutting edge of computer technology. Researchers at the cutting edge of molecular biology.

24. exquisite /ɪkˈskwɪzɪt/ extremely beautiful or carefully made. E.g. exquisite craftsmanship. Her wedding dress was absolutely exquisite.

TASK 2: 5'20''
The World Fair was designed to 1______________ the very best of modern art and industry and at the same time it was France's 2______________ for the 20th century.
More than 60 countries exhibited and 50 million people visited. It was the party to 3__________/ ________/ _________, and Art Nouveau was the guest of honour. Around Paris one could see the dramatic 4___________ of Rene Lalique, the 5__________ forms of Emile Galle's glass and the 6_______________ femme fatales of Alfonse Mucha 7___________ the Paris crowds. 
With all its marble and mosaics and 8___________ and glass, this was an 9____________ luxury showroom for Art Nouveau, at the same time that it held a 10_____________ mirror to French hopes and fears at the 11__________ of the 20th century.
At the time Paris was overcrowded, filthy and 12 __________/ _________ anti-Semitic tensions. 
But on the 13____________ of the 20th century, how did this 14______________ new style threaten to 15____________ the conservative ranks of traditional French design? 
Five years before the 20th century Art Nouveau had begun to emerge. Decadent, 16_____________, drug-fuelled, 17________________ there was a downside as well, of course. 
It was in Montmatre that the avant-garde artists of the day earned their 18___________.
Of all the artists who 19________/ _______/ _________/ _______ Art Nouveau, Charles Baudelaire was the most 20_____________. In 1857 he shocked Paris to its 21____________ with his first volume of poetry, Les Fleurs Du Mal.
It was in the back-street drinking 22__________ and 23_________/ _________ of Paris that Baudelaire's ideas about nature and art were 24___________/ ________/ ________ Art Nouveau designers.
Baudelaire 25_____________ the merit of artificiality over nature.
Is that because science and industry were giving us so much, one day we could 26___________ nature if it suited us?  
Like 27___________ to a flame, Art Nouveau designers were drawn to these women. 

1. showcase (exhibit; display. E.g. the albums showcase his production skills)  

2. manifesto (a public declaration of policy and aims, mission statement) 

3. end all parties (a —— to end all ——s. informal used to emphasize how impressive or successful something is of its kind. If you describe something as, for example, the deal to end all deals or the film to end all films, you mean that it is very important or successful, and that compared to it all other deals or films seem second-rate.E.g. she is going to throw a party to end all parties.)

4. jewellery 

5. organic (produced by or from living things. Living. E.g. Improve the soil by adding organic matter. Organic compounds)

6. alluring (/əˈlʊərɪŋ/ attractive and exciting in a mysterious way. Sp. seductor. E.g. An alluring smile)

7. dazzled (dazzle somebody to impress somebody a lot with your beauty, skill, etc. E.g. He was dazzled by the warmth of her smile.)

8. gilt (a thin layer of gold, or something like gold that is used on a surface for decoration. Sp. recubrimiento de oro) 

9. opulent (ostentatiously costly and luxurious. E.g. the opulent comfort of a limousine)

10. dazzling (extremely bright, especially so as to blind the eyes temporarily. Impressive. Sp. cegador, que deslumbra. E.g. the sunlight was dazzling. A dazzling display of oriental dance.)

11. turn (the turn of the century/ year the time when a new century/ year starts. E.g. It was built at the turn of the century.

12. simmering with (simmer (with something) to be filled with a strong feeling, especially anger, which you have difficulty controlling. Seethe. Sp. hervir de rabia, estallar. E.g. She was still simmering with resentment. Anger simmered inside him.)

13. cusp (a point of transition between two different states. Sp. Umbral. E.g. those on the cusp of adulthood)

14. upstart (/ˈʌpstɑːt / a person who has just started in a new position or job but who behaves as if they are more important than other people, in a way that is annoying. Presumptuous.Sp. engreído. E.g. Many prefer a familiar authority figure to a young upstart.) 

15. upstage (upstage somebody /ˌʌpˈsteɪdʒ/  to say or do something that makes people notice you more than the person that they should be interested in. Sp. eclipsar. E.g. She was furious at being upstaged by her younger sister.)

16. licentious (/laɪˈsenʃəs/ behaving in a way that is considered sexually immoral. Sp. licencioso, promiscuo, libertino. E.g. alarming stories of licentious behaviour.) 

17. absinthe-soaked (absinthe /ˈæbsɪnθ / /ˈæbsæ̃θ/ a very strong green alcoholic drink that tastes of aniseed /ˈænəsiːd/. Sp. absenta)

18. stripes (earn one's stripes gain a higher rank in the military. Deserve a position, status or reputation through work or achievements. E.g. she’s earning her stripes by showing how hard she’s willing to work.)

19. set the scene for (set the scene (for something) to create a situation in which something can easily happen or develop. Sp. preparar la escena. E.g. His arrival set the scene for another argument. Gillespie's goal set the scene for an exciting second half )

20. subversive (/səbˈvɜːsɪv / seeking or intended to destroy an established system or institution. Sp. subversivo. E.g. subversive literature)

21. breeches /ˈbrɪtʃɪz/ short trousers/ pants fastened just below the knee. E.g. A pair of breeches. Riding breeches)

Jackal: a wild animal like a dog. Sp. chacal.

Mongrel: /ˈmʌŋɡrəl/ a dog that is a mixture of different breeds. Sp. mestizo.

22. dens (den a place where people meet in secret, especially for some illegal or immoral activity. Sp. madriguera, guarida. E.g. a den of thieves. A drinking/ gambling den)

23. hash joints (hash: a hot dish of cooked meat and potatoes that are cut into small pieces and mixed together. Sp. guiso, estofado. E.g. corned beef hash. Joint: a place where people meet to eat, drink, dance, etc, especially one that is cheap. Sp. antro, tugurio, barucho. E.g. a fast-food joint. The joint was jumping (= full of people and activity). 

24. handed down to (hand something down (to somebody) [usually passive] to give or leave something to somebody who is younger than you. Sp. transmitir, legar. Pass down. E.g. These skills used to be handed down from father to son. Most of his clothes were handed down to him by his older brother.)

25. vaunts (vaunt /ˈvɔːnt/ boast about or praise (something), especially excessively. Sp. alardear de. E.g. the much vaunted information superhighway. Their much vaunted reforms did not materialize.)

26. tweak (tweak something to make slight changes to a machine, system, etc. to improve it. Sp. modificar. E.g. I think you'll have to tweak these figures a little before you show them to the boss.) 

27. moths (a flying insect with a long thin body and four large wings, like a butterfly, but less brightly coloured. Moths fly mainly at night and are attracted to bright lights. Idiom like a moth to the flame
with an irresistible attraction for someone or something. E.g he drew women to him like moths to the flame) 

Here you will find the transcript


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