- Unfortunately, as I have not had
much free time this year, I have done my best to spend it wisely. It is known,
that people can do all kinds of things in their spare time. They go shopping,
play football, collect records or stamps. Of course, some of the time
activities, like visiting relatives or taking driving lessons, may not be fun.
In big cities people spend their free time by going to the theatre, cinema,
museums, art galleries, concert hall, fitness or disco clubs. When I have some
free time I can choose any of them. But when the weather is fine, I like to go
for a walk along the boulevards and streets of the city with my friends, enjoying
- A re you fond of collecting
- No, I am not. I have not enough
time to collect anything. My friend collects coins. His collection is rather
rich. Coins of different countries are gathered there. Moreover, he has a lot
of books devoted to numismatics and albums picturing the coin collections of
- What do you think about it?
- Everyone has the right to collect
various, even the most unusual things, if it gives sense to his or her life.
People collect paintings, stamps, match boxes, bottles, cans, buttons, books,
etc. I know that girls are fond of collecting dolls. Some of them do not give
it up even when they are of age. In their spare time people can read books,
listen to their favourite music, invite their friends to a cafe or a park, or
watch TV. Watching TV is also a popular leisure activity. Sometimes it is
pleasant to be entertained without leaving the apartment. But excessive TV
watching deprives a person of his initiative. Very often TV addicts are governed
- Do you have the same problems?
- No, I don't. We turn on our
television to watch only selected programmes. In my leisure time I read books,
go to the theatre or cinema.
- Do you like to go to the theatre?
- Yes, I do.
- Do you often go to the theatre?
- No, I do not. I do not often go to
the theatre. If I have a chance, I prefer to go to the Bolshoi Theatre, Mali
Theatre or Art Theatre. I like conventional rendering of the classical ballets,
op eras and plays. The tradition of Russian realist theatre was exemplified in
the work of Konstantin Stanislavsky of the Moscow Art Theatre. The leading
theatre companies of ballet are the Bolshoi in Moscow and Mariinsky in St.
Petersburg. Russian ballet had a formative role in Western dance through a
number of figures, such as Sergey Diaghilev and Vaslav Nijinsky.
- Do you like ballet?
- Yes, I do. Once saw a ballet
"Giselle". The performance with its beautiful music, designs and cast
was perfect. My concentration and enjoyment were intense. I also saw some new
ballets with music from "outerspace", with dancers resembling
mysteriously lit sculptural images, and severely geometrical de signs, and I
can not say that I delighted in them. I prefer classical performances.
- What do you expect when you go to
- When I go to the theatre I expect
more than just fun of it. I want to see some actors I've heard of or a new
version of the classical play. Recently I've seen the theatrical adaptation of
Oscar Wilde's "Picture of Dorian Gray". It is excellent. If you want
a thought provoking evening at the theatre, that's the one you want to see. But
most of all like to go to the cinema.
- Is it your hobby?
- Yes. It is one of my hobbies.
- What kind of films do you like to
- I delight in seeing all kinds of
films: comedies, love-stories, thrillers, westerns, war films, and cartoons. I
like films if they are exciting. I do not like horror films because of their
frightening moments even if they are superbly made and the acting is
- What are your favourite films?
- One time I liked films directed by
James Cameron. When I was younger I saw his heavy-metal Sci-Fi
"Terminator" and "Terminator 2" several times. The special
effects were wonderful and important to the success of the films. I took pleasure
in ferociously exciting "Aliens". I liked his "Titanic"
too. "Titanic" was no mere disaster movie. It was an epic love story.
Cameron's 'Romeo and Juliet' on a sinking ship became an international
- What other films have impressed
- I was really impressed by two
movies - "Gladiator" and "Pearl Harbour".
"Gladiator" is a very amazing movie. Well photographed and directed
it is really the best movie of the past decade. It is really magnificent. The
fight scenes were great, and the characters were well developed. The screenplay
is excellent. It is a sweeping story of courage and revenge. Russell Crowe is
fabulous as Maximus. His portrayal of the major character is superb. His
leadership, confidence, skill and heart are persuasive. In the first minutes, I
completely realized the utter devotion that Maximus secured from his men, and
his Caesar. I am actually keen to see it again, just to catch those things I
missed while trying to keep up with it all. I would love to see all those
sweeping views of Rome and the wonderful statues through the city. As for
"Pearl Harbour", unfortunately it tried to be a war movie and a love
story at the same time, and whilst "Titanic" knew when to stop with
the love story and focus on the tragedy, "Pearl Harbour" was not
capable of achieving the same distinction. It does not mean that I did not
enjoy "Pearl Harbour". I want to say that the movie had the potential
to be so much more than it actually was.
- Do you like to read books?
- Yes, I do. I am fond of reading
- What books do you like to read?
- I am fond of science fiction.
- When did this form of fiction
- This form of fiction developed in
the 20th century. It deals with the impact of actual or imagined science upon
society or individuals. This term is used to refer to any literary fantasy that
includes a scientific factor as an essential orienting component.
- What does such literature consist
- It consists of an extrapolation of
scientific facts and principles, or it incorporates absolutely contradictory
facts and principles. In either case, likelihood based on science is a
- Who were the precursors of the
- In the 18th century they were
Voltaire with his "Micromegas", Jonathan Swift with "Gulliver's
Travels". In the 19th century the precursors of the genre were Mary
Shelley with her Gothic novel "Frankenstein", Robert Louis
Stevenson's with his "Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".
- When did science fiction begin?
- Science fiction began at the end
of the 19th century with the scientific romances of Jules Verne, whose science
was rather on the level of invention, as well as with the science-oriented
novels of social criticism of H.G. Wells. They pioneered what may be properly
termed science fiction.
- When did science fiction emerge as
a mode of serious fiction?
- With the publication of stories
and novels of such writers as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert A.
Heinlein, science fiction emerged as a mode of serious fiction. Such writers as
Aldous Huxley, C.S. Lewis, and Kurt Vonnegut, who were not de voted exclusively
to science fiction, also added much to it.
- Whose works became paperback
best-sellers during the postwar period?
- The works of such science-fiction
writers of notable merit in the postwar period as A.E. Van Vogt, J.G. Ballard,
Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert, Harlan Ellison, Poul Anderson, Samuel R. Delany,
Ursula K. LeGuin, Frederik Pohl, Octavia E. Butler, and Brian Aldiss became
paperback best-sellers. These writers' approaches included predictions of
future societies on the Earth, analyses of the consequences of interstellar
travel, and imaginative explorations of forms of intelligent life and their
societies in other worlds. Radio, television, and motion pictures have
reinforced the popularity of the genre.
- What were the aims of the science
- Since the days of Wells's
"Time Machine" and "Invisible Man", the aims of science
fiction were didactic. The works of contemporary writers opposed the utopianism
that Wells built on the potentialities of socialism and technology. Aldous
Huxley's "Brave New World" showed how dangerous utopianism could be,
since the desire for social stability might overlook techniques that would
destroy the fundamental human right to make free choices. Toward the end of his
life Huxley produced a cautious Utopian vision in "Island", but the
dystopian horrors of his earlier novel and of his "Ape and Essence" remain
more convincing. Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-four" showed a world in
which a tyrannic unity is imposed by a collective solipsism, and contradictions
are liquidated through the constant revision of history that the controlling
party decrees. Anthony Burgess' "Clockwork Orange" and "Wanting
Seed" portray ghastly futures that extrapolate, respectively, philosophies
of crime control and population control out of present-day tendencies that are
only potentially dangerous.
- Are there any science-fiction
books without prophetic or warning intent?
- The fantasist who fantasizes
without prophetic or warning intent is rarer, but works such as Nabokov's
"Ada", Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" cycle, and
"Christine Brooke-Rose's Out" rep resent legitimate and heartening
stretching of the imagination, assurances that the novelist has the right to
create secondary worlds, as well as characters, of his own.
- Who created secondary worlds?
- Only three masters became
architects of a complete secondary world. The vast Middle Earth trilogy
"The Lord of the Rings", by J.R.R. Tolkien, was not written for
children. It reworks many of the motives of traditional romance and fantasy. It
is essentially a structure of sheer invention. Tolkien's fellow scholar, C.S.
Lewis, created his own otherworld of Narnia. It is more clearly Christian-
allegorical, more carefully adapted to the tastes of children. The seven
volumes of the cycle are exciting. And the final scenes of "The Last
Battle" are deeply moving. The third of these classic secondary worlds is
in a sense not a creation of fantasy. The four volumes about the
"Borrowers", with their brief pendant, "Poor Stainless",
ask the reader to accept only a single impossibility, that in a quiet country
house, under the grandfather clock, live the tiny Clock family: Pod, Homily,
and their daughter Arrietty. All that follows from this premise is logical,
precisely pictured, and carries absolute conviction. Many critics believe that
this miniature world so lovingly, so patiently fashioned by Mary Norton will
last as long as those located at the bottom of the rabbit hole and through the
- Is it difficult for a person to
have a hobby?
- No, I don't think so. I can say
that there are a lot of ways of spending one's free time. I always have a lot
to do in my leisure time. It is great to have some free time and do what is
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