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Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth

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Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 03 Dec 2011, 20:44
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Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth century short story writer Katherine Mansfield may be aimed at completely different audiences, but each uses well-known facts in new ways. The first, a popular biography by Virginia Smith, nods at Mansfield’s origins at the edge of the British empire – she was born in 1888 in Wellington, New Zealand – but is ultimately much more interested in the ways Mansfield’s simultaneously defiant and needy personality made her one of the most important, though often overlooked, groundbreakers of literary modernism. Mansfield’s relationships with fellow writers D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf, as well as with her critic-husband John Middleton Murray, are examined for evidence of Mansfield’s influence on them, rather than vice versa. Ms. Smith compellingly presents Mansfield as a social chameleon skilled at imitation and adaptation; this innate flexibility, the book argues, is the very trait that made only Mansfield capable of infusing the English literary scene with the influence of Russian writer Anton Chekhov. Though in the end Ms. Smith offers few new biographical details, the truly impressive aspect of this biography is her ability to shift easily between worn fact and compelling narrative.

Whereas the few shortcomings of Ms. Smith’s book may be attributed to lack of publishing experience, a second commentary from long-time professor Jim Jeffries can make no such excuse. Mr. Jeffries’ contribution is an often tedious biographical essay that introduces a new critical edition of Mansfield’s short stories. Jeffries’ work plods point-by-point along Mansfield’s biography, attempting to attribute the inspiration for each sparkling, artfully constructed story to a traumatic event in her life. The result is not so much a portrait of Mansfield’s work as it is an ornate yet overly-simplified timeline. This offense is only compounded by Mr. Jeffries’ shallow interpretations of Mansfield’s most subtle and complex symbolism, and his continuing references to various critics and philosophers make the essay no more interesting than name-dropping at a cocktail party.

1, The passage above is primarily concerned with

(A) establishing an unknown writer as an important literary figure.
(B) comparing and contrasting two recent biographical works.
(C) arguing for a new interpretation of the life of a literary figure.
(D) disputing the credentials of a well-known literary critic.
(E) analyzing different uses of commonly-known biographical facts.

2, Which of the following forms the best conclusion to the second paragraph?

(A) However, Mr. Jeffries does manage to say considerably more about Mansfield’s relationship with Virginia Woolf than does Ms. Smith.
(B) In light of these facts, one can predict that Mr. Jeffries’ book will be far less popular than Ms. Smith’s.
(C) In short, though Mr. Jeffries had at his disposal the same biographical information as Ms. Smith, he manages to do considerably worse with it.
(D) Because of the many shortcomings of Mr. Jeffries’ book, it is likely that Ms. Smith will soon eclipse him as the predominant scholarly authority on Mansfield.
(E) Notwithstanding these many shortcomings, Mr. Jeffries has his long-standing critical reputation to recommend him to readers.

3, With which of the following statements about Mansfield’s relationships with other modernist writers would the author of the passage most likely agree?

(A) Fellow writers such as Lawrence and Woolf learned imitation and adaptation from Mansfield.
(B) The fact that Mansfield was both defiant and needy made her relationships with other writers difficult.
(C) Mansfield preferred her friendship with Chekhov to relationships with English writers Lawrence and Woolf.
(D) Mansfield’s personality was flexible enough to accommodate relationships with critics as well as with fellow writers.
(E) Mansfield’s influence on fellow writers, though often overlooked, is as significant as their influence on her.

4, The author most likely uses the word “plods” in this line in order to

(A) emphasize the tedious nature of the essay.
(B) criticize the essay’s excessive use of detail.
(C) highlight the essay’s method of connecting biography to literary output.
(D) mark a distinction between narrative and factual elements in the essay.
(E) draw attention to a preferred approach to biography.

OA later some discussion
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2011, 06:19
My answers
B
C
E
A

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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2011, 03:59
time taken 7:21
answers
BCDA
explanation
B
self explanatory. willing to discuss

C
only C and E come close. out of that we know that the passage is concerned with contrasting two different biographies. so C seems logical

D
i think , between D and E, E compares the amount of influences on other authors to the amount on mansfield. however, if we read carefully, we can see there is no evidence for that. however there is evidence for D. the phrases "she is a social camelion" "her husband, a critic" "relationships with D.H. lawrence, virginia wolf" all point in that direction.

A
self explanatory. will discuss if required.
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2011, 09:10
my answer is
B
A
E
B
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2011, 09:20
what is the official answer guys??
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2011, 21:22
tuanquang269 can you please post the OA
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2011, 23:43
eced
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2011, 09:03
bcda are my choices
1) first line of the comprehension is a clue- B
2)second para begins with a mood favoring Smith's writing style and then goes on to decimate Jeffries work - C
3) used elimination technique, none of the options except D were mentioned in the premise of the passage. B talks about "excessive use of detail" which i dont think author has ever mentioned.
4) "plods" is a kind of word one would use for creating a negative effect. only A and B come close.
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2012, 00:06
My answer is B/C/A/A. Trying to find the OA but there is none to be found. Anyone know? Thanks.
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2012, 22:10
E,C,E,B my answer
1 1st sentence states diff ways of describing two facts
3 author denounces 1st biographer's approach by 'rather than' & implicitly advocates for vice versa.
4. by introducing 'plod point by point' author expresses -ve sentiment toexcessive details

however can anyone post OA
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2012, 03:12
BEEA

I slightly confused about the second one
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2012, 05:30
tuanquang269 wrote:
Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth century short story writer Katherine Mansfield may be aimed at completely different audiences, but each uses well-known facts in new ways. The first, a popular biography by Virginia Smith, nods at Mansfield’s origins at the edge of the British empire – she was born in 1888 in Wellington, New Zealand – but is ultimately much more interested in the ways Mansfield’s simultaneously defiant and needy personality made her one of the most important, though often overlooked, groundbreakers of literary modernism. Mansfield’s relationships with fellow writers D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf, as well as with her critic-husband John Middleton Murray, are examined for evidence of Mansfield’s influence on them, rather than vice versa. Ms. Smith compellingly presents Mansfield as a social chameleon skilled at imitation and adaptation; this innate flexibility, the book argues, is the very trait that made only Mansfield capable of infusing the English literary scene with the influence of Russian writer Anton Chekhov. Though in the end Ms. Smith offers few new biographical details, the truly impressive aspect of this biography is her ability to shift easily between worn fact and compelling narrative.

Whereas the few shortcomings of Ms. Smith’s book may be attributed to lack of publishing experience, a second commentary from long-time professor Jim Jeffries can make no such excuse. Mr. Jeffries’ contribution is an often tedious biographical essay that introduces a new critical edition of Mansfield’s short stories. Jeffries’ work plods point-by-point along Mansfield’s biography, attempting to attribute the inspiration for each sparkling, artfully constructed story to a traumatic event in her life. The result is not so much a portrait of Mansfield’s work as it is an ornate yet overly-simplified timeline. This offense is only compounded by Mr. Jeffries’ shallow interpretations of Mansfield’s most subtle and complex symbolism, and his continuing references to various critics and philosophers make the essay no more interesting than name-dropping at a cocktail party.

1, The passage above is primarily concerned with

(A) establishing an unknown writer as an important literary figure.
(B) comparing and contrasting two recent biographical works.
(C) arguing for a new interpretation of the life of a literary figure.
(D) disputing the credentials of a well-known literary critic.
(E) analyzing different uses of commonly-known biographical facts.

2, Which of the following forms the best conclusion to the second paragraph?

(A) However, Mr. Jeffries does manage to say considerably more about Mansfield’s relationship with Virginia Woolf than does Ms. Smith.
(B) In light of these facts, one can predict that Mr. Jeffries’ book will be far less popular than Ms. Smith’s.
(C) In short, though Mr. Jeffries had at his disposal the same biographical information as Ms. Smith, he manages to do considerably worse with it.
(D) Because of the many shortcomings of Mr. Jeffries’ book, it is likely that Ms. Smith will soon eclipse him as the predominant scholarly authority on Mansfield.
(E) Notwithstanding these many shortcomings, Mr. Jeffries has his long-standing critical reputation to recommend him to readers.

3, With which of the following statements about Mansfield’s relationships with other modernist writers would the author of the passage most likely agree?

(A) Fellow writers such as Lawrence and Woolf learned imitation and adaptation from Mansfield.
(B) The fact that Mansfield was both defiant and needy made her relationships with other writers difficult.
(C) Mansfield preferred her friendship with Chekhov to relationships with English writers Lawrence and Woolf.
(D) Mansfield’s personality was flexible enough to accommodate relationships with critics as well as with fellow writers.
(E) Mansfield’s influence on fellow writers, though often overlooked, is as significant as their influence on her.

4, The author most likely uses the word “plods” in this line in order to

(A) emphasize the tedious nature of the essay.
(B) criticize the essay’s excessive use of detail.
(C) highlight the essay’s method of connecting biography to literary output.
(D) mark a distinction between narrative and factual elements in the essay.
(E) draw attention to a preferred approach to biography.

OA later some discussion


my answer is BBDC....correct answer plz?
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2012, 19:31
someone please post the OAs
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2012, 23:44
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I'm going with BCEA, in 4:30.

The third one was the tough one for me, but my logic is that the author clearly enjoyed the Smith biography, in no small part because of Smith's recognition and discussion of Mansfield's influence on other writers.
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2012, 14:15
rjacobsMGMAT wrote:
I'm going with BCEA, in 4:30.

The third one was the tough one for me, but my logic is that the author clearly enjoyed the Smith biography, in no small part because of Smith's recognition and discussion of Mansfield's influence on other writers.


oh, in 4 minutes and 30 seconds. that's like super quick....

i took 11 miutes to answer this and My answers were BCEA as well.
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2012, 17:41
My answers b c d b.

Q4 - I think is B because the author of the passage is openly criticizing the second biographer. Thoughts?
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2013, 15:37
akrish1982 wrote:
someone please post the OAs


The OA for the 4th Q is

The question requires a consideration of the author’s word choice. The previous two sentences begin a general criticism of Jeffries’ essay that includes the accusation that it is tedious. The next sentence continues this idea, providing more details and further criticizing Jeffries’ work for heavy use of a timeline approach.
The word plods underscores the claim in the previous sentence that Jeffries’ essay is tedious, and prepares the rest of the sentence to argue more specifically that the timeline approach is particularly offensive to the author.

The second paragraph does criticize the essay’s excessive use of detail, but the word plods in this sentence has a more specific function.

Plods does not refer directly to the essay’s method of connecting biography and output.

The word plods does not function this way in the sentence.

The author does prefer a certain approach to biography, but that approach is described in the first paragraph, not the second.


The correct answer is A

I was stuck between A and C. I don't think the OA helps me decipher why I would pick one over the other. I can't tell how plod does that in the sentence, the only reason I would pick A is because in the sentence before there is the word tedious.
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Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2014, 06:27
Answers:

1, The passage above is primarily concerned with

The correct answer choice depends on an understanding of the passage as a whole and must take all parts of the passage into account. The first sentence previews the rest of the passage by stating that the topic is two new commentaries about Katherine Mansfield. Though the author clearly prefers one commentary over the other, the general purpose of the passage is to compare and contrast the two works.
It is not claimed in the passage that Mansfield is an unknown writer.

Virginia Smith’s popular biography is compared and contrasted with Jim Jeffries’ introduction to a critical edition of short stories.

Though the authors of both works being reviewed reinterpret Mansfield’s life, this is not a goal of the author of the passage.

A well-known literary critic is mentioned only in paragraph 2, and his credentials are not disputed.

This is one aspect of the author’s review of each biographical work, but it is not the main goal of the passage.

The correct answer is B

2, Which of the following forms the best conclusion to the second paragraph?

Because this question does not deal directly with information from the passage, it can best by answered by making an inference. A review of the second paragraph reminds us that the author of the passage dislikes Jeffries’ work on Mansfield because it is both over-simplified and arrogant. An apt conclusion to the second paragraph will maintain the critical tone of the paragraph and summarize the author’s reasons for dislike.
The positive tone of this option does not fit with the critical tone of the rest of the paragraph.

Popularity of either book is outside the scope of both the second paragraph and the passage.

This option maintains the critical tone of the second paragraph, summarizes the criticism, and refers back to the first sentence of the passage, in which the thread common to both works – biographical information – was discussed.

The second paragraph does not speculate on the relative authority of Smith and Jeffries.

A compliment to Jeffries’ critical reputation does not fit with the critical tone of the second paragraph.

The correct answer is C

3, With which of the following statements about Mansfield’s relationships with other modernist writers would the author of the passage most likely agree?

The phrase most likely agree in the question stem indicates that the correct answer depends on making an inference. First, review these lines, where Mansfield’s relationships with fellow writers are discussed. In this sentence, the author italicizes the word them to emphasize that relationships of influence among modernist writers are assumed to run the other way, with writers such as Woolf and Lawrence impacting Mansfield. The phrase rather than vice versa at the end of the sentence further emphasizes this assumption and reveals the writer’s opinion that Mansfield’s influence on fellow writers was at least as important as their influence on her.
Imitation and adaptation are mentioned as traits possessed by Mansfield, not as traits learned by fellow writers.

This is a distortion of a detail from this line.

The passage does not state that Mansfield had a friendship with Chekhov.

This is a distortion of details from this line, which mentions that Mansfield’s husband was a literary critic, and this line, which applauds the flexibility of her imagination.

This option is a paraphrase of these lines, which make it clear that the author considers Mansfield’s influence on fellow writers to be of often underestimated importance.

The correct answer is E
4, The author most likely uses the word “plods” in this line in order to

The question requires a consideration of the author’s word choice. The previous two sentences begin a general criticism of Jeffries’ essay that includes the accusation that it is tedious. The next sentence continues this idea, providing more details and further criticizing Jeffries’ work for heavy use of a timeline approach.
The word plods underscores the claim in the previous sentence that Jeffries’ essay is tedious, and prepares the rest of the sentence to argue more specifically that the timeline approach is particularly offensive to the author.

The second paragraph does criticize the essay’s excessive use of detail, but the word plods in this sentence has a more specific function.

Plods does not refer directly to the essay’s method of connecting biography and output.

The word plods does not function this way in the sentence.

The author does prefer a certain approach to biography, but that approach is described in the first paragraph, not the second.

The correct answer is A
Re: Two new commentaries on the life and work of early twentieth   [#permalink] 11 Jun 2014, 06:27
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