There is no complete life of Alexandre Dumas. The age has not produced the intellectual athlete who can gird himself up for that labor. One of the worst books that ever was written, if it can be said to be written, is, I think, the English attempt at a biography of Dumas. Style, grammar, taste, feeling, are all bad. The author does not so much write a life as draw up an indictment. The spirit of his work is grudging, sneering, contemptuous, and pitifully peddling. The great charge is that Dumas was a humbug, that he was not the author of his own books, that his books were written by "collaborators"--above all, by M. Maquet
There is no doubt that Dumas had a regular system of collaboration, which he never concealed. But whereas Dumas could turn out books that _live_, whoever his assistants were, could any of his assistants write books that live, without Dumas? He once asked his son to help him; the younger Alexander declined. "It is worth a thousand a year, and you have only to make objections," the sire urged; but the son was not to be tempted. Some excellent novelists of to-day would be much better if they employed a friend to make objections. But, as a rule, the collaborator did much more. Dumas' method, apparently, was first to talk the subject over with his _aide-de-camp_. This is an excellent practice, as ideas are knocked out, like sparks (an elderly illustration!), by the contact of minds. Then the young man probably made researches, put a rough sketch on paper, and supplied Dumas, as it were, with his "brief." Then Dumas took the "brief" and wrote the novel. He gave it life, he gave it the spark (_l'etincelle_); and the story lived and moved
RC Verbal Diagnostic Test 5 Q# 7 to 10 are based on the following passage
7. The main point of the passage is to
A. deprecate Dumas and his collaborators
B. to extol that Dumas was a touch artist in writing live-wire novels
C. to prove the futility of having critics by writers to illustrate that egoism of great writers such as Dumas
D. to describe the reverence The English literates had for French Literature
E: to bring to light the dubiousness of English writers
A: This is antithetical; the author is all praise for Dumas
B: Correct Choice: This is the intention of the author
C: It is to prove the utility rather than the futility
D: This is the opposite of what happened
A. This may be a part –intension, but not the main purpose
Which of the following statements would the author of the passage not agree with except?
A. Dumas exploited youth to gain fame
B. The English authors were chivalrous when discussing foreign litterateurs
C. The English biography of Dumas is a masterpiece
D. Dumas could animate and enliven any theme from small spurts of overviews.
E. Dumas was a plagiarist and a copycat
OE: We have to in effect find an answer that he will agree with.
A: The author is pro Dumas
B: This did not happen
C: The English Biography of Dumas was a disaster
D: This is the correct answer
E: No; not at all. A staunch advocate of Dumas would never accept this
What can be inferred from the last line of the passage considering the sentiments expressed in text?
A. Dumas was a dull-wit who depended upon his subordinates for developing a novel
B. His stories lacked life
C. That the author is a hard-core champion of Dumas
D. The finale and finesse created by Dumas were unlively
E. The author was equivocal on Dumas’s performance as a fictioneer
A: No; the author was a champion of the virtues of Dumas
B: Dumas’ stories lacked full life
C: This is inferable from the way the author keeps heaping praises on Dumas .
D: This is a negative factor, just contrary to what the author intends to put through
F. The author is categorical and not equivocal reading Dumas’ fictioneering.
10 . RC
Which of the following expressions does the author of the text not allude to regarding the biography of Dumas written by an English author?
A. His style
B. The English author’s focus in his presentation
C. The English author’s glorification of Dumas
D. The English author’s envy and derision for Dumas
E. The observations of the author of the text about the English biography of Dumas
OE: We need an answer that does not touch upon some point.
A; Style is mentioned
B: The focus is touched through the passage.
C: This is not talked about in the passage; this is the correct choice.
D. They are referred to
E: The observations of the author of the text are mentioned