Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

In 'The Graveyard Book' by Neil Gaiman, why is one 'Jack' named for a historical person

The book features a group of characters who are members of a fraternal organization, and call themselves: the Jacks of All Trades, or the Knaves, or by other names. We go back an extremely long way. ...

name-significance neil-gaiman the-graveyard-book  
user avatar asked by Spagirl Score of 9
user avatar answered by Pete Score of 21

Why does Wemmick bring a fishing-rod on his "walk" with Pip?

In chapter 55 of Great Expectations, Wemmick invites Pip to go on a morning walk with him. As they are leaving Wemmick's house, Pip narrates that: I was considerably surprised to see Wemmick take up ...

charles-dickens great-expectations  
user avatar asked by DLosc Score of 7
user avatar answered by verbose Score of 7

How am I supposed to parse the "...she might have passed over more..." line in "Emma"?

I'm having trouble parsing this excerpt from Jane Austen's Emma, particularly the bolded sentence: He was not a great favourite with his fair sister-in-law. Nothing wrong in him escaped her. She was ...

meaning jane-austen emma-austen  
user avatar asked by Mithical Score of 7
user avatar answered by Gareth Rees Score of 14

What is the textual source for the original ending of Austen's Persuasion?

The Norton Critical Edition of Jane Austen's Persuasion includes two chapters as a supplement to the novel. These chapters, printed under the heading "The Original Ending of Persuasion", ...

textual-history jane-austen persuasion  
user avatar asked by verbose Score of 6
user avatar answered by Spagirl Score of 6

"America for Me" - too regular metre?

I'm reading this older book called Poetic Meter and Poetic Form by Paul Fussell. In a chapter called "Metrical Variations", a part of a poem is cited as an example of overly regular metre. ...

poetry meter henry-van-dyke  
user avatar asked by user392289 Score of 5
user avatar answered by Gareth Rees Score of 3

Meaning of 'more familiar to reason than to the imagination'

The following is an extract from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. What does the boldfaced phrase mean? Before, I looked upon the accounts of vice and injustice, that I read in books or heard from others, ...

meaning frankenstein mary-shelley  
user avatar asked by Apollyon Score of 5
user avatar answered by verbose Score of 7

What is the relationship between Angelou's poem "Caged bird" and book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"?

What is the relationship between the poem "Caged bird" and the book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings? One seems to be an autobiography and the other a poem, but they have overlapping titles ...

poetry title intertextuality maya-angelou i-know-why-the-caged-bird-sings  
user avatar asked by temporary_user_name Score of 4

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Why does the "ô" in this "rôle" have a circumflex?

I am reading League of Dragons, by Naomi Novik, as an e-book. Based on the cover art I have the first edition. In Chapter 15, there is what looks like an "o" with a hat: Laurence sighed ...

orthography naomi-novik temeraire-series  
user avatar asked by bobble Score of 9
user avatar answered by Tristan Score of 7

What is the theme of “The Deserted Road” by Sheila Burnford?

What is the theme of “The Deserted Road” by Sheila Burnford? This is part of the novel, The Incredible Journey, but I want to figure out the theme for this short excerpt. It is shown that the animals ...

theme the-incredible-journey sheila-burnford  
user avatar asked by Baker33111 Score of 1

Who does Mollie represent in Animal Farm?

It's well known that various characters represent real Soviet figures. Who does Mollie, the horse sympathetic to the humans, represent? Is she just a generic non-Soviet sympathizer or does she ...

character-analysis symbolism george-orwell animal-farm  
user avatar asked by fi12 Score of 13
user avatar answered by Tsundoku Score of 9

What rough beast slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and ...

poetry william-butler-yeats  
user avatar asked by DukeZhou Score of 17
user avatar answered by wengchiang Score of 9

Origins of quote: "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup."

I've grown up loving the quote "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup." and I've been searching around to find out where it came from (with only a ...

user avatar asked by Andrew Bickerton Score of 27
user avatar answered by Mithical Score of 36

Should I read The Silmarillion before or after reading The Lord of the Rings?

I spent an extensive amount of time as an undergrad writing about and researching The Hobbit, especially in terms of Tolkien's famous essay on Beowulf. Getting a sense of what inspired Tolkien greatly ...

j-r-r-tolkien reading-order the-lord-of-the-rings the-silmarillion  
user avatar asked by Peter Score of 37
user avatar answered by Voronwé Score of 70

What words sung by Gloria Gaynor correspond to the line written in the lyrics of I Will Survive as "It took all the strength I had not to fall apart"?

The lyrics of Gloria Gaynor's song "I Will Survive" include the line "It took all the strength I had not to fall apart". You can hear here what she actually sings. With what words ...

song-lyrics textual-history  
user avatar asked by tell Score of 8
user avatar answered by Gareth Rees Score of 14

Can you answer these questions?

How historically accurate is Koestler's The Gladiators?

The Third Servile War or War of Spartacus inspired several novels, including Arthur Koestler's The Gladiators, published in English in 1939. In the 1930s, Koestler worked mostly as a journalist, ...

historical-context arthur-koestler the-gladiators  
user avatar asked by Tsundoku Score of 2

Looking for a children's mystery novel set in south africa

I am looking for a children's mystery novel set in South Africa, of which I remember several details. I should say up front that the novel I am looking for is not Phyllis Whitney's "Secret of ...

user avatar asked by WillO Score of 2

looking for a novel—perhaps from the eighties—about King Solomon

Around forty years ago, standing in a bookstore, I read the first chapter of a novel: the opening was set in King Solomon's court, at the moment that he was recounting to his courtiers his dream (...

user avatar asked by Barnaby Score of 4
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