Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

Did Ezra Pound write something like "The word communicates the thought, the tone the emotions"?

In Italy it is often attributed to Ezra Pound the following quote without source: la parola comunica il pensiero, il tono le emozioni It translate more or less to "The word communicates the ...

quote-identification ezra-pound  
asked by Michele Dorigatti 3 votes
answered by Peter Shor 2 votes

When was the Holy Grail first depicted as an object to be owned by its seeker?

While the Holy Grail was always depicted as an important or powerful relic, I have never seen in medieval literature a quest to own the Grail, only to seek it in a spiritual sense. In early stories, ...

arthurian-legend  
asked by rafa11111 3 votes

Name for genre of stories where the characters are narrative-aware

I've come across several fantasy books and stories where the characters recognize a divine/supernatural force in their world which often referred to as "the narrative" or "the story". In such stories, ...

terminology genre  
asked by Dragongeek 2 votes

Short story identification: Color of the Taj Mahal, mother says "Death rides a fast horse behind me"

In grade school in the 1970s, I read a short story I would like to find again. I think it was assigned reading, a school book (reader) that one of the schools used. It may also have been in an old ...

story-identification short-stories  
asked by JRE 2 votes

What is original Persian text of Rumi for the following English translation?

Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free.

persian-literature rumi  
asked by Inaam Nadeem 2 votes

Source of Diderot quote about tools and ideas

In the German book Usability und UX kompakt by Michael Richter and Markus Fl├╝ckiger (Springer, 2016, page 159), I found the following quote, which the authors attribute to Denis Diderot: Die ...

quote-identification french-literature denis-diderot  
asked by user800 2 votes
answered by user800 4 votes

How can enjambment be used to enhance rhythm in a poem?

I was wondering how enjambment can be used to improve the rhythm in poetry. I have seen some innovative uses of it by e.e. cummings, such as by breaking a word and writing the ending on the next ...

poetry theory  
asked by Mallam Awal 1 vote

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Where did the idea of a "true name" come from?

There's a common trope in Western fantasy that, up until now, I've sort of taken for granted: the "true name." This is the idea that all things have true names that are somehow more closely linked to ...

history-of-literature tropes  
asked by Aza 45 votes
answered by Rand al'Thor 40 votes

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 ...

william-butler-yeats  
asked by DukeZhou 14 votes
answered by wengchiang 6 votes

What's the origin of the rhyme "My friend Billy had a ten foot willy"?

A simple rhyming song which I heard growing up and which still gets stuck in my head every so often: My friend Billy had a ten foot willy. He stuck it through the neighbour's door. OR He showed ...

poetry history-of-literature  
asked by Rand al'Thor 9 votes

Does the Birling family (and Gerald) represent the 7 deadly sins and/or the story of the pharaoh?

One of my theories that I will be using for my English exam (on Friday) is that the Inspector is like Moses and the Birling family being like the pharaoh. The pharaoh in the bible decides to free the ...

an-inspector-calls j-b-priestley  
asked by Metro Boomin 3 votes
answered by lol 1 vote

Why do the March sisters call their mother Marmee?

I'm curious about the nickname the March sisters in Little Women use for their mother and I'd like to know its meaning and significance. After some research, it seems Louisa May Alcott used the ...

little-women louisa-may-alcott  
asked by Shaymin Gratitude 10 votes
answered by Rand al'Thor 9 votes

Who does the cat represent in Animal Farm?

It's well known that various characters represent real Soviet figures. Who does the cat, who is fond of shirking physical work but enjoys reaping the rewards, represent? Does the cat even have any ...

symbolism george-orwell animal-farm  
asked by fi12 19 votes
answered by Matrim Cauthon 13 votes

Why did Douglas Adams call Paul Neil Milne Johnstone the worst poet?

Douglas Adams evidently named Paul Neil Milne Johnstone the worst poet in the universe in the original Hitchiker's Guide radio broadcast. Why him? Evidently they went to school together, but I still ...

douglas-adams the-hitchhikers-guide-to-the-galaxy  
asked by EJoshuaS - Reinstate Monica 9 votes
answered by Chris Sunami 11 votes
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