Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

What does "they were in name his subjects" mean?

While there was still a king they were in name his subjects, but they were, in fact, ruled by their own chieftains and meddled not at all with events in the world outside. What does "they were in ...

meaning j-r-r-tolkien the-lord-of-the-rings  
asked by S E 5 votes
answered by Rand al'Thor 10 votes

What is the theology of Little Women?

Little Women is partially inspired by Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, with chapter titles and themes borrowed from Bunyan's story, and reading the book itself being an early activity the girls share. ...

louisa-may-alcott pilgrims-progress little-women  
asked by curiousdannii 4 votes

What is the internal order of Christopher Tolkien's last three books in the Middle-earth legendarium?

Christopher John Reuel Tolkien, J. R. R. Tolkien's third son, died very recently. He is best know for editing and publishing materials he inherited from his father, including these three books: The ...

j-r-r-tolkien c-j-r-tolkien  
asked by IkWeetHetOokNiet 3 votes
answered by Gareth Rees 3 votes

Do the witches in Macbeth ever mention "eye of bat and tongue of frog"?

For a high school course in English literature, I'm reading Macbeth. On a basic multiple choice question about Act IV, scene I, I am given the following: The Witches threw into the cauldron ...

william-shakespeare macbeth  
asked by John Wilburn 2 votes
answered by IkWeetHetOokNiet 2 votes

What does "reckoning of years" mean?

About this time legend among the Hobbits first becomes history with a reckoning of years. What does "reckoning of years" mean in this passage from The Lord of the Rings?

meaning j-r-r-tolkien the-lord-of-the-rings  
asked by S E 1 vote
answered by Rand al'Thor 1 vote

Does this quote by Martial really exist?

On Wikipedia I came across a quote by Tacitus which says: To ravage, to slaughter, to usurp under false titles, they call empire; and where they make a desert, they call it peace. From my ...

quote-identification latin-literature  
asked by FluidCode 1 vote
answered by kimchi lover 1 vote

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

The author of a literary work disagrees with critics about meaning—who's right?

I've just come up with a conjecture on what a piece of literature means, but the author has said that they didn't mean for their work to suggest that. For example, Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is ...

meaning authorial-intent  
asked by Aurora0001 33 votes
answered by Steve Jessop 38 votes

Why doesn't James Joyce ever use quotation marks?

None of his books use quotation marks for direct speech. For example: — Will he come? The jejune jesuit! Ceasing, he began to shave with care. — Tell me, Mulligan, Stephen said quietly. — ...

style james-joyce  
asked by Abhijeet Melkani 22 votes
answered by GoldenGremlin 42 votes

Which order is recommended for the "Commonwealth" novels?

The Commonwealth Saga of Peter F. Hamilton is comprised of several novels spanning centuries, characters and planets. Unfortunately, the publishing order does not concur with the in-universe order. ...

reading-order peter-f-hamilton commonwealth-saga  
asked by Helmar 9 votes
answered by tobiasvl 9 votes

Origin of the phrase "Open Sesame"

The phrase, "Open Sesame", is a curious one indeed. Until a few days ago I foolishly believed that it was derived from a slurring of the words "Open, says me". But after coming to the story of Ali ...

arabic-literature one-thousand-and-one-nights  
asked by Parzival 21 votes
answered by Riker 14 votes

What does the raven symbolize (besides death)?

Whenever I ask a friend about the symbolism of the Raven from The Raven, they always seem to say death. Is that the only thing the Raven is meant to symbolize?

symbolism edgar-allan-poe the-raven  
asked by Matrim Cauthon 13 votes

What order should I read the "Ender's game" series in?

Ender's Game is a very large epic science-fiction series by Orson Scott Card. To quote wikipedia: It currently consists of fifteen novels, thirteen short stories, 47 comic issues, an audioplay, ...

enders-game orson-scott-card reading-order  
asked by DJMcMayhem 16 votes
answered by Riker 12 votes

In To Kill a Mockingbird, what does "let the dead bury the dead" mean?

In the ending chapter of "To Kill a Mockingbird", Atticus and Mr Heck Tate (the Sheriff) are deciding who is responsible for the death of Mr Ewell. Atticus thinks Jem killed Mr Ewell but Heck knows it ...

meaning harper-lee to-kill-a-mockingbird  
asked by TheFinal Kage 11 votes
answered by Metro Boomin 15 votes
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