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3 votes
1 answer
341 views

When does the short story "The Recitation of the Most Holy and Harrowing Pilgrimage of Mindy and Also Mork" of the "InCryptid" series take place?

When does the short story "The Recitation of the Most Holy and Harrowing Pilgrimage of Mindy and Also Mork" take place in the chronological order of the InCryptid series? The InCryptid ...
3 votes
0 answers
37 views

Why call them the "little pointy hours"?

This is the start of James Parker's "An Ode to Being Read To", which is in October 2022's The Atlantic. I fixed my insomnia with whiskey and audiobooks. Seriously. I was a terrible non-...
  • 8,173
3 votes
0 answers
26 views

Trying to find a modern murder / suspense with reverse chronology

I read a book a few years ago that I can't remember the name of. From what I can remember of the plot, a man and a woman committed murder and then covered it up. It begins at the end (reverse ...
  • 31
3 votes
0 answers
32 views

Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, the “lost” chapter 10 in German

Is there a German translation of chapter 10 of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin? The English one is available in ISBN 9780691019048." Pushkin destroyed chapter X of Eugene Onegin, leaving only the ...
  • 31
3 votes
1 answer
31 views

Difference between "emperor" and "living emperor" in Kafka's "The Great Wall of China"

This is a quote from "The Great Wall of China" by Franz Kafka. What's the difference between "emperor" and "living emperor"? Our land is so huge, that no fairy tale can ...
4 votes
0 answers
26 views

Affiliation of the plane which kills David's backstory family

Background The first two times that the death of David Webb's (later Jason Bourne) family is exposited, there is some attention drawn to how no one officially knows which side the plane was on. "...
  • 8,173
3 votes
1 answer
95 views

Hamlet - swear on my sword part - why the sudden shift in tone?

So the text of Hamlet is here: http://shakespeare.mit.edu/hamlet/full.html This is during Act 1, Scene 5. Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus are running around swearing on the sword multiple times. I find ...
1 vote
0 answers
31 views

John Robbins book question

Is anyone aware of a list of books illustrated by John Robbins on his PBS shows? I remember an episode in which he illustrated a story where a rabbit sought to gain antlers like a deer ("How ...
  • 41
3 votes
0 answers
51 views

Mystery where a woman was taken in a wet sheet and left to freeze, demonstrated with a wet napkin and clothespin

I'm hoping to rediscover a mystery story I read when I was very young. The body of a woman had been discovered miles from a remote lodge with no obvious means of death. A detective suggested that she ...
  • 41
2 votes
0 answers
20 views

What's the significance of the two rolls and the bee in "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"?

Towards the end of The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (Czech: Nesnesitelná lehkost bytí), Tereza has a dream about Karenin, their dog, giving birth to two rolls and a bee: Karenin ...
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4 votes
0 answers
43 views

What does Walt Whitman mean by the last two lines in his poem, "The Voice of the Rain"?

Here's Walt Whitman's poem "The Voice of the Rain" And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower, Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated: I am the Poem of Earth,...
  • 141
1 vote
0 answers
26 views

Explain a quote from "The Great Wall of China" by Franz Kafka

Can anyone explain the following quote from the short story "The Great Wall of China" by Franz Kafka: First, one must realize that at that time certain achievements were brought to fruition ...
1 vote
0 answers
57 views

Was Newt Scamander inspired by Radagast the Brown?

As the title says. Is there a connection between Rowling's Newt Scamander, a wizard zoologist, and Radagast the Brown? Being the latter one of the five magicians of Tolkien's Middle Earth, and the one ...
2 votes
0 answers
58 views
+250

Paul D's prison and escape in Toni Morrison's Beloved

I'm reading Toni Morrison's novel Beloved. Chapter 10 talks of Paul D's time as a black slave imprisoned for the attempted murder of his new "owner" as well as his subsequent escape along ...
10 votes
1 answer
316 views

Looking for a science fiction short story about aliens harvesting heat from a probe

Around 2005 I remember reading a short story about an Earth probe that landed on another planet with aliens on it. The alien race determined seniority by the amount of heat they accumulated, which ...
  • 111
3 votes
0 answers
39 views

Is there a chronological order for Father Brown stories?

I've read most of the Father Brown stories, and I noticed a bit of time travelling takes place in them (not sci-fi time-travelling, but an ambivalence by the author to the fact that somethings couldn'...
-1 votes
0 answers
37 views

Pelvis shape symbolism [closed]

Halloween is nearing, and incidentally I saw a 3D model of a female skeleton and couldn't help realizing that the pelvis+coccyx give the strong illusion of a heart shape - Pareidolia at its best. ...
0 votes
2 answers
60 views

Book about a group of teens who get powers

The book was about a girl who got invited to a space program. She and a few other teens I believe went to space and somehow got powers. I don’t remember all of the abilities. Though I do remember one ...
2 votes
0 answers
24 views

Understanding comparisons in Crowcolour by Ted Hughes

In the poem "Crowcolour", the shortest of Ted Hughes' Crow poems, there's a series of comparisons of Crow's blackness with other black images. Here's the full poem: Crow was so much ...
  • 1,424
0 votes
0 answers
34 views

Are there examples of satire works that were not recognized as such? [closed]

I was reading about the De incertitudine et vanitate scientiarum (The vanity of arts and sciences) By Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. This book contradicts another work of the same author De Occulta ...
2 votes
0 answers
28 views

What was the clue that let Carla find the missing papers in The Poet's House?

In Jean Thompson's novel, The Poet's House, towards the end, the heroine, Carla, is looking for some missing papers: She finds them after having a conversation with Viridian's son, where he ...
  • 8,378
1 vote
0 answers
34 views

Children's short story where prehistoric childen have to cross a predator's territory

This was a short story in a children's magazine in the English language in the USA about 1960. Possibly in Jack and Jill. I am not certain whether this was before or after we moved in November 1961. ...
4 votes
1 answer
297 views

Can cave paintings be considered literature?

Prehistoric cave paintings can be found in many countries, and are some of the oldest records of human activity in existence. At least some of them clearly depict people and animals, and can show us ...
  • 65.1k
0 votes
0 answers
82 views

Did any poets or authors say that youth came after age before Bob Dylan?

In the song "My Back Pages" Bob Dylan famously inverted the usual chronological assumption of aging by poetically saying I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now. This concept ...
  • 697
1 vote
0 answers
72 views

English translation of Corpus Hippiatricorum Graecorum

I'm trying to find a translation of HIPPIATRICA, Hippiatrica Berolinensia, preferably an interlinear Greek/English version. I'm especially interested in chapter 20 and references to the Greek word &...
  • 151
0 votes
1 answer
78 views

First "female Death" [closed]

We all love Aunt Teleute, but she's probably not the first female anthropomorphic personification of Death (methinks "The Death of Captain Marvel" came long before Vertigo, and an obscure &...
4 votes
1 answer
196 views

Source of Brecht quote, "I'm not trying to prove I'm right, but to find out whether", in Christie Malry

In the B. S. Johnson book Christie Malry's Own Double Entry there is a quote attributed to Bertolt Brecht saying I'm not trying to prove I'm right, but to find out whether. I'm trying to find the ...
5 votes
1 answer
110 views

Exactly how long did Johnson take to complete his dictionary?

I recently came across a strange inconsistency regarding Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language: while every (online) source I've looked at agrees that it was first published in 1755, ...
  • 159
0 votes
1 answer
57 views

What was Gheria trying to say?

I’m reading “No such thing as a vampire” by Richard Matheson (Link - Caution: There's a large scary skull picture on this website). In the paragraph below (bold emphasis added), I don’t understand ...
0 votes
0 answers
37 views

Are there any scholarly analyses of the covers of Penguin Classics, Oxford Classics, etc.?

This question is about the covers of Penguin Classics, Oxford Classics, and other classics publishers that use details of pre-existing paintings and illustrations for their covers. Certain classics ...
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

What does "The people know that and are waiting for it" mean?

I’m reading “No such thing as a vampire” by Richard Matheson (Link- Caution: There's a large scary skull picture in this website). I have a problem and need some help. In the paragraph below, I don’t ...
1 vote
1 answer
90 views

Sherlock Holmes: What does "woman's' hand" mean?

This is an excerpt from the Sherlock Holmes novel named The Hound of the Baskervilles (emphasis mine): "Well, Sir Henry, your uncle had a letter that morning. He had usually a great many letters,...
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11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why did T.S. Eliot compare “waiting for death” with “a feather on the back of the hand"?

A Song for Simeon Lord, the Roman hyacinths are blooming in bowls and The winter sun creeps by the snow hills; The stubborn season has made stand. My life is light, waiting for the death wind, Like a ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
71 views

Why does Tiffany insist on using "young woman" for Amber in Pratchett's "I Shall Wear Midnight"?

In the "rough music" scene towards the beginning of I Shall Wear Midnight, when Tiffany and her father are taking care of Amber, who was beaten by her father hard enough that she miscarried ...
  • 20.7k
1 vote
1 answer
33 views

Why does the river refer to itself in the plural?

The Golden Hum by Pavlo Tychyna includes the following: :we'll grow tall! said the poplars. :we'll burst into song! said the flowers. :we'll overflow: said Old Man Dnipro. The poplars, flowers, and ...
-1 votes
1 answer
49 views

Why would selling a thousand copies of a book get a bestseller rating?

Zaza's first published book sold a grand total of 400 copies. He was informed by his editor that books need to sell at least 1000 copies to get a bestseller rating. Why was that enough sales to be ...
1 vote
0 answers
20 views

Why did Heinz evidently know so little about Georgia?

When Zaza is informed that he was selected to join The Literature Express in Lisbon, he wrote to the trip organizer, Heinz. Heinz wrote back with a letter that began, "Dear Mr. or Mrs. Zaza...&...
3 votes
1 answer
91 views

What's the meaning of the following lines from "Tristan and Isolde: The Love Sin"?

What does Lady Jane Wilde mean when she says the following in her poem "Tristan and Isolde: The Love Sin" (lines 64-65): Like pale shadows from the tomb, When an open death of doom and ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
36 views

Why is "The choir of bell-flowers" referred to as "a fragment of a long poem" in the subtitle?

The Choir of Bell-Flowers by Pavlo Tychyna in The Complete Early Poetry Collection has the subtitle "A fragment of a long poem". What does this mean? Was that added by the translator or by ...
2 votes
0 answers
56 views

Have the lyrics of the Song of Father Dûchene (Chanson du Père Dûchene) been translated into English?

The Song of Father Dûchene (Chanson du Père Dûchene) is an anarchist song written anonymously in France, probably in 1892, and which was famously sung by Ravachol on his way to the guillotine in July ...
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5 votes
1 answer
90 views

Why does Doctor Faustus ask for only 24 years of life?

In Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, the doctor essentially sells his soul to Lucifer in exchange for 24 years of luxurious life with Mephistopheles at his beck and call. Why does he ask for only 24 years? ...
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3 votes
1 answer
56 views

Explaining a pun or nick-name from a Manning Coles thriller

Recently I have read, or re-read, a number of the old thrillers by Manning Coles. In the book With Intent to Deceive (1947—published in the United States as A Brother for Hugh), I ran into this bit of ...
  • 328
3 votes
1 answer
140 views

Audio versions of fairy tales, distinctive "Long ago and far away ..." intro

As a child, I had a collection of cassette tapes with audio versions of some retold fairy tales. I don't remember any of the particular stories, although I imagine they were classics like Snow White ...
  • 65.1k
2 votes
0 answers
41 views

Short story about two people writing back and forth and they can't stop because it's not polite to not respond

I can't remember where I read this. It's a short story about two people writing back and forth. They can't stop because it's not polite to not respond. I think it ends with
-1 votes
1 answer
40 views

Why do some lines in Stanza 2 of "Pastel" start with a colon?

from Pastel by Pavlo Tychyna: II The iron day Drank up some good wine Blossom, meadows! - :I've been walking-for a day- Graze, herds!- :to see my love- for a day- Ears of grain like cradles sway!- :...
0 votes
0 answers
19 views

Why do willows go to the Cathedral?

Cathedral by Pavlo Tychyna starts as follows: Willows to one side, Beggars to the other. the willows bend and bend and bend. The beggars stoop over. Why is the Cathedral attended by those two groups ...
9 votes
1 answer
441 views

"The Interesting Vocation of . . . ?" — a mystery about a man with memory loss & an evil secret society that lives in mirrors

Science fiction short story or novelette, 1960 thru 1970s, a mystery about a man with memory loss & an evil secret society that lives in mirrors, the conclusion being that the man is an art critic ...
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0 votes
1 answer
82 views

What is swamp milk?

Pavlo Tychyna's poem Enharmonies starts as follows: Above the swamp milk is spun... A black raven lost in thought A grey raven is musing It pecked out eyes. God knows whose. I'm confused by this, ...
2 votes
0 answers
24 views

Why did Zaza only "bid farewell" to the possibility of going to Moscow?

When Zaza was looking at the itinerary for the Literature Express, he noticed that Kaliningrad and Moscow were stops; he "immediately bade farewell" to Moscow since Georgians were denied ...
1 vote
1 answer
34 views

Was Khavtasi a real person?

In The Literature Express, the narrator was asked by the Ministry of Culture to go on the Literature Express only after Khavtasi, a poet who is described as "senile", refused to go. Is ...

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