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Did the play “Prometheus the Fire-Bringer” provide an aetiology for a festival honouring Prometheus?

The Wikipedia article on the lost play Prometheus the Fire-Bringer attributed to Aeschylus tells us: Finally, Athenaeus wrote of a contemporary Athenian festival dedicated to Prometheus: Aeschylus ...
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0 votes
0 answers
38 views

What is the name of German-language horror or crime pulp novel series from late 80s/early 90s?

Back in the very early 90s, my father worked in Germany. The previous tenant in his apartment left some 80s/early-90s 7" vinyls, floppy discs and some horror/crime stich-bound short novels. ...
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6 votes
2 answers
317 views

Why was Hugues de Groot also called "Grotius"?

I am currently reading Grotius' De iure belli ac pacis (On the law of war and peace, 1625) in the French translation by Paul-Louis-Ernest Pradier-Fodéré (Le droit de la guerre et de la paix, 1865). At ...
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1 vote
1 answer
50 views

Source of "talent is formed in solitude", attributed to Goethe

I'm annotating an essay by Paul Hensel and he quotes Goethe: "talent is formed in solitude, character in the currents and cataracts of the world." I can't seem to find what the source of ...
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19 votes
2 answers
8k views

Does Gandalf ever say this in the book "The Hobbit", or is it made up for the movie?

In one scene in the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), before they set out on the adventure, Gandalf says to Bilbo: You've been sitting quietly for far too long. Tell me, when did ...
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4 votes
2 answers
83 views

What evidence confirmed a late date for Aeschylus’ “The Suppliants”?

The Wikipedia article on the play The Suppliants by Aeschylus tells us: It was long thought to be the earliest surviving play by Aeschylus due to the relatively anachronistic function of the chorus ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Confusing paragraph from the story 'Evans tries an O-level' by Colin Dexter

"Evans the Break" as the prison officers called him. Thrice he'd excaped from prison, and but for the recent wave of unrest in the maximum security establishments up north, he wouldn't now ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What's exactly meant by "raw I" and "being silky silk"?

In Judged by Ziyad Marar, the author was discussing Philip Roth’s The Human Stain, and its main character, Coleman Silk: Coleman as a classics professor is well versed in the Greek tragedies which ...
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2 votes
2 answers
135 views

How is "They seem to have a lot of parsons there, don’t they?” a joke?

This is from the story "Evans Tries An O-Level" by Colin Dexter", page 2, last paragraph. How is it a joke? "They seem to have a lot of parsons there, don’t they?” The two men ...
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1 vote
1 answer
85 views

What does this paragraph from "Should Wizard Hit Mommy?" By John Updike mean? [duplicate]

In class we're doing "Should Wizard Hit Mommy?" by John Updike. A part of the last paragraph is a little bit unclear to me: “The poor kid,” he answered, and with utter weariness watched his ...
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1 vote
2 answers
79 views

Why is Phyllis a "ward of chancery"?

The answer given regarding Wards of Chancery already in a different post covered that wards often came about because of assets and so on, but how does this explain Phyllis's situation in Iolanthe? She ...
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2 votes
0 answers
27 views

Meaning of a "dry palate" and "frozen rain" in Achebe's "Things Fall Apart"

I am currently reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, consider the following passage. The colonizers just came to the tribe of Mbanta and everyone seemed uninterested... But there was a young ...
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2 votes
0 answers
26 views

Meaning of "unsatisfied claim upon his justice"

This is from Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit, Chapter 16: As often as he began to consider how to increase this inheritance, or to lay it by, so often his misgiving that there was some one with an ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Do history majors at Ukrainian universities typically have to do archaeological field work?

In Voroshilovgrad, when Herman and Ernst met at the airport at the first time, they had the following discussion: "... What'd you major in?" "History." At this, his expression ...
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15 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why are Freud and Lacan still seen as important to literary criticism when their theories are discredited?

Literary theory talks broadly about three sources of text: texts themselves, the social context and the author's psyche. In the latter aspect, the ideas of psychiatrists Sigmund Freud and Jacques ...
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3 votes
1 answer
45 views

Old book: boy and girl co-dreaming serialised on BBC radio

Fantasy book I heard as a BBC radio serialisation when I was a child, c.1970-75, though it was probably much older and had a wartime or even Victorian vibe. I didn't hear all the episodes and never ...
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7 votes
1 answer
108 views

Short story about chess

In the book The Complete Chess Addict by Mike Fox and Richard James, the following passage appears on page 156. Alekhine, near the end of his life, lonely and sick, but still world champion, told a ...
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10 votes
1 answer
778 views

How to read "truths in Nietzsche’s sense of the word"

In the book titled Orientalism published in 1978, Edward W. Said wrote the following passage (page 204): For any European during the nineteenth century — and I think one can say this almost without ...
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1 vote
1 answer
26 views

Was there a book written about jazz in the Donetsk region?

In Voroshilovgrad, the Presbyter gave Herman a book called The Development and Decline of Jazz in the Donetsk Region. Olga expressed some degree of surprise that they played jazz there at all, and ...
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1 vote
1 answer
23 views

Is there an abandoned Soviet airport near Luhansk?

In Voroshilovgrad, Ernst Thalmann lives at an abandoned Soviet airport that he's trying to resurrect. I'm a little unclear about the exact location of this in the book, but I would assume that it's ...
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2 votes
1 answer
33 views

What is the Ukrainian equivalent of a community college?

At one point in Voroshilovgrad, Injured and Herman go from the old airport to what's referred to in the books as the community college dorms. I'm slightly confused by this translation, since I don't ...
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1 vote
1 answer
81 views

When in "The Dresden Files" does "Little Things" chronologically take place?

"Little Things" has been released in Butcher's Dresden anthology Heroic Hearts. When does it take place?
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7 votes
1 answer
117 views

Rhymes in William Blake's 'The Tyger'

Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 'Eye' and 'symmetry' don't rhyme in modern standard English. But pronunciation ...
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  • 633
8 votes
2 answers
910 views

Who translated the 1995 Penguin Popular Classics version of "The Phantom of the Opera"?

I recently started reading the 1995 Penguin Popular Classics version of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. While reading it, however, I noticed that there is no attribution printed in the book ...
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  • 19.1k
18 votes
1 answer
2k views

Accented è in Blake's "The little ones leapèd, and shoutèd, and laugh'd / And all the hills echoèd."

Here is a poem by William Blake with some accented è's (Nurse's Song, 1789). How is this è pronounced? What is the background as to why the e bears an accent? When the voices of children are heard on ...
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  • 549
3 votes
0 answers
78 views

Why is Len Deighton so fond of American English?

I am British and have lived in Britain my entire life. I have never heard anyone refer to an estate car as a “station wagon”. I have never heard anyone refer to a criminal as a “hood”. I have never ...
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3 votes
1 answer
75 views

Why does Nick say that Moses was 130 years old when he died?

In Chapter 21 of A Prisoner of Birth we find the following scene: Dave invited his captive audience to pick up their Bibles and turn to the book of Genesis, then informed them that Cain was the ...
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  • 2,657
1 vote
0 answers
12 views

Who was Captain Hastel?

The Eagle Well-Spring by Alaksiej Zarycki was dedicated "to the memory of Captain Hastel." It includes the lines ... For the eagle's grave came not seeking! That's where Hastel's heart ...
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1 vote
0 answers
10 views

Why did Alaksiej Zarycki dedicate "The Heart" to Pimien Pancanka?

The Heart by Alaksiej Zarycki starts off by saying: A miser I, The greatest of misers All that I can find in My heart I am hiding. Dreams from youth rising, Battle's loud thunder, Fortune'd bright ...
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8 votes
1 answer
279 views

What does 'diope' mean in the poem 'Pediatric Reflection' by Ogden Nash?

"Pediatric Reflection" by Ogden Nash Many an infant that screams like a calliope Could be soothed by a little attention to its diope. What does "diope" mean here?
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3 votes
0 answers
31 views

Is there actually a "railroad to nowhere" on the border between Ukraine and Russia?

In Voroshilovgrad, Herman had the following discussion with some smugglers about some rail on the border of Ukraine and Russia: "There's a railroad here?" I asked. "Well, yeah," ...
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0 votes
0 answers
42 views

How do you move a factory by rail?

In Voroshilovgrad, Herman meets someone who owns his own train. He mentioned that there were certain tracks that were built in case there was a war, so that they could move factories east: "Do ...
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2 votes
0 answers
31 views

Humorous quote about some minor indiscretion leading to a major crime

There is a humorous quote by Oscar Wilde or somebody about one minor bad act leading to a major bad act. This isn't it, but it was like this: Don't wash your hands today, then you'll start shop-...
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0 votes
1 answer
98 views

Why does Tolkien keep referring to the Fellowship as "the Company"?

I noticed that the group making the journey from Rivendell is called "the Company" rather than "the Fellowship". The title of the book has "The Fellowship", yet he doesn'...
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2 votes
0 answers
22 views

Looking for title of youth book, possibly SBS, ocean going salvage tug, North Atlantic, Argentine

Looking for the name of a book I read as a kid (45-55 years ago). Premise was an Argentine ocean going salvage tug in the Atlantic, finds a drifting unmanned freighter loaded with scrap metal. Some ...
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3 votes
1 answer
55 views

Philanthropic scam in P. G. Wodehouse's "Something Fresh"

In the novel Something Fresh (1915) by P. G. Wodehouse, a scam is mentioned whereby a man advertises in the newspapers proposing to give a sum of money to anyone who cares to apply, provided he is not ...
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1 vote
1 answer
45 views

Why does Pimien Pancanka refer to a point in Georgia when talking about Iran and Belarus?

A poem by Pimien Pancanka in Like Water, like Fire is simply titled * * *, and it was labeled "Iran, 1944" at the end. It includes the following lines: The cranes fly beyond Kazbek and El'...
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4 votes
1 answer
175 views

Scanning "Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote"

How would you scan the first line of The Canterbury Tales: Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote This blogger says that it's an iambic pentametre line with a headless initial foot and a feminine ...
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1 vote
0 answers
38 views

Figures of speech in "Once Upon a Time" by Gabriel Okara

Here are two extracts from the poem "Once Upon a Time" by Gabriel Imomotimi Okara: ‘Feel at home!’ ‘Come again’: they say, and when I come again and feel at home, once, twice, there will be ...
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1 vote
0 answers
39 views

School story involving a new computer, novel educational practices, and a secret society

This is a children's chapter book or possibly YA novel that I read in English in the USA around 1990. I read a few books of this general style, so I'm hoping that I am not conflating multiple books. ...
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1 vote
0 answers
25 views

Satire of old lady laying flowers at the tomb of the unknown soldier, Paris - what is this french short story?

In a german textbook in high school we had a short story the name and author of which I am looking for. I think the story was written between WWI and WWII or right after WWII. It is about an old lady ...
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  • 111
10 votes
1 answer
3k views

Dystopian short story read in US high school: boy and man travel through ancient ruins which are actually our modern-day civilisation

I can't remember if the boy and the man are father and son or perhaps teacher and student. I seem to remember that the boy is in training to be a kind of priest, and that this is why he is being shown ...
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2 votes
1 answer
84 views

A company goes bankrupt after adopting "socialist" policies

I think it's a chapter of some book, maybe by Ayn Rand. A company starts implementing near socialist policies, mainly focused on giving their employees what they need instead of what they have earned. ...
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Two men traveling through desert with sheep, older one holds water in mouth to reduce thirst and blows tobacco on sheep to remove ticks

This was a fictional story about 2 men travelling through the desert with a herd of sheep. I remember one of the men was much older and wiser. He knew how to survive in the desert. He explains at one ...
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2 votes
0 answers
30 views

What is a partisan hut?

My Hut by Anatol Astrejka ends with the following lines: When no trace of war will meet you, To deep forest glades once more I'll return, again to greet it, My partisan hut of yore. Earlier, the ...
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2 votes
0 answers
44 views

Does "Native Bread" refer to the Passover Story?

Native Bread by Piatro Hlebka starts as follows: The fire burns. Round the trench is massing For home yearn our countrymen, And the partisan young lasses Bake and dry flat loaves again. May that ...
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3 votes
0 answers
64 views

Comic from an old newspaper about a girl running through a winter forest and collapsing, with the story "continuing"

I'm trying to find a comic that I saw in a newspaper in 2014 or thereabouts (I think it was Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but not sure). I don't remember the issue number, when exactly I saw it, or ...
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1 vote
1 answer
78 views

Why is there an earlier book just like The Vanishing Half with a different title and author?

I came across this circumstance purely by chance. There is a Kindle book with a free sample for downloading titled The Fates of the Twins. The author is listed as Stuart Woods but it is apparently not ...
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5 votes
1 answer
303 views

Who is Little Dorrit referring to when she says, "Don’t encourage him to ask"?

I am currently reading Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens and have come across the following passage from chapter 14: ‘Can you guess,’ said Little Dorrit, folding her small hands tight in one another, ...
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  • 543
4 votes
0 answers
33 views

In Blood Meridian, why does the judge call out the kid as being different?

Toward the end of Blood Meridian, Judge Holden says a curious thing to the kid when the two are hunting each other in the desert: There's a flawed place in the fabric of your heart. Do you think I ...
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