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18 views

Meaning of “trembling fantasies”

Athena woke at six o’clock in the morning. Philip was not there, nor had he been. The room was full of heavy, dark pieces of furniture. The impression that her presence made on the room was so slight ...
5
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0answers
29 views

Hindi short story where a painter makes a painting of his dying son

I read a Hindi short stories book around at least 8-10 years ago. One of the stories I still remember (some of it), as I found it very strange/disturbing. I remember some of it, but want to read the ...
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0answers
26 views

Looking for a short poem which is a parodic pastiche of Shakespeare plots (possibly published in the New Yorker)

A few years ago, in a poetry podcast, the guest read out a poem which was a parodic pastiche of Shakespeare plots. It wasn't based on any specific Shakespeare plot, but it was meant to seem like a ...
2
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0answers
49 views

Trying to find a story called “The Curse of the Phantom Rolls Royce”

As a child (at 12 or 13, ~55 years ago) I read a story called "The Curse of the Phantom Rolls Royce" and I loved it. It wasn’t a big book so I think it was a stand alone story. I certainly ...
2
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2answers
43 views

Meaning of “Her say said” in “This Side of Paradise”?

In Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, we have this passage: MRS. CONNAGE: The poor boy looks so miserable every time he comes. ROSALIND: That was one of those romantic, pre-battle affairs. They’re ...
3
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0answers
39 views

Who is “The Rithmatist”?

The Rithmatist is a book (first in a planned series by the same name) by Sanderson. Who exactly is "the" Rithmatist referred to by the title? The school that is the main setting for the book ...
5
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0answers
56 views

“Anne of Avonlea”: why was painting the building blue considered inappropriate?

Reading Anne of Avonlea, I see the main characters encounter a problem when by accident the hall that they cared about so much was painted blue instead of green: "Haven't you heard?" said ...
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0answers
17 views

Syllable stress of plural form of begonias [migrated]

I am currently studying syllable stress. When I look at the word begonia we can split it into 3 syllables with the stress on 'go'. E.g bih-gohn-yuh. However, the plural form of the word gives me 4 ...
3
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2answers
42 views

Meaning of “You never came and you never went” in Eudora Welty's “A Visit of Charity”

I can't understand what the sentence "You never came and you never went" is related to. Does it clarify the previous utterance or is it a new thought which says that the person has never ...
4
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2answers
609 views

What does “remote in scale” mean here?

Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, volume 2 includes the following letter from Darwin to Charles Lyell, written about a review of his new book: P.S.—I must tell you one little fact which has pleased ...
3
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1answer
72 views

Meaning behind “Where Once The Waters Of Your Face“

I recently read a poem called “Where Once The Waters Of Your Face” by Dylan Thomas. What does it mean? I feel there are a lot of terms related to sailing but I’m not sure I understand it completely. ...
4
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2answers
88 views

What are we to understand by “panther” in this Old English poem?

"The Panther" is an Old English poem, preserved in the Exeter Book, and translated in full by Aaron Hostetter. It's a poem about a panther, but what would the ancient Germanic peoples of ...
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0answers
24 views

When is “Mr Pottermack's Oversight” set?

Mr Pottermack's Oversight is a mystery novel by R. Austin Freeman. Freeman invented the inverted mystery in which the crime is first shown, often from the PoV of the criminal, and then the process of ...
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0answers
35 views

Meaning of “Its surfaces were dull with the absence of meaning.”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner The sisters glanced at each other over Dexter’s head. Elizabeth laid one hand over her heart and raised the other in a gesture of tremendous ...
2
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0answers
35 views

What is known, and how, about the dating of the Exeter Book?

The Exeter Book is one of the most important pieces of Anglo-Saxon (Old English) literature, containing a wide variety of works including riddles, elegies, a so-called bestiary, etc. Wikipedia says ...
2
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0answers
28 views

Modern English versions of Wonders/Marvels of the East from the Nowell Codex

The famous epic poem Beowulf is known from a single manuscript, part of the Nowell Codex, which also contains other texts and fragments, including one called The Wonders of the East, sometimes also ...
4
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2answers
100 views

What was the first work of fiction about flying machines?

There are two stories by Jules Verne which I know about which captured the public imagination about Flying Machines in the 18th century. The first is the somewhat unknown A Trip Round the World in a ...
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54 views

Options for when a text has not been translated into English from Spanish

Several of Arturo Perez-Reverte's works have been translated into English, but in the case of "El Cid" (Sidi), no English version has been published to my knowledge. I fear my prospects are ...
2
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1answer
40 views

Did Orwell's wife write anything down after her period spent in Spain during the Spanish Civil War?

Homage to Catalonia (a less popular Orwell work published in the beginning of 1938) made me wonder today about the possible existence or not of a similar but less-known text written by Orwell's wife. ...
2
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1answer
65 views

Trilogy of book involving a man's journey through ritual magic [duplicate]

This is going to bug me... I was reading A book from the 80s/90s with a stage magician and a couple women and it reminded me of a trilogy of books I read in the late 1990s as discarded paperbacks from ...
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40 views

Alma's annotations to Chapter 14 of Ulysses

(If this question does not fit this site, let me know and I'll delete it). I'm considering buying the "Annotated Edition" of Ulysses published by Alma Classics. I was wondering about the ...
8
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1answer
839 views

Shakespeare King Henry IV Part 1: What is the “money joke” in these lines?

In Act 2 Scene 4, Prince Hal takes interest in a noble man as a "joke about money". My text (Cambridge) explains that a noble was worth one third of £1 sterling and a royal worth half of £1. ...
6
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1answer
201 views

90s retelling of Twelfth Night set in Internet chatrooms

I'm looking for a book I read in the late 1990s that actually was the inspiration for the username I still use today. It was based on the plot of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, with people falling in ...
3
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1answer
64 views

A book from the 80s/90s with a stage magician and a couple women

I'm sorry but my memory is quite spotty on this but I'm obsessed with trying to remember this book. I don't remember the author or title at all. I barely remember a few things. the main character was ...
0
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1answer
70 views

Iambic pentameter and mono syllables

I am studying poetry structure and I am focusing on iambic pentameter at the moment. From what I have read, there are 10 syllables per line and 5 stressed and 5 unstressed syllables. It goes ...
1
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1answer
48 views

“Tradition is meant to be broken” - who said it, Emerson or Thoreau?

I seem to recall a quote from either Ralph Waldo Emerson or Henry David Thoreau that was something like "Tradition is meant to be broken." Which of them said it?
2
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1answer
63 views

Full English or French online translation of “De pugna avium”

I am trying very hard to find an English (or if not French) translation of the Carolingian poem "De pugna avium" from Theodulf of Orleans. I found a Latin version in the Bibliotheca ...
1
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1answer
40 views

Thriller novel where the main character escapes an underground complex explosion by running up the stairs really fast

I don't remember exactly when I read this, I think at least ten years ago, almost certainly more than five years ago. I don't remember what was being investigated in the story, but the protagonist is ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Short story about a wealthy man bringing his new wife to his childhood home, from when he was poor, which is in the mountains/wilderness

I'm looking for a short story that I think I listened to as an audiobook, in a collection with other stories, in the early 2000s, checked out from a library in Ashland, KY. I was reminded of this when ...
2
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2answers
66 views

What is a “red lead firm”?

In George Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying, the protagonist gets a job at a "red lead firm". From context, it seems to mean a well-established, maybe stuffy, firm. I wonder if anyone has ...
4
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1answer
65 views

In “Keep the Aspidistra Flying”, what is the joke about “Mice”?

In George Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying, he writes: Mice, by Gordon Comstock; a sneaky little foolscap octavo, price three and sixpence but now reduced to a bob. Of the thirteen B.F.s who had ...
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31 views

What are the “unknown land” and “eye of faith” in “Our Casuarina Tree”?

In the poem "Our Casuarina Tree" by Toru Dutt, between stanzas 3 & 4, there are the following 2 lines: That haply to the unknown land may reach. Unknown, yet well-known to the eye of ...
1
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1answer
57 views

In Agatha Christie's “Third Girl” how exactly does this murder work?

Norma Restarick goes to Poirot saying that she believes she has committed a murder, and has gaps in her memory where she can't remember what she was doing. We later find out that this is because she's ...
3
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2answers
83 views

Use of the word “tyke” in American English, as it is used in “Gathering Blue”

In Lois Lowry's Gathering Blue, she used the word "tyke" instead of "boy" or "child". Do Americans use this word in a specific context? Her world in this novel is ...
4
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1answer
74 views

Stone age fiction with “summers” instead of “years”

The series is fiction, and has multiple books. The cover I had of the third book has fire and an animal along with the protagonist, I think. The protagonist is a person so it cancels out any books ...
4
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1answer
428 views

Short story about secret spy betrayed at a secret party, boss got stuck in trap while looking for files

I think I read it five or six years ago from a collection of novels written by one writer. A man is a spy in a secret illegal organization, one day he took part in a secret party, but he had been ...
4
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3answers
100 views

Are there collections of pre-20th-century Shakespeare criticism, esp. focusing on individual plays?

Are there any good, comprehensive primary source readers for criticism of Shakespeare and his individual plays, where the criticism is from before the 20th century? The introductions of most modern ...
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1answer
2k views

Is Casanunda a reference in “Witches Abroad”?

In Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett, the witches meet a dwarf named Casanunda who claims to be the "greatest lover in the world": ''Allo, foxy lady,' said a voice behind her. She looked ...
7
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0answers
72 views

What is the significance of Grendel being descended from Cain?

In the tale of Beowulf, the monster Grendel is said to be descended from the biblical character of Cain. This was surprising to me, as I'd thought Beowulf was a pre-Christian story given its setting ...
4
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0answers
77 views

Why is Jacques Kohn wearing a “father-murderer” collar?

In the description of Jacques Kohn in the beginning of Isaac Bashevis Singer's "A Friend of Kafka", he's described as wearing this: Although he still dressed in the style of a dandy, his ...
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0answers
19 views

What do light and dark signify in Ai's “Woman to Man”?

Ai's poem "Woman to Man" starts with a striking description of lightning, with darkness being symbolised by a "knife [...] deep in the walls". This might be taken as just scene-...
2
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1answer
75 views

What is it that Miss Baker “got done” in the chapter one in 'The Great Gatsby'?

The Great Gatsby, Chapter 1: “No, thanks,” said Miss Baker to the four cocktails just in from the pantry, “I’m absolutely in training.” Her host looked at her incredulously. “You are!” He took down ...
3
votes
1answer
337 views

What did Darwin mean by “approximately the line of Behring's Straits”?

Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, volume 2 includes the following letter from Darwin to Charles Lyell, written about the migration of species, and the two sides of Behring's Strait: It may be sheer ...
4
votes
1answer
252 views

Why did Gatsby say “This is a terrible mistake” in “The Great Gatsby”?

In chapter 5 of The Great Gatsby, when Gatsby reunited with Daisy, he (Gatsby) followed Nick into the kitchen: “Where are you going?” demanded Gatsby in immediate alarm. “I’ll be back.” “I’ve got to ...
2
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0answers
108 views

Annotations to Ulysses that help understand its sentences literally?

I read Ulysses once, and I used the following sources for annotations: The annotations at the end of Penguin's Ulysses: Annotated Student Edition, by Declan Kiberd Gifford's Ulysses annotated The ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

Did Ury and Fisher borrow an anecdote from Aaron T. Beck (or vice versa)?

Aaron T. Beck published Love is Never Enough (about marital relationships) in 1989. William Ury and Roger Fisher originally published Getting to Yes (about principled negotiation) in 1981, but I have ...
5
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0answers
63 views

Looking for a phantasmagoric novel encountered many years ago

Following advice by Rand al'Thor I am reposting here my old question, asked and closed six years ago at the SciFi & Fantasy SE site. Now this is going to be really tough since I remember very ...
9
votes
1answer
822 views

What does “epesthai to logo” mean in this letter from Charles Kingsley to Charles Darwin?

Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, volume 2 includes the following letter to Darwin from Charles Kingsley, written shortly after the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859: [With regard to the ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

Why does Mussolini refer to war as female?

In the beginning of Chapter Three of his autobiography, Benito Mussolini writes the following: War had come — war — that female of dreads and fascinations. What is supposed to be conveyed by calling ...
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0answers
4 views

What does “mustache twirly” mean? [migrated]

I was watching an interview where a person was describing someone as ...mustache twirly in his personality... What does the mustache twirl / mustache twirly mean? Is it a symbol for something? The ...

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