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Who speaks in the last sentence of this passage from Raymond Carver's "Fever"? Is it the character or the narrator?

Context: Carol is a divorced woman from work that Carlyle (the protagonist) started seeing a few months after his wife had left him and the kids. Carlyle has not been successful in finding a good ...
Amin's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
0 answers
23 views

What does "counteracting the sweets of poetical despondence" mean in "Persuasion"?

In Jane Austen's Persuasion, when Anne and company are walking over to Winthrop, we are given this description along the way: Winthrop, however, or its environs—for young men are sometimes to be met ...
Mithical's user avatar
  • 24.2k
5 votes
1 answer
197 views

A book about a kid who has a magic baseball glove

I'm looking for a story that matches this description: A kid had a magic glove that could catch anything. He traded it away so that he could make a tunnel under his baseball field, to prevent a road ...
Naftali Beder's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
36 views

Was Akutagawa's Shōgun ("The General") ever censored in Japan? If so, how?

I know books which criticize the military were censored in Japan during the interwar period. I'm wondering if this specific story was censored, and if so, roughly when/for how long? Also, what did the ...
blueberryfields's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
40 views

Why did Smiley think of death here?

From John Le Carré's Smiley's People: “Fine, thank you. How’s—” He struggled without success to remember the name of Lacon’s wife. “Abandoned me, dammit. Ran off with her pesky riding instructor, ...
Silent Sojourner's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
570 views

Does Hippolyta love Theseus in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream?"

In Act 1, Scene 1 of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Theseus and Hippolyta speak about the four days before their marriage. THESEUS: Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour Draws on apace. Four happy days ...
Abhiraj Mallangi's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
55 views

Looking for a book with a boy who finds an object that calls to him and gives him an ability

I don’t remember much about the book’s plot except that it’s basically about a boy who goes into a store with a lot of objects and finds one that calls to him. The object gives him some sort of ...
twiddler's user avatar
  • 181
6 votes
2 answers
96 views

What does "an Atlantic man" mean?

From John Le Carré's Smiley's People: “Yes, yes, it is still Saul Enderby, your old adversary, and he is doing marvels,” Lacon retorted impatiently. Pulling at the curtain, he unseated it from its ...
Silent Sojourner's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
989 views

The incomplete sonnets at the beginning of Don Quixote - what does the pattern mean?

I am reading John Rutherford's translation of Don Quixote. In the prologue there are several sonnets that appear to be some sort of puzzle/guessing game as the last syllable (syllables?) are missing. ...
Omortis's user avatar
  • 203
3 votes
0 answers
23 views

Looking for a book with the story of a little boy who rode a train and was found later dead

So I remember my mom reading this book full of many short stories and this one has stuck with me the most. A boy and his friends decide to do this thing where they hop on a train and ride for awhile ...
Alondra Pena's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
747 views

Meaning of "It is the ego, demanding its feed" in "Smiley's People"

From John Le Carré's Smiley's People: I need you, thought Smiley, watching him gyrate. I love you, I hate you, I need you. Such apocalyptic statements reminded him of Ann when she had run out of ...
Silent Sojourner's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
70 views

Why are songs no longer performed as part of Shakespeare's plays?

Having studied Macbeth extensively during a course I took as a younger man, I was astonished to learn recently that it is thought to have contained two songs, which are also present in a related play ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
  • 22.3k
4 votes
0 answers
21 views

Have Bertolt Brecht's plays been influenced by Goldoni's "La guerra"?

Even if it seems that Goldoni's play La guerra ('The War') has never been translated into English, according to the translator Alexander Gross, the play was translated into German no fewer than five ...
Charo's user avatar
  • 2,224
3 votes
1 answer
381 views

Difficulty understanding the meaning of the word "attitude" in Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn"

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede Of marble men and maidens overwrought I am having trouble understanding Keats's use of the word "attitude" in these lines, and the explanation given ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 113
1 vote
1 answer
43 views

What do "religious light" and "youthful features cruelly aged" mean?

From John Le Carré's Smiley's People: He was a mawkish creature, sudden but without spring, with youthful features cruelly aged and a raw unhealthy rash around his neck where his shirt had scuffed ...
Silent Sojourner's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
38 views

Meaning of speech in Synge's "Deirdre of the Sorrows"

Near the beginning of J. M. Synge's play Deirdre of the Sorrows, Deirdre's nurse Lavarcham says: Who’d check her like was meant to have her pleasure only, the way if there were no warnings told about ...
Richard Hevener's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
48 views

"La guerra" by Goldoni: why was it about waiting for a war commissioner to become rich?

I've started reading Carlo Goldoni's play titled La guerra ('The War'). I haven't found any translation into English. One of the characters is Don Polidoro, the war commissioner. He praises war ...
Charo's user avatar
  • 2,224
2 votes
1 answer
47 views

Novel about a man trying to solve the long ago disappearance of his younger brother

I was reading the entry for Raincoat of Horror and it suddenly made me remember a book I read in the last year or two, around 2022-2023, I think as an ebook from the library. I'm going to look through ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.6k
4 votes
1 answer
91 views

What do "the vertical man" and "the horizontal one" mean?

From John Le Carré's Smiley's People: Lacon, Strickland, Mostyn, thought Smiley as Strickland’s Aberdonian brogue hammered on. One Cabinet Office factotum, one Circus fixer, one scared boy. Why not ...
Silent Sojourner's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
40 views

Examples of “canonical questions” in different cultures [closed]

This question will be rather odd. I have been thinking about this topic for a while, and this is the type of question that really cannot be answered without hearing people from different backgrounds. ...
Haldot's user avatar
  • 194
1 vote
1 answer
73 views

Meaning of description of Jim waking in "The Gift of the Magi"

What is the meaning of these lines from O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi"? Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet ...
Shaurya Kaushal's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
49 views

Poem about the coffee rings left behind on a table

This poem was published in a quarterly poetry magazine in the mid-'90s. It was about the coffee rings left behind on a table in a cafe. The coffee stains were compared to the memories of our lifetime. ...
spira03's user avatar
  • 31
5 votes
1 answer
494 views

What was the name of this story referring to 17-year cicadas?

Several decades ago, I read a short story where a woman sees 17-year cicadas emerging. This leads her to recall several vignettes from her life, from the previous times she encountered 17-year cicadas ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
  • 12.5k
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Novella about man reminiscing about his girlfriend/wife while standing by her dead body

I read a novella about 10 years ago, which I thought was written by Dostoevsky, but I haven't been able to find it since. Plot: A middle-aged man stands near the body of his girlfriend (or wife) who ...
raiym's user avatar
  • 181
0 votes
0 answers
60 views

Source for quote saying "why don't you want to die" or "why do you want to live forever"

I recently read a quote saying "why don't you want to die" or "why do you want to live forever". It must be an old book (antiquity). The author asked this to someone. I don't ...
Moe's user avatar
  • 9
2 votes
0 answers
51 views

Why does this Artem Chapeye short story seem to imply that Ukrainian mass transit is a fast method of travel?

The short story The Ukraine (by Artem Chapeye, in the collection Love in Defiance of Pain) has the following quote: Almost every weekend, she and I would get on a train or a bus and head off ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
436 views

Are there crossword puzzle clues in Roy Fuller's "News of the World"?

I've been reading some of Roy Fuller's poetry, and was very puzzled by his "News of the World": The seaweed-eating sheep of Ronaldsay; Don Giovanni set for wind octet; New Zealand hedgehogs ...
Barnaby's user avatar
  • 756
4 votes
0 answers
68 views

What's the source of the so-called Chinese proverb, "it is only when mosquito land on your balls..."

Recently a tweet from @Cultination1 on X went viral on the Chinese internet. In the tweet, the following quote is labelled as "Chinese proverb": « C'est en voyant un moustique se poser sur ...
Syzygy Yuan's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
40 views

What is the original of this poem Kenealy supposedly translated from Bengali?

The poems (to use the word loosely) of the Irish writer and lawyer Edward Kenealy contain this alleged translation from the Bengali: Song in the Metre of the Original A maid there is more bright than ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 27.6k
4 votes
1 answer
53 views

Which language was the Aziz Isa Elkun poem in the forward to "Uyghur Poems" written in originally?

The forward to Uyghur Poems includes a poem that the editor and translator of at least some of the poems, Aziz Isa Elkun, wrote. It is dedicated to his mother, who he lost contact with in 2017. The ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
51 views

Does this allude to MacArthur's words?

From John Le Carré's Smiley's People: But safe flats, unlike old generals, never die, he thought. They don’t even fade away. Does that allude to MacArthur's famous words "Old soldiers never die-...
Silent Sojourner's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
63 views

Who is Rachel Harris and how did she help Aziz Isa Elkun?

In his forward to Uyghur Poems, Aziz Isa Elkun mentioned that he struggled to translate some of the poems in the collection and that his wife, Rachel Harris, had helped him. However, it's not that ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
381 views

Under what circumstances did Aziz Isa Elkun lose contact with his mother?

In his forward to Uyghur Poems, Aziz Isa Elkun (editor of the collection and translator of some of the poems) mentioned that he had lost contact with his mother in 2017, stating that his "...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
28 views

Did Goldoni decide to set the action of "La bottega del caffè" during a Venetian carnival for the sake of verisimilitude?

I know that Goldoni is the great reformer of Italian theater, who transformed the 'commedia dell'arte' into true and ‘modern’ theatre texts, entirely scripted, with the various roles defined and ...
Charo's user avatar
  • 2,224
2 votes
0 answers
33 views

Why does the chronology of Smith's The Fraud jump about?

Zadie Smith's The Fraud (New York: Penguin, 2023) is historical fiction about the novelist William Harrison Ainsworth and the Tichborne Case. The story is told largely from the point of view of ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 27.6k
1 vote
0 answers
58 views

Why is the character's speech reported indirectly? What does the indirect report express?

Context: Carol is a divorced woman from work that Carlyle (the protagonist) started seeing a few months after his wife had left him and the kids. Carlyle has not been successful in finding a good ...
Amin's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
1 answer
88 views

What does "the heathen" have to do with "horseback riding" here?

In I Am Homeless if This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore, Eliz narrates a conversation between her and Jack: “God has gone horseback riding,” I say, “and we are left behind to tend to one another.” “...
Seulgi So's user avatar
  • 339
1 vote
0 answers
31 views

What roles do the minor characters play in 'Of Mice and Men'? [closed]

The minor characters (characters except George and Lennie) highlight the themes of the story (the theme of barriers (freedom and confinement) and the theme of dreams) by creating tension and ...
black star's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
507 views

Trouble understanding two lines from John Donne's poem "The Good Morrow"

I cannot work out how to parse these two lines from "The Good-Morrow": Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone, Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown Here's the whole stanza, ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 113
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Fantasy book with character that used ing instead of swearing, all the time

There was this - i think fantasy - book that had a character who used a literal "ing" instead of any swearing. I mean all the time, every second or third phrase. Might have been one of ...
Torp's user avatar
  • 173
3 votes
0 answers
61 views

Why did the Superintendent compare Smiley to an abbey?

From John Le Carré's Smiley's People: An abbey, the Superintendent decided. That’s what he was, an abbey. He would work that into his sermon the next time his turn came around. An abbey, made up of ...
Silent Sojourner's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
99 views

Why were the soldiers betting with Australian pounds rather than American dollars in "The Naked and the Dead"

At the beginning of the The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer, a few soldiers, including Croft, Wilson, and Gallager, were playing a card game overnight in the hold before landing on the island. But ...
Ethan's user avatar
  • 867
9 votes
1 answer
796 views

What is a "sixpenny hop" in D. H. Lawrence's "Sons and Lovers"?

From chapter XII of Sons and Lovers: There was a long pause. Mrs. Radford readjusted the bacon in the Dutch oven. His heart beat fast, for fear he had offended her. “Me!” she exclaimed at last. “No, ...
Ethan's user avatar
  • 867
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

How can Mrs Morel buy her son out of the army in D. H. Lawrence's "Sons and Lovers"?

It seems she could and she did it. But how? From chapter IX: Mrs. Morel had had a few pounds left to her by her father, and she decided to buy her son [Arthur] out of the army. He was wild with joy. ...
Ethan's user avatar
  • 867
4 votes
1 answer
106 views

What is the "tin box" in D. H. Lawrence's "Sons and Lovers"?

In chapter VII of Sons and Lovers, the Morel family are about to go on holiday, and a tin box is mentioned: He [Paul Morel] was master of the party; his father was no good. And great tortures he ...
Ethan's user avatar
  • 867
1 vote
0 answers
51 views

YA literature where a group of older kids are suggested to be synthesizing LSD in the school chemistry lab, but are actually making wood alcohol

Memories of reading this recently started teasing around the edges of my memory and I'm trying to pin it down. The protagonists are a set of kids (I think mixed gender, possibly primarily caucasian) ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
  • 10.6k
22 votes
2 answers
7k views

Scene from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where Arthur fails to explain how Earth technology works

I remember a scene from one of the Hitchhiker books: Arthur Dent (I guess) talks to an alien who says that the Earth was this very backwards planet. Arthur says, well, this is not true, we had plenty ...
Bini's user avatar
  • 221
14 votes
2 answers
4k views

What does "Funnies" refer to?

From John Le Carre's Smiley's People: “The best I ever met,” old Mendel, the Superintendent’s onetime superior, had told him over a friendly pint not long ago. Mendel was retired now, like Smiley. ...
Silent Sojourner's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
491 views

Meaning of a passage in Milton's Sonnet 21

I'm reading Milton's Sonnet 21 and a couple of lines are unintelligible to me. Here is the full poem. The emboldened lines 5 and 6 are the ones I'm having trouble with: Cyriack, whose Grandsire on ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 81
1 vote
0 answers
47 views

The Call In Leadership and Literature [closed]

Some of the greatest books I have ever read are in the Book of the Dun Cow novel series, where the main character is a rooster in charge who keeps time in the barnyard through his canonical hour crows ...
theboombody's user avatar

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