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Questions tagged [motif]

Questions about a motif, i.e. a recurring element, such as a specific phrase or formulation, a type of incident or a device, which, through repetition, may contribute to a specific literary aspect, such as theme or mood.

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Earliest work of English literature featuring “human hunting”

George R. R. Martin's first novel, Dying of the Light (1977) contains a manhunt. This is not a manhunt in the context of law enforcement or a military operation, but refers to a “hunting party” in ...
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What is the oldest mention of a unicorn in English literature?

Since Stack Overflow thought it would be fun to use a 1990s style featuring a unicorn to celebrate this First of April, let me post a question that fits the theme: What is the oldest mention of a ...
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Why is the painful deflowering of a virgin motif in romance novels so common?

While experiencing pain during the first sexual encounter is a common concern among women, I have read that a woman's first sexual encounter is actually not painful at all, if she is experiencing ...
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What is the literary origin of the ability to sense somebody else's powers or “force”?

"The force is strong with this one" is apparently a trope and its meaning has already been discussed in Science Fiction & Fantasy SE. The Star Wars franchise started in 1977, but the ability to ...
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Earliest work of fiction in which characters using telepathy can't lie

In Liu Cixin's novel The Three-Body Problem (2006/2008), the inhabitants of the planet Trisolaris communicate with each other using telepathy and are unable to lie. In Ursula Le Guin's novel The Left ...