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Questions tagged [title]

For questions about the literary meaning or purpose behind the title of a book.

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31
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5answers
5k views

Meaning/translation of title “The Light Fantastic” by Terry Pratchett

I have read The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett in English and always interpreted the title as "The Fantastic (adjective) light (noun)". Mostly because I do not see "Fantastic" as noun. To my ...
3
votes
0answers
186 views

What is the significance of the title “You Should Have Seen the Mess” by Muriel Spark?

What is the significance of the title of Muriel Spark's short story "You Should Have Seen the Mess"?
8
votes
1answer
285 views

What is the relevance of the title of Nalo Hopkinson's “A Raggy Dog, a Shaggy Dog”?

I've just read Nalo Hopkinson's short story "A Raggy Dog, a Shaggy Dog" (available for free online from Apex Magazine). It's an odd, quirky tale about an orchid-loving lady who's constantly setting ...
8
votes
1answer
222 views

Why does the Czech translation of “Till we have faces” mean the opposite?

The title of the book Till we have faces by C. S. Lewis is translated into Czech language as Dokud nemáme tvář. I would translate that into English literally as "While we don't have a face" or "Until ...
7
votes
1answer
240 views

What is the literary effect of dropping articles from titles?

Quite a few novels and films have titles which, if they appeared as phrases in everyday speech or writing, would normally have to be preceded by an article or other determiner. Some examples: Animal ...
2
votes
0answers
58 views

Why is the book called Lorna Doone?

In the book we learn that So I was wondering, couldn't they have come up with a better name for the book? Or was the whole theme of the title supposed to be a mystery?
1
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0answers
61 views

Why was The Bastard of Istanbul translated into Turkish as “Father and Bastard”?

The novel The Bastard of Istanbul was originally written in English (by a Turkish author, and set largely in the eponymous city in Turkey). It's been translated into various other languages, as listed ...
5
votes
1answer
497 views

Why the title Far From the Madding Crowd for the Thomas Hardy novel?

The title of Thomas Hardy's novel Far From the Madding Crowd presumably comes from this famous phrase in Thomas Gray's poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard", but I can't really see the ...
8
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0answers
231 views

Why is the last title in Proust's “Search For Lost Time” not consistently translated as “Time Found Again”?

Marcel Proust wrote a seven-volume French novel called A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. The original French title of the last volume was Le Temps Retrouvé. It seems to me that in these titles Proust ...
7
votes
1answer
202 views

Savantism by Whitman

The poem I'm trying to understand the following poem by Whitman, called Savantism. THITHER, as I look, I see each result and glory retracing itself and nestling close, always obligated; ...
3
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0answers
39 views

Was Pechorin really “not a hero”? [duplicate]

In the famous novel by Mikhail Lermontov "Hero of our time" Pechorin, the main hero of the novel is presented to have all the vices of human-kind. The prologue Lermontov says that, I paraphrase, the ...
17
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2answers
2k views

Why is Pechorin a hero of our time?

In Mikhail Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time (Герой нашего времени), the main hero is Grigory Pechorin, a cynical noble army man, an example of superfluous Byronic hero. The title of the novel has to ...
6
votes
3answers
278 views

Why is this poem by Paul Auster entitled “Spokes”?

The poem "Spokes" by Paul Auster (of which you can read the first few verses here, or the whole poem here if you have Jstor access) seems to be about things in nature - birds, plants, eggs. The only ...
7
votes
1answer
291 views

Are Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence actually songs? Or is the word song a metaphor?

William Blake's Songs of Experience and Songs of Innocence have the word "song" in their title. Why is that? Are they actually songs? Or is the word "song" a metaphor for something else.
45
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3answers
16k views

Why is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy referred to as H2G2?

I've often heard The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy referred to as H2G2 but never really understood why. I wondered whether anyone actually knew or whether it was just adopted unquestioningly.
7
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1answer
1k views

Meaning of the title “They Shoot Horses, Don't They?”

Horace McCoy's title They Shoot Horses, Don't They? is also What is the meaning of this enigmatic sentence? How is the crime related to horses?
12
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1answer
3k views

Why is it called Watership Down?

I am an American, so to me the title "Watership Down" sounds like it is about a boat that is underwater, either a submarine or a sunken surface ship. I now understand that a down is a term for a hill ...
12
votes
1answer
379 views

Are the numerous hunger references attributed to the title of A Moveable Feast?

In Ernest Hemingway's memoir, A Moveable Feast, there are several references to hunger, both physically and metaphorically. There are so many sorts of hunger. In the spring there are more. But ...
4
votes
2answers
760 views

What is the significance of the title of the book Wool?

So far, the title doesn't seem to have a whole lot to do with the book content itself. The chapter titles are seemingly all knitting related, and I know the cleaners use wool pads to clean the lenses ...