All Questions

3
votes
1answer
85 views

How can we explain the porter's order of events in The Arabian Nights?

In The Arabian Nights, translated by Husain Haddawy, the following chronology appears in The Story of the Porter and the Three Ladies on the 28th night (my emphasis): She walked before him until ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

What does Obama mean by “running strain of innocence” in “Dreams from My Father”?

The introduction to Barack Obama's memoir Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995) contains the passage: And yet what strikes me most when I think about the story of my family ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the meaning of these lines about love from “Desiderata”?

What is the message being delivered through these lines in "Desiderata" by the poet Max Ehrmann? Especially do not feign affection Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Identify Arabic book, Flowers of the Spring

From Wavell's A Modern Pilgrim in Mecca (1913), p. 138: Sir Richard Burton got into hot water with many people for translating literally and without expurgation the “Arabian Nights.” A perusal of ...
4
votes
2answers
234 views

In The Tale of Mr Tod what is Dog Darnel?

In The Tale of Mr Tod, Beatrix Potter mentions a substance to be found in a hole: There he had dug quite a deep hole for dog darnel; and had set a mole trap What is this substance?
-2
votes
0answers
13 views

Is literature about respresentation of selfhood and spaces ,or selfhood in spaces? [on hold]

I need to answer this question with reference to two of these literary works : Ts eliot's the waste land Woolf's to the lighthouse Shakespeare's Hamlet Whitman's song of myself Steinbeck's Of mice ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

What is “the light by which she had read the book” in “Anna Karenina”?

What does the following sentence from Anna Karenina mean? And the light by which she had read the book filled with troubles, falsehoods, sorrow, and evil, flared up more brightly than ever before, ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

How to interpret “body that leaned stiffly” in H. P. Lovecraft's “Azathoth”?

I've just finished reading Lovecraft's fragment "Azathoth" (in Italian translation) and I am astonished by the beauty of the story. Nevertheless I am a little bit confused about the end of it. In my ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Why “all should cry, Beware! Beware!” in Coleridge's “Kubla Khan”?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge's incomplete poem "Kubla Khan" ends with a vision of a poet in an ecstatic state with "flashing eyes" and "floating hair". He is beyond the realm of mere mortals for he has ...
8
votes
1answer
330 views

Are “choose your own adventure” books literature or games?

This question concerns "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. These are books that start out as a normal story, but then ask the reader to make a choice. (The book will say something to the effect of "...
8
votes
2answers
365 views

Why isn't Coleridge's line about trochees missing an unstressed syllable?

Samuel Coleridge wrote this really fun poem, Metrical Feet: Lesson for a Boy, that names and gives examples of the various types of metric feet. I've included a copy and scanned the poem to make the ...
21
votes
2answers
7k views

Why is the UK called Airstrip One?

In 1984, London is the chief city of the province Airstrip One (which consists of the UK), which is a part of the superstate Oceania. Is there a reason why it's called Airstrip One?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, and Wayfarers All

In The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame's magisterial work, the first half of the book is mostly given over to the adventures of Mole and Ratty (although we are introduced to Badger and Mr. Toad). ...
4
votes
1answer
43 views

Inconsistencies in the character of Horatio in Hamlet

In the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet, Horatio is a friend and "fellow student" of the eponymous prince. A meticulous reading of the text will reveal certain apparent inconsistencies in the depiction ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

How does the theme of fate manifest in 'Njal's Saga', and how does it differ from the theme of fate in the Aeneid by Virgil?

How is fate/fatalism portrayed in Njal's Saga? And how does it play into the development of the plot? What are some comparisons that can be drawn between fate in Njal's Saga and the Aeneid of Virgil....
5
votes
1answer
90 views

Looking for an Aeschylus quote mistranslated from Polish

I am working through a book of poetry by Tadeusz Miciński, a Polish writer who was active toward the end of the 19th century. The book is called "W mroku gwiazd" or "In the Twilight of the Stars" and ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views
+50

Why did the Witches give the prophecy in the first place?

The 3 Witches prophecied to Macbeth that he would be king, thus setting the play into motion. Why did they do that? Did they realize that they were basically giving a self-fulfilling prophecy, and ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

What does Thomas More try to do with Greek puns in Utopia?

Thomas More uses Greek puns such as Hythloday that means speaker of nonsense, etc. What is he trying to do? What difference would it make for Greek readers and non-Greek readers?
4
votes
0answers
57 views

Vision of the future in Max Beerbohm's “Enoch Soames”

Max Beerbohm's 1916 novelette "Enoch Soames" (available e.g. at Project Gutenberg) is the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil for the privilege of spending an afternoon in a library (the ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Romeo and Juliet “Which then most sought where most might not be found”

What literary devices and rhetorical techniques does Shakespeare use in the following passage? Benvolio. I, measuring his affections by my own, which then most sought where most might not be ...
4
votes
1answer
736 views

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time: How much does Mrs Alexander know?

In The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time one of the characters, Mrs Alexander, reveals to Christopher that his mother and Mr Shears were having an affair. Later, however, she seems ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

How was “Contos para os nossos filhos” used in schools?

Reading about the Portuguese author Maria Amália Vaz de Carvalho, I came across the following interesting tidbit of information: The collection of stories for children she wrote with her husband, ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Looking for a short story about a person whose conversations run from A to Z

I'm looking for a short story of a person whose conversations all ran alphabetically. I think it's a rather known short story (I read it initially in German, but don't know, in which language it was ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

What does Hamlet mean when he calls Claudius a “villain”?

In the Shakespearian tragedy Hamlet, prince Hamlet repeatedly calls Claudius a "villain". Here is a quote from Act 2 Scene 2 : Bloody, bawdy villain!Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous,kindless ...
24
votes
1answer
5k views

English short story where a wife makes an investigation officer eat the murder weapon

I remember reading this English short story during my school days; it was part of our English curriculum 18-19 years ago. Plot: It starts with a wife killing her husband with turkey or chicken or ...
6
votes
0answers
62 views

Meaning of the slash (“/”) in dialog in Ernst Toller's “Die Wandlung”

I have to translate German playwright Ernst Toller's drama Die Wandlung. In this drama, Toller uses slashes in the dialogues of some characters to separate the sentences, like this: KRIEGSTOD: ...
5
votes
1answer
65 views

What did the author of Moby Dick mean by the “Pythagorean Maxim”?

From Herman Melville's Moby Dick. For as in this world, head winds are far more prevalent than winds from astern (that is, if you never violate the Pythagorean maxim), so for the most part the ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Book Identification: YA book about airplane crash in child's backyard

I read this book in elementary school but pretty sure it was a novel on the longer side targeting at middle schoolers. The main plot was a major airliner, possibly a 747, crashing. I believe it was in ...
-2
votes
0answers
21 views

Can someone recommend some good poetry on the topic of motherhood? [closed]

Someone other than Plath (I'm already familiar with her poems on the subject). I'm new to this exchange so I apologize if this question is inappropriate here.
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Explanation of “ode to beauty” by Emerson [closed]

Ode to Beauty BY RALPH WALDO EMERSON Who gave thee, O Beauty, The keys of this breast,— Too credulous lover Of blest and unblest? Say, when in lapsed ages Thee knew I of old; Or what was the ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Why are German language editions of Game of Thrones much more expensive than their original version counterparts?

In 2019, George R. R. Martin has published 5 out of a planned 7 novels in the series A Song of Fire and Ice (commonly referred to as Game of Thrones based on the TV adaptation and the title of the ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Why the “gambler” from dostoevsky is so popular?

I think there is a reason for every popular romance to be popular. But when I read the Gambler I didn't find any interesting reason. Such an interesting reason which makes this romance such popular.
6
votes
1answer
93 views

Is this sentence in The Count of Monte Cristo supposed to refer to Fernand or to Albert?

In Chapter Seventy-Eight of The Count of Monte Cristo Albert shows Monte Cristo the following article from the newspaper: A correspondent at Yanina informs us of a fact of which until now we had ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

Middle-grade or YA book with a very smart teenager

I heard a description of a book in 2015 or 2016 in school. The target audience was probably 8-12 years old, but the teacher did say that it was more difficult than the other choices to read for 6th ...
3
votes
2answers
47 views

Story about a cave full of hibernating rattlesnakes

I remember reading a story in the nineties, probably published in the eighties or a bit earlier. It involved a sinister villain trapping some kids in a cave full of hibernating rattlesnakes. There ...
1
vote
0answers
14 views

Are the terms “metatextuality / metareference / metareferentiality” synonyms? Is the following definition correct?

Questions I would like to know if I understood correctly that "metatextuality / metareference / metareferentiality" are synonyms and can be used interchangeably. Finally I summarize what I think the ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Romance Novel about Paint Company CEO

I read part of a book a number of years (8?) back. It was a romance novel about the CEO of a paint company who marries a Russian (?) Chemist because of passport stuff. Kinda like a reverse of The ...
-1
votes
0answers
67 views

Is poetry now dead? [closed]

I was talking to some late modernist British poets, and they claimed that their poetry, the underground, was out of energy. Energy, especially Olsonian energy, being key to poetic success in much late ...
1
vote
0answers
10 views

Forms of foregrounding: are recurrence / equivalence the same?

I'm struggling to grasp the difference between the literary devices of recurrence and equivalence. I'm preparing for an exam where we are asked to define these terms. In German, they are referred to ...
3
votes
0answers
61 views

Book identification: “A Bear Called Huff”

I'm trying to identify an English children's book that I read many years ago at my grandmother's house. It was a book that she herself had been given as a child, and was probably published in England ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Is Julián Carax based on a real author?

In The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Zafón has the main character discover a book entitled The Shadow of the Wind in the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books. This book is by a little-known ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

In Penelope Fitzgerald’s short story The Prescription, significance of “Knowledge is good, but what is the use of knowledge without honesty?”

In Penelope Fitzgerald’s short story The Prescription (1982), Dr. Mehmet Bey almost kills his 14-year-old apprentice, Alecco, by forcing him to drink a poisoned prescription after discovering the boy ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Female detective, former police. Dark and troubled past involving violently killing a house of criminals who were holding her hostage and abusing her

In relation to Story involving Islamic terrorists planning an attack on a stadium, I mentioned a contemporaneous series to the book I am seeking there, but couldn't recall the title. From my ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Does Joyce, in Finnegans Wake or Ulysses, link the sound form “hoe” to “whore”?

Does Joyce, in Finnegans Wake or Ulysses, link the sound form "hoe" to "whore", as in the current day "ho"? For example, is it probable that Joyce intended the (additional) modern day pun in the ...
14
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the bananafish? What does it represent?

In J.D. Salinger's A Perfect Day For Bananafish, Seymour, the main character, talks about a bananafish. He tells a little girl about the bananafish. The little girl says she sees the fish. What is ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Is Macbeth or Lady Macbeth the real villain in Shakespeare's play?

In Shakespeare's play Macbeth, it is Macbeth himself, the eponymous antihero, who meets the witches upon the heath and first conceives the idea to murder his king. It is he who kills Duncan, seizes ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Why did the Macrobes demand another head at the end of That Hideous Strength?

Towards the end of the book, following Merlin bringing about the destruction of much of the N.I.C.E., Dr. Filostrato, John Withers, and Reverend Straik go to see the Head. The Macrobes promptly demand ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Who is Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley?

Who is Pound's Hugh Selwyn Mauberley? I get that he's a failure, but not if the modernist Pound thought that Mauberley was "wrong from the start". Should he, Mauberley or people like him, not have ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

How is the theme of innocence featured in the Turn of the Screw?

I noticed that in the novel The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, there is a theme of innocence. It's really shown through how the governess perceives Miles and Flora at first, but then as she ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Play: With A Memorable Conversation between a villain and his henchman

I remember reading several lines from what I think was a Shakespearean type play. It was between a villain and one of his henchman, and I think they were discussing the murder of someone referred to ...

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