All Questions

2
votes
0answers
22 views

Why the title “Agunot” for S. Y. Agnon's short story?

S. Y. Agnon's first influential story is "Agunot" - in fact, his chosen name "Agnon" comes from the same word. The word "Agunot" is the plural form of the word "Agunah", which is the term for a woman ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Why do Major Barbara and Undershaft shake hands?

In George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara, I came across the following conversation which culminates with Barbara and her father Colonel Undershaft shaking hands: BARBARA. No. Will you let me try? ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

Children's book (maybe German) I read in about 1995, fox and badger need to dig a tunnel to escape from farmer guarding their burrow's exit

I'm looking for a children's book that I read some time between 1997 and 1999, but it wasn't a new book so I guess it might have been written before 1990. I must have been about 8-10 years old when I ...
4
votes
2answers
740 views

The oldest tradition stopped before it got back to him

The following passage is taken from The Call of the Wild. What do the boldfaced parts mean? This lost mine was steeped in tragedy and shrouded in mystery. No one knew of the first man. The oldest ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

What is the earliest work with the time-loop trope?

The film "Groundhog Day" has a plot centered around a character whose day repeats exactly the same way each day, and upon waking retains memory of the previous day. This is what I call a "time-loop," ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

How are “sin and love and fear” “just sounds” in Faulkner's “As I Lay Dying”?

I lighted upon this quote from Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying on WikiQuote: He did not know that he was dead, then. Sometimes I would lie by him in the dark, hearing the land that was now of my ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

1970s feminist book with premise something like: All men are guilty of raping all women?

In the mid-1970s I read a feminist book with a premise that was something like: All men are guilty of raping all women. I would like to re-read this to see if I am remembering it correctly. I ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Name for stories which do not contain names of the characters

Perhaps this is against the canons of literary construction but, is there a name for the style of tales, novels, and books which do not contain names for any of the characters? I can only think of ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

The significance of Lucky's speech in 'Waiting for Godot'

In Samuel Beckett's play 'Waiting for Godot', Lucky is the slave of a character called Pozzo. Unlike the other characters in the play who talk compulsively,Lucky utters just two sentences in the play, ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

Source of “Immortalised in Prose, A God Among the Pages”

I'm pretty sure this comes from an English poem, referring a woman's beauty. The author suggests that roses fade and wither, and that by describing her in written word keeps her alive forever. That ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Early 20th century children's story: children trying to frighten an alcoholic off the bottle using dyed dogs and icicles

Long ago, I read a children's story by an English author who probably pre-dated Enid Blyton and Richmal Crompton, and could be pre-World War I. It concerned some children trying to frighten an ...
3
votes
1answer
91 views

What did Charlotte Brontë mean by "you would not be without friends”?

I lighted on this quote on BookRiot: [Helen Burns] went on— “If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

What does Forster mean by “Suspicion in the Oriental”?

I'm Asian and read p. 114 of Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms by Lisa Lowe, but I'm still baffled by this quote at ThoughtCo. It feels too broadly generalized (and a shade ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Why isn't “white” related to colour and ''God save the King" with a god?

I first stumbled on this quote at ThoughtCo: he did not realize that 'white' has no more to do with a colour than 'God save the King' with a god, and that it is the height of impropriety to ...
3
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
59 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
63 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
44 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....
4
votes
1answer
55 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
116 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, ...
2
votes
2answers
41 views

Meaning of “rubber” as a verb in O. Henry

"I'm one of the Sole Sanhedrims and Ostensible Hooplas of the Inner Pulpit," says I. "The lame talk and the blind rubber whenever I make a pass at 'em. I am a medium, a coloratura hypnotist and a ...
2
votes
0answers
37 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
59 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
97 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
0answers
52 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
11 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
17 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
92 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
49 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
1answer
58 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
66 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: ...
2
votes
0answers
28 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
124 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
28 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
63 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
24 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
69 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
128 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

How is Kimberly Clark a ghost in Janssen's “A Recurring Dream”?

In the short story "A Recurring Dream" (from Unusual Stories from Many Lands by Arlo T. Janssen), a character called Kimberly Clark is accused of being a ghost by an old man. The man opens the door ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

How many members of Captain Flint's crew are known?

In Treasure Island, the most prominent character who never appears on-stage is surely Captain Flint, the notorious pirate captain whose treasure drives the plot. Almost as important as the treasure ...
2
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
60 views

What's the evidence for “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” being secretly set in Edinburgh?

Stevenson's famous novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is set in London, but some critics have claimed that it would seem to fit better in Stevenson's native Edinburgh, almost as if he wrote a story set in ...
2
votes
0answers
24 views

Why was Andrew MacPhee at St. Anne's?

In That Hideous Strength, Andrew MacPhee was an old friend of Dr. Ransom's that appeared as the "resident skeptic" at St. Anne's. Beyond that, he's never shown actually doing anything. A lot of the ...
7
votes
1answer
83 views

Why does Mersault say “Hello image!” to his girlfriend?

I have read the novel A Happy Death by Albert Camus. In this novel Mersault (the absurd hero) at one point says to his girlfriend, "Hello, image!". I am wondering why he calls his girlfriend "image". ...
9
votes
1answer
110 views

How can “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” be read as a commentary on Scotland?

In the Wikipedia page for Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, one of the mentioned interpretations of the story is as a symbolic representation of Scottish nationalism vs union with ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What does ahn in Maggie: A Girl of the Streets mean?

I would like to know what ahn in "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets" by Stephen Crane means. It can be read from this link: https://english.hku.hk/courses/engl1039/Crane.pdf Here are some lines with it: ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Is this quote by Goethe, and what is the source?

Is this a real quote? Few people have the imagination for reality I have seen it attributed to Goethe in 1815, but I cannot find the source..

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