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93 views

Emily Jane Pfeiffer's “Evolution”

Emily Jane Pfeiffer’s poem ‘Evolution’ was first published in Poems (1876): Hunger that strivest in the restless arms     Of the sea-flower, that drivest rooted things     To break their ...
7
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0answers
55 views

Did the Brotherhood really exist?

In George Orwell's 1984, there is a mention of a secretive organization named Brotherhood whose main aim is to rebel against the Big Brother, and the Party in general. In the later part of the prose, ...
1
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1answer
34 views

Did Howard Roark contradict Henry Rearden on the purpose of work?

And Rearden said the following at his trial for the illegal sale of metal: “You pose as a champion of freedom, but it’s only the freedom to make money that you’re after.” “Yes, of course. All I ...
2
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1answer
42 views

What is the Title of this fable where a Mongoose is getting married

My friend described a possible fable to me that they read as a child. They recall it being a picture book that was a fable/folk tale that had a weasel/mongoose type chacter. The main character gets ...
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27 views

What does it mean to say “the future of the English language is grand but as far as its literature is concerned it seems bleak”?

An English professor commented that "the future of the English language is grand but as far as its literature is concerned it seems bleak". How can this sentence be interpreted? What exactly is the ...
1
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1answer
36 views

What are the thousand churches in “In your eyes”?

In your eyes by Peter Gabriel contains the following verse: in your eyes the light the heat in your eyes I am complete in your eyes I see the doorway (in your eyes) to a thousand churches ...
3
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2answers
55 views

Is there any significance to the name “friends of Lilith” in Simone Kern's “The Propagator”?

Simone Kern's "The Propagator" is set in a future where abortion is illegal, and anyone who tries it is persecuted for "reproductive crimes". During the story, we learn about the "friends of Lilith", ...
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0answers
13 views

Is there specific mythological significance to the Dingli Cliffs?

The poem "Cliffs" ("Irdumijiet") is part of a collection available online by the Maltese-Canadian writer, poet, and academic professor John P. Portelli. Written in 1973, and found on pages 40-41 (page ...
3
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2answers
131 views

What are T. S. Eliot’s “Jellicle Cats” and “Pollicle Dogs”?

T. S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Song of the Jellicles’ was first published in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1939) and was popularized by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats. It begins: Jellicle Cats ...
4
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1answer
84 views

Is there any special significance in Dr. Rutenspitz's last words to Mr. Golyadkin?

Throughout The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, there had been hints that maybe Mr. Golyadkin Jr., the double, was a product of Mr. Golyadkin Sr.'s imagination — and that it was either a way to signify ...
5
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1answer
79 views

What was Septimus Warren Smith's rank?

It has been years since I read Mrs. Dalloway, and I don't remember if Septimus Warren Smith's rank was ever indicated. I'm vaguely left with the impression he was an officer. Was his rank ever ...
5
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3answers
177 views

John Betjeman’s “Suicide on Junction Road Station after Abstention from Evening Communion in North London”

John Betjeman’s poem ‘Suicide on Junction Road Station after Abstention from Evening Communion in North London’ was first published in the collection Continual Dew (1937). It’s short enough to quote ...
14
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2answers
1k views

What is the origin of the trope of an evil character whose name is not permitted to be spoken?

Many works of fantasy involve an evil leader or "dark lord" whose real name is known but usually not permitted to be spoken, either by his own followers (out of respect?) or by others (out of fear?) ...
4
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2answers
78 views

Context of “swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow”?

I go, I go; look how I go, Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow. -- Puck, Act III Scene II, A Midsummer Night's Dream This is a well-known line from a Shakespeare play, but did Shakespeare ...
2
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1answer
33 views

What does “ought to make a good thing out of this” mean in “New Grub Street”?

I would like to know what "ought to make a good thing out of this" means in the following passage: His utterance of the name ‘Mr Fadge’ sufficiently intimated that he had some cause of personal ...
4
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0answers
40 views

Fantasy children’s novel about a boy who can’t lie

I read this book around 2010 and I need help identifying it. The first scene was of a woman who had just given birth (?, she had her newborn) and it was raining. A wizard (who have been called ...
7
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2answers
63 views

The meaning of “Lovers' Food”

This question is regarding a dialogue of Hermia in Scene 1 of Act 1 of 'The Midsummer Night's Dream' by William Shakespeare where she mentions, "From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight." Please ...
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0answers
52 views

Why did the gods decide that Enkidu must die?

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, a major turning point is the death of Enkidu as a punishment from the gods after he and Gilgamesh slew both Humbaba and Gugalanna. From the modernised Muss-Arnolt translation,...
1
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1answer
32 views

Who is Thomas o' Becket" in Tristram Shandy?

Who is Thomas o'Becket in chapter 2, vol.7 of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman? In this chapter Tristram says he has never visited St. Thomas at Canterbury before. This Thomas is ...
1
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1answer
55 views

What is the book that has an abandoned DeSoto in it along with two raccoons?

So recently I felt a slight pang of regret for not reading enough of this really interesting book I got from the library at age 9. The plot goes something like this: 1: There is this evil crocodile ...
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0answers
29 views

Western novel series set around the civil war

I don't remember much but here's what I do remember: There were two novels featuring a group of elite Union soldiers, both would have been published around 2010, but not later than 2012. The first ...
2
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1answer
48 views

Is there a formal term for “mispronunciation as a comedic device”?

Mispronunciation can be a comedic device. (Zach Galifianakis has regularly used the device in situational comedy.) I was trying to discuss the device formally, but couldn't recall a formal term ...
4
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0answers
109 views

What effect did the knocking at the gate in “Macbeth” have on Thomas De Quincey?

In Thomas De Quincey's 1823 essay "On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth", he describes the effect of the knocking on him when he was a boy: "it [the knocking] reflected back upon the murderer a ...
1
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1answer
41 views

Russian children's book about a boy's first train journey

This is probably a Soviet-era children's book. It is about a boy's journey by train. As I remember it, not much happens plot-wise, but the boy's sense of wonder makes everything he encounters (The ...
5
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0answers
44 views

Which book(s): Fictional account of pre-columbian indians

I'm trying to identify a book, or series of books I read as a child. The setting was pre-columbian Central America, the protagonists belonged to a river based tribe (lots of big canoes etc). If ...
6
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2answers
76 views

Are coins usually turned around before handed to beggars?

I was reading Antinatalism on Wikiquote and saw Antinatalism - Wikiquote Above all, we must make the reproductive question ethically relevant. A coin is turned around before it is handed to the ...
6
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1answer
107 views

When was the Party founded?

The boots were approaching again. The door opened. O'Brien came in. Winston started to his feet. The shock of the sight had driven all caution out of him. For the first time in many years he ...
4
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3answers
91 views

Origin of “give a watermelon a pure fit” in “Blood Meridian”

On page 334 of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, Elrod responds to the man’s assertion that the ears on his scapular were taken from Apaches by saying that the “Apaches would give a watermelon a pure ...
2
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1answer
81 views

Can anyone identify this parody of 'Consider the ant'?

Hoping you can help with this half-remembered poem that from what I can recall was written by someone who worked for the New Statesman or the Spectator in the 1970s. The opening part is: 'They say ...
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0answers
22 views

Does 'In a Grove' assume that dead people don't lie?

In a Grove is one of Ryūnosuke Akutagawa best-known short stories, partly due to Kurosawa's film Rashomon. In the short stories, we get several accounts of the death of samurai Kanazawa no Takehiro. ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Does someone know the “Moment of Ljewin” in Anna Karenina?

I'm visiting my girl this week (long-distance relationship, different country) and at some point she told me about being a big fan of Anna Karenina. However, the copy she had read was old and falling ...
3
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0answers
99 views

What are “abortive sorrows” and “short-winded elations” in “The Great Gatsby”?

From chapter 1 of The Great Gatsby: No — Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my ...
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0answers
28 views

Calvin & Hobbes names choice [duplicate]

Why did Bill Watterson name Calvin after the reformer, John Calvin and Hobbes after the philosopher Thomas Hobbes?
4
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0answers
51 views

Aesop's ambiguous fables

I've been reading through some fables of Aesop's. I notice that some of them draw an explicit moral, but I don't know whether these were edited in later. For example, this version of "boy and snails" ...
1
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1answer
52 views

In 'Pride and Prejudice',why was Mary's performance bad compared to Elizabeth's?

Mary, who having, in consequence of being the only plain one in the family, worked hard for knowledge and accomplishments, and was always impatient for display... had neither genius nor taste, and ...
3
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2answers
92 views

Why were Mr Darcy's discoveries “mortifying” in “Pride and Prejudice”?

What do the phrases in bold mean in this passage from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice? Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ...
2
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1answer
44 views

Why are the names Rumi and Mevlana respectively used for the famous poet?

This famous Persian poet and mystic was named Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (جلال‌الدین محمد بلخى‎) or Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Rūmī (جلال‌الدین محمد رومی), where Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad was his actual ...
2
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1answer
38 views

What does Fingersmith say about the relationship between feminism and pornography

Minor spoilers for Fingersmith follow. Pornography is an omnipresent but tangential feature in the plot of Sarah Waters' novel Fingersmith. Several important characters are related to the trade as ...
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0answers
27 views

Cold war spy novel: wife of a US rocket scientist (or journalist) is a Russian spy in disguise, but claims to actually love him

I can only remember the rough plot of a novel that I read many (15, 20?) years ago. (I am not talking about the film "Allied".) It went something like this. The wife in a US American married couple ...
2
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1answer
52 views

In “Memories of Childhood”, why are two seemingly unrelated excerpts being presented together?

The unit "Memories of Childhood" (a short five minute read) is on my curriculum; I think it consists of excerpts from two different books, one by Zitkala-Sa and one by Bama, presented together. But ...
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0answers
70 views

How was poetry born? [closed]

It is probably impossible to know how literature or music were born. However I would like what research says about how poetry was born. Perhaps some people claim that it came into existence after ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Lady sprains her ankle

I remember during my English class reading an extract of a well-known novel. It was about a lady spraining her ankle and a gentleman helping her, I recollect. I have always thought it to be from Pride ...
5
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1answer
76 views

Any textual evidence from Shakespeare's Macbeth regarding Macbeth's oath to kill the king?

In act 1, scene 7, Lady Macbeth encourages Macbeth to keep his promise and kill king Duncan, but is there any textual evidence from the play regarding his earlier oath to kill the king? Here, for ...
0
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1answer
70 views

How can “Death be not proud” be related to the areas of exploration?

Here is the summary of the poem "Death Be Not Proud" by Jon Donne (Source - https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44107/holy-sonnets-death-be-not-proud)- “Death Be Not Proud” presents an argument ...
5
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1answer
81 views

How much did Lombard know about the murders in “And Then There Where None”?

When only Lombard and Vera are left alive, they have this dialogue that makes it seem like Lombard was the murderer. And while you could claim that it was a mutual misunderstanding (both of them ...
1
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1answer
34 views

What do “current words” mean in 'Roman Fever' by Edith Wharton?

The below paragraph is from "Roman Fever'. "Alida Slade's awfully brilliant; but not as brilliant as she thinks," would have summed it up; though she would have added, for the enlightenment of ...
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0answers
20 views

What is the logic in this quote about raids in 'Roman Fever' by Edith Wharton? [duplicate]

I am reading Edith Wharton’s Roman Fever. I have a question which is beyond my understanding, being not a native English speaker. The phrase is as below from the original text. "I'd rather live ...
4
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1answer
85 views

Meaning of ché in several French or Martiniquan Creole phrases in Wide Sargasso Sea

The first part of Jean Rhys' novel Wide Sargasso Sea is set in Jamaica, but the main character's mother is from Martinique, where French and the French-based Martiniquan Creole are spoken. The family'...
3
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0answers
34 views

Is “Africa” by Toto focused on the woman referred to in the beginning of the song, or on Africa itself?

The song "Africa" by Toto is at least nominally about the narrator's relationship with a woman: I hear the drums echoing tonight But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation She's ...
1
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1answer
97 views

In 'Roman Fever' by Edith Wharton, why would Grace be raided?

I am reading Edith Wharton’s 'Roman Fever'. I have a couple of question which are beyond my understanding, being not a native English speaker. "I'd rather live opposite a speakeasy for a change; at ...

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