All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
1answer
38 views

At what point did Leontes become jealous?

The Winter's Tale, one of Shakespeare's last plays, depicts the character of Leontes, King of Sicily, as someone who suddenly becomes jealous. Scholars and readers have often criticised the play ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Is Williams's This Is Just to Say an imagist poem, an objectivist poem or neither?

The Wikipedia article about the short poem "This Is Just to Say" claims the text is an imagist poem without backing up that claim. Williams contributed to the anthology Des Imagistes, published in ...
4
votes
1answer
25 views

What is the nature of the relationship between Madeleine and the Comte de Vaudrec in Bel-Ami?

In Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami the Comte de Vaudrec is a wealthy member of the nobility who comes to dine at the Forestiers' home every Monday evening. After Madeleine's husband Charles Forestier has ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Is this a plot hole in “Gone girl”?

I recently finished reading "Gone Girl" and, although I enjoyed it, there is a part of the story that sounded kind of weird for me, and it kind of keeps bothering me. In real life, would this be a ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

How to interpret this “temptation”?

I’d like to ask about the sentence I’m not really sure how to interpret in The Boscombe Valley Mystery by Conan Doyle, preferably to someone who’s already read the story. “Well, it is not for me to ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

What is the exact social status of Alexei Vronsky?

Alexei Vronsky is first mentioned by Stepan Oblonsky, in Part One chapter XI. This is how he is presented there by Stiva (Pevear translation): Vronsky is one of the sons of Count Kirill Ivanovich ...
3
votes
0answers
17 views

Is Lambert-Sarrazin's moustache speech in Bel-Ami an allusion to a real speech?

The beginning of Chapter V in Part Two of Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami tells us about political discussions regarding the French colonisation of North Africa. One of the members of Parliament (the Third ...
5
votes
2answers
92 views

Why the name “The Winter's Tale” for Shakespeare's play?

The Shakespeare play The Winter's Tale does not actually take place entirely in winter (unlike, say, A Midsummer Night's Dream where almost all the action does indeed take place on midsummer night). ...
7
votes
1answer
60 views

Trying to find a story of a man who strapped a magnet to his forehead, has visions

Many years ago I read a story of a man who experimented with a magnet strapped to his forehead. From what I remember, he examined this experiment in his attic study. He harnessed a magnet on his ...
2
votes
0answers
24 views

What evidence is there that Shakespeare revised The Winter's Tale after 1611?

Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale was probably written in the years 1610-1611, making it one of the author's last plays. The play's text was first published in the "First Folio" of 1623, seven years ...
5
votes
0answers
41 views

What is the origin of the name Nilfgaard?

The empire of Nilfgaard becomes very important in the Witcher saga starting from the end of Sword of Destiny and continuing through the novels starting with Blood of Elves. The name has always ...
7
votes
0answers
42 views

What does Mr World represent in the American Gods book?

The American Gods Wikia site claims that Mr World is a personification of globalisation. That definitely seems to be true in the TV series (see the creepiest rant ever made about salsa), but in the ...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

Where did D. H. Lawrence say that (in his works) he is not concerned with character or personality?

Terry Eagleton's book How to Read Literature contains a chapter entitled "Character" which discusses various approaches toward "character" throughout the history of literature. One of the authors ...
3
votes
0answers
27 views

Mid-1990s novel about young programmer who gets into trouble in Dallas

Novel about a talented young computer programmer (maybe a child-protege..?) who makes a splash in the programming world and ends up moving to Dallas. I don’t really remember much of the plot, but I ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

Symbolic interpretations of William Horwood's Callanish?

William Horwood's short novel Callanish is about a golden eagle in London Zoo and his struggles with captivity and freedom. It was Horwood's second novel about eagles, after the extraordinarily good ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

In Maupassant's Bel-Ami, why would it be compromising for a magistrate to have been in (the) mixed committees?

In the second chapter of Part Two of Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami, Georges Duroy's wife turns out to have interesting connections that allow the couple to write newspaper articles that can make or break ...
1
vote
1answer
17 views

Meaning of “look about you: know you any here?” in “All's Well That Ends Well”

Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well, Act IV, Scene 3, contains the following line (Online Shakespeare, line 2390): so, look about you: know you any here? What is the meaning of these words?
2
votes
1answer
77 views

In “A Midsummer Night's Dream”, do opposites attract?

In Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream, do opposites attract? or do similars attract? What evidence is there either way? I thought about how the characters are opposites in many ways, ...
6
votes
1answer
251 views

Poem criticising students' tendency to try to pry the one true meaning out of a poem

This site has received questions such as Two Interpretations of Robert Herrick's “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”, Interpretation of “The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger (literally ...
4
votes
0answers
20 views

Who is Yossarian's pal?

In Catch-22, Chapter 41 ("Snowden"), Yossarian is under medical care after an attempt on his life. He's apparently fading in and out of consiousness at this point: Yossarian vomited, and Colonel ...
5
votes
1answer
307 views

In “Paradise Lost”, how can a fleet of ships “hang in the clouds”?

In book II of Paradise Lost, Milton makes an elaborate simile comparing Satan’s flight in Hell to the voyage of a fleet of ships in the Indian Ocean: Meanwhile the Adversary of God and Man, Satan ...
3
votes
0answers
13 views

Did Akutagawa Ryunosuke influence others?

Akutagawa Ryunosuke's suicide is considered the end of the literary tradition of the Taisho period (see the article "The Disintegrating Machinery of the Modern: Akutagawa Ryūnosuke's Late Writings"), ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

What does it mean to have teeth in the English style?

In Chapter VI of Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami, the journalist Robert de Varenne describes the Baroness de Livar as follows (emphasis added): Une grande sèche, soixante ans, frisons faux, dents à l'...
3
votes
0answers
14 views

Is Maupassant referring to a ranking of duellists or shooters that existed in late nineteenth-century France?

In Chapter VII of the first part of Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami, the main character, Georges Duroy, is insulted by another journalist. The disagreement escalates and leads to a duel using pistols. ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Which first edition is the “true” first edition of a book?

I've come across books that have multiple first editions that were all published in the same year. For example, the Silmarillion was published in 1977 in a first UK edition, first export edition, and ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

What is the narrative type used in “Harry Potter” called?

Is there a name of the type of narrative used in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, where the events are written about in third person but exclusively follows the perspective of Harry Potter? Only ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Meaning of “the throbbing air about him” in “The Fellowship of the Ring”?

This phrase is taken from The Fellowship of the Ring, book II, chapter 1 (page 261): At first the beauty of the melodies and of the interwoven words in elven-tongues, even though he understood them ...
2
votes
3answers
107 views

Summer Wine: what was the 'unfamiliar line' with which the girl reassured her lover?

The song "Summer Wine", written by Lee Hazlewood, describes a girl seducing a man with her 'summer wine'. At some point the man tells us "She reassured me with an unfamiliar line". What can it ...
1
vote
0answers
13 views

What is so Balzacian about Mr. Walter's words to Mr. Montelin in Maupassant's Bel-Ami?

In the first few chapters of Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami, the main character, Georges Duroy, is learning the ropes of journalism. In Chapter IV of Part I, he accompanies the journalist nicknamed Saint-...
3
votes
1answer
177 views

Why did Bilbo tell himself “Wake up, indeed”?

This phrase is taken from The Fellowship of the Rings, Book II, Chapter 1 (page 258): Why, sitting and thinking. I do a lot of that nowadays, and this is the best place to do it in, as a rule. Wake ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Hardback book, read in the late 1980s, involving a wandering samurai investigating a cat demon tearing peoples' throats out around a village

I'm pretty sure I found this again several years ago, and learned it was a series, but I first read it when I was in elementary school (although I think it was supposed to be for older readers). The ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

What does “other light” mean in “The Fellowship of the Ring”?

This phrase is taken from The Fellowship of the Ring, Book II, Chapter 1 "Many Meetings" (page 258): The doors were thrown open, and they went across a wide passage and through other doors, ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Does “think” mean “think about” or “think by” in “The Secret of Father Brown”?

In "The Secret of Father Brown" by G. K. Chesterton, Father Brown was saying that he prefers studying the murder from inside not outside: I don’t try to get outside the man. I try to get inside ...
2
votes
1answer
32 views

Which edition of How to Read a Book by Adler and Van Doren is the best?

I have found three editions of How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading. One was published on 9/30/14; a second one was from 1972; a third was from the 1940s. Is one of these ...
3
votes
2answers
69 views

Why does Martin Luther King use the word “flesh” in his speech?

What is the significance and the intention of King using the word "flesh" halfway through his speech? and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together Is it related ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

In the novel “Goat Days” what was Najeeb Muhammad's letter to his wife?

Goat Days is a novel written by Benyamin. It talks about migrant laborers in the Persian Gulf and how they are treated upon arriving in the Gulf states. Our hero in this novel is Najeeb Muhammed. He ...
4
votes
2answers
83 views

Meaning of “ethical fellowship” in “The Secret of Father Brown”?

In "The Secret of Father Brown" by G. K. Chesterton, Father Brown said: If you try to talk about a truth that’s merely moral, people always think it’s merely metaphorical. A real live man with two ...
1
vote
1answer
20 views

Which publication first defined the theatre convention of the fourth wall?

One of the questions on this site asks Do a lot of Shakespeare characters break the fourth wall? However, assuming a "fourth wall" in English Renaissance theatre appears to be anachronistic since ...
4
votes
3answers
130 views

Two Interpretations of Robert Herrick's “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”

In his "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time", Robert Herrick concluded his carpe diem plea with: For having lost but once your prime, You may forever tarry. There seems to be two ways to ...
5
votes
2answers
90 views

Edgar Allan Poe's “Alone”

The short poem "Alone" by Edgar Allan Poe was written in 1829 or 1830, when he was a young man, but only published in 1875 long after his death. Its full text is as follows: From childhood’s hour I ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

What is the difference between souteneur and proxénète in Maupassant's Bel-Ami?

In the first chapters of Guy de Maupassant's novel Bel-Ami, the main character, Georges Duroy, is trying to learn the craft of journalism. The end of the book's fourth chapter tells us that he meets ...
3
votes
0answers
35 views

What is the meaning of this sentence by H.G. Wells about a “liberal heathen deity”?

It's from "The Empire of Ants" by H.G. Wells. Here is the paragraph it's in: Captain Gerilleau, who was Holroyd's sole distraction from these physical distresses, developed into a formidable bore,...
2
votes
1answer
23 views

What is the relevance of these Igbo proverbs to the situation of widows and their children?

I've started reading the Igbo short novel Night has Fallen in the Afternoon (freely available online both in the original Igbo language and in English translation). As the translator notes, "[t]...
6
votes
2answers
103 views

Bad Grammar in The Great Gatsby?

I'm sure many here have encountered a common error in written English, whereby 'have' is substituted by 'of'; 'should of', 'would of', 'could of', etc. It's my understanding that this is always ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

What connects “dripping with gore” and Buddhism & Christianity in “The Dagger with Wings”?

In "The Dagger with Wings" by G. K. Chesterton, Father Brown was explaining some philosophical aspects of the murderer, saying: It was his whole game with me to be as idealistic as possible; and ...
5
votes
0answers
61 views

Did those things really happen to Robert Frost?

The poems of Robert Frost generally start with some events that are quite common, like Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping ...
7
votes
1answer
56 views

How can we reconcile the bareness of Shakespearean stages with the complex stage directions of The Tempest?

I learned recently that in Shakespeare's day, stage dressing was often minimal. This makes sense given that there was a wide variety of theatre styles, the stages were often uncovered and surrounded ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

What is the purpose of all the gustatory imagery (food imagery) in “The Shawl” by Cynthia Ozick?

Anyone who has read the novella The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick might have noticed it is rich with gustatory imagery. In the first part of the novella, food imagery (i.e. lack of food) illustrates hunger ...
19
votes
1answer
6k views

How did Shakespeare get away with staging witchcraft in his plays such as in Othello, Macbeth, or The Tempest?

The themes of witchcraft and magic loom large over Shakespeare’s later plays. While there is no overt use of magic and spells in Othello, per se, as compared to the witches in Macbeth conjuring on ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

What's meant by “all things return” in “The Dagger with Wings”?

In "The Dagger with Wings" by G. K. Chesterton, Mr Aylmer was talking to Father Brown, trying to convince him by mesmerism Don’t you feel in your heart that these contradictions do not really ...

15 30 50 per page
1 2 3
4
5
70