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4
votes
1answer
70 views

At which pole did Byrd's adventure take place?

The Secret Lost Diary of Admiral Richard E. Byrd and The Phantom of the Poles book describes a mysterious journey of Admiral Richard E. Byrd during his flight to the Polar region of the world. In the ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

What was Dr. Seuss's intended message in “Horton Hears a Who”?

I've seen themes and elements from Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who applied to a variety of things, such as the abortion debate, dwarfism awareness, and space aliens. While I can see how they could ...
5
votes
1answer
422 views

Did Montag ever have rebellious thoughts before meeting Clarisse?

In Fahrenheit 451, Montag questions the society he lives in after meeting a mysterious neighbor who encourages Montag to think and read, two thing forbidden in the dystopian world. He catches on ...
6
votes
1answer
841 views

Why is Jane Eyre considered a feminist figure?

Why was Jane Eyre considered a feminist figure in the context of the Victorian society? She was unable to fully liberate herself from the inherent patriarchy. She was strongly affected by marriage, ...
10
votes
2answers
182 views

For works translated by the original author, how common is it for additional translations to exist? What might these translation add?

Sorley MacLean was a Scottish poet who worked in Gaelic. This was the language of his poem, Hallaig, about the Highland clearances and how time changes our perception of history. However, he also ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

How do the monsters return without the Doors of Death?

During the events of The Heroes of Olympus, Gaea opened up the Doors of Death so that the monsters could come back easier. However, I could find no mention of how they got back without the Doors. But ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

How are graphic novels different from comic books?

I always get confused between the terms comic-book and graphic novel. What makes a comic-book be referred to as Graphic novel? What is the difference between both of the terms?
5
votes
2answers
265 views

Was Gulliver religious?

In Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, there is little discussion of religion except for a passage from part 3, which reads, To this I added another petition, “that for the sake of my patron the ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Who do the inhabitants of Brobdingnag represent in Gulliver's Travels?

In his answer to this question, Riker established that the islands of Lilliput and Blefuscu were representing England and France and it was satirizing the holy wars between them. What was being ...
5
votes
1answer
72 views

Did Jonathan Swift ever sail?

In Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, Swift describes Gulliver, a ship's doctor sailing and getting ship wrecked in various locations by various means. However, he does not go into as much detail ...
4
votes
2answers
490 views

How do you pronounce Houyhnhnm?

In Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, Gulliver travels to a land of Houyhnhnms. When I read, I like to hear the names in my head because it helps me to get into the story. However, I do not know ...
5
votes
0answers
101 views

Is the location of the land of the Houyhnhnms significant?

As seen from the below map from the Wikipedia article, which is identical to the version of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, which I own, the land of the Houyhnhnms is directly below what we now ...
12
votes
1answer
255 views

Is there symbolism in Vronsky going bald in Anna Karenina?

As I am reading Anna Karinina I notice how as the story continues Vronsky is going bald. As characters meet him it is noted how he tries to hid his increasing baldness. For instance when Dolly goes ...
4
votes
2answers
137 views

What is the origin of including formulas in a literary text?

One of the most striking things about Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson was the fact that the novel's text was full of mathematical formulas. In some ways, this approach resembles, for example, ...
13
votes
2answers
503 views

Was Neil Gaiman's Stardust influenced by C.S. Lewis?

A central theme in Neil Gaiman's fantasy novel Stardust is that stars, when they fall from the sky, take on the shape of human beings. One of the main characters is a fallen star who ends up living on ...
8
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0answers
78 views

Did Alfred Tennyson ever read The Last of the Light Brigade?

The Last of the Light Brigade, by Rudyard Kipling refers to Alfred Tennyson and his poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade. Do we know if Alfred Tennyson ever read The Last of the Light Brigade? If so, ...
8
votes
1answer
985 views

When do the events in The Valley of Fear take place?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's final Sherlock Holmes novel, "The Valley of Fear", is notable for being the only story other than the short story The Final Problem where Professor Moriarty plays a direct ...
11
votes
1answer
576 views

Did Phaedrus derive a final definition of quality?

It was a long time ago that I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and I vaguely recall that Phaedrus came up with a final definition of quality. I've tried skimming through the book to try ...
12
votes
0answers
234 views

What was the first book that explicitly used “A Hero's Journey” as a checklist?

Obviously, many stories told fit "A Hero's Journey" - that's the whole point of it. George Lucas was famous for explicitly making the Star Wars story based on Campbell's checklist and acknowledging ...
7
votes
1answer
306 views

Why did the author of The Dictionary of the Khazars publish a “male” and “female” edition, and what's the significance of the textual differences?

The author of "The Dictionary of the Khazars," Milorad Pavic, published two editions: the Male Edition, and the Female Edition of the Dictionary. The two sections critically differ in only a few ...
26
votes
2answers
2k views

Is Sherlock Holmes religious?

In this question, it is established that Sherlock Holmes, from the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was asexual and in explaining that it is stated that he showed very little emotion in general. This ...
3
votes
1answer
496 views

Are there any motifs or symbols related to imperialism in Animal Farm?

In my centennial edition of Animal Farm by George Orwell, his bio states that he joined the Burmese Indian Imperial Police stating, In order to hate imperialism, you have got to be part of it. In ...
9
votes
1answer
143 views

Was Mrs Croft really an invalid?

In Agatha Christie's detective story Peril at End House, was Mrs Croft really an invalid? Or did she just pretend to be one? We find out in the ending of the novel that Mrs Croft was a criminal. ...
8
votes
1answer
51 views

Did Thomas Wolfe keep a diary?

For someone who wrote very autobiographical novels to the point of receiving death threats for his Look Homeward, Angel, I wonder whether he wrote a diary. Did he? If so, does it contradict any of his ...
12
votes
1answer
368 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
1answer
55k views

In what order should Rick Riordan's mythological series be read to make the most sense, and what is the chronological order?

As established in this question, all of Rick Riordan's mythological series take place in a single universe. I have not read any of his books, but this gave me a question. If I were to read the books ...
7
votes
0answers
523 views

Can I read David Mitchell's books in any order?

Though David Mitchell's novels differ wildly in style and substance, all occur within the same universe, with links between them - some subtle, some very central. I don't think the books are meant to ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Why did Montresor want to kill Fortunato?

In The Cask of Amontillado, Montresor traps Fortunato in the catacombs, but his motives are not explicitly explained. Montresor does allude to some wrongs committed against him by Fortunato. Is it ...
34
votes
3answers
25k views

Why is a raven like a writing desk?

"Mad Hatter: 'Why is a raven like a writing-desk?' ... 'Have you guessed the riddle yet?' the Hatter said, turning to Alice again. 'No, I give it up,' Alice replied: 'What’s the answer?' 'I ...
12
votes
3answers
398 views

Is “The Ice Dragon” set in the same universe as “A Song of Ice and Fire”?

The Ice Dragon is a children's book by George R. R. Martin, about a girl born during the long winter. The universe shows some similarities to the main universe of ASOIAF, but is it the same universe?
7
votes
1answer
151 views

Had Holmes previously encountered Charles Augustus Milverton?

The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton depicts Holmes' and Watson's encounter with Charles Augustus Milverton, a man who is, according to Holmes, "the worst man in London" (he even drives Holmes ...
9
votes
0answers
460 views

Is the Man-Mountain Agreement a satire of a specific event?

Gulliver's Travels, is a story by Jonathan Swift that is widely accepted to be a satire. In it when Gulliver visits Lilliput he agrees to a set of articles about his presence, which read as follows: ...
6
votes
1answer
286 views

Is there significance to the location of Lilliput in Gulliver's Travels?

If we look at the map, we can conclude that Lilliput is in the Indian Ocean. Is there any significance to its location in the Indian Ocean? What is that significance, if any?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What does Mrs. Jones represent in Animal Farm?

There are a few mentions of Mrs. Jones, primarily in reference to her table cloth. Does she represent something in and of herself? If so, what does Mrs. Jones represent in Animal Farm?
11
votes
1answer
213 views

What is the meaning of “Director's Cut” in the context of comics?

I have noticed that a few comic titles are also referred to as Director's Cut like DC's Final Crisis 1: Director's Cut. I know what a Director's Cut is in the context of film, as discussed here on our ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

Is Pete Duffy based on a specific murderer?

In the Theodore Boone book series, a primary criminal is Pete Duffy who has committed a murder. Is Pete Duffy based on a specific murderer or is he based on the general trope of a murderer? If he is ...
18
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the difference between a Novelette, Novella and Novel?

What are the main differences between a novelette, a novella, and a novel? As they sound fairly similar.
16
votes
3answers
386 views

What is the significance of the anisotropic highway and the skeleton of a fascist chained to a machine gun?

In the beginning of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's novel Hard to Be a God, the protagonist, Anton, goes down a country road, disobeying a "wrong way" sign, and finds a skeleton of a fascist chained to ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is black evil and white good?

This trope appears everywhere in literature - especially in fantasy. Everywhere you turn, black means bad and white means good. This is particularly true when applied to people, or the consequences of ...
5
votes
0answers
123 views

Who makes the puzzles hidden inside The 39 Clues books?

In almost every single The 39 Clues book, there are puzzles hidden inside the book, such as on the page numbers, or on the covers. i.e, in The Viper's Nest (series 1, book 7), starting on page 39 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Are the different mythological series by Rick Riordan set in the same universe?

Rick Riordan is the author of many series of fictional works about mythology. These include: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, The Kane Chronicles, the book set Demigods and ...
11
votes
2answers
309 views

How does interrupting Kubla Khan save humanity?

In the finale of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, the protagonists release the Salaxalan ghost (in Wenton-Weakes' body) in the primordial past, to go fix his ship, when they realize this will ...
20
votes
1answer
313 views

Has a book ever been translated in its own fictional language?

In programming language design, there's a process called bootstrapping: In computer science, bootstrapping is the process of writing a compiler (or assembler) in the source programming language ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Was Susan ever able to return to Narnia?

At the end of The Last Battle, Peter states that Susan has become 'too grown up' to return to Narnia. However, we do see grown-ups coming to Narnia, or Aslan's country - we see their parents. Also, it ...
57
votes
4answers
9k views

What is Hobbes?

In the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, Calvin is a boy. He has a tiger friend, who's... a little ambiguous. Is he a doll or a real tiger or a figment of his imagination? To Calvin he ...
4
votes
0answers
62 views

Whatever happened to the Lurker Files?

The Lurker Files was a web-serial running between 1996 and 1997. In Wintervale University, the mysterious "Lurker"'s power is the anonymity and malleability of online activity - he assumes others' ...
7
votes
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?
3
votes
1answer
36 views

What are the Guardians guarding?

In The 39 Clues: Cahills vs Vespers, Atticus Rosenbloom's mother tells him that they are 'Guardians'. What are they guarding? I don't think that it can be the different pieces of the Doomsday Device, ...
8
votes
1answer
366 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 "...
16
votes
1answer
724 views

How much weight is given to authors' intentions in literary analysis?

When people analyze literature, one of the first things people seem to do is look for interviews or quotes from the author where the author describes the meaning they intended their text to have. My ...

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