All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
36
votes
10answers
17k views

Should I read The Silmarillion before or after reading The Lord of the Rings?

I spent an extensive amount of time as an undergrad writing about and researching The Hobbit, especially in terms of Tolkien's famous essay on Beowulf. Getting a sense of what inspired Tolkien greatly ...
9
votes
1answer
71 views

Which items from Elliot S! Maggin's novel “Last Son of Krypton” mirror the Superman mythos of the comics in the same era?

It's a well-documented fact that the character of Superman has undergone many shifts over the decades. In 1978, Elliot S! Maggin's first Superman novel The Last Son of Krypton was published. Now, you ...
7
votes
3answers
14k views

What is the purpose of Owl Eyes in Great Gatsby?

Scott Fitzgerald rarely puts characters or events that have do not either have an underlying message or support in the character development of the lead characters. Therefore I was confused as to what ...
6
votes
1answer
248 views

The Old Man And The Sea - why didn't Santiago cut up at least part of the Marlin, and stored them on board of the skiff?

In Hemingway's book The Old Man And The Sea, after catching the mighty Marlin, and coming to the conclusion that the sharks are probably going to consume the entire Marlin - why didn't Santiago just ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

What is happening in issue #1 of “Black Magick”?

The first issue of Black Magick opens with a pagan ritual being done during full moon. A circle member's phone rings, and the ritual is interrupted, and the following panels take place (behind a ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

What is Number Five's real name?

In the story The Fifth Head of Cerberus, the protagonist has a name which is never stated explicitly, different from the "Number Five" by which his father and aunt refer to him. I told [my ...
11
votes
1answer
929 views

Is there any indication that Poe feared live burial?

Many of Edgar Allan Poe's short stories feature burial while alive; in one case, the subject of the story actually suffers from taphophobia before his own live burial. (Wikipedia helpfully includes a ...
3
votes
2answers
413 views

Why would one call a Japanese Jew “Sosumi”?

While doing some background research for another question about Daniel Clowes' Ghost World, I stumbled upon this article, which mentions the following exchange: . . . I don't get this. The first ...
8
votes
1answer
321 views

Who narrates “Ars Arcanum” in The Alloy of Law?

I just finished The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson. As is the norm in many of Sanderson's Cosmere books, the story is followed by a short section titled "Ars Arcanum," with a description of some of ...
2
votes
1answer
800 views

Why does Lucifer mention Raguel and Sandalphon as possible rebels among the angelic host?

In chapter two of Season of Mists, Lucifer mentions the angels Raguel and Sandalphon as angels who could rebel [against God]: Why those two angels?
11
votes
1answer
321 views

Who was Long John Silver based on?

In his little-known preface to Treasure Island (which I discovered while answering this question), Robert Louis Stevenson wrote rather persuasively on the possibilities for how a fictional character ...
4
votes
0answers
323 views

Seeking female (later beatnik?) author, used all lowercase

In about 1998, I found a used paperback that I liked, but gave the book away and can no longer remember the author's name. The book was remarkable in that it used only lowercase letters throughout. ...
6
votes
2answers
168 views

Why is The Dreaming a simple place compared to Hell?

In chapter 2 of Season of Mists, Lucifer says the following to Morpheus, when trying to explain his burden of ruling Hell: I cannot say I see Lucifer's point here. In some of the further stories it ...
11
votes
1answer
635 views

Why did Morris and Clay preemptively dissolve the Red-Headed League?

Spoilers ahead for The Red-Headed League. In this Sherlock Holmes story, Holmes and Watson are recruited by a flustered pawnbroker, Jabez Wilson, who has been tricked into joining a fake society, the ...
6
votes
0answers
52 views

Do the stories in “The SEA is Ours” accurately portray the essential aspects of South-East Asian culture?

The SEA is Ours is this month's topic challenge. The purpose of these challenges is to increase the diversity of the literature that we discuss on this site. This is important for a number of reasons, ...
6
votes
1answer
40 views

Were the contributors to “The SEA is Ours” all already established authors?

The SEA is Ours is an anthology collection of steampunk stories by various South-East Asian authors, including names such as Olivia Ho, Marilag Angway, and Timothy Dimacali. I know very little about ...
4
votes
0answers
139 views

How is the connection between the picture on page 59 and the last line of “Allison Beals and Her 25 Eels” shown in other publications of the poem?

"Allison Beals and Her 25 Eels" is a poem in Falling Up by Shel Silverstein. It describes how Allison uses 24 eels -- as shoelaces, earrings, ladle, etc. The 25th, however, is different. The poem ends ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

What does the author imply by using the phrase “open to attack” for the element of worship in patriotism?

Source: https://csatprep.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/rc-exercise-1.pdf Patriotism is a very complex feeling, built up out of primitive instincts and highly intellectual convictions. There is love ...
4
votes
1answer
991 views

Why are my answers wrong for this Bacon passage about reading and writing?

Here is the passage being analysed, from Francis Bacon's essay "Of Studies": Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

Can you identify this story involving apple of wisdom

I have read this story a long time ago. I remember some fragments like this: There is a young man travelling (maybe on a train). He starts talking to another passenger in the same seat (or cabin). ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does the poem “Naming of Parts” contrast war with nature?

Henry Reed's poem "Naming of Parts" (which you can read online) depicts a lesson used to teach soldiers the various parts of their rifles. (Hence the title "Naming of Parts"). Interspersed between the ...
3
votes
2answers
971 views

Is it Zhan Zheng Xi, Zhan Zhengxi, or Zhan Xixi?

One of the protagonist of 19 Days - One Day is called Zhan Zheng Xi. Or Zhan Xixi. I'm not sure, because he's been called all three: Zhan Zhengxi Zhan Zheng Xi Zhan Xixi The first two I can ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Why does Zhan Xixi call Jian Yi an idiot?

I've been re-reading 19 Days - One Day1, a webcomic2 by the Chinese author Old Xian. One of the first chapters has me wondering, though: Click for full resolution What does Zhan Xixi mean when he ...
6
votes
1answer
243 views

Are the illustrations part of Shel Silverstein's poems?

Shel Silverstein's poems are illustrated by himself. The illustrations often provide the 'punchline' of the poem, as in the following examples (all taken from Falling Up. Pictures are mine - feel free ...
4
votes
0answers
47 views

Did “Number Five” really act differently from his father?

In the story The Fifth Head of Cerberus, the protagonist - whose real name is never mentioned, so I'll just call him "Number Five" as his father and aunt do - is essentially an experiment of his ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

Very large World War 3 novel: US vs China, main characters include new US president and younger US soldier

For a good while I've been trying to recall a book I read about 15 years ago. What I remember: The Novel was based around a modern day (at the time) global war scenario, with the main battles taking ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

In which story does a child survive Hiroshima by diving in a pond?

I am trying to identify a story about a boy who survived the attack on Hiroshima. My clearest memory is the moment of impact: the boy happens to be outside the city and dives into a pond just before ...
6
votes
2answers
669 views

Who are all the Priestesses and Gods?

In Seanan McGuire's Incryptid series, there are the Aeslin mice, who believe the Price/Healy men are their gods, and the women are their Priestesses. They give them all names (like the Arboreal ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What were the original two results for 'died in a blogging accident'?

XKCD 369, "Dangers", mentions two results for 'died in a blogging accident': But XKCD has messed up the Internet. Now there are a lot more results for 'died in a blogging accident' - 250k of them. I ...
4
votes
1answer
556 views

Is the heart in “The Hunt” associated with Desire?

One symbol that is repeatedly associated with Desire is a crystal heart. This appears in several Sandman stories, including in each Endless member's gallery. (Each Endless has a gallery, containing ...
3
votes
0answers
47 views

What makes Alex Rider and Matthew Freeman so different?

At the end of my copy of Raven's Gate, there's a Q&A with Anthony Horowitz, the author. One of the questions is: Q: Is it difficult to write both Alex Rider and The Gatekeepers at the same time? ...
4
votes
0answers
76 views

Help identifying short article about footsteps in the snow

About ten years ago I read a short article online somewhere (probably just a couple of paragraphs) about a man and his father. Something the father told him when he was young shaped his decisions ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Doctor Adams a self-insertion in Watership Down?

In chapter 48, "Dea ex Machina", of Watership Down, we meet Doctor Adams. Watership Down is of course written by Richard Adams. Is there any indication besides the surname that this character is a ...
7
votes
2answers
190 views

Confusing list in Crime and Punishment

I have started to read some classic books and I am having some trouble understanding some parts of chapter 6 part 3 in Crime and Punishment, this is after Raskolnikov is called a "Murderer" by a man ...
8
votes
2answers
126 views

What does it mean that different parts of humans are created by different gods?

While looking at Norse Mythology to write this question, I read a passage of the book more closely than I had before, and noticed something interesting. When humans are created, the brothers Odin, ...
8
votes
1answer
344 views

Are man and woman like ash and elm? How?

In Neil Gaiman's adaptation of the Norse myths, Norse Mythology, it is sometimes clear that certain elements are used in the stories as a way for the Norse people to transmit useful information and ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Symbolism of the Mind Game in Ender's Game

I was recently discussing Ender's Game in The Reading Room, and I mentioned that I reread it because I felt that there were things that I had not understood. One of these things is the Mind Game. ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

Who came to Rumata's house at the end, and why?

At the very end of Hard to Be a God, a group of men arrive at Rumata's house and sending Don Rumata into a blind and murderous rage. But who were they, who sent them, and why did they come in the ...
11
votes
3answers
21k views

In To Kill a Mockingbird, what does “let the dead bury the dead” mean?

In the ending chapter of "To Kill a Mockingbird", Atticus and Mr Heck Tate (the Sheriff) are deciding who is responsible for the death of Mr Ewell. Atticus thinks Jem killed Mr Ewell but Heck knows it ...
3
votes
0answers
61 views

What is the significance of the name “Strange” in Strange and Norrell?

Inspired by What is the significance of "Jonathan" in Strange and Norrell? In the book Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, "Strange" immediately strikes the reader as a rather ... well, ...
-2
votes
2answers
133 views

Identify a book about scientist who used mescaline to see monsters

As far as I can remember, a scientist in this book invented something based on mescaline and the result was that he - and others who followed this procedure - recognized that people are being ...
10
votes
1answer
605 views

Meaning of President “Coin” in the Hunger Games books?

My impression was that the name Coin is meaningful as opposed to arbitrary. My thoughts on the meaning so far are: "Other side of the same coin" in that Coin represents the good guys, but ...
9
votes
1answer
90 views

About Sappho's “Hector and Andromacha” poem

In a relatively short while, I'll have to write a blog post on this poem, so I've been doing some research into the sources. The first is P.Oxy. 1232, an image of which is the following. A later ...
5
votes
1answer
108 views

What was this novel about an English man growing up in a mansion isolated from society?

I remember from school that a certain book was treated during English literature classes about an English man who grew up in a mansion isolated from society? He was taken care of and everything ...
6
votes
1answer
409 views

What changed that made TenSoon want to run?

TenSoon is a kandra, a type of sentient magical creature in Sanderson's Mistborn series, and a proud one at that. After the events in the second book of the series, he travels to his homeland, ...
8
votes
0answers
156 views

About Sappho's epigram for the little girl Aithopia: first line (manuscript tradition and experts' take), and authorship

Background and research As I am planning to post this poem on my blog relatively soon, I was doing some research on the first line. From what I had written previously, I seem to have found two ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Symbolism of Marx and Lenina's names in Huxley's Brave New World?

Reading Brave New World it seemed obvious to me that Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne are in some way referring to Marx and Lenin, but I couldn't figure out any clue to support this claim. Is it truly ...
6
votes
1answer
296 views

Who is Thoreau quoting (or paraphrasing) here in Walden?

The passage in question is in Walden's conclusion: The philosopher said "From an army of three divisions one can take away its general, and put it in disorder; from the man the most abject and ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the meaning of this sher?

hamla hai chaar sū dar-o-dīvār-e-shahr kā sab jañgaloñ ko shahr ke andar sameT lo حملہ ہے چار سُو در و دیوارِ شہر کا سب جنگلوں کو شہر کے اندر سمیٹ لو Source I get the meaning of each ...
11
votes
0answers
112 views

Who put forward this completion to Sappho 94, and what is it actually supposed to read?

In Sappho 94 (τεθνάκην δ' ἀδόλως θέλω), there is this tercet at ll. 25-27, which is very incomplete, which Edmonds doesn't even have, and which Bibliotheca Augustana and Campbell p. 69 both read: ...

15 30 50 per page
1
52 53
54
55 56
72