All Questions

8
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117 views

Does the Abrahamic God exist in the Cthulhu Mythos?

In several Cthulhu Mythos stories, incantations are made that seemingly reference Hebrew terms for the Abrahamic God. For example, Per Adonai Eloim, Adonai Jehova Adonai Sabaoth... from The ...
8
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0answers
58 views

In what way is Dussel an unflattering nickname?

From 16 November 1942 onwards, Anne Frank had to share her room with the dentist Fritz Pfeffer, who had a number of habits that Anne couldn't stand. In the German biography Anne Frank (Reinbek bei ...
8
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0answers
179 views

How did Ursula Le Guin translate the Tao Te Ching / Dao De Jing?

In 1998, Shambhala Publications published a translation of the Tao Te Ching (in pinyin: Daodejing and Dao De Jing) by Ursula Le Guin. The Dao De Jing was written in Classical Chinese, so it takes much ...
8
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0answers
242 views

What is the deeper meaning of Blake's “The Lily”?

The poem "The Lily" by William Blake must be one of the shortest of his Songs of Innocence and of Experience collection, only four lines long: The modest Rose puts forth a thorn, The humble sheep ...
8
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4k views

What's the origin of the rhyme “My friend Billy had a ten foot willy”?

A simple rhyming song which I heard growing up and which still gets stuck in my head every so often: My friend Billy had a ten foot willy. He stuck it through the neighbour's door. OR He showed ...
8
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207 views

Why is the last title in Proust's “Search For Lost Time” not consistently translated as “Time Found Again”?

Marcel Proust wrote a seven-volume French novel called A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. The original French title of the last volume was Le Temps Retrouvé. It seems to me that in these titles Proust ...
8
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704 views

Was the Charles Calthrop plot-element in The Day of the Jackal an example of pure coincidence or good detection?

Frederick Forsyth's 1971 novel "The Day of the Jackal" remains an immortal political thriller that defined the 'assassination novel' in popular consciousness. What has always intrigued me is the small ...
8
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311 views

In Brave New World, If Lenina is a beta, why does she wear green?

I never quite understood why Lenina wears green if she is a beta, since betas don't wear green.
8
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205 views

Why do some paperbacks have shortened front covers?

Some paperback editions have a front cover which is a centimetre or two shorter than the actual book. I first noticed this on House of Leaves, where I thought that it's just part of the whole ...
8
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124 views

Vonnegut's writing style as time passed

I've been reading a lot of Vonnegut recently, and I've noticed some interesting stuff. Slaughterhouse-Five or the Children's Crusade, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, and Cat's Cradle are similar to a ...
8
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127 views

Trying to remember a book about a relationship between a teenage girl and an older man

I read this story in the 1990s sometime. I remember it being novel-length, but short novel length, maybe 200 pages or so. The cover art I remember was the most 80s thing you've ever seen - a girl with ...
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365 views

Which parts of the portrayal of women in “Flatland” are satire?

I recently finished Flatland (full text link), and I found it generally a somewhat disconcerting read. I realize that it's satire, and it's written in the tone of satire, particularly when it comes to ...
8
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75 views

Why is it important that 'Nowadays it's the girl who takes the initiative'?

In Sophie's World, we have one scene that can be described as a sex scene. It's in the chapter 'The Garden Party'; page 478 in my edition. Here's the relevant part: The guests applauded, and one of ...
8
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140 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 ...
8
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0answers
131 views

Does Kvothe ever use the bed Auri prepared for him?

In Slow Regard of Silent Things, one of the gifts Auri prepares for Kvothe is a bed of his own near hers in the Underthing, along with a candle and a kiss. I've just finished a re-read of both The ...
8
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0answers
131 views

What do red and blue represent?

The Manhattan Projects uses red and blue in clearly representational ways, but I can't quite figure out what they represent. At first they're used to designate between the Oppenheimer twins, and ...
8
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69 views

How long is the Nijni-Novgorod trade fair?

In Jules Verne, Michel Strogoff, part 1 chapter 5, when Michel arrives to Nijni-Novgorod, there's a huge trade fair going on in the city. The text seems to give two contradictory numbers about how ...
8
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226 views

Why was Welsh nationalist poet RS Thomas so critical of the Welsh people?

Welsh poet R.S. Thomas was an ardent Welsh nationalist and advocate for independence. Although a native English speaker he learned and conversed in Welsh, although he never felt fluent enough to use ...
8
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72 views

Why did SAQ get re-translated?

Some Answered Questions was first published into English in 1908, but was "extensively retranslated" in 2014. Why was a retranslation needed? I assume it has to do with the dual origin of the English ...
8
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923 views

Is there any evidence of who assaulted Lola in “Atonement”, given the final reveal?

Content Note: Discussion of the sexual assault of a minor, and "evidence" of the innocence or guilt of possible suspects. Atonement revolves around Briony, who as a child is the only witness to Lola ...
8
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112 views

Was Isidora's fate in Melmoth the Wanderer directly inspired by Faust?

When reading Charles Robert Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer I couldn't help but notice that Isidora's fate largely resembled Gretchen's in Goethe's Faust and especially the endings of both storylines ...
8
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57 views

What mechanism does David Weber use to ensure internal consistency of works in the shared Honorverse?

In certain franchises/shared universes, there are well known mechanisms for ensuring internal consistency (E.g. Star Wars has LucasFilm's Holocron/LSG). David Weber's Honorverse is a shared universe ...
7
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106 views

Can three unstressed syllables constitute a substitute foot in Shakespeare?

While trying to ascertain the accentuation of certain names in Shakespeare, by analyzing lines of verse where they occur, I encountered a couple of lines that I was tempted to scan with a substitute ...
7
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88 views

What is the history of the universe/canon/word-of-god approach to literature?

Over on the Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange, some participants apply the following theoretical approach to the interpretation of fiction: The role of fiction is to describe a fictional ‘...
7
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97 views

What is Ayn Rand's view of marriage and children?

It's difficult not to notice that the vast majority of heroes in Atlas Shrugged are unmarried and have no kids. Dagny Taggart - unmarried, no kids John Galt - unmarried, no kids Francisco - ...
7
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42 views

Is The Owl Service sexist in its negative portrayals of women?

Alan Garner's novel The Owl Service has a small cast of characters, three of whom are female. On reflection, all three appear to be portrayed in a rather negative light. Alison is something of a ...
7
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321 views

In Baudelaire's “Chant d'automne”, why isn't the hidden rhythm better known?

I noticed something remarkable about one of Baudelaire's poems that I can't find any mention of on the web. My question is whether anybody has noticed this before, and whether there's some reason why ...
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46 views

Predecessors/Inspirations of Scheinriesen (Illusionary Giants)

A "Scheinriese" (illusory giant), most notably Mr. Tur-Tur from Michael Ende's Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver, is a being which when seen from a distance appears to be a giant, inadvertently ...
7
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554 views

Where did the Robert Frost Quote “If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane” come from?

I have found numerous sources that attribute the quote "If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane" to Robert Frost but for the life of me, I cannot find when / where he actually said / wrote it.
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68 views

I'm looking for a (possibly Dutch) children's story about a king who was afraid of the dark

I'm looking for a children's novel, aimed at perhaps 7–10 year olds, that I read in the mid '90s; between 1993 and 2000. I must have read the story in Dutch. I believe the story was originally in ...
7
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98 views

Are positive, parable-like vibes a noted pattern in Russian literature (at least for short stories and anecdotes)?

WARNING! The following post contains minor spoilers about the following books: Mikhail Bulgakov - A Country Doctor's Notebook Bonnie Jo Campbell - American Salvage D. W. Wilson - Once your Break a ...
7
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0answers
46 views

'Endymion' - Keats

And such too is the grandeur of the dooms We have imagined for the mighty dead; All lovely tales that we have heard or read: An endless fountain of immortal drink, Pouring unto us from the ...
7
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70 views

What Confederate counterfactual story features Florida as an independent tourist republic?

This comment on Timothy Burke's article "On Confederate Counterfactuals" describes a story (presumably a novel) the user read about 40 years ago: [...] the very first Confederate counterfactual I ...
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102 views

Identify mystery novel: Past crime uncovered in English village, gossip leading to death(s)

I'm trying to remember a book I read sometime within the last ten years, but although I'm able to recall a fair bit of the story I have no idea of the title or author. I believe it's a "modern" ...
7
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43 views

How were notes sent from classroom to classroom in Up the Down Staircase?

In Bel Kaufman's Up the Down Staircase, part of the story is told through notes that Sylvia Barrett sends to other teachers. For example, the first one goes FROM: Mrs. Beatrice Schachter, Room 508 ...
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183 views

Are the new gods not aware of the appearance of this character?

There will be very heavy spoilers - do not read further if you haven't finished the novel. Mr. World is the leader of the new gods, though his exact area of influence is left somewhat ambiguous in ...
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53 views

How culturally mixed were the Earth ambassadors in Hard to Be a God?

Anton, aka "Don Rumata of Estor", is Russian. Pashka, aka "Don Hug, first groom of the chamber of his lordship the Duke of Irukan", is Russian. Alexander Vassilevitch, aka "Don Kondor, Supreme Judge ...
7
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33 views

Were any of the Asbjørnsen og Moe stories transcribed directly from oral traditions?

Asbjørnsen og Moe are the Norwegian answers to the Brothers Grimm, the collectors of what is still considered the definitive volume of Norwegian folk tales. How many of these tales were taken from ...
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0answers
1k views

What does the sukebind represent?

Stella Gibbons invented the sukebind for Cold Comfort Farm, and she wields it with metaphorical deftness as if it had its own long floriographic history to draw on. I'd assumed that the sukebind and ...
7
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0answers
84 views

In “The Accidental”, was it really Amber who did this?

Warning: contains unmarked spoilers. Ali Smith's The Accidental is about the Smart family (Eve, Michael, Magnus, and Astrid) and a woman, Amber, who seemingly appears out of nowhere at their holiday ...
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0answers
156 views

Is there a specific tuition system that the University's was based on?

In Patrick Rothfuss' The Kingkiller Chronicle, students at the University are asked to pay a variable amount for their tuition per term, based mostly on their performance in an interview in front of ...
7
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0answers
147 views

Are 'The Forty Rules of Love' real?

One of the best-selling 21st-century novels, The Forty Rules of Love, shows historical fiction employing the love of Shams of Tabraiz and Mevlana Rumi. Were those 40 rules by Shams or were they made ...
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95 views

Identification of book set in Ancient Egypt

A couple years ago, I read a book which I would like to revisit. I don't remember much, but here's what I have. Setting is Ancient Egypt One of the primary characters is a Pharaoh or other reputable ...
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90 views

In Foucault's Pendulum, which names are allusions to the real world, and which are not?

Foucault's Pendulum has a litany of character names that intrigue me. I wonder where many of them come from. For example, Casaubon, the name of one of the main characters, seems like it comes from ...
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0answers
71 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, ...
7
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0answers
481 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 ...
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87 views

Are any of Kino's attackers directly linked to the one pearl buyer?

In The Pearl, chapter 4, when Kino is trying to sell his massive pearl in the village market, it's revealed that all the pearl buyers work for one man: It was supposed that the pearl buyers were ...
7
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419 views

In “Bullet the Blue Sky”, what is the symbolism of Jacob and the angel?

U2's song "Bullet the Blue Sky" was inspired by Bono's trip to El Salvadore in 1986, and America's role on the Salvadoran Civil War. As Bono said in an interview, And it upset me as a person who ...
7
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0answers
137 views

Who wrote The Urantia Book?

On the Wikipedia page, the author is unknown. On the website it's said the authors include universe beings (such as archangels, chief of Seraphim, etc.) However somebody had to write the book. Is ...
6
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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: ...

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