All Questions

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53 views

What was Max Beerbohm's literary relationship to Dostoevsky?

I'm currently reading Max Beerbohm's Zuleika Dobson. When the Duke suddenly pours out his soul to Zuleika, his regrets and love so exaggerated that readers can't help but cringe and laugh, I thought ...
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61 views

Are “the meaning of life”, art, and in particular “the life of an artist” themes in Chekhov's drama “The Seagull”?

Are "the meaning of life", art, and in particular "the life of an artist" themes in Chekhov's drama "The Seagull"?
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200 views

Byron's transition from Manfred to Don Juan

Manfred is more serious compared to Don Juan's light heartedness. While Manfred lives within the realm of seriousness and continuous self-pity, Don Juan lives in the realm of cynicism as it brings ...
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43 views

Did Sarojini Naidu say this: When the house is on fire, the poet should stop singing…?

Did Sarojini Naidu say something about this: "When the house is on fire, the poet should stop singing, and get the buckets to put out the fire." I got this from a FB post. But I want to find out ...
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83 views

Strip / comic with a young child's teddy bear being ripped open for a CD

I can hardly remember any of it, but it has been bugging me for days that I cannot seem to identify this strip. I know one fact for sure. The beginning of a volume started on a boat, in which '...
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57 views

In Beatrice and Virgil, why does Henry say he sees everything in the Holocaust?

Yann Martel got a lot of criticism for his book Beatrice and Virgil. One reviewer described it as "is every bit as misconceived and offensive as his earlier book was fetching". Much of this criticism ...
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2k views

Why is the introduction different for the video and streaming versions of Lamar's Humble?

The video version of Kendrick Lamar's single Humble begins with the following three lines: Wicked or weakness You gotta see this Waaaaay (yeah, yeah!) However, the version of the song on ...
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138 views

What is the symbolism of the yo-yo in V.?

The yo-yo is mentioned often in Thomas Pynchon's V., including in a few chapter names. What does it symbolize?
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187 views

Why were Colonel Cathcart and Colonel Korn so determined to undermine each other?

In Catch-22, both Colonel Cathcart and Colonel Korn seem bound and determined to undermine each other. I know both of them are desperately trying to get promoted (to the point of doing absolutely ...
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59 views

Why did T.H. White name his hero Mr. White?

In The Elephant and the Kangaroo, T.H. White names his protagonist "Mr. White," with no first name ever given. There are several notable similarities between the author and his protagonist: they are ...
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153 views

Was Simon's hideout later used by Ralph?

In the end of the third chapter of Lord of the Flies, Simon goes to his hideout. It is described as having a great mat of creepers and being screened off by a few leaves. Later, when he is being ...
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2k views

How does the short story “Big World” from The Turning by Tim Winton explore aspects of Australian Identity?

The Turning by Tim Winton is a collection of short stories about turnings (obviously) at crucial times in people's lives. I've been asked to read and annotate the first short story in the series – “...
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56 views

What is the significance of the black void in “The Dancer on the Stairs”?

Sarah Tolmie's novelette The Dancer on the Stairs is a kind of portal fantasy, with the protagonist whisked away from our world into a strange fantastical one -- except the place she is whisked to is ...
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531 views

Meaning of the chapter structure in Calvino's Invisible Cities

Italo Calvino's book Invisible Cities is essentially a collection of descriptions of cities. What I find interesting is that the chapters follow a specific structure. There are ten categories of ...
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80 views

Did the author base this element on the Rubaiyat?

In a non-fiction history book, Millennium: A History of the Last Thousand Years, a (temporarily) recurring element is "The Tower of Darkness". Chapter 3 is even titled that, and it's fairly clearly ...
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54 views

Dreams of the future in Slam?

In Nick Hornby's novel Slam, the main character, Sam, narrates his story which happened in the past. In the story, he recounts one or two dreams where he is transported to a day in the future. Then ...
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97 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 ...
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115 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 ...
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72 views

I'm looking for a comic where Huey, Duey or Louie has a girlfriend

It's a series of still images (comic). I believe it's quite old, probably from between 1960-1980. It's about Huey, Duey and Louie. Two of them are being sort of rowdy, fighting, doing mischief, etc. ...
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48 views

Could Becky Sharp in “Vanity Fair” be considered a Byronic heroine?

I was recently rereading William Makepeace Thackeray's novel, Vanity Fair as it follows the lives of two distinct female characters, Becky Sharp and Emmy Sedley. I also have read that Thackeray ...
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58 views

Did T. S. Eliot write crime novels under a pseudonym?

T. S. Eliot has a reputation as a difficult and serious poet. He also wrote very serious essays about other serious authors. However, according to Johannes Kleinstück (T. S. Eliot - mit ...
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21 views

Is there a name for poems where each verse is a time period?

I'm having a hard time finding examples of this, but I found one by a man named Darryl Davis, called Almanac of a man, that goes like this: When I was five, I was supreme ruler of a boundless ...
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51 views

Is there any evidence Mat Cauthon was inspired by Matthias Corvinus?

Matthias Corvinus, also known as the Raven King, was King of Hungary and Croatia for a while in the 1400s. He was a noted general, and extensively made use of Hussite mercenaries in his battles. He ...
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40 views

What does “laconic atmosphere” mean here?

It's from "The Case for Classicism" by Lovecraft. The first thing one remarks on reading his frigid “Engineering English” is its laconic atmosphere of aloofness from vivid feeling and from love of ...
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85 views

Who wrote the poem that begins, “The Yeti, experts will attest . . .”

The Yeti, experts will attest, is physically unkempt at best. And due to this may go for weeks, alone amidst the snowy steeps. (Goes on to tell how he is looking for his "yet unmet counterpart".)
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60 views

Is Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five an allegory of what would now be called PTSD?

Is Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five an allegory of what would now be called PTSD? Would ‘allegory’ be the correct terminology here?
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85 views

Educational manga about a mad scientist

I tried to ask this on Science Fiction but it was off-topic. I remember, in kindergarten to first grade (late 2000s or early 2010s), reading a kids' comic book from the public library. I think it ...
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268 views

What caused the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues?

As I understand it, the scholarship has so far not compellingly answered a significant question of the text of Romeo and Juliet; namely, why the Capulets and the Montagues are at war. I am convinced ...
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32 views

Where can I find this short-story extended from the traditional recursive “Antonio, tell us a story!”?

There is an interesting oral tradition that goes something like: It was a dark and story night, and the brigands were waiting in the dell. And the men said "Antonio, tell us a story!". And ...
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27 views

Why does Uri get a special answer when his balloon pops?

In Miriam Roth's classic Hebrew children's book A Tale of Five Balloons (Hebrew: מעשה בחמישה בלונים), five children each get a balloon: In sequence, each child sees their balloon pop. And each is ...
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33 views

Is there a full copy of the original manuscript of “Mantiq al-Tayr” (Conference of the Birds) by Attar of Nishapur?

I have came across notes about the "Conference of the Birds", and I have seen images of the cover of the manuscript, as well as random pages from it (as can be seen from the Wikipedia entry. As this ...
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56 views

Finding author and source of quote about holocaust

I cannot remember where I read a quote about holocaust (partial quote further down) and although I'm almost certain that it was from some jewish author who himself survived holocaust I cannot remember ...
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78 views

Why did Scott choose to include so many epigraphs in Ivanhoe that give away the plot?

I'm reading Ivanhoe right now and very much enjoying it. Each chapter in Ivanhoe has an epigraph, often very closely related to the plot of the chapter, meaning that it is often very easy to surmise ...
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151 views

In the given line, what is the relation between ‘short-sighted’ and ‘education’? What does it mean by strict views on education?

In Act II of The Importance of Being Earnest, Gwendolen says this in a conversation with Cecily: Gwendolen: [...] And certainly once a man begins to neglect his domestic duties he becomes painfully ...
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35 views

Solzhenitsyn's Red Wheel

I've heard that all of Solzhenitsyn's work is to be in English by the centennial of his birth, which is this year. I'm trying to understand just what new English translations we can expect this year, ...
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33 views

Does the magic potion provide invincibility or only superhuman strength?

At least the early albums in the Asterix series don't directly tell if the potion gives invincibility in addition to superhuman strength and speed. My impression has been that only Obelix is immortal ...
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266 views

Interpretation of “The Catcher in the Rye” by J. D. Salinger

In "The Catcher in the Rye" by J. D. Salinger, there are two topics that, in my opinion, are metaphors. The first topic is the one of the ducks in the pond and where they go in winter. Looking on the ...
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31 views

What work is titled “Distresses of the Industrious Population”?

From George W. M. Reynolds' The Mysteries of London (1844–1845): "Ah!" said the bookseller, after a pause; "nothing now succeeds unless it's in the comic line. We have comic Latin grammars, and ...
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64 views

Why does the narrator quote a letter by a young footman near the end of Le Côté de Guermantes?

Near the end of Le Côté de Guermantes, the third volume of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, comes back from a visit to baron de Charlus and finds a letter by a young footman to a friend lying ...
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52 views

What was the first book that taught readers how to analyse and interpret literature?

Books about literaty theory have a long tradition; Aristotle's Poetics dates back to the 4th century BC. Books about how to write literature also go back a long way, for example, Horace's Ars Poetica (...
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37 views

Was Hendrik Conscience's novel The Lion of Flanders (De Leeuw van Vlaanderen) the first work inspired by the Battle of the Golden Spurs?

In 1838, the Flemish author Hendrik Conscience published the novel De Leeuw van Vlaenderen, of de Slag der Gulden Sporen ("The Lion of Flanders, or the Battle of the Golden Spurs"), which is based on ...
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39 views

Did Maugham originally write in French or English?

Currently I can only read with Chinese and English. So if his works are originally wrote in French, I may choose Chinese version.
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36 views

What changes were made to Ruddigore?

So I recently watched a performance of Ruddigore and later read that the second act was almost completely redone and that the overture was changed. However, I cannot seem to find anything regarding ...
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32 views

What was the point of the job-switching lottery?

One peculiar thing about the City (in the first two parts of the novel, at least) is that everyone must switch their jobs every once in a while, the job being chosen by a machine based in the person's ...
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26 views

William Blake's Lost Works?

It is known that some of Blake's work was burned by Frederick Tatham. Is there a list of lost works from other surviving or referenced material that we know of?
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75 views

Why did New Historicims and Cultural Materialism develop such an intense interest in Shakespeare and his contemporaries?

In the 1980s and 1990s, New Historicism and Cultural Materialism were two related and very influential schools of literary theory. Below are a few influential titles: Radical Tragedy: Religion, ...
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46 views

What's the difference between a Higher One and a Great One?

In Sergei Lukyanenko's Watch series, there are several different "grades" of magical power, from seventh-grade all the way up to first-grade and then beyond. As I understand it, everyone above first-...
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49 views

How is black being portrayed in “Black, Their Regalia” by Darcie Little Badger?

Black features fairly prominently in "Black, Their Regalia" by Darcie Little Badger - it's in the title, and black is fairly prominent throughout the story. The Apparently Siblings play neoclassical ...
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80 views

Narrator in The Idiot

I'm struggling to understand the narrator in The Idiot. He seems like an omniscient narrator, talking of characters in third person. But, in Chapter I of Part One, while describing know-it-alls, the ...
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87 views

Why did 18th-century readers judge Gothic literature countercultural or 'Gothic'?

Dr. Lilia Melani admits that [1.] To most modern readers, however, The Castle of Otranto is dull reading; except for the villain Manfred, the characters are insipid; the action moves at a fast clip ...

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