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What it means to divert one’s interior oppression?

In May Sinclair’s Song-offerings of Rabindranath Tagore it written for St. Catherine of Genoa that She would at times, when in the garden, seize hold of the thorn-covered twigs of the rose-bushes ...
1
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1answer
8 views

What's meant by “stamp-hunt” in “The Just Men of Cordova”?

In chapter 10 of The Just Men of Cordova (1917) by Edgar Wallace, the author was describing an employer, Jakobs, who usually stole unconsidered stamps and such loose coinage as might be found in the ...
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0answers
7 views

Why would the indigo factory's steward be a messenger of death?

Chapter XI of My Boyhood Days (1940; ছেলেবেলা / Chhelebela in Bengali) contains the following passage: The old indigo factory was still standing, with the river Padma in the distance. The zemindari ...
2
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0answers
14 views

Why is Macbeth's “vaulting ambition” so important and famous?

What does 'vaulting' mean here? Macbeth uses the term in Act I, scene 7: I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself And falls on the other. ...
1
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0answers
7 views

What is the literary effect of such long opening and closing sentences in “May Day Eve”?

Nick Joaquin's short story "May Day Eve" begins and ends with two extremely long sentences: The old people had ordered that the dancing should stop at ten o’clock but it was almost midnight ...
2
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0answers
27 views

Why did Tolkien take such extreme offense to the original Swedish translation of The Lord of the Rings?

I may be mistaken, but allegedly, Tolkien really took great offense to the first (and only, during his entire lifetime and decades beyond) Swedish translation of The Lord of the Rings. He called the ...
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0answers
21 views

Did “drink to someone” imply the same thing back then?

In a popular song Drink To Me Only with Thine Eyes, first published in 1616 as To Celia by Ben Jonson, did the phrase drink to someone mean the same thing as nowadays, i.e. to say cheers for someone? ...
1
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1answer
23 views

What's meant by “man of some character” in “The Just Men of Cordova”?

From the beginning of chapter 10 of The Just Men of Cordova (1917) by Edgar Wallace: There was living at Somers Town at that time a little man named Jakobs. He was a man of some character, albeit an ...
13
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1answer
2k views

Dickens invented the scary clown?

Today in "Messages from Firefox" (some annoying thing that comes up in my browser), I saw the following which piqued my interest: Dickens invented the scary clown, the ‘80s perfected it. ...
2
votes
1answer
26 views

What does cuatro cantos refer to?

In Nick Joaquin's story "Cándido's Apocalypse", Pete Henson tells Bobby, the story's main character, that "Joey Perez and some fellows went joyriding and dog-hunting and they caught a ...
3
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2answers
39 views

What did Shakespeare mean in King Richard III when he said that ‘G’ Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be?

Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous, By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams, To set my brother Clarence and the King In deadly hate, the one against the other: And if King Edward be as true and ...
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0answers
21 views

Recommendation of some good mystery books/stories [closed]

I have read all the Sherlock Holmes stories and books and am now gasping for a good mystery book/story. I am not interested in a traditional whodunnit, but something with a strange/bizarre plot but ...
1
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1answer
24 views

What has the “younger son” to do with “cow-punching on the pampas”? in “The Just Men of Cordova”

From chapter 9 of The Just Men of Cordova (1917) by Edgar Wallace: “A gentleman and a policeman?” asked the earl incredulously. Horace nodded. “A new profession for the younger son, eh?” remarked ...
15
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5answers
6k views

What's the deal with Bilbo being some kind of “burglar”?

I may only be 37 pages into "The Hobbit", re-reading it after 20+ years, but several things already confuse me. First of all, and this is what I'm mainly asking about, Bilbo is casually ...
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0answers
28 views

When did it become popular to drop the A.D. in dates? [migrated]

Since when did it become popular to shorthand years from 2020 A.D. to 2020? I haven't seen anything after a google search, and in fact I wonder if it was even popular to use A.D., ever. I don't recall ...
2
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0answers
19 views

What does ‘Kung mapatay di madeadball ’ mean?

In Nick Joaquin's story "Cándido's Apocalypse", the 17-year-old Bobby starts behaving rather strangely. After going "stowaway" and being brought back home, he wakes up the next ...
1
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0answers
24 views

What does 'por bida man guid' mean?

In Nick Joaquin's story "The Order of Melchizedek", Sid and Mrs. Borja are trying to retrieve a card that Sid had pushed down an edge of the upholstery in a taxi. The girl who has washed the ...
1
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1answer
30 views

Who are/were the man and woman in Nick Joaquin's “May Day Eve”?

Nick Joaquin's short story May Day Eve skips back and forth between different eras of time. There is the night after a party when a young woman and young man look in a mirror and meet each other; then,...
2
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1answer
73 views

Resources for determining the meter of a line in Shakespeare

Most of Shakespeare's plays are written in iambic pentameter,‎ which is part of what makes the verse so powerful.‎ However,‎ due to differences between different manuscripts of the text, and words ...
2
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0answers
19 views

Why does Richard step down in Shakespeare's Richard II

In Shakespeare's Richard II,‎ Henry Bolingbroke raises an army and comes to demand King Richard return his ancestral lands.‎ However,‎ he claims that if they are restored,‎ he will return to being a ...
7
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1answer
761 views

What does “It is not meet” mean in “Idylls of the King”?

From Idylls of the King: The Passing of Arthur by Alfred Tennyson: To him replied the bold Sir Bedivere: 'It is not meet, Sir King, to leave thee thus, Aidless, alone, and smitten through the helm— A ...
2
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1answer
181 views

Novel about a man who voluntarily has himself locked in another man's basement

I read a book about 15 years ago and I don't remember hardly any of the details at all. What I do remember of the plot is that a white man pays a black man a hefty sum of money in order to keep him ...
9
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1answer
1k views

Searching for a sci-fi short story: three robots sent as ambassadors to prevent an interplanetary war

I remember reading a short story about three robots sent as ambassadors to (I think) Mars. It was an attempt by Earth to prevent a Martian invasion or war. The robots arrived in a spaceship designed ...
1
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0answers
32 views

Was it usual for “Society” to be written with an initial capital?

From chapter 9 of The Just Men of Cordova (1917) by Edgar Wallace: The Earl of Verlond was a stickler for punctuality: a grim, bent old man, with a face that, so Society said, told eloquently the ...
2
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0answers
17 views

Is Rabindranth Tagore talking about the actual wave nature of light here in Gitanjali?

The Nobel prize winning work Gitanjali by Rabdinranath Tagore quotes: Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light Is he referring to the actual electromagnetic wave nature of ...
1
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0answers
33 views

Where is Napoleon during the battle of the cowshed?

In Animal Farm, where is Napoleon during the battle of the cowshed? Is this significant? Please explain in detail.
2
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1answer
23 views

What could “lavender-bag ancestors” mean in Ted Hughes' “Crow Improvises”?

In "Crow Improvises" (text version), the protagonist conjoins a list of disparate objects, where each pair of objects ignites a spark. Putting aside the symbolic meaning of each object, it ...
2
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0answers
37 views

Source of the Japanese story Joseph Campbell tells of a samurai spat upon in The Power of Myth

I'm searching for the source of the Japanese story of a samurai spat upon which Joseph Campbell relates in The Power of Myth. (Oddly, the book has no citation on this). . . . there is a story . . . ...
2
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1answer
27 views

Helen Keller quote about avoiding danger: context and meaning

I hope that's the right site to post this question. There's a famous quote of Helen Keller's: Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as ...
5
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0answers
62 views
+50

In Les Miserables, why can Javert be the judge of Fantine and why does Monsieur Madeleine have the power to stop him?

In Les Miserables, one of the Protagonists, Fantine, attacks a citizen on the open street after he insulted her and put snow in the back of her dress. She is then arrested by Javert, the local police ...
1
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0answers
37 views

In Animal Farm, what is the significance of the gun’s placement at the foot of the flagpole?

What is the significance of Mr. Jones's gun’s placement at the foot of the flagpole? Is there anything that this represents?
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Story about two men walking through the forest

This is a story (fable) that I remember reading or hearing when I was young (UK, probably between 2000-2010). It felt more like an older fable than a story written then in the 2000s. The part I ...
7
votes
2answers
840 views

Meaning of “Chaos” spoken by Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III)?

In Shakespeare's King Henry 6 part 3, we are truly introduced to that devilishly delightful Richard for the first time by means of his first and longest soliloquy wherein he introduces to the audience ...
6
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1answer
44 views

How can I clean a book and remove mold / stains?

I have a book from 1989 that I inherited recently. The cover and some of the pages have these dark stains and/or mold. It does not seem to have a bad odor (as far as I can tell). Is it possible to ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Poem about a joker with disorganized attire

[throughout this question by 'English' I only mean the 'language English' ] I remember from my childhood a English language poem from a middle/high school general English textbook (India). I can only ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

What is the message of Macbeth in terms of masculinity?

In class we talked about the inverse of gender roles in Macbeth. The only way for Lady Macbeth to gain power is through Macbeth using her rhetoric. But what about Macbeth? Do you think that the ...
2
votes
1answer
487 views

English translation of “I will not see the famous Phaedra”?

Is there is any professional English translation of "I will not see the famous Phaedra" (Я не увижу знаменитой «Федры») by Osip Mandelstam. Can anyone provide a link where it can be found.
2
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1answer
49 views

What's meant by “melancholy point work” in “The Just Men of Cordova”?

In chapter 6 of The Just Men of Cordova by Edgar Wallace, the author was describing a young boxer constable and his work under his bad superior. Frank Fellowe was agitating a punch-ball in one of the ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

What's with the dogs in Mark Strand's “Eating Poetry”?

In Mark Strand's poem "Eating Poetry", the first several lines appear to be about a person who has been consuming poetry - I interpreted this as metaphorical, "eating" poetry as in ...
2
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1answer
70 views

What are “deadly voids and unbidden infidelities” in “Moby-Dick”?

From chapter 7 ("The Chapel") of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville: Oh! ye whose dead lie buried beneath the green grass; who standing among flowers can say—here, here lies my beloved; ye know ...
4
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0answers
39 views

What do Connie's two navels represent?

Nick Joaquin's story "The Woman Who Had Two Navels" opens with the following words: When she told him she had two navels he believed her at once: (...) "She" is Connie de Vidal, ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Macbeth is a play about power, what quote demonstrates this?

One of the topics of Shakespeare's Macbeth is power. In the play, it has been demonstrated that one can use power to achieve what they want. I am unable to find good, powerful quotes to prove this ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Did Saruman exclusively want to mess with the Hobbits in the end of the third book?

As the hobbits are on the way home, they meet Saruman walking around, defeated and angry. When they finally get back to their home village(s), they find that they are utterly destroyed and turned into ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

What is “the Segregation of the Queen” in “His Last Bow”?

I’d like to ask about a sentence in "His Last Bow" by Arthur Conan Doyle. Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen. I’d like to make sure ...
3
votes
1answer
33 views

What is “the waste” and why is it “no whit lesser than thy land” in “Richard II”?‎

What do these lines mean, in Shakespeare's Richard II (act II, scene 1)? A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown, Whose compass is no bigger than thy head; And yet, incaged in so small a verge, ...
3
votes
1answer
29 views

Is there a published English translation of Muhammad Iqbal's “The Parliament of Satan”?

Muhammad Iqbal was a 19th-to-20th-century Muslim poet, philosopher, and politican, one of the most important figures in Urdu poetry and also influential in Farsi poetry, who received a British ...
2
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1answer
67 views

What is Watson's “old service” in “His Last Bow”?

I’d like to ask about a sentence in "His Last Bow" by Arthur Conan Doyle. As to you, Watson, you are joining us with your old service, as I understand, so London won’t be out of your way. ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Implication of “your four-in-hand takes the prize” in “His Last Bow”

I’d like to ask about a sentence in "His Last Bow" by Arthur Conan Doyle. You yacht against them, you hunt with them, you play polo, you match them in every game, your four-in-hand takes ...
4
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0answers
22 views

Is there a term for the boundaries of expectation as established by a story's narration?

I'd like to put a name to the group of expectations established by the narration of a story, including explicit framing devices, verb tense choices, and the narrator's omniscience. Examples: A story ...
8
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0answers
103 views

Can someone help me find the original Russian text of this review of Crime and Punishment?

In the introduction to Constance Garnett's translation of Crime and Punishment, she quotes this Russian critic: In the words of a Russian critic, who seeks to explain the feeling inspired by ...

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