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Meaning of “What is in here?”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner What is this, thought Vicki. What is in here? It is a warehouse, it has no walls or rooms. There is a row of windows, each one shaped like an ...
2
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1answer
13 views

The Turn of the Screw: Arguments in favour of the governess being a reliable narrator

I'm writing an essay in which I have to outline arguments both for and against the reliability of the governess in The Turn of the Screw. There are endless sources arguing that she is unreliable but ...
2
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0answers
20 views

Tragedy About Bear Whose Mom Died

Trigger warning: story deals with death, depression, graphic abuse of animals. I haven't been able to find this short story. I don't recall if I heard it as part of a podcast or read it online. I came ...
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22 views

What is meant when light is described as 'metallic'? [migrated]

I have seen this used quite a few times in novels. Two examples are: Molasses buckets appeared from nowhere, and the CEILING DANCED WITH METALLIC LIGHT. -To Kill a Mockingbird Aureliano...sitting ...
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0answers
24 views

What are some good novels on unfulfilled desires [closed]

I have read " A House for Mr. Biswas" and I am quite influenced by it. The story about a man's desire for his home is quite touching and intimate for me. The house that he desires, doesn't ...
2
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0answers
47 views

Is Jules Verne making fun of the English in Around the World?

I just began reading Verne's Around the "World in Eighty Days and Phileas Fogg had just fired his servant for giving him warm water that was by 2 Fahrenheit degrees off (roughly 1 Celsius degree)....
10
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2answers
2k views

Why was Fontane's copy of Thackeray's Vanity Fair confiscated by English customs?

When Theodor Fontane travelled to London in September 1855, the three volumes of his copy of William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair were confiscated by customs. As far as I can tell, Vanity Fair ...
2
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2answers
49 views

What's the meaning of “catching or missing something” in this sentence from “A Stoic” by John Galsworthy?

I'm translating a novel by John Galsworthy, A Stoic, written at the beginning of the XX century (full text on Project Gutenberg), and I've come across a sentence I’m finding quite tricky to understand:...
2
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0answers
20 views

In Effi Briest, what is the meaning and significance of a “wide field”?

I noticed a similar phrase recurring twice in the conversation between Effi's parents in Chapter V of Theodor Fontane's Effi Briest, which I'm reading online: Miss Hulda had clinked her glass too ...
10
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2answers
770 views

Is there a term for epic poetry’s detailed, successive introductions of multiple characters?

I’ve noticed a topos in a few epic poems I’ve read where a long list of characters is given, each receiving practically a paragraph of description. In The Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, Jason’s ...
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27 views

Why does Sir Harry like Matthias's poem and not Basil's?

In Mattimeo, Chapter 29, the rescuers' party encounters Sir Harry, an owl who speaks in poetry for much of his dialogue. For one example, this is how he introduces himself: "Why, pray, do you ...
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1answer
33 views

Meaning of the dialog in bold and “sour street light”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Up there under the leafless vine they were talking. Vicki saw their breath. From the angles of their bodies she could tell they were arguing. ...
7
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1answer
516 views

Where in the New York City metro area does Ludwik live?

In Tomasz Jedrowski's Swimming in the Dark, set in the early 1980s, the narrator, Ludwik, commutes to midtown Manhattan for work. The text makes clear that he has to cross a river to get there: This ...
4
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1answer
45 views

What does “perverse madonna” mean?

What is a "perverse madonna"? In the short story "The Boarding House" by James Joyce, Polly is compared to a "perverse madonna". Polly was a slim girl of nineteen; she ...
3
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2answers
332 views

Meaning of “Now things can only get better” and “starry cold” in the passage below

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Dexter emptied his bowl for the last time, then lifted it in both hands and licked it out, pushing his face right into it. There was soup on ...
2
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0answers
51 views

Why did Victor Pelevin's books fail to get such popularity as they had in Russia? [closed]

Victor Pelevin is presumably the most best-selling contemporary writer in Russia. Several of his books have been translated to English, but none of them became even slightly popular among the Western ...
3
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2answers
73 views

Explanation of a pargraph from “Five Children and It”

I can't understand this paragraph from Five Children and It. What does it mean? Please explain. The shadows got longer and longer, and at last there were no separate shadows any more, but one soft ...
2
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0answers
28 views

What was Briest implying with his “Very true, very true”?

In Theodor Fontane's Effi Briest, which I'm reading online, an exchange between Effi and her mother in Chapter IV seems to betray Effi's lack of love for her fiance Innstetten. Later, in Chapter V, ...
12
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1answer
1k views

What are the “torch dance” and “garter dance”, in 19th-century Germany?

From Theodor Fontane's Effi Briest, which I'm reading online, during the wedding of Effi and Innstetten in Chapter V: The dancing had continued till three o'clock, with the effect that Briest, who ...
4
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64 views

Identification of a Maupassant short story where a young man is upset by the past infidelities of his mistress

In a short story by Maupassant, a young man is upset by the past infidelities of his mistress, a rather paradoxical situation since he came much later after the infidelities (and somehow benefited ...
4
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0answers
41 views

How does Bacchus fit into the Christian allegory of Narnia?

The setting and story of The Chronicles of Narnia are strongly linked to Christianity: Aslan, who sacrifices himself for a traitor in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe before returning to life, ...
2
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1answer
89 views

Which Maupassant short stories are set during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870?

I read somewhere that Maupassant wrote ten short stories on the 1870 war between France and Prussia. I know "Boule de suif", "Deux amis", "Un duel", "Madame Sauvage&...
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1answer
24 views

Why would Derry's mother not allow Derry to go back to Mr. Lamb?

In the play "On the Face of It", why did Derry's mother not allow Derry to go back to Mr. Lamb? What had she heard and been warned about Mr. Lamb from others?
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114 views

Was Ewing Klipspringer supposed to be a gay character in “The Great Gatsby”?

Was Ewing Klipspringer supposed to be a gay character in "The Great Gatsby"? My theory is that he is gay, considering there is textual evidence, and that he lives in Gatsby's home. Here are ...
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29 views

Recommendation of books on reversal of fortune of communities in post-colonial societies? [closed]

I am an economist and I am finishing writing a study in which I argue that the economic conditions of ex-slaves in Brazil were not very different from European immigrants in the first years after ...
3
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1answer
156 views

How can a farmstead be situated in its paddock?

In The Markenmore Mystery (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, the author was describing Markenmore village: Markenmore was a place of tiny thatched cottages, set in gardens and orchards, with here and there a ...
3
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1answer
54 views

“You have to take pains so the goods won't go off” from The Witcher

I am reading The Witcher - The Tower of Swallow in English and I would like to know what the following phrase means: He ordered the people who had gathered to bring him a sack of salt and a keg of ...
1
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1answer
103 views

What does “a star” symbolize here?

Each morning gives thee wings to flee from hell, Each night a star to guide thy feet to heaven. This verse has been taken from the poem "Opportunity" by Walter Malone. What does "a ...
3
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0answers
24 views

What did the students at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind think of “Redwall”?

The Redwall series was originally written by Jacques for the students of the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind. This is pretty well documented, from the official website (click on "About Brian&...
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63 views

Second person narrative [closed]

Are there any notable works narrated in the second person? The only ones I can think of are "Choose your own adventure" storybooks from the 1980s
8
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1answer
2k views

How was the free-born Englishman prevented from taking his ease in his inn in 1922?

In The Markenmore Mystery (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, Blick, a detective who had booked rooms at "Sceptre Inn", which belonged to Grimsdale, was cheerful after reaching an important conclusion....
10
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2answers
495 views

What is the meaning of “the drumstick” in this novel by John Galsworthy?

I'm translating a novel by John Galsworthy, A Stoic, written at the beginning of the 20th century (full text on Project Gutenberg), and I've come across this peculiar use of the word “drumstick”: ...
2
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1answer
35 views

Why is the gesture of the rebel noble in “The Man with the Scar”?

In the William Somerset Maugham short story "The Man with the Scar", the general considers the gesture of the rebel as a noble gesture. I don't understand why. He killed his love, the girl ...
2
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1answer
61 views

What is the meaning of the sentence “You are--aren't you?” in this novel by John Galsworthy?

I'm translating a novel by John Galsworthy, A Stoic, written at the beginning of the XX century (full text on Project Gutenberg), and I've come across a sentence I’m finding quite tricky to understand:...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Is there any significance in the cry “Euan, euan, eu-oi-oi-oi” in Prince Caspian?

In Prince Caspian, there's a passage where Aslan apparently uses his power to summon up the spirit of Old Narnia, leading to the eventual defeat of the Telmarines with very little bloodshed. A wild ...
2
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1answer
37 views

What is the meaning of “your first interest” in this novel by John Galsworthy?

I'm translating a novel by John Galsworthy, A Stoic, written at the beginning of the XX century (full text on Project Gutenberg), and I've come across a sentence I’m finding quite tricky to understand:...
3
votes
1answer
27 views

What is the meaning of “the least bit” in these affirmative clauses by John Galsworthy?

I'm translating a novel by John Galsworthy, A Stoic, written at the beginning of the XX century (full text on Project Gutenberg), and I've come across a sentence I’m finding quite tricky to understand:...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Meaning of “Low down on the sky was a narrow band of apricot, all that was left of the daylight.”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner The hostess at the open door showed her teeth. Vicki came out into the world. She saw the man beside Elizabeth and slowed down. That couldn’t ...
5
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1answer
59 views

Can “access and excess” be antonyms in this context?

In The Markenmore Mystery (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, Blick, a detective-sergeant, was thinking about the way by which someone had entered and left Markenmore district. Firstly he studied the railways ...
1
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1answer
47 views

What is the significance of Derry opening the gate panting despite it being “always open”?

In On the Face of It by Susan Hill, Lamb says that the gate is always open and he does not like closing things [Dialogues of scene 1]. But then, why does Derry open the gate panting (Scene 3)? What is ...
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0answers
27 views

How did the Cutty Wren come to be the national anthem of Tristan da Cunha?

The Cutty Wren, a traditional English folk song, is the "territorial song" (like national anthem for a British Overseas Territory?) of Tristan da Cunha, one of the remotest islands on earth ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

What is the figure of speech used in this part of “Cataract Operation”?

What is the figure of speech used in these lines taken from the Simon Armitage poem "Cataract Operation"? the olé of a crimson towel. the cancan of a ra ra skirt, the monkey business of a ...
0
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1answer
27 views

Meaning of “he’d go down between sets and find her”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner They stopped at the gate lounge. The door opened. ‘Here she comes,’ said Elizabeth. ‘Which one is she?’ said Dexter. The man walking behind ...
11
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1answer
2k views

What is so special about a fruit being in season for eight days?

In chapter Four of The Time Machine, the Time Traveller states: But the fruits were very delightful; one, in particular, that seemed to be in season all the time I was there — a floury thing in a ...
3
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0answers
24 views

When/where was “Mem and Zin” first compared to “Romeo and Juliet”?

Mem and Zin is a Kurdish classic love story written down in 1692 and is based on a true story, laid down from generation to generation through oral tradition. It appears to be often compared to ...
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0answers
30 views

A man is in court because a company wants his prostheses back

I forgot the title of the short story. It is about a man who is in court because of his prostheses. If I remember correctly he was a famous motorbiker. A company wants all his prostheses back, because ...
1
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1answer
37 views

What does “Might be a good deal in that” mean in “The Markenmore Mystery”?

In The Markenmore Mystery (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, the chief constable was talking to two lawyers about a stranger man who had gone to "Sceptre Inn" and booked a room there, but he never ...
4
votes
1answer
724 views

At what time did the time travel journey begin?

At the end of Chapter Two of The Time Machine, when the Time Traveller provides the brief summary of his journey he says: I was in my laboratory at four o'clock, and since then... I've lived eight ...
6
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2answers
1k views

In musical theatre, what does “book by” mean?

In musical theatre, what does "book by" mean? For example, the Bonnie and Clyde 2012 musical has a book by Ivan Menchell. Bonnie & Clyde is a musical with music by Frank Wildhorn, ...
3
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1answer
213 views

What does “His business here that night might have been just as much with those two men as with his brother and sister” mean here?

In "The Markenmore Mystery" (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, the chief constable was talking to two lawyers about Guy Markenmore who had been murdered two days ago after his meeting with two men at ...

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