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2
votes
0answers
25 views

Story ID: a woman missing the train and living among strangers

I would like your help to find a story I read some years ago. What I remember about the story is that it's set in a western style world in the 1800 century probably in USA. The story begins by ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What does Victor Hugo mean by “the red ant heaps of Toulon”?

In his novel "The Last Day of a Condemned Man", Victor Hugo writes the following sequence in reference to poor people who turn to crime out of hunger: Unfortunate beings, whom, by means of ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

The relevance of “El Consejo De Los Dioses” by José Rizal

José Rizal's play "El Consejo de los Dioses" (The Council of the Gods) uncovered some relative aspects covering the social components of the western humanistic viewpoint, (that human beings ...
5
votes
1answer
47 views

What is “the Dennington Velasquez” in “The Just Men of Cordova”?

In chapter 2 of The Just Men of Cordova by Edgar Wallace, the author was describing a young constable and very rich man in London: “Constable Fellowe, the man of whom I have complained, had the good ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

What is the English name for “Bilbo Secker”, and why is Bilbo Baggins apparently “alternatively” called that?

When Frodo is leaving Rivendell for home, Bilbo gives him a bunch of notes which are signed "B. S." (in the Swedish translation), or "B.B." in the English original, for Bilbo... S? ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

Old Eagle Novel - Was Northbrook Boarding or Day School?

I recently acquired an old novel by Peter Ling, based on the now defunct Eagle comic. Entitled, The Three Js and the Pride of Northbrook, it followed the adventures of three boys whose first names all ...
7
votes
1answer
108 views

Why does Poe's “Arthur Gordon Pym” become so Technical and Scientific all of a sudden?

I was re-reading Edgar Allen Poe's magnificently disturbing novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, this last month and began to wonder why suddenly, starting with Chapter 14 and going ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Book about kids riding a flying snake in a magical realm

I read an English-language novel in the mid-2000s about a group of 2 or 3 kids, probably siblings and/or cousins. I think they travel from out of town to a relative's home in the southern United ...
32
votes
5answers
11k views

Why is Aragorn so weird to Pippin when they make their final farewell before going back to the Shire?

But the Palantir of Orthanc the King will keep, to see what is passing in his realm, and what his servants are doing. For do not forget, Peregrin Took, that you are a knight of Gondor, and I do not ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Where is the “unborable” quote in The Pale King?

I'm a big fan of The Pale King by David Foster Wallace. I remember a favorite quote somewhere in the text that goes something like the key to life is being unborable...and he met two such men in the ...
4
votes
2answers
792 views

The Brothers Karamazov - What is “The Bell”?

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Book X, Chapter IV Long will you remember The house at the Chain bridge. Do you remember? It's splendid. Why are you laughing? You don't suppose I am ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

The Brothers Karamazov - When was Russia saved before?

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Book VI, Chapter 3 And how suprised men would be if I were to say that from these meek monks, who yearn for solitary prayer, the salvation of Russia will ...
5
votes
1answer
568 views

The Brothers Karamazov - What is the “Chain bridge”?

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Book X, Chapter IV I say this only to you. I am not at all anxious to fall into the clutches of the secret police and take lessons at the Chain bridge. ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Louise Glück's “Vespers”

The following poem "Vespers" comes from The Wild Iris, a 1992 book of poetry written by Louise Glück, the 2020 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. In your extended absence, you permit ...
3
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0answers
31 views

Emily Jane Pfeiffer’s “To the Blind Architect of the City of Life”

Emily Jane Pfeiffer’s sonnet ‘To the Blind Architect of the City of Life, whose Humble Homes are the Creatures of Earth, Water, and Air, and whose “Meeting-House” is Man’ was first published in Littel’...
0
votes
2answers
177 views

Examples of Zeus's Immoral Nature [closed]

In The Odyssey, Zeus happily allows Poseidon to turn a ship into stone, killing everyone aboard. I think it's safe to say most people alive today would consider this immoral. What are some other ...
2
votes
1answer
23 views

In Tagore's “Along the Way”, who is the entity that the “your touch” is referring to?

Rabindranath Tagore's "Along the Way" several times refers to "your touch", such as in this first stanza: As I walk along my way I receive your touch Now and then But I don’t know ...
4
votes
1answer
30 views

Why do the prayers stop in Tagore's “A Dream”?

At the end of Rabindranath Tagore's "A Dream", there's one part (the ending) that goes like this: At the gate The lamp went out In the temple On the banks of Shipra The prayers stopped. ...
1
vote
2answers
21 views

What does “half-primitive vigor” mean?

In the short story The Planet of the Dead by Clark Ashton Smith, I would like to understand the meaning of "half-primitive vigor": He had lived as an intellectual sybarite; and by virtue of ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Seeking Title and Poet of Post WWI poem closing with “If there is no reward for devotion such as this, I'll take my chances in hell”

I'm seeking the title/author of a 1920-30s poem, closing with the phrase: If there is no reward for devotion such as this, I'll take my chances in hell. The narrator being a soldier returned from ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

Why does “City of Blinding Lights” say that blessings go to both those who pray and those who steal?

The song City of Blinding Lights by U2 contains the following verse: In the city of blinding lights, The more you know The less you feel Some pray for, others steal Blessings not just for the ones ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

What is the meaning and significance of “urubutinga” in Mário de Andrade's “O lundu do escritor difícil”

The title is suggestive enough to elicit an understanding that Andrade probably purposefully made this poem difficult to read for people who are not familiar with Tupi culture. A conscious effort of ...
4
votes
2answers
94 views

In the Brothers Karamazov, did Dostoyevsky take those characters out of real life?

In the novel The Brothers Karamazov, did the writer take those characters out of real life? Or did he just build the characters with time?
3
votes
1answer
150 views

What are “rubber notations” in “The Just Men of Cordova”?

In chapter 2 of The Just Men of Cordova by Edgar Wallace, the author was describing a business man in London: His was a name to conjure with in certain circles. In others it was never mentioned. The ...
2
votes
0answers
15 views

What does “raised waves in my mind” mean in Tagore's “At the End of the Day”?

In Rabindranath Tagore's "At the End of the Day", there's one stanza that goes like this: To you I only pray – Before I go let me know Looking at the sky Why mother earth so green Gave me a ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Identify book about a guy in his late teens/early twenties who goes to live with a family to tutor their teenage son

I can't remember the name of a book about a guy in his late teens/early twenties who goes to live with a family to tutor their teenage son. Subsequently, the guy/tutor has an affair with the mother, ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

What does Edgar Allan Poe mean by “supererogation is not presumable of any Divine Act”?

I am reading Edgar Allan Poe's Eureka: A Prose Poem, "an essay on the material and spiritual universe". I have come across a sentence where I can't get what the author is trying to say. It ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

Why was the narrator left alone on the shore in Tagore's “Sonar Tari”?

Rabindranath Tagore's poem 'Sonar Tari', written in Bengali, was translated into English as 'The Golden Boat'. The last stanza reads: ঠাঁই নাই, ঠাঁই নাই! ছােট সে তরী আমারি সােনার ধানে গিয়েছে ভরি’। ...
3
votes
0answers
13 views

Who is Tagore's “Cruel Kindness” addressed to?

Rabindranath Tagore's "Cruel Kindness" is written in the second person, addressing a "you": I seek so many things with all my heart But you have saved me denying. All through my ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

Why does the narrator in Tagore's story call the Cabuliwallah's daughter “Parbati”?

In Rabindranath Tagore's "The Cabuliwallah", Rahmun, the eponymous Cabuliwallah, has come to Calcutta to make a living selling nuts and dried fruits from his native Afghanistan. In lieu of a ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

Why does the narrator specify which psalms are being said at the meal in Agnon's “The Kerchief”?

In section 9 of S. Y. Agnon's short story "The Kerchief", the narrator / protagonist gives us the scene at the Shabbat lunch meal: When I came back with Father from the small prayer room ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Is there a commonly accepted way to measure the relative “popularity” of Shakespeare plays?

A mention in this answer of the "popularity" of Richard III, compared with some of Shakespeare's other history plays, made me wonder if this claim can be quantified. Of course there are ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

“Yum yum pig's bum”

I saw a vernacular poem that appears to have been passed down and passed around in various parts of the UK. A couple of different versions: Yum yum Pig's bum Wrap it up In chewing gum Have a slice ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Identify an instance of theatricality and analyse its significance in Lady Audley’s Secret

Lady Audley’s Secret (1862) is a novel by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. It has been adapted for the stage several times. However, I would like to find an instance of theatricality in the novel itself and ...
3
votes
2answers
60 views

Should Henry 6, Part 3 be read prior to reading Richard III?

For context, this reading is entirely devoted to pleasure. I am not analyzing (academically) nor performing the plays, and my desire to read the plays derive completely from my profound affection ...
7
votes
2answers
92 views

Why is love a “he” to Kahlil Gibran?

Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love. And he raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said: When love beckons to you, follow him, ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Why does the bow have to be stable in “The Prophet”?

I find the poetic imaginary in this verse from kind of disturbing: And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children. And he said: Your children are not your children. They ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Can you identify this poem about axolotl, fish, salamander

I have some lines from my dad's favourite poem, but they’re jumbled as he was 94. The lines may not be in the correct order. He couldn’t remember the writer, and several internet searches have not ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

What is a Pehliva?

The word "Pehliva" is used several times in the third part of the Shahnameh (Helen Zimmern translation), particularly to refer to Sam/Saum, apparently a ruler in Seistan (which I thought ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

What is the meaning of the Benjamin the donkey's cryptic answer?

George Orwell's Animal Farm contains the following passage in chapter 3: When asked whether he was not happier now that Jones was gone, he would say only “Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ...
2
votes
2answers
215 views

Why is Minas Tirith called “Gondor” in Return of the King by king Théoden?

As I understand it, Gondor is the big country where a lot of important stuff happens. Minas Tirith, with its series of walls going in circles, is simply the main city of Gondor. The capital if you ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

What does “heavily-leaded” mean in “The Funeral Pyre”?

In "The Funeral Pyre" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Gervis and Thorndyke were at the station where they found the bookstall keeper in the act of sticking up a placard of ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

Harry Potter German translation - use of word “Eingeweide”

I am currently reading (aloud with my kids) the German translation of the Harry Potter series and I am a bit surprised that the German word 'Eingeweide' is used so often. 'Entrails', 'guts', 'bowels' ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

In the end, was no one loyal to Macbeth and willing to fight for him, and why?

At the end of Shakespeare's play Macbeth, when England invaded Scotland, was no one left to fight for Macbeth? I was wondering why? I also can't find good quotes to prove this point.
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Who said that when you know something, it is hard to pretend not to know?

There is a famous quote that I forget the reference. The saying is similar to "when you know something, it is hard to pretend not to know." A similar saying from Ludwig Wittgenstein is ...
-1
votes
0answers
44 views

What are the thematic similarities between Macbeth and Watchmen, specifically relating to the “tragic hero” theme

I’m trying to research themes that Watchmen by Alan Moore and Macbeth by William Shakespeare have in common - and they should all lead into the central theme of “tragic hero”. Edit: I’m looking at all ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Looking for a famous quote by William Wordsworth probably relevant to the concept of the Anthropocene

I've talked to someone who studied English literature and the concept of Anthropocene recently, and the person quoted Wordsworth during our conversation. Unfortunately I can not remember the quote, ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

What is “the seventh sphere”?

In the second part (Helen Zimmern's translation) of the Shahnameh, the youngest son Irij is killed by his brothers, who send his head back to their father Feridoun: Now when they were come to the ...
0
votes
0answers
6 views

How do I add technical exposition in my fiction novel? [migrated]

I have written a fiction novel about an adolescent who commits suicide. The story explores the childhood abuse from her father that pushed her to suicide, what she and her mother have done to try to ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Was it common that the bridges of ditches or creeks had guarding gates in 1924?

In "The Funeral Pyre" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman (1924), Thorndyke found a dental plate of a dead man by a gate at the crossing of a ditch, and he wanted to know ...

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