All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4
votes
1answer
46 views

King on a Boat Ride Hears a Sound, Oarsman vs. Advisor Efficiency in Determining

I remember a story about a king riding in a boat. It was in English. His oarsman is complaining about rowing, and all the hard work he is doing. They get to where they are going, get ready to go to ...
3
votes
2answers
426 views

What does “hawk” mean in the context below?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Over the back fence, nearer the creek, lived an old couple whom Dexter and Athena had never seen but whom they referred to as Mister and ...
3
votes
2answers
73 views

What is meant by “Nysa” in the Lusiads?

The following verse appears in Book 1 of The Lusiads (William Mickle's translation, 1877 edition; emphasis mine): So spoke high Jove: the gods in silence heard, Then rising, each by turns his ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Meaning of “Like half the rest of the world, if more than half there be that are clever and good, Marianne … was neither reasonable nor candid.”

This passage is from Chapter 31 of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, where Elinor contemplates the deficiency of sense and sensibility in Marianne, made evident by Elinor had not needed this to be ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

In The Blue Cross, what is the mailbag trick?

From the Father Brown story "The Blue Cross": It was he who had kept up an unaccountable and close correspondence with a young lady whose whole letter-bag was intercepted, by the ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

What meter are “I lik the bred” poems in?

I'm trying to determine the meter of "i lik the bred" poems: "i lik the bred" is a series of short poems about a domesticated cow written by British author Sam Garland, better ...
5
votes
1answer
45 views

Political Allegory in Shepheardes Calendar

In Edmund Spenser's The Shepheard's Calendar, which political allegory seems more appropriate in May Eclogue's Fox and Kid fable? According to Mary Parmenter, the Fox is Esme Stuart, Duke of Aubigny, ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

Why was “a world” used in this sentence of Melville?

I cannot make much sense of "a world" in the following passage from Moby-Dick: There’s your law of precedents; there’s your utility of traditions; there’s the story of your obstinate ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Meaning of “he used it to knit meaning into the mess of everything”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by by Helen Garner Had Dexter and Elizabeth thought of each other during this time? Of course they had, Dexter more than Elizabeth, not because of any ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

Where is Thisby in The Scorpio Races?

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is a novel set in Thisby, a fictional island whose main town is called Skarmouth. The whole thing has a very Scottish or Irish feel, and the phrase capaill uisce ...
6
votes
0answers
29 views

Does Aldonza Lorenzo appear as a real character in Don Quixote?

I just finished Don Quixote and I'm confused about the status of "Aldonza Lorenzo" the peasant. Obviously, "Dulcinea of Toboso" is a figment of Don Quixote's imagination, but ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

What do “Háni" and “Sons éso tse-ná” mean in Brave New World?

What do “Háni" and “Sons éso tse-ná” mean in Brave New World? I know they sound unreal, but I was curious if there is an actual meaning behind these two phrases.
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Who are the The Sixteen Sexophonists in Brave New World?

In Brave New World, sky - signs feature a name of a band(?) called The Sixteen Sexophonists. Is the word Sexophonists a play on words by the author, and if so, what is the joke?
3
votes
2answers
73 views

In what way can a utility coat be a mockery in a Ted Hughes' “Crow” poem?

In Ted Hughes' Examination at the Womb-door (of the Crow collection), Crow's organs are listed with certain kinds of descriptions (bold is mine): Examination at the Womb-door Who owns these scrawny ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a “three-part moon”?

This is from Book 2, Chapter 23 of Salamandastron. Samkin, Arula, and Spriggat are sneaking at night into a vermin camp, planning to steal back the sword of Martin the Warrior. Under a burgeoning ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

Meaning of “to conduct the ordinary business of their lives”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner How strange it is that in a city the size of Melbourne it is possible for two people who have lived almost as sister and brother for five ...
3
votes
0answers
20 views

Was Esther Summerson pleasantly surprised or otherwise at being presented the housekeeping keys of Bleak House?

In Chapter VI of Bleak House, Esther Summerson, Ada Clare and Richard Carstone are just arrived at Bleak House and introduced to John Jarndyce. A conversation touching on the Jellybys, the east wind, ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

As good as Brian Jacques or your money back?

Back in the mid-2000s, I read two books of Garry Kilworth's Welkin Weasels series, a set of two trilogies about anthropomorphised mustelids, one trilogy set in a version of medieval England and the ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

How can “Salamandastron” be considered “In the Tradition of 'Watership Down'”?

I dug up a copy of Salamandastron and noticed something about the cover: On the U.S. PB cover is: In the Tradition of Watership Down I know the definition of "in the tradition of" having ...
2
votes
1answer
14 views

What does “the folds of every garment would have the inevitability and definitiveness of syllogisms carved in porphyry” mean?

This is a paragraph in Huxley's novel Ape and Essence, talking about a painting by Piero Della Francesca: For all their silken softness, the folds of every garment would have the inevitability and ...
18
votes
1answer
5k views

No mayonnaise in Ireland?

Apparently there is some kind of running joke about John Donne's famous line "No man is an island", prose sometimes quoted as poetry, being misquoted as "No mayonnaise in Ireland". ...
9
votes
5answers
5k views

Is “I'm glad you think it's funny” meant sarcastically or literally?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner. At night, when they had put the children to bed, Athena and Dexter walked. They were ruthless about going, and would barely even check that ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Journalist travels to Germany to research a WWII woman, someone named Miriam is involved

I'm really hoping my meager description will be enough to ID this book. It was a pretty small book located in the nonfiction section of my local public library, in the US. I read it during 2015/2016, ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Incerto by Nassim Nicholas Taleb - What is the Sixth Book?

Some search results show Amazon displaying Incerto by Nassim Nicholas Taleb as a six book series. However, following the links indicates that Incerto is now a five book series. I believe I have seen ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

English translation of “Encargo”

Is there an English translation of "Encargo" by Julio Cortázar? I've not been able to find one online.
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Where does Tomyris promise to retreat?

I'm trying to understand this passage in Herodotus's Histories (Book 1 chapter 208): So these opinions contended; and Cyrus set aside his former plan and chose that of Croesus; wherefore he bade ...
4
votes
1answer
38 views

What's the significance of the “Invocation to the muses of the Tagus”?

In the fourth stanza of Book I of an English translation of Os Lusíadas (The Lusiads), the narrator speaks to the "fair nymphs of Tagus" And you, fair nymphs of Tagus, parent stream, If e’...
4
votes
1answer
287 views

What are nuts and super-nuts in Saki's “Beasts and Super-Beasts”?

In Saki's Beasts and Super-Beasts (http://www.gutenberg.org/files/269/269-h/269-h.htm) he refers to "Nuts" and "Super-Nuts". For example, we have “You are not going to be what ...
8
votes
1answer
280 views

Origin of the story of Gilbert and the Saracen maid

A popular legend about the parents of Thomas Becket (1118–1170), Archbishop of Canterbury, is retold by Charles Dickens in A Child's History of England: Once upon a time, a worthy merchant of London, ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Where are the conjunctions and prepositions here?

In "The Markenmore Mystery" (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, the author was talking about a solicitor who was summoned to an ancient house, Markenmore Court, where an inquest was to be held after ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

What do the yellow banners in Edgar Allan Poe's “The Haunted Palace” symbolize?

The story "The Fall of the House of Usher" by Edgar Allan Poe contains a poem, "The Haunted Palace", which starts like this: In the greenest of our valleys,     By good angels ...
8
votes
2answers
593 views

What might “And God, for a Frontier.” mean in “I am afraid to own a Body—”?

I don't understand the second stanza of I am afraid to own a Body— by Emily Dickinson. Double Estate—entailed at pleasure Upon an unsuspecting Heir— Duke in a moment of Deathlessness And God, for a ...
6
votes
1answer
194 views

Where is St. Lawrence island in Africa, mentioned in Os Lusíadas

Os Lusíadas chapter 1 verse 42 mentions a certain Saint Lawrence island in Africa. But this name doesn't seem to be used in modern times. What island or other geographical location does this refer ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “skimmish” mean, in this eye dialect?

This is perhaps a surprising instalment in my sequence of Watership Down questions, being about human dialect and nothing to do with rabbits at all. Of course, it comes from the chapter "Dea ex ...
0
votes
0answers
73 views

Book about a girl who was rich and moves in with a family where she learns how to bake and make silk

I'm looking for a book that is about a girl who seems to have been rich at one time and has to move in with a family where she learns how to do chores and baking from scratch and making silk out of ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Which passages in Manuel de Faria e Sousa's commentary on The Lusiads caused his temporary incarceration by the Inquisition?

The Wikipedia article about The Lusiads tells us that Manuel de Faria e Sousa wrote a commentary about the work in the 17th century. Published after Sousa's death[a], the work was originally written ...
2
votes
0answers
47 views

What is this children's/young adult book with an abandoned house and a scarab beetle?

This is a young adult/children's book read some time around 2004, in English. Unfortunately no recollection of the cover. Remembered details are: a boy is on vacation, or perhaps has moved, in a hot, ...
3
votes
0answers
27 views

Is burning a theme in Jude the Obscure?

While researching to answer another Jude the Obscure question, I found a list of homework assignments related to this novel, in which the following one caught my eye: Three times objects are burned --...
5
votes
0answers
54 views

How does the trans community view Gore Vidal's *Myra Breckinridge*?

Gore Vidal's Myra Breckinridge (1968) was perhaps the first major novel in English to have a transgender protagonist. Myra, née Myron, undergoes gender confirmation surgery. In order to retain Myron's ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

The earliest novel with a robot who isn't “human enough”

Thomas Jones, writing about the Kazuo Ishiguro novel Klara and the Sun, says: Ishiguro doesn’t get tangled up in the complexities of neural networks, machine learning, algorithms or the difficulties ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

What does asking how to write songs with millions of views have to do with the rest of the song in “אלוף העולם”?

The last verse in Hanan Ben Ari's "אלוף העולם" (Aluf HaOlam / Champion of the World) goes like this: אני אלוף העולם בלפצות להתנצל ולרצות לחטוא, להתנקות לחשוף, להתכסות תגידי, איך כותבים ...
6
votes
1answer
53 views

Identify a children's story about a little girl who collected items, had a monster in the basement, and solved a dog-napping mystery!

I read this children's book about 5 years ago, it was a small, charming little book. It probably was published in the past 10 years. It was in Afrikaans, but I'm fairly certain it was a translation ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

When and why did “No man is an island” start being regarded as a poem?

John Donne's "Meditation XVII" from Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624) includes the following well-known passage: No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Symbolism in William Blake's The House of Death is unclear to me

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/blake-the-house-of-death-n05060 While I'm asking about a colour print it's as much about Blake's poetry. I haven't been able to find much analysis of this ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Meaning of “Dexter walked with a bandy, rapid gait. They kept pace easily, not touching.”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Dexter walked with a bandy, rapid gait. They kept pace easily, not touching. They covered miles each night in the dark, sometimes heading east ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

What does the “justness of characters” mean?

What does the “justness of characters” mean? In the dedication of his play The Way of the World William Congreve says the following about the ancient Roman playwright Terence: "The purity of his ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Were all the Redwall songs created by Brian Jacques, or based on some real songs?

Brian Jacques's Redwall stories contain a huge number of songs: marching songs, drinking songs, campfire songs, feast songs, all of them different and none repeated from one book to another (as far as ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “But… They went home” mean in Maya Angelou's “They Went Home”?

Maya Angelou's "They Went Home" opens like this: They went home and told their wives, that never once in all their lives, had they known a girl like me, But... They went home. The end of ...
3
votes
0answers
27 views

When was Mem and Zin / Mam û Zîn first printed?

Wikipedia describes Mem and Zin as a Kurdish classic love story written down in 1692 (...). In other words, it was written down roughly two-and-a-half centuries after Johannes Gutenberg invented the ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

How does Resa becoming a swift reflect on her character in “Inkdeath”?

In Inkdeath, the third book in the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke, Resa uses seeds that turn the user into an animal. In Resa's case, she turns into a swift: It was easy to fly, so easy. The ...

15 30 50 per page
1
2
3 4 5
92