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3
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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
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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
57 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
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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
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0answers
30 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
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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
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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
134 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
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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
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0answers
28 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
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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 ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Translation of Onomasticon by Julius Pollux of Naucratis

Is there an English translation of the Onomasticon by Julius Pollux of Naucratis?
1
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0answers
11 views

Is Blevins in All the Pretty Horses the modern-day version of Blood Meridian's The Kid?

Both The Kid and Blevins are not evil but at the same time extremely dangerous young men (of roughly the same age) on their own due to the death of their fathers. It seems pretty likely that if ...
6
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1answer
304 views

Is there evidence that “Marlfox” actually occurred?

While doing some research for an answer, I discovered the Redwall series book Marlfox. At the end of the book, there is a meta-note: Curtain! This narrative has been edited by Florian Dugglewoof ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Meaning of “the boy who is turned towards the drama of his parents’ faces.”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Dexter found, in a magazine, a photograph of the poet Tennyson, his wife and their two sons walking in the garden of their house on the Isle ...
4
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1answer
108 views

Do ALL of the Redwall books include the death of a major character?

I read most of Brian Jacques's Redwall books in the 2000s, and one of the things I always noticed was how seemingly every book has at least one major character die: for example, Am I right in saying ...
1
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0answers
23 views

Which version of William Blake's “Jerusalem” did John Reith recite to celebrate the end of the General Strike?

In his 1PM radio broadcast on 12 May 1926, John Reith, managing director of the BBC, recited William Blake's "Jerusalem" to celebrate the end of the General Strike which had lasted for nine ...
5
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0answers
93 views

Has any writer claimed that Hector, not Achilles, is the true hero of the Iliad?

From his farewell to his wife Andromache in Book VI to the splendid description of his funeral with the which the epic concludes, Hector exhibits many of the hallmarks of the archetypal protagonist of ...
-2
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0answers
89 views

Kids’ almanac type book that had list of biggest mass murderers

I'm looking for a kids’ almanac type book, written in English. The book, published in the 80’s or early 90’s, featured a chapter that profiled the biggest mass murderers of all time, people like Idi ...
6
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0answers
34 views

Since when do the Portuguese regard The Lusiads as their national epic?

According to Wikipedia, Os Lusíadas is often regarded as Portugal's national epic, much as Virgil's Aeneid was for the Ancient Romans, or Homer's Iliad and Odyssey for the Ancient Greeks. The ...
0
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0answers
26 views

Is the Wizarding World a dystopian society?

We are learning about dystopian societies in my English 2, and I learned that dystopian societies have government control, meaning the government watches their citizens closely. Also, in dystopian ...
1
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0answers
42 views

In “The Third Level”, does the third level really exist or is it a mere hallucination?

In the short story "The Third Level" by Jack Finney, does the third level in the Grand Central Station really exist or, is it just in Charley's imagination? Does Sam Wiener really go to 1894,...
1
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1answer
24 views

Murder thriller short story where a starlet kills her former agent and husband, who compulsively winks in a “sleazy” manner

I may have read this in an Alfred Hitchcock anthology somewhere in the mid 1990s. An up and coming starlet is about to head off on her honeymoon with her new beau when her ex-husband and former agent ...
6
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0answers
78 views

When and how was the phrase “these dark Satanic mills” in Blake's “Jerusalem” first altered to “those dark Satanic mills”?

William Blake's lines of verse "Jerusalem", which appear in the "Preface" to his poem "Milton", were written c.1804 and first printed c.1808. They also appear, but with ...
1
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2answers
32 views

Shouldn't “fidgety about not being left” have been “fidgety about being left” in “The Markenmore Mystery”?

In "The Markenmore Mystery" (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, Harry was talking with his neighbour about his ill old father and the possibility of his death at anytime: “Well, I must go,” the ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

William Ernest Henley's “Invictus”

I am not able to understand William Ernest Henley's poem "Invictus" properly, except the last two lines. Can someone explain in detail the meaning of this poem? Out of the night that covers ...
5
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0answers
108 views

What classic mystery novels and stories led to “the butler did it” becoming a cliché?

"The butler did it" is a common trope indicating a hackneyed solution to a mystery. I have read several classic mysteries from the 1920s and earlier (Poe, Conan Doyle, Christie, Sayers, etc.)...
3
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0answers
27 views

Quote about being better not to give something than to take away

I'm looking for source of a quote about being better not to give something than to take away. It's been many years, so I can't recall much more about the quote. I thought it would be from the book ...
2
votes
2answers
766 views

Meaning of “The blushing apricot, and woolly peach. Hang on thy walls, that every child may reach.”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner On his way through the kitchen he screwed up the pizza boxes and tried to force them into the stuffed bin, but they would not go so he left ...
1
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0answers
17 views

Do “rain and elder bloom” signify anything in Hazel's last dream?

At the end of Watership Down, in the Epilogue covering just before this happens, he has a final dream which is something about "rain and elder bloom": One chilly, blustery morning in March,...
1
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0answers
40 views

Short story, 19th century: French country priest and devil exchange subjectivities

I am looking for a 19th century short story. I thought it was written by Guy de Maupassant, but didn't find it. A French country priest starts having vivid dreams that he is a diabolical courtier in ...
2
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0answers
24 views

I'm looking for a certain haiku about kusarigama in Japanese

The haiku I'm looking for is probably of an anonymous author. I got a hint on a Japanese message board that it's maybe Musashi's one and I should find it in Eiji Yoshikawa's famous novel, but it's not ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Meaning of “this patient setting out of facts and services.”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner When the film ended a Greek man explained in his native tongue the details of the government’s health scheme. It took him fully ten minutes, ...
4
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0answers
25 views

Meaning of dash and initial substitution in Charlotte Brontë's Villette

The usage of dashes to obscure personal/place names and dates in Victorian literature has been widely noted, but I don't feel that the reasons that are usually given help me understand this case. I'm ...
0
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0answers
10 views

Was Austen Heller's name inspired by Henry W. Austin?

It's no secret that Howard Roark was loosely inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. Interestingly enough, on a recent tour of Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Oak Park, IL, I encountered a park named after Henry ...
3
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0answers
43 views

Meaning of “put in all the salt and pepper”

From Chapter 48 of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations: “Mr. Jaggers was for her [Molly, Mr. Jaggers's maidservant],” pursued Wemmick, with a look full of meaning, “and worked the case in a way ...
2
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0answers
32 views

MLK Jr. quote about speaking out against anti-Semitism even if Jewish leaders say they don't need the help

I remember some years ago listening to a recording of a speech by Martin Luther King Jr, in which he says something like: Even if Jewish leaders told me "No, we do not need your help fighting ...
4
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1answer
68 views

What should you look for when deciding whether a children's book would be “dyslexia-friendly”?

I had a niece (age 8) who was recently diagnosed with dyslexia. As a good Lit.SE member, I tend to like to give books as gifts, but want to make sure that I'm getting books that she can actually read. ...
26
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1answer
3k views

What were the parts of each of the six Seuss books that ceased publication in March 2021 that were problematic?

Many articles around the internet explain the general reason why six books were removed from publication in March 2021 and some even detail specific examples from 1-2 of the books (for example, The ...
7
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2answers
800 views

Meaning of “as it was, she witnessed minor twinges of the appropriate emotions occurring distantly, as if to some other girl”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner: Some things, Morty,’ he said, ‘strain a person’s sense of humour.’ He swept through the room. The three of them sat foolishly, with fading ...
7
votes
1answer
123 views

Origin and significance of E-I-E-I-O in the Old MacDonald song

The well-known children's song "Old MacDonald had a Farm" has lyrics in the following format: Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O ! And on that farm he had {article} {singular or plural ...
2
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0answers
25 views

Meaning of three phrases from “An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum”

The poem "An Elementary School Classroom in a Slum" by Stephen Spender is given below Far far from gusty waves these children's faces. Like rootless weeds, the hair torn round their pallor: ...
6
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1answer
82 views

You can enter prison for reading in Belarus, why?

#Belarus 66-year-old Halina Huliankova was sentenced to 20 days in prison for reading books of Belarusian authors. She was on a train together with other pensioners. She is being held at Akrescina. In ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

What does “mirror in my bathroom” mean?

In the following passage from Lonely Man Full of Love by Mauro Mevlud Martino, what does "mirror in my bathroom" mean? A: ‘’Are you quieter and lonelier than me, Rachel?’’ B: ‘’Perhaps, ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

What kind of jeans are Sears Rough Riders?

I'm reading Kristin Hannah's Firefly Lane. There's a scene when Kate (one of two main characters) saw Tully (the other main character) wearing fashionable elephant bells and wished her jeans weren't ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

Meaning of “In the wide planting of his feet, his blithe assumption of an audience, she saw Dexter”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner: She turned round with her arms full of stinking sheets. He had not heard a word. His eyes had gone out of focus, his pitch was up, his pace ...

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