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2
votes
1answer
38 views

What's the connection between a boat and livery stables in “Stolen Ingots”?

In "Stolen Ingots" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Mr. Badger was standing on a bridge watching a boat running with a stolen case. Badger cursed volubly, and, turning to ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

What do the silks and tattoos represent in Sui-Yun's poem about Eve?

One of the Peruvian writer Sui-Yun's Four Short Poems (translated from Spanish by Jennifer Shyue) is written as addressed to "Eve, my eternal mother". I hope I'm not being excessively dirty-...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Finding a book involving a boy and carnival

In 2008 I read a book (fiction) about a boy living with a carnival. The carnival was a bunch of radical environmentalists. I can't recall the title or the author so I'm hoping somebody on here can ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Notebook epigram referring to 'only death in the universe'

Camus says somewhere that there is only death in the universe. By 'death' he simply means physics (energy, matter). He is rejecting the metaphysics of a universal dualism: Life and Death. I believe ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

What does “on the top of the spring tide” mean in “Stolen Ingots”?

In "Stolen Ingots" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Mr. Badger was standing on a bridge watching a barge and brawley “Yes. There’s a little ramshackle bawley from Leigh—...
2
votes
3answers
76 views

What does “rime of alien dreams” mean in Maya Angelou's “The Mothering Blackness”?

In Maya Angelou's poem "The Mothering Blackness", there's a verse that goes like this: She came down creeping        here to the black arms waiting        now to the warm heart waiting rime ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

A book by an American ex-spy who took part in the Panama canal-related coup

I once read a book about an American ex-spy, but remember nether its title nor the author. I remember that author was an American ex-spy who took part in covert ops in several countries including ...
-2
votes
2answers
113 views

Original Grimms' fairy tales

The problem with Fairy Tales is that with the passage of time they were changed in order to become more politically correct. Which version of the Grimms' fairy tales was least affected by "...
7
votes
1answer
67 views

In Pride and Prejudice, how did Lady Catherine find out about Darcy's proposal?

In Pride and Prejudice, there is a part where Lady Catherine visited the Bennets. She wished to ward off Elizabeth and wanted her to refuse Darcy's proposal and was stumped. How did Lady Catherine ...
-3
votes
1answer
125 views

Why is a mongoose a “special needs goose”? [closed]

I just watched a comedy bit by Sean Lock. I was at the zoo the other day and I got told off. I said, "Look! There's a mongoose!" Can't say that any more. "Special needs goose". ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Where can I locate the letter J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to A.A. Milne?

AKA the author of Winnie the Pooh? This web page ( https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/JRRTolkien ) claims far far down that Tolkien once wrote a strongly worded letter to A.A. Milne ...
1
vote
0answers
17 views

What does the line “and who will bear the consequences” mean in Ishay Ribo's “Keter Melucha”?

In Ishay Ribo's song "Keter Melucha / כתר מלוכה" (Royal Crown), a song written about, essentially, COVID and lockdown, there's a stanza that goes like this: בין תצווה לכי תישא אסתר פורים ...
4
votes
0answers
28 views

Who is the 'one who had lifted it' in Shelley's sonnet about 'the painted veil'?

In Shelley's famous sonnet, which begins 'Lift not the painted veil', the "turn" is placed - unusually - in the seventh line. Lift not the painted veil which those who live Call Life: ...
39
votes
2answers
10k views

Was the title “The Lord of the Rings” picked on purpose to be ambiguous?

In one sense, it might refer to "the lord of" the rings, as in the person or entity currently in possession of The One ring. In another way, it could (IMO) mean that The One ring is "...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Point of view in Eudora Welty's “A Worn Path”

In "A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty, how can the story's point of view be described? How does the point of view affect what we know about the situation?
3
votes
0answers
17 views

How is capitalization being used in Maya Angelou's “On the Pulse of Morning”?

I was looking through Maya Angelou's "On the Pulse of Morning", and noticed that there's an interesting use of capitalization in the poem. (I checked multiple version to make sure that this ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

WWII (?) comic about a spy doing propaganda for the bad guys

The story, so far... When I was a kid, I read a story about a guy, who was sent to a country as a spy. He ended up working with doing propaganda for said countrys government, but is secretly sending ...
-2
votes
2answers
215 views

What does the Idiom “pound of flesh” mean to “Shylock”? Was this a sense of humor of Shylock?

Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, hates Antonio. Bassanio, in need of money, approaches Antonio for a loan so that he can pursue Portia, as he is in love with her, and wants to marry her. Antonio at that ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Starting a poem with a “small letter”

I read a poem entitled Archery by Carl Phillips: The first few lines read as: was still a thing, then. To have timed your arrow perfectly meant watching the air for a moment... As a basic reader I ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Meaning of Lorca's “Romance sonámbulo”?

What does Lorca mean in his poem "Romance sonámbulo" when he says: Tiny tin-leaf lanterns were trembling on the tiles. A thousand crystal tambourines were wounding dawn's dark sky. (...
4
votes
0answers
29 views

Why does the first chapter of Toni Morrison's “Playing in the Dark” open with this Eliot verse in Black Matters?

As an epigraph a T. S. Eliot verse appears at the beginning of Toni Morrison's Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination: I am moved by fancies that are curled Around these images, ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Did James Joyce focus more on literary style and methods but a little less deep focus on the main content?

I started reading James Joyce with his poetry Pomes Penyeach and then I went for some short stories in Dubliners. I found that the style and the sudden change of contents (as especially in The Dead) ...
3
votes
0answers
41 views

Identify a fiction novel about atlantis and digital or analog “discs”

I'm trying to remember a children's fiction book I read as a child. I only remember vague key words and ideas. Do you know what this story is? Language: English Date read: mid 2000s Where I would've ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What did Dante mean by “Papè Satan, papè Satan aleppe” in the Inferno?

So, I was recently re-reading the Inferno, and I have come across this quote which I can't make sense of. "Daddy Satan, daddy Satan aleppe," (VII.1) It seemed rather weird that it wouldn't ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Why is Szymborska's “Tarsier” sometimes written (in translation) with simplistic grammar?

Szymborska's poem "Tarsier" ("Tarsjusz" in the original Polish) has been translated, in a version that says "Translations and Comments by Magnus J. Krynski and Robert A. ...
3
votes
0answers
24 views

How does the change in syllables change the reading in Maya Angelou's “Still I Rise”?

In the opening stanza of Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise", the syllables go 9 / 7 / 9 / 6. The second verse goes 8 / 7 / 9 / 7. All of these are within two or three syllables of each other, and ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

What was Kafka's point in The Metamorphosis'?

When Gregor Samsa awakens to find himself transformed into some type of beetle or roach-like creature, he gives little thought to whys and wherefores but just seems to attempt to deal with his ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

In Peril At End House by Agatha Chistie, who shot the bullet that Hercule Poirot finds near the table in the hotel garden?

While Hercule Poirot, Nick and Captain Hastings are sitting at a table outside the hotel, supposedly a bullet passes through Nick's hat and ends up on the ground near the table, which Hercule finds. ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

What's with the “I'ma tell 'em” in Normani's “Motivation”?

In Normani's song "Motivation" (video slightly NSFW), there's a stanza that goes like this: You got a bad one, baby, don't you? Got a bad one, baby, don't you And we both know there's no ...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

Title of poem by Wisława Szymborska

Does anyone know the title of the poem by Szymborska which contains a line worded something like “whose life has ever turned out as they thought it would anyway”? I believe that the poem was published ...
2
votes
3answers
242 views

What is literature?

Since this site is called Literature Stack Exchange, one of the most basic questions we could ask here is how scholars of literature define literature. We have an older question on the ways academics ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

What does “walk for a wager” mean in “A Fisher of Men”?

In "A Fisher of Men" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Dr. Jervis was digging the earth with his friend, while they saw a stranger man coming along the path, then that man ...
0
votes
0answers
103 views

What is the name of this book about a girl in a marshy village setting?

I remember three things about a book I read as a young child. The cover was blue-green, and had either stars, fireflies, or some other kind of orbs of light on it. I don't remember the title, and all ...
-1
votes
1answer
102 views

Has there ever been an African-American Vernacular English dictionary? [closed]

I am trying to look for a dictionary for African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) but I haven't found one, not even one. Google Books shows some introductory and general reference materials. I see ...
3
votes
1answer
43 views

How are colors being used in Maya Angelou's “The Mothering Blackness”?

In Maya Angelou's poem "The Mothering Blackness", there are a bunch of different colors mentioned. For instance, the first verse goes like this: She came home running    back to the ...
4
votes
4answers
757 views

Why the word “sootikin” in a children's poem “Choosing Their Names”?

In a poem entitled Choosing Their Names by Thomas Hood a stanza is: One is black, with a frill of white, And her feet are all white fur, too; If you stroke her she carries her tail upright And ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

How is psychoanalysis relevant to the study of literature?

I've recently seen the term "psychoanalysis" used a few times here on Literature Stack Exchange. Looking it up, I learned that it seems to be more a branch of psychology or philosophy than ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

What Tolkien essentially means by “Fall, Mortality and The Machine”?

I recently started reading The Silmarillion, and came across the below passage in a letter Tolkien sent to Milton Waldman. "Anyway all this stuff is mainly concerned with Fall, Mortality, and the ...
7
votes
2answers
138 views

Was the One Ring's malevolent nature foreshadowed in the Hobbit? If so, how?

Tolkien's legendary series The Lord of the Rings is centered around a magical artifact known as the "One Ring", and part of this story recounts the tale of a Hobbit traveling to destroy this ...
2
votes
1answer
258 views

What does “Fills now my cup” mean?

In Rilke's poem "Pietà", there is this sentence: Fills now my cup, and past thought is my fulness thereof. I harden as a stone sets hard at its heart. What does "Fills now my cup"...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Did Joyce “estimate” how many readers would understand Finnegans Wake?

I'm pretty sure I once (a long time ago) read a Joyce quote where he said that only twelve (or was it thirteen?) readers would ever fully understand Finnegans Wake. But I couldn't convince Google to ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

What story is this from ? A feather chokes an opera singer to death on stage

The audience at the opera watches a feather float slowly down and spiral into the mouth of the lead soprano, and she chokes to death. I remember reading this sometime in the last decade, but don't ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

What does “let me be your motivation” mean in Normani's “Motivation”?

In Normani's song "Motivation" (video slightly NSFW), there's a repeated line that goes "I'ma break you off, let me be your motivation". For instance, the first stanza / chorus ...
3
votes
1answer
169 views

Why does Tolkien barely mention the Ring in terms of Frodo's physical handling of it?

As I'm approaching the end of The Two Towers, I'm increasingly frustrated by how, other than in the very beginning of the story in the first book, we never hear a single phrase such as: Frodo ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

About Solaris translators Jasiensko (French), Kilmartin and Cox [closed]

I am looking for an account of, or historical information about: Jean-Michel Jasiensko's Polish-French translation of Solaris. Particularly, why did he vary the text? Also, Joanna Kilmartin and Steve ...
1
vote
0answers
14 views

Is Cybula's musings about the birds a metaphor?

In The King of the Fields by Isaac Bashevis Singer, there's this scene early on in the book - the section "Cybula and Nosek" - where Cybula, who is on his way with his daughter for a peace ...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

The motif of Tom O' Bedlam

The 17th-century motif of Tom O' Bedlam has always been one that I hold much affection and wonder for (as can be assumed by the choice of username on my part.) The motif most famously makes an ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Who is “Dao” in this quote from Laozi's Tao Te Ching?

I found the following quote here: The Dao hides in wordlessness. Only the Dao is well begun and well completed. -- Laozi, Dàodé Jīng / Tao Te Ching What is the exact meaning and context of this ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

Is the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) a descriptive dictionary? [closed]

The Oxford English Dictionary is said to be a descriptive dictionary. What does that mean? What does it mean for the OED or any dictionary for that matter to be "descriptive" or "...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

What does this quote in Don Juan by Lord Byron mean? “Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet The unexpected death of some old lady”

Sweet is a legacy, and passing sweet The unexpected death of some old lady I saw this quote in C. S. Lewis's The Inner Ring and I'm having trouble figuring out what it means. What does this quote in ...

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