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0answers
56 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
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1answer
71 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 ...
2
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1answer
158 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! ছোট সে তরী আমারি সোনার ধানে গিয়েছে ভরি’। শ্রা...
3
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1answer
50 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 ...
5
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2answers
169 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 ...
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0answers
17 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
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1answer
53 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 ...
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0answers
176 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
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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
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2answers
61 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
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2answers
97 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
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2answers
66 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
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1answer
105 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
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1answer
74 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
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1answer
82 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
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2answers
238 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
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1answer
46 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
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1answer
50 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
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1answer
57 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.
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1answer
40 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 ...
0
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1answer
51 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
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1answer
71 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 ...
8
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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 ...
12
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1answer
119 views

What was the ethnicity of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights?

Though he was brought home by Mr. Earnshaw following a journey to Liverpool, there is no definitive answer to his ethnicity. Liverpool by 1740 had surpassed Bristol and London as the slave-trading ...
4
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1answer
134 views

Is “calendula paddle” used in the literal sense in “The Liar's Key”?

In The Liar's Key by Mark Lawrence, a banker is informing Jalan about the stock exchange process: ‘Stakes are purchased using the calendula paddle to attract the seller’s attention,’ Marco continued ...
3
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1answer
190 views

“The Laburnum Top” by Ted Hughes - poem explanation

I want to know the line by line explanation of the poem "The Laburnum Top" (written by Ted Hughes). Source (Page 31) The Laburnum top is silent, quite still In the afternoon yellow ...
2
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0answers
13 views

What is the symbolism of the sun in this Bengali short story “The House of Wax”?

"The House of Wax" is a short story by Subodh Ghosh, translated from Bengali to English by Somrita Ganguly. It's about a man and woman who meet at a train station years after getting ...
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0answers
37 views

How do the lyrics of “上を向いて歩こう” relate to its English title “Sukiyaki”?

The English title of the Japanese song 上を向いて歩こう is a head scratcher. The lyrics: 上を向いて歩こう 涙がこぼれないように 思い出す 春の日 一人ぽっちの夜 上を向いて歩こう にじんだ星をかぞえて 思い出す 夏の日 一人ぽっちの夜 幸せは 雲の上に 幸せは 空の上に 上を向いて歩こう 涙がこぼれないように 泣きながら ...
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0answers
24 views

Why is the short Vietnamese piece “Learning Late Letters” called a “poem”?

"Learning Late Letters", originally written in Vietnamese by Nguyễn Hoàng Quyên, was one of the winners of the 2020 Words Without Borders Academy of Americans Poets Poems in Translation ...
3
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1answer
53 views

What are the “garment thin” and the “prize” in the song “The Ballad of the Shape of Things to Come”?

From the song "The Ballad of the Shape of Things to Come" (lyrics link): Triangular is the piece of pie I eat to ease my sorrow Triangular is the hatchet blade I plan to hide tomorrow ...
1
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1answer
34 views

Significance of the names Silim, Tur, and Irij for the sons of Feridoun?

In the second book of the Shahnameh, King Feridoun tests his three sons by appearing to them as a dragon. The eldest son runs away, the middle one takes up arms against the monster, and the youngest ...
0
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1answer
52 views

Meaning of lines about the lamb in the Enigma song Rivers of Belief

A sentence in the Enigma song Rivers of Belief goes as follows: And when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, Silence covered the sky. There is a Biblical reference here. But I would like to know, what ...
6
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1answer
413 views

What does this gesture mean?

In Scott Turow's legal mystery The Last Trial, the point of view character is an old man. Pinky is his grand-daughter. The following passage occurs near the end of the book: Pinky says nothing to him ...
2
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0answers
18 views

Julia Wong Kcomt, “The Red Rooster”

The Chinese-Peruvian poet Julia Wong Kcomt wrote two poems for Words Without Borders about her experiences as a product of two different cultures. I'm particularly interested in the first of them, ...
1
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1answer
67 views

Are the names J. Alfred Prufrock and Hugh Selwyn Mauberley completely arbitrary?

T.S. Eliot's first professionally published poem was "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", in which Eliot narrates the experience of a character named J. Alfred Prufrock. Similarly, Ezra ...
2
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2answers
146 views

What errand did Gollum think that the hobbits have in Mordor with the Ring?

Since he doesn't suspect that they are going to destroy it, just like the Dark Lord doesn't suspect this, what did he think? Why else would these mysterious hobbits be traveling to such a place, with ...
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0answers
24 views

Is there any deep connection between Hyperion (the sci-fi novel) and Hyperion (the poem)? [duplicate]

Hyperion is a sci-fi classic by Dan Simmons which takes its name from the poem by John Keats of the same name. The novel makes multiple references to the poem by Keats and actually Keats is even a ...
8
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1answer
185 views

What is being satirized in Witold Gombrowicz's Trans-Atlantyk?

Trans-Atlantyk by Witold Gombrowicz is a satire of Polish identity. However, it is difficult to know what exactly is being satirized if you're not Polish, and not intimately acquainted with Polish ...
4
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1answer
55 views

Novel about a Kazakh train station manager

I'm looking for a novel about a man working as a train station manager in Kazakhstan. The train station is in a remote location in a plains environment, and only rarely do trains pass. He works and ...
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0answers
43 views

Did Lois Lowry name the protagonist of the Giver from the biblical prophet?

Did Lois Lowry name Jonas, the protagonist of the Giver, after the biblical prophet Jonah? Both of them are at one point reluctant to follow their calling that they didn't choose, so there is some ...
2
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1answer
60 views

In “North and South”, was Mr. Bell really thinking of proposing to Margaret?

In North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, was Mr. Bell really thinking of proposing to Margaret? In chapter XLI, he says he was worried he'd be tempted by the aunt, then says there may be another way ...
2
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1answer
71 views

Was Lenny Small actually not a fundamentally good person?

It is easy to see Lenny as an innocent who had simple longings, an unfortunate due to his disability but fundamentally a sympathetic character; however, it seems to me that while most of his violence ...
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0answers
20 views

Mass market paperback about a serial killer who communicated with protagonist online

I perused this crime novel sometime in the late 90's, most likely 1998. It was a used paperback for sale at the local library. Likely an undocumented donation to aid library funding. I only read a ...
4
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2answers
271 views

Short Story with “All Odd Numbers Are Prime” Joke

Does anyone remember a short story (perhaps in Analog around the 1970s) which included a joke about engineers similar to what are called "Polish" jokes in the US and "Irish" jokes ...
3
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1answer
69 views

Identify rhetorical/stylistic device in Tanpınar's The Time Regulation Institute

Is this an example of any rhetorical/stylistic device or literary technique? But can one really call it a life? If to live is to endure endless pain and destitution and to suffer humiliation so deep ...
1
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1answer
31 views

What do the cypress, rose, and wild herb symbolise in this description of Feridoun's rule?

From the second part of the Shahnameh: Five hundred years did Feridoun rule the world, and might and virtue increased in the land, and all his days he did that which was good. And he roamed ...
2
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0answers
31 views

In The Great Gatsby, is Nick Carraway's name intentional?

Nick's surname sounds a lot like care-away, and I've seen a number of online sources that state that this Fitzgerald intended for this to be so. I find this hard to believe, considering that Nick isn'...
0
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1answer
36 views

Meaning of “profitably watch the expression on the face of a ship's figure” in “Stolen Ingots”?

In "Stolen Ingots" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman,the chief officer and the inspector were insisting on that they have captured the stolen ingots, but Thorndyke was a bit ...
4
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1answer
81 views

How to scan the “Clark” poem from “One Fish, Two Fish”?

One of my favorite things about Dr. Seuss's One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish is the combination of rhyme and rhythm or meter in its poems. I think I've found satisfying rhythms for reading all ...
2
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0answers
18 views

Which parts of the Shahnameh were the original work of Ferdowsi?

The word Shahnameh usually refers to the Persian epic poem written by Ferdowsi in 977-1010 CE, although this versification was mostly a rewriting of existing mythological and historical stories of the ...

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