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28 views

What is the meaning of “dole cheque” in the following context?

I know that "dole" means "benefit paid by the state to the unemployed". But I wonder how it is related to the following context. ‘I wish you didn’t have to go away,’ she blurts ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

What does James Baldwin mean by 'democratic' in his open letter to Angela Davis?

James Baldwin's open letter to Angela Davis contains the following sentence (emphasis added): The will of the people, in America, has always been at the mercy of an ignorance not merely phenomenal, ...
2
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0answers
42 views

Is a fish “Alive with breath” or “Alive without breath”?

J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit contains many lovely riddles, posed in-universe by Gollum and Bilbo to each other. Most of them are original compositions by Tolkien himself, as he explained in one of ...
4
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0answers
20 views

Why so many poems about fish in Through The Looking-Glass?

Lewis Carroll's famous flight of fantasy Through the Looking-Glass, a sequel to the even more famous Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, contains a lot of nonsense poetry, much of which relates to fish. ...
2
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1answer
31 views

What does this sentence from Carrie mean?

In Part I of Carrie, Stephen King writes: And when she talks of Carrie White her face takes on an odd pinched look that is more like Lovecraft out of Arkham than Kerouac out of Southern Cal. Other ...
2
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0answers
24 views

What manuscript or manuscripts was the first printed edition of the Tale of Genji based on?

The original manuscript of the 11th-century Japanese novel The Tale of Genji has been lost. According to the Wikipedia article Textual tradition of The Tale of Genji, "the number of manuscript ...
3
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1answer
65 views

What book involved forging one of the United States' founding documents?

A few details of this book that I remember include: A specific type of parchment was purchased to forge either the Constitution or Declaration of Independence. This parchment was old enough to fool ...
3
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1answer
34 views

Is there a technical term for a work that is based on another, and created by modifying a few words in critical places?

I came across @Randal'Thor's creative "edit summary" ring a ding dillo, hey Puzz, merry Puzz, Work a place illo on this question and it got a chuckle out of me, but also got me thinking ...
3
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0answers
21 views

Why was the title of Mark Twain's jumping frog short story changed so much?

I just learned from another question about a short story by Mark Twain entitled "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County", which, when I looked it up online to find a copy-pastable ...
1
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0answers
20 views

Is the phrase “lurking suspicion” in this context humour?

I am reading the short story "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" by Mark Twain. I was wondering if the author's usage of the phrase "lurking suspicion" in the first ...
1
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1answer
64 views

Is Harry Potter a coming of age story?

When talking about the coming of age genre a friend of mine mentioned Harry Potter as an example. I found myself incapable of sharing this idea since not only I do not think that the core of the plot ...
6
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1answer
65 views

What does it mean for Venus to 'read my case' in Drummond of Hawthornden's madrigal?

I came across a madrigal by William Drummond of Hawthornden (laird of the same) yesterday. It's an astonishingly beautiful poem, but I'm having trouble making sense of some of the phrases and ...
3
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0answers
26 views

What is the children's book about a troll looking for a rope to hang his brother?

There is a book I remember from the 1980s (but I had older siblings, so it may have been a decade earlier) that followed the structure of "the house that jack built" but was about 2 brothers ...
4
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2answers
77 views

Why is the not-so-wicked Which called Faintly Macabre?

In Norton Juster's witty wacky fantasy The Phantom Tollbooth, during their stay in the Dictionopolis dungeon Milo and Tock meet a witch Which. She used to be in charge of selecting which words to use, ...
2
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1answer
50 views

Where exactly did Colin Wilson describe Lovecraft as one of the pioneers of the “assault on rationality”?

The Wikipedia article about H. P. Lovecraft contains a section on the critical reception of Lovecraft's work that contains the following unsourced statement: In 1962 Colin Wilson, in his survey of ...
3
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1answer
27 views

Why does the Whether Man live in Expectations, and why does he talk like this?

I've just started re-reading The Phantom Tollbooth, a fantastic tale of wit and wordplay. Every place and person that Milo meets through this story is rich in symbolism, and every piece of description ...
-2
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1answer
99 views

A question about Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea [closed]

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction adventure by French writer Jules Verne (1828-1905). It was adapted into a 1954 American technicolor science fiction adventure film. ...
7
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2answers
962 views

What's meant here by “precious rascals”?

In "The Blue Scarab" in Dr. Thorndyke's Case-Book by R. Austin Freeman, Mr. Blowgrave, whose deed-box was stolen, was talking to Dr. Thorndyke: "The story concerns my great-grandfather ...
3
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1answer
88 views

Free will in Dante's Divine Comedy

I am reading Dante's Divine Comedy. In many cantos, souls predict Dante's future, and it is said that God knows everything past, present and future and that souls can enter heaven only if they are ...
9
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1answer
53 views

Is there any evidence that Shakespeare ever used a Spanish source for any of his works?

Scholarly editions of Shakespeare's works always discuss real or potential sources for the plots and other aspects of a play or poem. Shakespeare invented very few plots and used sources such as ...
6
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1answer
80 views

Never the Twain shall meet – conflicting accounts of sewing practices

In Chapter Thirteen of The Prince and the Pauper we have the following observation about sewing practices: He did as men have always done, and probably always will do, to the end of time – held the ...
2
votes
0answers
14 views

Is there any evidence that William Shakespeare influenced Lope de Vega?

During the Spanish Golden Age of the arts, one of the key figures in Spanish literature was Lope de Vega, a prolific author of plays, poetry, and novels. He was approximately contemporary with William ...
0
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0answers
38 views

Meaning of the line “Sometimes it takes the strength of a woman” (The Carpenters)

William Shakespeare wrote a a play titled Taming of the shrew. I think this conversely likens to a Carpenters song "Strength of a woman", which contains the line "Sometimes it takes the ...
0
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0answers
16 views

What does it mean when Faulkner says: “The will of man to prevail“?

I am reading Faulkner in the University (edited by Frederick L. Gwynn and Joseph L. Blotner. University of Virginia Press, 1995) and some parts are ambiguous for me. I was wondering what does he mean ...
6
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1answer
209 views

Trying to identify the source of a Roman short story about a senator and a slave

A few days ago I remembered a short story that I was taught in high-school, and I'm trying to find from what book it comes from. The story goes something like this: A Roman senator was at a dinner ...
3
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0answers
25 views

Sources for claims about the identity of Kitty, the addressee of Anne Frank's diary entries

Anne Frank addressed her diary entries to Kitty and there has been much conjecture whether this name referred to a real person or was inspired by one. The English Wikipedia article about The Diary of ...
0
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0answers
24 views

What authors/poets try to convey when they use antitheses or things similar to it?

As myself an admirer of T.S.Eliott and Joseph Conrad, my experience with antitheses is enough to drive me to grope for their actual intended meaning. When authors write Shape without form, shade ...
6
votes
1answer
138 views

Is there any evidence that Lope de Vega influenced William Shakespeare?

During the Spanish Golden Age of the arts, one of the key figures in Spanish literature was Lope de Vega, a prolific author of plays, poetry, and novels. He was approximately contemporary with William ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

What is a central theme in Robert Frost's “After Apple-Picking,” and how is it revealed in the poem?

Robert Frost's After Apple-Picking, published in North of Boston (1914) is, at least at the surface level, a poem about harvesting apples and sleep. But what is actually its central theme and how is ...
1
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0answers
12 views

How is Enoch's story relevant to the rest of Wise Blood?

I understand Enoch's character arc somewhat, some vague notion of missing human connection and having a more animal nature, and the parallel between putting on the gorilla costume and the Biblical ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

What is the intention and purpose behind the “dash style” book format compared to the “quote style” one?

I'm reading a book which is formatted like this: -- No! said Gandalf, looking around. We must not go further before we have had a sip of the elf water! The old wizard looked very worried. It's ...
5
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1answer
121 views

Is The Shawshank Redemption based on a Leo Tolstoy story?

This Wikipedia article says that Stephen King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption “has been thought to be loosely based on Leo Tolstoy's 1872 short story "God Sees the Truth, But ...
4
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1answer
193 views

How did the dwarves possibly “dig out” gigantic hallways in the mountains to create Moria with such “primitive” technology?

I've just come out from Moria with the Fellowship of the Ring. They didn't quite see or hear me, but I was hovering around there and mentally "saw" their journey through reading about it in ...
4
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2answers
83 views

Did the Tsar's secret police search the apartment of one of Dostoevsky's neighbours?

The Wikipedia article about Fyodor Dostoyevski contains a section about the author's death that begins with the following statement: On 25 January 1881, while searching for members of the terrorist ...
6
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0answers
29 views

What does Borges' reference to the Greek mean in “The Lottery in Babylon”?

In the first section of his short story "The Lottery in Babylon", Borges writes: I have known that thing the Greeks knew not -- uncertainty. As far as I know, there was nothing specific ...
4
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1answer
36 views

To which 'Argive queen' was Ben Jonson referring in his verse letter to the Countess of Rutland?

I came across a couplet today in Ben Jonson's verse letter "Epistle to Elizabeth Countess of Rutland" which I'm still trying to understand: How many equal with the Argive queen, Have beauty ...
1
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0answers
31 views

Identify an Archaeology Romantic Suspense or Mystery Novel - with nymphomaniacs! Well, one

In this novel, a girl goes to (northern England? southern England? Cornwall? The UK somewhere). I think she's looking for her father, who was/is an archaeologist. The dig is looking for (Roman? Bronze?...
6
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1answer
64 views

Where did Orwell ask whether British democracy would end through a Fascist takeover or by a Socialist revolution?

The Wikipedia article about Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighthy-Four contains the following statement: During World War II, Orwell believed that British democracy as it existed before 1939 would not ...
9
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2answers
163 views

Does Othello have impostor syndrome, or any other problem because his background is different?

Is there any implication in Shakespeare's text that Othello had impostor syndrome, or any feeling of inadequacy (in love, or another aspect of interpersonal relationships) because his background is ...
3
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0answers
27 views

Short story on British radio about fish gutters turned contract killers

One weekend evening in late 2010, I heard a short story on British radio (probably BBC Radio 4) whose main characters were two women (I think Scottish?), one of them the first-person narrator. The ...
2
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1answer
61 views

What is the purpose of the redundant book titles printed in the bottom margin every few pages of many books? [duplicate]

I'm reading a book. Every few pages, in the bottom left margin, it repeats its own title, preceded by an increasing number: 24 The Fellowship of The Ring What is the point of this? Surely they ...
6
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1answer
46 views

Why did Mr Jaggers have death masks of two of his former clients, Great Expectations Chapter 24?

This question is regarding Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Chapter 24 (also known as Volume II Chapter V). Mr Jaggers has two casts in his office, revealed by Wemmick to be death masks of his ...
12
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1answer
694 views

Why are there three different versions of the “solid/sullied/sallied flesh” line in Hamlet?

While looking up about the passage asked about in this previous question, I noticed that there are different versions of the same line in Hamlet, Act I Scene II, line 333: O that this too too solid ...
3
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0answers
30 views

What is the myth-making school of Shakespeare criticism?

In Inga-Stina Ewbank's essay "The Triumph of Time in The Winter's Tale" (Review of English Literature, 5 (1964); reprinted in Shakespeare: The Winter's Tale. A Casebook, edited by Kenneth ...
4
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1answer
84 views

Which English translation of The Tale of Genji is the most accurate yet readable?

The Tale of Genji was originally written in an archaic form of Japanese, and has been translated both into modern Japanese and into English multiple times. Wikipedia says "The first English ...
4
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0answers
23 views

Where did Derrida say that he deliberately made his works difficult?

In a comment below the question How does Derrida's Signifying obfuscate his writing?, DJohnson wrote, Just for the record Derrida has been quoted as stating that he deliberately made his ...
7
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1answer
285 views

Where did Camus define “the novel as the place where the human being is abandoned to other human beings”?

Albert Camus once defined the novel as the place where the human being is abandoned to other human beings. The plague novel is the place where all human beings abandon all other human beings. Unlike ...
7
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2answers
71 views

The name of a device by which an author reports the use of coarse language without quoting it?

Don, a soldier sleeping in a hammock, is abruptly awakened some hours earlier than expected and is quite alarmed, thinking the camp may be under attack by the enemy. The company headquarters runner ...
3
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0answers
33 views

In “The Magpie and the Bell”, how can the snake transform into a dragon?

I just read the Korean folk tale "The Magpie and the Bell" (I don't know whose translation this is), in which a huge snake claims to be able to transform into a dragon and rise to heaven: &...
8
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3answers
2k views

“Too too sullied flesh” in Hamlet. Why twice?

Oh, that this too too sullied flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew (Hamlet, Act I, Scene II) Why does "too" occur twice? It is one in a series of repetitions which occur ...

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