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3
votes
1answer
81 views

What does Hodgekins' “Northerne speech” mean?

In chapter IV of Thomas Deloney's "novel" Thomas of Reading, king Henry I of England is willing to grant the clothiers a few requests as a reward for their support during a military campaign in France....
2
votes
2answers
81 views

Which literature work took the longest time in its author's life (finished or not)

As far as I know Goethe has that title with Faust (this site tells that it spanned 57 years). So, is it the record; or are there any other works took longer? Unfinished works are also considered to ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

What is the figurative meaning of “were you not borne at home”?

In the "novel" Thomas of Reading by Thomas Deloney, there is some sort of weaving or cloth making competition between the London weavers and a few clothiers from other towns (including one named ...
9
votes
1answer
75 views

Why is the title of “Le Morte d'Arthur” in French if the book is in English?

Le Morte d'Arthur, often considered the first English novel, is an early version of the story of Camelot. The book is according, to Wikipedia, written in Middle English. Why, then, is the title of the ...
3
votes
0answers
32 views

Why is Seamus Heaney's “The Cure at Troy” so often quoted in political contexts?

The Cure at Troy is Seamus Heaney's translation and adaptation of Sophocles's Philoctetes set during the Trojan War. It seems to be very often quoted by politicians: most recently by British prime ...
4
votes
1answer
190 views

What is a Cawdle?

At the end of the first chapter of Thomas Deloney's Jack of Newbury, Jack's unnamed wife makes him a "Cawdle": In the morning his wife rose betime, and merrily made him a Cawdle, and bringing it up ...
3
votes
3answers
354 views

For Saintsbury, which English novelists constituted the “great quartet of the mid-eighteenth century”?

In the anthology Shorter Novels: Elizabethan, first published in 1929, George Saintsbury writes in the introduction that the English novel had something like a false start in the Elizabethan era and ...
4
votes
1answer
54 views

What sort of “relief of the poor” is Thomas Deloney alluding to?

Thomas Deloney's Elizabethan novel Jack of Newberie is based on the life of the English clothier John Winchcombe or Jack of Newbury. In the second chapter, he marries for the second time. Deloney ...
6
votes
1answer
137 views

What was the first novel written in the present tense?

Although many novels are still written in the past tense, it seems that many other novels nowadays are written in the present tense. When did this begin? What was the first novel written primarily in ...
5
votes
3answers
58 views

What is the language spoken in Babylon?

In the short story "The Lottery in Babylon", Jorge Luis Borges describes an imaginary society where a Lottery decides the fate of the people, with omnipotence and foresight. At the beginning of the ...
4
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0answers
50 views

Virginia Woolf's stance on literary canon

What was Virginia Woolf's take on literary canon? How does her book A Room of One's Own argue or imply that literary canon should be changed?
3
votes
1answer
63 views

UK comedy book about a man falsely accused of murder while his wife is off with the new neighbours

This should be easy to remember, but I'm having a senior moment. In the 1980s, potentially early 1990s, I read a very funny book about a man who's wife goes off with the new neighbours on a houseboat ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Is the central relationship in “Life in the Fast Lane” coercive?

He was a hard-headed man he was brutally handsome And she was terminally pretty She held him up and he held her for ransom In the heart of the cold, cold city He had a nasty reputation as a ...
7
votes
2answers
87 views

Which of these sources is right about “The Tempest”?

This is part of a quote by Ferdinand in the beginning of scene 1 of act 3 of "The Tempest": But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labours, Most busy, least when I do it. According to ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Why did the N.I.C.E. bother with Dr. Filostrato?

Dr. Filostrato believed (incorrectly, as it turns out) that he had preserved the head of François Alcasan. Towards the end of the book, it's revealed that the Macrobes didn't really need Filostrato's ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

In A Tale of a Tub, in what sense does Martin stand between Peter and Jack?

Wikipedia has the following to say about Jonathan Swift's A Tale of a Tub (formatting added): A Tale of a Tub is divided between various forms of digression and sections of a "tale". The "...
4
votes
0answers
37 views

Is there some cultural significance in the “chhanna” or metal bowl?

The Punjabi poem "Chhanna, the Metal Bowl" is about a "flat-bottom metal bowl" which is apparently some kind of family heirloom, "filled with memories". What's so special about a metal bowl? Is it ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

What is the effect of the stage directions in scene 6 of The Glass Menagerie?

In Scene 6, page 50 line 27, there's the following stage direction: Low drums sound when the doorbell rings and Laura is required to open the door to let Jim and Tom in. What is the effect of this ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

Girl from poor background adopted by lord, falls for her half-sibling?

I can't remember the book or character names, but it was a novel from the 1850s-1950s, probably British. The main character was a very beautiful teenage girl from a poor background, with a drunkard ...
5
votes
0answers
51 views

“The Apple Tree” ending and the meaning behind it

I've recently been tasked with analysing "The Apple Tree" by John Galsworthy. I've had no major issues with understanding the text, but i really can't grasp the ending. Up on the top of the hill, ...
3
votes
0answers
29 views

Does Holly Short get to say goodbye to her mom?

I just finished re-reading the Artemis Fowl series, books 1-8. There were a couple of things that I seem to remember happening from the first time I read the series, a while ago, but that I didn't ...
2
votes
0answers
73 views

Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Abstraction Analysis

The Random House Teacher's Guide for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks poses this question. Can you help to break down the question and understand what is being asked for? Rebecca Skloot begins ...
6
votes
1answer
138 views

In “Candide”, are Prussian officers recruiting for the Bulgarian army?

I am reading Candide as part of my A Level. In the story Candide is chased from his home and finds "Two men dressed in blue". We later learn that they are trying to recruit him in the Bulgarian army. ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

Fairy tale about disguised Prince searching for Princess [closed]

I’m searching for a fairy tale I’m almost sure I once read as a child about a Prince who was searching for his Princess. Because all the established Princesses he knew from surrounding kingdoms were ...
5
votes
0answers
47 views

How is Hamlet different from a conventional Elizabethan revenge play?

It is well known that Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy established the genre of revenge tragedy in Elizabethan drama. The play contains many elements such as the appearance of a ghost, a play within ...
5
votes
2answers
46 views

Is there a useful “entry-level” annotated edition of Le Morte d'Arthur

I've always been a huge fan of Arthurian legend, and have read many books and comics etc inspired by it. But I've always wanted to read a telling of the stories that was much closer to the source so ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Meaning of “abandoned his grin to them” in Ted Hughes' “The Contender”?

In "The Contender" (a poem in Ted Hughes' Crow collection), there's a group of lines with peculiar syntax. Here are the lines: He abandoned his grin to them his grimace In his face upwards body ...
2
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0answers
39 views

Short story by Flannery O'Connor: conversation used in psychology periodical

I'd like the title of the short story by Flannery O'Connor in which a man thinks he is engaging in friendly conversation only to find that his responses are used as data in an article published in a ...
4
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0answers
27 views

Are all editions of “Joseph und seine Brüder” (by Thomas Mann) the same?

There are several editions of Joseph and his brothers (original German Joseph und seine Brüder). Do all of them contain the same text? Or did Thomas Mann make some "adjustments" for some publishers?
4
votes
1answer
54 views

Why does the boy-next-door raise objections about the racist remarks that the others are making?

Why does the boy-next-door raise objections about the racist remarks that his yippie friends make in the introductory chapters? Bateman does it twice in quick succession as if to show the reader that ...
4
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0answers
27 views

Why the title “Agunot” for S. Y. Agnon's short story?

S. Y. Agnon's first influential story is "Agunot" - in fact, his chosen name "Agnon" comes from the same word. The word "Agunot" is the plural form of the word "Agunah", which is the term for a woman ...
3
votes
0answers
37 views

Why do Major Barbara and Undershaft shake hands?

In George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara, I came across the following conversation which culminates with Barbara and her father Colonel Undershaft shaking hands: BARBARA. No. Will you let me try? ...
5
votes
1answer
48 views

Children's book (maybe German) I read in about 1995, fox and badger need to dig a tunnel to escape from farmer guarding their burrow's exit

I'm looking for a children's book that I read some time between 1997 and 1999, but it wasn't a new book so I guess it might have been written before 1990. I must have been about 8-10 years old when I ...
6
votes
2answers
763 views

The oldest tradition stopped before it got back to him

The following passage is taken from The Call of the Wild. What do the boldfaced parts mean? This lost mine was steeped in tragedy and shrouded in mystery. No one knew of the first man. The oldest ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

What is the earliest work with the time-loop trope?

The film "Groundhog Day" has a plot centered around a character whose day repeats exactly the same way each day, and upon waking retains memory of the previous day. This is what I call a "time-loop," ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

How are “sin and love and fear” “just sounds” in Faulkner's “As I Lay Dying”?

I lighted upon this quote from Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying on WikiQuote: He did not know that he was dead, then. Sometimes I would lie by him in the dark, hearing the land that was now of my ...
6
votes
3answers
182 views

1970s feminist book with premise something like: All men are guilty of raping all women?

In the mid-1970s I read a feminist book with a premise that was something like: All men are guilty of raping all women. I would like to re-read this to see if I am remembering it correctly. I ...
2
votes
0answers
66 views

Name for stories which do not contain names of the characters

Perhaps this is against the canons of literary construction but, is there a name for the style of tales, novels, and books which do not contain names for any of the characters? I can only think of ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

The significance of Lucky's speech in 'Waiting for Godot'

In Samuel Beckett's play 'Waiting for Godot', Lucky is the slave of a character called Pozzo. Unlike the other characters in the play who talk compulsively,Lucky utters just two sentences in the play, ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

Source of “Immortalised in Prose, A God Among the Pages”

I'm pretty sure this comes from an English poem, referring a woman's beauty. The author suggests that roses fade and wither, and that by describing her in written word keeps her alive forever. That ...
2
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0answers
43 views

Early 20th century children's story: children trying to frighten an alcoholic off the bottle using dyed dogs and icicles

Long ago, I read a children's story by an English author who probably pre-dated Enid Blyton and Richmal Crompton, and could be pre-World War I. It concerned some children trying to frighten an ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

What did Charlotte Brontë mean by "you would not be without friends”?

I lighted on this quote on BookRiot: [Helen Burns] went on— “If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

What does Forster mean by “Suspicion in the Oriental”?

I'm Asian and read p. 114 of Critical Terrains: French and British Orientalisms by Lisa Lowe, but I'm still baffled by this quote at ThoughtCo. It feels too broadly generalized (and a shade ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Why isn't “white” related to colour and ''God save the King" with a god?

I first stumbled on this quote at ThoughtCo: he did not realize that 'white' has no more to do with a colour than 'God save the King' with a god, and that it is the height of impropriety to ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

How to interpret “body that leaned stiffly” in H. P. Lovecraft's “Azathoth”?

I've just finished reading Lovecraft's fragment "Azathoth" (in Italian translation) and I am astonished by the beauty of the story. Nevertheless I am a little bit confused about the end of it. In my ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

What does Obama mean by “running strain of innocence” in “Dreams from My Father”?

The introduction to Barack Obama's memoir Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (1995) contains the passage: And yet what strikes me most when I think about the story of my family ...
5
votes
1answer
66 views

Identify Arabic book, Flowers of the Spring

From Wavell's A Modern Pilgrim in Mecca (1913), p. 138: Sir Richard Burton got into hot water with many people for translating literally and without expurgation the “Arabian Nights.” A perusal of ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Why “all should cry, Beware! Beware!” in Coleridge's “Kubla Khan”?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge's incomplete poem "Kubla Khan" ends with a vision of a poet in an ecstatic state with "flashing eyes" and "floating hair". He is beyond the realm of mere mortals for he has ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

How does the theme of fate manifest in 'Njal's Saga', and how does it differ from the theme of fate in the Aeneid by Virgil?

How is fate/fatalism portrayed in Njal's Saga? And how does it play into the development of the plot? What are some comparisons that can be drawn between fate in Njal's Saga and the Aeneid of Virgil....
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Inconsistencies in the character of Horatio in Hamlet

In the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet, Horatio is a friend and "fellow student" of the eponymous prince. A meticulous reading of the text will reveal certain apparent inconsistencies in the depiction ...

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