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234 views

How is the narrator “learning to fly” without wings?

The chorus to Learning to Fly by Tom Petty is as follows: I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings Coming down is the hardest thing In what sense is the narrator "learning to fly" without ...
-4
votes
1answer
190 views

Why does pressure “put people on streets”?

Pressure pushing down on me Pressing down on you no man ask for Under pressure that brings a building down Splits a family in two Puts people on streets In what sense does pressure "put ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Could the War of the Worlds be considered a proto Cosmic Horror story?

After reading the War of the Worlds, I have noticed that H.G. Wells has presented several themes that would not be alien to something that Lovecraft would compose. There's a deep anti-anthropocentric ...
6
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0answers
108 views

Is this quote from Flatland a reference to Plato's Cave analogy?

Flatland opens with the following paragraph: Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their ...
2
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1answer
102 views

Are gender roles gone in the future in “The Story of the Amulet” by E. Nesbit?

When the kids go into the future in The Story of the Amulet, it looks like gender roles have perhaps disappeared. Some of the relevant quotes: There was no one in the room, but in the next gallery, ...
7
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2answers
509 views

What does “Maybe it's a Big Horse I'm Morporkian” mean?

In Terry Pratchett's book Raising Steam, there is an explanation of the phrase "Have seen the big horse" where the author uses the sentence "Maybe it's a Big Horse I'm Morporkian". What exactly does ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Meaning of “The sin of thousands always goes unpunished”?

What did Lucanus mean by "The sin of thousands always goes unpunished" in Book V of Pharsalia?
5
votes
3answers
831 views

Does this phrase deliberately sound like “blackjack”?

The third verse and chorus of "Do It Again" by Steely Dan is as follows: Now you swear and kick and beg us that you're not a gamblin' man; Then you find you're back in Vegas with a handle in your ...
3
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8answers
10k views

What does Jack do again in the Steely Dan song?

"Do it again" by Steely Dan starts with the following verse: In the mornin' you go gunnin' for the man who stole your water And you fire till he is done in but they catch you at the border And ...
1
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1answer
125 views

Why did Jim Taggart refer to Orren Boyle as a “fat slob” behind his back?

Jim Taggart periodically refers to the Orren Boyle as a "fat slob." Granted, Orren Boyle was notoriously inept, doesn't appear to actually produce all that much steel (and what little he produces ...
4
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0answers
145 views

Is there a name for version of trochaic tetrameter with lines of 8|7|8|7 syllables

Is there a name for the meter used in Clementine: Drove she ducklings to the water Every morning just at nine Struck her foot against a splinter Fell into the foaming brine or in Schiller's ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Why did Smerdyakov kill himself in the Brothers Karamazov?

It is being said that he committed suicide out of desperation. the Defense lawyer, Fetyukovich, actually stated Smerdyakov did not kill himself out of guilt and remorse, but because he knew there was ...
4
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1answer
139 views

Looking for a quote: “I'm a capitalist and a socialist and a communist and an anarchist and a monarchist”

I remember very well that I was reading somewhere or I've seen it on the TV that Federico García Lorca said something like "I'm a capitalist and a socialist and a communist and an anarchist and a ...
1
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1answer
1k views

Why did Robert Plant call “Stairway to Heaven” a “song of hope”?

In some live performances (e.g. from the album "The Song Remains the Same", which was recorded live in 1973), Robert Plant stated that "I think that [Stairway to Heaven] is a song of hope." Why did he ...
3
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1answer
49 views

Why is there so much emphasis on snack foods in the plays of Martin McDonagh?

Snack foods tend to be highly emphasized in McDonagh's plays, touched on in this article: "The Lord-Lieutenant’s Biscuit and the Irishman’s Spud: Ireland’s Iconic Snacks Blasphemed in Martin McDonagh’...
2
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0answers
38 views

novel where someone tells a story about a troll that lives under the bathtub and eats soap

All I remember from this book is that one of the characters makes up a story for a child about a troll who lives under the bathtub and eats soap. I think the person telling the story was a nursemaid-...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Book about “lesser” and “greater” magic, with main protagonist who learns both?

Can you identify this book? Here's what I remember of it... A civilization had their home world ravaged by some kind of disaster. Using "Greater" magic they made a portal to another world. The ...
1
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0answers
17 views

Do characters in Lawrence Block's books ever meet each other?

Like Matthew Scudder and Bernie Rhodenbarr, do they know each other?
3
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0answers
371 views

Did Ruth sleep with her father?

I'm reading Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, and I'm also confused by this question. Malcom, Ruth's wife, claims that Ruth had sex with her dead father: “In the bed,” he said, and stopped for so long ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

What image was in the Autostereogram?

In a part of the Book of Mythicality by Rhett and Link, in the chapter about picking a fight (I believe), there's a couple of pages dedicated to an Autostereogram. I've never been very good at these ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Why does Ruth breastfeed Milkman, and why is this considered scandelous?

I'm reading Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison for a class, and I'm confused by this. An important part of Milkman's life story is that his mother (Ruth) breastfed him later than normal. It's how he got ...
11
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1answer
1k views

What do people mean when they refer to a work as “Dostoevskian”?

I hear this term thrown around a lot, in connection to a variety of different works. They don't all share the same central themes, though - at least not necessarily. But they do all tend to be ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Why the breathing in Snowgoons Get Off the Ground

At around 3:10 in Snowgoons Get Off the Ground (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yih_bMc5B7o), Ruste Juxx starts rapping. Why is his portion accompanied by heavy breathing? Here are the associated ...
4
votes
2answers
98 views

What does “I'm with the Switzerland wolves we bout to spit some jewels” mean?

In Snowgoons "Get Off the Ground" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yih_bMc5B7o) there's the following line: I'm with the Switzerland wolves we bout to spit some jewels What does that mean?
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Why does the narrator ask to “give me some time” in “Brand New Day” by Ryan Star?

From Brand New Day by Ryan Star contains the following lyrics: I stayed in one place for too long Gotta get on the run again I saw the one thing that I want Hell bent, get outta bed I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
562 views

How did Snape figure out the stuff he had written in his Advanced Potion-Making book?

The first thing that we're actually shown is Snape's modifications to the Draught of Living Death potion. Some of his modifications, like crushing the bean instead of cutting to release more juice, ...
2
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2answers
1k views

What is the message of “Seasons of Glass and Iron” in terms of men?

I recently read the short story "Seasons of Glass and Iron", winner of the 2017 Hugo Award for Best Short Story, which may be read in full online. Since the main characters are both women and the only ...
6
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1answer
124 views

Where is this Greek extract from?

Eἰς τὸν λειμῶνα καθίσας, ἔδρεπεν ἕτερον ἐφ' ἑτέρῳ αἰρόμενος ἄγρευμ' ἀνθέων ἁδομένᾳ ψυχᾷ [Eurip. frag. 754.] [sic] ['He sat in the meadow and plucked with glad heart the spoil of the flowers, gathering ...
2
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0answers
68 views

How did Sato get the file?

In Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, Sato convinces Bellamy and Langdon to help her by How did she get that file?
11
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0answers
155 views

When was young Cosette's bedtime?

While the song "Come to Me" was probably not intended as a treatise on astronomical timekeeping or 19th-century French child-rearing, some of Fantine's lines (taken at face value) fit together for a ...
3
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1answer
107 views

Analyzing the end of Gatsby

I'm trying to understand the end of Gatsby, and my friend told me that the end of Gatsby relates to the American dream. Can someone help me the analyze the end of Gatsby? What I have analyzed so far: ...
1
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0answers
52 views

How it is possible for the guardians to reach meov island? in N.K. Jemisin - The fifth season

Alabaster and Syenite can't use they powers directly on guardians, but they could make a lot of indirect things. Such as rise several stone columns in a radious from the island forcing the guardians ...
6
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1answer
333 views

Seeing the world through green-tinted glasses

people thus situated, who have warm imaginations, generally amuse themselves by conjuring up an idol of perfection to which they attach all kinds of merit, probable or improbable. They invest the ...
2
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0answers
216 views

Why and how is Mr. Thompson based on Harry S. Truman?

Wikipedia's list of characters in Atlas Shrugged describes Mr. Thompson as follows: Mr. Thompson is the "Head of the State" for the United States. He is not particularly intelligent and has a very ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Why did all of the Taggart Transcontinental engineers volunteer to drive the first train on the John Galt Line?

Early on in the book, the engineer running the Comet stopped for hours at a broken signal and spent hours waiting for someone to tell him what to do. However, later we see that almost every engineer ...
5
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0answers
102 views

How significant is Schopenhauer's philosophy in Buddenbrooks?

In Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks, in part 10, Thomas Buddenbrook finds himself reading a treatise on philosophy, which elevates him above his day to day care to a level where he can see the pettiness of ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

What/who are the exact sources of inspiration, deriving from Antiquity, for Fables, written by La Fontaine?

I know that La Fontaine's Fables is heavily inspired by Greco-Roman classic literature, especially Aesop's fables, but I'm sure there are other sources of inspiration for La Fontaine's 12 books of ...
3
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0answers
480 views

In which countries was “The Story of Ferdinand” banned?

On the Wikipedia page for The Story of Ferdinand, it says this: The book was released nine months before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, and was seen by many supporters of Francisco Franco ...
10
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2answers
172 views

How did Mama and Papa bear know someone was sitting in their chairs?

Goldilocks sits in Mama and Papa bears' chairs, but does not break them: After she'd eaten the three bears' breakfasts she decided she was feeling a little tired. So, she walked into the living ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

YA book involving disappearing subatomic particles?

I think it involved some sort of romantic subplot, but I'm not sure. I also remember it having the discussion of death, maybe of the main characters mother? The most significant thing I remember is ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Book about young S.W.A.T. agent that falls in love with a woman that has a child (Wattpad)

I am looking for a book/short story on Wattpad about a young man (22-27) who is a sniper for a S.W.A.T. team. In the beginning of the book he is forced to take a kill shot due to something silly that ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Is Ozma a lesbian character?

Throughout the Oz books, we see that Ozma has several indicators of perhaps being gay: She never takes a boyfriend, she has a... erm... very close friendship with Dorothy, and some people claim that ...
16
votes
1answer
730 views

Did Thomas Hardy's books get more miserable with time, and was this because of his own life?

Thomas Hardy is best known for his tragic romances, novels which are really miserable and depressing to read. However, not all of them are equally so: Far From the Madding Crowd, one of his first ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Tom and Nick's meeting in the Great Gatsby

At the end of Gatsby when Tom and Nick meet, after their conversation Nick states that Tom: "went into the jewelry store to buy a pearl necklace — or perhaps only a pair of cuff buttons — rid of ...
4
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1answer
665 views

Meanings of the Kenyan dialect words used in “A Grain of Wheat”?

I've started reading A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (available here), and it contains quite a few of what I assume are Kenyan dialect words. Not enough to make it unreadable for me - most of ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Is there a term/example for the danger in translating an idiomatic term by a loanword which exists in the language from which one is translating?

What is a technical term, used by professional translators, and are there 'notorious' instructive examples for the following danger when translating a text: I have to translate a text T from language ...
3
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1answer
558 views

What is the purpose of aliens and time travel in Slaughterhouse-Five?

I think it must have something to do with the subject of free will and how war can mess up one's head. What do you think?
3
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1answer
945 views

What's the significance of the stanza about V for victory in Tony Harrison's V?

I'm working through the long poem "V" by Tony Harrison (available here). The narrator is describing the graffiti scrawled by football supporters, with "V" denoting "versus", as in "Leeds V [another ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What does Stephen Dedalus mean: "History is the nightmare from which I’m trying to awake”?

Source: How to Read Novels Like a Professor (2008) by Thomas C. Foster. p. 247 Middle.   The big, often very uncomfortable, ideas run rampant in those disquieting categories, “minority” and “...
11
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1answer
215 views

Short Horror Story in which protagonist is a monstrous freak in hiding?

I read this in a horror anthology, and thought it was called "I, Monster" but could find nothing through Google on this. Also thought it was an R Chetywnd Hays story, but again it seems invisible now. ...

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