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7
votes
1answer
324 views

What was the connection between Hardy and Keats?

Thomas Hardy's short poem "At Lulworth Cove a Century Back" is a sort of ode to Keats, who apparently left England from near Lulworth Cove on his way to Rome: "Good. That man goes to Rome — to ...
8
votes
2answers
336 views

How familiar would the “Blind men and an elephant” tale be in the West?

I am translating my article to English, which heavily uses the Blind men and an elephant tale. Since the metaphor is important, I wonder how it would be perceived in the West, especially in the US. Do ...
3
votes
0answers
102 views

Understanding the usage of “Philosophy” in Uncle Vanya

In "Uncle Vanya" by Chekhov, I noticed a usage of the word "philosophy" that seemed out of place. ASTROFF. A woman can only become a man's friend after having first been his acquaintance and then ...
7
votes
0answers
59 views

Predecessors/Inspirations of Scheinriesen (Illusionary Giants)

A "Scheinriese" (illusory giant), most notably Mr. Tur-Tur from Michael Ende's Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver, is a being which when seen from a distance appears to be a giant, inadvertently ...
4
votes
1answer
218 views

Children book with two main characters exploring Fibonacci sequence, Golden ratio

I'm looking for book I've came across aprox ten years ago, I think it was fairly recent book (certainly the edition was). It had two main characters (boy and girl, I think) that were on some kind of ...
4
votes
2answers
541 views

Putting 'gently' out of pain

I'm reading "A Roadside Stand" by Robert Frost, which you can read online. Below I have given the particular paragraph. In the line - To put these people at one stroke out of their pain Robert ...
9
votes
0answers
101 views

What methods have been used to distinguish the text between the two strands of The Neverending Story?

I've owned two copies of Michael Ende's The Neverending Story in my life - both English translations, one paperback with a blue cover, one hardback with a red cover inside the dustcover. Both of them ...
10
votes
1answer
902 views

Story about a man who wins three bets with the devil

I read a story in my reading book in third or fourth grade about a man who got tricked into agreeing to three bets with the devil because the man was a great gambler. The man won all three bets and in ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Where was Homer born?

I hope not to ask a very silly question. As the title says, I want to know the place where Homer was born. According to some quick searches on the web, he was born in Ionia. But it seems strange for ...
4
votes
1answer
600 views

Novel about a woman who becomes a prostitute to pay for her husband's sins

I think this is a novel. The main character whose name is Charlie (I think) goes on a Europe trip, and he ends up in France with a friend of his. Now I am not too sure it was set in France but it ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What does Gulzar actually mean by saying that Earth can hide a river inside?

The poem "The Magical Earth" by Gulzar (from Green Poems, 2014) contains these lines (in the English translation by Pavan K. Varma): There is something indeed in the earth of my garden Is this ...
6
votes
1answer
158 views

Was Ellsworth Toohey's public speaking style modeled after Harold Laski?

The first time that Peater Keating hears Ellsworth Toohey speak, it's described as follows: It was not a voice, it was a miracle. It unrolled as a velvet banner. It spoke English words, but the ...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

Is Ellsworth Toohey just giving the same speech over and over again?

In a labor meeting, Ellsworth Toohey said the following: "... and so, my friends," the voice was saying, "the lesson to be learned from our tragic struggle is the lesson of unity. We shall unite or ...
10
votes
1answer
245 views

Where is Momo set?

Every time I start to read the opening paragraphs of Michael Ende's Momo, I think for a moment "wait, is this set thousands of years ago and I forgot?" before realising those paragraphs are only ...
2
votes
2answers
786 views

Could “mark” in “London” by William Blake be meant as a name?

Stanza 1 of "London" by William Blake is as follows: I wander thro' each charter'd street, Near where the charter'd Thames does flow. And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of ...
2
votes
1answer
137 views

Is there an official definition for alliteration? [duplicate]

There is confusion about the definition of Alliteration and Rhyme. Some people define alliteration as the repetition of consonants, while others restrict alliteration to only the case when two ...
3
votes
2answers
840 views

What is Robert Frost 'owning' in these lines?

I read the poem "A Roadside Stand" by Robert Frost, and I have accumulated a few questions through the poem. So, I will be posting some questions from the same poem, if you can please answer my other ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How did “they make them sleep all day” in A Roadside Stand?

I read the poem 'A Roadside Stand' by Robert Frost, and I have accumulated a few questions through the poem. So, I will be posting some questions from the same poem, if you can please answer my other ...
3
votes
1answer
720 views

Was “All Summer in a Day” based on any real childhood event?

Ray Bradbury's famous short story "All Summer in a Day", which can be read online, is about a girl from Earth, Margot, who's ostracised by her classmates on Venus. They've never seen the sun, but she ...
3
votes
2answers
320 views

What does the word 'Avernus' mean in Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu?

Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu, Chapter 7: The first change I experienced was rather agreeable. It was very near the turning point from which began the descent of Avernus. On Wikipedia it says Avernus ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What does 'trusting sorrow' mean here?

I read the poem 'A Roadside Stand' by Robert Frost, and I have accumulated a few questions through the poem. So, I will be posting some questions from the same poem, if you can please answer my other ...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

In Don Quixote, why wasn't Sancho Panza allowed to speak in the black mountains?

At the start of chapter 25 of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, Sancho Panza is not allowed to speak (to Don Quixote). Don Quixote took leave of the goatherd, and once more mounting Rocinante bade ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Why is the folk song Cutty Wren included in Arnold Wesker's play Chips With Everything?

Arnold Wesker's play Chips with Everything is an examination of class attitudes in Britain through the window of the armed forces. In one scene a group of conscripts sing the peculiar English folk ...
5
votes
0answers
126 views

Is the Crimson King's first attack on Stephen King based on a real experience from the author's childhood?

In The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah Eddie and Roland pay a visit to Stephen King in 1977, after learning that he apparently wrote about Pere Callahan's story. In order to learn what is really going ...
-1
votes
2answers
109 views

Meaning of homology in Lucien Goldmann's genetic structuralism

In the 1960s the French philosopher, sociologist and literary theorist Lucien Goldmann developed a theory known as "genetic criticism" (e.g. in Sciences humaines et philosophie. Suivi de ...
14
votes
2answers
211 views

Is it common practice for cover art to be designed without direct input from the author?

in the last day or so there's been something of a furore over Terry Goodkind's public criticism of the cover art on his latest novel, Shroud of Eternity. He made a post on Facebook ridiculing the ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Has there been any criticism of Bryan Smith's depiction in The Dark Tower series?

At some point during The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower Roland's ka-tet has to save Stephen King, who ultimately seems to be a representation of one of the tower's beams, from getting hit by a car ...
11
votes
1answer
506 views

How did contemporary readers respond to coincidence in 19th century novels

Reading 19th century literature in the 21st century, it is often striking how often the plot turns on often quite outrageous coincidences. Frequently this happens when a relatively small cast of ...
6
votes
0answers
700 views

Is the comparison in “The Clod and the Pebble” between different types of love?

The poem "The Clod and the Pebble" from William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience (which you can read online) is just three verses long and compares two different descriptions of love, ...
7
votes
1answer
97 views

Stories From the Year Without a Summer

I have seen the story many times: Percy and Mary Shelley (not yet wed) paid an a visit to Lord Byron in 1816. Attributed now to the eruption at Mount Tambora, this year was unseasonably cool. Spending ...
5
votes
1answer
730 views

Did Dante plagiarize the Divine Comedy from Kitab al-Miraj?

By looking up what the Kitab al-Miraj was, you can see many similarities to the Divine Comedy: a traveler's journey through the afterlife. Is it possible that Dante plagiarized this work?
1
vote
0answers
52 views

How did “Songs of Innocence and Experience” inspire “Airbag” by Radiohead?

Apparently, some of the lyrics to Radiohead's "Airbag" were found written in the margins of a volume of Songs of Innocence and Experience. Was this song inspired or influenced by Songs of Innocence ...
1
vote
0answers
2k views

Is “Fitter Happier” by Radiohead referring to the perceived futility and “entrapment” of the middle-class suburbia lifestyle?

"Fitter Happier" by Radiohead has the following lyrics: Fitter, happier More productive Comfortable Not drinking too much Regular exercise at the gym, three days a week Getting on better ...
5
votes
0answers
580 views

What metaphor(s) are represented by the mysterious figure in Charles Causley's “Innocent's Song”?

The other day, I came across this rather sinister poem by Charles Causley, set to music. Innocent's Song Who's that knocking on the window, Who's that standing at the door, What are ...
7
votes
1answer
634 views

Why is the robin “sobbing”?

Blake's "The Blossom", part of his Songs of Innocence which you can read online, is a very short poem about a sparrow and a robin. The part about the robin reads as follows: Pretty, pretty robin! ...
2
votes
0answers
119 views

How is G. B. Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra (1898) different from the eponymous characters' true relationship?

I know that Shaw's play is a fictionalized account of Caesar and Cleopatra's relationship. But how is G. B. Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra (1898) different from the eponymous characters' true ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Terminology and examples for what George Orwell calls “good bad poetry”?

Recently I bumped into an article where "The Poetry Foundation’s president, John Barr, takes a look at what separates “serious” poetry from the rest". Poetry being an art form, obviously no such ...
8
votes
0answers
248 views

Why does Kipling's poem ‘The Three-Decker’ differ between editions?

Rudyard Kipling’s collection The Seven Seas (1896) contains the poem ‘The Three-Decker’, whose third verse is as follows: By ways no gaze could follow, a course unspoiled of cook, Per Fancy, ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Use of 'this crossly' in the 'A Roadside Stand' by Robert Frost?

What does author want to convey by saying/using 'this crossly' as two instances in the poem? What do they signify/show? Thanks to anyone who takes his time to help me out :) The little old house ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the 'N' and 'S' signs in the 'A Roadside Stand' by Robert Frost?

I read the poem "A Roadside Stand" by Robert Frost. I am confused by the reference to "N" and "S" signs in tree poem. What do those signs refer to? The little old house was out with a little new ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Did George R. R. Martin Conceive Bronn as a Younger, Cynical Version of Illyrio Mopatis?

In A Song of Ice and Fire and the television series Game of Thrones, Bronn is a low-born "sellsword" (i.e. a mercenary) who, in the first few seasons of the television series, he is coupled with the ...
7
votes
1answer
183 views

Which Chesterton story is alluded in Childhood's End?

In Arthur Clarke's Childhood's End, there is a small allusion to a Chesterton story when the characters Stormgreen and Van Ryberg discuss their theories about the nature of the Overlords (Chap. 4): ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there any significance to Blake's choice of the name Lyca?

The twinned poems "The Little Girl Lost" and "The Little Girl Found" from William Blake's Songs of Experience (available to read online) are about a little girl called Lyca who gets lost from her ...
29
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the pun in Kipling's poem “The Three-Decker”?

In the poem The Three-Decker, by Rudyard Kipling, there is one line where the meter is slightly different from all the other lines. I Googled that line, not expecting to find anything, and Google ...
3
votes
1answer
574 views

A lifetime of happiness: why could no man bear it? Why hell on earth?

Primary Source: George Bernard Shaw. Man and Superman (1903), Act 1. Secondary Source: What's It All About? p. 104 Bottom. [...] Finally, we surely have to accept that uninterrupted happiness is ...
6
votes
1answer
81 views

Why did Rand use opaque references to government bodies and offices in Atlas Shrugged?

I have read Atlas Shrugged many times and have often wondered why Ayn Rand makes opaque and ambiguous references to the US Congress and the President of the United Status. For example, she refers to ...
5
votes
1answer
478 views

Consular Operations in Robert Ludlum’s books

When reading “Bourne Identity”, closer to the end of the book an agency called Consular Operations is introduced. Since I had never heard of such thing, I’ve searched, and discovered that it is ...
3
votes
1answer
326 views

What does “in the arms of Murphy” mean?

From E. Nesbit's The Enchanted Castle, Chapter V, when Gerald is telling the policeman Johnson about the burglary he witnessed: "Was it you give the warning, and they sent for the police?" ...
9
votes
1answer
425 views

Leonid Andreyev novel about man pretending to be crazy in order to get away with murder

I have read a story by Leonid Andreyev many years ago. I would like to read it again but I don't know where / how to find it. The story is about a guy that one day decides to kill his friend. His ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

At the start of 6th Spice and Wolf light novel, what's up with the discrepancy between “like” and “love”?

Note: I'd like to request no spoilers beyond the start of the 6th novel. At the very end of the 4th S&W novel, Lawrence says "I like you". And yet Lawrence embraced Holo. And then— &...

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