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11
votes
1answer
87 views

What makes something a literary or poetic movement?

I have recently been reading about the various poetic and literary movements that occurred prior to the 21st century, and one thing that I don't understand is how they become a movement. Most of them ...
7
votes
0answers
98 views

Identification of book set in Ancient Egypt

A couple years ago, I read a book which I would like to revisit. I don't remember much, but here's what I have. Setting is Ancient Egypt One of the primary characters is a Pharaoh or other reputable ...
18
votes
1answer
668 views

How 'human' are the animals in The Wind in the Willows meant to look?

I always imagined the animals in Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows - Mole, Ratty, Badger, Toad, and so on - to be actual animals, clearly anthropomorphised to some extent (walking on two legs, ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Does time pass for people turned to gold?

In The Lost Hero, when Piper wakes up from being a gold statue: Piper woke up cold and shivering. She’d had the worst dream about an old guy with donkey ears chasing her around and shouting, You’...
14
votes
1answer
211 views

Why is Camus asserting that “Marx scientific Messianism” is Bourgeois?

In The Rebel, Camus asserts that Progress, the future of science, the cult of technology and of production, are bourgeois myths, ... Why is Camus defining these themes as "bourgeois myths"?
4
votes
1answer
865 views

Is there “required” background reading for “The Hero With a Thousand Faces”?

The influence of "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell is well documented. I have picked up the version published in the "Collected Works of Joseph Campbell" series and have sadly found ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do Jem and Scout call their father Atticus?

My question is not why they call their father Atticus as much as why he lets them do this, and what this says about their characters. Where I come from--and, I think, in 1930s Alabama--it is not ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

How much experience does Mark Haddon have with the autism spectrum?

While The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is not supposed to be about autism, Asperger's or the autism spectrum, it does feature it prominently in that Christopher, the main character, ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the symbolism of the conch in Lord of the Flies?

In the Lord of the Flies, the conch is shattered when Piggy dies. Before that, it was held by Ralph, the de facto leader of the boys. What does the conch symbolize?
17
votes
2answers
591 views

What is Devdas syndrome?

Post-Devdas works in Hindi literature analysis always use the term Devdas syndrome. Like "X work is suffering from Devdas syndrome" or "Y work tackled it quite well". But what is this Devdas syndrome ...
10
votes
1answer
402 views

What is the process to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize?

The Man Booker Prize is often cited as one of the most prestigious awards for English literature. The selection process is supposed to be highly rigorous. But what's the process to be nominated for ...
10
votes
1answer
108 views

Why did Velutha hold a relatively high employment status for his social class?

In The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, Velutha is a member of the "Untouchables" - the social class at the bottom of society. What I find slightly paradoxical is that he holds employment in ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Did Jack's tribe view themselves as savages?

In Golding's Lord of the Flies, Jack's tribe is clearly meant to be portrayed as savages. However, it was never clear (to me at least) whether they considered themselves savages. Did Jack's tribe ...
5
votes
0answers
578 views

Meaning of the chapter structure in Calvino's Invisible Cities

Italo Calvino's book Invisible Cities is essentially a collection of descriptions of cities. What I find interesting is that the chapters follow a specific structure. There are ten categories of ...
9
votes
2answers
9k views

What was the irony of the end of Lord of The Flies?

People keep telling me there is irony at the end of Lord of The Flies, specifically during the conversation with the captain of the ship. What was ironic about that scene?
11
votes
2answers
140 views

Why is “pensión” left untranslated in “The Shadow of the Wind”?

In The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, they attempt to find a place to live for Fermín Romero de Torres, a former street beggar with a great mind, who they hire to help them find the books ...
14
votes
1answer
105 views

Did Cummings' editors try to fix his works' eccentricities?

E.E. Cummings often wrote with deliberately unconventional spelling and syntax. It was popularly criticised when published; however, did his editors try to "fix" his work before it was published? If ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Has Louise always known the truth in “Story of Your Life”?

Has the main character of the Story of Your Life (adapted as a movie called Arrival in 2016), Dr. Louise Banks always known the story of her life? Is there anywhere in the story explained how is it ...
12
votes
3answers
16k views

Why does Meursault kill “the Arab” in The Stranger?

In Albert Camus' book The Stranger, Meursault kills a character known as "the Arab" for no real reason at all. Meursault even acknowledges that he doesn't have to kill "the Arab" It struck me that ...
16
votes
1answer
166 views

Did Captain Pirx make a joke in base 13?

When Douglas Adams was asked whether he invented this question because six times nine is actually 54, which is 42 when written in base thirteen, he replied: “I may be a sorry case, but I don't write ...
11
votes
2answers
426 views

Was the clue to who Panama Oxridge really is ever found?

The Tartan of Thyme series is written by 'Panama Oxridge', a pseudonym. When questioned why they used this pen name the author said: 'Using a pseudonym was partly to distance myself from my ...
9
votes
1answer
289 views

What concept of love does Tolstoy suggest in Anna Karenina?

I know one of the characteristics of realistic works is they are mostly formulated as some independent studies of the life of society but, at the same time, I realise that the dominant approach to art ...
14
votes
5answers
28k views

Why does Stanley Uris react so gruesomely to It returning?

Stephen King's novel IT concerns a group of children who confronted an evil entity haunting their town -- and their reunion twenty-five years later to face the being again for the final time. Early ...
7
votes
3answers
679 views

How developed is the Gnommish language?

In the Artemis Fowl series, the fairies speak a language named Gnommish. We know that the Book is written in this language, in spirals. And we also see some Gnommish words, such as D'Arvit. Has Eoin ...
5
votes
1answer
84 views

How many works of Robert Silverberg's were based on Asimov's stories?

It's well known that Silverberg wrote novels based on some of Asimov's stories. For example, The Child of Time was based off of The Ugly Little Boy, and Nightfall was based off the Asimov story of ...
6
votes
0answers
250 views

Is there any evidence that Theremon 762's name was based on a theremin?

In Isaac Asimov's novel and short story (short story later expanded) Nightfall, there's a character named "Theremon 762". The whole novel is about darkness and innate fear, and a theremin, a type ...
7
votes
0answers
100 views

In Foucault's Pendulum, which names are allusions to the real world, and which are not?

Foucault's Pendulum has a litany of character names that intrigue me. I wonder where many of them come from. For example, Casaubon, the name of one of the main characters, seems like it comes from ...
7
votes
1answer
339 views

Robert Jordan Pseudonyms?

It is known that Robert Jordan, the author of The Wheel of Time series, is a pseudonym for James Oliver Rigney, Jr. From this question, we know he used different pseudonyms for the different genres he ...
18
votes
1answer
146 views

Is the cliffhanger at the end of “First among sequels” resolved?

The book "First among Sequels" ends on a cliffhanger. The protagonist, Thursday Next, has to run for her life, to escape an impending fire. The next book in the series, "One of Our Thursdays is ...
10
votes
2answers
518 views

Meaning of this line in “On seeing the Elgin Marbles”

And each imagined pinnacle and steep Of godlike hardship tells me I must die The "pinnacle and steep" represent the pillars of the Parthenon if I'm not mistaken. But the next line doesn't make ...
19
votes
2answers
339 views

What circumstances is Bachchan referring to in this poem?

I came across a poem titled, Saathi, Sab Kuch Sahna Hoga (You have to tolerate this all, my friend) by Harivansh Rai Bachchan. I read this poem years ago and it is taken from an older book. Here is an ...
21
votes
3answers
49k views

Origin of the phrase “Open Sesame”

The phrase, "Open Sesame", is a curious one indeed. Until a few days ago I foolishly believed that it was derived from a slurring of the words "Open, says me". But after coming to the story of Ali ...
14
votes
1answer
141 views

African dystopia with children on the run

This is a book I read in 4th grade, so about 2012-2013. This was in English and in the US. This wasn't really a sci-fi novel that I remember, but definitely dystopian. It was set in the future of an ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does A Wind in the Door contradict A Wrinkle in Time on conformity?

In A Wrinkle in Time, conformity is evil. Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin go to the planet Camazotz, a dystopian world where everyone conforms to the rhythm of IT and is tortured for erring from it. ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the meaning of “To Autumn”?

Many poems are filled with metaphors and underlying ideas about deeper things and more broad issues or feelings. I personally feel that "To Marguerite" is an example of this, where the poem is ...
11
votes
1answer
658 views

Did Robert Jordan name himself after Hemingway's character?

The fantasy author James Oliver Rigney Jr. chose the nom de plume Robert Jordan for many of his works of literature, including the magnificent Wheel of Time series. I recently read up on Ernest ...
12
votes
1answer
7k views

What did “Moloch” represent in Allen Ginsberg´s poem “Howl”?

In Allen Ginsberg´s poem "Howl", what did "Moloch" represent? What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? Moloch! Solitude! Filth! ...
14
votes
1answer
864 views

Whose were the “best minds” being destroyed in Ginsberg's “Howl”?

In Allen Ginsberg´s most famous poem "Howl", he claims he was witness to the destruction of the best minds of his generation: I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving ...
4
votes
0answers
70 views

What effect did William S. Burroughs's killing of his own wife have on his work?

William S. Burroughs, postmodernist author of the "Beat Generation", killed his own wife in Mexico City after a wild party with Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg. How did this affect his subsequent work?...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

In the Iliad, why does Homer list every captain involved in the Trojan war?

In book two of the The Iliad (which you can read online), Homer does something that I find strange: he interrupts the story to list the name of every captain involved in the Trojan war: And now, O ...
19
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the symbolism of the final rise of the Kraken?

I've been studying a lot of Tennyson, and I recently read The Kraken. The first 12 lines seem relatively straightforward, describing the giant beast that sleeps at the bottom of the sea, but the final ...
14
votes
0answers
237 views

What does the letter V in Thomas Pynchon's book symbolize?

Obviously, V. is a character in the book, known only by her initial. That initial is also the title of the book, which actually includes the period. But I assume this title/name symbolizes something ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

How much of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” is based on real events?

Ernest Hemingway wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls, the story of an American soldier fighting in the Spanish Civil War, a few years after his own experiences as an American journalist reporting on the ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Is Julián Carax based on a real author?

In The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Zafón has the main character discover a book entitled The Shadow of the Wind in the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books. This book is by a little-known ...
8
votes
1answer
270 views

When and where was 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu first adopted outside of China?

While of ancient origin and being still relevant today, much is speculation about the military classic 'The Art of War' by Sun Tzu. Even the existence of the author is disputed. He allegedly served ...
9
votes
1answer
422 views

What's the “Tower of Darkness” in the Rubaiyat referring to?

Stanza 26: (from the English version by FitzGerald) A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries "Fools! Your reward is neither Here nor There!" What's the "Tower of Darkness" referred to? I'm ...
16
votes
1answer
378 views

Are any Sherlock Holmes antagonists besides Moriarty based on real people?

I've heard that Arthur Conan Doyle's depiction of Professor Moriarty was inspired by several real-life figures, including Adam Worth. Given Doyle's wide-ranging set of villains and antagonists in the ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

The woods as a symbol in Young Goodman Brown

In the short story "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character spends a great deal of the story traveling through a "dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest"...
11
votes
1answer
89 views

Help Identifying Children's Book with Easter Bunnies

I know this is a hard, but when I was a kid I had a book about a town that asked some Easter Bunnies to paint the town for Easter or the Easter Bunnies just painted the town or one Easter Bunny ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Who is the speaker in “O Captain! My Captain!”

In "O Captain! My Captain!" by Walt Whitman, the speaker acts as if he has a close connection to Abraham Lincoln, saying: My father does not feel my arm This suggests that they are in such a ...

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