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1answer
510 views

What do these prophetic lines in The Hidden Oracle mean?

So there are 2 lines in The Hidden Oracle The fall of the Sun The final verse Well obviously, the fall of the Sun refers to Apollo becoming mortal. but what about the final verse? A theory; It ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is the hero's journey so ubiquitous across world literature?

In The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949), Joseph Campbell argues that many myths follow a typical pattern involving the hero's departure from familiar surroundings to a unfamiliar setting, ultimately ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Why has the final book for The Kingkiller Chronicle taken so long?

The penultimate book of the Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy was released in March 2011. It has been nearly six years and the final book still has no expected release date. Has Patrick Rothfuss gone ...
-1
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1answer
245 views

Did magic realism begin in literature? [closed]

Was magic realism started with literature or was it created in other arts before literature? For example, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a magic realistic book. Was One Hundred Years of Solitude ...
18
votes
1answer
337 views

To what effect does Goldman claim The Princess Bride is an abridgement?

This question was inspired by this question, which asks about the history of one work claiming itself as an adaptation or abridgment of another. In The Princess Bride by William Goldman, the author ...
10
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0answers
2k views

Is there any evidence of who assaulted Lola in “Atonement”, given the final reveal?

Content Note: Discussion of the sexual assault of a minor, and "evidence" of the innocence or guilt of possible suspects. Atonement revolves around Briony, who as a child is the only witness to Lola ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Was Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos based on the story beats of the same Keats poems?

I've read Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos, composed of the books Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, Endymion, and Rise of Endymion. The series pays considerable homage to the life and works of the 1800s poet ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Does an answer to the Sugar Bowl mystery exist?

In the later books in The Series of Unfortunate Events, the sugar bowl becomes a cryptic macguffin -- everybody's after it, everybody mentions how important it is, but nobody explains why. There are ...
-1
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1answer
359 views

Did a specific person inspire Lord Byron's poem “She walks in beauty”?

She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies; Lord Byron's poem is a classic. Did someone special inspire it, and if so, who?
15
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1answer
888 views

Was there a reason Room 101 was called Room 101?

Was the room named after anything significant? It seems odd to me that he would name such an important piece of the novel after nothing, but maybe I am just looking too hard.
12
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1answer
584 views

How does Room 101 reset for each person who enters?

It's known in 1984 that Room 101 contains your worst fears; it's the ultimate torture/emotional breakdown technique. However, assuming each prisoner has a different fear, Room 101 would have to ...
14
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1answer
493 views

What sources influenced Byron's “Fragment of a Novel”?

Lord Byron's "Fragment of a Novel" is an unfinished story about a vampire. (It's not clear from the story that the man is a vampire, but at least according to this site, Byron said that the man would ...
21
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1answer
442 views

Did later literary analysis agree with Mark Twain's criticism of J.F. Cooper?

This excellent answer by @CHEESE linked to a Mark Twain's "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses". SPOILER ALERT: That essay is extremely critical of Cooper's work. Did later literary analysis largely ...
29
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2answers
1k views

Has the phrase “Elementary, my dear Watson” ever truly appeared in a Sherlock Holmes book?

A famous phrase attributed to Sherlock Holmes is "Elementary, my dear Watson" or "Elementary, dear Watson" Has this phrase ever occurred in a Sherlock Holmes book? If yes, in which novel or story ...
12
votes
2answers
637 views

Is there any animal internal monologue in The Lord of the Rings?

Does Tolkien ever include any internal monologue from the perspective of an animal? That is to say, a scene where he shows an animal talking to itself inside of its own head?
23
votes
1answer
283 views

Was pretending to be an abridgement of a made-up work invented by William Goldman?

William Goldman's The Princess Bride is famous (among other reasons) for a literary device it employs - it pretends to be an abridgment (or "the good parts version") of a longer work by S. ...
13
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2answers
573 views

What inspired the writing of Sredni Vashtar?

Of the many short stories by Saki, I found Sredni Vashtar to be one of the darkest. While many of his stories are morbid, Sredni Vashtar has a young boy praying for the death of his guardian to ...
7
votes
1answer
134 views

Are the comic elements of Conrad's The Secret Agent intentional?

Conrad's novel The Secret Agent is a critique of the way authoritarian tendencies react to the perceived threat of terrorism. The story it tells is, in most respects, extremely bleak. There are, ...
27
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1answer
5k views

Why did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle decide to kill off this character?

In the short story "The Final Problem", Sir Arthur Conan Doyle made the decision to kill off Sherlock Holmes (although he did bring him back again in the story of "The Empty House"). This was met with ...
9
votes
1answer
837 views

Where does the word “diegesis” come from, and to what elements of a story, specifically, does it refer?

I've noticed that the word "diegesis" is an important term when discussing literature and literary value. Where does it come from, and what does it mean?
9
votes
1answer
220 views

Did Shakespeare's audience believe Measure for Measure to be realistic?

In the play Measure for Measure Vincentio, the Duke of Vienna, leaves his city in the charge of a judge while he goes on a "diplomatic mission". It transpires that he has not, in fact, left the city ...
18
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1answer
784 views

What was a “prince” in Dostoevsky's times, i.e. mid-late 19th century?

In Dostoevsky's The Idiot, the main character is Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin. Sometimes the word "prince" almost seems an honorary title, e.g. "Here you all are now," the prince began, "looking ...
10
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2answers
467 views

Was there a deliberate parallel between the Thénardiers and Gollum?

Long ago, I noticed that there was a parallel between The Lord of the Rings and Les Misérables in the characters of the Thénardiers and Gollum. Gollum has the One Ring at the start of the tale in The ...
15
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2answers
3k views

What is the meaning of the epilogue in Blood Meridian?

Cormac McCarthy is famously tight-lipped as to his own interpretations of his work. Nevertheless, there are some clear themes in his novel Blood Meridian: human propensity to violence and the efforts ...
6
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1answer
105 views

When is the Shadow Children series set?

In Margaret Peterson Haddix's The Shadow Children series, it's a dystopian world where people aren't allowed to have more than two children. It appears as if it's set in the future of our world. ...
13
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1answer
147 views

Do all old stars get their own private island and a magical buffet table?

On The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the crew of the Dawn Traders lands on the island of Ramandu, who is a retired star1. "I am a star at rest, my daughter," answered Ramandu. "When I set for the ...
-1
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1answer
117 views

Who is Jeanette?

I've read The Passage - Justin Cronin. The series was great, but I haven't heard much about Jeanette (from what I can remember). I really want to know if she's special like Amy. My question is was ...
16
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1answer
10k views

What is the bananafish? What does it represent?

In J.D. Salinger's A Perfect Day For Bananafish, Seymour, the main character, talks about a bananafish. He tells a little girl about the bananafish. The little girl says she sees the fish. What is ...
22
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2answers
6k views

How many sailors from Odysseus' crew survived the Odyssey?

It's been a long time since I've read it, maybe 20 years. Of course, Odysseus survives, but does anyone else? How many sailors did he start with, and how many made it home with him (or safely departed ...
13
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1answer
394 views

Had Keats read any of Homer's works before reading Chapman's translation of them?

In "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer," John Keats writes: Oft of one wide expanse had I been told That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne; Yet never did I breathe its pure serene ...
7
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0answers
116 views

I'm looking for a comic where Huey, Dewey or Louie has a girlfriend

It's a series of still images (comic). I believe it's quite old, probably from between 1960-1980. It's about Huey, Dewey and Louie. Two of them are being sort of rowdy, fighting, doing mischief, etc. ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Understanding the key in The Waste Land

A passage from the fifth part of the poem The Waste Land (which you can read online) says: Dayadhvam: I have heard the key Turn in the door once and turn once only We think of the key, each in ...
9
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0answers
149 views

Was Isidora's fate in Melmoth the Wanderer directly inspired by Faust?

When reading Charles Robert Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer I couldn't help but notice that Isidora's fate largely resembled Gretchen's in Goethe's Faust and especially the endings of both storylines ...
12
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1answer
942 views

How long was the Little Prince on Earth?

In The Little Prince, the titular little prince lands on Earth. How long was he there? If I recall correctly, the prince left on the 8th day of the pilot being lost in the desert. I don't know if ...
20
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2answers
2k views

In 1984, why does O'Brien expect Winston to know what Room 101 is?

In 1984, O'Brien expects Winston to know what Room 101 is. I know that Room 101 is more torture, but why would O'Brien expect Winston to know that? ‘What is in Room 101?’ The expression on O’...
7
votes
1answer
176 views

Do any of J. D. Salinger's short stories share locations or characters?

J. D. Salinger is a well-known 20th century author, most notably of Catcher in the Rye. He was fairly prolific, writing many stories. Do any of these stories share the same universe?
10
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1answer
889 views

Was Catcher in the Rye autobiographical?

Was Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger in any way based on Salinger's earlier life, like the works of Charles Dickens?
5
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0answers
2k views

Is Troy the antagonist in “Fences”?

Is Troy the antagonist of the play Fences? The antagonist is, by definition, the opposer to the protagonist, who is also Troy. However, Troy often acts against his own beliefs (i.e., sending Gabe to ...
15
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1answer
633 views

Why all those tangents in Victor Hugo's Les Misérables?

Anyone who's ever read Victor Hugo's immortal masterpiece Les Misérables knows that it's a long read... mostly because Hugo goes on a bunch of random tangents in the middle—on such topics as the ...
9
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1answer
5k views

Do I need to read the Redwall books in any specific order?

The Redwall series by Brian Jacques is pretty long: ~40 books, iirc. They all focus on different characters, but there are lots of people that appear in lots, such as Martin the Warrior. Do I have to ...
9
votes
3answers
459 views

Why did George have to kill this character?

In Of Mice and Men, I never understood why it was necessary for when George simply could've pulled some sort of diversionary tactic and falsely led the rest of the lynch mob somewhere else in the ...
22
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1answer
1k views

What specific criticisms did Mark Twain make against Jane Austen's books?

It's pretty well known that Mark Twain was rather vitriolic against Jane Austen, saying things like: I go so far as to say that any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane ...
33
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2answers
3k views

In 1984, why did O'Brien wait so long?

In Orwell's 1984, O'Brien knows well that Julia and Winston are enemies of the Party when they come to his house to pledge their allegiance to the Brotherhood. Why doesn't he immediately arrest them ...
3
votes
3answers
144 views

Who illustrated “Exotic Zoology”?

I love the illustrations in Willy Ley's Exotic Zoology, which appear to be line art. Sadly my copy is a battered library-discard; either the front matter never attributed the artist or it was on a ...
10
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4answers
2k views

Do I need to read the Hardy Boys books in order?

The Hardy Boys books are a bunch of mystery novels, written by Franklin W. Dixon. They all focus on the Hardy Brothers, Frank and Joe. I have some of the series, but not all of them (especially not ...
9
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1answer
1k views

How many of Shakespeare's words in his plays were new?

William Shakespeare is famous for using many words in his plays which were new introductions to the English language. According to Shakespeare Online: The English language owes a great debt to ...
23
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1answer
509 views

Is the mariner immortal?

I pass, like night, from land to land; I have strange power of speech; That moment that his face I see, I know the man that must hear me: To him my tale I teach. This is one of the last ...
8
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1answer
226 views

Has a parody of a work of literature ever become more successful than the original work? [closed]

I was thinking of this when I read Nineteen-Neighty-Four, a fanfic with My Little Pony ponies in a 1984-ish world. Parodies can be really successful as a way of challenging another work, or the ideas ...
12
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1answer
129 views

Are the talking animals real or figments of the Little Prince's imagination?

The Little Prince meets some animals that can talk: for example, a fox and a snake. Well, we know[citation needed] that they can't actually talk, but do they really exist or are they just figments of ...
8
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1answer
159 views

Why are some people dissatisfied with the titling of “The Red Wheelbarrow”?

I have read that many critics have been dissatisfied with the modern titling of XXII from Spring and All by William Carlos Williams as "The Red Wheelbarrow". Neil Easterbrook was displeased with the ...

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