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4
votes
3answers
349 views

In which Chinese fairy tale does a painter disappear into his own painting?

The online description of Rüdiger Safranski's book Wieviel Wahrheit braucht der Mensch? begins with the following sentence: In einem berühmten chinesischen Märchen verschwindet der Maler in seinem ...
4
votes
0answers
26 views

Mad Magazine comic strip about a boy pondering over existence (and “I think, therefore I am”)

I'm trying to find a comic strip that originally appeared in Mad and was reprinted in a paperback collection of material from that magazine. I read it in the paperback collection. The strip shows a ...
3
votes
0answers
24 views

Who are the pronouns referring to in the Mauritanian poem “You Will Tell Them”?

Mariem Mint Derwich's poem "You Will Tell Them", available in English translation from Words Without Borders, appears to be about a Mauritanian woman, perhaps "the" woman of ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

Gagool, Gagoola, or Gagaoola?

In Chapter One of King Solomon's Mines we have the first reference to one of the main antagonists of the story: Stop, though! there is Gagaoola, if she was a woman, and not a fiend. Throughout the ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Analyzing Thomas Mcguane's “Balloons”

Recently, The New Yorker came out with Thomas Mcguane's short story "Balloons". It is a short piece of fiction, really. However, it wasn't clear to me what the author intended to convey ...
-1
votes
1answer
30 views

What does “delicately-fashioned fingers” mean in The Markenmore Mystery?

In The Markenmore Mystery (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, the author was describing someone: He was a very meek and mild young man, thought Blick, as far as appearance went; an intellectual of some sort, ...
3
votes
0answers
41 views

Who is “you” in “The Waking”?

I'm trying to understand Roethke's "The Waking", and one of my problems is that I'm not sure who "you" is. Most of the poem uses "I" or "my", etc.. There are a ...
2
votes
0answers
40 views

Book with unicorn protagonist who plays music

It's been a long time, so my memory of the details is fuzzy. But I remember reading a book in which unicorns were the main characters; this is not a book about humans befriending unicorns in our world,...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

Is the “Lister Foundation” in “Catcher in the Rye” a real organization?

In Chapter 21 of Catcher in the Rye, Phoebe tells Holden about a movie she saw at the "Lister Foundation". No other mention of the Foundation appears in the text. Was it a real organization ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Meaning of “God, the joy of her, the pleasure!”

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Elizabeth used the presence of Vicki at her place as an excuse for sleeping nearly every night at Philip’s. He did not mind: he was not the ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Meaning of the phrase “If ever a man leaped across time into the raw…”

I'm reading Hearts of Three written by Jack London. Right in Chapter I, I found the following sentence: If ever a man leaped across time into the raw, red drama and tragedy of the primitive and the ...
6
votes
2answers
601 views

Is the Ramayana contained in the Mahabharata?

Wikipedia says: Among the principal works and stories in the Mahābhārata are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Damayanti, the story of Savitri and Satyavan, the story of Kacha and Devyani, the story of ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

What does “exalted suffering” mean?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner Spring came. In the mornings, when the first person opened the back door, the whole bulk of air in the house shifted and warmed. Women sighed ...
3
votes
3answers
139 views

What do you call the “message” written before a poem?

From Re Judicial by Baticuling (Jesús Balmori) in El libro de mis vidas manileñas (1928) Before the first stanza, the author begins with a little message: "Antonio Manipula, juez ... y ...
6
votes
0answers
87 views

Edna St. Vincent Millay's “Figs from Thistles: First Fig”

Edna St. Vincent Millay's very short poem "Figs from Thistles: First Fig" goes as follows: My candle burns at both ends;    It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—  ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

What books were common in Medieval Monasteries? [closed]

I know that these were fairly common: Aeneid by Vergil, Legenda Aurea (The Golden Legend) by Jacobus de Varagine Augustine (various books) Plato (mostly neo-Platonic texts like Plotinus and Dionysus ...
-3
votes
0answers
41 views

“BlackBerry Winter” by Robert Penn Warren [closed]

Could anyone please provide a link to Robert Penn Warren's short story BlackBerry Winter? I couldn't hunt it down on the Internet despite trying hard.
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Why does Quatermain (the narrator) translate for Umbopa if Umbopa understands English?

In Chapter Five of King Solomon's Mines the narrator, Allan Quatermain, acts as a translator during a conversation between Sir Henry and Umbopa: Sir Henry nodded. "I was sure of it," he ...
7
votes
1answer
679 views

Why does Mr Merdle ask for a penknife with a darker handle in “Little Dorrit”?

In Chapter 24 of Little Dorrit, in one of the last scenes, Mr Merdle asks for a penknife. When Mrs Sparkler hands him the knife he asks if he could have one with a "darker" handle. ‘So I am ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

How did they cover 1,000 miles in 110 days at a speed of 5 miles per day?

In the beginning of Chapter Four of King Solomon's Mines we are given the distance travelled: Now I do not propose to narrate at full length all the incidents of our long travel up to Sitanda's Kraal,...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

Effect of enjambment in “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams

In "The Red Wheelbarrow" the poet William Carlos Williams uses enjambment to great effect (or so I have read): so much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the ...
2
votes
0answers
66 views

What other recognized detective story categories are there beyond the “locked room mystery”? [closed]

I'm an avid reader of cozy detective fiction (C. Auguste Dupin, Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown, &c.) and noticed naturally that certain categories exist (or that's the notion I have) even within ...
6
votes
1answer
314 views

Fantasy novel with a skilled female assassin enrolling in a contest

I read this novel somewhere around 2010 (2006-2016, can't be much more precise than that). It was in English, probably an American writer. It might have been the first in a series, probably for young ...
5
votes
1answer
223 views

Julius Caesar: “If it be aught toward the general good, Set honor in one eye and death i’ th’ other…”

From Act I Scene II of the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare: BRUTUS I would not, Cassius, yet I love him well. But wherefore do you hold me here so long? What is it that you would impart to ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Is “Doctor Marigold” the nickname of the cheap-jack, or is “Marigold” his real name?

Doctor Marigold is the titular "cheap-jack" in Dickens' Doctor Marigold. Is "Marigold" his real name, with "Doctor" an addition, or is "Doctor Marigold" a ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Who is the English translator of “The Man Who Wanted to Know” by Dror Mishani if it is a work of translation?

I am under the impression Mishani doesn't write in English. Wikipedia: Haish sheratza ladaat hakol (2015; To be published in English during 2016: The Man who wanted to know) This source claims: Two ...
2
votes
0answers
14 views

How does Ahmad Khani's Mem and Zin differ from the pre-existing oral tradition of the story?

Mem and Zin is a classic tale of traditional Kurdish storytelling, passed down through oral tradition for centuries, but also written down in 1692 by the Kurdish poet Ahmad Khani. In the process of ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Can authors use past tense in fiction works to refer to an unreal situations without using “if”?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner She stood at the tramstop opposite the long railed side of the cemetery. Someone had written in black texta on the lamp-post DARREN WAR LOURD. ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

In “Ready Player One”, how does Halliday die?

I was looking back at Ready Player One by Ernest Cline and I wondering the following: How did James Halliday die? Was it related to his creations?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Pre-2010 book: “Jaws” in a library

I read a book a while back (probably just before 2010) that I'm trying to find again. It's set in a somewhat surreal library, and I recall that the story line was very strongly based on Jaws, with ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

Why did Mem/Tajdin and Zin/Siti disguise themselves for Nowruz?

I'm reading online Salah Saadalla's translation of the Kurdish classic Mem and Zin, and I've reached the part where the eponymous lovers, along with their respective siblings, meet each other at ...
4
votes
1answer
62 views

Did “Gargantua and Pantagruel” originally have illustrations?

The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel is a series of novels by François Rabelais, originally published in the 16th century. The Wikipedia article notes this about illustrations: The most famous and ...
6
votes
1answer
246 views

Swedish novel from 2013 on a researcher in the isolated Pårte observatory in the Sarek Mountains, Sweden

I'm looking for a Swedish literary novel, published 2013, set in the Pårtetjåkko observatory in the Sarek mountains in Sweden. In the book, the (fictional) main character is alone in the remote ...
1
vote
0answers
73 views

Can “women echoed” be considered a figure of speech?

I'm trying to understand the use of literary devices, and in particular the literary conventions related to metonymy, metaphor and similar figures of speech. For example, in the following sentence, ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

What does “Sensible plans of action clicked their wooden sides together without meaning,” mean?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner In the huge room beyond the partition the phone rang and she heard Elizabeth pick it up. Before the caller had a chance to speak, Elizabeth ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

What happens to Fudge after he resigns?

Cornelius Fudge was last seen after resigning at Albus Dumbledore's funeral. What happens to him after that?
0
votes
0answers
18 views

What did Aciman mean by “Love, which exempts no one who's loved from loving”?

In Andre Aciman's Call Me by Your Name, while Elio describes the events of the summer, he refers to a quote by Francesca he remembers from Inferno. "Love, which exempts no one who's loved from ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

How could somebody welcome his visitor warmly while regarding this visit as a bad thing in “Markenmore Mystery”?

In The Markenmore Mystery (1922) by J. S. Fletcher, Mr. Fransemmery, a juryman, went to Mrs. Braxfield, a rural witness, while Mr. Blick, a detective, was in her house: Mrs. Braxfield herself opened ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Where is the Kurdish principality of Botan?

The classical Kurdish story of Mem and Zin (which I'm reading online in Salah Saadalla's translation) appears to be set in a principality called Botan, whose prince (Zin's brother) rules from the town ...
3
votes
0answers
31 views

Are Tigris and Tigris the same person?

In Mockingjay, the third book in The Hunger Games series, there is a minor character named Tigris. She is the owner of a shop in which Katniss and her team of soldiers take refuge during the assault ...
5
votes
1answer
279 views

Guy-Charles Cros quoted by Osamu Dazai: “comme un crapaud contourne une pierre”

In No Longer Human Osamu Dazai attributes the quote below to Guy-Charles Cros: …et puis on recommence encore le lendemain avec seulement la même règle que la veille et qui est d'éviter les grandes ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Who speculated that the sin for which there is no forgiveness is destroying love in another person?

I remember reading a work of fiction, possibly by a Russian writer (translated into English), in which a character says that the Jesuits (?) write of a mysterious sin for which there is no forgiveness ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Can “hollow” in “hollow as a Hopper painting” mean “meaningless and deceptive”?

This passage is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner That night at the studio they finished early. There were no taxis, so he walked. He didn’t know what time it was but thought it must be after ...
2
votes
1answer
35 views

What does it mean for literature to be “reflective”?

The book-review and -recommendation site The Storygraph allows users to categorise books in various ways such as adventurous, funny, inspiring, and reflective. Some (fiction) books I know have been ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

What does “in flight from it” mean in the below text?

This is a passage in a book called Missing Out by Adam Phillips: But the outrageous, pragmatic strong reader in this account reads as if he knows what he wants, and not as though he is conflicted ...
1
vote
0answers
15 views

What plight of the Kurds is suggested in Mem and Zin chapter 5?

I'm reading online Salah Saadalla's translation of the Kurdish classic Mem and Zin. The early chapters aren't part of the main story: two chapters addressed to God, two to the prophet Mohammed, two ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Which schools did Scottish novelist Alexander Trocchi attend?

In his article "Technique du coup du monde", published in Internationale Situationniste no.8 in January 1963 and in English translation as "A Revolutionary Proposal: Invisible ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

How can the “Won't I bleed 'em in the end” line from Les Mis's “Master of the House” be interpreted?

In the Les Misérables musical, there's a song "Master of the House", in which the inkeeper sings about how he essentially scams all of his customers into paying much more than they expected. ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

What are all the love stories referred to in chapter 2 of Mem and Zin?

I'm reading online Salah Saadalla's translation of the Kurdish classic Mem and Zin. The early chapters are not even part of the main story: two chapters addressed to God, two to the prophet Mohammed, ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

What is going on in the first stanza of Audre Lorde's “Never to Dream of Spiders”?

The first half of the first stanza of Audre Lorde's "Never to Dream of Spiders" goes like this: Time collapses between the lips of strangers my days collapse into a hollow tube soon ...

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