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14 views

How to pronounce Silas Lapham's last name

How would the author of "The Rise of Silas Lapham" have pronounced the last name of his title character? Please provide supporting evidence for your answer.
-1
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0answers
17 views

Was Christopher Marlowe really an Atheist?

If Christopher Marlowe was actually an Atheist, Why did he write such an intensely religious play like Dr Faustus?
3
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1answer
11 views

Was there a real person for Cardinal Vitori mentioned in This Side of Paradise of F. Scott Fitzgerald?

known by name as a fabulously wealthy American girl to Cardinal Vitori and Queen Margherita and more subtle celebrities that one must have had some culture even to have heard of. I was able to find ...
0
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1answer
30 views

Trying to find: Short story: Boy meets a man who is about to hang himself

For decades this short story has been stuck in my head. We read it in highschool English class once. As I remember it, it was about a boy leaving his home to encounter a man who was about to hang ...
2
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0answers
40 views

What was the Great Silence Epidemic of 1712?

One of the many memorable pieces of wordplay in The Phantom Tollbooth is when the heroes meet Dr Dischord and his assistant, the awful DYNNE. "You mean you've never met the awful DYNNE before?" ...
1
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0answers
48 views

Thomas Hardy’s “The Man He Killed”

This question is asking for open-ended interpretation of a poem. See here on meta for an explanation. Thomas Hardy’s ‘The Man He Killed’ (1902) was published in Time’s Laughingstocks (1909):     “...
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0answers
11 views

Are Lorca's “Gypsy Ballads” adapted from, or inspired by, traditional Romani songs?

Federico Garcia Lorca's Romancero Gitano, usually translated as Gypsy Ballads, is a collection of poems, about which Wikipedia says: All of the poems deal with the Romani people (gypsies) and their ...
7
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1answer
74 views

Why would Hamlet fear suicide if he knew of life after death?

Prince Hamlet describes his fear of death in poetic phrases. Prince Hamlet: To be, or not to be, that is the question: ... To die, to sleep, perchance to Dream; aye, there's the rub, For in that ...
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0answers
16 views

What does Neruda mean when he says ‘Maybe January light will consume My heart with its cruel Ray.’?

I’ve been a fan of Neruda for a while now. In his Sonnet LXVI: I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You, he says: Maybe January light will consume My heart with its cruel Ray, stealing my ...
1
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1answer
31 views

What did H. G. Wells mean by “Manifestly their line lay straight along the lane to the sea”?

I've been reading Kipps by H. G. Wells, and I came across this sentence, which I am having trouble understanding. They (the protagonist Kipps and his friend Sid) proceeded to the question of how ...
12
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2answers
2k views

What is the source of “You can achieve a lot with hate, but even more with love” (Shakespeare?)

I have seen a postcard with a quote "You can achieve a lot with hate, but even more with love", signed "Shakespeare", in a French bookshop. The quote is not exact, because I have translated it back ...
2
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1answer
32 views

Repetition of “smile” in Kamala Surayya's 'My Mother at Sixty-six'

In the poem 'My Mother at Sixty-six' by Kamala Surayya, the poet ends the "prose" saying all I did was smile and smile and smile.... There are various critical interpretations as to what does the ...
1
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1answer
54 views

Explain the bidding in ‘The Unprincipled Affair of the Practical Joker’

The short story ‘The Unprincipled Affair of the Practical Joker’ by Dorothy L. Sayers was collected in Lord Peter Views the Body (Gollancz, 1928). In this extract the characters are playing a game of ...
4
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1answer
73 views

Is Wilfrid Scawen Blunt's poem 'The Camel Rider' really a translation?

I came across an interesting poem by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt in a forgotten old tome, The Faber Book of Twentieth Century Verse. Blunt's own note states it is 'From the Arabic'. Is this just a device, or ...
4
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0answers
29 views

Repetition in Faulkner's “As I Lay Dying”

While reading As I Lay Dying, I noticed that the characters repeat certain phrases a great deal. Here's an example from one of Tull's chapters which shows the same two phrases recurring three times ...
3
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1answer
99 views

What is the supposed cover story in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”?

Spoilers for John Le Carré’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. In this novel, Percy Alleline has become the director of “the Circus”, a fictional British intelligence service. Alleline and the department ...
2
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1answer
27 views

What well known phrase from “Götz von Berlichingen” is alluded to in All Quiet in the Western Front?

In Chapter 10 of All Quiet on the Western Front, Paul and his comrades are goofing around by pretending to give orders to each other. "Tjaden!" - "What?" - "Stand at ease, Tjaden; and what's more, ...
2
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1answer
47 views

“to give a bloody for someone”? what does that mean?

There is a song: Fare Three Well (Dink's Song) performed by Marcus Mumford & Oscar Isaac for the movie ''Inside Llewyn Davis'' (...) If I had wings like Noah's dove I'd fly the ...
1
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1answer
52 views

Why do Rachael and Eldon attempt to blackmail Rick in “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”?

In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, at the beginning of the book, Rachael and Eldon Rosen attempt to make a deal with Rick Deckard when Rick thinks the empathy test he was going to use (the Voigt-...
2
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1answer
51 views

Difference between “Ode to” and “Ode on”?

We sometimes see Ode to and sometimes Ode on. Do these both mean a poem written about something? I am a new literature student.
2
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1answer
27 views

Looking for a quote from 1984 about the party's immortality vs personal mortality

What is the quote from 1984 where Winston tells O'Brien that O'Brien is mortal, and O'Brien responds that what matters is the party's immortality and not his own? It was during a sort of "ask me ...
8
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1answer
565 views

What's the meaning of “give someone the lie” in Macbeth?

As I have noticed there are multiple interpretations of the following lines from William Shakespeare 's Macbeth. For example, "drink gave thee the lie" has been interpreted as diversely as "deceived ...
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0answers
43 views

Why does the guard call the inmates “girls” in “The Propagator”?

In Simone Kern's short story "The Propagator", there's a line where a prison guard for those convicted of "reproductive crimes" refers to the inmates as "girls": The guard leaned towards me, and ...
2
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0answers
92 views

Emily Jane Pfeiffer's “Evolution”

Emily Jane Pfeiffer’s poem ‘Evolution’ was first published in Poems (1876): Hunger that strivest in the restless arms     Of the sea-flower, that drivest rooted things     To break their ...
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0answers
42 views

Did the Brotherhood really exist?

In George Orwell's 1984, there is a mention of a secretive organization named Brotherhood whose main aim is to rebel against the Big Brother, and the Party in general. In the later part of the prose, ...
1
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1answer
28 views

Did Howard Roark contradict Henry Rearden on the purpose of work?

And Rearden said the following at his trial for the illegal sale of metal: “You pose as a champion of freedom, but it’s only the freedom to make money that you’re after.” “Yes, of course. All I ...
2
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1answer
42 views

What is the Title of this fable where a Mongoose is getting married

My friend described a possible fable to me that they read as a child. They recall it being a picture book that was a fable/folk tale that had a weasel/mongoose type chacter. The main character gets ...
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0answers
27 views

What does it mean to say “the future of the English language is grand but as far as its literature is concerned it seems bleak”?

An English professor commented that "the future of the English language is grand but as far as its literature is concerned it seems bleak". How can this sentence be interpreted? What exactly is the ...
1
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1answer
34 views

What are the thousand churches in “In your eyes”?

In your eyes by Peter Gabriel contains the following verse: in your eyes the light the heat in your eyes I am complete in your eyes I see the doorway (in your eyes) to a thousand churches ...
3
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2answers
53 views

Is there any significance to the name “friends of Lilith” in Simone Kern's “The Propagator”?

Simone Kern's "The Propagator" is set in a future where abortion is illegal, and anyone who tries it is persecuted for "reproductive crimes". During the story, we learn about the "friends of Lilith", ...
1
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0answers
12 views

Is there specific mythological significance to the Dingli Cliffs?

The poem "Cliffs" ("Irdumijiet") is part of a collection available online by the Maltese-Canadian writer, poet, and academic professor John P. Portelli. Written in 1973, and found on pages 40-41 (page ...
3
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2answers
108 views

What are T. S. Eliot’s “Jellicle Cats” and “Pollicle Dogs”?

T. S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Song of the Jellicles’ was first published in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1939) and was popularized by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats. It begins: Jellicle Cats ...
4
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1answer
73 views

Is there any special significance in Dr. Rutenspitz's last words to Mr. Golyadkin?

Throughout The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, there had been hints that maybe Mr. Golyadkin Jr., the double, was a product of Mr. Golyadkin Sr.'s imagination — and that it was either a way to signify ...
5
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1answer
73 views

What was Septimus Warren Smith's rank?

It has been years since I read Mrs. Dalloway, and I don't remember if Septimus Warren Smith's rank was ever indicated. I'm vaguely left with the impression he was an officer. Was his rank ever ...
5
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3answers
166 views

John Betjeman’s “Suicide on Junction Road Station after Abstention from Evening Communion in North London”

John Betjeman’s poem ‘Suicide on Junction Road Station after Abstention from Evening Communion in North London’ was first published in the collection Continual Dew (1937). It’s short enough to quote ...
14
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2answers
1k views

What is the origin of the trope of an evil character whose name is not permitted to be spoken?

Many works of fantasy involve an evil leader or "dark lord" whose real name is known but usually not permitted to be spoken, either by his own followers (out of respect?) or by others (out of fear?) ...
4
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2answers
50 views

Context of “swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow”?

I go, I go; look how I go, Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow. -- Puck, Act III Scene II, A Midsummer Night's Dream This is a well-known line from a Shakespeare play, but did Shakespeare ...
2
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1answer
30 views

What does “ought to make a good thing out of this” mean in “New Grub Street”?

I would like to know what "ought to make a good thing out of this" means in the following passage: His utterance of the name ‘Mr Fadge’ sufficiently intimated that he had some cause of personal ...
4
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0answers
38 views

Fantasy children’s novel about a boy who can’t lie

I read this book around 2010 and I need help identifying it. The first scene was of a woman who had just given birth (?, she had her newborn) and it was raining. A wizard (who have been called ...
7
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2answers
59 views

The meaning of “Lovers' Food”

This question is regarding a dialogue of Hermia in Scene 1 of Act 1 of 'The Midsummer Night's Dream' by William Shakespeare where she mentions, "From lovers' food till morrow deep midnight." Please ...
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0answers
34 views

Why did the gods decide that Enkidu must die?

In the Epic of Gilgamesh, a major turning point is the death of Enkidu as a punishment from the gods after he and Gilgamesh slew both Humbaba and Gugalanna. From the modernised Muss-Arnolt translation,...
1
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1answer
27 views

Who is Thomas o' Becket" in Tristram Shandy?

Who is Thomas o'Becket in chapter 2, vol.7 of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman? In this chapter Tristram says he has never visited St. Thomas at Canterbury before. This Thomas is ...
1
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1answer
52 views

What is the book that has an abandoned DeSoto in it along with two raccoons?

So recently I felt a slight pang of regret for not reading enough of this really interesting book I got from the library at age 9. The plot goes something like this: 1: There is this evil crocodile ...
1
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0answers
27 views

Western novel series set around the civil war

I don't remember much but here's what I do remember: There were two novels featuring a group of elite Union soldiers, both would have been published around 2010, but not later than 2012. The first ...
2
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1answer
48 views

Is there a formal term for “mispronunciation as a comedic device”?

Mispronunciation can be a comedic device. (Zach Galifianakis has regularly used the device in situational comedy.) I was trying to discuss the device formally, but couldn't recall a formal term ...
4
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0answers
68 views

What effect did the knocking at the gate in “Macbeth” have on Thomas De Quincey?

In Thomas De Quincey's 1823 essay "On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth", he describes the effect of the knocking on him when he was a boy: "it [the knocking] reflected back upon the murderer a ...
1
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1answer
38 views

Russian children's book about a boy's first train journey

This is probably a Soviet-era children's book. It is about a boy's journey by train. As I remember it, not much happens plot-wise, but the boy's sense of wonder makes everything he encounters (The ...
5
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0answers
42 views

Which book(s): Fictional account of pre-columbian indians

I'm trying to identify a book, or series of books I read as a child. The setting was pre-columbian Central America, the protagonists belonged to a river based tribe (lots of big canoes etc). If ...
6
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2answers
76 views

Are coins usually turned around before handed to beggars?

I was reading Antinatalism on Wikiquote and saw Antinatalism - Wikiquote Above all, we must make the reproductive question ethically relevant. A coin is turned around before it is handed to the ...
5
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1answer
73 views

When was the Party founded?

The boots were approaching again. The door opened. O'Brien came in. Winston started to his feet. The shock of the sight had driven all caution out of him. For the first time in many years he ...

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