All Questions

782 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
7
votes
0answers
102 views

Are positive, parable-like vibes a noted pattern in Russian literature (at least for short stories and anecdotes)?

WARNING! The following post contains minor spoilers about the following books: Mikhail Bulgakov - A Country Doctor's Notebook Bonnie Jo Campbell - American Salvage D. W. Wilson - Once your Break a ...
7
votes
0answers
49 views

'Endymion' - Keats

And such too is the grandeur of the dooms We have imagined for the mighty dead; All lovely tales that we have heard or read: An endless fountain of immortal drink, Pouring unto us from the ...
7
votes
0answers
70 views

What Confederate counterfactual story features Florida as an independent tourist republic?

This comment on Timothy Burke's article "On Confederate Counterfactuals" describes a story (presumably a novel) the user read about 40 years ago: [...] the very first Confederate counterfactual I ...
7
votes
0answers
107 views

Identify mystery novel: Past crime uncovered in English village, gossip leading to death(s)

I'm trying to remember a book I read sometime within the last ten years, but although I'm able to recall a fair bit of the story I have no idea of the title or author. I believe it's a "modern" ...
7
votes
0answers
45 views

How were notes sent from classroom to classroom in Up the Down Staircase?

In Bel Kaufman's Up the Down Staircase, part of the story is told through notes that Sylvia Barrett sends to other teachers. For example, the first one goes FROM: Mrs. Beatrice Schachter, Room 508 ...
7
votes
0answers
190 views

Are the new gods not aware of the appearance of this character?

There will be very heavy spoilers - do not read further if you haven't finished the novel. Mr. World is the leader of the new gods, though his exact area of influence is left somewhat ambiguous in ...
7
votes
0answers
37 views

Were any of the Asbjørnsen og Moe stories transcribed directly from oral traditions?

Asbjørnsen og Moe are the Norwegian answers to the Brothers Grimm, the collectors of what is still considered the definitive volume of Norwegian folk tales. How many of these tales were taken from ...
7
votes
0answers
2k views

What does the sukebind represent?

Stella Gibbons invented the sukebind for Cold Comfort Farm, and she wields it with metaphorical deftness as if it had its own long floriographic history to draw on. I'd assumed that the sukebind and ...
7
votes
0answers
87 views

In “The Accidental”, was it really Amber who did this?

Warning: contains unmarked spoilers. Ali Smith's The Accidental is about the Smart family (Eve, Michael, Magnus, and Astrid) and a woman, Amber, who seemingly appears out of nowhere at their holiday ...
7
votes
0answers
165 views

Is there a specific tuition system that the University's was based on?

In Patrick Rothfuss' The Kingkiller Chronicle, students at the University are asked to pay a variable amount for their tuition per term, based mostly on their performance in an interview in front of ...
7
votes
0answers
169 views

Are 'The Forty Rules of Love' real?

One of the best-selling 21st-century novels, The Forty Rules of Love, shows historical fiction employing the love of Shams of Tabraiz and Mevlana Rumi. Were those 40 rules by Shams or were they made ...
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 ...
7
votes
0answers
97 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
278 views

Was Pyotr Stepanovich in “Demons” really connected to the international?

In the book Demons (by Dostoyevsky), there was a character, named Pyotr Stepanovich Verkhovensky, who claimed that he was connected to the international. Did Dostoyevsky mention anywhere in the book ...
7
votes
0answers
531 views

Can I read David Mitchell's books in any order?

Though David Mitchell's novels differ wildly in style and substance, all occur within the same universe, with links between them - some subtle, some very central. I don't think the books are meant to ...
7
votes
0answers
92 views

Are any of Kino's attackers directly linked to the one pearl buyer?

In The Pearl, chapter 4, when Kino is trying to sell his massive pearl in the village market, it's revealed that all the pearl buyers work for one man: It was supposed that the pearl buyers were ...
7
votes
0answers
457 views

In “Bullet the Blue Sky”, what is the symbolism of Jacob and the angel?

U2's song "Bullet the Blue Sky" was inspired by Bono's trip to El Salvadore in 1986, and America's role on the Salvadoran Civil War. As Bono said in an interview, And it upset me as a person who ...
7
votes
0answers
140 views

Who wrote The Urantia Book?

On the Wikipedia page, the author is unknown. On the website it's said the authors include universe beings (such as archangels, chief of Seraphim, etc.) However somebody had to write the book. Is ...
7
votes
1answer
128 views

What is the relevance of the essays in Tolstoy's 'War and Peace'?

War and Peace is regularly interspersed with essays -- something that I have not seen anywhere else in literature. How significant are these essays? They obviously help in exploring the themes and ...
6
votes
0answers
45 views

Is there a canonical order to HP Lovecraft's work?

I've been a big fan of Lovecraft's works of literature and used them as inspiration for a lot of my own writing, but I've been unable to find a proper consensus on how his stories all fit together or ...
6
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
134 views

Why does Pennywise Kill Patrick Hockstetter?

In Stephen King's IT, we are introduced to some particularly evil characters such as Beverley's husband Tom Rogan, Henry Bowers, and most notably Patrick Hockstetter. King delves into this maniacal, ...
6
votes
0answers
48 views

What does ketha mean?

At the end of chapter VIII of Thomas Deloney's Jack of Newbury, Jack has a discussion with his wife about a certain "gossip" (an archaic term for "familiar acquaintance"), that he does not want to see ...
6
votes
0answers
70 views

Meaning of the slash (“/”) in dialog in Ernst Toller's “Die Wandlung”

I have to translate German playwright Ernst Toller's drama Die Wandlung. In this drama, Toller uses slashes in the dialogues of some characters to separate the sentences, like this: KRIEGSTOD: ...
6
votes
0answers
157 views

Short story, maybe SF: non-neurotypical girl gets pregnant and older mentor (not the father) marries her

In this story there's a girl who is mentally fragile in some way -- I don't remember exactly how, and I don't think it's spelled out explicitly, but there's something about her that isn't entirely ...
6
votes
0answers
108 views

In George Orwell's Burmese Days, what word is the censored “b--s” supposed to be?

Here's a passage where Westfield talks about possibly having to allow Natives into the European club: "Got to put up with it, I suppose", he said. "B--s of natives are getting into all the Clubs ...
6
votes
0answers
45 views

What was the public's initial reaction to Virginia Woolf's Orlando?

Orlando is about an immortal man who changes into a woman. Originally Woolf wanted to write about a bisexual character but the laws of the time wouldn't allow it, so this was her way of compromising ...
6
votes
0answers
124 views

Book about a kid that encounters a foreign girl during holidays and invents a new language

I am searching for a book I read around 10 years ago (in French). The story was about a family going on vacation (I remember a sort of camping, near the sea). The protagonist was a young boy (8-12 ...
6
votes
0answers
90 views

Why does Great Literary Classics change details in its abridged versions?

From the Wikipedia article on Great Illustrated Classics: The Great Illustrated Classics series of books offers easy-to-read adaptations of well known classics, featuring large print and ...
6
votes
0answers
135 views

Religious symbolism of the Telmarines?

The religious symbolism in C.S. Lewis's Narnia books is well known and, in many cases, very clear: Aslan is Jesus, the Calormenes are a very stereotypical portrayal of Muslims, the Dwarfs may ...
6
votes
0answers
92 views

Is “for eating” a joke?

Matthew and Maggie came with their two children and a sackful of chickens. Maggie emptied the sack into the yard and three red banty chickens clucked and scattered. "They are for you," she ...
6
votes
0answers
69 views

Tracking down a literary quote about grammar

I once read a quote that goes something like, We should all be grateful to grammarians for saving us in fifty years from a grievous error. I think it's by Proust, but Google doesn't seem to ...
6
votes
0answers
65 views

When was Machiavelli's Art of War first translated into Chinese?

Bookeater recently asked when Sun Zi's Art of War was first adopted outside China. However, Sun Zi was not the only author who wrote a treatise on this topic. Machiavelli wrote Dell'arte della guerra /...
6
votes
0answers
49 views

How much of Fantastica remains the same between iterations?

Each time a human comes to Fantastica, the whole world is essentially 'rebooted'. We see this in chapter 13, where Bastian and the Childlike Empress start off in total empty nothingness, before he ...
6
votes
0answers
48 views

In “The Old Man and the Sea” why doesn't the Old Man recognize that the fish is a marlin

When I read the book as a kid, I was certain that the "fish" is a narwhal. I'm rereading it now, many years later, and a quick Google search told me I was wrong all these years: the fish is a marlin. ...
6
votes
0answers
79 views

Do we know Merlin enchanted the sword/stone thing?

In Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur it's very heavily implied that Merlin enchanted the stone and the sword in it so it only could be pulled out by the true king of Britain/Arthur: the day came when the ...
6
votes
0answers
75 views

In Finnegans Wake, surely the dreamer is this character?

As I see it, Finnegans Wake has two main sections, namely Section A (“dreamland” [1-617.29]) and Section B (“anna’s interior monologue” [617.30-628]). Section A and Section B are my terms and there is ...
6
votes
0answers
1k views

Are there female Alphas?

All of the Alpha characters I can think of--Bernard, Helmholtz, Mustapha Mond, the DHC, Henry Foster--are men. And none of the female characters seem to be Alphas. Lenina is probably a Beta. Linda is ...
6
votes
0answers
37 views

What prompted Du Bois to change “Jew” to “Immigrant” in “Of the Black Belt”?

In my copy of The Souls of Black Folk, the essay "Of the Black Belt" references Jews as the inheritors of much property and land in the deep South. A footnote in the book, however, reads: In ...
6
votes
0answers
358 views

Were the three slogans in Orwell's 1984 partly inspired by Kipling's poem “The White Man's Burden”?

George Orwell did not like Kipling at all. I quote from this essay by Orwell: Kipling is a jingo imperialist, he is morally insensitive and aesthetically disgusting. But this essay also shows that ...
6
votes
0answers
445 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, ...
6
votes
0answers
208 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, ...
6
votes
0answers
94 views

Identifying a story described within an Agatha Christie book

About 3/4 of the way through Agatha Christie's 'And Then There Were None' (pub c.1940), is this paragraph, describing a book, or maybe a story in some other kind of format: She broke off, went on: "...
6
votes
0answers
268 views

How did Billy Pilgrim know the manner and time of his death?

In Slaughterhouse Five, the protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, suffers from PTSD caused by the mental trauma of having been in the war. He deals with this by imagining that he has come unstuck in time and ...
6
votes
0answers
114 views

What's the meaning of “well over the fast” in the following passage?

In Harold Pinter's The Birthday Party (1957), Goldberg (a Jewish character) wishes Stanley a happy birthday and says "well over the fast." What does he mean by it? I know that this expression is ...
6
votes
0answers
99 views

Is this quote from Flatland a reference to Plato's Cave analogy?

Flatland opens with the following paragraph: Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their ...
6
votes
0answers
37 views

What qualities have lead to the enduring popularity of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving has remained extremely popular. Wikipedia lists 24 film and TV adaptations including the well know Tim Burton film and, perhaps more ...
6
votes
0answers
61 views

What does “And others, whose breasts love the feel of scapulars,” mean in Baudelaire's “Damned Women”?

Et d'autres, dont la gorge aime les scapulaires, Qui, recélant un fouet sous leurs longs vêtements, Mêlent, dans le bois sombre et les nuits solitaires, L'écume du plaisir aux larmes ...
6
votes
0answers
42 views

Does literary theory have a technical term for a writer publishing the first version of one of their works in a foreign language?

Does literary theory know a technical term for the following: An accomplished writer intentionally publishes the first version of one of their texts in a language which they neither know (well), ...
6
votes
0answers
61 views

Looking for a story about a boy deformed by factory work I think it's an O. Henry

I've been trying to find this story for years. I remember reading it in Reading class as a kid (in the 1960s or early 70s). This would have been in a 4th or 5th grade reading book in New York State. ...

15 30 50 per page