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tl;dr The superstition that Macbeth is unlucky and must not be named is often supposed to date from the very first performance, or very shortly thereafter. However, a documented belief in this alleged curse can be traced back only as far as the early 1970s. Background: What is the alleged curse on Macbeth? The Royal Shakespeare Company provides some ...


30

The question is difficult to answer due to its terms of reference. Usually it’s not possible to tell exactly where a given story lies on the continuum from “full endorsement” to “begrudging acceptance”. Governments are made up of many people, some of whom may be complicit with the thieves and some not. Did Tammany Hall “fully endorse” the gangs of New York? ...


10

Introduction The term Ur-Hamlet was first used by Frederick S. Boas in the introduction to his 1901 edition of the works of Thomas Kyd. Discussing a hypothetical play on the Hamlet story predating Shakespeare’s, he wrote: I have adopted the convenient German title, which tersely distinguishes the Ur, or original, Hamlet-tragedy from Shakespeare’s play. (p. ...


9

The versions of the story of Tristan and Isolde that we know today date from the Middle Ages, a period in history when copyright did not yet exist, when originality was not the highest goal in literature, and when imitation and emulation was a perfectly respectable approach to creating new works of literature. This means that medieval literature was based on ...


9

The story of Gilbert and the Saracen woman is part of the South English Legendary, a Middle English collection of lives of the saints and martyrs in verse. This work is sometimes attributed to the author of a metrical chronicle of England (known as ‘Robert of Gloucester’), based on similarities in language and verse form. The earliest surviving manuscripts ...


8

A good place to start is Monika Fludernik’s annotated bibliography of second-person fiction (up to 1994): The bibliography has four different sections: A. a list of those second-person texts that meet my requirements. […] The second-person pronoun refers to a fictional protagonist; B. a list of texts noted in the literature as being second-person texts but ...


7

Introduction: Braithwaite's nonce definition of "Georgian Verse" In his preface to the book you're asking about, The Book of Georgian Verse, the anthologist William Stanley Braithwaite explains what he means by the term "Georgian": This anthology, according to the editor's intention, includes those poets born under the four Georges, who ...


7

There is little doubt that Shakespeare's play is based on the British King Leir, as the OP states. However, a similar story is also attached to King Ina. Indeed, it may have started there, been transferred to Lear with whom it has stuck in the popular imagination due to Shakespeare. English History and Antiquarian William Camden released a book of essays ...


5

The oldest example of second-person narration I could find is The Haunted Mind by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It was first published in 1835 and later included in volume 2 of Twice-Told Tales (1842). Unfortunately, this is a short story. The oldest example of novel using second-person narration may be Le Serviteur, an autobiographical novel by Henri Bachelin, first ...


5

In A Prosody Handbook, Karl Shapiro and Robert Beum claim: The Latin iambus derives from a Greek word meaning "a cripple." The short syllable represents the lame foot, the long one descending with normal strength, perhaps with the added strength of the cane. (p. 35) Shapiro, Karl, and Robert Beum. A Prosody Handbook. New York: Harper and Row, 1965....


5

Geoffrey Chaucer places an epigraph at the head of the prologue to the Pardoner’s Tale in the Canterbury Tales (c. 1400). Here’s folio 136 verso from the Ellesmere Manuscript (c. 1400–1410) with the epigraph highlighted: The epigraph reads “Radix malorum est cupiditas ad Thimotheum 6ᵒ”, that is, “The love of money is the root of all evil” from 1 Timothy 6:...


4

There are many epics in English besides Paradise Lost. Technically speaking, the "epic" is a narrative mode rather than a genre. What makes a narrative "epic" is a distinction between subject and object: the speaker (the subject doing the telling) is not the topic (the object being treated). Compare with the lyric, in which poets write ...


4

I do not claim that this is the earliest example of an epigraph, but as it is earlier than the examples mentioned in the existing answers it is worth posting. Maimonides wrote دلالة الحائرين (Dalālat al-ḥā’irīn), translated into Hebrew as מורה נבוכים (Moreh Nevuchim) and English as Guide for the Perplexed, at the end of the Twelfth Century. The work begins ...


4

The use of multiple perspectives has been a feature of the English novel from its earliest days. Samuel Richardson's Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740), often considered the first novel in English, itself uses multiple narrators. The first part of the story is told mostly in a series of letters from Pamela to her parents. However, four of those 32 letters are ...


4

Lewis Carroll’s Phantasmagoria, of 1869, should probably be included here. This is quite a long and funny ghost story in poetic form. To give some idea of the humour involved, the poem begins like this: One winter night, at half-past nine, Cold, tired, and cross, and muddy, I had come home, too late to dine, And supper, with cigars and wine, Was waiting in ...


4

Here is a possible answer to your title question, copied from my answer to the scifi.stackexchange question What was the first 'time loop' story featuring the bootstrap paradox?. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any professional literary criticism of this piece of pulp science fiction. 1935: "The Man Who Met Himself", a short story by Ralph Milne ...


3

An earlier example of a humorous ghost story is "The Rival Ghosts" by Brander Matthews, published in Harper's Magazine volume 68 (pages 905–913), in 1884, i.e. just three years before "The Canterville Ghost". It is a frame story in which a certain Uncle Larry tells a story about a certain Eliphalet Duncan who inherits a house that is ...


3

I don't see how the Ural boundary may be seriously considered. It is not about geography, but rather about the continuity of tradition. The Western culture is built around three axes: Hellenism, Christianity, and Renaissance. One may accept them, or rebel against them, but all of them are central to the very way of Western thinking. All educated Russians ...


3

Baldick defines Georgian poetry as (emphasis added) a body of English verse published in the first half of George V's reign (1910–36) in five anthologies edited by Edward Marsh as Georgian Poetry (1912–22). (...) The term Georgian is only rarely applied to the literature of the period of the first four Georges (1714–1830). Applying the term "Georgian&...


3

The oldest surviving Robin Hood tales are A Gest of Robyn Hode, between 1492 and 1534, Robin Hood and the Monk written after 1450, and Robin Hood and the Potter, about 1503. There is no evidence that the tales were written down prior to that. Although the first literary reference to Robin Hood was in 1370-ish (in Piers Plowman), it does not require the ...


3

I think just comparing two poems to try to figure out the difference between Romanticism and Symbolism is very misleading. I believe that Symbolist poets wrote poems which spanned the whole spectrum from Romanticism to Symbolism. Poetry Foundation describes Symbolism as: They rejected their predecessors’ tendency toward naturalism and realism, believing ...


2

The Royal Shakespeare Company themselves anecdotally refer to legends regarding the first showing of the play, where Shakespeare had to take the part of Lady Macbeth, and the actor playing Duncan was stabbed, and killed, by a real dagger instead of a prop one. The site also refers to a riot in 1839 where 10 people died following animosity between two rival ...


2

Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City by Fang Fang (translated by Michael Berry was published in e-book format by HarperCollins in 15 May 2020. (The hardcover edtion is dated 24 November 2020.) This is obviously set during a lockdown but is not fiction. Several of the earliest novels that are explicitly set during a lockdown in Europe are self-...


2

Simon Karlinksy notes in an edition of Checkhov's letters that the short story Gusev, published in December 1890, uses "the device of subtly intermingling the soldier's speech patterns and his stream of consciousness with the authorial voice" (page 183). J. A. Cuddon writes that the term "stream of consciousness" was coined by William ...


2

1927: "The Prince's Birthday Present", a short story by Anthony Armstrong, first published in The Strand Magazine, December 1927 and reprinted in Armstrong's 1932 collection The Prince Who Hiccupped and Other Tales, seems to be the earliest known example of this theme, according to the "Time Loop" entry in The Encyclopedia of Science ...


2

Privateers were, in reality, government approved thieves, at least to the time of Queen Elizabeth. If the terms of the question permit the theft of another nation's shipping, cargoes, and payment. So in literature, you may be looking at (checks date) arrr, pirate tales, me hearties! Robinson Crusoe (1719) would probably NOT count, as a solitary shipwrecked ...


2

Four codices According to Britannica four codices exist. Native American Literatures, Britannica Four codices are known to exist: the Dresden Codex, the Paris Codex, the Madrid Codex, and the Grolier Codex. Dated to between the classic and conquest period The codices are dated to between the classic and conquest period. Paris Codex, Britannica The set of ...


2

Cyrano de Bergerac (1619–1655) wrote the books L'Autre Monde: ou les États et Empires de la Lune (Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon) and Les États et Empires du Soleil (The States and Empires of the Sun) both published after his death. These contain various flying machines that convey him to the Moon and the Sun. In the first of these, he ...


1

I think there were several 19th century example that precede Jules Verne, but I'm not familiar with those, so I can't name them. That said, Jules Verne was fascinated enough with flying that flying machines appear in multiple of his stories. L’Île mystérieuse (1875) contains a more realistic example: its protagonists travel on a kind of balloon that was ...


1

Isaac Asimov's The Bicentennial Man is a novelette (later expanded into a novel) written for the US Bicentennial in 1976. (Warning: that linked article contains spoilers.) It's one of his better and most memorable stories, about a robot that wants to become human. It ends with a happy (with underlying sadness) ending. The significant aspect to the story, ...


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