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2 votes

What does it mean for philosophical writing to be great, significant literary works?

Strictly speaking, the answer is already in some of the quotes from Warburton (or his co-editors, in some cases). For example, in A Little History of Philosophy (emphasis mine): These are known as ...
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3 votes

Meaning of "one of the shapes money takes when it freezes" in "The Handmaid's Tale"

As an extension to, rather than a disagreement with, Gareth Rees answer, it is an extended metaphor of money as a liquid substance. But beyond that, it's using an existing extended metaphor in finance,...
5 votes

Meaning of "one of the shapes money takes when it freezes" in "The Handmaid's Tale"

This is an extended metaphor in which money is compared to water. The narrator says that “money has trickled through this room for years and years”, meaning the wealthy and powerful men who have met ...
7 votes

Usage of "terrible" and "awful" in The Catcher in the Rye

He's blaming himself. There's really no other way to understand "awful" and "terrible" here other than in the sense of denigrating his own behaviour. This is confirmed in the next ...
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7 votes

Meaning of "At Homes" in Ford Madox Ford's "Parade's End"

An "At Home" is a social gathering, usually held in the afternoons by upper-class ladies. Wikipedia gives a more detailed description of this kind of event: The "At Home" day was ...
11 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "Your pin wad help to mend a mill" in "Address to a Haggis"

TL;DR: This is hyperbole: the skewer through the haggis is imagined to be as large as the post of a mill. For “pin” I found a clear explanation in an old recipe: Of the Preparation.—Clean out the ...
2 votes
Accepted

What does the Sanskrit word "abhithiya" mean in the 2022 Booker Prize Winner The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida?

This has been a surprisingly difficult question to answer. Online dictionaries and google searches provided no clue, so I asked a Sri Lankan acquaintance of mine. He, a Tamil, did not know either but ...
10 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "starred roof" in "Appointment With Love" by Sulamith Ish-kishor

“Starred roof” is a literal description of the ceiling of the Main Concourse of New York's Grand Central Terminal, which is decorated with a mural of constellations, originally painted in 1913 by ...
2 votes
Accepted

"Protein suckers attached to the teleology" in Andrew's Brain by E. L. Doctorow

Teleology has a long history in biology. Before Darwin, biology and other sciences attributed natural phenomena to design. For example, the theologian Hugh of St. Victor, "Nature is a book ...
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2 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "Coil of things" in "Savitri" by Sri Aurobindo

The sense of “coil” that works best in this context is this one (now archaic or dialect): coil, n.2 1. Noisy disturbance, ‘row’; ‘tumult, turmoil, bustle, stir, hurry, confusion’ (Johnson). Oxford ...
1 vote

What are the "hands of love" in Exit?

Due to the context of "cure" and "healing", "hands of love" appears to be an allusion to Jesus touching people to heal them. The BibleQ article How many times did Jesus ...
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-1 votes

What are the "hands of love" in Exit?

I would agree that "Love" is used as a synonym of God. The "Hands of Love" are the people of God. You could say the "Hands of Love" are Christians, but that limits us to ...
0 votes

What is meant by "rain drinks the leaves drinking rain" in "Kauai"?

Maybe that the "drinking" is mutual - the rain gives life to and is being "drunk" by the leaves, but as it pours down on and engulfs them, the rain too partakes of the leaves.
3 votes

"sud more likker" - how to parse this?

'I sud more likker look for th' horse,' he replied. 'It 'ud be to more sense. Bud I can look for norther horse nur man of a neeght loike this—as black as t' chimbley! und Heathcliff's noan t' chap to ...
8 votes

"sud more likker" - how to parse this?

“Sud” is an old form of “should”: shall, v. Forms. 2. Past tense. a.β. Middle English solde, Middle English sollde, Middle English soolde, Middle English sulde; Scottish and northern Middle English ...
6 votes
Accepted

Meaning of “It takes forty men with their feet on the ground to keep one man with his head in the air" in Small Gods by Terry Pratchett?

For largely unexplained reasons, many religions use "40" as a number in their texts for a significant, unknown, but finite, number. In particular, I remember it being pointed out that the ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Odd joke about Monorchid in Elizabeth Finch by Julian Barnes

A monorchid is simply someone who has only one testicle. This may be a consequence of treatment for testicular cancer, which is not something men "aspire to".
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0 votes

What does "All the air of the fourteenth floor was sibilant with the categorical imperative" mean?

What you say is one thing you might take from the sentence; I think the combination of all the air and sibilant captures those qualities of 'silence, silence' fine, though. Categorical imperative does ...
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2 votes
Accepted

"Specializing in someone" in "Elizabeth Finch" By Julian Barnes

She’d give you the conclusion but not the narrative. i.e. This is an example of her telling you what she thinks about her life, but not what events led her to conclude that. The narrator says, yes, ...
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-5 votes

What did Dante mean by "Papè Satan, papè Satan aleppe" in the Inferno?

Well based on the chant most likely refers to the Triumph of Satan. It is screeched forth by Plutus, Roman god of wealth, and the underground mines therein. To Dante, Plutus is characterized as a ...
8 votes

Meaning of “It takes forty men with their feet on the ground to keep one man with his head in the air" in Small Gods by Terry Pratchett?

The verb keep in your quoted sentence doesn't mean to literally keep anyone up in the air or off the ground. It means to generally keep the man alive, well, and able to do his work. To provide food, ...
5 votes
Accepted

"if it means that" in "Elizabeth Finch" by Julian Barnes

In the context of this novel "especially if it means that" means "especially if what we think is best for us means our extinction". "Extinction" may seem a strange choice ...
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2 votes

Where/what is "C" in Annie Ernaux's short story "Returns"

The next rail stop from Motteville is Yvetot, which has a street called Rue Carnot, which is mentioned in the story. Although it does not lead from the station to the centre of town. Ernaux grew up in ...
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15 votes

What do these long em dashes and the word inst. mean in Railway Children?

As Gareth Rees pointed out, the dashes indicate the omission of a name, place, date, or similar. As per this question, in non-fiction (or fiction referring to real people/events/locations), this would ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Instructive contrast in Elizabeth Finch By Julian Barnes

Interesting passage! The sense of 'instruction' used in 'instructive' is basically the same as 'edification' - to instruct as in to teach; that concept is old-fashioned, but 'instructive' is still ...
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