7

Normally, if a door is open a crack, at the bottom of it you will see something dark. It might be the grass, or dirt, or whatever else is outside the door. Above that you will see whiteness. That whiteness isn't a thing - it's the absence of things, emptiness, daylight. That's "negative" space -- the lack of stuff to see. But in this case, surprisingly, the ...


5

The ‘which’ and ‘where’ parts of the question were answered by Maupassant’s biographer Francis Steegmuller: A smart American publisher and bookseller named M. Walter Dunne, whose specialty was large and showily produced “sets,” felt that the time had come to confront the American public with all of Maupassant; and he issued [starting in 1903], in ...


4

Extremely wealthy (or powerful) people can get away with offending against conventions that other people are bound by, because other people don't want to offend them. Also, an ordinary person wanted to do business with the collector would have had to show that he was taking the matter seriously by dressing properly, but either a duke or a millionaire could ...


4

The article mentioned in the original version of the question is not "Boule de Suif" (which is a novella) but the article "Les Soirées de Médan" that Maupassant published in the newspaper Le Gaulois on 27 April 1880. At the time, de Maupassant was still unknown as an author. The "soirées" he talks about are evenings that several authors spent at the house ...


4

"Dripping with gore" indicates that the man had just committed a violent murder and was literally dripping with blood from the victim. However if he were philosophically inclined, he could hold forth on views that Buddhism was better than Christianity -- or, in view of the way Father Brown is discussing European criminals, those notions of Buddhism that ...


3

"Ethical fellowship" is a sort of a keyphrase for secular beliefs that there are right and wrong actions distinct from any religious framework, as per Felix Adler's Ethical Movement. So Father Brown is basically alluding to two secular (often associated with atheism) movements, evolution and ethical fellowship, to take a dig at people believing that anything ...


3

Yes, he cannot see his own wrong and instead blames the goddess of love. For context here, it's useful to know a little about the classical reference that Frank Ashurst is making. It's first put into the reader's mind all the way back at the beginning, in the epigraph of this story: "The Apple-tree, the singing and the gold." ~ Murray's "Hippolytus of ...


2

What the man appears to be saying is that Mr. Aylmer and Mr. Strake may have been reborn or reincarnated, after having been other types of creatures in earlier lives (birds or other animals or both) and that they may have tried to kill each other in these previous lives. In other words, their struggle returns each time they are reborn. This appears to be how ...


2

"It" refers back to "go[ing] straight to the point". If the man's thoughts are dominated by paranoia (the monomania in this story), then he will sense that any indirect questions asked by Father Brown are attempts to find something out about him without being open about it. General questions and comments that are often used to break the ice, e.g. comments ...


2

In the phrase "thinking his thoughts", "think" means neither "think about" nor "think by". It means having the same thoughts, holding the same thoughts in your mind. This is part of being "inside" the murder: Father Brown tries to experience the murderer's thoughts in order to better understand him. The "posture of his hunched and peering hatred" would be a ...


1

First of all, the man is saying that he is a "secularist." Specifically, he is an "evolutionist" (as opposed to a "creationist" who would believe in the "divinity" of the Holy Spirit, rather than just its "existence" in a "spiritual sense." That said, if the man doesn't believe in "divinity," from what does his views on right and wrong derive. The answer ...


1

The original French of this fragment can also be found on Gutenberg and goes as follows: Il se chargea d'écrire l'article du Gaulois et d'accord avec ses amis, il le rédigea dans les termes que l'on sait, brodant et enjolivant, cédant sans violence à un goût naturel pour une mystification qu'innocentait sa jeunesse. L'essentiel, disait-il, est de ...


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