Unanswered Questions

1,404 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
29 votes
0 answers
1k views

How did real historical Igbo society differ from its portrayal in Things Fall Apart?

I recently read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, and found its detailed portrayal of historical Igbo (aka Ibo) culture very interesting. My understanding is that it's a reasonably close ...
23 votes
0 answers
617 views

Was Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum at all inspired by A Predicament?

Poe's satirical short story A Predicament tells the story of a woman who is slowly decapitated by the minute hand of a large cathedral clock. In all its ridiculousness, it was supposed to be a horror ...
21 votes
0 answers
470 views

Is the treatment of Jar Jar Binks in Aftermath: Empire's End a reflection of audience treatment?

In one of the Interlude scenes in the book Star Wars Aftermath: Empire's End, a child interacts with Jar Jar Binks, and gives more details about how the adults don't like him due to their beliefs that ...
21 votes
0 answers
880 views

Are Frog and Toad more than just friends?

In a 1977 interview with The Lion and the Unicorn, Arnold Lobel said: You know, if an adult has an unhappy love affair, he writes about it. He exorcises it out of himself, perhaps, by writing a novel ...
19 votes
0 answers
251 views

Do Daniel Handler's novels for adults share themes or tone with his Lemony Snicket work?

Daniel Handler's A Series of Unfortunate Events, written under his Lemony Snicket pseudonym, delves into a great many intriguing themes -- the blindness and dysfunctionality of modern society; living ...
18 votes
0 answers
393 views

What is this mid-20th century British adventure novel?

I’d like help finding a novel I loved as a child. The points I can remember: It was set and written in mid-20th century England, perhaps the 1950s. Perhaps aimed at schoolchildren of the time - a ...
17 votes
0 answers
251 views

What is the Pasifika response to "Nation"?

Pratchett's Nation was recommended to me because it depicts an alternate reality version of Pasifika cultures, faiths, and traditions. A quick glance at Wikipedia tells me it's got cannibals and ...
16 votes
0 answers
542 views

What does the letter V in Thomas Pynchon's book symbolize?

Obviously, V. is a character in the book, known only by her initial. That initial is also the title of the book, which actually includes the period. But I assume this title/name symbolizes something ...
16 votes
0 answers
198 views

Who said that Allingham "polished her prose until it shone over-bright," and where?

Somebody read to me from a book about Allingham long ago that she would "polish her prose until it shone over-bright" and then dictate it to her husband to reduce it to a more readable vernacular. I ...
15 votes
0 answers
949 views

How did Lee's personal experience affect the narrative of To Kill A Mockingbird?

Many Southern authors of Harper Lee's time period wrote very autobiographical works. This led me to wonder how much Harper Lee's personal life was reflected in the narrative of To Kill A Mockingbird. ...
14 votes
0 answers
719 views

A story in which a young girl saves a poor boy from a factory owner and meets that boy decades later

Yesterday, I was reading a 5th grader's comprehension book. It had multiple excerpts from good (if not well-known) novels. One of them particularly stood out to me. It was about a woman who lived in ...
14 votes
0 answers
187 views

Help me identify an old children's picture book featuring anthropomimetic arthropods

The book in question was written prior to 1990. The pages probably had no words — I was able to read at the time, so either it was not narrated or the words were not memorable. Each page, or pair of ...
13 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why do some paperbacks have shortened front covers?

Some paperback editions have a front cover which is a centimetre or two shorter than the actual book. I first noticed this on House of Leaves, where I thought that it's just part of the whole ...
12 votes
1 answer
488 views

Narrator in The Idiot

I'm struggling to understand the narrator in The Idiot. He seems like an omniscient narrator, talking of characters in third person. But, in Chapter I of Part One, while describing know-it-alls, the ...
12 votes
0 answers
313 views

About Sappho's epigram for the little girl Aithopia: first line (manuscript tradition and experts' take), and authorship

Background and research: As I am planning to post this poem on my blog relatively soon, I was doing some research on the first line. From what I had written previously, I seem to have found two ...

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