Is there a story in the Bible or elsewhere in literature or myth about a person who wants to do many things, but is thwarted, by all sorts of forces, and ends up doing only one? [more inside]
What novels or short stories grapple with the decline of a superpower? I'm thinking waning-British-Empire stuff, primariy, but the decline of other global powerhouses is fine too. Must be fiction. Decline-of-Empire can either be primary to the plot or a backdrop against which other key aspects of the story unfold.
So I remember reading this short story once. It was about the pope and he had some kind of an infected toe. And it made him ornery and unforgiving. And then at some point the toe bursts, he feels better, it bloodies his slipper (which he doesn't change) and then he just starts forgiving everyone and everything. Does this ring any bells for anyone?
Can you help me identify a 25+ year-old short story that describes someone unable to cross a city street? [more inside]
Asking for a friend: what is this bawdy folk-ish story involving a criminal, a judge, the judge's wife, and forced sex with a goat? [more inside]
Looking for lists of memes, themes and repeated elements in children's stories that I can use in entirely new stories I'm making up for actual children. [more inside]
Excellent Action Scenes In Books? I'm looking for examples of tense, fast paced action sequences in novels and short stories. The written equivalent to the cinematic on-the-edge-of-your-seat-oh-crap-the-person-may-die-how-will-they-escape thing. Bonus if the situation is complex yet reads like a clear, clockwork machine. [more inside]
Recommend good short stories for starting moral or ethical debates! [more inside]
Please help me find a story i read about 10 years ago. In a dystopian world, criminals are not locked up, but instead are marked and ordinary people are not allowed to interact with them. [more inside]
kids' book in which princess and family move out of castle and have to rent all houses on a street to hold their stuff
I am looking for a chapter book I read as a kid in the 1970s/1980s in which a princess and her family have to move out of their ancestral home and instead rent all the houses on a street to hold all their things that used to be in the castle. It was kind of an adventure/mystery story after that, I think involving something with the family possessions. Anyone know the title of this book please?
Looking for a children's book about someone who is eating rice with a devil/ghost on his back who keeps stealing the food from him before he can get it into his mouth. [more inside]
Looking for teachable, modern, western and nonwestern examples of "quest" narratives in literature? [more inside]
I'm writing a postgrad research paper on Michael Ende's The Neverending Story. I'm keen to hear from anyone who has done any academic work on the novel, or those who have a personal interest in understanding aspects of the novel. Very little in terms of scholarly research exists on the topic to date . My particular focus is a Jungian analysis of archetypes within the novel. It's an introduction of sorts, a quick overview (10 000 words) of a topic I have the potential of working onto a longer thesis.
Say I'm writing a story and I want to emulate the old practice of referring to proper nouns by initials: i.e. Dr. M— from the town of S—. Where and when did this start? Why did they do this? (It hides the person's name, but from the author's perspective, is it to give his story an air of veracity, as with Defoe and Cervantes's works?) Would some names remain hidden and others not? Do I hide the last name only? If a man came from Monte Cristo, would I write M— C— or simply M—? I want as much information on this as possible. The name of this practice, if there is one, might be useful.
Need help remembering an old story. I think Joseph Conrad wrote it, but I'm not finding anything with the searches. Here are my dreamlike recollections: gist of the story is about a bottle or a box full of money (?). Each owner of the box/bottle has their wishes granted, but has to pass the box to someone else. The last person with the box/bottle goes to hell (or something?). I think I remember one of the characters in the story building a house on a hill in a tropical location. Help?
Short-story filter: contemporary American story with a scene of a baby boy whose father cruelly dangles a pocketwatch just out of reach so as to get the boy used to disappointment. [more inside]
Please help me find the name and author of a short story I read in The New Yorker within the last five years or so. The premise of the story is a teacher at a prep school in Manhattan is brought home by one of his students because she has decided he's the person she is going to marry. Toward the end of the story, the girl's father punches the teacher in the stomach unexpectedly. I believe the story won some awards.
Help me remember the name of this short story (or novel that includes this story): A housecleaner's employer tells her she can keep all the change she finds when she cleans his office. She ends up with a jar of change containing more than one hundred dollars, and the employer reneges his offer. Thanks! [more inside]
What is the story I've been trying to remember? It's about a future where everyone who excels is handicapped by the state. [more inside]
The Protagonist: What can you tell me? [more inside]
Has anyone written and published very brief, dense prose works akin to Borges' ficciones, and are they any good? [more inside]
Fiction usually comes in two flavours: 1st person narrative or 3rd person description. What short stories or novels have been written in 2nd person perspective (i.e. from the reader's viewpoint)? Also, are there any movies shot entirely from this angle?