I am interested in the mimetic and narrative capacities of artefacts, how cultural remnants transmit information through time and how meaning is translated once an artefact is re-appropriated or examined from a new perspective. I have several avenues of study at the moment (a list in extended explanation), but would like some more ideas. Areas of critical theory, linguistics, evolutionary psychology and poetics are all relevant. [more inside]
I am in a search of a program that will help me memorize words... [more inside]
What are some good books on gangs, gang activities, internal organization and structure? [more inside]
Help me identify this short story! It is a story told from the perspective of an infant as he is free-falling through the garbage chute of a multi-level housing complex after being discarded by his teenage mother. The story is divided into nine parts, with each part signifying the baby's arrival at each floor until he finally reaches the trash compactor at the ground level. [more inside]
What contemporary text (including, books, newspapers, magazines, music, movies, or television) can I compare to Henry David Throreau's "Civil Disobedience." The text must no more that 25 years old. [more inside]
Please recommend books about China and the Chinese. [more inside]
I'm trying to find the name of a book I read several years ago. The book told the life story of a young gay man who might have been British. Further, possibly only half-correct, details inside. [more inside]
Robert B. Parker, Carl Hiaasen, Janet Evanovich, Tim Cockey, Patrick Quinlan, James Crumley, Elmore Leonard - NOW WHAT? [more inside]
Does anyone have any tips for choosing a good edition of a given novel or collection of poetry or short stories (when more than one exists)? [more inside]
What is the name of this short story that I am thinking of? [more inside]
What is the 19th Century illness that disfigures Esther Summerson of Dicken's Bleak House? [more inside]
Bookfilter: looking for a book I read as a kid involving a sick kid and sailing. The wrinkle? I read it in German, so I don't even know if this book exists in English. Obviously, there's [more inside]
Any examples of great works of literature that were written on scraps of paper or created using inferior devices?
I'm entering a Literature graduate program and I'd like to fill in some of the gaps in my knowledge of the British/American canon. I've been looking for a timeline of literary periods to assist me in identifying where my major gaps are. It would (ideally) have major authors and for bonus points, their major works. I've been googling for about 45 minutes now and I can't find anything substantive. I would pay a pretty decent premium to have it poster-sized to hang above my desk. [more inside]
Are there any reverse-chronological histories of culture? [more inside]
Looking for some good, loooong novels. [more inside]
Literature filter: Novels in the form of a first-person diary (day-by-day entries, or entries set against calendar dates). Can you name any good examples, particularly contemporary? I'm aware that it was relatively common format in earlier novels (for example, Dracula). [more inside]
Short Story Filter: I'm trying to track down a wonderful short story I read maybe 15 years ago. It focuses on a couple struggling with a dysfunctional marital and/or sexual relationship. The story is set somewhere in a snowy/icy climate, and the central conceit of the story is that the husband needs to free their car which is stuck in the snow. As the story unfolds, the author describes the back-and-forth rocking of the car as he slams it from "drive" into "reverse" and back again, and it becomes clear that the movement of the car is a powerful sexual metaphor. Finally the car rolls free and the dramatic release seems to provide hope for the relationship. Does this sound familiar to anybody? I thought the title of the story was "Unstuck," but Googling has led me nowhere.
Does Vonnegut ever explain the relationship between Bertram Copeland Rumfoord in Slaughterhouse Five and Winston Niles Rumfoord in Sirens of Titan? If not, do you have any plausible theories, or did KV just like the sound of the last name?
Lit-crit/what the hell is the word I'm looking for? [more inside]
Should I finish off the Harry Potter series of books even though I get totally depressed after reading them? [more inside]
I'm looking for a good reference book on the Phoenix (mythological bird), preferably with plenty of color pictures, as this is for a child. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Have any literary theorists or critics, or professors of literature, written about literary terrorism? By literary terrorism, I mean the use of flash violence to shock subvert political or cultural structures. I will especially appreciate studies that explicitly analyze these techniques in comparison with concrete terroristic acts.
What are some good blogs on literature? [more inside]
Can anyone recommend ancillary short stories, essays, or poems that I could present together with To Kill a Mockingbird? [more inside]
Loved "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" and am currently loving "Marley's Ghost." I think I enjoy the idea of another author picking up a smaller character from a "classic" and running with it. So what other books have a similar set-up?
I need me some literary adventure stories! Yeehar! [more inside]
Books about Burma? [more inside]
I'm looking for a concise and readable overview/guide of what could be considered "classic literature" for a mature ESL student. [more inside]
I am looking for some fiction where the main character is a loner and seems to be OK with it. (possible spoilers) [more inside]
Help me find some good atheist reading materials for my birthday. [more inside]
"Me not ugly, me is beautiful." Do you know what monster might have said this? [more inside]
Interested in English language poetry (classical or modern, romantic or political), what can you recommend? [more inside]
Can anyone remember the name of a book from my childhood? Kid lit from the late 60’s/early 70’s. Book is about the Holocaust, I think. Bought the book from the Scholastic Book Club (they don’t have lists from back then). The book has a red cover with a picture of a girl with dark brown hair. Part of the story takes place on a train going to Siberia(?). Hope you can help me find this book!
(Asking for a friend) What Book is this? I remember reading a book back in High School..... [more inside]
I'm looking for a book for my book club to read (novel, nonfiction) that takes place during the holidays or has a holiday theme. I've thought of Holidays on Ice, A Christmas Carol (they seem obvious) but am stumped on others. The book doesn't have to totally revolve around the holidays, though. Any suggestions?
What essays, papers, or declarations were written in English and have changed the world.... and are short enough to memorize? [more inside]
Please recommend your favorite Australian book(s) of the last five years. [more inside]
What are some famous stories that don't have a proper ending, like the series finale of the Sopranos? [more inside]
What are your favorite online forums in which to talk about books? Say why you like each so I can get a good idea of the different kinds of communities. [more inside]
I want to read Russian literature - what do I read? [more inside]
What is meant by the study of English Literature? [more inside]
Please help identify a book I read as a child in the late 80s or early 90s. It was either a series of books on ghosts, vampires, etc., or maybe just one book broken down into sections. Humorous text describing different types of each creature, with black and white line drawings. I remember the tone being funny, not scary. Bonus scifi name-this-book inside if this one isn't ringing a bell. [more inside]
What are tomorrow's avant-garde art/film/writing monuments that are being done today? [more inside]
Looking for books about destruction. [more inside]
Why do/did certain old novels censor names of towns/shires/boroughs? [more inside]
aaax / bbbx / cccy / dddy: Is there a particular name for the structure of the poem Slough, by John Betjeman?
Books About Work. [more inside]
I've just finished my first novel, now how do I revise this thing? [more inside]
Is there a name for a grammatical construction in which two different types of adjectives -- for example, one describing a physical characteristic and one passing a moral judgment -- are used to modify the same noun? [more inside]