Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [literature]

written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit.

16
votes
1answer
4k views

Who wrote “A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”?

Literature.SE is one of many (query credit to @Glorfindel) SE sites that run community promotion ads. One such ad (below) includes a quote by Samuel Johnson. Ad credit to @Rand al'Thor (font choice) ...
7
votes
1answer
450 views

Did Stevenson assert his moral right?

I have here a copy of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, republished in 2010 by Harper Press, an imprint of HarperCollins's. On the copyright page is this text, with ...
7
votes
2answers
829 views

Was there a person made the quote about poetry that Poincaré responded to?

It is claimed that Henri Poincaré, a well-known mathematician, said this: Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things. It is also claimed that that quote was in response to ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Did Native Americans call European people “pale-face”?

In lots of American Indian novels you can read that the native peoples of North America called European people "pale-face" or "pale-faced": “Young Randolph! war-chief among the pale-faces! You ...
3
votes
0answers
334 views

Did the first Mughal emperor of India, Babur, write love poems for men?

Sites such as this, this and this claim that Babur the founder of the Mughal dynasty and the first Mughal emperor of India wrote love poems for men. Ziya Us Salam an Indian literary and film critic ...
7
votes
0answers
352 views

Is the Greek/French macaronic phrase written by an ancient author?

From Wikipedia article: Occasionally language is unintentionally macaronic. One particularly famed piece of schoolyard Greek in France is Xenophon's line "they did not take the city; but in fact ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Is the name “Ahmad” mentioned in the dead sea scrolls?

This video claims that the following excerpt is a verse of the Isiah scroll of the dead sea scrolls. The claim also appears in here. Is it true?
58
votes
1answer
9k views

Does Lebanon ban the diary of Anne Frank?

According to factslides, a reddit post, Wikipedia, and the Wall Street Journal, the Diary of Anne Frank is banned in Lebanon. According to a reddit comment this is "rubbish". Other news reports a ...
2
votes
1answer
705 views

Was Licio Gelli nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature?

In Wikipedia it's stated that Licio Gelli In 1996, Gelli was nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, supported by Mother Teresa and Naguib Mahfouz. The references give some (...
10
votes
2answers
59k views

Did Niccolo Machiavelli advocate to fake your own death?

Well it is getting September the 13th pretty soon and it will then be 18 years ago that 2Pac (Tupac Amaru Shakur), the famous American gangster rapper, was murdered in Las Vegas. There are a lot of ...
10
votes
1answer
11k views

Is the novel “Sleepers” a true account?

Sleepers is a novel about four boys who are sexually abused at a school for boys, and later exact revenge on their tormentors. It was made into a film starring Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, and Robert De ...
7
votes
0answers
229 views

Was the Education of Little Tree written by an ex-Klansman?

One of my favorite children's books growing up was the Education of Little Tree. This is a popular children's book in the US about a child who goes to live with his Cherokee grandparents in Appalachia ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Were deserts once oceans/seas?

I was reading The Alchemist and stumbled upon something that says, Here and there, he found a shell, and realized that the desert, in remote times, had been a sea. Were the deserts once oceans/...
9
votes
1answer
775 views

Does the extent of illiteracy in children correlate with future criminality?

Neil Gaiman recently made what has been hailed as one of the best commencement speeches ever at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts (reported here, available as a book here). In it he talks about ...
28
votes
1answer
1k views

Did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle call J.B. Rhine a “monumental ass” in print?

I need help confirming or debunking what may be an urban legend in the paranormal literature regarding the rocky public relationship between spiritualism believer (and famous author) Arthur Conan ...
25
votes
1answer
2k views

Did Victor Hugo work naked to prevent himself from leaving his desk?

I heard this story numerous times. Allegedly, Victor Hugo would ask every day to a servant to take his clothes so that he would be forced to stay, naked, in his room and work instead of going out and ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Did Americans coin the phrase “to make money”?

This claim comes from a work of fiction but it is often repeated as true by fiscally conservative individuals who respect the author. In Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, a character named Francisco gives a ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the new Testament claim that Mary, mother of Jesus, was a virgin?

I have read from quite a few sources stating that there was a mistranslation in the Bible, calling Mary a "virgin" instead of a "young, marry-able woman". It would be interesting to know about such a ...
36
votes
4answers
5k views

Are rape victims forced to marry their rapist, according to the Old Testament?

(Copied from http://www.theliberaloc.com/2012/05/14/traditional-marriage-according-to-the-bible/) Relevant portion of the text: Marriage = Rapist and His Victim (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) Virgin ...
29
votes
2answers
94k views

How much does wet sponge matter in electrocution process?

In Stephen King's novel The Green Mile and its film adaptation one of the characters (Eduard Delacroix) is getting electrocuted. Before the execution one of the correction officers instead of wetting ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Was Shakespeare Marlowe? What does stylometry say? [duplicate]

I am not sure why this isn't asked here already, but Peter Farey and Ros Barber convinced me that Christopher Marlowe wrote the works of Shakespeare. This resolved my own cognitive dissonance from ...
16
votes
1answer
119k views

Did William Shakespeare say “I always feel happy…”?

Is the attribution of this quote to William Shakespeare correct? I always feel happy. You know why? Because I don’t expect anything from anyone. Expectations always hurt… Life is short… So love ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Did William Shakespeare help make the KJV bible?

Many believe because of the placement of specific words in Psalm 46 that William Shakespeare helped in the translation of the King James bible to English. In 1610, the year of the final editing ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Did Conan Doyle write Sherlock Holmes?

I came across the claim that sir Arthur Conan Doyle didn't write the Sherlock Holmes stories and probably just, at most, edited them. Normally such a claim would not be taken seriously. But the ...
34
votes
5answers
3k views

Who wrote Shakespeare's plays?

One of the premises of a new film, "Anonymous", due to come out in a couple of weeks, is that Shakespeare's plays were authored by Edward de Vere, instead of by Shakespeare. The producers have also ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Are the books from Carlos Castaneda real or fiction?

I have read all the Carlos Castaneda's books, I practiced some of their exercises, some have been helpful but I've always been in doubt about whether Don Juan ever existed, or if the events in the ...
3
votes
1answer
338 views

Was Nabokov's Lolita named after a horse?

I've gotten a pretty popular (based on levels of forwarding) chain email in Russian recently discussing funny "facts" about literature. Most were either mildly amusing or obvious BS, but one claim ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Is Robinson Crusoe the first English novel?

This is not the first time I've heard of this, and I'm not really sure this is true. Then I came across this book review: Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published in 1719 and ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Is Macbeth cursed?

I recently read Macbeth and I looked up its history, and apparently there is such a thing as "The Curse of Macbeth". The story is as follows: Shakespeare, in writing the play, included a lot of ...
45
votes
3answers
21k views

Was the name “Wendy” created for Peter Pan?

I ran across something odd today... I have an iPhone app that lists facts, trivia, and other useless information (it's called Cool Facts, downloaded from iTunes). So far, nothing I've found on it ...
27
votes
1answer
2k views

Did Shakespeare introduce over 1700 new words to the English language?

I was cruising the JREF forums, and while I am very familiar with many of the phrases he coined and popularized in the English language, a post makes the claim. Shakespeare coined about two ...