Here's the latest installment in what's now becoming a grand old tradition of gathering some particularly good Literature Q&A in order to get some easily available links to show off to people.

Since Literature has a community-run Twitter account, one use for this post will be to gather links for tweeting. But it's also useful for any kind of site promotion - if we want to show off the site to literary friends, it'll be much easier if we have a list of particularly great posts to point to.

Please nominate some exemplary Q&A from the second quarter (Apr/May/Jun) of 2019.

  • When choosing nominations, please remember the primary purpose: to showcase our site to people elsewhere in the hope of maybe tempting them to come here. Let's try to focus mainly on great questions with great answers, and perhaps also great unanswered questions (which we can advertise as "hey, why not come and answer this") - not anything with subpar answers, which will tend to give a bad impression and defeat the purpose.
  • Remember that votes don't necessarily reflect quality, and the purpose of this is to promote quality over score. Highly-voted posts are easy to find, underappreciated gems less so.
  • Getting a wide range of different stories represented in our list here would also be nice, but not strictly necessary - feel free to nominate a bunch of Q&A about the same book, if you think they're all outstanding. But don't nominate questions just because they're about your favourite book.
  • Multiple nominated posts per answer here is fine.
  • Feel free to nominate either some of your own posts which you're particularly proud of, or posts from other people which really impressed you.
  • Ideally, some explanation of why the nominated questions and answers are so good would be useful - constructive feedback might give people ideas about what to aim for in the future.

3 Answers 3


I'm sure I will find more Questions and Answers that I want to add, but I thought I would get the ball rolling with a shout-out for @GarethRees' answer to What does Forster mean by “Suspicion in the Oriental”?

This is a solidly useful answer which not only responds to the question as posed, but also ably demonstrates the importance of the context of quotations and how extracts can often only be fully understood as part of the wider work. A lesson that I've actually taken to heart in an answer I wrote today.

A great lesson and a solid answer.


I was blown away by the responses to my question Was T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" plagiarised? Both the answers from Gareth Rees and Christophe Strobbe, as well as the deleted one from fundagain, are good reads with detailed arguments. I'm especially impressed by Gareth's answer (which I accepted), with its incredibly comprehensive analysis of various critics who claimed plagiarism as well as a detailed discussion of how and why such claims arise when there's no real evidence for them.


When looking for the best answers from the second quarter, I find it hard to find one that is not by Gareth Rees. Here's another example: Where and how did James Joyce condemn Hamlet as a failure?, in which Gareth corrects a scholar quoted on Wikipedia. It involves a fair amount of citation chasing.

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