Here's the latest installment in the regular best-of-quarter collections, intended to gather some particularly good Literature Q&A in order to get some easily available links to showcase our site.

One use for this post could be to gather links for promotion on Literature's community-run Twitter account. 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 fourth quarter (Oct/Nov/Dec) of 2021.

(Also, if you find anything from previous months, feel free to go and post answers on any of the older posts linked above. Late entries are more than welcome; the only important date is of the post on the main site that's being nominated.)

  • 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.

2 Answers 2


I really enjoyed (and learned a lot from) answering How long has Kalevipoeg been considered the Estonian national epic? This question is a lot more interesting than it may seem: the answer is not just a simple matter of hunting down and dating references in the literature, but requires some investigation of what it means to be a "national epic", which is more of a cultural question than a literary one, but very important in getting to grips with the reception (and even, as it turns out, the creation) of certain works of literature. Constructing that answer was a fascinating and educational experience for me. There are also similar questions (all asked by Tsundoku during December) about other cultures' national epics: Iranian, Thai, Armenian, Spanish, Georgian (deleted), Kyrgyz, Meitei. Don't upvote them all at once, as the system will think it's serial voting, but they're probably all worth upvoting.

It was also pleasing to see the Decameron topic challenge (November-December) attract Charo, already well established on the SE network with a moderator diamond on Italian SE, to start posting more actively here, answering six of my Decameron questions during the 4th quarter of 2021. If I had to pick a favourite answer of Charo's (among those posted so far, hopefully more to come!), it would be What do the names of the Decameron characters signify? which I rewarded with a bounty.


HoldOffHunger's answer to the question "Did Thoreau respond to claims that he was an anarchist?" addresses each sub-question in the original question and is well-documented. (HoldOffHunger joined the site in the fourth quarter of 2021. The question itself dates from the first quarter.)

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