Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
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Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Places in Literature
|Although this land and its surroundings were featured in a series of books by L. Frank Baum, everyone remembers the movie-in Technicolor!-of a young girl, her dog, a scarecrow, a tin man, and a lion. Need I say more?||Imaginary Places
Oz. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz! Watch out for the poppies!
Shangri-La. James Hilton (1900-1954) published two of his most successful books in 1933-34.
"Lost Horizon" and "Goodbye, Mr. Chips".
Frank Capra made a film-version of "Lost Horizon" in 1937.
|What's the name of the "ideal country" to which Wendy, John, and Michael are escorted by James M. Barrie's "Peter Pan"?||Ideal Countries In Literature
Neverland. James M. Barrie lived from 1860-1937. His 'Peter Pan'-character is somehow a precursor of Holden Caulfield, the boy who refuses to grow up.
As to the name "Neverland" in the first version of the play the name "Never, Never, Neverland" was used. The next year one of the Nevers was dropped: "Never-Neverland". In the printed version a further shortening took place: "Neverland". For an analysis in depth of the history of the play see the German website: http://staff-www.uni-marburg.de/~boedicke/Peter Pan.pdf
An English website gives Never-Neverland: www.dragonfare.com/AL/shows/peterpan.html
|Also E.A. Poe spent some energy on dreaming of an ideal country. But in his views it was a more materialistic end-station for those who had wandered around on this planet. How does he call it in his poem:"Gaily bedight A gallant knight In sunshine and shadow Had journeyed long In search of ____________"?||Ideal Countries In Literature
Eldorado. E.A. Poe's "gallant knight" is somewhat like the 'Wandering Jew' or the 'Flying Dutchman' , condemned to keep searching but destined never to find. His travelling is a Sisyphus' labour.
Aristophanes 450-388 BC. Aristophanes' play was called "The Birds". Aristophanes lived from 450 till 388 BC. Aesop was an earlier writer (6th century BC). Also Aeschylus preceded Aristophanes in Greek history ( 525-456 BC). Aeschines came later in history: 390-314 BC.
Avalon. 'Cader Idris' means Seat of Idris, Idris possibly referring to a giant in Welsh mythology.
There are various Rivers named 'Avon'. In England the Bristol Area is often called 'Avon Valley'.
In the Arthurian legends 'Camelot' is the Seat of King Arthur's Court. Some say Cadbury Castle was Arthur's Camelot.
'Avalon' is the island to which Arthur was conveyed for the healing of his wounds after his final battle.
|In which "Land of Quietude and Rest" did Ulysses and his crew -according to Homer and to Lord Tennyson- find an opportunity to forget the hardships of ten years at sea?||Ideal Countries In Literature
The Island of the Lotus Eaters. Tennyson was born on August 6th, 1809 and died on October 6, 1892.
A typical fragment:
"In the afternoon they came into a land
In which it seemed always afternoon
All round the coast the languid air did swoon,
Breathing like one that hath a weary dream."
The Commitments . The classified ad Jimmy Rabbitte, Jr., places in the 'Hot Press' classifieds, is taken here directly from the novel. 'The Commitments', the first instalment in Roddy Doyle's Barrytown Trilogy, tells the tale of a rough, raw soul band looking to make it big. This was made into what is perhaps Alan Parker's best film in 1991. And the lineup? From the film: 'I'd like to introduce you to the hardest-workin' band in the world. On bass, Derek "Meatman" Scully. On piano, Steven "Soul Surgeon" Clifford. Dean "Mr Nipples" Fay on sax. Joey "The Lips" Fagan on trumpet. Our gorgeous chanteuses are Bernie, Imelda, and Natalie. Deco "Deep Throat" Cuffe on vocals. On lead guitar, Outspan "Fender Bender" Foster. Finally, on drums, Mickah "Don't (argue) With Me" Wallace. Ladies and gentlemen, The Commitments.'
|Margaret Mitchell's civil war epic 'Gone With the Wind' includes a detailed description of the fall of which southern city?||Cities in Literature
Atlanta. In 1864, Atlanta became the focus of a sustained attack from the Union conducted by General William Sherman. Atlanta was the Confederacy's second most important stronghold after the capital, Richmond, and the hope was that it could be held until the election that was due in October 1864 took place. If the Confederacy had not been defeated by this point, then defeat for Lincoln at the ballot box might be a possibility.
The campaign to take Atlanta began in May 1864 and it eventually fell at the end of August that year when General John Hood fled the city. Before leaving Hood gave the order to destroy all public buildings so that the Union could make no use of them.
Atlanta was the city where Margaret Mitchell was born.
|JG Ballard's World War II novel, 'Empire of the Sun', is set in which Asian city?||Cities in Literature
Shanghai. Based on the author's own childhood experiences, 'Empire of the Sun' tells the story of an 11-year-old boy, Jim, who is separated from his parents and interned in a prison camp by the Japanese after they capture Shanghai following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Verona. 'Romeo and Juliet' is one of two Shakespeare plays to be set in part in Verona, the other being 'Two Gentlemen of Verona'. You can visit Juliet's house in the city on Via Cappello where it is claimed that Romeo serenaded Juliet.
|The novels 'Libra' and 'American Tabloid' tell the story of the build-up to a famous historical incident in which city?||Cities in Literature
Dallas. Both books are amongst the many recounting the tale of the Kennedy assassination. 'Libra', written by Don DeLillo, concentrates on the life of Lee Harvey Oswald from his childhood through his time in the USSR and the development of his communist sympathies. Oswald's assassination attempt is set up by the CIA as a means of persuading the government to go to war with Cuba.
'American Tabloid', the novel by James Ellroy, spans the five years prior to the assassination and follows the paths of three men: Kemper Boyd, an FBI man appointed by J Edgar Hoover to infiltrate the offices of the president; Ward Littell, Boyd's former partner; and Pete Bondurant, a CIA man involved in the campaign against Fidel Castro. As with 'Libra' (which Ellroy admits was an influence), it is the Cuban situation (most notably the failed Bay of Pigs invasion) which is the catalyst for the assassination plot.
Pandaemonium. Pandaemonium comes from ancient Greek, roughly translating as "all the demons". Similarly Pantheon roughly translates as "all the gods". Hades was the name of the Greek nether world and also its ruler.
|In which capital city did Phuong, Fowler and Pyle from Graham Greene's 'The Quiet American' live?||Cities in Literature
Saigon. The capital of the South when Vietnam was partitioned into two states between 1954 and 1975, Saigon is now known officially as Ho Chi Minh City in commemoration of the leader at the time of re-unification. Hanoi is the capital of the unified Socialist Republic of Vietnam although Ho Chi Minh City is the more populous.
|What is the fictional capital city of the Land of Oz in L. Frank Baum's 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'?||Cities in Literature
The Emerald City. The Emerald City is located at the end of the yellow brick road in the Land of Oz. The Wizard made all people who entered wear tinted glasses to make everything inside appear green.
Moscow. Like 'A Tale of Two Cities', 'Anna Karenina' was originally written in serial form for a periodical magazine. The novel opens with the summoning of Anna from St Petersburg by her brother Stiva who wishes her to persuade his wife Dolly not to leave him due to his infidelity.
London and Paris. 'A Tale of Two Cities' is set in the period of the French revolution and the subsequent Jacobin reign of terror. The novel tells the story of Frenchman Charles Darnay and Englishman, Sydney Carton and, as is common with Dickens, is a book concerned with social justice and redemption.
|I couldn't leave this quiz without asking which part of the UK is the setting for "Swallows and Amazons" by Arthur Ransome?||Places in Literature
Lake District. "Swallows and Amazons", first published in 1930, is set in the Lake District, although Ransome significantly changes the names and the actual geography to better fit the story. The lake, for instance, is largely based on Lake Windermere but Wild Cat Island and the surrounding fells more resemble those in and around Coniston Water.
|In Graham Greene's "Travels with My Aunt" which famous train journey do Henry and Aunt Augusta take together?||Places in Literature
Orient Express. This novel was published in 1969 and chronicles the journeys taken by the young Henry and his Aunt Augusta until Henry gradually realises the truth about his Aunt.
|In which fictitious city did Thomas Hardy's tragic hero "Jude the Obscure" dream of attending university?||Places in Literature
Christminster. Christminster was the name Hardy used for Oxford. "Jude the Obscure", first published in 1895, was widely condemned at the time as immoral and obscene. Hardy was so upset by this public reaction that he wrote no more novels after "Jude", concentrating thereafter on poetry and drama.
|In the first Winnie the Pooh book Christopher Robin leads an expedition (or expotition as he puts it) to find which well-known geographical location?||Places in Literature
The North Pole. I'm sure you remember that Roo fell in the water and was rescued using a long pole Pooh found. After this great rescue Christopher Robin announces that the pole they used was not just any pole but "it's the North Pole". Pooh was very proud.
|In "Peter Bell the Third", Shelley wrote that "Hell is a city much like..." which European city?||Places in Literature
London. This poem was composed in October 1819. It is a satire of Wordsworth's tale of a debauched potter, Peter Bell, who renounces his immoral life after a train of events show him the error of his old ways.
|Much of George Orwell's writing is based on his own experiences. In which two cities was he "Down and Out"?||Places in Literature
Paris and London. Published in 1933 "Down and Out in Paris and London" chronicles Orwell's experiences living an impoverished life in both cities.
|"Cargoes" is a wonderfully evocative poem by John Masefield but from which distant shore did the quinquireme of Nineveh hail? ||Places in Literature
Ophir. "Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine."
John Masefield. "Cargoes".
Ophir is mentioned in the Bible but its location has still not been identified. Contenders range from the Red Sea ports to present day Zimbabwe and Pakistan but as an exotic location for a poem it fits the bill perfectly!
|The canon of literature is by far the richer for the writings of Oscar Wilde, but this time I want to ask about a comment supposedly said by him on passing through a customs hall: "I have nothing to declare except my genius?". Which customs hall was it?||Places in Literature
New York. This saying is attributed to Oscar Wilde by Frank Harris in his 1916 book "Oscar Wilde; His Life and Confessions" but whether Wilde actually said it we may never know!
|Samuel Taylor Coleridge said, in a margin note on his manuscript, that he had taken opium for medicinal purposes before writing the poem Kubla Khan. But in which city was it decreed that there should be a stately pleasure dome?
||Places in Literature
Xanadu. "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea."
Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Xanadu was the summer capital of Kubla Khan's Yuan Dynasty in China in about the 13th century by our calendar. The city was in what is now called Mongolia, about 160 miles north of present day Beijing.
|From where, according to Keats, did Cortez and all his men stare at the Pacific?||Places in Literature
A peak in Darien. "Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific - and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise -
Silent, upon a peak in Darien."
John Keats - "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer". 1816