Tag Archives: Quora

Regarding novels, which English authors have the most complicated writing style?

I love answering questions on Quora. I wish I had more time for this to write answers about creative writing, poetry, literature, cultural events, SEO, writer’s block, and ways to boost our creativity.

I would say that Virginia Woolf‘s style is intricately beautiful.

“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realizes an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.”

“The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.”

“Nothing thicker than a knife’s blade separates happiness from melancholy.”

“Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.”

“There was a star riding through clouds one night, & I said to the star, ‘Consume me’.”

Which poem reminds you of your childhood?

Which poem reminds you of your childhood? Either because you read it as a child or because when you read it, it resonates with your inner child.

A Bird, came down the Walk
by EMILY DICKINSON

A Bird, came down the Walk –
He did not know I saw –
He bit an Angle Worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then, he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass –
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass –

He glanced with rapid eyes,
That hurried all abroad –
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought,
He stirred his Velvet Head. –

Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers,
And rowed him softer Home –

Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,
Leap, plashless as they swim.

Answer featured at Quora.com.

Art – Charles van Sandwyk.

What are the most unusual characters in famous novels?

Uriah Heep from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

“I am well aware that I am the umblest person going,” said Uriah Heep modestly, “let the other be where he may. My mother is likewise a very umble person. We live in an umble abode, Master Copperfield, but have much to be thankful for. My father’s former calling was umble; he was a sexton.”

His name has become synonymous with sycophancy.

Captain Ahab from Moby Dick Charles Melville

“Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing. When you think it fled, it may have but become transfigured into some still subtler form.”

“All my means are sane, my motive and my object mad.”

“Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents’ beds, unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle, naught’s an angle to the iron way!”

(From his object mad I extracted the question “Who is your white whale?”, question I ask my customers.)

Miss Havisham from Great Expectations Charles Dickens (a forger of astounding characters)

“I stole her heart away and put ice in its place.”

“Break their hearts my pride and hope, break their hearts and have no mercy.”

I’ll tell you,” said she, in the same hurried passionate whisper, “what real love it. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter – as I did!”

“Love her, love her, love her! If she favours you, love her. If she wounds you, love her. If she tears your heart to pieces – and as it gets older and stronger, it will tear deeper – love her, love her, love her!”

Berenice from Berenice – short story by Edgar Allan Poe

“Berenice and I were cousins, and we grew up together in my paternal halls. Yet differently we grew –I ill of health, and buried in gloom –she agile, graceful, and overflowing with energy; hers the ramble on the hill-side –mine the studies of the cloister –I living within my own heart, and addicted body and soul to the most intense and painful meditation –she roaming carelessly through life with no thought of the shadows in her path, or the silent flight of the raven-winged hours. Berenice! –I call upon her name –Berenice! –and from the gray ruins of memory a thousand tumultuous recollections are startled at the sound! Ah! vividly is her image before me now, as in the early days of her light-heartedness and joy! Oh! gorgeous yet fantastic beauty! Oh! sylph amid the shrubberies of Arnheim! –Oh! Naiad among its fountains! –and then –then all is mystery and terror, and a tale which should not be told.”

Art – Uriah Heep by Fred Barnard

Also featured at Quora.com.

What are some book recommendations that make you really think?

I have answered this at Quora.
Wind, Sand and Stars (French title: Terre des hommes, literally “Land of Men”) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

“When I opened my eyes I saw nothing but the pool of nocturnal sky, for I was lying on my back with out-stretched arms, face to face with that hatchery of stars. Only half awake, still unaware that those depths were sky, having no roof between those depths and me, no branches to screen them, no root to cling to, I was seized with vertigo and felt myself as if flung forth and plunging downward like a diver.”

“I looked about me. Luminous points glowed in the darkness. Cigarettes punctuated the humble meditations of worn old clerks. I heard them talking to one another in murmurs and whispers. They talked about illness, money, shabby domestic cares. And suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny. Old bureaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you to escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light might pierce. You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions of provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the winds and the tides and the stars. You have chosen not to be perturbed by great problems, having trouble enough to forget your own fate as a man. You are not the dweller upon an errant planet and do not ask yourself questions to which there are no answers. Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the astronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning.”

What are some good short stories?

I have answered this at Quora.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro
by Ernest Hemingway.

“The cot the man lay on was in the wide shade of a mimosa tree and as he looked out past the shade onto the glare of the plain there were three of the big birds squatted obscenely, while in the sky a dozen more sailed, making quick-moving shadows as they passed.”

“Now he would never write the things that he had saved to write until he knew enough to write them well. Well, he would not have to fail at trying to write them either. Maybe you could never write them, and that was why you put them off and delayed the starting. Well he would never know, now.”

What are some poems about meaning (philosophy)?

The World Is Too Much With Us
By WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

I have answered this question at Quora.com.

Art – Emil Nolde.

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d
by WALT WHITMAN

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.

O powerful western fallen star!
O shades of night—O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear’d—O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless—O helpless soul of me!
O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul.
…………………………………………….

Also posted on Quora.

Blue Flower in poetry

I have answered this question on Quora:
What’s a good symbol or image for poetry other than the raven?

A Blue Flower was a central symbol of inspiration for the Romanticism movement, and remains an enduring motif in Western art today. It stands for desire, love, and the metaphysical striving for the infinite and unreachable. It symbolizes hope and the beauty of things.

German author Novalis used the symbol in his unfinished Bildungsroman, entitled Heinrich von Ofterdingen. After contemplating a meeting with a stranger, the young Heinrich von Ofterdingen dreams about a blue flower which calls to him and absorbs his attention.

The blue flower symbolizes the joining of humanity with nature and the spirit so the understanding of nature and of the self is growing.

Art – Vincent van Gogh