What is the meaning of “a personal odyssey of the self”?

I was reading the book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari which has the following sentence: He describes his time in this far-away land as a personal odyssey of the self. What does this sentence mean? Answer The key point about the original Odyssey is that it involves not just a journey (full of adventure … Read more

Meaning of “sleep” and “shave it through on the grub”

I read in “The White Silent” of Jack London and see this sentence ‘Only one day. We can shave it through on the grub, and I might knock over a moose.’ I do not understand meaning of ‘we can shave it through on the grub’. Do you explain clearly for me? And Jack London use … Read more

“I you already know”: is this proper English?

I found this sentence in Terry Pratchett’s “Interesting Times”: (*) “Great wizard,” said Butterfly, bowing. “I you already know, but these two are Lotus Blossom and Three Yoked Oxen, other members of our cadre. […]” It’s certainly not the usual word order, but there’s clearly emphasis on “I” and that often can reason about alterations … Read more

What does Scandinavian Home mean? Late XIX, early XX century. Great Britain

Joseph Conrad, “The Nigger Of The “Narcissus”: A Tale Of The Forecastle”: the two young Norwegians looked tidy, meek, and altogether of a promising material for the kind ladies who patronise the Scandinavian Home. I’ve searched through various dictionaries and completed various google-searches but couldn’t find the answer. Is it something like a brothel? Or … Read more

What is “taytottlers”?

Joseph Conrad, “The Nigger Of The “Narcissus: A Tale Of The Forecastle”: Donkin gulped greedily, glaring over the rim. Belfast made us laugh when with grimacing mouth he shouted:—“Pass it this way. We’re all taytottlers here.” So the sailors are passing the water to each other after the storm. And some of them are saying … Read more

Subject/Object Confusion in The Silmarillion

In Tolkein’s “The Silmarillion”, page 216 of the chapter “Of Túrin Turambar”, the following is written: “[…] this Wildman was the Mormegil of Nargothrond, whom rumour said was the son of Húrin of Dor-lómin.” Ignoring the array of proper nouns, shouldn’t the subclause read “WHO rumour said was the son […]”, as “who was” is … Read more

Looking for a well-known refrain or proverb indicating that some big trouble has just started

I am translating into English a famous refrain from Spanish, Ahí fue Troya. That means something like Then a big trouble started. I am looking for some correspondingly recognizable refrain I can use in English for the translation. Because this is a work of literature, having a polished style and wording is very important. Answer … Read more

Definition, Origin, and Extent of “Matter” as a title in Literature

Why was “Matter” chosen for the Matter of Britain, the Matter of France and the Matter of Rome? What would the exact definition of “Matter” be in this instance? Written/Printed Material, or a Theme/Group of Themes, or (obsolete) the essence; the pith; the embodiment? Whereas it seems to refer to topics, we often hear it used … Read more