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1:13 PM
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Q: Explanation of Rumi's "The new rule"

Mad DawgI have just started to read Rumi. I've been trying to make sense of "The new rule" for a while now but its too much. Can someone help me understand it. It’s the old rule that drunks have to argue and get into fights. The lover is just as bad: he falls into a hole. But down in that hole he finds...

 
 
5 hours later…
5:47 PM
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Q: Why would "Bareface" be mistaken for a Western?

Rand al'ThorFrom the Wikipedia page on C.S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces: C. S. Lewis originally titled his working manuscripts "Bareface". The editor (Gibb) rejected the title "Bareface" on the ground that readers would mistake it for a Western. In response, Lewis said he failed to see why people would be de...

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Q: What were Bulgarian biscuits?

EJoshuaS - Reinstate MonicaIn Zinky Boys (track 7 in the audiobook), a female doctor complained that the girls she stayed with mostly talked about things like rubles, foreign currency vouchers, and how to steal meat and other food (e.g. smoked sausage and Bulgarian biscuits). When I search for this on Google, I get mostly ...

 
6:37 PM
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Q: Did T.S. Eliot really plagiarize in "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"?

Beth HaysI've been trying to do research to confirm my English teacher's claim that that T. S. Eliot plagiarized works by Jules LaForgue, Henri Bergman, and Andrew Marvell in his poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock". Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get any solid evidence. What follows is a sum...

 
7:31 PM
@Bookworm I've done my bit. Now it's Gareth's turn ;-)
 
@Tsundoku No, your answer looks good, upvoted. The only thing I'd want to add is a discussion of the way "plagiarism" (a violation of academic norms) is being applied to a different culture (poets have always quoted and alluded to each other) and how this risks mis-interpreting what the poets are doing
 
 
3 hours later…
11:05 PM
A couple of folks have suggested that I come to the chat room for discussion of my untenable question. So here goes:

I'm looking for novels where the narrator is speaking in the first person and the present tense. I'm currently writing a novel with this narration and I'm looking for a couple of specimens I can dissect. Thanks!
 
11:39 PM
@Kevin See one of my older chat messages. The combination of first-person narrative and present tense is less common than I thought.
Nick Travers posted some samples of first-person present-tense narration on his own website.
Diana Callahan lists a few examples in her article The Complete Guide to Writing Fiction in First Person. She says, "The use of present tense to show action happening in the moment is a much more modern phenomenon."
Louise Harnby says, " if you’re basing your whole novel in the first person, be cautious about using the present tense throughout. The past might give you more flexibility, particularly if you’re writing action-heavy scenes where, in reality, the character wouldn’t have time to give much thought to the consequences and motivations of their behaviour." But she doesn't give any examples.
Christopher Wills writes in a comment, "I wrote my first novel ‘Call me Aphrodite’ in the first person present tense. I found this very difficult to keep up but I enjoyed trying. The reason I did it this way was because the first draft was a diary but I didn’t like that so when I converted it to a novel it seemed obvious to keep it in the first person and use the present tense".
 

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