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LITERARY TRIVIA

1) Who was the first Chinese writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature?


In 2000, Gao Xingjian, author of Soul Mountain and The Other Shore, became the first Chinese writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His novels and plays have been banned in China since 1986.

2) What was the working title of Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel Gone With the Wind?


Believe it or not, Ba! Ba! Black Sheep was one of several working titles Margaret Mitchell used for her most famous novel, Gone With the Wind. She also considered the titles Tote the Weary Load, Bugles Sang True, Not In Our Stars, and Tomorrow is Another Day before finally settling on a phrase that she had used in the critical scene where Scarlett returns to Tara and asks, "Was Tara still standing? Or was Tara also gone with the wind which had swept through Georgia?"

3) What Russian dramatist wrote The Inspector General?


Nikolai Gogol's most celebrated play was The Inspector General (1836), a comedy which told the tale of a young civil servant who finds himself stranded in a small town, mistaken for an influential government inspector. A masterpiece of dramatic satire, The Inspector General is universally respected as one of the greatest plays of the Russian theatre.

4) What poet wrote the following lines?

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I ...
I took the one less traveled by.


Robert Frost finished his famous poem "The Road Not Taken" with the following lines:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

5) What is the name of the student in Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment who commits a cold-blooded murder?


Raskolnikov is the student in Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment who commits a cold-blooded murder and afterwards, tormented by his own conscience, seeks sympathy from a prostitute.

6) What famous literary character offers this sage advice: "Neither a borrower nor a lender be"?


In Hamlet (Act I, Scene III), Polonius offers the sage advice "Neither a borrower nor a lender be" to his son Laertes who is about to leave home.

7) What did Aldous Huxley and C. S. Lewis have in common?


Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis both died on November 22, 1963, but their deaths were overshadowed by a more sensational death that day: the assassination of U. S. President John F. Kennedy.

8) What poet wrote To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960), Transformations (1971), and The Death Notebooks (1974)?


Anne Sexton wrote To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960), Transformations (1971), and The Death Notebooks (1974), as well as Live or Die (1967) for which she won the Pulitzer Prize. In 1974, despite a very successful writing career, she lost her lifelong battle with depression and, at the age of 46, committed suicide.

9) What play by Tennessee Williams contains characters named "Big Daddy" and "Big Mama"?


One of Tennessee Williams greatest plays, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, contains characters named "Big Daddy" and "Big Mama." These roles were played in the original Broadway production by Burl Ives and Mildred Dunnock.

10) What novel ends with the following line?

"It is a far better thing I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."


Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities ends with this famous line, spoken by Sydney Carton, an English barrister who is portrayed in the beginning of the novel as a cynical alcoholic, but who ultimately becomes a selfless hero.

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