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Like great epics of that past, namely Greek classics such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, A Game of Thrones opens en medias res (“in the midst of things”). Moreover, the opening is particularly ominous with Gared “urging” the travelers to turnaround as a “darkness” descends on the scene. It’s quite clear even in this first line that something wicked this way comes.

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This is a moment of deep emotional connection for the reader as well. To anyone reading this chapter, it should be clear that Jon Snow will become one of the major protagonists of the novel/series.

Though “born with no name of [his]own,” Jon’s actions here are naturally noble, humbly excluding himself in favor of more traditional aristocracy.

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The “fall of the coins” wakes the protagonist from his revery as he realizes that his imagined romance of the bazaar has been displaced by the reality of the bazaar as a marketplace.

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“Cert.” is short for Certiorari, Latin meaning “to be informed of, or to be made certain in regard to.”

In this context, “cert.” refers to the “Petition for Writ of Certiorari,” an appeal to the Supreme Court. The legal citation “cert. denied” means that SCOTUS denied the Petition or appeal.

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Phrase used to distinguish middle class crimes from those committed by working class (“blue-collar”) individuals.

Here’s a more elaborate explanation from [the FBI website]:

It’s not a victimless crime. A single scam can destroy a company, devastate families by wiping out their life savings, or cost investors billions of dollars (or even all three, as in the Enron case). Today’s fraud schemes are more sophisticated than ever, and we are dedicated to using our skills to track down the culprits and stop scams before they start.

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The bombing of MOVE was a notorious moment in US urban history of the late 20th century.

MOVE was an African American activist group that police had attempted to evict from their residence at 6221 Osage Avenue in Philadelphia. After an armed standoff, the city police dropped a bomb on the building from a helicopter. 11 MOVE members were killed, including 5 children and the group’s leader, John Africa. Many adjacent residences were also destroyed in the blaze.

The bombing of MOVE has become a postindustrial symbol of hostilities between urban blacks and white municipal power. While is clearly intersects with Buck’s life story, Asante’s mention of move here

For a fictional account of the MOVE bombing, see John Edgar Wideman’s Philadelphia Fire.

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The wall here refers to the Israeli West Bank barrier, most commonly referred to by Israelis as the “separation (hafrada) fence” ( גדר ההפרדה, Geder HaHafrada) and by Palestinians as “racial segregation wall” (“jidar al-fasl al-‘unsuri”).

This line highlights the central irony of the song: remembering Jewish historical persecution (specifically during the holiday Tisha B'Av) at the same time as acknowledging Palestinian suffering in the present due to Israeli occupation.

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The “temples falling' here (and in the title of the song) refer to the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jewish history as a result of Roman persecution.

The Shondes have explained that this song was inspired by discussion about the Jewish holiday Tisha B'Av, which commemorates these tragedies.

As “Jews resisting the occupation of Palestine,” the song revisits this history of Roman imperialism within the context of Jewish colonization of the West Bank.

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Black Noise is one of the first and still one of the best academic books on hip hop culture. Through extensive ethnography, Rose, a sociologist now at Brown University, portrays hip hop as a rich and complex culture rather than as the “black noise” that many outsiders at the time believed it to be

Check our interview with Professor Rose here!

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"26th of July Movement" (President John F. Kennedy – Letter to Chairman Khrushchev) | rejected

kjb

"I liked the last best because its leaves were yellow." (James Joyce – Araby) | accepted

That he likes the last book best not for its contents but for its appearance—literally judging a book by its cover—is indicative of his naiveté.

"And can you, by no drift of circumstance, / Get from him ..." (Model Teacher – William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet Act 3 Scene 1”) | pending

Of course, Hamlet too is “putting on” an act of madness—this is a play where everyone is playing each other.

"Leeches," (F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (Chapter IV)) | pending

In this particular use of an animal, perhaps Fitzgerald is implicitly commenting on the “leeching” nature of those from East Egg who have enjoyed their wealth at the expense of the lower class.

"Contend in a sea" (Model Teacher – William Carlos Williams’s “The Yachts”) | pending

awesome discussion here!

"א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר. / ב דַּבֵּר אֶל-..." (Holy Bible (Hebrew) – Leviticus Chapter 19 (וַיִּקְרָא)) | pending

But isn’t this counterintuitive? Why must the people of Israel, who are guaranteed holiness in this sentence just based on their affiliation with God, do all of these other things too? Shouldn’t it be enough to just believe in God?

"The bottom of Neo-Harlem provides the same courteous serv..." (Lupe Fiasco – Teriyaki Joe: Neo-Harlem Detective (Chapter Five: Gumbo)) | accepted

While the cities are said to be “in no particular order,” the listing of Neo-Orleans second cannot be ignored given its significance in recent African American history with the devastation hurricane Katrina wrought disproportionally on black communities there.

Kanye West commented on the human disaster that was hurricane

"Black reapers" (Ms. Baaith – Jean Toomer’s “Reapers”) | pending

Does “black” have a racial connotation here?

"Like a patient etherized upon a table" (Model Teacher – T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” (Spring 2014)) | pending

The whole line evokes a kind of tragedy rather than the romance signaled in the opening.

"To sing of wars, of captains, and of kings, / Of cities f..." (Anne Bradstreet – The Prologue) | pending

In general, Bradstreet is evoking the epic tradition of invoking the muses for poetic inspiration. By and large, these epics, like Homer’s Iliad were “manly” tales about war, etc.