This list is ongoing and represents a starting point. I am looking for topics similar to the the Art of Rhetoric by Isocrates or the plays of the Attic tragedians, “the ample list of whose titles are to us like a ghostly teasing.” Or the “the bigotry or manic sadness which commits to the flames Byron’s journals”. Georg Büchner’s Aretino was actually written posthumously by several authors. Never a faithful original unless channeled through a higher power. What five letters are you thinking about? B-I-B-L-E? Take out the middle I-B-L and let it B-E. That would be one answer to the shakespearean riddle.
I think of part two of Gogol’s Dead Souls, why did Gogol destroy part two before his death? Part one pointed out the flaws in Russian figures of speech, and Gogol was synonymous with arguing from the status quo. Stalinist fear nullified Bakhtin and now a theorist that we can only speculate about. His work has, in large measure, perished under the Stalinist steam roller. I enjoyed Dead Souls and have some of my own thoughts as to where this Russian story was headed. As Tolstoy said of Anna Karenina, the character told her own story and a life of her own. He great sadness when the story ended (double check and clarify all of this, elaborate on Lost Souls).