(2570 words)
  • Graham Allen (University College Cork)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Influence has always been a major component of literature and literary studies. Without a dynamic sense of literary influence many of the most traditional literary genres would make no sense or simply not exist. When a poet writes an epic, for example, part of the decision he or she makes is to adapt the generic conventions of epic to the present day. An epic poetry is, by definition, a poet who is consciously influenced by the canonical epics of the past. The same can be said for the poet who writes a sonnet or sonnet sequence, or the playwright who composes a tragedy or comedy. Levels of influence, its directness, its specificity with regard to past authors, varies between the different literary genres. It is quite possible to …

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Allen, Graham. "Influence". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 July 2005
[, accessed 26 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Comparative Literature, Reception, Influences