(2569 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 …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Allen, Graham. "Influence". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 July 2005
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Comparative Literature, Reception, Influences