Well known works and their less well known influences

edited January 2015 in - Reading
Recently I read RM Ballantyne's "The Coral Island" because of its influence on Golding for "Lord of the Flies". That was a very worthwhile piece of contextual reading.

Now I've had to read Tennessee Williams' play "Cat on a hot tin roof" for the first time. And I can see that it provides a meaningful injection of bile into Edward Albee's "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf".

Can anyone else suggest useful connecting links?

I recognise that, inevitably, this thread may become a spoof pretty fast- so joke suggestions are welcome, as well as more serious ones!


  • edited January 2015
    I suppose Homer's Odyssey, and James Joyce's Ulysees are both well known.
  • I should imagine almost all writing is, to some extent, influenced by everything the author has read.
  • Gosh, I can remember comparing lots of texts like that for my degree, but for the life of me, I can't remember titles.

    I know there were some 18thC spoofs that were kicking around. Gothic horrors were emulated after Walpole's first of its kind - The Castle of Otranto, often with tongue firmly in cheek. Jane Austen attempted one herself in Northanger Abbey - though I seem to remember that she didn't finish editing. There's an obvious cut-off point in the text.

    And then wasn't Samuel Richardson's 'Pamela' spoofed by someone who wrote 'Shamela'?

    Oh, and the Arthurian legends of Chretien de Troyes were later adapted by Malory... My mind's a fog!
  • I thought the Castle of Otranto would have been a spoof of The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe.
  • I think she took that one seriously. The castle of Otranto is deemed to be the first Gothic novel.
  • Glad I read this then, I have to read the first gothic novel
  • TN - yes, Henry Fielding wrote Shamela.

    I recall a connection between Ben Okri's The Famished Road and Homer's The Odyssey.
  • The Castle of Otranto is unintentionally hilarious.
  • Dracula is said to have been inspired by J Sheridan Le Fanu's novella Carmilla. Having read both, I have to say that Carmilla is better written.
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