Created By: DragonQuestZMarch 28, 2012 Last Edited By: DragonQuestZDecember 27, 2012
Nuked

Literary Reference

Direct references to literature, whether subtle or obvious.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Part of the effort to split Genius Bonus.

IMPORTANT: Should this only be shout outs, or count if themes and plots are also used?

Any simple Shout Out to Literature, whether the work being referenced is well known or obscure, and whether the reference is subtle or openly states what it is.

This is one of the oldest forms of media in history, and one of the richest. Whether poetry, novels, biographies, etc., they have had a huge influence on all fiction. Thus works in other media, or even other works of literature, will give nods.

Examples


Community Feedback Replies: 27
  • March 28, 2012
    troublegum
    I'd say you'd want to limit this to Shout Outs or themes and plots that are deliberately and intentionally similar to other works. Otherwise, I think the trope would become too broad in scope: there are too many potential "the plot of X is just like Y!" and it's ultimately too subjective. Parody or Pastiche should be included, but those are effectively Shout Outs (or Take Thats), after all.
  • March 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ That's a good argument, and I agree.
  • March 28, 2012
    fulltimeD
    ^^Yes. The parameters need to be clearly defined. Otherwise this could quickly become a list of coincidences. Also, for shows like Family Guy, this maybe a case where Zero Context Example is warranted. Otherwise everyone and their dog... you see where I'm going with this.
  • March 28, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Live Action TV: Counting the allusions to literature and poetry in the just the dialog alone of characters from Wild Palms would be next to impossible, but suffice it to say, the cast and characters appear to be quite well read. As were the creators, obviously.
  • March 28, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Maybe for shows like Family Guy, Zero Context Example would be warranted. Otherwise this will get very messy. Family Guy, The Simpsons, South Park... do we really need a list of every single lit reference these shows have ever made in order to reinforce how the trope is used? It would be sufficient just to point out that the trope IS used and maybe link to youtube clips of particular scenes that illustrates the Reference Overdosed nature of these shows.
  • March 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    "Also, for shows like Family Guy, this maybe a case where Zero Context Example is warranted."

    Um, you mean actually allow such examples, or double down on not allowing them?

    EDIT: Okay, seeing your next post, it doesn't matter. Zero context is still zero context. If you are worried about how much is posted, that is what hard splits on long trope pages are for.
  • March 28, 2012
    Nocturna
    Do we really need this as a separate page? It's just Shout Out for a single media.
  • March 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ This TRS thread decided to split, so this is necessary, as the crowner decided.
  • March 28, 2012
    troublegum
    Literature
    • Dark Future's Demon Download series had several of these: Kim Newman listing his own editor as an Associated Press journalist and inserting fellow authors Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks as characters (Gaiman is on the run from the Pan-Islamic Congress and Banks is the money-grubbing Mayor of Skye).

    Webcomic
  • March 29, 2012
    WackyMeetsPractical
    ^^ I was not aware of that thread, but I agree with Nocturna, Shout Out With BOOKS doesn't sound like a very useful trope. If this is meant to split up Genius Bonus, then we're going to need to set up some qualifiers so that it doesn't devolve into "Here's a list of shows that mention book titles."

    So maybe the works should do more than just reference a book or a plot, and prove that the writers actually read the book. For example, there's an episode of Fairly Odd Parents in which Timmy brings literary characters to life and even travel through several well known literary classics, but would not count as this trope as the depictions of the books did not demonstrate complete knowledge of the books. Their depiction of Frankenstein, for example, resembled the classic movie more than it did the actual novel.
  • March 29, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    I agree with Wacky Meets Practical! So for The Simpsons, maybe the episode where they act out Hamlet doesn't really count (it's not super accurate or in depth), but an episode that would count for this trope might be the one where Lisa writes a diary entry that opens with the first line of Howl by Allen Ginsberg.

    Mad Men has a few examples, including references to the case surrounding Lady Chatterlys Lover that would have been going on at the time. Joan lends it to Peggy in the first series and tells her not to read it on the train and it's also a reference to the plot.

    In Heathers, Heather Chandler knocks over a coffee table in her bedroom when she dies, on it is a copy of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, darkly appropriate for a film about fake and real suicides. It also parodies this: before JD kills people, he underlines random passages in their copies of Moby Dick to suggest their Hidden Depths.

    Roxy Music also have quite a few of these in their songs. They reference concepts such as Courtly Love, cantos, and borrow a line from King Lear's big monologue in "Whirlwind"

    I have a question though, should this page list literary references within literary works? Because there are sooo many... Also, is there a cut off point in terms of how literary or canonical the works being referenced have to be? Because... well, I don't want to sound like a snob but there's a difference between referencing say, Discworld and John Donne? I don't think there is a way to say this without sounding snobby, and I'm really sorry about that. Is a Harry Potter reference a Genius Bonus?

    I guess it's relative because then in turn an expert on Arthurian legends might look down on my suggestion that Lady Chatterlys Lover qualifies as this. Should we organise this by time or... what? (yes, I'm an insecure English graduate, make fun of me if you wish)
  • March 30, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Well I admit that some parameters might be good. But having to "prove" one read a book being referenced is an invitation to natter, as some might not agree whether a point is proof or not.

    What would be more objective guidelines?
  • March 31, 2012
    fulltimeD
    I'm forced to agree with Nocturna, this is Shout Out But More Specific. We don't need this.
  • March 31, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Again, it was decided that we do. Plus shout out is very broad, more than enough to be a Super Trope.
  • October 4, 2012
    Telcontar
    Genius Bonus hasn't been split, and this is just a specific Shout Out anyway as others have said. Can we discard this?
  • October 4, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ That was more because discussion stalled.

    Plus being specific can still make a Sub Trope. Just there has to be a distinction, and for such a broad trope as Shout Out, splitting by type of references still can work that way.

    So even though this is covered by shout out, can someone give good reason not to split, rather than just pointing out something we already knew?
  • October 4, 2012
    Telcontar
    There isn't a distinction. Shout Out To Shakespeare is somewhere between a really close subtrope, as there's the specific classic and educated feel to using a Shakespeare quote, and an example subpage, as shown by the namespace. Just dividing something by medium isn't enough to make it a separate subtrope; we don't do that for any other page, no matter how broad, and when each medium has works ranging from horror to comedy to drama to romance to fantasy, there's no meaning in shouting out to one over any other (especially as works can span media).

    Also, the TRS thread was about Genius Bonus, but this has become about Shout Out, so just because this YKTTW is a result of a thread doesn't mean it has to launch.

    Yes, I know this may all be stuff that's already known and I'm pointing it out again, but that's because it's really the case and needs to be said, since if this is split off it'll likely land in TRS as a duplicate quite soon.
  • October 4, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Hey, that's a good argument, but there is one thing that undermines it.

    Splitting by medium is usually when it comes to the object of the trope, in this case the medium of the show making the reference. This ykttw is about which medium is being referenced, aka the subject of the trope.
  • October 4, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    I should also add that the plan isn't just to split by the medium being referenced, but by other types, such as math, physics, advanced mathematics, philosophy.
  • October 5, 2012
    Telcontar
    I'm afraid I don't see how that adresses what I said. This isn't a separate trope; although Literature Reference, Film Reference, and so on would all have different subjects, so would Dyes Hair Brown and Dyes Hair Blonde. That doesn't make them different tropes meriting different pages; they're all just sections of the trope Dyes Hair. Splitting by Physics Reference, Math Reference, etc. has the same issue. Do you see what I mean and why I don't feel you've taken it into account?

    If you would like to reorganise the perfectly functional Shout Out subpages by the medium being referenced, leading to a lot of work, confusion, inconsistancy with the rest of the wiki, duplicate entries, etc., feel free to start a TRS thread about that.
  • October 5, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ The TRS thread for Genius Bonus WAS about splitting that.
  • October 5, 2012
    Telcontar
    Do you mean splitting Shout Out? 'Cause if so, I just read the thread and it wasn't.

    If you mean about splitting Genius Bonus, there is some discussion about that, but it doesn't seem to have taken into account what I see as the main issue here, of whether the subtropes are distinct enough to be separated.
  • October 5, 2012
    Sheora
    Would this be a supertrope to Literary Allusion Title? I'm trying to pin down what this trope is exactly. We still seem to be in broad terms territory. I have run into a need for this though, as Literary Allusion Title only refers to the titles of works, not references made within them. I think it's valid, we just need to pin down what it is, and what counts and what doesn't.

    As for whole plot shout outs, isn't that already covered? It would be Whole Plot Reference, such as Its A Wonderful Plot.
  • October 5, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Okay, this is supposed to be a Sub Trope of Genius Bonus, which itself covers various shout out.

    That means that this should be worked to fit that instead of just any shout out to literature. Therefore some parameters need to be set to make it more than just a shout, and the name adjusted accordingly.

    Feel free to comment on these, or propose more.
    • The work's name cannot be included in the reference. Therefore Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan and Star Trek First Contact wouldn't count for their Moby Dick references.
    • If references happen repeatedly, even if just in the background, that doesn't count as this. It's more a motif. This also disqualifies Star Trek II, as Khan quotes and paraphrases Moby Dick at least twice, and we see the book itself on a shelf.
  • October 8, 2012
    Sheora
    So (based on the new describers you just gave) this is for when a literary work is referenced where you have to have read the book to get the shout out?
  • November 10, 2012
    Telcontar
    If that's the case, it's incredibly subjective, and I still say it's meaningless rather than a subtrope. I do not feel like a good reason to split Literary Reference and Film Reference and all has been given -- the subject of the "tropes" are different, but so are Dyes Hair Brown and Dyes Hair Blonde, as I said above.
  • December 27, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Various issues about The Same But More Specific and others. Discarding.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable