Questions tagged [inspiration]

Questions about the inspiration behind a work of literature, or an object or concept in a work: what it was based on, or where the idea came from.

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Is the treatment of Jar Jar Binks in Aftermath: Empire's End a reflection of audience treatment?

In one of the Interlude scenes in the book Star Wars Aftermath: Empire's End, a child interacts with Jar Jar Binks, and gives more details about how the adults don't like him due to their beliefs that ...
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Are the guardians of Dream's palace based on mythology? Are they symbolic?

In chapter 3 of Season of Mists (The Sandman #24), there are three creatures shown guarding the gates of Dream's palace (left). The lion refers to the whole group as "Gatekeepers" (p 20-21). ...
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9 votes
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Was Isidora's fate in Melmoth the Wanderer directly inspired by Faust?

When reading Charles Robert Maturin's Melmoth the Wanderer I couldn't help but notice that Isidora's fate largely resembled Gretchen's in Goethe's Faust and especially the endings of both storylines ...
Cahir Mawr Dyffryn æp Ceallach's user avatar
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Is there a specific tuition system that the University's was based on?

In Patrick Rothfuss' The Kingkiller Chronicle, students at the University are asked to pay a variable amount for their tuition per term, based mostly on their performance in an interview in front of ...
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6 votes
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What inspired the Vermicious Knids?

The Vermicious Knids are a type of dangerous alien creature in the works of Roald Dahl. They appear as primary antagonists in Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator and get passing mentions in other ...
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6 votes
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What is the real "Consortium" as mentioned in Dan Brown's Inferno?

On the "FACT" page of the book Inferno by Dan Brown: "The Consortium" is a private organization with offices in seven countries. Its name has been changed for considerations of security and privacy....
Aravind Suresh Thakidayil's user avatar
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57 views

Was Agatha Christie's short story "Magnolia Blossom" inspired by Ibsen?

In both incident and theme, Agatha Christie's short story "Magnolia Blossom" has several parallels with Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House. In Christie's story, Theodora Darrell is on the point ...
verbose's user avatar
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Origin of the inspiration behind the titular character in The Bat, a play by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood

What was the inspiration for The Bat, the titular character from Mary Roberts Rinehart's play (later adapted into a movie)? The character originally appeared in the play which was adapted from the ...
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5 votes
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95 views

Inspiration behind Jack Vance's fantasy names?

One of my favourite parts of Jack Vance's Lyonesse series, which I first read many years ago, is the way the names seem perfectly chosen to reflect the nature of what they're naming. How could ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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Is there any evidence Mat Cauthon was inspired by Matthias Corvinus?

Matthias Corvinus, also known as the Raven King, was King of Hungary and Croatia for a while in the 1400s. He was a noted general, and extensively made use of Hussite mercenaries in his battles. He ...
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Is there any direct evidence tying the D&D Underdark to Narnia?

I was re-reading The Silver Chair recently, the 6th book in the Narnia series. Towards the end of the novel, he says, "he had always reached these outlets by going in a ship across the Sunless ...
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Was Jonas Willard inspired by anyone in particular?

In Isaac Asimov's short story “Gold”, Laborian is clearly a self-insertion of Asimov himself, and the story in the story is Asimov's own book The Gods Themselves. I'm wondering though, what about the ...
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Did Timrod inspire Dylan before 'Modern Times'?

Bob Dylan's album Modern Times has many passages famously inspired by (some say plagiarised from) the poetry of Henry Timrod. Do any of Dylan's earlier works also clearly reflect the influence of ...
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What inspired the “lava-lymph” in Elizabeth Browning’s “Aurora Leigh”?

In book V of Aurora Leigh (1856) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the narrator asks herself what she expects to achieve in her poetry:                                           Shall I hope To speak my ...
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Was the main character in Gigi based on a real-life person?

Gigi, the female protagonist of Colette's novella Gigi (1944), is full of character. Independent and mischievous, and a little tomboyish, she leaves a lasting impression on the reader. I am wondering ...
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Where did the idea of mono no aware come from?

Piggybacking on this question, I am still curious about the mono no aware (物の哀れ) reading of The Tale of Genji. According to Wikipedia: Norinaga's most important works include the Kojiki-den (...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
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Was Frederick Lawley based on a real figure in British India?

The fictional character of Frederick Lawley, a prominent British figure in colonial India, is the main object of R. K. Narayan's "Lawley Road" (a short story first published in 1956 in the eponymous ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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What is the source of Irving Babbitt's disctinction between supernaturalism, humanism and naturalism

In the chapter "Ideals of Life" of My Country and My People, Lin Yutang writes (emphasis mine), The Confucian conception of man's place in nature is that "Heaven, earth and man" are regarded as "...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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To what extent was Catch-22 inspired by "The Trial"?

Bureaucratic logic is one of the primary themes in Catch-22. To what extent is this inspired by The Trial by Franz Kafka? Both have the sense of being caught in the cogs of a remote, irrational, and ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
3 votes
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52 views

In what ways does The Moviegoer echo Kierkagaardian existentialist principles?

How does the plot of The Moviegoer show the influence of existentialist authors, specifically Kierkegaard, on Percy's writing. I've also noticed some similarities between the "leap of faith" between ...
Bob Wang's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
79 views

What is the significance of naming the djinni Bartimaeus?

In the Bartimaeus trilogy, the main character is the eponymous djinni Bartimaeus, a demon/spirit from "the Other Place" who is cheeky, witty, boastful, and at times surprisingly deep. Bartimaeus, ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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3 votes
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219 views

Where does the name Childermass come from?

Returning to the tale of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, it occurred to me to wonder where Childermass (probably my favourite character) got his name from. Wikipedia informed me that "Childermass" is ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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3 votes
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984 views

Did Virginia Woolf read The Yellow Wallpaper before publishing Mrs. Dalloway?

In a recent discussion in an online literature course, someone thought that the young woman in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper and the character Septimus Warren Smith in Virginia Woolf'...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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3 votes
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80 views

Was the Wood in Tales of Goldstone Wood inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia?

Golden Daughter describes the Wood as follows: The Wood is bigger by far than any mortal mind can comprehend. It is not a world in itself but rather the seat of worlds, containing with its vastness ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
772 views

Is the hook of Marethyu meant to evoke a scythe?

Marethyu is a central character in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. You can read more about him here, but that Wikia page contains major spoilers for the series, so follow that link at ...
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2 votes
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What are the acknowledged literary influences on "Star Wars"?

It's well known that Lucas had a ton of cultural influences on "Star Wars" - mostly cinematic (Kurosawa, etc..) but also literary (at the very least, Campbell). There are many sources that ...
DVK's user avatar
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2 votes
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Did Anthony Trollope's Barsetshire inspire the Archers' Borsetshire?

Barsetshire is a fictional county of England, created by Anthony Trollope for his Chronicles of Barsetshire series published in the mid-19th century. The county town is the equally fictional ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes
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Did William Somerset Maugham's uncle treat his nephew in an emotionally cruel way?

William Somerset Maugham's mother died in 1882, when he was only eight years old, and his father died two years later. William was sent to his paternal uncle, Henry MacDonald Maugham, who was a vicar. ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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2 votes
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284 views

Origin of Dry Bone in Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber

Nalo Hopkinson's novel Midnight Robber contains a story entitled "Tan-Tan and Dry Bone". It is one of the many elements from Caribbean culture that Hopkinson draws on in the novel. Hopkinson's novel ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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2 votes
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337 views

Literature and the work of David Lynch

About a year ago I discovered Twin Peaks on Netflix, and I am currently enjoying every moment of season 3. I've really come to appreciate the subtleties and nuances of David Lynch's style of ...
Peter's user avatar
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1 vote
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Where did Ayn Rand get the idea for Directive 10-289?

I believe Ayn Rand got the idea for Directive 10-289 from witnessing the start of the Russian Revolution. She was 12 years old and had a bird's eye view of what was happening in Petrograd- where she ...
James's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Origin of the name Duff Kerrigan?

Duff Kerrigan is a fictional detective featuring in a series of 21st-century detective stories by Jim Ingraham. That doesn't seem like a very common name, and yet it appears in exactly the same form ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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1 vote
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What is the origin of the story about Scent, Touch, Sound, Taste and Vision.?

I came across the story in a movie called See starring Jason Momoa. The story is about four brothers and sisters (Scent, Touch, Sound and Taste) and later on Vision came along and said he was their ...
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1 vote
0 answers
33 views

Inspiration behind Harlan Page Hasley’s depiction of old sleuth with superhuman strength

What inspired the author to portray a dime novel detective old sleuth as someone who possessed superhuman strength?
Clifton stone's user avatar
1 vote
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History of Nick carter’s villain Dr Quartz’s creation

What inspired the creation of Nick Carter's villain Dr. Quartz? He is described to be an evil vivisectionist so smart that he is versed in every branch of science and usually enjoys cutting women’s ...
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1 vote
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What are the elements from Chinese philosophy that can be found in Shota Rustaveli's poetry?

The German Wikipedia article about Shota Rustaveli, author of the Georgian medieval epic poem The Knight in the Panther's Skin claims, Seine Dichtung spiegelt chinesische, persische und griechische ...
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1 vote
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Was Austen Heller's name inspired by Henry W. Austin?

It's no secret that Howard Roark was loosely inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. Interestingly enough, on a recent tour of Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Oak Park, IL, I encountered a park named after Henry ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
23 views

In what way was Joseph Conrad influenced by Antoni Malczewski?

Antoni Malczewski was a Polish romantic poet, known for his only work, “a narrative poem of dire pessimism, Maria (1825). Wikipedia writes Maria was also influential on later Polish poets, especially ...
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1 vote
0 answers
128 views

Did Lois Lowry name the protagonist of the Giver from the biblical prophet?

Did Lois Lowry name Jonas, the protagonist of the Giver, after the biblical prophet Jonah? Both of them are at one point reluctant to follow their calling that they didn't choose, so there is some ...
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1 vote
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Was Rosemary Sutcliff's The High Deeds of Finn MacCool influenced by James Macpherson's Ossian translations?

In 1967, Rosemary Sutcliff published the children's novel The High Deeds of Finn MacCool, which is a retelling of the stories of the Irish hunter-warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill and the Fenian Cycle. The ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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1 vote
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Was Maupassant's interest in madness and the supernatural linked to his own mental health?

The French publisher Gallimard has a short biography of Guy de Maupassant on its website. The last lines read, Vers 1885, Maupassant ressent les premiers symptômes de la maladie nerveuse qui l'...
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1 vote
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Does "The Whalebone Parrot" draw inspiration from any specific Apache sources?

"The Whalebone Parrot" is a short horror story by Darcie Little Badger. In it, a parrot is killed, and then possesses Loretta to try to kill the cat that killed the parrot. Darcie Little Badger often ...
Mithical's user avatar
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1 vote
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Relevance of the cloud chariot story to the rest of Midnight Robber?

Nalo Hopkinson's novel Midnight Robber contains a story entitled "How Tan-Tan Learn to Thief". It is one of the many elements from Caribbean culture that Hopkinson draws on in the novel. The story is ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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1 vote
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154 views

Was Stevenson's Captain Smollett named after Tobias Smollett?

The captain of the Hispaniola in Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island is a man named Alexander Smollett. There's also a Scottish writer named Tobias Smollett, and there's speculation that the ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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How did "Songs of Innocence and Experience" inspire "Airbag" by Radiohead?

Apparently, some of the lyrics to Radiohead's "Airbag" were found written in the margins of a volume of Songs of Innocence and Experience. Was this song inspired or influenced by Songs of Innocence ...
EJoshuaS - Stand with Ukraine's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
272 views

Was Jonah Wizard based on any specific celebrity?

In the The 39 Clues series, Jonah Wizard is the Cahill's famous face - he's a star hip-hop musician, and he gets mobbed everywhere. He's a celebrity - he flies private planes, has tons of money, etc. ...
Mithical's user avatar
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Was Bellow's 'Ravelstein' a response to Robert Paul Wolff?

As noted in a previous question, political philosopher Robert Paul Wolff ironically claimed that Allan Bloom's celebrated culture war screed The Closing of the American Mind (1987) is actually a novel ...
verbose's user avatar
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