7. Literary Allusions and Assumptions about Textual Familiarity
Joel S. Baden
Studies of literary allusions often presuppose (1), that authors of the young compositions were familiar with the older texts to which they alluded, and (2), that it was necessary that readers of the young compositions be familiar with the old text and understand the allusions in order to comprehend the young text. In this chapter, JSB polemicises against these assumptions forcefully. He interweaves strong, text-based arguments and provides logical analysis illustrating that (1) was not a necessary condition for an allusion to be made and that the argument for the necessity of familiarity in (2) is incorrect.