1. The Byzantine Bandit
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    The Byzantine Bandit Member

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    Does allusion need a citation?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The Byzantine Bandit, May 17, 2013.

    Like, if I refer to the Grey Havens or the Council of the Days, do those need citations? I'm talking for things like:

     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    The problem is that many (most?) of your potential readers will not know what Grey Havens means. Like me.
     
  3. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't know what it means, either. But maybe if you're writing for a specific audience who will know, it will be okay. Just realize you're limiting your audience by doing that.

    The allusion is *probably* okay, although if it is from something very obscure, and you don't explain it, you could run into a problem if the Grey Havens author claims you are trying to trade on *his* work -- somehow making it seem like the works are related or by the same person, or meant to be read together or something. If it's a well-known reference for your audience, it should be okay.
     
  4. heal41hp
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    heal41hp Contributing Member

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    Grey Havens is from Tolkien, yeah? I have a niggling suspicion, through context, and Lord of the Rings is fairly well known, at least within certain circles. I'm pretty sure no reference or anything is necessary. The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher references Star Wars a lot without any problem that I'm aware of.

    I'm going to throw in with chicagoliz here. If you're already writing for the audience that would have read or watched Lord of the Rings, there shouldn't be much of a problem with the reference. However, anyone from outside that niche will be left out of the reference.
     
  5. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    Yes, the Grey Havens (or Mithlond) are the harbor from where the elves along with Gandalf, Bilbo and Froddo passed to Valinor.
     
  6. heal41hp
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    heal41hp Contributing Member

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    That's what I figured. I just don't know enough of the LotR mythos to throw around such technical and accurate terms and names. Thanks for the clarification!
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I confess I never understood what all the hubbub was about with LOTR. I forced myself to read the first volume, then decided I had better things to do with my time.
     
  8. heal41hp
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    heal41hp Contributing Member

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    Because, I believe, it was the first real high fantasy literature produced. Fiction was pervasive, sure, and so was lore and mythology and such, but Tolkien created a genre with those books.

    I confess that I, too, could not get through the books. :) They're dry and Tolkien wasn't the best writer (was it really necessary to go on for pages and pages describing one thing???) but he was still brilliant.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the only problem i see is ed's [and mine]... not everyone who reads your story will know what the heck you're referring to...
     
  10. The Byzantine Bandit
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    The Byzantine Bandit Member

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    Easy solution: read LOTR :D
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no, thanks!
     

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