The Power of a Reference

Do you get really excited when you notice a reference to your favourite stories in other forms of media/popular culture?

I sure do!

I’m not talking about books that reference other books, because that happens all the time. I mean references in other forms of entertainment.

For example…Harry Potter is an obvious choice. This story is referenced all over the place, in shows, movies, etc. However, I have to say that I think this one, from Doctor Who, may be my favourite:

It’s even better if you know the episode and understand the context!
But if you don’t, it helps to at least note that the man yelling Expelliarmus last is William Shakespeare =3 

My favourite book is Peter Pan, and I’ve noticed that Coldplay has made a couple of references to this story in their songs. My favourite is the song Major Minus, in which the lyrics at one point read:

Hear those crocodiles ticking ’round the world 
Hear those crocodiles ticking (they go) ticking ’round the world

There is something amazing about the power of a reference. It can so easily form a connection between two people, between a person and a place or time, between a feeling and an idea. You find a reference to anything you enjoy somewhere unexpected, and it is just pure joy.

And I think this is even truer for books. Books are so intimate and such brilliant companions to us that I think finding references to them in other forms of culture is like a ray of sunlight…there is nothing quite like it, and it forever changes the way you view the show/song/whatever that took the time to mention a story you love.

Anyone else have a favourite other media reference to a story? I’d love to hear more!

2 Responses so far.

  1. Brandon Ax says:
    I love the Dreseden books because of this he likes to put things in there. I mean it can date your work, but so what like you said it has a way of making you feel close to the work.
  2. I love allusions to stories in stories (no matter the media). It makes me feel I'm part of a great literary connection.