This essay explores a modernist revision of influence distinct from a Bloomsian model of struggle and misprision. Marcel Proust and Virginia Woolf articulate new representations of composite memory that suggest an alternative. When memories of past works collide with a changed present, they inspire creative adaptation and forgetful recombination. This revision of influence also challenges viral theories of cultural transmission by positing a more active role for the artist. More important than Harold Bloom's anxiety of influence is an anxiety of significance emerging from the self's confrontation with a world of fast-paced change.
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Katherine Elkins; Memory and Material Significance: Composing Modernist Influence. Modern Language Quarterly 1 December 2008; 69 (4): 509–531. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00267929-2008-014
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