The Oxford Dictionary of Allusions
Andrew Delahunty, Sheila Dignen, Penny Stock
Oxford University Press, 2005 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 472 pages
Allusions form a colourful extension to the English language, drawing on our collective knowledge of literature, mythology, and the Bible to give us a literary shorthand for describing people, places, and events. So a miser is a Scrooge, a strong man is a Samson or a Hercules, a beautifulwoman is a Venus or a modern-day Helen of Troy - we can suffer like Sisyphus, fail like Canute, or linger like the smile of the Cheshire Cat.This absorbing reference work explains the meanings of allusions in modern English, from Abaddon to Zorro, Tartarus to Tarzan, and Rubens to Rambo. Fascinating to browse through, the book is based on an extensive reading programme that has identified the most commonly-used allusions. Quotations areincluded in most entries to illustrate usage, from a range of authors and sources, from Thomas Hardy to Ben Elton, Charles Dickens to Bridget Jones's Diary. For this new second edition the most up-to-date allusions from Gollum to Kofi Annan have been added, and a handy A-Z order has been adopted for extra ease of reference.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Big_Bang_Gorilla - LibraryThing
This book takes a more 'modern' approach to allusions; it almost seems directed more at a very educated reader who has absolutely no grasp of 20th-century pop culture than the more traditional ... Read full review