Introduction
A dialogue on influence
in Alan Hollinghurst
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Written in the form of a dialogue between editors Michele Mendelssohn and Denis Flannery, this introduction explores the book's principles and summarises its specific chapters. Emphasising the extent to which the collection is a historically-tessellated exploration of the breadth of Hollinghurst's output, it explores the varied ways in which he is in dialogue with his various influences. For the writers in this collection, a sense of 'influence' emerges that is, while genial and accepting, also not devoid of antagonism and shadow. The extent to which susceptibility to influence can be read as a form of intoxication as well as a world-making state of primal vulnerability is also emphasised. The introduction stresses the extent to which Hollinghurst breaks new ground even as he prowls the precincts of well-established literary traditions. These traditions extend beyond the novel and encompass poetry, translation and theatre in his oeuvre which is also, the book also emphasises, richly in dialogue with cinema as a cultural force and with recent developments in critical theory.

Alan Hollinghurst

Writing under the influence

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