The Physics of Literary Allusion
When Ridley Scott chose to name his filmed adaptation of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
after an unrelated novel, Alan E. Nourse's The Bladerunner
, an "entanglement" was created. Imagine a string connecting the two Blade Runners, transcending the Meaning-Context Perimeters of each work. (In our diagram, the perimeters deliberately resemble Morse code, because beyond a literary work's context, meanings tend toward the cryptic and secret.) That entangling string is vibrated or "enlivened" by the Meaning-Context Perimeters, very much like the string of a violin activated by a bow. We see that the resulting resonance is interpenetrating — each work becomes colored by the other. The significance is quasi-magical, as readers unfamiliar with Nourse's coinage of Bladerunner
are yet taken by the word's glamour in Scott's usage (in its original sense, glamour
meant enchantment/magic and was an alteration of the word grammar
). And vice versa, since the entangling string connects beyond time. Each title is powerful in its respective year (1974 for Nourse, 1982 for Scott) because
of that entangling string; in other words, the punch of Nourse's title is in anticipation of Scott's echo of it eight years later, and, paradoxically, Scott banked on the glamour "previously" inherent in Nourse's term. (We of course recall that in terms of quantum physics, time does not exist in the way that we observe and metabolize it.)