The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms - Ross Murfin 2018
Influence: As a literary term, the effect of a writer or writers (whether disparately or as part of a school) on subsequent writers and their work. The later writer typically adopts some of the features (style, subject matter, etc.) characteristic of the influential, earlier writer’s work while slightly or radically modifying others. American literary critic Walter Jackson Bate’s The Burden of the Past in English Poetry (1970) revitalized the study of literary influence. Subsequently, in his revisionist phase, American critic Harold Bloom challenged conventional conceptions of influence in his book The Anxiety of Influence (1973), in which he argued that the writing of all strong poets involves the rewriting of earlier strong poets and that this rewriting always and inevitably involves some form of “misprision,” a kind of misreading that allows the later writer’s creativity to emerge.