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by Isaac Asimov

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Asimov's Foundation novels take place in the future, and we mean the far, far, far, super far future. The characters live so far in the future that one of the great mysteries of their time is what planet humans originated from. Seriously, they don't know.

As a result, Asimov rarely makes a shout-out to anything we know from our world because it wouldn't make sense for his characters to do so. If his characters can't even remember they came from Earth, then how are they supposed to remember Arcade Fire's The Suburbs or Caesar crossing the Rubicon? Realistically, they can't.

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