Watch a Slideshow of The Simpsons' Literary References
Photo by 20th Century Fox
In commemoration of the history’s longest-lasting cartoon The Simpsons’ 23rd season, The Atlantic compiled a fantastic slideshow of clips from the show’s history revolving around its nods to (and parodies of) highbrow literary culture.
Naturally, wise-beyond-her-years Lisa Simpson is pretty much the only character involved in the slew of literary references—her role as the show’s well-informed, socially-conscious voice of reason gave the writers of The Simpsons plenty of opportunity to comment on the state of literature and call attention to how distilled it is in the general public. (Example of the general public: When was the last time you saw Homer reading a book?)
Some merely reference a novel or work, while others rope in the author and often poke fun at him or her (see the clips devoted to Gore Vidal and Amy Tan), but as a slideshow it offers a fantastic glimpse of one of the smartest television shows ever made and its writers’ extensive knowledge and wit.
Click here to watch the slideshow in all its literary glory.