Claiming the text: parsing the sardonic visions of
Discovering linkages among the great thinkers of a former era is a game that intellectuals play. This game becomes particularly perilous when examining those brilliant writers whose creations are distinctive, drawn from novel combinations of many others. In the case of Erving Goffman, for instance, an analyst can find traces of Durkheim, Simmel, Tarde, Mead, Weber, Husserl and James. To derive these influences is, in some measure, fruitless. Great theorists are great because of their own innovative combinations of extant ideas.