How far can a modern novel "reference" a classic before it becomes derivative?

From Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Books

She asks: How far can a modern novel "reference" a classic before it becomes derivative? What are some books you think were successful or unsuccessful at referencing or using classic literature? OK, to answer her question.

While I did like Jane Austen Book Club, I don't like rewritten stories, generally, ever. But if we have to do it, it can be done well. Bridget Jones' Diary for instance covered her references to Pride and Prejuidice well. I don't care at all for things like P&P&Zombies. There's too much leaning on Austen there, for my comfort. I'd rather see the author write something original.

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