Moby Dick by Herman Melville is full of them, but this morning, I keep remembering Ahab, drowned and forever tangled in the harpoon ropes on the white whale's back, the flopping of his dead arm as the whale rose and fell seeming to beckon the rest of his crew to rush on to their watery graves.
Edgar Allan Poe? You want gothic imagery, try reading Melville some time...
Thank goodness George didn't get the Revision Bug about them. I don't care so much about Temple of Doom or Last Crusade, but Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the greatest movies of all time, and must not be touched.
Y'know, by the time he was my age, Robert E. Howard had written volumes of work, created Conan, Kull, and Solomon Kane, was instrumental in the forming of the "Cthulhu mythos," and unfortunately, committed suicide. I am older now than REH ever became.
I have volumes of work as well. My writing is mostly in fragments, with only a handful of finished works and even fewer of any length. But if you include the comic strips, which in their own way are just as difficult or more so than writing short stories, I'd say I probably have as large a body of work as REH did. Not knowing in detail what the readership of the pulps was like, I doubt I've had as much exposure as he did. I certainly haven't created any cultural icons yet, tho not for lack of trying.
Anyway ... just some random thoughts. :) What do they mean? Danged if I know!