…OK, both the title and the page image are pretty misleading on this one. I’m actually talking about memes as Richard Dawkins originally defined them: bits of knowledge passed from person to person via word of mouth and various media.
Figures of speech are memes, writing styles are memes, and tropes are some of the most persistent memes of all. In fact, you could argue that stories are just meme golems. Where do all these bits come from, though? Both reality and fantasy in equal measure: life inspires art inspires life and so on, and memes travel freely between them.