No, it is not possible to be coherent without citing prior work which gives the context. And, specifically, might give progress toward whatever goal. Nothing makes sense in a vacuum. Indeed, a great part of "expert-ness" or "expertise" is understanding of the state-of-the-art, the context, that we human beings have arrived-at, have managed, by a given date. To be ignorant of this, or to ignore it, is a sort of professional incompetence.
EDIT: apparently some fraction of the people here interpret my remarks as "commercial". I can only guess that this refers to the impact-factor game, but I did not at all mean that. Rather, as reader, I would be unhappy if a writer gave no indication of prior work of a similar nature. Also, regarding "context", I do not mean "application to marketable products", for example, but scientific or intellectual context. How did the situation arise, and why might I care?
(The notion that "in mathematics, many theories [sic] exist for years without any use..." I think is misleading. Namely, people had reasons for doing what they were doing, in the first place, whether those reasons were tangible or not. And "use" can be tangible or not. I would claim that claiming that context doesn't matter is just a form of obliviousness to context. But tastes vary, I hear...)