(2780 words)
  • Graham Allen (University College Cork)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Intertextuality has been a much used term since its first introduction by Julia Kristeva in her work of the late-1960s, notably her essay of 1969, translated as “Word, Dialogue and Novel” (reprinted in Toril Moi, ed. The Kristeva Reader), on Bakhtin’s Rabelais and his World, his theory of carnival and other aspects of his dialogic account of language and literature. The fundamental concept of intertextuality is that no text, much as it might like to appear so, is original and unique-in-itself; rather it is a tissue of inevitable, and to an extent unwitting, references to and quotations from other texts. These in turn condition its meaning; the text is an intervention in a cultural system. Intertextuality is …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Allen, Graham. "Intertextuality". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2005
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]