Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Graham Allen (University College Cork)
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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 therefore a very useful concept – indeed some would say essential – for…

2780 words

Citation: Allen, Graham. "Intertextuality". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 January 2005 [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

1229 Intertextuality 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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