What are the strengths of intertextuality?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The poststructuralist literary account of "intertextuality" is an attempt to revision the literary activity of allusion in a form that is independent of authorial intentionality but instead relies on such phenomena as the horizon of reception. Intertexts function as a "langue" against which the "parole" of the specific text possesses meaning. New historicist criticism relies heavily on intertextuality. Whether you regard this independence of authorial intention or knowledge as a strength or weakness depends on the degree to which you believe that language writes the author as a system independent of intention. More traditional philological critics would argue that the concept of "intertext" is merely an excuse for being too lazy to research whether, in fact, an author was alluding to a specific work which s/he can be proven to have read or whether later critics are simply reading the association into the text.


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