Intertextuality

The Dead and the Ugly is a work of intertextuality.

Quotes on Intertextuality

Intertextuality: the theory that a literary work is not simply the product of a single author, but of its relationship to other texts and to the structures of language itself. All the poems ever written could be imagined to be in one giant book somewhere, where they all respond to one another in extended conversation. Current theory also broadens the definition of "a text" beyond literary works to include other art forms, for instance, the movie "Matrix Reloaded," the "Animatrix," the Matrix video game, and websites about the movie are all interrelated "texts" that influence one another. Dr. Valerie Morrison, University of Georgia

Although Saussure stressed the importance of the relationship of signs to each other, one of the weaknesses of structuralist semiotics is the tendency to treat individual texts as discrete, closed-off entities and to focus exclusively on internal structures. Even where texts are studied as a 'corpus' (a unified collection), the overall generic structures tend themselves to be treated as strictly bounded. The structuralist's first analytical task is often described as being to delimit the boundaries of the system (what is to be included and what excluded), which is logistically understandable but ontologically problematic. Even remaining within the structuralist paradigm, we may note that codes transcend structures. The semiotic notion of intertextuality introduced by Julia Kristeva is associated primarily with poststructuralist theorists. Kristeva referred to texts in terms of two axes: a horizontal axis connecting the author and reader of a text, and a vertical axis, which connects the text to other texts (Kristeva 1980, 69). Uniting these two axes are shared codes: every text and every reading depends on prior codes. Kristeva declared that 'every text is from the outset under the jurisdiction of other discourses which impose a universe on it' (cited in Culler 1981, 105). She argued that rather than confining our attention to the structure of a text we should study its 'structuration' (how the structure came into being). This involved siting it 'within the totality of previous or synchronic texts' of which it was a 'transformation' (Le texte du roman, cited by Coward & Ellis 1977, 52). Daniel Chandler, Semiotics for Beginners

Derived from the Latin intertexto, meaning to intermingle while weaving, intertextuality is a term first introduced by French semiotician Julia Kristeva in the late sixties. In essays such as "Word, Dialogue, and Novel," Kristeva broke with traditional notions of the author's "influences" and the text's "sources," positing that all signifying systems, from table settings to poems, are constituted by the manner in which they transform earlier signifying systems. A literary work, then, is not simply the product of a single author, but of its relationship to other texts and to the strucutures of language itself. "[A]ny text," she argues, "is constructed of a mosaic of quotations; any text is the absorption and transformation of another" (66). Intertextuality is, thus, a way of accounting for the role of literary and extra-literary materials without recourse to traditional notions of authorship. It subverts the concept of the text as self-sufficient, hermetic totality, foregrounding, in its stead, the fact that all literary production takes place in the presence of other texts; they are, in effect, palimpsests. For Roland Barthes, who proclaimed the death of the author, it is the fact of intertexuality that allows the text to come into being. Christopher Keep, Tim McLaughlin, Robin Parmar

According to Wikipedia Intertextuality is the shaping of texts' meanings by other texts. It can refer to an author’s borrowing and transformation of a prior text or to a reader’s referencing of one text in reading another. The term “intertextuality” has, itself, been borrowed and transformed many times since it was coined by Julia Kristeva in 1966. As critic William Irwin says, the term “has come to have almost as many meanings as users, from those faithful to Kristeva’s original vision to those who simply use it as a stylish way of talking about allusion and influence” (Irwin, 228).