Cryptic Subtexts in Literature and Film: Secret Messages and Buried Treasure, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Cryptic Subtexts in Literature and Film

Secret Messages and Buried Treasure, 1st Edition

By Steven F. Walker


208 pages

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Hardback: 9781138625860
pub: 2018-07-18
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One of the primary objectives of comparative literature is the study of the relationship of texts, also known as intertextuality, which is a means of contextualizing and analyzing the way literature grows and flourishes through inspiration and imitation, direct or indirect. When the inspiration and imitation is direct and obvious, the study of this rapport falls into the more restricted category of hypertextuality. What Steven Walker has labeled a cryptic subtext, however, is an extreme case of hypertextuality. It involves a series of allusions to another text that have been deliberately inserted by the author into the primary text as potential points of reference. This book takes a deep dive into a broad array of literature and film to explore these allusions and the hidden messages therein.


"Cryptic Subtexts is a far reaching, original, engaging book that will alter the direction, and enrich the scope of, intertextual studies."-- Jon Thiem, Professor emeritus, Colorado State University

"Walker’s Cryptic Subtexts in Modern Literature and Film: Secret Messages and Buried Treasure is a rare treat for the reader: an eloquent, comprehensive, yet accessible account of a promising new category and a rich panoply of literary, visual, music, and film artworks. Crossing cultures, artforms and disciplines, and showing how they productively interact even when—and especially when—they differ, Walker’s has created a book that is much needed today." -- Professor Sanja Bahun, University of Essex

Table of Contents



1 Provocative Reinterpretations

2 Myth and Secret Message in Four Linked Texts

3 Proust’s Cryptic Mass as Buried Treasure

4 Cryptic Platonic Subtexts

5 Three Modernist Cryptic Subtexts

6 Behind the Camera



About the Author

Steven F. Walker is a Professor of Comparative Literature at Rutgers University

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Comparative Literature

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Taking a comparative approach to literary studies, this series visits the relationship of literature and language alongside a variety of interdisciplinary and transnational topics. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / General