The Birth of Intertextuality: The Riddle of Creativity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Birth of Intertextuality

The Riddle of Creativity, 1st Edition

By Scarlett Baron


440 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780415899048
pub: 2019-09-27
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Why was the term ‘intertextuality’ coined? Why did its first theorists feel the need to replace or complement those terms – of quotation, allusion, echo, reference, influence, imitation, parody, pastiche, among others – which had previously seemed adequate and sufficient to the description of literary relations? Why, especially in view of the fact that it is still met with resistance, did the new concept achieve such popularity so fast? Why has it retained its currency in spite of its inherent paradoxes? Since 1966, when Kristeva defined every text as a ‘mosaic of quotations’, ‘intertextuality’ has become an all-pervasive catchword in literature and other humanities departments; yet the notion, as commonly used, remains nebulous to the point of meaninglessless. This book seeks to shed light on this thought-provoking but treacherously polyvalent concept by tracing the theory’s core ideas and emblematic images to paradigm shifts in the fields of science, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and linguistics, focusing on the shaping roles of Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud, Saussure, and Bakhtin. In so doing, it elucidates the meaning of one of the most frequently used terms in contemporary criticism, thereby providing a much-needed foundation for clearer discussions of literary relations across the discipline and beyond.

Table of Contents

Introduction: A Genealogical Approach to Intertextuality 1. Evolution in Culture: Literary and Theoretical Responses to Darwin 2. Between Nietzsche and Barthes: The Twilight of the Author-Gods 3. An Infinite, Infinitely Public Domain: Public Language, Plagiarism, and Copyright 4. Literature as Exchange: Monetary Analogies in the Intertextual Economies of Joyce, Gide, and Pound Conclusion: Intertextuality After Theory

About the Author

Scarlett Baron is Associate Professor of Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Literature at University College London.

About the Series

Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to literary studies, it engages with topics such as philosophy, science, race, gender, film, music, and ecology. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Semiotics & Theory