March 1, 2007

Murfin and Ray: Intertextuality

Murfin and Ray, Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

"Intertextuality: The condition of interconnectedness among texts, or the concept that any text is an amalgam of others, either because it exhibits signs of influence or because its language inevitably contains common points or reference with other text through such things as allusion, quotations, genre, style, and even revisions" (Murfin and Ray 219).

Alright, I understand the importance of keeping a relationship between pieces of literature through conventions, but how do we actually go about searching for these connections? Example: Could I make an intertextual criticism between Oedipus Rex and Hamlet, based off of the similar conventions of tragedy? Do I say that one caused the other? Or could I say that one appreciated the conventions of the other, so it could have decided to use it for its own construction? I am having some difficulty, and I would really like to learn more about this, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at March 1, 2007 4:33 PM


The only important connections are the ones which you make to your own life. Study literature so that you can recognize the great moments of your life when they are there. All the rest is just "the game."

Of course all writers are readers and all readers are human; connections happen. The point cannot be merely the connections themselves--that would be pointless--the question is why the connections are important.

Posted by: tmulligan at March 6, 2007 12:05 AM
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