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March 12, 2007

Intertexuality...sounds kida sexy, doesn't it?

So, I was hangin' with my boy Don Keesey over the weekend, right? He rolled out this theory on me about this "intertextuality" thing going on with literature. I was having a hard time following what he was saying until he said

"if we hold to this conception - and most critics do - then the inclination of intertextual criticism to dissolve the particular work into and aggregate of conventions opens the approach to the change of reductivis."

It all started clicking then. That was something I was having an issue with. How can we look at a work and say "well, X's poem is like Y's poem in this regard" or "Because X follows this scheme, it fits into Y" and then not realize we're accepting the notion that no work can ever be original again. Most unfortunately, though, I think anytime we see something new, that doesn't fit the mold of something that's already been created, well, we then evaluate it as "bad" or "trying too hard," and we shouldn't do that.

No matter what, texts will reference other texts, either in style or form or subject. But just because someone write another, say, 52 stanza transcendental/naturalistic poem, it doesn't make their text any less worthwhile than Whitman's because it followed his pattern.

Posted by KevinMcGinnis at March 12, 2007 4:00 PM


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