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A Period of Power

"The intertextual relations of the text are never purely literal. Fiction draws not only on other fiction but on the knowledge of its period, discourses in circulation which are themselves sites of power and the contest for power." (Belsey 433)

Belsey goes on to use Shakespeares Macbeth as an example of this power in cultural fiction. She sites all the inferences that Macbeth has on its culture which are not limited to the obvious "vaulting ambition" which is throughout many of Shakespeares plays.

There needs to be knowledge of ones culture to write a story or poem that readers can relate to. This doesn't mean one must limit themselves to only their culture, exploring others can add many dimensions to a writers work, but an author is still going to be influenced by their own culture first and that will come out in their writing. Shakespeare shows us this in his writing and the power struggles that consume so much of his work. Belsey goes on to list all that these power struggles and ambitions encompass. What we think of in terms of power can be stretched to include many different aspects of a culture.

Comments (3)

Greta Carroll:

Mara, I agree with you. Fiction can’t just draw on other books. Authors will always be influenced by the culture and time they live in. Even those who write in ways which are extremely different from the others in the society intentionally are influenced, after all they are writing in this way to react against the time period. Do you think the reason we “discover” old texts today that weren’t considered masterpieces when they were written is that our time period has shifted so that it can relate to these texts?

Derek Tickle:

First, I want to tell you that Bethany and Ellen are working on a term project that invovles an intertextual approach. http://blogs.setonhill.edu/EllenEinsporn/2009/04/term_project_progress_report_i.html

In response to Greta, I think that our society has changed so much over time with the help of technology, science, and government that we are not beginning to realize that many of the older literature texts are now very important to our culture.

What makes a culture change and begin to notice texts that were not notated "scholarly" or "master-pieces?"

james lohr:

our culture teaches us so much, or probably more likely it forces us into such a way of thinking that we cannot break from it. it is not something that you live with, it is something that helps to create who you are. I suppose there is really no way that i can prove it, but i noticed while in Germany that i had no problem assimilating to their style of life, but even if only in my mind, i would constantly make comparisons to the culture that i knew, that i know without realizing.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 19, 2009 4:16 PM.

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