Across the Lines: Intertextuality and Transcultural Communication in the New Literatures in English

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Wolfgang Klooss
Rodopi, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 304 pages
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This third volume of ASNEL Papers covers a wide range of theoretical and thematic approaches to the subject of intertextuality. Intertextual relations between oral and written versions of literature, text and performance, as well as problems emerging from media transitions, regionally instructed forms of intertextuality, and the works of individual authors are equally dealt with. Intertextuality as both a creative and a critical practice frequently exposes the essential arbitrariness of literary and cultural manifestations that have become canonized. The transformation and transfer of meanings which accompanies any crossing between texts rests not least on the nature of the artistic corpus embodied in the general framework of historically and socially determined cultural traditions. Traditions, however, result from selective forms of perception; they are as much inventions as they are based on exclusion. Intertextuality leads to a constant reinforcement of tradition, while, at the same time, intertextual relations between the new literatures and other English-language literatures are all too obvious. Despite the inevitable impact of tradition, the new literatures tend to employ a dynamic reading of culture which fosters social process and transition, thus promoting transcultural rather than intercultural modes of communication. Writing and reading across borders becomes a dialogue which reveals both differences and similarities. More than a decolonizing form of deconstruction, intertextuality is a strategy for communicating meaning across cultural boundaries.

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