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RESEARCH SPECTRUM: VOL: 3, ISSUE: 2, AUGUST, 2012 62

INETRTEXTUALITY IN THE POSTMODERN ENGLISH


LITERATURE

Santosh Kadam, Bharat Mahavidyalaya, Jeur, Solapur

Postmodernism has no definite date for the fabulation, poioumena, historiographic metafiction,
rise and fall. Generally, its beginning date is 1941 temporal distortion, magic realism, technoulture and
the year, in which Irish novelist James Joyce (1882- hyperreality, paranoia, maximalism and minimalism.
1941) and English novelist Virginia Woolf (1882- All of these themes and techniques are often used
1941) both died. Sometimes, it is known as a rough together by the postmodern authors. We have a good
boundary for postmodernism. Postmodernisms real example that metafiction and pastiche are often used
beginning is existed after publication of John Hawkes for irony by many writers in their writings. Some
The Cannibal (1949), Samuel Becketts Waiting for writers are also tried to create something new in the
Godot (1953), Jacques Derridas Structure Sign and postmodern literature. It means we are very unable
Play (1966) and Ihab Hassans The to draw a list of features of the postmodern literature.
Dismemberment of Orpheus (1971). This term Intertextuality is one of the most important
describes certain characteristics of post World War elements among postmodern elements of literature.
II literature e.g. on fragmentation, paradox, Postmodernism is a decentered concept of the
questionable narrators etc. and a reaction against universe in which individual works are not isolated
enlightenment ideas implicit in modernist literature. creations. It means that much of the focus in the study
The prefix post is explained very much that it is a of postmodern literature is settled down on
reaction against modernism. To define intertextuality. Intertextuality has been the
postmodernism is very hard. It is a complex term, relationship between one text and another or one
but there is an agreement on the exact text within the interwoven fabric of literary history.
characteristics, scope and importance of An indication of postmodernisms lack of originality
postmodernism. It is commonly defined in relation and reliance on cliches are pointed out by the famous
with its precursor. The postmodern authors eschew critics. It is a reference or parallel to another literary
often playfully the possibility of meaning and the post work and an extended discussion of a work or the
modern novel is often a parody of the quest while adoption of a style. This element was coined by
the modern authors have a quest for meaning in a poststructuralist Julia Kristeva in 1966. Actually
chaotic world. The postmodern writers tend to intertextuality has, itself, been borrowed and
celebrate chance over craft, and further employ transformed many times. William Irwin, a well known
metafication to undermine the writers authority. Its critic talks about this term such as has come to have
another feature is the questioning of distinctions almost as many meaning as users from those faithful
between high and low culture through the use of to Kristevas original vision to those who simply use
pastiche, the combination of subjects and genres not it as a stylish way of talking about allusion and
previous deemed fit for literature. We have difference influence
between modernism and postmodernism, but we find Intertextuality has been differentiation.
a similarity between them in the search of There are different views on intertextuality. It has no
subjectivism turning from external reality to examine accurate boundary in literature. It is found different
inner states of consciousness. definition based on that term. We can make a
Postmodernism has some common themes distinction between a mere reference to another work
and techniques such as irony, playfulness, black e.g. a mention of the name of a book, movie, song,
humor, intertextuality, Pastiche, metafiction, etc within another work and an actual intertexual use
RESEARCH SPECTRUM: VOL: 3, ISSUE: 2, AUGUST, 2012 63

of an idea, citation, allusion, motif or symbol from Joyces Ulysses. We decode it as a modernist
another work in order to make a point on reinterpret literary experiment, or as a response to the epic
an earlier work. Theses two varieties are in that term. tradition or as part of some other conversation, or a
It means that there are vertical intertextuality and part of all of these conversation at once. Roland
horizontal intertextuality. John Fiske does agree on Barthes supports to the intertextual view of literature
these two differences. He says that it will be become that it is a concept of the meaning of a text does not
possible. reside in the text, but it is produced by the reader in
Intertexuality can be found easily in the relation not only to the text in question, but also the
postmodern English literature. Many authors are complex network of texts invoked in the reading
coined this device in their writings. John Steinbeck process. Daniela caselli reexamines intertextuality
published East of Eden in 1952. East of Eden has as a series of relationship between different text in
a retelling of the story of Geneis which is set in the his more recent post structuralist theory Dantes
Salinas Valley of Northern California. James Joyces Intertextuality in the Fiction and Criticism (MUP
Ulysses (1918) has a retelling of Homers Odyssey, 2005). Some postmodern theorists find a relationship
set in Dublin. Here is intertextuality between James between intertextuality and hypertextuality.
Joyces Ulysses and Homers Odyssey. Matt Haigs According to them, intertextuality makes each text a
The Dead Fathers Club (2006) is set in modern living hell of hell on earth and hyper text is a part of a
England where is a retelling of Shakespeares larger mosaic of texts such as each hypertext can
Hamlet, Jane Smileys A Thousand Acres (1991) be a web of links and a part of the whole World Wide
is based on a retelling of Shakespeares King Lear. Web. A famous critic shows distinctions between the
C.S. Lewis Perelandra is related with Miltons notions of intertext hypertextand supertext. We
Paradise Lost. Jean Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea have a good example of Milorad Pavics Dictionary
(1966) is based on the mad women of Charlotte of the Khazars. It is present in criticism areas of
Brontes Jane Eyre. Steven Pressfied refers literature.
Bhagavad Gita in his The Legend of Bagger Vance Some famous critics criticize that the
(1996). John Steinbeck unfolds the Arthurian legends ubiquity of the term intertexuality in postmodern
in his Tortila Flat (1935). Craig Janacek retells criticism has crowded out related terms and important
Homers Illiad in his The Anger of Achilles Peterson nuances. William Irwin expresses that intertextuality
(2011). Eugene ONeill retells Aeschylus The is eclipsed allusion as an object of literary study while
Oresteia in his Mourning Becomes Electra(1931). lacking the latter terms clear definition. Linda
These above authors are used intertextuality very Hutcheon comments that excessive interest in
effectively in their writings. Authors borrow and intertexuality rejects the role of the author, because
transform of a prior text or to a readers referencing it can be found in the eye of the beholder and does
of one text in reading another are intertexuality. not entailed communicators intentions. He takes
Intertextuality is also present in criticism notes in his A Theory of Parody that parody is always
through poststructuralism. Kristevas intertextuality features of an author who actively encodes a text as
exists an attempt to synthesize ferdinad de an imitation with critical difference. It is criticized by
Saussures semiotics which is his study of how sings different critics and writers.
derive their meaning within the structure of a text. Eventhough critics are criticized on
Bakhtins dialogism is his examination of the multiple intertextuality. Some other many critics are supported
meaning, or heteroglossia in each text and in each on other side. There are many attempts to define
word. Kristeva think that the notion of intertextuality different types of intertextuality. John Fiske has made
replaces the notion of intersubjectivity when we a distinction between what he labels Vertical and
realize that meaning is not transferred directly form horizontal intertextuality. Horizontal intertextuality
writer to reader, but instead is mediated through, or denotes references that are on the same level that
filtered by codes imparted to the writer and reader is when books make references to other books while
by other texts. We have a great example of James vertical intertextuality is found when we say a book
RESEARCH SPECTRUM: VOL: 3, ISSUE: 2, AUGUST, 2012 64

makes a references to film or song or vice versa. term to become more and more vague. For that
Another critic is Linguistic Norman Fairclough makes matter we have controversy in hypertext on
distinguishes between manifest intertextuality and agreement or disagreement. It is automatically
constitutive intertextuality similarly. Intertexual become a controversial term. Hypertext and
elements are presupposition, negation, parody, irony, intertextuality are become more difficult to
etc in the former. Constitutive intertextuality is also understand each other. We can understand, but
referred interdiscursivity though generally many critics and writers are agreed that hypertext is
interdiscursivity refers to relations between larger nothing another thing, but also it is only intertextuality.
formations of texts. It has the most important element Even though it has a different field, it is retained in
in the literature. It presents already in the Bible. It that field by that name. We can understand that they
has come in literature in very early time in poems, are not different to each other, but also they are same.
classical history, mythology etc. Though it was Intertextuality retains from very previous
present in early time, it is used very effectively in the time to now. In the previous time it had less
postmodern literature. It has crossed the boundary importance, but now it gets more and more
of English Language. We have an example of Lucia significance by everyday. Its usage is very effectively
Etxebarria who is Spanish writer. He wrote poem in the postmodern literature. If it is in the postmodern
collection Estacion de infierno (2001 ) where we find literature, it crosses the field of literature and it goes
intertextuality in that anthology. It means that its different filed. After 1950s, it reaches achievement.
usage increases day by day. It has become the most It presents also in internet, movies, etc. In internet
notable term in the postmodern English Literature. we have hypertext. Movies have direct relationship
Intertextuality goes in different areas over with intertextuality. Intertextuality has the most
the world. We can find a similarity between hypertext important notable element in the postmodern
and intertextuality. It is also supported by many critics literature. There is a need that to find out various
and writers. Hypertext is clearly related with internet. function of that term in the literature and also in the
Hypertext means that it is something different. other fields. Its role is unforgettable in our literature.
According to Gennette, a hypertext is one that refers It was present in the previous time. It shapes novels,
to another text in a way other than commentary. poems, dramas etc. On that basis many writers and
Gennette argues about hypertext. He says that authors are become very famous and got name and
hypertext is very nearly with intertextuality. We have fame on their credit. This term can be found easily in
similarity between hypertext and intertextuality at a the postmodern English literature. The Postmodern
level. However intertextuality makes more English literature takes a base of Intertextuality.
ambiguous to hypertext. Its definition compels that

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RESEARCH SPECTRUM: VOL: 3, ISSUE: 2, AUGUST, 2012 65

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