Intertextuality: Definition, Examples & Types (2023)

To understand intertextuality, think about the different types of references to series, songs or memes that you can make in everyday conversations. Literary intertextuality is quite similar to this, except that it is usually limited to more literary references.

intertextual origins

The term intertextuality has now been expanded to include all types of interrelated media. Originally, it was used specifically for literary texts, and the theory is generally accepted to have its origins in early 20th-century linguistics.

The word intertextual was coined in the 1960s byJulia Kristevain his analysis of Bakhtin's concepts of Dialogism and Carnival. The term is derived from the Latin word 'intertext', which translates as'mix while weaving'.she thought thatall texts were 'talking' to other texts, and could not be fully read or understood without an understanding of their interrelationship.

Since then, intertextuality has become a basic feature of bothpost-modernwork and analysis. It is worth noting that the practice of creating intertextuality has been around for much longer than the more recently developed theory of intertextuality.

postmodernismis a movement that followed and often reacted againstModernism. Postmodernist literature is generally considered to be literature published after 1945. This literature features intertextuality, subjectivity, non-linear plots, andmetafiction.

Famous postmodern authors you may have studied include Arundhathi Roy,Toni MorrisonyIan McEwan.

Definition of intertextuality

Basically, literary intertextuality is when a text refers to other texts or to its cultural environment. The term also implies that texts do not exist without context. As well as being a theoretical way of reading or interpreting texts, in practice, linking or referencing other texts also adds additional layers of meaning. it iscreated by the authorreferencesIt can be deliberate, accidental, direct (like a quote) or indirect (like a quote).allusion).

Another way of looking at intertextuality is to see nothing as unique or original anymore. If all texts are made up of prior or co-existing contexts, ideas, or texts, are any texts original?

Intertextuality seems such a useful term because it highlights the notions of relationality, interconnectedness and interdependence in modern cultural life. In the postmodern era, theorists often claim, it is no longer possible to speak of the originality or uniqueness of the art object, be it a painting ornovel, as each art object is clearly assembled from fragments and pieces of art that already exist. - Graham Allen, Intertextuality1

Do you think that no text can be original anymore? Is everything made from existing ideas or works?

Purpose of intertextuality

An author or poet may deliberately use intertextuality for several reasons. They would likely choose different ways of highlighting intertextuality depending on their intent. They can use references directly or indirectly. They can use a reference to create additional layers of meaning or emphasize or place their work within a specific framework.

A writer can also use a reference to create humor, highlight an inspiration, or even create a reinterpretation of existing work. The reasons for and ways of using intertextuality are so varied that it is worth looking at each example to establish why and how the method was used.

Types and examples of intertextuality

There are some levels of potential intertextuality. To begin with, there are three main types:obligatory, optional and accidental.These types deal with the importance, intent, or lack of intent behind the relationship, so they are a good starting point.

obligatory intertextuality

It is when an author or poet deliberately references another text in his or her work. This can be done in several ways and for several reasons, which we will see. The author intends to make external references and intends for the reader to understand something about the work he is reading as a result. This usually happens when the reader picks up the reference and understands the other work being referenced. This creates intentional layers of meaning that are lost unless the reader is familiar with the other text.

Mandatory intertextuality: examples

You are probably familiar withWilliam Shakespearefromvillage(1599-1601), but you may be less familiar with Tom Stoppard's work.Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead(1966). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are secondary characters in Shakespeare's famous book.toquebut important in Stoppard's work.

Without any knowledge of the original work being referenced, the reader's ability to understand Stoppard's work would not be possible. Although Stoppard's title is a line taken directly fromvillage, it istoquetake a different lookvillage, inviting alternative interpretations of the original text.

Do you think a reader could read and appreciate Stoppard's work?toquesem ter lido Hamlet?

optional intertextuality

Optional intertextuality is a smoother type of interrelationship. In this case, an author or poet can allude to another text to create anothernonessential layer of meaning. If the reader captures the reference and knows the other text, he can contribute to its understanding. The important thing is that the reference is not essential for the reader to understand the text read.

Optional intertextuality: examples

a JK Rowlingharry potterseries (1997-2007)subtlety alludes to J.R.R. Tolkien Lord of the Ringsseries (1954-1955).There are several parallels between the young male protagonists, their group of friends who help them achieve their goals, and their old mage mentor. Rowling also references J.M. Barrie. Peter Pan(1911),both inthematic, characters and some lines.

The main difference is that it is possible to read, understand and appreciate theharry potterseries without ever having read J.R.R. Tolkien orJ. M. Barryit works on everything. Oallusionit just adds additional but non-essential meaning, so the layer of meaning adds to, rather than creates, the reader's understanding.

Do you pick up obscure references in everyday conversation that change or add to the meaning of what was said? Can people who don't understand the reference understand the conversation in general? How is this similar to types of literary intertextuality?

accidental intertextuality

This third type of intertextuality occurs when a reader makes a connection that theauthor orthe poet did not intend to do. This can happen when a reader has knowledge of texts that the author may not have, or even when a reader bonds with a particular culture or personal experience.

Accidental Intertextuality: Examples

These can take almost any form, so the examples are endless and depend on the reader and their interaction with the text. a person readingdick moby (1851) can draw parallels with the biblical story of Jonah and the whale (another story of the man and the whale). Herman Melville's intention was probably not to linkdick mobyto this specific Bible story.

contrast thedick mobyexample withJohn Steinbeckfromis from Eden(1952), which is a clear and direct binding reference to the biblical story of Cain and Abel. In Steinbeck's case, the link was deliberate and also necessary to fully understand hisnovel.

Do you find that drawing your own parallels or interpretations increases your enjoyment or understanding of a text?

Types of intertextual texts

In intertextuality, there are two main types of text, hypertext and hypotext.

Hypertext is the text that the reader is reading. So, for example, this could be from Tom Stoppard. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. The hypotext is the text being referenced, so in this example it would beWilliam Shakespearefromvillage.

Do you see how the relationship between hypotext and hypertext depends on the type of intertextuality?

intertextual figures

Generally, there are 7 different figures or devices that are used to create intertextuality. These areallusioncitation, tracing, plagiarism, translation,pastiche, youparody. Devices create a range of options covering intent, meaning, and how direct or indirect the intertextuality is.

quotesquotesthey are a very direct form of reference and are taken directly 'as is' from the original text. Frequently cited in academic works, they are always mandatory or optional.
Allusionan allusionthis is usually a more indirect type of reference, but can also be used directly. It is a casual reference to another text and is often linked to forced and accidental intertextuality.
Capathe trackingit is a word-for-word, direct translation from one language to another that may or may not slightly change the meaning. These are always mandatory or optional.
PlagiarismPlagiarismit is the direct copy or paraphrase of another text. However, this is often more of a literary flaw than a device.
TranslationTranslationIt is the conversion of a text written in one language into another language, preserving the intention, meaning and content of the original.subscription. This is often an example of optional intertextuality. For example, you don't need to understand French to read the English translation of an Emile Zolanovel.
pastichepastichedescribes work done instyleor a combination of styles from a particular movement or era.

a parodyit is a deliberately exaggerated and comical version of an original work. This is usually done to highlight nonsense in the original.

Intertextuality: key points

  • Intertextuality in the literary sense is theinterrelation of texts. It is both a way of creating texts and a modern way of reading texts.

  • You can relate intertextuality in literature to the everyday conversations you have and how you reference a series or song to create additional meaning or even shortcuts in conversation.

  • The form that intertextuality takes differs and can includemandatory, optional and accidentalinterrelationships These different types affect intent, meaning, and understanding.

  • Intertextuality creates two types of text: hypertext and hypotext. The text that is read and the text that is referenced.

  • There are 7 main figures or intertextual devices. These areallusion, quotation, tracing, plagiarism, translation, pastiche and parody.

1.graham allan,Intertextuality, Routledge, (2000).


What are the 4 types of intertextuality? ›

The definition of intertextuality includes forms of parody, pastiche, retellings, homage, and allegory.

What are some examples of intertextuality? ›

Fan fiction is a great example of deliberate intertextuality. In fan fiction, authors enter the fictional worlds of other authors and create their own stories. For example, a Lord of the Rings fan fiction might tell the story of minor characters or add new characters to the world of Middle Earth.

What are the nine 9 types of intertextuality? ›

Intertextual figures include: allusion, quotation, calque, plagiarism, translation, pastiche and parody.

What are the key concepts of intertextuality? ›

Intertextuality refers to not only the artist or author's borrowing, transformation, rewriting or absorption of a preceding text or texts but also the reader's reference to a text or other texts which he read and knew already while he is reading the text in question.

Is parody a type of intertextuality? ›

Application Parody is defined and discussed as an example of explicit intertextuality. It is suggested that parody can involve ridiculing a style of authorship, a genre, or a specific text. In addition, other humorous techniques are often used in parodies. An exercise using parody is offered to readers.

What are the 3 literary text types? ›

The text types are broken into three genres: Narrative, Non- fiction and poetry. Each of these genres has then been sub-divided into specific text types such as adventure, explanation or a specific form of poetry, e.g. haiku.

What are the different types of intertextuality in films examples? ›

We also learned that, while there are many types of intertextuality, a few common examples include allusion, or direct reference to another work of art; pastiche, or deliberate imitation of the style of another artist or period of art; and parody, or the mimicking of another style for comedic purposes.

What are the different types of intertextuality in films? ›

There are two primary kinds of intertextuality. Deliberate intertextuality is the purposeful use of intertextuality. An allusion is a kind of deliberate intertextuality, and this is when a filmmaker directly references another work of art. An easter egg is a kind of allusion that acts as a hidden reference.

Is Harry Potter an example of intertextuality? ›

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series is another great intertextuality example. It shares much with Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, including interactions with giant chess pieces. J.K. Rowling also used platform 9¾ as an entrance into a magical world, just as Lewis Carroll used the looking glass.

What is intertextuality in your own words? ›

Intertextuality refers to those interrelationships among texts that shape a text's meaning. The recognisable echoes of other texts in a text intensify the experience of the text by adding layers of meaning.

What are the 10 types of text? ›

Based on generic structure and language feature dominantly used, texts are divided into several types. They are narrative, recount, descriptive, report, explanation, analytical exposition, hortatory exposition, procedure, discussion, review, anecdote, spoof, and news item.

What are the 9 literary elements? ›

A literary element refers to components of a literary work (character, setting, plot, theme, frame, exposition, ending/denouement, motif, titling, narrative point-‐of-‐view). These are technical terms for the “what” of a work.

What are the 10 different genres that are included in teaching literature? ›

Literary Genres
  • Drama. Stories composed in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and emotion are expressed through dialogue and action.
  • Fable. ...
  • Fairy Tale. ...
  • Fantasy. ...
  • Fiction. ...
  • Fiction in Verse. ...
  • Folklore. ...
  • Historical Fiction.

How do you use intertextuality in a sentence? ›

His lengthy introduction offers an apologia for the study of sources as distinct from intertextuality. There is the same postmodern intertextuality; the same philosophical tendency; the same fondness for cryptic sentences.

What is pastiche in intertextuality? ›

Pastiche (pronounced pass-TEESH) is a creative work that imitates another author or genre. It's a way of paying respect, or honor, to great works of the past. Pastiche differs from parody in that pastiche isn't making fun of the works it imitates – however, the tone of pastiche is often humorous.

What is an example of pastiche? ›

"Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen is unusual as it is a pastiche in both senses of the word, as there are many distinct styles imitated in the song, all "hodge-podged" together to create one piece of music. A similar earlier example is "Happiness is a Warm Gun" by the Beatles.

What are the types of intertextual techniques? ›

It's found that there are four techniques of intertextuality used, they are direct quotation, mentioning a person, document or statements technique, comment on or valuate a statement, text or otherwise invoked voice technique, then, using recognizable phrasing, terminology associated with specific people or group of ...

What are the four 4 types of text? ›

Factual texts merely seek to inform, whereas literary texts seek to entertain or otherwise engage the reader by using creative language and imagery. There are many aspects to literary writing, and many ways to analyse it, but four basic categories are descriptive, narrative, expository, and argumentative.

What are the 5 types of literary text? ›

'Literature includes a broad range of forms: such as novels, poetry, short stories and plays; fiction for young adults and children, multimodal texts such as film, and a variety of non-fiction.

What are the 6 text types? ›

These different forms of writing are often known as text types at school.
  • picture books.
  • cartoons.
  • mystery.
  • fantasy.
  • adventure.
  • science fiction.
  • historical fiction.
  • fairy tales.
Jan 31, 2023

What is an example of intertextuality in music? ›

When a musician or other artist knowingly references another artist's work in their own, it's called deliberate intertextuality. If you're a fan of classic rock, you might be aware that Led Zeppelin included a lot of references to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy in their music.

What is an example of intertextuality in pop culture? ›

Notable examples of intertextuality include animated series like The Simpsons, Futurama, and Family Guy which are very heavily dependent upon intertextual references as a source of humor. Intertextuality should be seen as more than sly references and in-jokes, however.

What is intertextuality in children's literature? ›

How Intertextuality is Used in Children's Literature. Intertextuality is a literary theory first coined by Julia Kristeva (1969) that explains how literature is interconnected and directly impacts other pieces of literature, claiming that no text is entirely unique.


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