Intertextuality

Intertextuality is the phenomenon of shaping the meaning of a text by another text, either through deliberate compositional strategies like allusion, calque, quotation, plagiarism, translation, parody, or pastiche, or by interconnections between related works perceived by an audience or the reader of the text. These references are often made deliberately and depend mostly on the prior knowledge of the reader and understanding of the referent. However, the effect of intertextuality is not always intentional and may sometimes be inadvertent. Often associated with strategies that are employed by writers who are working in imaginative registers like poetry, drama, and fiction, and even non-written texts such as performance art and digital media, intertextuality is now understood as being intrinsic to any text.

It has been differentiated into typological and referential categories. Referential intertextuality is the use of fragments in texts and its typological counterpart refers to the use of structure and pattern in typical texts. A distinction can also be made between presupposition and iterability. Iterability refers to the repeatability of a certain text that is made up of traces and pieces of other texts that help constitute its meaning. 

Presupposition makes use of a reference to assumptions that a text makes about its readers as well as its context. The term has now been classified so broadly that it has come to have almost as many meanings as users, from Julia Kristeva’s original vision of the term to those who simply use it as a stylish way of talking about influence and allusion.

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