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Intertextuality Musings
My post about the tragic comedians got me thinking about how cool it is that we can make connections between books. post

 Intertextuality is the shaping of a book's meaning through its relationships to other texts. It's hyper-allusion. It is the timeless dialogue of authors. It is Kurt Vonnegut speaking with George Orwell who is talking with James Joyce who, in turn, is shouting the head off of Homer. An eternal conversation.

Intertextuality adds meaning to the original work and to the new one. It is a continuation and a tribute. Not only that, but it is also very satisfying for the reader as well. It becomes a game for us and each identified allusion boosts our score.    

It is intertextuality that leads me from book to book. It is a road map of ideas. Hesse led me to Goethe and now to Mann. And once we see how works speak to each other, we only have to open our eyes a little more to see other relationships. Books to art to movies to architecture and back to books. Artistic dialogue.

What is the responsibility of the reader to this conversation? Are we only silent listeners? If the book is the vehicle for the words and ideas of the greatest thinkers of all time, what are we? Well, without us there would just be a bus filled with Shakespeares wasting away in the desert. We, the readers, the appreciators, the listeners, we propel the schoolbus forward. It is our responsibility to the Shakespeares that they should never run out of fuel.

We are the reverent gas station workers.
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Latest Post: June 22, 2009 at 12:50 AM
Number of posts: 1
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