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Intertext as Social and Cultural Text

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Presentation on theme: "Intertext as Social and Cultural Text"— Presentation transcript:

1 Intertext as Social and Cultural Text
February 26, 2013 Kate Waller, TA for CLIT 2001

2 Paris Je T’aime (2006) “14e Arrondissement”
Clip How can intertextuality help us to interpret this short film? What are the different texts at play?

3 What is Intertextuality?
What is a Text? What is Textuality? inter-pref. 1. Between; among: international. 2. In the midst of; within: intertropical. 3. Mutual; mutually: interrelate. 4. Reciprocal; reciprocally: intermingle.

4 Connections to Linear Time
Zerubavel’s quote from Twain: “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes” (25) Kristeva: “intertextuality is mostly a way of making history go down in us…two texts, two destinies, two psyches…” (8)

5 An Intertextual Reading: What do you see when you look at these texts in interaction with each other? The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain 1884 (USA) Catcher in the Rye By J.D. Salinger 1951 (USA) YOU don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied one time or another, without it was Aunt Polly, or the widow, or maybe Mary. Aunt Polly -- Tom's Aunt Polly, she is -- and Mary, and the Widow Douglas is all told about in that book, which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before. Now the way that the book winds up is this: Tom and me found the money that the robbers hid in the cave, and it made us rich. We got six thousand dollars apiece -- all gold. It was an awful sight of money when it was piled up. Well, Judge Thatcher he took it and put it out at interest, and it fetched us a dollar a day apiece all the year round -- more than a body could tell what to do with. The Widow Douglas she took me for her son, and allowed she would sivilize me; but it was rough living in the house all the time, considering how dismal regular and decent the widow was in all her ways; and so when I couldn't stand it no longer I lit out. I got into my old rags and my sugar-hogshead again, and was free and satisfied. But Tom Sawyer he hunted me up and said he was going to start a band of robbers, and I might join if I would go back to the widow and be respectable. So I went back. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO HEAR about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them. They're quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father. They're nice and all-I'm not saying that-but they're also touchy as hell. Besides, I'm not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything. I'll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy. I mean that's all I told D.B. about, and he's my brother and all. He's in Hollywood. That isn't too far from this crumby place, and he comes over and visits me practically every week end. He's going to drive me home when I go home next month maybe. He just got a Jaguar. One of those little English jobs that can do around two hundred miles an hour. It cost him damn near four thousand bucks. He's got a lot of dough, now. He didn't use to. He used to be just a regular writer, when he was home. He wrote this terrific book of short stories, The Secret Goldfish, in case you never heard of him. The best one in it was "The Secret Goldfish." It was about this little kid that wouldn't let anybody look at his goldfish because he'd bought it with his own money. It killed me. Now he's out in Hollywood, D.B., being a prostitute. If there's one thing I hate, it's the movies. Don't even mention them to me.

6 Frow’s 10 Theses keywords (45-6)
Read the thesis Look up any words you don’t know Re-read the thesis Paraphrase the point Link the point to our intertextual reading of Catcher in the Rye and Huckleberry Finn Choose someone to report to the class

7 Frow’s 10 Theses keywords (45-6)
“differential and historical” “tracings of otherness” “absent textual structures” “form of representation” “genre” “rules of the discursive formation” “metonymic reduction” & “literary norms” “act of interpretation” “discursive structure” & “cultural codes” “stress on interpretation” & “rejection of unilinear causality”

8 “tracings” Martial Raysse, Made in Japan – La Grande Odalisque, 1964
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, La Grande Odalisque [The Concubine], 1814 Martial Raysse, Made in Japan – La Grande Odalisque, 1964

9 Farewell My Concubine (1993) Ba wang bie ji (original title)

10 “form of representation”
Eiffel Tower Tokyo Tower (東京タワー Tōkyō tawā?)

11 How do these interpretations change the way we see the original?

12 Jacques Derrida’s The Truth in Painting [La Verité en Peinture]
Parergonal frame A hybrid of outside and inside, not a mixture A ‘threshold’ A space of play Truth is at the space of framing How does a painting change when it is framed? (…and put on a wall in a museum?)

13 What’s the difference between these Mona Lisa’s?

14 The Apartment Ellipsis
New York City Immigrant Apartment Many immigrants live in the transitory space of an urban apartment. Ellipsis: philosopher Jacques Derrida calls it a gap or a space of play where we may reconcile differences or dissonant realities Here before you….

15 Julia Kristeva’s “Nous Deux” or A (His)story of Intertextuality”
Immigrant in the host country (US v. France) “America seems to be a territory that welcomes and even encourages grafts” (8). Intertextuality = “…a crossed threshold between languages and cultures…” (9).

16 Desire for what’s missing/ABSENCE = “doughnut” (Kristeva 12)
“…that American pastry which has a hole in the middle (corresponding here to the loss of meaning) and thus he envisions interpretation as a craving for the small cake, a craving satisfied only when consuming what is around the empty hole, the ‘naught’” (Kristeva paraphrases from Rifaterre’s Semiotics of Poetry 1978).

17 The un-said/Absence In Catcher in the Rye: In Huckleberry Finn:
The narrator is writing from a mental institution. The McCarthy era In Huckleberry Finn: The slave who is escaping has already been freed. Post- “Emancipation Proclamation”

18 What does cultural intertext look like?
Julie Delpy’s Two Days in New York Wayne Wang’s Chinese Box

19 What is Hong Kong culture?
Ackbar Abbas, Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance (1997) Absence: “…the cultural self-invention of the Hong Kong subject in a cultural space that I will be calling a space of disappearance” (1)

20 Parergonal Framing The city is not so much a place as a space of transit. It has always been, and will perhaps always be, a port in the most literal sense—a doorway, a point in between—even though the nature of the port has changed. A port city that used to be located at the intersections of different spaces, Hong Kong will increasingly be at the intersections of different times or speeds. (Abbas 4)

21 Cultural Dissonance When have you experienced frustration when encountering another culture (through travel, an individual, an institution, or a text)? When have you experienced enlightenment or awe during a similar encounter?

22 Paris Je T’aime (2006) “14e Arrondissement”
Clip What are the texts at play? What is the frame? What is the ‘doughnut hole’ or the absence? Where do you see evidence of this in the film? What can we learn from the intertext?

23 By Eileen Chang (First published 1950)
“Lust, Caution” By Eileen Chang (First published 1950)

24 Eileen Chang (1920-95): Background Notes on “Lust, Caution”
Writing history: first draft done in 1950, published three times in 1977 and 1978. The theme of treason and loyalty: the allegedly true story of the woman spy Zheng Pingru鄭頻如 ( ) and her attempted assassination of Ding Mucun丁默邨( ) who collaborated with Wang Jingwei 汪精衛for the latter peace movement ( ) in Japanese occupied areas. Chang’s marriage with Hu Lancheng胡蘭成( ) from with the latter being regarded as a traitor; Hu’s collaboration with the Japanese during World War II, serving briefly in the puppet government in China headed by Wang Jingwei in In Wangranji 《惘然記》, Chang acknowledges the impact of the story on her after a duration of 30 years (see excepts in the appendix) ( )

25 Setting World War II Japanese Occupied Shanghai
Flashbacks to Hong Kong (life as student, echoes Chang)

26 Costume as Frame “If you cannot choose your political leaders, you can at least choose your own clothes” (Abbas 5). Where do you see cultural framing in the mention of the attire of Chang’s characters? How does our dress shape our daily cultural reference points?

27 Other Cultural References
What specific references in addition to costumes do you see in the text? (i.e. food, names) How do these cultural references add a framework to the text that creates an intertext? What is an example of a truth that emerges in this space?

28 Mapping as Tracing What examples of Shanghai and Hong Kong topography do you see in the story? How does a mapping of city space provide a cultural framework that adds to our intertextual reading of the text?

29 Absence Diamond as doughnut hole – a translucent object of desire
“I love you” (absent) The plan, unspoken The execution: “dead, she was his ghost” (46)

30 Other Aspects to Consider
Nationalism Materialism Chang’s biographical intertext

31 Concluding remarks (Frow 54)
The need to break down the limits between the textual and the external and the non-textual (contextual) Rethink textuality; value discourse The possibility to be hospitable: not to resist other and disparate domains of discourse (re: Kristeva)

32 Your Field Work Be aware of yourself as a ‘text’, of culture as a ‘text’ Engage in discourse about your observations What truths do you learn in this framing?

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