Monday, April 1, 2013


The term ‘intertextuality’ has been used by many different authors with different meanings. The word itself came from Latin into English with its original meaning ‘intertexto’ (intermingle during the weaving process). It was first used in the field of semiotics by the Bulgarian philosopher, novelist, and literary critic Julia Kristeva in 1966. She looked upon a literary text as the product of an author and its relationship to other texts and the various language structures. In her opinion, texts are made up of other texts (products of other texts), i.e., each text is constructed of quotations, allusions, calques, imitation, pastiche, parody, etc. 

The famous French linguist Roland Barthes in his ‘Death of Author’ claimed that intertextuality allows the text to come into being, and any text is a new tissue of past citations. Bits of code, formulae, rhythmic models, fragments of social languages, etc., pass into the text and are redistributed within it, for there is always language before and around the text. According to Barthes, intertextuality is the condition of the existence of any text. 


Examples of Intertextuality

A classic example of intertextuality would be the retelling of Hamlet in a modern, fashionable, and updated manner. 

Intertextuality is frequently used in newspaper style, and it is often based on the stylistic device allusion, e.g., the newspaper headline The Blame in Spain (GW, Feb 22-28, 2001) was used as a reference to the song 'The Rain in Spain' from the musical 'My Fair Lady ' (at that time there were some problems of communication between Spain and UK). 


More about Intertextuality

Intertextuality is the shaping of texts' meanings by other texts.  It has been studied from many academic perspectives (Worton & Still, 1990). Increased understanding and learning can result from intertextual processes (Bloome, 1992; Bloome & Egan-Robertson, 1993; Cairney, 1990b, 1992; Cairney & Langbien, 1989; Harris & Trezise, 1997; Hartman, 1990; Oyler & Barry, 1996; Short, 1992a/b). To learn more about intertextuality, click HERE…

Pragmatic Stylistics


Transferred Epithet

Newspaper Genres

Functional Styles

Research Topics

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