C19: Intertext/Ekphrasis

Paul Munden, Paul Hetherington, Jen Webb, Cassandra Atherton

Research output: Textual Creative WorksPoem/s


Atherton: Post-Raphaelite
Hetherington: The Novel Reader
Munden: The Music Lovers
Webb: The Persistence of VIsion
While Graham Allen reminds us that the term ‘intertextuality’ is complex and shifting—commenting that it ‘is not a transparent term, and so … cannot be invoked in an uncomplicated manner’ (2000: 2)—nevertheless it is a useful concept for suggesting a variety of important ideas. These include Julia Kristeva’s famous observation in ‘Word, Dialogue and Novel’ (1966) that ‘any text is constructed as a mosaic of quotations; any text is the absorption and transformation of another. The notion of intertextuality replaces that of intersubjectivity, and poetic language is read as at least double’ (1996: 37). Such a statement becomes especially interesting if we consider that ‘texts’ may, for example, be musical works or works of visual art, as well as literary works.
Kristeva’s statement emphasises that all texts rely on and to a significant extent reiterate and interpret pre-existing texts and literary and cultural traditions, no matter how original a writer may believe they are, and that subtle webs of meaning, connection and influence permeate all reading. Roland Barthes extends this idea when he claims that ‘the quotations a text is made of are anonymous, irrecoverable, and yet already read: they are quotations without quotation marks’ (1989: 60).
In producing the works in these chapbooks, each poet has consciously exploited such ideas, drawing together meanings and associations that extend at least as far back as the 19th century and as far forward as 2020. The fact that 19th-century texts, images, films and objets d’art also, in turn, reach back toward even earlier texts and artefacts supports the idea that all art is created out of a process of interleaving and recycling; and that its innovations are based on previous expressions.
Original languageEnglish
TypeA poetry chapbook set consisting of four volumes. This is the sixth collection in the AUTHORISED THEFT series of chapbooks
Media of outputprinted text
PublisherRecent Work Press
Number of pages120
Place of PublicationCanberra
ISBN (Print)9780645008906
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Publication series

Publisher Recent Work Press


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