Conclusion: Linking Forward

Scarlett Baron

in ‘Strandentwining Cable’

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199693788
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732157 | DOI:

Series: Oxford English Monographs

Conclusion: Linking Forward

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The conclusion draws together the implications of the intertextual strands examined in the preceding chapters to suggest that throughout his writing Joyce uses Flaubert to think through the dynamics of any text’s inevitable relations to other texts, and that these reflections inform the increasing self-consciousness of his dizzyingly extensive intertextual practices. Like Flaubert before him, Joyce turns the inevitability of literary belatedness to benefit, transforming what might have remained a purely passive phenomenon into a working principle. The range of images Joyce uses to describe literary relations (linking cords, strandentwining cables, serial mathematical sequences, forged cheques, neutral palimpsests) suggest as much, portraying his dealings with earlier texts as a combination of deliberately conducted engagements and of inevitable, unconscious, unattributed citation. Ultimately, it is argued that the ever more radical nature of Joyce’s intertextuality paved the way for – even rendered necessary – the emergence of intertextual theory in the 1960s.

Keywords: Roland Barthes; Julia Kristeva; Mikhail Bakhtin; Antoine Compagnon; Gérard Genette; intertextual theory

Chapter.  2693 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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