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Julia Kristeva's attempt in The Revolution in Poetic Language (1984) to fuse semiotics and psychoanalysis so as to produce a method of analysis capable of simultaneously comprehending the process of the formation of texts and the process of deciphering texts. It was intended to transcend the limitations of the Hegelian dialectic and provide a method that was genuinely materialist and at the same time able to deal with what she would term abjection, the unrepresentable excess semiotics overlooks. Although a rich synthesis of post-structuralist methodologies and ideas, semanalysis was in many respects a failed experiment and Kristeva soon abandoned it herself. Her later work does not use the term at all. However, out of the project of developing semanalysis arose the concept of intertextuality, which has become a bedrock concept in critical theory.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies.

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