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Reassessing Intertextuality: The Case of James Joyce's Digital Library.

The project's aim is to reassess the notion of 'intertextuality' by means of the case study of James Joyce's personal library and reading notes. When Julia Kristeva coined the term 'intertextuality' in the 1960s, she did so partly as a reaction to what she called 'critique des sources' ['study of sources']. Increasingly, the reader was seen as a crucial agent in the workings of intertextuality. By the beginning of the 21st century, the situation was formulated as a choice between two contending paradigms: influence on the one hand, intertextuality on the other. Current developments in the age of digital reproduction, notably 'text re-use' software, reinvigorate the influence/intertextuality debate with a new urgency. Intertextuality is less a matter of writing than a matter of reading, as Michael Riffaterre noted. He defined the concept of 'intertextuality' as the reader's perception of the links between one work and others, which preceded or followed it. This project builds on his definition, but adjusts one important detail: 'the' reader is a generalisation, which this project replaces by a concrete reader, a reader who is also a writer: James Joyce. The fact that we study not just a reader, but a writing reader, offers us the opportunity to use material traces to examine how intertextuality operates. In concrete terms, this will result in a monograph published by Oxford UP and a Digital Library of James Joyce, the first project to study the library in its entirety.
Date:1 Jan 2019 →  31 Dec 2022
Disciplines:Literatures in English