Intertextuality and Interpretation of Meaning

Structure and Meaning in Literary Dis linguistics Thesis ment: In the critical dis on post-colonial writings, intertextuality, along with reciprocal interpretation based on authorship, provides the best literary approach in arriving at the exact meaning in literary discourse, and Michael Anthony’s "They better don’t stop the Carnival" offers a prime illustration of the relationship between intertextuality and interpretation of meaning.
Linguistic and Literary Issue 1: Literary texts are ‘knots in a discursive network’ and "literary history is but a specific parcel within a history of the dialogic relation between (1) the different discourses composing a culture, and (2) the different institutions’ – not taken as a ‘thing’ but as a ‘process designed to give stability to the objects constituting it.’" (Lucy and Niall, 337)
Linguistic and Literary Issue 2: Cultural intertextuality specifies that "a literary discourse is only approachable as a segment or concatenation of discursive segments within a network of inter-articulated discourses, and one finds Anthony’s "They better don’t stop the Carnival" as an apparent illustration of cultural intertextuality in literary discourse. (Lucy and Niall, 337)
Linguistic and Literary Issue 3: Literary intertextuality, which is analysable within cultural intertextuality, stipulates that "a literary discourse establishes horizontal (syntagmatic) relationships with the global discourse of literature in its own language and with literary discourse in other languages. and vertical (paradigmatic) relationships with the ensemble of discoursecomposing a culture spatially and temporally determined." (Lucy and Niall, 337)
Linguistic and Literary Issue 4: Michael Anthony’s "They better don’t stop the Carnival," one of the best Caribbean and post-colonial short stories, illustrates the link between intertextuality – both cultural and literary – and literary discourse, and an intertextual reading of the story offers the most essential meaning of the literary text.
Intertextuality in Anthony’s "They better don’t stop the Carnival"
From a semiotical point of view, texts can be considered as complex and hierarchically structured signs which are themselves composed of signs" and intertextuality is a systematic semiotic phenomenon. (Orosz, 445) That is to say, intertextuality is a semantic problem that covers the text-external semantic relations as well as the text-internal semantic relations. Intertextuality and the reciprocal interpretation based on authorship, an approach in literary discourse which combines text-text relationship using the narrator as a criterion for delimitation, offers a complete understanding of the meanings in post-colonial writings. "A given text," Johansen declares, "is often, and often for good reasons, understood in the lights of other fictional texts by the same author(s), describing the same or similar fictional universes." (Johansen, 382) The cultural as well as literary intertextuality offers a clear understanding of the meaning by the author of a post-colonial writing. One attains a perfect understanding of the author’s meaning in literary discourse through a close analysis of the cultural elements in the literary text in relation to similar discourses within the interrelated texts. Cultural elements include political, economic, and religious factors within the texts and they also contribute to the literary intertextuality of the discourse. In the short story "They better don’t stop the Carnival" by Anthony, one finds several examples of the cultural as well as literary intertextuality. In such a profound analysis of the story, it becomes lucid that the author has a deeper meaning to the story which is revealed only in a close intertextual understanding of the various literary and linguistic patterns within the story. In conclusion, Michael Anthony’s "They better don’t stop the Carnival" illustrates the relationship between intertextuality and the interpretation of meaning in literary discourse.
Works Cited
Johansen, Jrgen Dines. Literary Discourse: A Semiotic-pragmatic Approach to Literature. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2002. P 382.
Lucy, Niall and Lucy Niall. Postmodern Literary Theory: An Anthology. London: Blackwell Publishing, 2000. P 337. 17 Nov. 2008. .
Orosz, Magdolna. "Intertextuality and meaning construction in literary texts: a semiotic analysis." Semiotics around the World: Synthesis in Diversity: Proceedings of the Fifth Congress of the International Association for Semiotic Studies. Irmengard Rauch and Gerald F. Carr (Ed). Walter de Gruyter. 1994. P 445.

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