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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: August ::
CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1413  Monday, 12 July 2004

[1]     From:   Holger Schott <
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        Date:   Friday, 9 Jul 2004 09:30:28 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1407 CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada

[2]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Friday, 9 Jul 2004 14:44:21 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1407 CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada

[3]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
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        Date:   Friday, 9 Jul 2004 14:52:07 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1407 CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada

[4]     From:   W.L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Friday, 09 Jul 2004 13:24:17 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1407 CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Holger Schott <
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Date:           Friday, 9 Jul 2004 09:30:28 -0400
Subject: 15.1407 CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1407 CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada

A) I agree with Gabriel: Bill Arnold is obviously bluffing.

B) In response to David Bishop, quotation is not the same as
intertextual transference -- the website Jack Heller cited gives a good
overview of the genealogy of the concept, and as you will see there, the
kind of agency implied by "quotation" is precisely what the notion of
intertextuality seeks to undermine.

I somewhat agree on the question of text vs. "signifying system" -- that
distinction seems a little sloppy, given the CFP-author's use of
semiotic concepts -- surely every signifying system is a text. My sense
is that they are using the two terms more or less synonymously in an
attempt to avoid repetition, but David has a point (keeping in mind,
though, that neither text nor signifying system refers simply to
strictly linguistic structures).

Transference, displacement, and condensation are technical terms of
Freudian psychoanalysis, and have more or less clearly defined meanings
within that system of thought. How and if these conceptualizations of
unconscious processes can be applied in the critical reading of texts
has been argued for almost a century -- you may want to start with
Freud's own essay on Jensen's _Gradiva_.

Those of us who consider the passage lucid (I personally did find it a
little more dense than necessary, but by no means incomprehensible) do
not "trip over any such questions" because we are familiar with the
theoretical concepts to which the authors refer. Their "critical prose"
is, admittedly, chock-full of terminology; but I can't see why we (us
literary scholar types) should be barred from using everyday words (such
as "transference") to denote specialised meanings: no-one would object
to a chemist, a social scientist, or, for that matter, a textual scholar
doing to same thing.  Asking for explanation is one thing; attacking the
language used without being fully aware of the conceptual system(s)
behind it is another.

Best wishes,
Holger

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Friday, 9 Jul 2004 14:44:21 +0100
Subject: 15.1407 CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1407 CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada

I am somewhat surprised at the frothing at 'Intertextuality' by people
who are quite happy to embrace 'hypertext' - a not unrelated concept, I
would have thought.

(I always think of Ted Nelson as the man who put the 'hype' into
'hypertext'.  I remember going to a lecture by him - I think it must
have been in 1990 - where he attempted to explain some of his ideas.  He
said that some other people would shortly be implementing an
experimental system on linked computer networks using some of the
concepts from his Project Xanadu.  I was very unimpressed - but I
remember Douglas Adams getting excited, for some reason   )

John Briggs

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
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Date:           Friday, 9 Jul 2004 14:52:07 +0100
Subject: 15.1407 CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1407 CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada

David Bishop asks

 >Why could one not replace the phrase "the intertextual
 >transference of text between signifying systems" with
 >the word "quotation"?

Because 'intertextuality' isn't the same as quotation. (I would offer an
opinion of what 'intextuality' really means, but I suspect that Bill
Arnold is waiting to pounce with "OK: I knew that".)

 >what is displacement, and how does it differ from
 >"transference" or quotation?

'Displacement' is a term from psychoanalytical theory.  An illustration:
threatening to cut into Antonio's chest in MV could be said to be
displacement upwards of castration anxiety.

 >Or do displacement and condensation simply
 >correspond to metaphor and metonymy?

'Displacement' and 'condensation' are precise psychoanalytical terms not
simply corresponding to metaphor and metonymy.  Another illustration: in
performance, the knife that Shylock whets on his shoe might be one that
we saw him earlier taking to the Christians' feast along with a fork and
a spoon. Together these utensils are seemingly innocuous, and were
Antonio to have had a bad dream about them the 'condensation' at work
would have obscured the thing he really feared amongst the three, the knife.

 >Does displacement extend beyond quotation to
 >include, perhaps, allusion?

'Displacement' neither extends beyond nor confines itself to quotation,
since the premise here (that 'intertextuality' is essentially quotation)
is mistaken.

 >Finally, why are these actions "fundamental
 >signifying processes in the unconscious"?

Psychoanalytical theory is largely concerned with the unconscious, and
the terms being used here are all from psychoanalytical theory,
specifically regarding dreamwork.

SHAKSPERians who generally approved of the CFP didn't "trip over any
such questions" because, I suspect, they correctly identified the
meanings of 'intertextuality', 'displacement', and 'condensation' in
relation to Kristeva's work and to the psychoanalytical theory upon
which she draws.

One is entitled to dismiss Kristeva and psychoanalysis as entirely
mistaken, of course, and none of the above is intended to indicate my
position regarding that. It's only meant to substantiate my claim that
the original CFP simply wasn't full of the problems claimed by those who
didn't understand it.

Gabriel Egan

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W.L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Friday, 09 Jul 2004 13:24:17 -0400
Subject: 15.1407 CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1407 CFP - Shakespearean Intertexts in Canada

Gabriel Egan asks for Kristeva's definition of intertextuality: "Every
text builds itself as a mosaic of quotations, every text is absorption
and transformation of another text" (tr. Jeanine Parisier Plottel). You
just can't stop those texts from building themselves -- without human
intervention.

But I thought intertextuality meant that, when you were asleep at night,
your books got down from their shelves and talked (etc.) to each other.
But perhaps I'm thinking of Eco.

Bill Godshalk

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