Intertextuality as Spatialization

Karin Wenz, Assistant Professor of English, University of Kassel

Kristeva's concept of intertextuality divides the text into two axes: a horizontal axis, which is the linear connection between author and reader through the text, and a vertical axis, which connects the text to other outer texts"of the anterior literary corpus and the text as an absorption of a reply to another text" (Kristeva 1980: 69). These two axes create a two-dimensional space. There is no fixed position in the connection between these four elements. There is only movement between author, reader, text, and intertext.This movement is the movement of "différance", only available as a trace which can be elucidated in interpretation. The virtual presence of many voices is interwoven in these intertextual relation. As Barthes(1977: 146) puts it, "the text is not a line of words but a multidimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash."