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The Suicide of the Author and his Reincarnation in the Reader Intertextuality in The Hours by Michael Cunningham Andrea Wild In his novel The Hours Michael Cunningham weaves a dazzling fabric of intertextual references to Virginia Woolfs works as well as to her biography In this essay I shall partly yield to the academic itch to tease out the manifold and sophisticated allusions to the numerous intertexts My aim however is not to point out every single reference to Woolf and her works--such an endeavour of source-hunting would fail alone because of the sheer abundance of intertextual references--and to strip The Hours down until its threads lie bare in front of me but to take the theories of influence as voiced for example by Bloom and their concept of a unidirectional relationship between an anterior text and a posterior text as a point of departure to investigate how Cunningham manipulates and transforms the anterior texts and accordingly establishes a two-way relationship between himself and Woolf The critical term of intertextuality was coined in 1966 by Julia Kristeva who -- following Mikhail Bakhtin -- writes in her ground-breaking essay Word Dialogue and Novel 1 Each word text is an intersection of word sic texts where at least one other word text can be read any text is constructed as a mosaic of quotations any text is the absorption and transformation of another 66 However as Kristeva in a later interview explains the dynamics of intertextuality does not only take place between author and text but also between text and reader If we are readers of intertextuality we must be capable of the same putting-into-process of our identities capable of identifying with the different types of texts voices semantic syntactic and phonic system at play in a given text Waller 282 In fact it is the reader who traces the intertextual references which in their turn guide him or
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