Professional Writing: Process and Practice
EN 1700 – Fall/Winter 2009/2010 – Jan Rehner
Lecture 20 – Angela Carter – March 15
- All of her novels and stories are described as intertextual texts.
- Is the shaping of a text’s meaning by other texts.
o It can reference to an author’s borrowing and transformation of a prior text
or to a reader’s referencing of one text in reading another.
- Coining in 1996 by Julia Christiva.
- Concept has become very important in post modernism.
- Makes sense when we realize that meaning is not transferred directly from writer
- Filtered by codes which are imparted to the writer and reader imparted by other
- Every text and every reading depends on prior codes.
- No text is an island dependent on itself.
- Each text we pick up depends on a vast majority of texts; Medias, genres.
- Postman links to Orwell and Huxley.
- Occurs frequently in popular media.
- The Simpsons does this very often! Linking their episodes with a previous
- Most importantly it challenges our deep biased for our uniqueness of authors.
- Notions of unique authors are challenged by this.
- All writing is actually rewriting because somewhere someplace another version of
the idea is written down somewhere.
- A text reflects many noises, conscious and unconscious.
- The realest tradition argues that art imitates life.
- Intertextuality argues that art imitates art.
- Intertextuality reminds us that we exist in a mediated reality, a representation of
- The representation of a presentation of reality is art imitation art.
- Mediated reality demands critical attachment.
- Example: the world we live in and what we know about this world is derived a lot
of time from what we have read in books and in newspapers and in the news and
what we know about from going to the movies and reading online, and the radio.
Your life is lived through text, and it is trained through text to a greater extent than
we are aware of. The world we know is a mediated reality. It is a representation
of reality. A movie is a representation of reality.
- Not a feature of the text alone but of the active reading or writing.
- You bring your own codes there; your own links come to play in order to generate
reading. - It is possible with the readings to look for degrees of Intertextualities; the degree
of reflexivity (how self-conscious the degree seems to be) (Postman linking his
text to Orwell and Huxley); degrees of alteration or transformation or interplay
(Carter, she is going to draw on all sorts of conventions and codes which she
assumes that the reader has and she is going to alter and transform these codes,
give them new energy and she is going to subvert.)
Angela Carter’s Frames
Lady of the House of Love
- Draws on intertextual frames
- Gothic and vampire
- Challenges rational through and empirical science.
- Explores the unknown and the supernatural.
- Uses detailed description and symbolic settings.
- Metaphors of distorted perceptions.
- Characters and settings are often marginal.
- Explores desire and often obsessive and unbridle desire.
- Spills out a madness sexuality, violence and death.
- Filled with the haunting of ghosts and spirits.
- We see what is normally hidden in conventional daylight.
- Notice: descriptions in gothic literature are very detailed and the setting is often
- Bring us from the known to the unknown.
- Nobody ever gets to see clearly in a gothic novel, shadows, mists, flickering
- These techniques are brought to distorted perception.
- Characters and settings are situated on the fringe. (The limits of the norm and its
- Common settings: ruins, wild forests, etc.
- The places and the people symbolize the marginal and the outlawed.
- She draws heavily in the LOFHOL – bedroom and garden.
- It is in fact deliberately excessive. She is doing a parody of the heavy gothic
- Countess is a vampire; she draws on the vampire legends and lords.
- The vampire is the embodiment of contradiction and annuity.
- Vampire has great power and yet dependent of those that are living, their prey.
- Bible vampire lord is Dracula.
- Modern versions of vampires that we have now trace back to Dracula.
- Shape shifting, biting someone on the neck, stake through the heart; Dracula can
be killed by sunlight, and he has no mirror reflection, some of these elements are
crucial to understand what is happening with the countess. - Female vampires are metaphors of sexually empowered women but more often
the dread of the notion of sexually empowered women.
- Carter employs a passive view of female sexuality; she is going to