Journal of Romance studies

Pastiche, Structuralism and authorial intention

Journal of Romance studies (2012), 12, (2), 93–105.

Abstract

Two enduring legacies of mid-twentieth century Structuralist theory are the typological approach to literary subgenres and the idea of the Death of the Author, which rules authorial intention irrelevant in the interpretation of the text. The article demonstrates how both of these influential approaches to literary criticism are put into question by certain texts on the fringes of pastiche. The ‘possible pastiche’, for which the author’s intention to imitate a textual model is unclear, troubles the boundaries of any typology of hypertexts that would set clear limits to its categories. In the continuum of rewritings that extends beyond Structuralism’s best-fit categories, only the restoration of authorial intention preserves the terms parody and pastiche from expansion into all-encompassing redundancy.

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Kemp, Simon