Quebec Studies

Introduction: Reading Intertextual Networks in Contemporary Québécois Literature Lire les réseaux intertextuels dans la littérature québécoise contemporaine

Quebec Studies (2020), 69, (1), 3–6.

Abstract

Introduction: Reading Intertextual Networks in Contemporary Québécois Literature Lire les réseaux intertextuels dans la littérature québécoise contemporaine Christine Duff and Catherine Khordoc Carleton University INTERTEXTUAL NETWORKS IN QUÉBÉCOIS LITERATURE The phenomenon of intertextuality is nothing new, either as a literary technique or as a lens through which to study literary works. The ways it has been used by writers and defined by critics, however, has evolved over the past century. The focus has shifted from the sources and influences on an author and her work to the notion that all texts are inherently intertextual, to what appears – to us at least – the critical attention paid to the implicit or explicit references made by one text to another. In this arena, texts are understood to include other forms of cultural production and reflection such as cinema, music, philosophy, visual art, and so on. This dossier begins with the question posed by Antoine Compagnon: “comment se débrouiller dans les broussailles du déjà dit ?” (1979, 10). Intrigued by the dense intertextual webs in two very different writers that we were each working on – Monique Bosco, a Jewish-French Québécoise writer who lived through the Second World War before immigrating to Montréal, and Stanley Péan, the son of Haitian immigrants, who grew up in Jonquière, Québec – we decided to explore the question further, via a session at the November 2018 American Council for Québec Studies (ACQS) Congress in New Orleans. Those presentations evolved into the extended explorations found here. While our objective here is not to provide a detailed account of the development of the concept of intertextuality, we situate our examination within a perspective that sees the phenomenon as departing from Julia Kristeva’s conception that all texts are fundamentally intertextual. Although there is something provocative in Kristeva’s position, it does not really help us understand or analyze better the mechanics Québec Studies, 69 https://doi.org/10.3828/qs.2020.2

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Works cited

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Author details

Duff, Christine

Khordoc, Catherine