[Notes] Intertextuality. How text rely on other texts by Bazerman.

  • “Intertextuality. The explicit and implicit relations that a text or utterance has to prior, contemporary and potential future texts. Through such relations a text evokes a representation of the discourse situation, the textual resources that bear on the situation, and how the current text positions itself and draws on other texts. Although this is now a widely recognized phenomenon, there is not a standard shared analytic vocabulary for considering the elements and kinds of intertextuality. The terms I introduce next are an attempt to capture key dimensions and aspects of intertextuality.” [Bazerman. 2004:86]

  • Intertextual Distance or Reach. Intertextual relations are also usually most easily recognizable when the textual borrowings involve some distance in time, space, culture, or institution. Phrases that are common and unremarkable in sports such as ‘stepping up to the plate’ – just part of the ordinary way of talking that everyone shares – become a bit remarkable when they start appearing in political contexts, such as when congressperson talks about courage to take a stand on an issue by talking about ‘stepping up to the plate.’ This phrase, wused metaphorically, can signal us that the political situation is being viewed like a sporting event and that the standing up for a position is being viewed as an individual competitive performance. It would be even more likely to be noticed and remarked on if the term turned up in a piece of legislation. How far a text travels for its intertextual relations we can call the intertextual reach. Often a document draws on bits of text that appear earlier in the text, echoing and building on it, in what we might call intratextual reference. [Bazerman. 2004:89]


Bazerman, C., 2004. Intertextuality: How texts rely on other texts. What writing does and how it does it: An introduction to analyzing texts and textual practices, pp.83-96.


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