Research article
Issue: № 1 (1), 2015


The article is devoted to the study of intertextuality as the basic category of postmodern literary discourse in terms of linguosynergetics. There are different types of intertextual relations such as hypertextuality, paratextuality, arhitextuality, intextuality.

The postmodern discourse being the special way of the content presentation of cultural traditions in the spiritual space of the modern time is a specific set of texts, the defining features of which are openness, mobility, and disconnection in the infinite space of the culture. The possibility of different level reading of a non-linear semantic structure of postmodern literal work transmutes the text into the transforming field of meanings that occurs at the intersection of the author’ and the reader’s fields of meanings and includes all the infinite set of other texts which can be correlated with them inside a semantic field. The point is the interaction of author’s intentions, a complex set of the reader’s possible reactions and the open structure of the text that presents the literal work in the infinite semiosphere space, which is a set of all sign systems used by the person including not only the text and language but also culture in general.

The postmodern literary discourse as a component of semiosphere is viewed in this paper in terms of synergetics – the study of complex dynamical systems, the laws of their growth, development, and self-organization. Synergetics as an interdisciplinary area of research is notable for pluralistic qualities. It offers philosophical, semiotic, and cognitive interpretation of language processes. From such a standpoint the postmodern literary discourse is a developing synergetic system among the distinctive features of which we should highlight the hierarchical qualities, instability, nonlinearity, emergence, symmetry / asymmetry, and openness.

The hierarchically organized interdiscoursive (interdiscourse means discourse interaction) semiosphere space is presented as a heterogeneous set of discourses among which the postmodern literary discourse, consisting of many intertexts, takes place. The instability of “intertext – discourse – interdiscourse” can be explained by the interdependent nature of changes in the sphere of intertextual inclusions which lead to the conversion of the appropriate type of discourse. The transformation of the discourse, in turn, has an impact on interdiscourse of semiosphere as a whole. Due to the property of openness such structural-semantic exchange, ensuring the development of each hierarchical level, leads to the appearance of emergent properties uncharacteristic to the individual hierarchical levels (intertext, discourse or interdiscourse) but inherent to the system which functions as an integral functional formation. The organization of textual environment is carried out according to the principle of diversification (branching) of the trajectories of symmetric (being in dynamic equilibrium) and asymmetric (being in the dynamic disequilibrium) components of the system. Nonlinearity of textual environment is reflected in the removal of boundaries between “our” and “foreign” and presentation of the work of art as a succession of comments to yourself with endless references to the “traces” of previous texts.

The material shows that the postmodern literary discourse being the developing synergetic system is the result of interaction of literary texts within the literary discourse and diverse discourses within the semiosphere. Thereafter, the specific character of the literary discourse of postmodernism in relation to other forms of literary art creation is determined by the categories of intertextuality and interdiscoursivity (discourse interaction).

Intertextual patterns appearing from the penetration of encoded fragments from other texts in the work of art require the recipient's interpretation of these “messages of the author”. While identifying intertextual relationships and their sources the previous knowledge becomes important as well as cultural, material, historical, geographical, and pragmatic knowledge which the addressee has. The decoding of the received information is personal and depends on the level of grounding of the recipient and the depth of his or her knowledge in this or that area. Various links, directing the recipient to the right area, play the undeniable role.

In general, intertextuality actualizes self-similar indexical and iconic connection of a text’s parts with each other, a text with precedent texts (and what is more – precedent phenomena), and an author’s texts on the content, structural and genre-stylistic peculiarities levels. However, this does not belittle the merits of each new text because every literary work, building up its own intertextual field, restructures all former cultural funds and creates its own cultural history. Moreover, by means of the establishing connections between a separate literary work with previously created texts intertextuality acts as an effective way of reflecting the sense forming process and provides the possibility of split-level interpretation, turning a postmodern text in non-linear semantic structure with the increasing sense entropy.

On the linguistic level, the intertextuality signals can be divided into several types. It can be the author's comment on the work peculiarities, links to various prototexts or other works of the same author. Thereafter, we can dwell upon the following varieties of intertextuality – hypertextuality, paratextuality, arhitextuality, intextuality.

Hypertextuality and paratextuality actualize intertextual relations on syntagmatic level and become the basis for horizontal intertextuality which is realized while moving indication, which is expressed by the signals of intertextuality, on a new referent according to the principle of their adjacency when the folded prototext substitutes the whole text in the mind of the recipient. The special relationship between texts of the works of one writer is hypertextuality. The implementation of indexical relations in the framed neartextual space (title, subtitle, epigraph, preface, afterword, etc.) is treated as paratextuality. Hypertextual relations among all the texts of the author and paratextual relations of the certain work that organize intertextual frames by updating the relevant precedent phenomena allow us to determine the deeper meaning of each particular work of art and describe entire picture of the world view constructed by the author.

The transference of indication which is expressed by the signals of intertextuality on a new referent on the basis of their similarity leads to realization of the so-called paradigmatic intertextuality in the form of architextual and intextual relations. Architextuality demonstrates the establishment of paradigmatic connections of text or its parts with a certain precedent genre. Iconic relations of similarity become the basis of stylization, the contrast leads to the genre characteristics parody. The actualization of text reminiscences (various quotes, allusions, and extensions), which form the vertical context of the recipient text, leads to the realization of intextual connections with various precedent phenomena. Practical analysis confirms that postmodern text composed of allusions, metaphors, stylizations, explicit or implicit polemics, secondary and sequential interpretations and reinterpretations of text, parody, “alien” text narration, multiple-in-one text collage, being the unit of postmodern discourse, transforms the increased citationality and reminiscence occurrence to the basis of postmodern writing.

To sum up, we note that intertextual multigenre and multidiscourse organization as the essence of postmodern poetics plays the role of marker belonging to a tradition of non-linear narrative.


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