The Memory of Tiresias: Intertextuality and Film

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University of California Press, Oct 26, 1998 - Performing Arts - 285 pages
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The concept of intertextuality has proven of inestimable value in recent attempts to understand the nature of literature and its relation to other systems of cultural meaning. In The Memory of Tiresias, Mikhail Iamposlki presents the first sustained attempt to develop a theory of cinematic intertextuality.

Building on the insights of semiotics and contemporary film theory, Iampolski defines cinema as a chain of transparent, mimetic fragments intermixed with quotations he calls "textual anomalies." These challenge the normalization of meaning and seek to open reading out onto the unlimited field of cultural history, which is understood in texts as a semiotically active extract, already inscribed.

Quotations obstruct mimesis and are consequently transformed in the process of semiosis, an operation that Iampolski defines as reading in an aura of enigma. In a series of brilliant analyses of films by D.W. Griffith, Sergei Eisenstein, and Luis Bu˝uel, he presents different strategies of intertextual reading in their work. His book suggests the continuing centrality of semiotic analysis and is certain to interest film historians and theorists, as well as readers in cultural and literary studies.
 

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Contents

Cinema and the Theory of Intertextuality
7
NARRATIVES WAY
49
Repressing the Source D W GRIFFITH
51
Intertextuality and the Evolution of Cinematic Language Griffith and the Poetic Tradition
83
BEYOND NARRATIVE AVANTGRADE CINEMA
123
Cinematic Language as Quotation Cendrars and Leger
125
Intertext against Intertext Bunuel and Dalis Un Chien andaou
162
THEORISTS WHO PRACTICED
191
The Hero as an Intertextual Body Iurii Tynianovs Lieutenant Kizhe
193
The Invisible Text as a Universal Equivalent Sergei Eisenstein
221
CONCLUSION
245
NOTES
255
WORKS CITED
283
INDEX
301
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About the author (1998)

Mikhail Iampolski teaches in the departments of Slavic and Comparative Literature and Russian Studies at New York University.

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