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Intertextuality In Writing And Composition Essay

1404 words - 6 pages

Intertextuality In The Telling Of Truth
Narratives work to establish truth and build understanding. Joan Didion’s novel The White Album is a revealing narrative of events that occurred in the 1960's. Didion gives honest and thoughtful snapshots of the eventful era, focusing on the mundane and personal in a very informative and intimate manner that is helpful in understanding what life was like then. Through her unique use of intertextuality, that is the interrelation between texts, one may see the various ways in which the truth is shaped and presented. Narratives are strongly shaped in relation to prior texts through the use of personal values in the evaluation of stories, the use of direct quotations, and the critique and rejection of prior texts. The stylish intersection of personal memory and cultural memory in The White Album allows its readers to establish their own identity with its content through also understanding the speaker’s perspective, giving the narrative authority as a source of authenticity.
Analysis of retold stories show both the formation of the core story and the effect of the speaker’s position on the form of the story. One’s association within society shapes that individual’s stories. The ways in which members tell their own stories within a field of prior texts also examines the notions of intertextuality, showing how truth in narratives is furthermore shaped in relation to the personal texts and opinions of the speaker. How people tell their own stories within an establishment reveals the small links and minute traces between how individual stories are shaped to harmonize with the events and values of the main institutional narrative (Linde 4). An individuals' story is not only personal, but is produced as a response to the stories being presented, and the appropriate principles and actions which those stories teach. In the beginning of The White Album, Didion introduces a flash cut: “In June of this year patient experiences an attack of vertigo, nausea, and a feeling that she was going to pass out […]” (Didion 14). She explains this insert to be a psychiatric report in reference to herself as the patient. In addition she goes on to state, “by way of comment I only offer that an attack of vertigo and nausea does not now seem to me an inappropriate response to the summer of 1968” (Didion 15). Didion uses her own personal texts and experience, as well as her commentary on said experience, as a tactical strategy to induce her own perspective of the events that take place on her readers. Specifically inserting the psychiatric report as part of her introduction creates a foreshadowing effect to help describe the mass randomness of the decade and the array of ideals and disillusions of the turbulent sixties. As a result, the truth being delivered to the reader is no longer unbiased, but rather swayed by how the events described affected Joan Didion, and her place within all of its content. This is further proven in Didion’s...

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