Workshop on Contemporary

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Workshop on Contemporary American Literature Provide an interpretation of the postmodern story Edickinson RepliLuxe in the light of intertextuality. In your answer, articulate the poems by Dickinson and by Silvia Plath and determine their resonance or impact in the story. A text is ³woven entirely with citations, references, echoes, cultural languages(what language is not?) antecedent or contemporary, which cut across it through and through in a vast stereophony. The intertextual in which every
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  Workshop on Contemporary American Literature Provide an interpretation of the postmodern story Edickinson RepliLuxe in the light of intertextuality. In your answer, articulate the poems by Dickinson and by Silvia Plath anddetermine their resonance or impact in the story. A text is ³woven entirely with citations, references, echoes, cultural languages(what language is not?)antecedent or contemporary, which cut across it through and through in a vast stereophony.The intertextual in which every text is held, it itself being the text-between of another text(«)the citations which go to make up a text are anonymous, untraceable, and yet already read  :they are quotations without inverted commas´Roland Barthes (Barthes, 1977a: 160) The term intertextuality was coined by Julia Kristeva in the 60's. Her ideas are based onMijaíl Bajtín¶s conception of language as dialogic in nature: Los enunciados no son indiferentes uno a otro ni son autosuficientes, sino que saben uno del otroy se reflejan mutuamente. Estos reflejos recíprocos son los que determinan el carácter delenunciado. Cada enunciado está lleno de ecos y de reflejos de otros enunciados con los cuales serelaciona por la comunidad de esfera de la comunicación discursiva. («)Uno no puede determinar su propia postura sin correlacionarla con la de otros. ( Bajtín, 1997: 281)He conceived the literary word as a dialogue among several writings: that of the writer, theaddressee (or the character) and the contemporary or earlier cultural contexts. By the sametoken, Julia Kristeva, advances three dimensions of textual space; writing subject,addressee, and exterior texts. Understood as such, the notion of intertextuality implies thatthe text is inserted in a social and historical context and at the same time, the history of society is inserted in the text.Taking into account this brief definition of intertextuality, we believe that Oates¶Edickinson RepliLuxe is an attempt to show the implications of a particular tendency,historical period, social trend, movement; namely, postmodernism. In order to do this, themain ³quotations without inverted commas´ that resonate throughout the story are the ideas by Jean Baudrillard, particularly that of the simulation and simulacra:  ³ What has happened in postmodern culture is that our society has become so reliant on models andmaps that we have lost all contact with the real world that preceded the map. Reality itself has begun merely to imitate the model, which now precedes and determines the real world.´ (Felluga)And also that of the consumer society: Our society thinks itself and speaks itself as a consumer society. As much as it consumes anything,it consumes itself  as consumer society, as idea .´ (Baudrillard,1998) This proliferation of  kitsch , which is produced by industrial reproduction and the vulgarization atthe level of objects of distinctive signs taken from all registers (the bygone, the 'neo', the exotic, thefolksy, the futuristic) and from a disordered excess of 'ready-made' signs, has its basis, like 'massculture', in the sociological reality of the consumer society. (Baudrillard,1998) A clear example of mass reproduction is that of the Repliluxes in Oates¶s story. EmilyDickinson is brought back to life over and over again (everytime somebody buys aRepliluxe doll). This bears resemblance with the idea of rebirth shown in Sylvia Plath¶sLady Lazarus. The revival is described as a kind of spectacle presented in front of anaudience,³ the peanut-crunching crowd´. This image goes hand in hand with the oneintroduced in EDickinson Repliluxe. What a million filaments.The Peanut-crunching crowdShoves in to seeThem unwrap me hand and foot ------The big strip tease.Gentleman , ladiesThese are my handsMy knees.(Plath, 1962)  And the allusions to suicide attempts in Plath¶s poem(³the second time I meant it to last itout and not come back at all´) can be compared with Emily¶s request to Mrs. Krim:³  Accelerate , Mistress´(Oates, 71), which can be seen as a reflection of what the ³realEmily´ would have felt is she had had to face this ³mass culture.´In the same way, the Krims are a perfect example of the ³postmodern subject´. Their mainconcern is the acquisition of a product that will bring them ³more life´ (  Oates, 49  ) , and themanufacturers assure them that their lives will ³double in value´ (Oates, 57). The use of theword life here is particularly interesting since what they end up buying is a seriallymanufactured doll, which is actually lifeless, it has to be controlled by a remote. In fact, thesalesman emphasizes the fact that the RepliLuxe is ³not identical with the srcinalindividual´, ³it is not the actual individual´ (Oates, 43), and that it has no internal organs . Everything in these people¶s lives is simulacra, starting with their marriage. They do notcommunicate with each other , they do not even sleep together : ³He hadn¶t slept in his(twin) bed in their bedroom´ (Oates, 71), and what is more, there¶s no showing of affection between, which might explain why they feel so attracted by the RepliLuxe (  the wife tries tokiss her and the husband tries to rape her).The only aspect that is real is the loneliness that keeps them together. The simulacrumassociated with it is the false belief that they needed  the RepliLuxe(who is, by the way, aloner just like them) to change this situation. In the end, they become fixated on this product that also represents an image: Dickinson¶s. But they show no interest in any other attributes of the poet but her Poetry. And thus, Poems become a fetish, the instrument thatwill provide them with what they actually need, they ³unsuspecting´ (Dickinson, 1955),feel for her(the doll), ³almost a loneliness.´(Dickinson, 1955) This is a very strong imagethat clearly illustrate this point is the one at the end of the story, where Mr. Krim, withEmily¶s poem in the heart region shouts: So lonely!
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