In his paper, "Generic Identity and Intertextuality," Marko Juvan proposes that an anti-essentialist drive -- a characteristic of recent genology -- has led postmodern scholars to the conviction that genre is but a system of differences and that its matrix cannot be deduced from a particular set of apparently similar texts. Juvan argues that the concept of intertextuality may prove advantageous to explain genre identity in a different way: genres exist and function as far as they are embedded in social practices that frame intertextual and meta-textual links/references to prototypical texts or textual series. In Juvan's view, genres are cognitive and pragmatic devices for intertextual pattern-matching and texts or textual sets become generic prototypes by virtue of intertextual and meta-textual interaction: on one side there is the working (influence) of semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic features of prototypical texts on their domestic and foreign literary offspring; on the other side we see meta-textual descriptions and intertextual derivations or references, which establish or revise retroactively the hard core of genre pattern. Any given text is, because of the generic and pragmatic component of the author's communicative competence, dependent on existing genre patterns.
"Generic Identity and Intertextuality."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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