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RE: Thomas, Intertextuality & the Synopsis (was: RE: Crossan on GTho

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  • Don Spencer
    On Monday, July 13, 1998 4:27 AM, Viola Goodacre ... When I quoted Cameron I was completely unfamiliar with the technical meaning of intertextual, assuming it
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 14, 1998
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      On Monday, July 13, 1998 4:27 AM, Viola Goodacre
      [SMTP:M.S.Goodacre@...] wrote:
      > I like your quotation from Cameron
      > very much, and I hope you won't mind my using it to ask a couple of
      > related questions:
      > > "An intertextual model may prove helpful, for it
      > > enables texts to be understood as highly conscious authorial
      > > compositions, adapted and adopted from various encounters with
      > > groups and repeated engagements with texts that constituted the
      > > cultural tapestry of the times" (p. 357, _The Anchor Bible
      > > Dictionary_).
      > Cameron's article in _ABD_ is indeed useful and I wonder if he is
      > here articulating the kind of thing I was trying to hint at with my
      > threefold model? Cameron does seem quite strongly against the notion
      > that Thomas shows any degree of dependence on the Synoptics, however,
      > and I wonder if that is necessary given this "intertextual model"?

      When I quoted Cameron I was completely unfamiliar with the technical
      meaning of intertextual, assuming it to refer obliquely to a
      methodological process whereby acknowledgement of highly complex
      interactions between actual texts and oral traditions occur. Not so, I
      discover. The more precise meaning of intertextual: "Term proposed by
      Julia Kristeva in La Revolution du langage poetique to describe the way a
      single work can actually consist of several texts and/or the transposition
      of one set of signs into another. Kristeva described it as a text
      conceived as a "mosaic of quotations..., [an] absorption and
      transformation of another text." By this rather circumscribed meaning,
      Cameron should not use the term at all. Even in its more comprehensive
      art historical meaning, it is still too bound to actual cultural
      artifacts. In other words, it presupposes, in the context of a possible
      relationship between GThomas and the synoptics, a literary dependency,
      exactly what Cameron would argue against and that which we are

      If we follow the implicit meaning of "intertextual" as used by Cameron,
      the relationship does not have to be direct in any way. It can simply
      point to group interaction and to a common textual repository, in our
      case, what we term the Old Testament and pseudepigraphal writings.

      > I am interested too in the term "intertextual" in this context and it
      > prompts a question based on research I am doing at the moment on
      > narrative-critical readings of the Gospels: Why is it that we tend
      > to avoid the term "intertextual" when discussing texts that have the
      > most interesting and intimate literary relationship of all, viz. the
      > Synoptics?

      Maybe because we are uncertain what flavour of "intertextual" is being

      I'm skeptical, Mark, that intertextual will offer any help to us except as
      a trigger word for acceptance of nuanced analyses.
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