The Dynamic Interplay of Intertextuality and the Anti-Colonial Discourse in Rhys’ Short Narrative The Day They Burned the Books

Awfa Hussein Aldoory


In his The Art of Fiction, David Lodge tackles the concept of intertextuality from a structuralist point of view. He articulates the referential relationships that link texts to each other. Lodge identifies intertextuality as one of these relationships. Within the context of post colonialism, making numerous references to other texts reflects a writer’s quest and his perpetual struggle for power—a matter that echoes Foucault’s idea of the interdependence between power, knowledge, truth and discourses. This essay aims at analyzing Jean Rhys’ short narrative The Day They Burned the Books under the rubrics of intertextuality that highlights the dialectic relationship between Rhys’ text on the one hand, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest on the other hand. The essay identifies the way Rhys’ short narrative is a writing back that is unconsciously motived by Shakespeare’s colonial discourse in his The Tempest. Moreover, it clarifies certain elements that bring together Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Jean Rhys’ The Day They Burned the Books.



Appropriation; Intertextuality; Post colonialism

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