theoretical connundrum

Okay, I finished both Allen’s overview of the history of intertextuality, and Strindberg’s Fordringsägare this morning. In addition to Genette and Riffaterre, it turns out that Harald Bloom is the other theorist who discusses the “missing” hypotext/intertext. None of these are theorists I was hoping to work with. Bloom at least has the advantage of being someone with whom Fosse himself engages intellectually, but I have a big problem with the circularity of his theory. And I just don’t think of myself as a structuralist looking for absolutes. So this theory section is going to be tricky, to say the least.

After finishing Fordringsägare, it’s pretty clear that the text isn’t going to be central to my analysis, which is a big relief. I will refer to it, though probably only in passing. The essay about Strindberg’s writing process and critical reception of the play doesn’t mention Fruen fra Havet at all, which in itself is interesting. The triangle relationship with a returning man who has a prior “claim” to the woman is parallel, but of course the outcome is opposite, since Adolf dies (though Gustav does acknowledge Tekla’s love for Adolf too). The parallel to Nokon kjem til å komme appears to lie in the woman characters’ paradoxical (verbal and intellectual) power over the men; Strindberg’s and Fosse’s men appear to be totally stymied by these women.

Still a lot of work to be done here before I can start revising. I need to sort these theoretically approaches out so that I can propose an answer to the question of what to do when the author explicitly denies that he is working from an intertext…


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