Intertextuality in Coetzee's ‘Foe’

The idea of intertextuality is one that came to be at around 1960 and has since been viewed as a major tool that is used in literary criticism. In his work, Coetzee is careful to make all his text and literally work read not in exclusion but as an assimilation and revolution of some other work or group of other works. In other words, the function of intertextuality is largely to come up with some sort of mosaic quotations, and by extension, aid the process of assimilation and transformation to another. The idea of intertextuality strongly replaces the notion of intersubjectivity in any literal work. In his work, Coetzee appears to appreciate the aspect of culture and the fundamental role that intertextuality play (Martuz, 1991, p. 96). In this note, his work desists from appearing to be taken from nothingness. He ensures that his work interacts and relate well with other texts (Coetzee, 1986, p. 112). In most of his novels, Foe included, Coetzee refers to, cites and at some instances alludes to both implicitly and explicitly to other pieces of work. This paper is a brief review of the cultural significance of Coetzee’s novel, Foe.

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Foe is a novel that has immense cultural significance. From the outset, the novel sets out as a great illustration of postcolonial texts that are grounded on cultural conflict. The novel puts into perspective the very important relationship between the periphery and the centre. It gives a cultural and historical insight into the idea of the colonizer and by extension the colonized (Coetzee, 1986, p. 132). It appreciates culture by showing what can be referred to as the European self and the other side of the racial divide. It therefore can rightfully be argued that Coetzee in writing Foe, not only succeeded in intertexuality but also highlighting the cultural scenario in the post-colonial worlds it was set.

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