2005 | 16 | 35-95
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The present paper addresses the question of relations between picture in the context of a theory of intertextuality developed by Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva, and Roland Barthes. This theory stemmed for the most part from a critique of the communicational model of sign and text, based on a mimetic concept of the painting. The pictorial mimesis relied on a belief that the reading of a verbal message is identical with the recognition of an authorial intention which is the origin and model of the representing record; a text just as a painting, and a painting just like a window, conveys the truth of the object of representation that stands behind it. Deconstructing that approach, Derrida argued that the sign owes its intelligibility, and the text its readability, not to their reference to the original model (signifié), but to the iterability of the record (signifiant).The transposition of the theory of intertextuality on painting has been inspired by Derrida's considerations on van Gogh's Shoes as an object of controversy between Meyer Schapiro and Martin Heidegger. The second part of the paper focuses on clear intertextual relations among the claims of Heidegger, Lacan, Kristeva, and Barthes, challenging the representational model of the parole which implied the control of the subject's consciousness over language as a medium of intention.To read, claims Barthes, is to place the text in a dialog with all the previously read texts, to associate it with the 'already-read'. If the text becomes a 'mosaic of quotations', these quotations come from other texts associated with it by the reader. Such an approach to intertextuality refers to the anagrammatical reading of texts proposed by Ferdinand de Saussure, which cannot be explained in the framework of his communicative theory of language.The theory of intertextuality paves the way toward analyzing in the same context the relations between or among paintings. The third part of the paper concentrates on an intertextual reading of Balzac's short story 'Sarrasine' presented by Barthes who makes a point that realistic illusion produced by the literary text does not actually refer to any extratextual reality, but relies on a system of references to the traditional stereotypes of its description. This claim is validated in reference to a painting by Anne-Louis Girodet 'Sleeping Endymion', mentioned in Balzac's text. A conclusion drawn from the story by Barthes may be summarized in a claim that a representation, be it a piece of sculpture, a painting or a work of literature, produces the reality effect not due to its reference to a real model present beyond the sphere of representations, but by repeating the conventions of representation. The fourth and final part of the paper uses the theory of intertextuality to shed some new light on the adopted practice of establishing the artistic origin of paintings as well as identifying borrowings and patterns.
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  • S. Czekalski, Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza, Instytut Historii Sztuki, al. Niepodleglosci 4, 61-874 Poznan, Poland.
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