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I really enjoyed the discussion we had on the similarities between the two books and it is interesting to me to see how The Reluctant Fundamentalist and The Fall are representative of the notion of  “INTERTEXUALITY.”


INTERTEXTUALITY is a notion introduced by the linguist Julia Kristeva in the late sixties: In essays such as “Word, Dialogue, and Novel,” Kristeva broke with traditional notions of the author’s “influences” and the text’s “sources,” positing that all signifying systems, from table settings to poems, are constituted by the manner in which they transform earlier signifying systems. A literary work, then, is not simply the product of a single author, but of its relationship to other texts and to the structures of language itself.Any text,” she argues, “is constructed of a mosaic of quotations; any text is the absorption and transformation of another.”

I thought that this notion suited well to our discussion about the two novels.

I also liked the way we discussed the possible madness of Changez and the way it changed the reader’s point of view. In my opinion, it shows the importance of ambiguity in any good novel that doesn’t give one definitive answer but raise multiple questions that foster reader reflection, introspection and imagination.

Here’s my Power Point: The Fall by Albert Camus



One Response to “The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Camus’ The Fall”

  1. Charlotte: Thanks so much for this. This idea of intertextuality will remain important, I suspect, throughout the rest of the semester, particularly given the relationship between Grass’s The Tin Drum and Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.