English Department
Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo
Intertextuality as the interdependence of a text on another is intertwined with literary criticism. In its attempt to appraise texts, it generates other texts, as almost all works are anchored on the ones that had gone before them. As the major developmental problem that faces all African nations today is national integration, intertextuality is applied as solution using the hermeneutics aesthetics to give relevance to classical works in contemporary setting. The challenge is for the intertextual critic to re-create setting, characters and plots with national outlook as against the dominant ones today that have ethnic bases attached to them. There is also the need for the intellectuals as writers and critics to have a unified front in their quest for a Pax Africana via national integration. There is need to use their creative ingenuity as a weapon to formulate an African literary aesthetics that fosters national cohesion in all African states.

Intertextuality would hardly have existed without literary criticism. Intertextuality as a terminology was evolved by a French feminist, a formalist and psycho-analytic theorist-Julia Kristeva in 1966 to indicate “the interdependence of literary works”. Intertextuality is the presence, re-echoing or resonance of a text in another one that had gone before it.

          Cuddon (1977) cited in Ikerionwu and Atodo (2010) says that intertextuality is “the interdependence of any literary text with all those that have gone before it… a literary text is not an isolated phenomenon but is made up of a mosaic of quotations and transpositions of another text”. From the above, Cuddon agrees with Kristeva that “all texts are made from multiple
transpositions of other texts (literary and non-literary). The sources of literary works could be from religious, historical or secular background.
          Literary criticism, according to Roger Webster is concerned with the

Reading, analysis, amplification and interpretation of/and commentary on a specific text or texts which have been designated as literature/literary…. It is practiced by professional critics and circulated in published form in books and journals, it is also practiced by all students of literature in essays, examination answers or dissertations.

Literary criticism does not only depend on literature for its existence because it generates works classified as ‘literature’ on its own. It is also criticism that gives value to literature, and has helped to define it. According to Webster, (1996:8) there would be no literature as we understand the term without literary criticism.
          Integration, according to Longman dictionary, is the “process of getting people of different races to live and work together instead of separately. Nwabueze (2005) sees integration as involving the
“removal of barriers that cause segregation. It involves unification and co-operation…method of combining separate parts into one monolithic entity,… an integrationist is an apostle of unification, amalgamation, consolidation, homogenization and concatenation. Without integration, there is bound to be disintegration which causes  cultural confusion”.

          National integration therefore refers to the process of getting the various people (ethnic, religious and racial) that constitute a nation together, consolidated and united for the common purpose of development for the citizenry.

Intertextuality: Its Levels and Uses
          Intertextuality occurs in diverse forms and levels. It could be in the form of intertextual resonance, textual linkage, plagiarism, literary echoes, literary adaptations, literary transplanting and literary corrections.
          Intertextual works are at times used as rejoinders to correct some impressions created in earlier works. The British female poet-Wendy Cope in her ‘Sonnet’ used the poet persona, Jason Strugnel, to attack and disprove William Shakespeare’s views and assertion about love as ‘constant’ and everlasting, thus, her two poems-“Let me not in the marriage of true Swine’ and “Not only Gold but packets of Cornflakes”. These two poems were used as Parody against Shakespeare’s earlier poems ‘Let me not in the marriage of true minds; and “Nor Gold, Nor guided monuments”, respectively.
          J.P. Clark’s ‘Abiku’ pushed Wole Soyinka to write his own ‘Abiku’ poem to correct impressions created by the former.
Femi Osofisan’s No More the Waster Breed is an intertextual response to Soyinka’s The Strong Breed. Osofisan seeks to prove that the ‘carrier’ syndrome that seeks to make the poor a heroic scapegoat or sacrificial lamb for the gods is neither heroism nor patriotism, but suicide due to ignorance and stupidity. This is a sharp contrast to Soyinka’s The Strong Breed, that not eulogizes but mythologizes the “carrier’ as a hero.
          Achebe’s Things Fall Apart may never have existed if Joyce Carey’s Mister Johnson had not instigated it; while Odia Ofeimun’s The Poet Lied, a poetry collection was a reply to the writings of many an artist who sits on the fence on some burning critical issues concerning humanity.
          Intertextuality could also be used to replicate or adapt similar experiences in another setting. Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart has its title as a literary echo from W.B. Yeats poem - ‘The second coming’. Even the plot of the novel (which is in tandem with the tradition of the Aristotelian tragedy) is a literary transplanting of Thomas Hardy’s plot in Mayor of Csterbridge. Michael Henchard, the hero in Mayor of Caster bridge, starts life with nothing but through hard work, with dints of stoicism, and fear of being a failure, achieves success in the society, before human faults of his make him commit some blunders which reverse his fortune and sends him back to the status quo ante, and eventual death.
          Okonkwo, in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart starts life with nothing, his father beings loafer, but through his personal efforts climbs to the top of societal ranking. However, the fear of being thought weak and his quick-tempered nature lead him into hasty actions that finally spell his doom.
          Abraham Lincoln’s “Address at the Dedication of the National cemetery at Gettysburg in 1863” is textually related to Pericles Oration- “On the causes of Athenian Greatness’ delivered by Pericles at the Public funeral of the Athenian solders killed in the First year of the Peloponnesian War, 431 BC.
          Martin Luther King Jnr’s speech-“I have A Dream” in 1963 has an intertextual linkage with Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation speech. Even Barack Obama’s inaugural speech on 20th January 2009, has some literary resonance with John F. Kennedy’s 20th January 1961 inaugural speech.
          Christopher Okigbo’s poem ‘Mother Idoto’ in Heavensgate is textually related to the Biblical story of the prodigal Son.
          Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Area Not to Blame is an intertextual adaptation of the Greek dramatist, Sophocles’ play Oedipus The King,. Sutherland’s Edufa is an intertextual resonance Euripides’ Alcestis; while Alex Laguma’s novella – A Walk In The Night has a literary linkage with Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
          Ngugi’s Weep Not Child echoes Whitman’s poem ‘On the Beach at Night; while Achebe’s No Longer At Ease echoes T.S. Eliots “The Journey of the Magi” which shows the change of the “old dispensation” Even Bessie Head’s work-Question of Power has classical linkage  as noticeable in the use of Theseus-the Roman archetypal hero who rescued the imprisoned maiden -Andromeda.
          However, the major concerns of this paper are as follows – what are the major impacts of intertextuatity as an aspect of criticism in our society? Are the intertextual criticisms in line with ethical standards? How successful has intertextuality been in National Integration? And, what are the ways forward?
          As already stated, intertextuality could be used to correct some impressions or already established opinions of writers in earlier works; and it could also be used by writers to align themselves with the views of the previous writers through the re-creating of similar experiences and styles in their own. (later) generation works. The writer in intertextual critical work is discharging his obligation as a watchdog and mirror of the society. Accordingly,
The poet’s work is to name the un-nameable,
Point at friends; to take sides;
Start arguments, shape the world,
And stop it going to sleep
Those were the words of Salman Rusdie, the (un)repentant Indian-born British author of the controversial text- Satanic verses, the intertextual critical book that labeled him an anathema in the views of the conservative dogmatic Islamic world of the Mullahs headed by the Ayatollahs. His critical comments on the Quoran earned him the ‘fatwa’ – a death sentence that kept him in hiding for years till it was reversed. The critic is always awake to the duty of checking the excesses of people and writers as portrayed in their writings with a view to stabilizing the polity. The pains of literary criticism are the sacrifice for the stabilization, thus, ‘eternal vigilance is the price of liberty’.
          Intertextuality gives rise to the growth of satellite texts or critical commentaries, reviews, and exegeses of various kinds. These satellite texts are part of the reader-response (as evident in Reader - Response criticism). The reader as an embodiment of satellite text is part of the meaning of a text, because a text is meaningful when it is read, and you form past of the meaning process when you read it. We read it to encompass in our explanations what others have thought it meant, and what values other people have said they found in it. Every text, except formulaic one is a highly complex object. But “literary text is often one that ha time to grow, with new dimension or complexity added to it, as it has become a host to further texts that would not have existed without it”. Thus, the series – African Literature Today, edited by Durosimi Jones, African and World Literature (AWL) edited by Okoro Fidelis & Akwanya A.N. as well as Okike journal, and a host of others would not have existed if the literary works treated in them were not written. Impliedly, intertextuallity gives rise to the growth of literary scholarship in the society.
          However, to what extent have these criticisms been in line with critical ethical standards? An objective critical standard guarantees that the criticism should be issue-driven and not personality-driven. Intertextuality, and indeed criticism should see literary writing as a ‘text’ and not a ‘work’. ‘Work’ according to Webster,
Has the sense of an artifact over which the author has total control and which reinforces the traditional model of intentionality and an author-centred approach to interpretation.

The ‘author-centred approach’ tallies with T.S.  Eliot’s views that the author is “an individual genius, a fountain of imagination and creativity producing original writing”. This, according to Rowland Barthes is ‘a romanticized view of literary production’.
          ‘Textuality’ in Rowland Barthes’ view implies that the author is not seen as the main producer of the text, nor is he/she…identified with it. Thus,

He becomes, as it were, a paper author:
His life is no longer the origin of his fictions,
but a fiction contributing to his work…the
‘I’, which writes the text, it too, is never more than a paper ‘I’

According to him (i.e. Barthes), it is the ‘language’ (text) which speaks and not the author. Webster says that “the text became reified, an object and end in itself rather than merely a transparent window on to the author”.
          Buttressing his views on relevance of the ‘text’ over the ‘author’ Barthes says,
Once a text is in circulation, the umbilical cord…between the author and text is cut, and the text lives an independent existence… The multiplicity of meanings which make up a text is focused not on the author, but on the reader: a text’s unity lies not in its origin but its destination-‘the reader’… The birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author.

Literary criticism, therefore should be focused on the text, as this addresses the issues raised; and should not be directed on the author, who is already absolved by the deconstructionist Reader-Response theory and criticism, as any such diatribe downgrades the weight of criticism to personality bickering and not issue-driven, a negation of the ethics of objective criticism.
          The critics in Nigerian and African situation in their intertextual responses had always been concerned with issues in the ‘text’ and not persons behind the ‘text’. To this end, they have adopted the hermeneutics approach to criticism, via intertextyality. Hermeneutics, according to Nwabueze (2005).
Involves the classification and distortions and obscurities that arise as a result of past conclusions that may have become obsolete, and ensures the preservation of the text despite changes in language and attitude to scholarship. The aim is not to determine the literary meaning of a text but to reintegrate a canonical or significant text into the present time by reformulating it…to make it relevant and valid to a new generation.

It is in recognition of the above that modern writers and critics have chosen to reconstruct some classical works and place them in contemporary or modern historical setting. They do this through translations and adaptations as they re-create the old works to suit the contemporary age. Professor Emeka Nwabueze adapted Achebe’s Arrow of God in his in an inter-genre dramatic work- when the Arrow Rebounds. Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is also reconstructed in the African serial movie-Okonkwo.
          Ola Rotimi not only recreates but helps to universalize the Greek belief in the supremacy of fate through The Gods Are Not to Blame, an African adaptation of Sophocles” Oedipus The King.
          Wole Soyinka’s The  strong Breed  which idolizes heroism anchored in an ageing and antiquated historical past that mythologizes the ‘carrier hero’ for yielding himself as a food for the gods (an indirect glorification of suicide) is intertextually responded to by Fermi Osofisan in No More the Wasted Bread. Here, there is a reversal of the ‘carrier’ syndrome through Marist revolutionary aesthetics that liberates the poor from the strangulating grip of religion or the gods. Soyinka’s historical and religious idealism has been reconstructed and reformulated with subversions to make it ‘relevant and valid to the ‘new and contemporary generation.
          The critics approach of viewing the text objectively without recourse to the author which is typical of the Reader - Response ethical standards in criticism, serve for national integration. Intertextuality as literary art in parade addresses the problems of society and wishes for the establishment of society with “mammalian brain, characterized by insights, intuitions, and self-sacrifice, with consciously sustained thought and ability to abstract and synthesize”.
          Indifference to criticism is indicative of backwardness. A progressive society must appreciate the role of the literary text and criticism in its development strides, as artistic crafting is aimed at informing and changing the society. The writer’s work is aimed at the reader, and at a wider level-the nation. The intertextualist as a critic “is philosopher, a historical witness, psychologist … a teacher and, a custodian of the moral conscience of the society”. Accordingly intertextuality as literary criticism should, reconstruct ethnic character heroes as national heroes in their contemporary literary works. In drama as in other genres, the adapted or re-echoed works like Nwabueze’s When The Arrow Rebounds, Rotimi’s the Gods Are Not to blame and Osofisans’ No more the Wasted Breed have ethnic heroes, namely, Ezeulu, Odewale and Biokun respectively. Even Achebe’s post independence novels- A Man Of The People and Anthills Of The Savannah which have Chris Oriko and Chief Nanga respectively as their heroes, according to Nwabueze.

Though embedded with national setting but grounded in ethnic bases… can be made to transcend ethnic bases to assume the role of national heroes.

From most available literary works, our literature could best be described as ethnic or regional literature. It should therefore move towards the centre- (national level). Just as the American writer, Herman Melville in Moby Dick depicted the American spirit, the Nigerian literary artist in intertextual reconstruction should portray the Nigerian national (not ethnic) spirit.
          National integration has to do with citizenship. All citizens must see themselves as brothers and sisters no matter their states and local government areas of origin. The concept of non-indigene for citizens of the same country negates the spirit of national integration. Just as Oedipus is granted citizenship of Thebes for finding answer the ‘riddle of the sphinx’ in Greece, thereby saving the citizens of imminent disaster, ‘notions of citizenship’ in African State (especially in Nigeria) should be structured in such a way that people are accorded rights of citizenship where the live in order to ensure national integration”. This is also anchored in the American Dream which reflects American spirit.  
          Even Ola Rotimi’s adaptation of the same Sophoeles’ Oedipus The King still presents to the audience a hero with tribal feelings as not belonging to a place he was been granted citizenship, even as king, (in The Gods Are Not to Blame) Intertextual adaptation should reflect plots or storylines whose characters exhibit attributes that are not peripheral but centripetal.
          Modern literary writing evolved from oral tradition that universalizes characters and ideas. The use of animal characters remove works form ethnic characterization, while the location of actions across seven rivers, and in the moon and sky removes the text from a given ethnic locale and rather gives it universal setting. This ensures that setting does not encumber interpretation. Our modern literature should be reconstructed to use the oral literary form which ‘stresses unity and integration (negated by the modern literary tradition).
          In order to conquer the problem of parochialism and achieve ‘university in writing’, the intertextual critic has to make use of archetypes of universal heroes, otherwise known as monomyth. Here, the world hero.
‘Appears to represent humanity in idealized form: special, nearly god like, destined for better things, but beset by incredible obstacles. Though, he may not be morally perfect and does not always triumph, his characteristics are universal rather than peculiar’.

On language, the use of English as a medium of literary expression should not be a disadvantage to the reader because the language as a tool for national integration should be used in such as way that it conveys meaning without distorting the uniqueness of the situation, or the intelligibility of the language. The English language as a world language has been subjected to different forms of use. Since we have American English, Standard British English, the Nigerian English should not be totally unrealistic. The English language, now domesticated, should be used to convey national ideals.
          However, the theory of reconstruction is best applicable for national integration. As a critical theory that stresses that the text be perceived on its own without recourse to the author, asserting the individuality of the text, disregarding that of the author, is best for national integration. This is because, due to;
The multiplicity of ethnic groups in the country, concentration on the text and not the author or his environment will make for national integration because the critic will be forced in the process to project national issues. Concentration on the text yield meaning to the consumer of the creative work without putting him into the contradiction, which the prejudiced attitude to the author imposes on him (Nwabueze: 2005)

          The leading way forward is for the cessation of hostilities amongst the literary icons and intellectuals. The intellectual hostilities may have been based on the polarity among scholars anchored on their individual intertextual and intellectual egoistic display of knowledge in their attempts to offer practical explanations to some theoretical principles. These differences have led to the formation of intellectual blocs, with each bloc claiming superiority over the other. These have created cold war among themselves. The
“Ashiwaju” and the “Ogbuefi” of African literature (as authors cum/critics) should get their divisive differences and tendencies interred, and come up with unifying ideals that promote national integration. However, “unity does not mean that differences cease to exist… but they are accommodated for the interest of all concerned” (Ojukwu, 1986).
          The critics of African literature, on the other land, should address the African felt realistic problem of unity or national integration, and avoid muscle-flexing. The ‘Bolekaja’ of Africa literature should now face the issue of national interaction within African states (their opponents having failed to accept the intellectual challenge of coming up with a rejoinder several decades after). It is expected that the trio, led by Chinweizu, as unquestionable intellectual power-house, should come put with African literary aesthetics that addresses national cohesion within African States. They, together with others should sheathe their dissecting intellectual swords, and do away with issues that are centrifugally oriented at the expense of the much needed centripetal pull towards national integration.
          In conclusion, intertextuality has been proved to be an aspect of literary criticism, as it has led to the growth of literary works, much of which would never have being without the previous ones. However for intertextuality to be useful in national integration, it must be ‘text’ or issue-driven, not author or personality centered. The literary icons and critics of African literature must be truly reconciled among themselves’, as they jettison their divisive differences into the garbage sea in quest of true nationhood, by formulating a positive African literary aesthetics that would foster literary creativity which promotes national integration among members of African states.

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