Date of Award

1990

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Mary Frances HopKins

Abstract

This study argues for a methodology that applies contemporary theories of literature and performance to a certain kind of performance script I call a seamless intertext. Working deductively from theory to dramatic text, I explore what selected portions of extant performance and textual theory have to offer in examining, describing, and explaining these seamless intertexts. Working inductively from dramatic text to theory, I extend and offer further clarification and an extension of current theory through a more detailed explanation of the scripting explicit in each dramatic text. In the study I synthesize existing theory in intertextuality and define and describe several types of intrinsic intertexts: re-contextualized works, allusions, cultural discourse, and found discourse. In addition, I apply concepts derived from the theories of Beverly Long, Robert Scholes, Catherine Belsey, and Mikhail Bakhtin in order to examine, describe, and analyze three seamless intertexts. I then offer further clarification of these scripts and further refinement of current theory through a more detailed explanation of the scripting explicit in each dramatic text. The study examines three seamless intertexts: M.Butterfly by David H. Hwang, As Is by William M. Hoffman, and Execution of Justice by Emily Mann. The choice of these three dramatic texts is appropriate to the study because they feature the basic characteristics of a seamless intertext. First, they have been written for public performance, their primary form being print. Second, parts of these scripts are stitched together from a number of identifiable sources, forming a stratification of discourses. Third, the parts are not featured: in fact, they may not be discernable without close analysis. In each analysis, I discuss the playwrights' creation of readings, interpretations, or criticisms from the intrinsic intertexts they include in their works. I then argue that through the re-contextualizing of these texts, these authors attempt to push the audience to read these seamless intertexts as declarative or interrogative texts. I also look at the arrangement of intrinsic intertexts in terms of their function and try to account for the rhetorical effects that might be produced in each.

Pages

240

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