Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/42865
- What does it mean?: contemplating Rita and desiring dead bodies in two short stories by Raymond Carver
- The University of Newcastle. Faculty of Education & Arts, School of Humanities and Social Science
- In this essay, we shall seek to understand what it is about Carver’s short stories that makes Rajan’s defence of intertextuality as something separate from deconstructive reading and self-reflexive textuality so problematic. Indeed, we hope to show that the dead body of “So Much Water So Close to Home”, the ‘it’ of “Fat” and the body of the fat man himself owe their very ambiguity to the ineluctable coincidence of the singularity of the individual work and the quasi-infinite plurality of its potential readings. It is for this reason, we should suggest, that parallels can be drawn between Julia Kristeva’s one intertext, Michel Riffaterre’s limited number of compulsory intertexts and the multiplicity of Gilles Deleuze’s rhizome. The reading of Carver’s stories is both inside and outside, a text forged at the interface of reader and work because of the active involvement of both, which in the case of the work often lies in a seductive display of passivity. To textuality and intertextuality will thus be added sexuality, the work’s flirtatious demand that the reader inscribe meaning into it. This will then be a story of control and the passionate battle between a work and its reader both to gain and lose control of the text and, ultimately, of themselves.
- Literature & Aesthetics: The Journal of the Sydney Society of Literature and Aesthetics Vol. 18, Issue 2, p. 88-106
- School of Languages and Cultures, University of Sydney
- Resource Type
- journal article