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Jonathan Culler

Jonathan Culler


Presupposition and Intertextuality

Based on his essay, “Presupposition and Intertextuality,” Jonathan Culler believes that intertextuality is based on presuppositions, which are sets of assumptions that the text requires in order to understand its content. Presupposition is broken into two kinds: logical and pragmatic.

Logical presuppositions relate sentences of a text to another set of sentences. This includes “all the assertions made by a sentence except the assertion made by its surface structure predicate” (Culler 1390).

Pragmatic presuppositions are based on literary conventions, in which text are related to previous sets of texts in terms of elements and style.. They are “defined not on the relations between sentences but on the relations between utterance and situation of utterance” (Culler 1393).

Significant Works 

Culler, Jonathan. “Beyond Interpretation: The Prospects of Contemporary Criticism.” Comparative Literature, vol. 28, no. 3, 1976, pp. 244–256., www.jstor.org/stable/1769220. 

Culler, Jonathan. “Interpretations: Data or Goals?” Poetics Today, vol. 9, no. 2, 1988, pp. 275–290. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1772689.

Culler, Jonathan D. Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Print.

Culler, Jonathan. “Presupposition and Intertextuality.” MLN, vol. 91, no. 6, 1976, pp. 1380–1396. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/2907142.

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