The elusive allusive : the use of allusion and quotation as acts of authorship in playwriting

Riordan, Michael Patrick (2006) The elusive allusive : the use of allusion and quotation as acts of authorship in playwriting. PhD by Creative Works, Queensland University of Technology.

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Abstract

This project examines the ways in which allusion and quotation may be used by playwrights in the composition of play scripts, principally through the writing of two full length stage plays, String and The Talent, accompanied by a supporting exegesis. This exegesis examines how quotation and allusion are used in these works to support particular meanings intended by the author.

The project also looks at theories that consider the ways allusion functions, particularly focusing on the debate in the field between the advocates of the theories of influence and intertextuality. It does not attempt to provide an historical overview nor an exhaustive investigation of the development of the major theories and their advocates, but rather to consider more summarily - in outline rather than in detail - the manner in which these ideas have set out to explain how allusion functions in texts.

This project suggests its own theory on the way (particularly literary) allusion works. Transtextuality, although itself only a partial and incomplete means of explaining the allusive transaction, refers to the movement of language between texts. Allusion offers a mechanism by which authors of a new text may underscore intended meaning by reference to established texts based on the assumption that the meaning of the quoted text is already understood (or can easily be accessed), and that therefore that meaning is transferable to the new text and can be absorbed into the different context into which it has been placed.

The purpose of this study is in part to examine the way allusion works as a practice of intertextuality, transtextuality and the influence of one or more texts upon another. It concludes that allusion to and quotation from one text by another operate as acts of authorship, literary devices employed by the writer as mechanisms for the attempted communication of intended meaning. In doing so, it is hoped that the project may articulate ways in which allusion and quotation can be used by playwrights in the composition of their dramaturgy.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16222
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Creative Works)
Supervisor: Makeham, Paul & Glover, Stuart
Keywords: allusion, quotation, mimesis, playwriting, dramaturgy, influence, intertextuality, transtextuality. poststructuralism
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Department: Faculty of Creative Industries
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Michael Patrick Riordan
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:58
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:44

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