IJLLL 2016 Vol.2(1): 1-4 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2016.2.1.57

Murdoch and Canetti: A Woman’s Writing and the Economy of Intertextual Appropriation

Fiona Tomkinson
Abstract—The paper discusses Iris Murdoch’s novel A Severed Head in terms of some of its intertextual resonances and, in particular, in terms of Murdoch’s indirect references to Elias Canetti’s Auto da Fé. Though the relationship between Murdoch and Canetti has been much discussed, this hidden dialogue with him has, to my knowledge, been hitherto undetected. I begin by placing my analysis in the context of the functioning of intertextuality in Murdoch’s oeuvre in general. I then argue that these particular references function as a coded message to Canetti which is both a secret love-letter to her enchanter-figure par excellence and a means of incorporating and overcoming him.

Index Terms—Murdoch, Canetti, intertextuality, women’s writing.

F. G. Tomkinson is with the English Language and Literature Department, Yeditepe University, Turkey (e-mail: fgtomkinson@yahoo.co.uk).

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Cite:Fiona Tomkinson, "Murdoch and Canetti: A Woman’s Writing and the Economy of Intertextual Appropriation," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1-4, 2016.

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