Brian W. Davidson

teacher @highlandslatin,

PhD candidate @sbts,

research expert @sbtslibrary

Insights from My Wife on Intertextuality

I walked into the room and said to her, "I'm gonna take a shower." She responded, "What you do, do quickly."

I stopped dead in my tracks, turned, and stared at her for a moment with squinted eyes. "Did you just call me Judas?"

She giggled and said, "Nooo. I just used Jesus' words to say, 'I gotta get ready too, so hurry up.'"

Though I immediately imported the broader context of John 13, that wasn't her intent. She merely used the allusion to add "emotive punch"--in this case, playfulness. Sometimes the punch is dependent upon the subtle carryover of the broader context. Not in this case. I stood seconds from the original utterance and shared a very similar worldview with the speaker, yet the meaning of the allusion was not quite clear.

Nevertheless, the allusion, the emotive punch, was effective. Wasn't it?

Intertextual connections are a little more elusive than I sometimes imagine, at least at the level of authorial intent.

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