‘Parties in Converse’: Literary and Economic Dialogue in Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet



In his magisterial study of the interrelations that make up the literary text, Gérard Genette introduces the term ‘paratextuality’, which encompasses the ‘peritext’ (internal ‘devices and conventions’ such as forewords, dedications and prefaces) and the ‘epitext’ (external features such as publishers’ announcements, ‘authorial correspondence’ and ‘oral confidences’ [Genette 1997, 1, 5; Macksey 1997, xviii]). Unconnected to ‘the text within the same volume’, the ‘epitext’ circulates ‘freely, in a virtually limitless physical and social space’ (Genette 1997, 344). But this does not mean, Genette argues, that the ‘epitext’ is ideologically divorced from the host ‘text’; rather, the two inhabit a ‘zone of transition [and] … translation’ — they are in constant dialogue, with the claims of the one informing the other, and the tendencies of the other fashioning the one (ibid., 2). ‘Paratexts’ as a whole are among the elements of culture that prevent the ‘text’ from enjoying a hermetically sealed existence and ‘immutable identity’, and ensure that it partakes of the ‘empirical (sociohistorical) reality of … public [life]’, conversing with its environment and reaching out beyond itself in negotiations with its own meaning and reflections upon its dynamic potential (ibid., 408).


Late Capitalism Camera Shutter Magisterial Study Home Movie Economic Dialogue 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2007

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