Shakespeare’s mythological feuilletage
A methodological induction
in Interweaving myths in Shakespeare and his contemporaries
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Turning his gaze far upstream, away from the literature of the 1960s and 1970s, Roland Barthes might have taken as archetypal of such feuilletage, or multi-layering, the intertextual practices of classical antiquity. Trans-generic textual transfers not only favour an exploration of gender assumptions, they trigger off a wider process that approaches categories through their permeability. As it plunges its roots into the multi-layered, contrasted textual system of antiquity, Shakespeare's text develops its own all-inclusive, non-discriminatory vision. Based on textual dialogues, it calls for new types of dialogue. The forms of integration that it operates, beyond temporal and cultural differences, favour hybridisation, variegation and contamination in open configurations that emphasise the fluidity of frontiers, whether textual or cultural - so that it might be at least partly thanks to its multi-textuality, itself based on trans-textuality, that Shakespeare's text has become and remains essentially multi-cultural.

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