Intertextuality in Arabic Criticism: Saadi Yousef’s Mobile Model as an Example

Jamal Assadi, Mahmoud Naamneh


This article traces the development of the notion of intertextuality among modern Arab critics back to its roots in the Western critical theory. It also studies the hypothesis, which supports the presence of a special mythological intertextuality in the poetry of Saadi Yousef, the modern Iraqi poet. His mythological intertextuality is manifested in the composition, and content of his poetry. In the process of employing the device of intertextuality, Saadi invests ancient Iraqi myths. This article, in which we will discuss the famous Babylonian myth known as Gilgamesh Epic, will refer to Saadi’s use of this device as “the intertextuality of the mobile model.” Compared with conventional types of intertextuality, this type combines between the past text, that is the myth, and the present text, i. e. the poem through three axes. First, the investment of a past myth to serve present purposes; second, the employment of a past myth to read the present and the third axis entails the use of the present for the sake of influencing the present text. The purpose is to illustrate the benefits of the past myths and the mechanisms employed by Saadi Yousef and to examine the goals that have motivated the poet to choose one of the most ancient texts written at all.


Intertextuality, Mythological Intertextuality, Emergence of Intertextuality, Babylonian Myth Gilgamesh Epic Saadi Yousef’s Model of Intertextuality

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