Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Comparative Literature


Professor Elias Polizoes


This thesis explores three aspect of postmodern aesthetics: intertextuality, pastiche, and allegory. The role that intertextuality plays in postmodernism is analyzed in Bartleby & Co. (2000), a novel by Vila-Matas. This analysis draws upon and critiques Julia Kristeva's understanding of intertextuality, and is prefaced with a consideration of medieval and modernist intertextuality. Postmodern pastiche is analyzed with reference to Cindy Sherman's "History Portraits" and "Untitled Film Stills," while Cristina Peri Rossi's The Ship of Fools (1984) provides the context in which to explore allegory. In the chapter dedicated to pastiche, I challenge the way in which Linda Hutcheon and Fredric Jameson understand this term and argue that postmodern pastiche has a historical and

semantic dimension that these critics do not account for. The chapter on allegory is in­ formed by the work of Paul de Man and Craig Owens.



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