Intertextuality and the Plea for Plurality in Ali Smith's Autumn
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This thesis analyses the way in which intertextuality plays a role in Ali Smith’s Autumn. A discussion of the reception and some readings of the novel show that not much attention has been paid yet to intertextuality in Autumn, or in Smith’s other novels, for that matter. By discussing different theories of the term and highlighting the influence of Bakhtin’s dialogism on intertextuality, this thesis shows that both concepts support an important theme present in Autumn: an awareness and acceptance of different perspectives and voices. Through a close reading, this thesis analyses how this idea is presented in the novel. It argues that Autumn advocates an open-mindedness and shows that, in the novel, this is achieved through a dialogue. This can mainly be seen in scenes where the main characters Elisabeth and Daniel are discussing stories. The novel also shows the reverse of this liberalism: when marginalised voices are silenced. Subsequently, as the story illustrates the state of the UK just before and after the 2016 EU referendum, Autumn demonstrates that the need for a dialogue is more urgent than ever.