The Permeable Self: A Theory of Cinematic Quotation

Chelsey Crawford


This essay seeks to define and conceptualize cinematic quotation against scholarship that positions the auteur as the locus of meaning for a given film, especially with respect to any intertextual references. By troubling a reliance on frameworks of pathological, singular control and revealing their inability to define the specific characteristics of quotation - beyond merely thinking of it as one form of allusion or intertextuality - this essay argues that an ontological friction is inherent to instances of cinematic quotation. By utilizing Jean-Luc Nancy's ontology, I am able to reveal the problematic nature of positing a singular, authorial voice in cinema or, more broadly, of assuming a singular subject at all. What is at stake in instances of cinematic quotation, as this essay shows, is the revelation that our being cannot be thought of in singular terms because we are always already both singular and plural, despite our attempts to escape such knowledge.


Nancy; Quotation; Ontology; Psycho

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