British Intertextuality and the Criminal Classes…

The generally unreadable post-structuralist Julia Kristeva argued that no ‘text” can ever be completely free of other ‘texts’.”It will always involved in what she has termed the intertextuality of all writings.” And, as you would expect, turning to Wiki, a dodgy research tool for the lazy, we see Kristeva’s point being expanded by one Stanley Fishe who:

“…made a distinction between what he labels ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ intertextuality. Horizontal intertextuality denotes references that are on the ‘same level’ i.e. when books make references to other books, whereas vertical intertextuality is found when, say, a book makes a reference to film or song or vice versa.”

Now without exploring this nonsense further, let’s accept the fact Kristeva was on to something well before the advent of the internet and social media, where this process of intertextuality has become almost de rigeur.

My favourite fun example of a film referencing a precursor text was perhaps found in Guy Richie’s Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrel with Rory Breaker, the Black drug lord brandishing two pistols, as he leapt out of the van to retrieve his diverted THC supplies.

The Harder They Come

Rory Breaker who bears an uncanny likeness to Little Richard

Now and without making a meal of it, did a search on British crime families and came up with the following:

Meet the Johnson’s: Britain’s No 1 crime family HERE.

How about the Fox family in Glasgow HERE, who sound like total shytes and the neighbours from hell.

British crime families come in every configuration and ethnicity and the list is endless, even if the list is dominated by the ‘gangster chic’of the Krays. And here I recommend Jake Arnott’s truly hilarious depictions of Jack ‘The Hat” McVitie, Joe Meek the psychotic record producer and Lord Teddy Thursby in his trilogy discussed HERE. Arnott does a stellar fictional job in capturing high and low social currents within British culture from the late ’50s forward. Arnott is to be further applauded for the large buggery quotient written into his various narratives, a fact of British cultural life whatever the social class. (Even now, David Cameron is busy burying his pillow-biter boarding school past.)

To be continued with referenced links.

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2 Responses to “British Intertextuality and the Criminal Classes…”

  1. foarp Says:

    I once sat through an hour-long presentation on copyright and the ‘mediation’ of the media, in which intertextuality was a much-throw-about buzzword. I, and pretty much every other law student there, promised ourselves at that instant that we would never listen to or read anything from the useless world of media-studies, and from then until now I have kept this promise.

    Unfortunately, I simply cannot resist reading anything about gangsters. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

    Relevant documentary footage:

  2. kingtubby1 Says:

    That takes me back. To the best of my knowledge, the Piranha Bros are now doing porridge.

    I know. I know. Media and film theory is wankers central, but the latter provided me with a serious rationale for untold hours watching movie pictures. Finished off my film education in Fuzhou, which had all manner of * high quality bootlegs* on sale covering every epoch of cinematic history and most countries.

    Ever walked thru customs with over a 1000 dvds in your backpack? The bloody customs beagle was on the job however, and it confiscated my packet of cashews.

    Better finish that post then…

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