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Hypertextuality And The "Parabiblical" Dead Sea Scrolls

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Chapter Summary

The term "paratext," preferred by some scholars, might be suitable for speaking of some kinds of literary activity, but it is not really adequate for the task of categorizing literary activity that involves imitation and dependence of one sort or another. By paratextuality Gérard Genette indicates all the "liminal devices and conventions, both within the book and outside it, that mediate the book to the reader: titles and subtitles, pseudonyms, forewords, dedications, epigraphs, prefaces, intertitles, notes, epilogues, and afterwords". Some of these items are preserved in the Dead Sea Scrolls, but it is wrong to suggest that the move from parabiblical to paratextual can be made by the scholar of ancient Jewish texts without causing confusion. Thus the label to be preferred is "hypertext;" it is this term that seems to be useful for insisting that texts are related to other texts interpretatively, a fact which can easily be forgotten.

Keywords: hypertext; parabiblical Dead Sea Scrolls; paratextuality



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