‘Like a donkey carrying books’
Intertextuality and impoliteness in Arabic online reader responses
This study aims to show how intertextuality is exploited as an impoliteness resource in online reader comments on the website of a London-based pan-Arab Arabic-language daily newspaper. Analysis of 140 reader responses containing impolite references shows that readers called upon and appropriated the language and imagery of impolite and culturally salient prior texts from four sources to perform impoliteness: traditional scriptures, historical texts, poetic texts, and popular proverbs. The use and reception of these impolite intertextualities rely on familiarity with the intertextual source in question. The creative recycling of privileged authoritative texts, use of metaphorical language, invoking of gender identity, and reproducing of particular ideologies played a pivotal role in performing this intertextual impoliteness. The perception of such intertextual impoliteness is crucially influenced by culture as a “general text” (Kristeva 1980) that adds to the complexity of impoliteness when analyzed within a culture-specific context.
Keywords: intertextuality, impoliteness, face, identity, online reader responses, Arab politics
Published online: 04 July 2019
Abdulla, Rasha A.
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2010 “Intertextual Borrowings in Ideologically Competing Discourses: The Case of the Middle East.” Journal of Intercultural Communication 22. http://www.immi.se/intercultural/nr22/badarneh.htm (Accessed April 12, 2019).
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Badarneh, Muhammad A.
Badarneh, Muhammad A., and Fathi Migdadi
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Briggs, Charles L., and Richard Bauman
Brown, Penelope, and Stephen C. Levinson
Bucholtz, Mary, and Kira Hall
Culpeper, Jonathan, Derek Bousfield, and Anne Wichmann
Dashti, Ali, Ali Al-Kandari, and Hamed Al-Abdullah
Deheuvels, Luc-Willy, Barbara Michalak-Pikulska, and Paul Starkey
Demjén, Zsófia, and Claire Hardaker
Douai, Aziz, and Hala K. Nofal
Garcés-Conejos Blitvich, Pilar
Garcés-Conejos Blitvich, Pilar, and Maria Sifianou
Gee, James Paul
Graham, Sage L., and Claire Hardaker
Hardaker, Claire, and Mark McGlashan
Hughey, Matthew W., and Jessie Daniels
Kádár, Dániel Z.
Kádár, Dániel Z., and Michael Haugh
Ksiazek, Thomas, Limor Peer, and Andrew Zivic
Leppänen, Sirpa, Samu Kytölä, Henna Jousmäki, Saija Peuronen, and Elina Westinen
Locher, Miriam A.
Locher, Miriam A., and Richard J. Watts
Lorenzo-Dus, Nuria, Pilar Garcés-Conejos Blitvich, and Patricia Bou-Franch
McCluskey, Michael, and Jay Hmielowski
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Thurlow, Crispin, and Kristine Mroczek
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Tutaş, Nazan, and Nihal Demirkol Azak
Upadhyay, Shiv R.
Van Gelder, Geert Jan