This is the first in a planned series of articles that will deconstruct the Madeleine McCann story. The study of this story has traditionally been undertaken by those trying to solve the mystery of what happened to Madeleine? I am offering something different, a textual study that will reveal the story of Madeleine McCann to be a construction of allusion and intertext.
“Intertext – a text that is related to one or more other texts through the use of allusions to these texts.”
Too often individual allusions within the Madeleine McCann story have been considered in isolation and regularly dismissed as coincidence, but to understand the work correctly we must consider the bigger picture. Once exposed to the extravagance of these allusions, the reader is drawn away from the original story and towards the creativity of the writer.
Due to the sheer volume of these literary inventions one can only conclude that invention itself is central to the project / the story of Madeline McCann. The discovery of these inventions, I believe, is the primary purpose for which the work was created, to be admired by a small knowing audience yet remain unseen by everyone else.
I will offer many examples of creative play that will serve as background to the arguments put forward. The writer of ‘Madeleine’ was not the victim of circumstance challenged with the manipulation of reality, he is the willing and able manipulator of source material. This is why he is able to create names, places and situations that perfectly match his creative intentions.
To understand the story of ‘Madeleine’ we must not ignore these allusions as unwelcome intrusions into a factual story, but foreground them as central to the project of author and audience.
I will now reveal the literary texts / source materials that the author draws upon to construct the Madeleine McCann story and demonstrate the ingenious allusions he has devised.
Please read to the end.