Intertextuality: It’s Everywhere, Even in Presidential Interviews

Donald Trump Interviews Himself | The Tonight Show

In the video clip, Jimmy Fallon becomes the likeness of Donald Trump, right down to the speech and gestures. Throughout the interview with “himself,” Trump answers questions on various subjects that need attention by the next president. The intertext of this interview presupposes we, as the audience, have knowledge that Trump is running for president (and if somebody doesn’t know that, they most likely live under a rock). It is also presupposed that the audience has at least basic knowledge of current political issues, such as illegal immigration and lack of jobs for Americans–two issues Trump (and pseudo-Trump Jimmy Fallon) have “methods” of solving.

There is one portion of intertext we can find relating to the myth written in Ovid’s Metamorphoses of Echo and Narcissus. After a sequence of events that rendered Echo mute except to repeat only the words spoken by others, Narcissus rejects Echo’s love, and so she prays to the goddess of love Aphrodite. Echo disappears, leaving nothing but her voice (so now she is credited with the effect of echoes). Narcissus, meanwhile, rests at a pond, exhausted from hunting. As he leans in to take a drink of the water, he gazes at his reflection and falls in love with himself. As the more-detailed story goes, he wasted away at that pond, forever attempting to grab hold of his own reflection.

This myth coincides with the interview, as it is Trump-look-alike Fallon and Trump himself conversing, a nod toward the word “narcissism,” which means “deep love for oneself.” This suggests (and is reinforced by documentation of events) that Trump is like Narcissus, in love with himself.

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