In The Witch’s Boy (2005), by Michael Gruber, fairy-tale intertexts are skillfully hidden, foreshadowed, and successively revealed in the text; they are fractured, deconstructed, and reassembled in a both fascinating and disturbing manner. While intertextuality is frequently regarded as enhancing the artistic qualities of a literary text, it is at the same time a means of manipulating readers toward specific interpretations. Some intertexts of The Witch’s Boy are explicit, some hinted at, yet others demand deeper acquaintance with intertexts. With the help of various intertextual and reader-response theories, the essay explores how the novel invites readers to participate in a game of (mis)recognition and (mis)interpretation.
Nikolajeva, Maria. "“I Spy Rumpelstiltskin”: Playing Games with the Reader in The Witch’s Boy." Marvels & Tales 25.2 (2011). Web. <https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/marvels/vol25/iss2/9>.