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Intertextuality has signaled change, appropriation, adaptation, and derivation. It has focused readers on irresolvable questions of influence and origination, progressive or regressive movement across continents, periods, and media. Inhabited by Stories: Critical Essays on Tales Retold takes a different approach. What would a model of literary study look like that steps out of time’s river and embraces not only the presence and proximity of the world to the senses, but also of the past and the future to the present here and now? When stories inhabit us, imagination and memory extend our ability to see and feel. Phenomenological experience is lived, not just thought. Such a perspective suggests that the past and future inhabit the present, increase the depth of sensory perception itself, and enrich the range of our affective and ethical responses. Grounded in the lived experience of reading, this perspective offers an alternative to an idea of intertextuality as simply following lines of influence and appropriation. It focuses on the expansion of experience created by telling and retelling stories. Ironically, for literary theorists and critics, perhaps the highest form of both praise and critique is a tale retold, since such retellings attest to literature’s instructive power and its perennial regeneration.