Academic journal article Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

Artistic Adaptations: Approaches and Positions

Academic journal article Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

Artistic Adaptations: Approaches and Positions

Article excerpt

Literary works have been subjected to transformation and adapted to new contexts and mediums since time immemorial. Folktales have moved from one place to another--their structures and stylistics getting modified as they migrated. Canonical writers, such as Shakespeare, appropriated historical records and rewrote them as literary texts, and these, in turn, were reappropriated and recontextualized. Poems have been turned into songs, dramatic plays into operas, and novels into films. How does change of a source take place in a new context and medium? And how does the dialectic between a root-source and its modification work?

This issue of Alif offers examples of different modes of adaptation and appropriation, while analyzing the subtle mechanisms of creativity and reception esthetics. The articles cover the transformation of ritual into installation art, the erotic prelude of the qasida (pre-Islamic ode) into a mystical treatise, a Sufi poem into video art, and an Arabian Nights tale into a feminist allegory, not to mention narratives adapted for the screen, political agendas into disseminated literary texts, sacred figures into fictional protagonists, and translations that take such liberties that they become adaptations. …

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