Narrative across Media: The Languages of Storytelling

By Marie-Laure Ryan | Go to book overview

7
Literary Film Adaptation and the
Form/Content Dilemma

Kamilla Elliott

The official critical models of literary film adaptation are all formulated on the film’s degree of fidelity to the literary text and have been used by critics both to foster fidelity maxims and to protest them. Geoffrey Wagner’s three models of adaptation—so influential that they have formed the basis for all subsequent formal models—are valued and ranked according to their degree of infidelity to the original. In the 1980s scholars such as Dudley Andrew argued more often for a balanced translation model, in which fidelity to the novel and to the conventions film are honored equally. In the 1990s into the 2000s the fidelity imperative emerges as the arch-villain of adaptation studies (Reynolds; McFarlane; Cartmell and others, Pulping Fictions; Cartmell and Whelehan; and Naremore). Peter Reynolds recommends that adaptations undertake a Marxist subversion of and dialectic with literature, rather than remaining deferent and subsequent to literature (3). Robert Stam advocates resistance to the “elitist prejudices” of fidelity imperatives through Michel Foucault’s demystification of the author, Mikhail Bakhtin’s notion of dialogic exchange, Jacques Derrida’s blasting of the original/copy differential, and Roland Barthes’s semiotic leveling of literature and film alike as “texts” (58). Some protest the fidelity imperative on formal grounds as well. Narratologist Brian McFarlane declares the fidelity preoccupation a “near-fixation,” “unilluminating,” and “a doomed enterprise” (8–9, 194).

Recent poststructuralist and cultural studies scholars argue that some literary critics gravitate toward adaptation studies because they support outmoded theories, such as New Criticism, and politically conservative theories, such as humanism, and foster a retrograde entrenchment of the literary canon and of classic literature against the rising tide of popular culture and cultural studies (J. O. Thompson 12). But surveying the crit-

-220-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Narrative across Media: The Languages of Storytelling
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 422

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.