Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fordier and Fischlin

What makes a (good) adaptation?
·         Evolution of adaptations, what time period took on what role with adaptations?
o   1700’s the plays were called imitations, alterations-historically limited
o   Adaptation, addition of scenes, implies new is better than old
o   Spinoffs- Hollywood tradaptations- language
o   Is there a decent label to put on these texts?
o   Appropriation, off shoot, ripoff… whats the proper word? Does it even matter? Are they synonymous?
·         What makes the adaptation good?
o   Does it have to be effective in conveying an image to the target audience? Are there strictly personal gains to each adaptation? Is there one, underlying intention of the adaptations, or is there no specific intention.
o   What makes adaptations of Shakespeare still desirable after 400 years? \
o   Is there a theatrical aspect to all adaptations?
§  Adaptations are the theatrical practices with intertextual experiences b/c theater must interpret the ambiguities, they must be biased and one sided
o   What defines the effectiveness of an adaptation
·         Who can make a good adaptation? Or rather, are there specific qualities that people can have to make a good adaptation (i.e. strong beliefs, extensive knowledge of Shakespeare)
o   Does a person have to be a Shakespeare expert to use him? Or can a decent and effective adaptation come from someone who has a vague understanding of Shakespeare but is driven by a personal motive. Does the personal motive need to exist?
·         There are many types of adaptations, but most of them can be separated into two general categories
o   An idea of Shakespeare is expanded upon, taking the little to no textual evidence present in the play and adapting it to the author’s whims, keeping the characterizations the same, or as close as possible
§  Harlem Duet, A Tempest, Al-hamlet summit
o   The characterizations and scenes of Shakespeare are manipulated by the author and changed in order to better suit the adaptation i.e. make dimensionless characters have some aspect of a character etc. Basically, taking nothing and making something using “Shakespeare’s” eye
§  Goodnight Desdemona, Goodmorning Juliet, Desdemona: A Play about a Handkerchief
o   Is one better than the other? Does it depend on the work it is appropriating? Does it depend on the specific message?
o   The context is extremely important in understanding the adaptation because the adaptation itself reflects on why the author wrote, what pressures he or she wrote it on and what the world was like when the appropriation was made. i.e. political Shakespeare’s, feminist Shakespeare’s etc.
·         Intertextuality
o   How much intertext is necessary in each adaptation, is it right to manipulate it and contort it in any way you see fit?
o   The struggle between the original and the adaptation, the adaptation falls under copyright protection and can be considered the author’s work while Shakespeare has no copyright. Is this fair?
·         Every act of interpretation requires critical reading
·         Shakespeare has been used as modes of crossing, gaping and articulation between media as well as nations. What gives the texts these abilities?
Background Information from the article
·         It was a common practice to imitate the classic authors without acknowledgement almost like it was glorified to be a master imitator back in Shakespeare’s time
·         The source of Shakespeare’s writing can never be fully determined because there were many indirect translations that he would have adapted from, when now it is well known what source the adaptations come from.
·         Shakespeare represents the idea of the imperialistic England, his story seems to be able to represent the history of England up to 300 years. The idea that his message are elastic.

·         The idea of Shakespeare will continue to flourish because of the already crazy adaptations, Shakespeare can be adapted to modern forms as well. Such as the disco ball version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Adaptation and Appropriation

Sanders Blog Post
·      Literature is made by literature
o   Texts feed off and create other texts
·      Tracing of intertext is self-confirming
o   More texts you read, more parallels you find
o   Readers add their own meaning, and their own intertexts
·      Intertextuality
o   Coined by Julia Kristeva
o   How texts encompass and respond to other texts
o   Functions as a web, not linearly
o   Does not consume sources
§  Does the opposite: aids the survival of the source
o   Stretches the horizons of a single work
·      Late 20th century: Originality not necessary
o   Rewriting is important (not imitation, but adaptation)
o   Originality is impossible
o   Brings up the question of ownership: copyright and property laws
·      T.S. Eliot
o   Questioned ‘ the tendency to insist, when we praise a poet, upon those aspects of his work in which he least resembles anyone else.’
o   Response to past texts more important than originality
§  Not advocating blind copying and plagiarism
o   Created new material built upon the foundation laid by past works
o   Encourages contrast and comparison
o   Concludes the reinterpretation of texts is inevitable
·      Transcends imitation
o   Authors add, supplement, improvise, innovate, expand
o   New work is not a clone, but more like a child
o   Incorporates current affairs and movements
·      Readers benefit
o   Enjoy seeing overlap between the familiar and the new
o   Proud when they unde rstand allusions
·      Constant and ongoing process
o   Like Darwin’s evolution (finches and moths)
o   EX: Romeo and Juliet è West side story è Romeo + Juliet
o   EX: The Taming of the Shrew è Kiss Me Kate è 10 Things I Hate about You
·      Hypotext
o   Hypotext is an earlier text which serves as the source of a subsequent piece of literature
·      Re-visionary writing is
o   “the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction”
o   Important to read historical works to break the hold of tradition
·      Bricolage
o   French for DIY
o   A construction or creation from a diverse range of available things
·      Pastiche
o   French term
o   An artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period
o   Often has a satiric undertone or parodic intention
o   Originally used to refer to melodies made up of fragments pieced together
·      Misprision
o   deliberate concealment of one's knowledge of a treasonable act
What is adaptation?
·      Adjusting something to fill a need
·      Piece is reinterpreted, but clearly still related to the original work
·      Can feature
o   Proximation – change of genre (novel to film, play to musical… etc)
o   Parallelism – parallels the text
o   Amplification/Reduction – expansion/trimming of text
o   Commentary – revised point of view
·      Commonly used for
o   Making classics accessible to a new audience
o   Brings it closer to the audience’s frame of reference
·      Three types
o   Transposition
§  All second performances are transpositions to some degree
§  EX: Baz Luhrman, Romeo + Juliet (1996)
·      Changes temporal and geographic setting
o   Commentary
§  More culturally loaded than simple transposition
§  Comments through alteration and addition
§  Requires pre-existing knowledge of another text
§  Often explicitly connect to a source with a shared title
§  EX: Aimé Césaire, A Tempest
·      Sycorax appears on stage, as opposed to the original, where she was only mentioned
·      Imposes negative ideas of colonization
o   Analogue
§  Do not require knowledge of its intertext: can stand alone
§  EX: Amy Heckerling, Clueless
·      an adaptation of Jane Austin’s Emma
§  EX: Disney, The Lion King
·      An adaptation of Hamlet
What is appropriation?
·      Taking something for own use
·      Wholesale rethinking of the terms of the original
·      Transforming original into new product, journeying away from the source
·      Piece does not always clearly identify the source
·      Can feature
o   Embedded texts and interplay  
o   Sustained change
EX: Romeo and Juliet vs. West Side Story
·      Overlaps but changes. Can stand on its own without the Shakespeare.
·      Highlights issue of race conflict in New York
o   Tony : Maria :: Romeo : Juliet
o   Jets : Sharks :: Montagues : Capulets
o   Fire-escape : Balcony
o   Doc : Friar
o   Anita : Nurse
o   Musical vs play
o   Marias parents never feature on stage
o   Anita is gang raped
EX: Our Country’s Good vs. The Recruiting Officer
·      Both feature a play within a play
·      Performed alongside each other with same actors performing in both
·      The Recruiting officer
o   highlights controversy over Australian land and property rights
·      Our Country’s Good
o   popular among prison drama groups
o   highlights the social and cultural importance of the arts
Sustained Appropriation: Homage or Plagiarism?
·      Graham Swift’s Last Orders
o   Won Booker Prize in 1996
o   Criticized for being too similar to William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying
§  Featured juxtaposed monologues
§  Featured somewhat circuitous narratives
§  Relied on the same archetype
·      Presence of the dead on the living, wake of death
·      Swift called his work an homage to Faulkner
·      Others called him intellectually dishonest for not crediting Faulkner
o   Called his book inauthentic and devalued because it borrowed
·      Acknowledging Faulkner would have closed the door for possible associations with other texts
·      Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
o   Polymonic (many voices or points of view)
o   Relied on same archetype:
§  Physical pilgrimage that correlates to a spiritual/inner journey
o   Not as linear as Chaucer
·      Old English poems Wanderer and Seafarer
o   Different landscapes (land, terra firma, sea) and
·      Biblical references
o   Cain and Abel
·      Showed how no work has one intertext, but functions as a symphony of intertexts
o   Like Baroque music
§  Improvised performances layered on top of patterns
§  Repeated harmonic base was the foundation, as intertexts are for appropriations
§  Like Jazz music (Jazz riffs) and rap/hip-hop (re-contextualization)
·      Suggests we are enriching, not robbing
o   Sheds adaptation in a more positive light
o   Creates new cultural possibilities