Abstract Building mostly on the seminal works of André Lefevere and Bassnett, recent work carried out in translation studies has problematized extant conceptions of translation and the distinction between various forms of creative rewritings. Similarly, individual scholars such as Katja Krebs and Laurence Raw in the field of adaptation studies have illuminated points of convergence and overlap between translation and adaptation. This article espouses and extends existing studies by explicating the redundancy of the borders constructed between translation and adaptation within the broader framework of Nigerian theatre and performance. Informed by a transdisciplinary approach adapted from multimodal social semiotics and literary studies, the author engages in analysis and close-readings of the play text and stage performance of Femi Osofisan’s Women of Owu (2004/2006) to investigate how translation transcends simple interlingual practice to encompass adaptations of the spatial, temporal and embodied aspects of societies and cultures.
Abstract This context brings together three disciplines: Adaptation Studies, Translation Studies, and Semiotics. The question to be considered is the extent to which these disciplines are really ‘saying almost the same thing’. The present paper examines this question from three angles. First, I summarize some ideas concerning the nature of categories in general, and the function of categorization, from which I infer that we can regard a discipline as a kind of category. Second, I outline some examples of research which overlaps the boundaries between our three fields and thus questions the usefulness of holding such boundaries as permanent and universal. And third, I report a small investigation into rhythm, and in particular, the rhythm of a painting and its title, an investigation which merges such categorial boundaries. I present it in illustration of the view that conceptual categories and their boundaries are only tools, to be used or not, as the purpose requires.
Abstract Definitional issues are not new in translation and adaptation studies (TS and AS, respectively), and neither is the question of whether AS and TS should be seen as one discipline studying one object of study or rather as two disciplines studying two distinct sets of phenomena. This paper argues that an interdisciplinary view on the subject may offer some analytical tools that help advance this discussion. Since the issue is in part one of definition, Section one looks into theories of definitions and discusses four types of definition that could be of use to our debate. This leads to the paradoxical conclusion that to define translations and adaptations is at once easy and difficult. Words like ‘adaptation’ or ‘translation’ are common nouns, which point to sets of entities that share nonunique features. Hence to name is to categorize. Section two probes into theories of categorization and how they could help categorize translational and adaptational phenomena. It turns out that a study of categories and categorizing must involve categorizers. Consequently, one may study science as an epistemic practice, but also as a social one. This introduces section three, which looks into the emerging discipline of interdisciplinarity studies, that is, the study of the compartmentalization (e.g., disciplinarization) of academic knowledge. The conclusion that follows suggests that perhaps, instead of trying to absorb each other, AS and TS should consider themselves rather as siblings, that is, members of a larger family called intertextuality or influence studies.
Abstract Intersemiotic translation (IT) can be described as a cognitive artefact designed as a predictive, generative, and metasemiotic tool that distributes artistic creativity. Cognitive artefacts have a huge variety of forms and are manipulated in many different ways and domains. As a projective augmented intelligence technique, IT works as a predictive tool, anticipating new, and surprising patterns of semiotic events and processes, keeping under control the emergence of new patterns. At the same time, it works as a generative model, providing new, unexpected, surprising data in the target-system, and affording competing results which allow the system to generate candidate instances. As a metasemiotic tool, IT creates a metalevel semiotic process, a sign-action which stands for the action of a sign. It creates an ‘experimental laboratory’ for performing semiotic experiments. IT submits semiotic systems to unusual conditions and provides a scenario for observing the emergence of new and surprising semiotic behaviour as a result. We explore these ideas taking advantage of two examples of ITs to theatrical dance: (1) from one-point visual perspective to classical ballet and (2) from John Cage’s protocols of music indeterminacy to Merce Cunningham’s choreographic composition.
Over the past 10 years, there has been an explosion in the number of television dramas about Tudor England. These programmes have been engaged in a re-visioning of history that prioritizes a heterogeneous approach to the past, adapting historical themes, figures, and events in order to challenge existing conceptions about the nature of history. By using Showtime's The Tudors (2007-2010) and the BBC's Wolf Hall 2015 as examples, this paper explores how both series reimagine the Tudor era by destabilising traditional modes of historical engagement and emphasizing the shared narrative lineage of historiography and history as entertainment. Ultimately, the paper argues that these programmes are responding not only to new ways of accessing the past, but also by adapting a period which is central to an Anglocentric cultural identity, they are responding to the crises and political faultlines that have marked the twenty-first century.
The return to history in the humanities during the 19805 prompted literary and film scholars to question historiography's empirical scientific status, as they instead argued that history shared more in common with fiction while their own fields of study provided means of democratizing the historical record. The concept of history-as-adaptation, recently introduced by Laurence Raw and Defne Ersin Tutan, and further developed by Tom Leitch, draws upon several of the same goals as these earlier revisionist critiques. This article contextualizes how external revision of history has been used by disciplines as a means of solidifying their own identities, despite the fact that history departments have not responded to such criticism. Through a cross-disciplinary analysis of the postmodern interrogation of historical claims, I seek to not only contextualize the adaptive turn but also demonstrate how the field's comparative identity provides a means of transcending oppositional discourse. Drawing on the work of Robert Berkhofer, I establish a supplemental interpretation of history-as-adaptation, demonstrating the advantages of applying adaptive strategies to the documentary framework at the heart of historical methodology.
Through the cinematic experience of heritage films' historical reconstitution, audiences may acquire a vivid cultural memory of prior eras, where the powerful corporeal effect of the cinematographic language stimulates a hied sensation of the past. Yet the recreations of heritage cinema are, at times, refracted through the lens of auteurism, impacting the historical realism and effect of authenticity and n the case of adaptations transforming the original source text. This article considers key French heritage films to depict the July Monarchy in France, investigating how different auteurs influence the films' sensual auclo-visual recreations and consequently spectators' filmic experience. Former new wave auteur Claude Chabrol's adaptation Madame Bovary (1991) and its recreation of 1830-1840s France is compared and contrasted with later-generation auteur Jean-Paul Rappeneau's Le Hussard sur le toit/The Horseman on the Roof(1995) and younger-generation auteur Catherine Breillat's Line vieille marlresse/The Last Mistress (2007), exploring history via their unique authorial aesthetics and ideologies. The depiction of (semi-)fictional historical figures cluing events of the July Monarchy is analysed, in the films' portraits of past landscapes, focusing on the intimate settings of courtship, weddings, marriage, and adultery during the reign of Louis Philippe I. The article examines the adaptation of Chabrol's vision of Gustave Flaubert's canonical 1857 work, together with Rappeneau's interpretation of Jean Giono's 1951 novel and Broilers recreation of Barbey d'AurevillVs 1851 text. It explores the cinematic cultural memory of the past potentially acquired by spectators through the embodied experience of each auteur's powerful heritage adaptation.
Responding to several recent interventions in adaptation studies that have argued for history-as-adaptation, this article develops a sustained examination of how page-to-screen adaptations may be understood as structured and interpreted in ways analogous to the historical film. Considering the relationship between historical screen texts and the historical novel, including the many novel-to-film adaptations of such stories, the article identifies a distinct subset of adaptations in which artworks and literary works are engaged as the 'source' for fictional and semi-fictional narratives that ostensibly address the circumstances of their creation. Re-purposing the term 'origin story to characterize these stories, the works of historical novelist Tracy Chevalier are posited as examples of this creative adaptive practice. In addition, this article argues for the trope of 'bringing-to-life' and the associated domain of re-enactment as key modes, deeply resonant since the earliest phases of cinema technology, for figuring both the page-to-screen adaptation and historical film. Finally, the 2015 historical biopic and adaptation Trumbo and its relationship to a range of sources are examined in the light of ideas proposed in this article.
This article focuses on how histories of television construct narratives about what the medium is, how it changes, and how it works in relation to other media. The key examples discussed are dramatic adaptations made and screened in Britain. They include early forms of live transmission of performance shot with multiple cameras, usually in a TV studio, with the aim of bringing an intimate and immediate experience to the viewer. This form shares aspects of medial identity with broadcast radio and live television programmes, and with theatre. The article also analyses adaptations of a later period, mainly filmed dramas for television that were broadcast in weekly serialized episodes, and shot on location to offer viewers a rich engagement with a realized fictional world. Here, film production techniques and technologies are adapted for television, alongside the routines of daily and weekly scheduling that characterize television broadcasting. The article identifies and analyses the questions about what is proper to television that arise from the different forms that adaptations took. The analyses show that television has been a mixed form across its history, while often aiming to reject such intermediality and claim its own specificity as a medium. Television adaptation has, paradoxically, operated as the ground to assert and debate what television could and should be, through a process of transforming pre-existing material. The performance of television's role has taken place through the relay, repetition, and remediation that adaptation implies, and also through the repudiation of adaptation.
The recent adaptation of Shakespeare's tetralogies into a two-season television miniseries by the BBC gives new impetus to an age-old question: how do seriality and Shakespeare relate? In The Hollow Crown (2012) and The Wars of the Roses (2016), Richard Its 'scepter'd isle' transforms into 2 Henry VI's 'fertile England' before becoming 'mad and scarred' in Richard Ill. In this 'swelling scene' of Shakespearean seriality, 'time jumps o'er' from one episode to the next, inviting us to reconsider the spatio-temporal flows of serialized history in the theatre and on screen. Whereas both Shakespeare's history plays, and television series in general, have often been thought to dramatize little more than the relentless progress of time as it marches forwards into history, this paper argues that The Hollow Crown and The Wars of the Roses systematically disrupt that process. Rather than moving along a simply linear trajectory, these connected series throw up fragile permutations of history that are contested over time. In tracking this process, this paper explores new methods for understanding the narrative processes that govern both the complex patterns of serialized television as well as the shifting flows of history in Shakespeare's plays.
One of the most iconic figures of European auteur cinema, Michelangelo Antonioni has seldom become the object of scholarly interest for his work as an adapter. Contrary to the critical commonplace, my claim is that the practice of adaptation has represented the crucial instance in the development and articulation of his six-decade long professional trajectory. For the purposes of this essay - which is part of a larger book project - I will focus on the first instance in which Antonioni resorts to a preexisting literary source, when, in 1955, he turns Cesare Pavese's 1949 short novel Among Women Only (Tra donne sole in Italian) into the melodrama The Girlfriends (Le amiche). I contend that, in reason of a deferred transmission and incorporation, the 1957 film Outcry (Il grido), which Antonioni shoots subsequently to The Girlfriends, should to be considered the true adaptation of Among Women Only. In the first part of this essay I detail Antonioni's encounter with Among Women Only and his troubled negotiation of the novel's most daring features between The Girlfriends and Outcry. In the second part, I proceed to articulate a model of adaptation that accounts for to the transmission of nonrepresentational meanings - and which I situate within the affective turn advocated for adaptation theory by John Hodgkins.(1)
The effective study of transmedia adaptation requires descriptions that allow us to track how changes in media may correlate with both similarities and differences across medial realisations of a work. To the extent that such description can be made systematic and reliable, it becomes possible to apply a variety of empirical methods for revealing reoccurring patterns of medial influence. In this article, we set out how a transmedially extended notion of cohesion offers a level of description of precisely this kind. Taking Paul Auster's novel City of Glass (1985) and its adaptation in graphic novel form by Karasik and Mazzuchelli (2004) as an example, the article offers a cross-media cohesion analysis that demonstrates how the mutually intertwining thematic shifts in the novel and its graphic novel adaptation differ. We argue that this is largely due to the affordances of their respective medium and apply this result to suggest how empirical findings on narrative involvement may be related more firmly to properties of the artifacts analysed. This opens up a path for the design of more focused empirical investigations of how adaptation may impact on readers' processes of narrative perception.
The cultural transduction framework, introduced in 2014, provides an organized set of concepts to study cases of audiovisual products that have crossed international borders (e.g. through TV format sales). The framework is presented here as an alternative to study adaptations, providing a holistic view of the practice which includes the conscious decision-making process of individuals. Our case study is the Italian book Piccolo mondo: Don Camillo by Giovannino Guareschi, and its posterior incarnations as a transnational film series in the 1950s and a forty-seven-episode TV adaptation to the Colombian context in the late 1980s. We present the various stages of the analysis enabled by the framework to highlight its applicability to the study of adaptations that go beyond the literature-to-screen lineal comparisons to address the process, people, cultural links, and negotiation aspects that take place in the process of bringing an Italian cultural product to Colombian TV sets.
At least in theory, poetry, unlike other forms of fiction, does not offer the optimum starting point for successful cinematic adaptation. But this article examines two film adaptations of T.S. Eliot's modernist poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' (1915): Till Human Voices Wake Us (2002) and I Have Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987). Both screenings take their cue from the closing dream sequence when Prufrock imagines hearing mermaids sing, which on one level symbolizes a source of potential healing for the alienated male speaker. The female figures can be more critically read as a misogynistic projection of Prufrock's sexual neurosis and existential paralysis. The two films give form to Eliot's dreamy' poetics to offer a more optimistic understanding of what the mermaids' song means. In Human Voices, it is the Jungian anima in a drama of male trauma and emotional repression. In Mermaids, it is a gnostic aesthetic vision, which a female protagonist achieves despite alienation from a mainstream art world. To different degrees, these adaptations bring a queer perspective to the early modernist poem by altering the hetero-normative gender dynamics of the original. These films enter a profound inter-textual dialogue with Eliot's poem, and so constitute sophisticated examples of the enduring trans-media legacy of probably the most popular poem of the twentieth century.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Turkish drama K Uykusu/Winter Sleep (2014) owes an enormous debt to nineteenth-century Russian realism. This article explains why Ceylan looks to Russia through an analysis of the film's form and the historical context that binds Russia and Turkey. By placing Turkish and Russian realism on the same plane, this article complicates the asymmetrical binary of East/West that is frequently upheld by analyses of Eastern' rewritings of Western' literary classics. Instead it offers a more equitable model of international exchange, a nonhierarchical relationship of not East/West but East and East.