Gerard Gennette once said everyone who truly loves books must hope at sometime to love two at once, or something like that [actual quote pending – where is that book?]. This love for two texts is a love I hope to instill in the hearts of my extension English class as we study adaptation and appropriation this term. So far I have a short list of possible texts for study, however, I know there are so many more out there and I know you know of them. So I’m making a list and am asking you to help me add to it. So far I have the following:
The Taming of the Shrew – Shakespeare
& 10 Things I Hate About You
The Odyssey – Homer
& O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Lady Windermere’s Fan – Oscar Wilde
& A Good Woman
Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
& Bride & Prejudice
or Bridget Jones’ Diary (Which I hate and thus want to ban from my list. Blah!)
Twelfth Night – Shakespeare
& She’s the Man
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy – Laurence Sterne
& Tristram Shandy
Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson
& Bridge to Terabithia
My list contains mostly appropriations because that is what I like best, however, it would be good to have some adaptations on the list as well like, well anything Jane Austen that has then been done by the bbc. Adaptations are interesting because often tiny changes are made to the text to make it relevant for contemporary audiences even though a fairly ‘true to text’ approach is taken. For example, did anyone notice how the teacher in Bridge to Terabithia makes reference to the internet even though the movie is set in the 1970s and this reference, as well as being anachronistic didn’t appear in the original text?
I plan on teaching adaptation and appropriation as a continuum and proposing a range of texts along this continuum for the students to choose from. We will then focus our studies on how changes have been made from the original text and what these changes say about context, audience, worldviews and values.
SO, I’m wondering if you can help me add to this list? What are your favourite adaptations and appropriations of texts? What do you like about them?