Adaptation(s): Fall 2013 CCNY David Greetham
Primary Texts: Linda Hutcheon, A Theory of Adaptation. 2nd edition. Routledge, 2013
Julie Sanders, Adaptation and Appropriation. Routledge, 2006.
Deborah Cartmell & Imelda Wheelan, The Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen. Cambridge, 2007.
3 Sept. Session 1: Some types of adaptation; discussion of possible sessions.Three test cases: Bronte, Wuthering Heights, (1939, Olivier/Oberon/Wyler; 1992, Binoche/Fiennes/Kosminsky); Fowles, French Lieutenant’s Woman/Pinter, French Lieutenant’s Woman (Streep/Irons).
10 Sept. Session 2: Hutcheon Preface and Chap.1: Beginning to Theorize Adaptation. Adaptation (film): (Spike Jones, dir.: Nicholas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper; Columbia 2003) [a possibility]; Dickens, Great Expectations: (2 versions; serialization and published novel); Great Expectations 1949 (Dir. David Lean), Great Expectations 1998 (Dir. Alfonso Cuarón, Great Expectations (2011); The English Patient (Ondaatje); The English Patient (Dir. Anthony Minghella)
17 Sept. Session 3: Case Study 1: A Clockwork Orange (Burgess: US v. UK versions), Clockwork Orange (Kubrick)
24 Sept. Session 4: Hutcheon Chap. 2: What? (Forms); Case Studies: Billy Budd (Melville), Billy Budd (Dir Ustinov); Billy Budd (Britten); Parsifal (Dir: Syberberg)
5 Oct. 5. Session 5: Case Study 2: Beowulf, Gardner, Grendel, Beowulf (dir. Zemecki; Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright Penn, John Malkovich, Angelina Jolie–as Grendel’s mother); Matt Wagner, Grendel (comic books): Batman/Grendel (Wagner).
8 Oct. Session 6: Hutcheon Chap. 3: Who? Why? (Adapters), Shakespeare, Othello, Verdi/Boito, Otello. Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor/Verdi/Boito, Falstaff; Baroque Beatles (Rifkin), Across the Universe (Taymor)
15 Oct. No class (follow Mon. schedule)
22 Oct. Session 7: Case Study 3: Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Ridley Scott, Blade Runner; Chekhov, Three Sisters, Nagle Jackson, The Quick-Change Room: Scenes from the Revolution (i.e, “2 Sisters” version).
29 Oct. Session 8: Hutcheon Chap. 4: How? (Audiences) V for Vendetta (film) McTeague/V for Vendetta (graphic novel, Alan Moore); Fielding, Tom Jones (Richardson); Tom Jones (BBC TV); Mann, Death in Venice, Visconti Death in Venice, Britten, Death in Venice.
5 Nov. Session 9: Case Study 4. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Updike, Gertrude and Claudius.
12 Nov. Session 10: Hutcheon Chap. 5: Where? When? (Contexts). Austen, Emma, Heckerling, Clueless; Mérimée, Carmen, Petipa, Carmen and Her Bullfighter, Bizet, Carmen, Sarasate, Carmen Fantasy, Goddard, Prénom Carmen, Brook/Carrière, La Tragédie de Carmen, Hammerstein/Preminger, Carmen Jones, Rosi, Carmen, MTV, Carmen: A Hip-Hopera, Schehedrin/Plisetskaya, Carmen Ballet, Saura/Gades/De Luca, Flamenco Carmen
19 Nov. Session 11: Case Study 5. The Tempest (Shakespeare), Prospero’s Books (Shakespeare/Greenaway), The Enchanted Island (pastiche/collaboration: A Midsummer Night’s Dream + The Tempest; Handel/Vivaldi/Rameau), The Tempest (Adès), Browning, Caliban upon Setebos,Nyman, Noises, Sounds & Sweet Airs, Auden, The Sea and the Mirror: A Commentary on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Dryden/D’Avenant, John Weldon (music), The Tempest.
26 Nov. Session 12: Hutcheon Chap. 6: Final Questions. Bergman, Smiles of a Summer Night, Sondheim, A Little Night Music. Schiller, Maria Stuart, Donizetti/Bardari, Maria Stuarda, Play It Again, Sam (Ross/W. Allen, 1972), Casablanca (Curtis, 1942)
3 Dec. Session 13: Selections: Sanders, Adaptation and Appropriation (New Critical Idiom); Cartwell & Whelehan, eds. Cambridge Companion to Literature on Screen. Puccini, La Bohème/Larsen, Rent.
10 Dec. Session 14: Case Study 6. Fan fiction. Android Karenina, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies etc.
Harrison, Adaptations: From Short Story to Big Screen:
(e.g., “Jerry and Molly and Sam” (Carver)/Short Cuts (Altman); “Blow Up” (Cortázar)/Blow Up (Antonioni); Schindler’s Ark (Kinsella)/Schindler’s List (Spielberg); “It Had to Be Murder,” (Woolrich)/Rear Window (Hitchcock); “Babylon Revisited” (Fitzgerald)/The Last Time I Saw Paris (Brooks); “Memento Mori” (J. Nolan)/Memento (C. Nolan), “Shoeless Joe Comes to Iowa” (Kinsella)/Field of Dreams (Robinson), Sophie’s Choice (Styron)/Sophie’s Choice (Pakula)
Statement of Course Level Learning Goals
The leaning goals of the course are to work toward an understanding of the theory and practice of adaptation, across several different disciplines. The course will address such issues as the formal properties of adaptation, the relevant cultural status of adaptation (e.g., is the adaptation inevitably judged as “secondary” or “parasitic”?), and how different adaptations of the “same” work offer successful or unsuccessful new critiques of the “original”.
By the conclusion of the course, students will
• have developed an understanding of the processes involved in the making of an adaptation, in a wide range of genres.
• have developed a critical vocabulary for the assessment of adaptations.
• be able to discuss knowledgeably the characteristic narrative techniques appropriate to each genre, as well as the more “experimental” or unusual methods developed by unorthodox adaptations.
• to have formulated a critical understanding of how different elements of adaptation (e.g., plot, characterization, historical/geographical/cultural context) can be so distant from the original to make the recognition of the relation between the “original” and the adaptation problematic.
• have investigated whether there is an accepted hierarchy between the original work and its adaptation(s), and whether (and why) this hierarchy seems to follow a cultural norm (e.g., novel into film).
• be able to discuss why certain works (e.g., novels of Dickens, plays by Shakespeare) seem to invite multiple adaptations, and how these adaptations differ over time and cultural milieu.
• be able to discuss why certain works (and perhaps certain genres) seem to resist adaptation, and what steps might be necessary to promote successful adaptation.