Adaptive symbiosis and Peake’s Presumption, or the fate of Frankenstein
of ‘all kinds of [perceived] political monstrosity’ (Armitage 224). And we can add adaptation theory to the metaphoric cultural possibilities of the Frankenstein trope. This chapter argues for the productivity of what I call a Frankensteinian model for adaptationstudies, which attempts to systematically trace and account for the work of intertextuality in the act of adaptation.
The Frankensteinian model, or ‘Not things learned so much as things remembered’
In imagining Frankenstein as a model for adaptation, we
Beckett’s Afterlives is the first book-length study dedicated to posthumous reworkings of Samuel Beckett’s oeuvre. Contextualised against the backdrop of his own developing views on adaptation and media specificity, it nuances the long-held view that he opposed any form of genre crossing. Featuring contemporary engagements with Beckett’s work from the UK, Europe, the USA and Latin America, the volume does not approach adaptation as a form of (in)fidelity or (ir)reverence. Instead, it argues that exposing the ‘Beckett canon’ to new environments and artistic practices enables fresh perspectives on the texts and enhances their significance for contemporary artists and audiences alike. The featured essays explore a wide variety of forms (prose, theatre, performance, dance, ballet, radio, music, television, film, visual art, installation, new/digital media, webseries, etc.), in different cultural contexts, mainly from the early 1990s until the late 2010s. The concept of adaptation is broadly interpreted, including changes within the same performative context, to spatial relocations or transpositions across genres and media, even creative rewritings of Beckett’s biography. The collection offers a range of innovative ways to approach the author’s work in a constantly changing world and analyses its remarkable susceptibility to creative responses. Viewed from this perspective, Beckett’s Afterlives suggests that adaptation, remediation and appropriation constitute forms of cultural negotiation that are essential for the survival as well as the continuing urgency and vibrancy of Beckett’s work in the twenty-first century.
adaptation, focusing on a range of case studies of (mainly) posthumous revisionings of his work in various genres and media. We have taken a broad approach to what counts as adaptation and both this introduction and the first chapter on Beckett's own adaptations of his work situate the collection historically and theoretically.
The transformed creative treatment of Beckett's work in the public sphere goes hand in hand with a step-change in the field of adaptationstudies which has also expanded, reflecting critically on earlier debates and taking
examines the complex intertextuality involved with Dracula and
Twilight , via Coppola and Anne Rice, drawing on adaptationstudies. Scott attempts a rehabilitation of the Coppola film, adopting a
more nuanced view, and charting the rise of vampire as lover along the
Shifts of genre take place alongside the linguistic shifts
analysed by Malgorzata Drewniok in Chapter 8 as
Cartmell’s injunction to ‘distance
adaptationstudies from fidelity criticism’.2
Trevor’s career as a writer for the screen and radio dates from his earliest days
as a recognised short-story writer and novelist in the mid-1960s. The essay draws
on interview material to demonstrate Trevor’s own ambiguous attitudes and
insights into writing for the screen. It also surveys different phases of activity,
making use of selected production file material, but takes as its central case study
the pivotal, BAFTA-award winning film The Ballroom of Romance (1982). It
Expanding the Godot universe from adaptation to transmedia storytelling
Beckett's – are less easily and less frequently adapted than linear realist novels ( 2013 : 15). The idea that there are ‘difficult’ or even ‘unfilmable’ texts, however, has come under scrutiny in recent adaptationstudies, and we illustrate two ways in which such adaptations or appropriations of Godot have been accomplished.
Le dernier Godot
The Romanian-French playwright Matei Vișniec, an acclaimed (Oică, 2017 : 561) and self-declared (Vișniec, 2019 ) successor
In this edited collection, scholars use a variety of methodologies to explore the history of stage plays produced for British television between 1936 and the present. The volume opens with a substantial historical outline of the how plays originally written for the theatre were presented by BBC Television and the ITV companies as well as by independent producers and cultural organisations. Subsequent chapters analyse television adaptations of existing stage productions, including a 1937 presentation of a J. B. Priestley play by producer Basil Dean; work by companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stoke-on-Trent’s Victoria Theatre and the Radical Alliance of Poets and Players; the verbatim dramas from the Tricycle Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland; and Mike Leigh’s comedy Abigail’s Party, originally staged for Hampstead Theatre and translated to the Play for Today strand in 1977. Broadcast television’s original productions of classic and contemporary drama are also considered in depth, with studies of television productions of plays by Jacobean dramatists John Webster and Thomas Middleton, and by Henrik Ibsen and Samuel Beckett. In addition, the volume offers a consideration of the contribution to television drama of the influential producer Cedric Messina who, between 1967 and 1977, oversaw BBC Television’s Play of the Month strand before initiating The BBC Television Shakespeare (1978–85); the engagement with television adaptations by modern editors of Shakespeare’s plays; and Granada Television’s eccentric experiment in 1969–70 of running The Stables Theatre Company as a producer for both stage and screen. Collectively, these chapters open up new areas of research for all those engaged in theatre, media and adaptation studies.
The Gothic is haunted by the ghost of William Blake. Scholars of the Gothic have long recognised Blake’s affinity with the genre, often invoking his name, characters, and images in passing. Yet, to date, no major scholarly study focused on Blake’s intersection with the Gothic exists. William Blake’s gothic imagination seeks to redress this disconnect and, in the words of another ghost, to lend a serious hearing to a dimension of Blake’s work we all somehow know to be vital and yet remains understudied. The essays here collected do not simply identify Blake’s Gothic conventions but, thanks to recent scholarship on affect, psychology, and embodiment in Gothic studies, reach deeper into the tissue of anxieties that take confused form through this notoriously nebulous historical, aesthetic, and narrative mode. The collection opens with papers touching on literary form, history, lineation, and narrative in Blake’s work, establishing contact with major topics in Gothic studies. The volume, however, eventually narrows its focus to Blake’s bloody, nervous bodies, through which he explores various kinds of Gothic horror related to reproduction, anatomy, sexuality, affect, and materiality. Rather than his transcendent images, this collection attends to Blake’s ‘dark visions of torment’. Drawing on the recent interest in Gothic studies on visual arts, this volume also highlights Blake’s engravings and paintings, productions that in both style and content suggest a rich, underexplored archive of Gothic invention. This collection will appeal to students of Romanticism, the Gothic, art history, media/mediation studies, popular mythography, and adaptation studies.
The chapter presents the most common arguments behind the recent revival of the subgenres of horror featuring undead characters, particularly vampires or zombies. It also looks at the historical development of the representation of the cinematic undead, pointing out the symptomatic changes that clearly set these post-millennial creatures apart from the classic variants. Focusing on several examples of vampire Shakespeare adaptations, the chapter comments on possible reasons why only a few specific source texts are predominantly adapted into horror films. It is also noted that the majority of the films examined within the chapter are comic adaptations, with one notable exception; some of them are low-budget, even amateur, productions, although the films with lower production qualities are no less creative in their appropriation of the Shakespearean dramatic texts. Most films within the group display clear self-reflexive features, and they are also characterised by melancholy or nostalgia for the past. The chapter also observes similarities between the way teen films and undead horror adaptations deal with the source text’s authority, emphasising the generational connections between the groups. Several critical connections among Shakespeare criticism, adaptation studies and the undead are also presented.
The Frankenstein Complex: when the text is more than a text
Dennis R. Cutchins
Dennis R. Perry
the Frankenstein Network. As Kamilla Elliott notes, scholars have rarely ‘considered that the failure of adaptationstudies to conform to theoretical paradigms might arise from the inadequacies and limitations of the theories’ (20). She goes on to argue that adaptations are a special case in textual studies and that they may ‘require theories to adapt to them ’ (20–1 italics in original). We argue that this is particularly true in the case of Frankenstein . Straightforward literary theories, and even totalising mythic theories applied in the past, simply can