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Adaptation, remediation, appropriation

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.

Towards a poetics of adaptation
Pim Verhulst

), shows that Beckett was starting to lose his grip on creative reworkings of his texts. By 1982, the tables seemed to have turned completely, others no longer encroaching on his work but the other way around. On 6 May of that year, he wrote to Alfred Behrens and Michael Kuball about their cinematic treatments of sections from Murphy : ‘I have no suggestions. I don't want to intervene in any way’ ( 2016 : 581). Especially with regard to Beckett's infamous veto on all-female productions of Godot , a Greek staging directed by Adonis Vouyoucas is

in Beckett’s afterlives
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Pim Verhulst
Anna McMullan
, and
Jonathan Bignell

different, three-tier model of ‘classic treatment’, ‘re-visioning’ and ‘radical rethink’, which avoids the terms adaptation and appropriation altogether, but the categories are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they often co-exist in the same act of creative reworking, so a line cannot always be drawn. While Sanders notes that appropriation often entails ‘the movement from one genre to others’, she also cautions that it ‘may or may not involve a generic shift’ ( 2016 : 35). Quite contentious therefore, at least confusing, is her

in Beckett’s afterlives
A renaissance of vampires and zombies
Kinga Földváry

-cinematic ‘mirror-movie’, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead is, however, a perfect example of the post-millennial horror (romantic) comedy, and when seen from this angle it is also a remarkably creative reworking of its Shakespearean source of inspiration. The filmmakers display a clear knowledge and awareness of even minor textual details of Hamlet , and find verbal constructs that can be turned into puns related to the new generic context. For all the outrageous vampire references in the plot, Julian’s friend, Vince (Kris Lemche), who is cast to play Hamlet, takes the

in Cowboy Hamlets and zombie Romeos
Ian Goodyer

allies in the fight against racism is a feature of several accounts. Despite their differing interpretations and emphases, this notion has been aired in Gilroy, Hebdige and, as already indicated, Widgery. Paul Gilroy’s analysis of the punk/reggae axis stresses the ways in which punks satirised and criticised the ideas and symbols of British nationalism – through their desecration of the union jack and mockery of royalty, for example. This rebellious spirit was exercised partly through a creative reworking of the ‘language and style of roots culture in general and

in Crisis music
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Pratik Chakrabarti

by C.S. Crole, written a century later, where he ‘pictured’ Colonel Baillie, the defeated British commander, as arriving from Madras ‘when in fact he was coming from the north.’, pp. 17–18. This ‘creative reworking’ of events, as Irschick describes it, is taken out of context, since such defeats were more than counterbalanced by the several military victories that the British enjoyed over both the French and the Mysore state in this period, but it is also illustrative of how he constructs such dialogic spaces

in Materials and medicine
Kate McLuskie
Kate Rumbold

evocation of the repertory of past cultural objects to reinforce an audience’s sense of their participation in a shared culture. These cultural effects can be recognised and endorsed because of the plays’ open-ended potential for interpretation, the requirement to match speech to narrative that can be exploited in creative reworking. Engaging with a cultural object from the past in

in Cultural value in twenty-first-century England
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A Doll’s House (1973), The Romantic Englishwoman (1975) and Steaming (1985)
Colin Gardner

an overdetermination of her position as a mere signifier for Lewis’s spiteful manipulation. By drawing spectacles, wrinkles, devils’ horns and moustaches on the photos, Elisabeth attempts to retrieve her fetishized image and reproduce it back into the realm of a more liberating sense of ‘What if …’ Unfortunately, Thomas is hardly a panacea for this more creative reworking of gender possibilities

in Joseph Losey
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Syrithe Pugh

. Drawing out the self-conscious imitation of and allusion to predecessors which so often characterizes the trope – even (or especially) when used to assert the originality of a poet’s flight into uncharted terrain – Hardie shows how poets use their creative reworkings to comment on their own and each other’s ambitions, and on the ambitions of the patrons they offer to immortalize, with vatic confidence or self-deprecating humour, for purposes of praise or parody, self-assertion or satire. Shifting from this diachronic perspective to a synchronic one, Stephen Hinds

in Conversations
Marginal annotation as private commentary
Federica Coluzzi

Commedia of Dante (1896), Phoebe Anna Traquair’s beautifully designed Dante: Illustration and Notes (1890) as well as Mary Hensman’s Dante Map (1892) and Norley Chester’s (pseudonym of Emily Underdown) creative reworkings of Dantean episodes in her Dante Vignettes (1895). Gladstone as annotator: marginalia and the challenge of private dantismo A conspicuous number of the books in the collection

in Dante beyond influence