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Adaptation and Appropriation (The New Critical Idiom) [Paperback]

Julie Sanders
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

17 Oct 2005 0415311721 978-0415311724 New Ed

From the apparently simple adaptation of a text into film, theatre or a new literary work, to the more complex appropriation of style or meaning, it is arguable that all texts are somehow connected to a network of existing texts and art forms. Adaptation and Appropriation explores:

  • multiple definitions and practices of adaptation and appropriation
  • the cultural and aesthetic politics behind the impulse to adapt
  • diverse ways in which contemporary literature and film adapt, revise and reimagine other works of art
  • the impact on adaptation and appropriation of theoretical movements, including structuralism, post-structuralism, postcolonialism, postmodernism, feminism and gender studies
  • the appropriation across time and across cultures of specific canonical texts, but also of literary archetypes such as myth or fairy tale.

Ranging across genres and harnessing concepts from fields as diverse as musicology and the natural sciences, this volume brings clarity to the complex debates around adaptation and appropriation, offering a much-needed resource for those studying literature, film or culture.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (17 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415311721
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415311724
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 12.7 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 262,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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"Easily the most informative and wide-ranging series of its kind, so packed with bright ideas that it has become and indispensable resource for students of literature."-Terry Eagleton, University of Manchester, UK "The New Critical Idiom is a constant resource, essential reading for all students."-Tom Paulin, University of Oxford, UK

About the Author

Julie Sanders is Professor of English Literature and Drama at the University of Nottingham, UK. Her previous publications include Novel Shakespeares (2001), which examines contemporary adaptations of Shakespeare by women novelists.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The processes of adaptation and appropriation that are the concern of this book are in many respects a sub-section of the over-arching practice of intertextuality. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This book gives an overview on the theory about adaptation and appropriation. It is enjoyable to read because it doesn't stay abstract but backs up every theory passage with close reading of literature, mostly novels but also films and theater. I especially enjoyed the chapter on archetypal stories such as myths and fairy tales. The only problem I have with the book is that it has a lot of repetition, because each chapter looks at the same topic from different angles, a lot of insights are repeated because they're relevant for several of the discussed areas of adaptation and appropriation.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page-turner--believe it or not 28 Aug 2011
By Heather C. Ozaltun - Published on
This scholarly work is one in a series entitled the `New Critical Idiom' and merits review as much for its individuality as for the clarifying importance to the field of literary theory made by this series as a whole. I will write this review assuming that you wouldn't go through the trouble of reading it unless you had an academic or otherwise theoretical interest in the subject.

Julie Sanders has, even by the already high standards of this series, taken a particularly well-structured approach to her topic. The first chapters take time to look at the main ideas and associated terminology, and the author's declared aim is to create a flexible jargon rather than "fixing or ossifying specific concepts." In the middle section, Sanders studies adaptive and appropriative practices in ancient, medieval and Shakespearean Renaissance traditions. The final chapters of the book are concerned with observing how these techniques have operated "within the parameters of an established canon" and served to reinforce it, "albeit in revised circumstances of understanding." Sanders explores power and resistance themes and manages, with impeccable correctness, to mention all pertinent academic movements.

Along the way, Sanders maps out how adaptation and appropriation, as specific sub-sets of Kristevan intertextuality, are techniques which serve to intertwine not only literary texts but also, significantly, literature with musicology and the fine arts. Sanders cites many sources which agree that comparisons between source texts and their hypertexts (appropriated or adapted forms) often reveal sometimes playful, sometimes oppositional and even subversive means of political expression. In this regard she makes excellent Said-like post-colonial analyses of several literary, stage and film works by contemporary authors such as Graham Swift, Peter Carey, Michael Cunningham, Baz Luhrmann, and Caryl Phillips.

Her writing style is accessible but sophisticated. Any use of literary jargon is explained efficiently in the text, although a glossary is also included at the back of the book (a standard feature of the series as a whole). A business-like tone combines with the author's fascination with her subject and vast repertoire of source readings to make this a well-paced read--a remarkable achievement considering that each book in this series is like a 200-page encyclopedia article on its respective subject.

Another excellent book on the topic of adaptation is Linda Hutcheon's A Theory of Adaptation, though Hutcheon's agenda includes not only theoretical analysis, but--almost more importantly--a general defense of the meaning and value of adaptation as a discreet aesthetic genre in the face of sometimes implied, sometimes explicit disapprobation. Although Sanders' work does emphasize the positive creative capacity of adaptive and appropriative practices, it is not a defense of them but rather a direct exploration of their links to political commentary, the controversies over ownership created by the current adaptation-dense cultural environment, and a definition of these genres in relationship to one another and in contrast to other intertextual structures and sub-structures.

Conjuring a less original if more clinical and useful version of Bloom's psychology of anxiety, Sanders notes in her Afterword that "nothing new, nothing original, be it in the domain of art, music, film, or literature, is possible anymore." Yet for anyone interested in studying the differences and similarities between works with borrowed material, palimpsestic properties or originality issues, her book contains a wealth of pertinent information, methodological tools, and perceptive observation.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good overview for students 19 Feb 2013
By TGO in Upstate NY - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fine overview of the field, especially suited for students and others looking for a first way into the subject. A glossary and good index are helpful.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful 26 Dec 2012
By Paulo Calado - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this book very useful, very appropriate to the theme adaptation of literary works and of cinema / theatre
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful textbook 28 July 2009
By T C - Published on
The New Critical Idiom series make for great companions to courses. Sanders' Adaptation and Appropriation is a compact, clear, usable textbook that cuts through the muddy water of critical debates on exactly what those two terms (and a host of other related terms) mean.
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