Reconstructing the rose or how joining the dots (generally) makes the picture

Strong, Jeremy ORCID: (2011) Reconstructing the rose or how joining the dots (generally) makes the picture. Literature/Film Quarterly, 39 (4). pp. 297-305. ISSN 0090-4260

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This paper takes as its subject Umberto Eco's 1980 novel The Name of the Rose and its adaptation in 1986 by director Jean-Jacques Annaud. In particular I seek, however briefly, to use the text, the subsequent film, and the particular context of novel-to-film adaptation to see if they illuminate dominant approaches to theorizing film spectatorship and the making (or finding) of meaning. Film theorist David Bordwell, the leading figure of one persuasive and pervasive account, cautions against precisely such a method, stating "Any doctrine, be it psychoanalysis or Scientology, can be illustrated by artworks" (Making Meaning 6). Notwithstanding Bordwell's status as, in the words of one reviewer, "the unchallenged capo di tutti capi of academic film studies," there is nonetheless a case for using The Name of the Rose thus. Eco's own dual position as best-selling author and theorist suggests the possibility of a collapsing of the distinction between literature and criticism (Coletti 192-93) and, most of all, the story materials address practices and traditions of signification in such a rich and sustained manner as to have given rise to their own exegetical tradition.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Movies, Narratives, Film theory, Forensic evidence, Material films, Literary criticism, Literature, Literary characters, Narratology, Narrative plot
Subjects: Film and television
Depositing User: Jeremy Strong
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2015 11:30
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:42

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