Straight to the source? Where adaptations, artworks, historical films, and novels connect

Strong, Jeremy ORCID: (2019) Straight to the source? Where adaptations, artworks, historical films, and novels connect. Adaptation, 12 (2). pp. 165-184. ISSN 1755-0645

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Strong_Adapt_2019_Straight_to_the_source_Where_adaptations,_artworks,_historical_films_and_novels_connect.pdf - Accepted Version

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Responding to several recent interventions in adaptation studies that have argued for history-as-adaptation, this article develops a sustained examination of how page-to-screen adaptations may be understood as structured and interpreted in ways analogous to the historical film. Considering the relationship between historical screen texts and the historical novel, including the many novel-to-film adaptations of such stories, the article identifies a distinct subset of adaptations in which artworks and literary works are engaged as the ‘source’ for fictional and semi-fictional narratives that ostensibly address the circumstances of their creation. Re-purposing the term ‘origin story’ to characterise these stories, the works of historical novelist Tracy Chevalier are posited as examples of this creative adaptive practice. In addition, this paper argues for the trope of ‘bringing-to-life’ and the associated domain of re-enactment as key modes, deeply resonant since the earliest phases of cinema technology, for figuring both the page-to-screen adaptation and historical film. Finally, the 2015 historical biopic and adaptation Trumbo and its relationship to a range of sources are examined in the light of ideas proposed in this paper.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1093/adaptation/apz020
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Adaptations following peer review. The version of record is available online at:
Keywords: Adaptation, history, historical novel, historical film, sources, origin story, Tracy Chevalier, re-enactment
Subjects: Literature > Adaptation studies
Film and television
Film and television > Film theory
Depositing User: Jeremy Strong
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 14:20
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 16:00


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