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23946Re: [mythsoc] Re: RPG fiction

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  • scribbler@scribblerworks.us
    Dec 20, 2012
      I understood the most recent question to be about modern works that are
      based on and/or emulate other MODERN works -- because there are plenty
      that do reference works from before 1850. (John Gardner's GRENDEL, for

      Finding such referencing in literature isn't easy. I'd say that there is
      some indirect referencing of Orwell's 1984 - but nobody has blatantly
      retold it (yet).

      I think for this kind of reworking/referencing, we need to look at film.

      Kurosawa's works are a rich source for remaking -- even though Kurosawa
      himself was great for retelling (that is, THRONE OF BLOOD is MACBETH; THE
      BAD SLEEP WELL is HAMLET; RAN is KING LEAR). But many of his other works
      that are more original have been "retold" quite a lot: SEVEN SAMURAI
      (although one could argue it is his adapting "Seven Against Thebes") to
      Leone's spaghetti Westerns (I forget which) as well as Bruce Willis' LAST
      MAN STANDING; RASHOMON - people more often use the device of multiple
      points of view recounting the same event, though not quite the plot of
      Kurosawa's actual story.

      I'm not sure why there has been less of this sort of retelling based on
      modern works. Perhaps because fewer modern works have been making as
      powerful an impact upon imaginations than other, older stories? Something
      to think about.

      > On Dec 19, 2012, at 1:19 PM, davise@... wrote:
      >>>> But a lot of great art is much more nearly a copy of a previous
      >>>> original
      >>>> than that e.g. much of Chaucer, almost all of Shakespeare.
      > Hm. I'd say Shakespeare typically changes his sources quite a lot. A few
      > of his plays are re-tellings; many are dramatically different from their
      > direct source, having been transformed by the dramatist. And I'd suggest
      > Chaucer is less a copyist than a storyteller of genius, who can improve
      > anything he retells.
      >> I admit I cannot think of a case where a literary significant modern
      >> novel or poem closely follows source material by a different author more
      >> recent than Mallory.
      > Joyce's ULYSSES (traditionally ranked as the greatest novel of the
      > twentieth century, though that's now being challenged by Tolkien and
      > Orwell) springs to mind; his modern-day story is meant to echo Homer's at
      > specific points throughout, and the reader who doesn't have that key
      > misses much of what Joyce was trying to do in the book.*
      > More direct examples can be found in Ezra Pound's THE CANTOS (the most
      > splendid and moving of all Modernism's failures), which quotes directly at
      > length from earlier literature, as well as translating and paraphrasing
      > and excerpting same. Eliot's THE WASTELAND (again, generally considered
      > the single greatest poem of the century) does the same on a smaller,
      > tighter scale.
      > --John R.
      > *CSL did much the same with PERELANDRA, his take on PARADISE LOST, though
      > don't know if that'd meet yr bar for "literar[ily] significant"
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