Re: [mythsoc] New Narnia stories?
- At 02:49 PM 3/8/2005 -0500, Anne wrote:
>Not really. I once taught a course called "Literature in Film" in which wethe
>had a grand old time watching movie adaptations of everything from 'Hamlet'
>'Silence of the Lambs' (no Tolkien on film worth speaking about back then).
>The final project for the students was to find a piece of literature (short
>story, poem, scene from a novel, something that hadn't been adapted before)
>write it as a screenplay.
>As you might expect, some got the idea at once that they could use only
>dialogue and visual images to tell the story and did some really quite good
>things. Others never managed it, picked up chunks of description and
>as dialogue, never really made clear what was supposed to be happening on
>screen, etc. One and all nodded and said YES! when one student said,Well, here's John Rateliff's definition of "writing in another author's voice":
>"Wow--that was HARD."
>What I'm saying, rather long-windedly, is that print and film are two
>different arts, two different disciplines. The adapter should try to be
>the original author's vision, but can never speak in the same voice.
>Unless maybe we don't all mean the same thing when we say 'voice'--even in a
>group that seems to have a lot of academic types, there are many subtle
>differences in such words....
"authors so unoriginal that, instead of creating their own worlds or
characters they have to munch and mumble the bare old bones of other authors."
And that is what a screenplay adapter does. QED.
If it is unfair to use that characterization of a screenplay adapter, it is
equally unfair to use it of the "pseudo-Conan, pseudo-Herbert,
pseudo-Barrie, pseudo-CLS" book authors of whom he does use it. (And who
exactly are the pseudo-Barries he has in mind? Barrie was a dramatist, and
the most prominent pseudo-Barrie works are on film.) Maybe these pseudos
are bad writers. But badness has nothing to do with medium. Other book
pseudos are good writers. (Much pseudo-Lovecraft surpasses the original,
for instance.) And many screenplay writers are very bad indeed.