Transposition from the medium of print to performance-based media, both electronic and live, is a common aesthetic phenomenon. Whilst this process of transfer is accepted practice in some areas of stage performance, notably opera and ballet, a certain prejudice may be detected in the reviews of many critics, albeit with notable exceptions, that a stage play based on a fictional source, especially if it is a canonical one, is necessarily an inferior and parasitic artifact. This study will argue that a distinction needs to be made between faithful but derivative stage versions of novels in the tradition of Zola's Therese Raquin, which aspire only to the status of theatricalised novel, and the autonomous stage transformation of a literary text, creating its own performance dynamic through the reconstruction of literary form and content. For the sake of greater critical clarity the former type will be designated dramatizations and the latter adaptations, despite the lack of consistent differentiation in common theatre discourse.
|Edwin Mellen Press
|Published - 2004