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Adaptation

Studies in French and Francophone Culture

Series:

Neil Archer and Andreea Weisl-Shaw

Originating in the conference held at the University of Cambridge in 2009, this collection of essays includes a range of innovative papers from across the diverse field of French and Francophone studies. From medieval texts to the dramatization of the novel, from postcolonial writing to the politics of film and the bande dessinée, the articles in this collection draw on recent developments in the theories of adaptation, translation, and cultural and textual transition. In keeping with these developments, they move the notion of adaptation away from questions of authenticity and fidelity, thinking instead about the movement across texts and time, and the way such movement generates new meanings. Offering insightful approaches to its subjects of study, the book is an engaging contribution to this growing area of research.

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Part 1 Translation and Adaptation of Scripts and Images from the Medieval and Early Modern Periods 13

Extract

Part 1 Translation and Adaptation of Scripts and Images from the Medieval and Early Modern Periods Laurence Grove Adapting the Image Adapting Da Vinci The notion of ‘adapting the image’ is potentially as wide a topic as one might imagine – images are all around us, and all images, like culture in all guises, include some form of adaptation – with the inevitable result that this chapter, like the image itself, is not closed, but rather an initial investigation of broad concepts drawing upon specific but not exclusive examples. A constant theme will be that of the way in which an adapted image can be ‘anchored’, one that will lead to the specific case of the super- hero as anchor for text/image forms. In Ron Howard’s 2006 cinema version of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code (2003), Robert Langdon, Harvard Professor of Religious Symbol- ogy, gives a Paris lecture entitled ‘The Interpretation of Symbols’ in which initially he shows robed figures resembling the Ku Klux Klan only to reveal them to be Spanish high priests; he seems to project the Devil’s fork, but it is in fact Poseidon’s trident; a Madonna and Child turns out to be the pagan Horus with Isis; Nazi swastikas transform to a Hindu holy symbol, and so on. The images originally put forward by Robert Langdon change therefore when he presents them in their broader context. They change again when our mind sees Tom Hanks and the Hollywood machinery, plus a touch of Forrest Gump, with the...

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