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Semiotics of Narration in Film and Prose Fiction

Case Studies of "Scarecrow</I> and "My Friend Ivan Lapshin</I>

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Benjamin Rifkin

This interesting study of film adaptation focuses on two pairs of works, each consisting of a Russian novella and a Russian film: V. K. Zheleznikov's «Scarecrow» (1981) and R. A. Bykov's Scarecrow (1983); and Ju. P. German's «Lapshin» and A. Ju. German's My Friend Ivan Lapshin (1985). The author examines the transformation of the narrator's discourse in the adaptation process and discusses the meaning conveyed by signs and sign systems unique to the filmic text and its medium, including lighting, foregrounding and backgrounding, and the soundtrack. In his analysis, the author demonstrates how filmmakers use sign systems unique to film to add and/or alter meanings conveyed in the literary texts on which their films were based.