We read, watch, and play countless things each day. Although many are original, a lot of the things we choose to play or watch have their roots in something written, or vice versa. While this provides us with entertainment, it does warrant alterations between versions translated from different mediums. While this can be fun and exciting, as artists give new takes or perspectives on old texts, that individual artist could come to redefine how people experience that text forever.
With the rise of big-budget movie franchises and video game dynasties, the adaptation of great pieces of literature occurs frequently. One of the most popular genres of Literature, British Fantasy, typifies this in many ways. For many, British Fantasy novels are some of the earliest and most instrumental works of literature in a young mind’s life. Names like C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, and George MacDonald are all prime example of authors that remain immensely popular even today. The difference now is that we live in an age when any text that sells well seems to always have digital adaptations and remediations that extend that experience for its fans. The problem with this is that no translation to a new medium can completely clone the original piece. Whether changes occur accidentally or intentionally, the art evolves to fit its medium.
In this study, I will take three pieces of British Fantasy, Curious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Lord of the Rings and compare them to their plethora of adaptations and remediations for the purpose of creating an genealogy of the ideological evolution of these works. By examining these pieces in comparison with their later inspirations, I hope to expose some of the trends that caused the text to change form in audience’s minds, thus spawning even more alterations. With British Fantasy housing some of the most influential texts of all time, it is paramount to understand how they have been altered throughout the years to suit the needs of either their producers or audiences. By understanding these relationships, we will be better able to understand how exactly new adaptations come to be as well as what they mean to us as the audience and to the work of art itself.
For a more in-depth explanation of Adaptation and Remediation, start here.
To start with Jekyll and Hyde, click here.
To start with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, click here.
To start with The Lord of the Rings, click here.