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From Fidelity to History
Film Adaptations as Cultural Events in the Twentieth Century
252 pages, 26 figures & 3 tables, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-731-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (April 2013)
ISBN 978-1-78533-034-6 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (November 2015)
eISBN 978-0-85745-732-5 eBook
“From History to Fidelity undeniably demonstrates the benefits of the historical case study as a method to show how the factual, cultural and political circumstances of a certain period inform the public and critical response to the films but also the act of adaptation-as-reception… a thoroughly researched and… highly insightful work on the cultural history of transnational cinema.” · Amerikastudien / American Studies
“Overall, Scholz’s highly readable and accessible book contributes new insights to the field of adaptation studies and the individual films that she so thoroughly and eloquently studies. She achieves a balance in considering films as both industrial products and artistic achievement and her transnationality and, more specifically, her bi-lingual skills give her important access to German language secondary source material, hitherto not included in English-language studies of these works. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in transatlantic adaptations or indeed any of the films she considers and its intellectual paradigm is both expansive and offers a significant contribution to current debates in adaptation studies.” · Cercles. Revue pluridisciplinaire du Monde Anglophone
“The text successfully makes a convincing case for reconsidering adaptation studies as an inter-disciplinary process residing at the intersection between historiography and reception studies… Scholz’s multiple interventions are valuable in expanding the vocabulary of both adaptation and film as modes of interpreting history.” · Film & History
“I am very impressed with the author’s research and writing skills. The book is well organized and presented to the reader… By using a series of select case studies of film adaptation and reception, she demonstrates that texts dealing with gender issues, with personal identity, war, and the division of Europe into Western and Eastern blocs provided a focal point for fierce critical debate over the nature of political and civic values.” · Lary May, University of Minnesota
Scholarly approaches to the relationship between literature and film, ranging from the traditional focus upon fidelity to more recent issues of intertextuality, all contain a significant blind spot: a lack of theoretical and methodological attention to adaptation as an historical and transnational phenomenon. This book argues for a historically informed approach to American popular culture that reconfigures the classically defined adaptation phenomenon as a form of transnational reception. Focusing on several case studies— including the films Sense and Sensibility (1995) and The Portrait of a Lady (1997), and the classics The Third Man (1949) and The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)—the author demonstrates the ways adapted literary works function as social and cultural events in history and how these become important sites of cultural negotiation and struggle.
Anne-Marie Scholz holds a teaching affiliation with the University of Bremen, Germany and is currently an Adjunct Professor of American Studies at the University of Konstanz. She is also a freelance language teacher and translator. She has published in The European Journal of American Studies, Film and History, Amerikastudien/American Studies, and German History and has taught at the Universities of Bonn, Hamburg, Tübingen, Bremen, and the University of California, Irvine.