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Adaptation, Translation, Multimediality: A Hungarian Bestseller Across Cultures

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Abstract:

This contribution examines some of the challenges arising from adaptation as intergeneric transfer (from novel to playtext), and interrogates aspects of intersemiotic translation from playtext to performance. Drawing on the international interest in Embers, the paper juxtaposes the source text, the 1942 novel by the Hungarian writer Sndor Mrai, with references to its versions in fictional and dramatic format in various languages: with a special emphasis on Christopher Hampton's stage adaptation, Michael Blakemore's 2006 West End production and (to a lesser extent) Lou Stein's radio drama. The article primarily concentrates on the editing Hampton carries out in his adaptation process, and considers play and performance against the backdrop of the current British theatrical system.

Keywords: Central Europe; Embers; Hampton; Mrai; Stein; dramatization; radio drama

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jafp.1.3.191_1

Affiliations: 1: De Montfort University. 2: University of Glamorgan.

Publication date: February 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Adaptation, or the conversion of oral, historical or fictional narratives into stage drama has been common practice for centuries. In our own time the processes of cross-generic transformation continue to be extremely important in theatre as well as in the film and other media industries. Adaptation and the related areas of translation and intertextuality continue to have a central place in our culture with a profound resonance across our civilisation.
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