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‘No dream is ever just a dream’: Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut as monofilm

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This article examines Stanley Kubrick’s final film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999), in relation to its source text, J.M.Q. Davies’s 1999 translation of Arthur Schnitzler’s Traumnovelle/Dream Story, originally published in 1926. Both the film and the novel are viewed through the lens of monodrama, a dramatic genre characterized by the attempt to convey the subjective psychical experience of a strong central protagonist. Monodramatic traits may also be found in the novel and film, and the article explores how this adaptation typifies certain aspects of the monodrama form and how those traits are portrayed through the specific conventions and limitations of the differing media.

Keywords: Arthur Schnitzler; Stanley Kubrick; dreams; film adaptation; monodrama; the uncanny

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Queen’s University Belfast

Publication date: 2011-08-26

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  • 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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