The question of authenticity: Camus’s film adaptation of Cela’s La colmena

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Abstract:

This article re-examines the critical orthodoxy which has emerged in analyses of the literary adaptations subsidized by the UCD and PSOE governments in the 1980s. Through a reading of one of the more successful films of the period, Mario Camus’s 1982 adaptation of Camilo José Cela’s novel La colmena/The Hive of 1951, it challenges the received wisdom that film adaptations necessarily betray their literary originals and reduce the representation of the past to mere nostalgia. By focusing on the question of authenticity in La colmena, the article reveals that this literary adaptation examines the possibility of recuperating the past in a manner reminiscent of revisionist accounts of postmodernism.

Keywords: Authenticity; Cela; La colmena; Literary adaptation; Mario Camus; Representation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/shci.1.1.17/0

Affiliations: University of Exeter

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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