<![CDATA[Dr. Marty Gould - Blog]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 15:16:15 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Still Thinking about Tale of Two Cities]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 11:35:34 GMThttp://martygould.com/blog/still-thinking-about-tale-of-two-citiesTwo days later and I'm still turning over in my mind the Open Air Theatre's production of A Tale of Two Cities. My thoughts on the production have been fueled in part by comments I've heard others make:

1. "Typical. Using profanity when it isn't necessary."
I overheard this comment during intermission, and it made me laugh. I get the point: plays often sprinkle the F-word with a heavy hand, thinking it just the right spice to make them really "edgy." And it's true that this production included some foul-mouthery, though it didn't strike me as excessive or out of place. This is a (somewhat) "modernized" telling of a story about the lives and struggles of the dispossessed. It's a story of violent social upheaval. It's a story of people who utterly loathe the people around them, above and below. Dickens didn't drop F-bombs, but we certainly do, and they can communicate a sense of the anger and violence that is simmering all over this play and the novel from which it was adapted. Besides, this is a play based on a novel about the Terror and the French Revolution. There are public executions. And the backstory involving rape. But it's the F-word that offends delicate sensibilities while heads are rolling?

2. "An adaptation is NEVER as good as the original."
Sigh. This is a battle I'm tired of waging, but the comment did make me think again about my previous post. It's true that I found the production disappointing, but not because I wanted it to be "as good as" or "better than" the book. Dickens's novel was the play's source text, material from which the playwright and director and scene designer and actors set out to make something new, something that would remind us of Dickens, perhaps, or reconnect us to his work, or make us think about it all in some new way. An adaptation can be good or bad, successful or unsuccessful on its own terms, and this has nothing to do with judging its merits against the perceived quality of the originary text. In the case of this play, the problem was that it pulled back from fully committing to its own fresh take on the text. It wanted to modernize Dickens--yay, great, go for it, let's see what that looks like, I say--but then backed down from that creative boldness and hammered away on a textual fidelity it couldn't pull off. The play struggled with an awkward indecision about how much to modernize (modern clothes, modern language) while still clinging to the originary (no departure from plot, even for the sake of clarity, no cutting of scenes, the retention of Dickens's chapter titles). The production gave us a bit of Dickens and a bit of something modern but not quite enough--and yet, too much--of either. But it did what any adaptation should, in the end, do: it made me think about the originary text and why it continues to matter. And along the way it did offer some genuinely interesting performative moments and fresh images.

Thinking through this issue helped me narrow in on one major problem: the play wanted to link the oppressed French peasants to today's Syrian refugees--a link that might make us think about the politics and moral questions surrounding this very current issue--but then it remembered, too late, that in the novel (and in history) those peasants become terrorists and tyrants. They burn and destroy then recreate in their own image the justice-denying institutions of oppression that had made their lives hell. The revolution turns out to be fueled by personal desires for vengeance, and their new world order of equality and justice regards abstract ideals as more important than individual human suffering. Hardly a formula for encouraging the audience's empathy for Syrian refugees and other dispossessed members of society. 

And so the play had to, in the second act, turn away from that problematic political statement, which it did by making the Darnays the refugees. Just before the curtain closes, the family is torn apart at the border by government agents who deny them the liberty that Carton's sacrifice offered them. This might have been an arresting (pardon the pun) moment, but it came too late, and it was lost in the general confusion about what was going on at the end of the play. Carton delivers his rousing speech (the play resolving that question, left vague in the text), and we're all set to feel that there's something good on the horizon. And then the border agents separate Darnay from his wife and daughter, and we feel that perhaps, after all, there is no escape from the institutions of injustice and social division. But that's not quite the point that Dickens makes: his novel is about the problems--and potential--of human nature. And to use Dickens to deliver a message about empathy for today's refugees, you have to be willing to tweak the source materials a bit more than this production was willing to do. And it requires a more consistent vision across the whole of the play. The audience might feel sympathy for the Darnays as they are pulled apart while fleeing oppression, but then we remember that those oppressors were, an hour earlier, the oppressed,  and we wonder whether the guards might be right in thinking that this French refugee--who had been arrested, tried, and convicted of treason, after all--might be potentially dangerous. That's the trouble with Dickens: his politics aren't necessarily ours, so engaging current social and political issues via his novels requires a deft hand and a willingness to venture outside the lines of the text, not in order to make the adaptation "better than" the originary, but to help it achieve its own unique effect. 
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<![CDATA[A Tale of Two Cities]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 14:34:05 GMThttp://martygould.com/blog/a-tale-of-two-citiesPicture

A Tale of Two Cities

By Matthew Dunster

Open Air Theatre
Regent's Park, London

July 2017

There were, I will say, some intriguing visual moments in the Regent's Park production of A Tale of Two Cities. The glam-camp-disco treatment of the French aristocracy struck the right notes of decadence and artifice, and the alignment of the 18th-century French underclass with modern immigrants and political refugees felt right and gave the story's representation of violent social upheaval a particular edge. The set design, if minimal, was a bit of brilliance, giving dimension to the small outdoor set and allowing for easy movement between scenes (and cities). Several of the scenes were well choreographed, and there were moments of real theatrical cleverness, particularly in the first act.

Unfortunately, there's a lot that simply doesn't work in this play, which is a shame because I very much wanted to like it. With its fast pacing, frequent scene changes, and character underdevelopment, it requires an audience with some familiarity with the novel if it is to make sense at all. It wants to give us a modern spin on an old story, yet it can't completely let go of the past, awkwardly--oddly, inexplicably--mixing 18th-century costume with modern dress. Video screens on the sides flash words and images--Ronald McDonald, Donald Trump, RuPaul, urban riots--forcing the audience to shift focus from center stage to sidelines and back again, as they try to follow the thread of the play while trying to piece together its relation to the contemporary images streaming alongside it.

Any adaptation will naturally struggle with the novel's insistence that Darnay and Carton are doppelgangers, so alike in appearance that seeing them in the same (court)room raises fundamental questions about the reliability of eyewitness testimony. The resemblance is so close that a mere change of clothes is all that is needed for Darnay to become Carton and Carton Darnay. It stretches the boundaries of believability in the written text, but the visual immediacy of film--the individual viewer's ability to judge the closeness of the resemblance for oneself--makes the doubling a rather tricky business. 

In that case, why not, we may ask, dispense with the pretense altogether? This production tells us exactly why that's problematic. No one could mistake this production's black Darnay with its white, bearded, Scottish Carton, yet the plot insists on their resemblance, which no one in the audience can perceive. The result is a constant reminder of the play's artificiality, it reliance on a minimalism that requires the audience to play along and fill in all the visual blanks. And it injects a certain absurdity into the proceedings, an absurdity that the production just doesn't need.

I did appreciate the production's efforts to remind us of the continuing relevance of Dickens's novel, transforming the French peasantry into modern-day refugees, for example, or suggesting the elusiveness of justice in the modern court system. The novel's interrogation of the meaning and availability of social justice is certainly relevant in today's world, and the play makes the audience aware of that timeliness.

The play's scenes are short, and they come at us fast, the transition from one to the next signaled by a flashing title on a video screen. These titles, read out by the actors in turn, are taken from the titles of the novel's chapters, and they break the action with such plodding regularity--and, thus taken out of context, obscurity--that the audience remains aware of the fundamental tension between the written text and the modern performance.  We can't escape the difficulty that plagues this production: will it give us Dickens's novel, which we know, or will it create from that text something new? Every time the performers seem poised to break off in a new creative direction, the screen flashes, the title is announced, and we're thrown back to the text again. 

As we try to decipher the meaning of some of the titles--what could be meant by "The Game Made" or "Echoing Footsteps"?--we become increasingly aware, especially in the second act, of how very full this play is, how very much it wants to give us ALL of the novel, with all of its confusing twists and turns. It's nearly impossible to keep track of this convoluted plot in such a fast-paced production. On my way out of the theatre, every group of people I passed was engaged in the same activity: trying to figure out how Madame Defarge had been related to the retrospective in Dr, Manette's letter, how Carton managed to save Darnay, how Darnay was connected to whole ugly business of the barn in the first place. It's a good lesson in the problems of fidelity, a caution against inclusivity as a goal in adapting a novel to the stage. A bit of simplification was called for here. True, streamlining and trimming tells a slightly different story, but then this production wants to tell a slightly different story, but it keeps stopping itself from doing so. It's too much, yet not enough at the same time. 

Still, there were some interesting ideas amidst the stage frenzy. It was, if not "the best of times," not quite the worst of them, either. The play made a decently compelling argument for the relevance of Dickens in our present moment, and in its struggles reminds us of the challenges Dickens poses to would-be adapters of his work. There were lessons to be learned in this production: lessons about taking risks in theatricalizing Victorian fiction and lessons in the risks and rewards of textual fidelity and creative departure. This was, alas, not the play that  brought A Tale of Two Cities into conversation with contemporary social issues, but though it missed the mark it did, in its way, remind me that Dickens's novel invites such re-rendering, even as it resists even the best intentioned of efforts.  
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<![CDATA[NAVSA in Florence]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://martygould.com/blog/navsa-in-florencePicture
A stately country villa just outside Florence provides a stunning backdrop for the 2017 supernumerary NAVSA conference. With scholars representing some 16 different countries, this will be among the largest international, interdisciplinary nineteenth-century conferences.  

My paper "Marley's from Mars: Richard Ganthony's Christmas Carol" looks at a lesser-known dramatization of the familiar Dickens tale. This is very much work in progress, and I'm hoping to see an article-length version of the work in press before the end of the year. I'm also working on a webpage with related materials. Stay tuned. 

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<![CDATA[New Essay on Teaching (with) Adaptations]]>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://martygould.com/blog/oxford-book-of-adaptation-studies
​Many teachers of literature are looking for alternatives to the use of film as a treat for rewarding students for making it all the way to the end of a long novel, as a review of a text the class has just finished reading and discussing, or as a bit of respite between encounters with difficult texts. Tired of reactionary complaints that the film is not like the book, these teachers seek ideas for putting adaptations to work in delivering the core learning objectives of their courses. But though they may want to use film as an instructional ingredient, rather than merely icing on a pedagogical cake already mixed, baked, and consumed, they may not be sure how to do it: lacking reliable recipes and new techniques, teachers often stick to more familiar fare. Other obstacles abound in the form of colleagues, administrators, and even students who cannot understand why any instructor would waste valuable class time on light, non-literary, pop-cultural fluff. Adaptation, for these folks, is nothing but empty calories that will spoil the appetite for—and perhaps even the ability to digest—a more substantive and intellectually nutritious literary diet.
Teachers who are interested in the whys and hows of using adaptations in their classrooms may find my newly published essay "Teaching Adaptation" helpful. Published in The Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies​, edited by Tom Leitch, my essay addresses the 11 core questions that those who teach (or want to teach) with adaptation are likely to ask by exploring the current field of adaptation studies as it relates to pedagogical practice. Not assuming an audience of fully committed adaptation enthusiasts or experienced practitioners, the essay begins with the why and end with the how  as it advocates for the use of adaptation in instruction and assessment.

About The Oxford Handbook to Adaptation Studies

​This collection of forty new essays, written by the leading scholars in adaptation studies and distinguished contributors from outside the field, is the most comprehensive volume on adaptation ever published. Written to appeal alike to specialists in adaptation, scholars in allied fields, and general readers, it hearkens back to the foundations of adaptation studies a century and more ago, surveys its ferment of activity over the past twenty years, and looks forward to the future. It considers the very different problems in adapting the classics, from the Bible to Frankenstein to Philip Roth, and the commons, from online mashups and remixes to adult movies. It surveys a dizzying range of adaptations around the world, from Latin American telenovelas to Czech cinema, from Hong Kong comics to Classics Illustrated, from Bollywood to zombies, and explores the ways media as different as radio, opera, popular song, and videogames have handled adaptation. Going still further, it examines the relations between adaptation and such intertextual practices as translation, illustration, prequels, sequels, remakes, intermediality, and transmediality. The volume's contributors consider the similarities and differences between adaptation and history, adaptation and performance, adaptation and revision, and textual and biological adaptation, casting an appreciative but critical eye on the theory and practice of adaptation scholars--and, occasionally, each other. The Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies offers specific suggestions for how to read, teach, create, and write about adaptations in order to prepare for a world in which adaptation, already ubiquitous, is likely to become ever more important.
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<![CDATA[War of the Worlds: The Musical]]>Mon, 09 May 2016 09:58:32 GMThttp://martygould.com/blog/war-of-the-worlds-the-musicalI saw The War of the Worlds: The Musical at the Dominion Theatre in London. The Dominion is an enormous theatre--one of the largest in the West End--with a seating capacity of more than 2000. For many years, it was the home of We Will Rock You, a rock musical set in a dystopic future. Perhaps The War of the Worlds seemed to fit--in scale and theme--with this long-running popular production, but it did not live up to this promise. The vast auditorium was eerily empty, with more seats vacant than occupied. Why didn't the people who flocked to see the Queen rock musical return to take in a bit of musical Wellsian terror? 
The musical is based on the 1978 concept album by Jeff Wayne. And there is the curious Dickensian link: Wayne had, a decade earlier, composed the score for A Tale of Two Cities: The Musical, which was, by most accounts, a theatrical flop. Beyond the horrific and world-rattling horror at their centers, the two stories wouldn't  seem to have much in common. Chaos, destruction, disorder--both are deeply engaged with the sensation of terror, but their "human" narratives feel rather different. One is an historical novel, looking to the past; the other is a future-peering speculative science fantasy. There is in both an interest in the breakdown of civil order and the chaos of the crowd. The link probably tells us very little about Wells and Dickens, a bit more, perhaps, about pervasive 19th-century anxieties, and something about the persistence of those anxieties into the 21st century. It says something, too, about the translatability of stories of large-scale human disasters into musical and theatrical idioms.

There was, I must confess, not much in the production that I found entertaining. Or intellectually interesting. There were lasers. And walls of flame. Guitars screamed. 
It was loud. So very loud. And with the flames shooting from the stage, rather warm in the front rows. The choreography was little more than a frenzied running about, with the actors dodging lasers and bursts of fire, occasionally becoming "frozen" to show that they had been hit by the Martian heat ray. So many lasers. So much running about.

There wasn't much acting. The story was invested almost entirely in a video narrative. Every few minutes, a screen would descend from the ceiling so that a pre-recorded Ralph Fiennes could tell us the story. So there was lots of description and running about, but not much in the way of drama. Is it that the production team felt bound to the concept album? Is Wells's novel not particularly theatrical? Does emphasizing the technology and the terror come at the expense of the human drama of the story? Is the piece simply not alternative enough?

I wondered what had brought people to the show. The two middle-aged women behind me were surprised to learn, from their programs, that the show was "based on a classic." One thought that its originary was the 2005 Steven Spielberg film and hoped that this show would "be true" to that "classic film." The comment is interesting, as it reminds us that The War of the Worlds is one of those novels that everyone knows without having to read it for themselves: it has been so frequently adapted as to have achieved an identity independent of its written text. From the famous radio drama to the many film adaptations, The War of the Worlds has entered into free cultural circulation. What, then, does "fidelity" to its source mean, when everyone in the audience has in mind a different originary?

Given this disconnect between written text and story, it is somewhat curious that the production relied so heavily on the "holographic" narration. Why not sever the link to the originary novel's first-person narration--often very awkward to achieve on stage--and embrace more fully musical and theatrical tools? In some sense, the video screens did double duty, delivering Wells's words--thus assuring us of the production's fidelity to its source text--but also recalling the electronic media--tv and film--that for many--if not most--in the audience may have been the first--or only--encounter with Wells's story. The video voice-over thus "authenticated" the production by linking it to its predecessors, across different media.

Another somewhat curious "authenticating" move was provided by the period costumes. As Spielberg's film showed us, The War of the Worlds can translate to the modern day, speaking as it does to contemporary anxieties about foreign terrorism, military invasion, and global conflict. For Wells's initial readers, it was a warning about imperialism and, a generation later, a grim forecast of the development of weapons of mass destruction. At mid-century, it was an all-too realistic portrayal of total war. It's not strictly a nineteenth-century story, and needn't be set in Victorian England. With the modern electric guitars and laser lights, the period costumes feel a bit anachronistic. The costumes do remind us of the show's Victorian source--reinforcing the show's "classic" roots. The costuming also creates a rather odd sense that what's playing out is a conflict between the technology-driven modern age and an idyllic, human historical past. What's odd is that the show encourages its audience to identify with that lost historic idyll, though the show itself seems to celebrate the sensory effects of modern technology. It's a curious tension.

The musical War of the Worlds was not my cup of tea. For me, it just didn't work. Yet it does pose some questions that get to fundamental issues of adaptation. Why do we revisit particular stories at particular moments and in particular ways? What draws us to modern renderings of "classic" texts? What makes a particular adaptation "successful" (and on what basis do we make that determination)? How can adaptations acknowledge their literary source texts--and predecessor adaptations--while also remaining free to create something new? How is our knowledge and experience of nineteenth-century literature mediated by modern adaptations? And what do we do with the curious links that modern adaptations create among originary texts (linking, in this example, Dickens with Wells, Revolutionary France with Martian imperialism)? 
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<![CDATA[Unaccountable sympathies]]>Thu, 03 Mar 2016 16:06:52 GMThttp://martygould.com/blog/unaccountable-sympathiesFrom the review of No Thoroughfare in the London Times (27 Dec. 1867):
"although [Obenreizer] is a great criminal, the sympathies of the audience undoubtedly follow him throughout, and at the end, when he bids Marguerite and her accepted lover farewell, we have but little doubt that could the audience have settled the marriage, Obenreizer, in spite of all the theories of justice or dramatic propriety, would have received the hand of his ward."

The audience's sympathetic reception of Obenreizer invites questions. Where or how, we might ask, does the play encourage a sympathetic response to its villain?
What might prompt an audience to feel that Obenreizer deserves a better end than he receives? Why is it that the play ends with Marguerite's forgiveness of Obenreizer? Is the audience being prompted to similarly forgive the man who plotted to kill Marguerite's lover?

That latter question is complicated by Marguerite's (apparent) lack of knowledge about what has transpired between the two men. "If you ever wronged me--for George's sake, I forgive you." IF he ever wronged her? Obenreizer interfered in her engagement with George Vendale then plotted his demise. But Marguerite's speech suggests that she isn't aware of these things (or, problematically, that she thinks of Obenreizer's deeds as having wronged only Vendale). Marguerite has not been made aware of the forgery and theft (Obenreizer signs the paper in order to prevent her from making this discovery). So perhaps it is easy for Marguerite--who seems to know nothing of what this man has done--to offer him such broad forgiveness. But the audience has seen it all, knows what he has been up to. If Marguerite's forgiveness arises from ignorance, what is the basis for the audience's forgiveness? And, having forgiven him of his misdeeds, why would the audience want to "reward" him by saving him from his own hand so that he can take Marguerite's (hand in marriage)?

Finally, does the audience's sympathetic response to Obenreizer tell us anything about the character of George Vendale and how he was received? Marguerite can marry only one man: if the audience wants to unite her with Obenreizer, what then becomes of George? What kind of hero is George, anyway? He never seems to know what's going on, even in the last act. Vendale's general cluelessness is in sharp contrast to Obenreizer who, just before going offstage, "recovers himself," indicating a degree of awareness and control that Vendale never seems to manage.
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<![CDATA[Symposium on Victorian Theatre (14 May 2016)]]>Thu, 25 Feb 2016 16:29:16 GMThttp://martygould.com/blog/symposium-on-victorian-theatre-14-may-2016ALTERNATIVE VICTORIANS
AND THEIR PREDECESSORS:
New Directions in Nineteenth-Century Theatre and Performance Research

One Day Symposium
 
Saturday, May 14, 2016
University of Warwick
Millburn House
School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies
The aim of this symposium is to investigate current developments in theatre and performance research and scholarship during the long nineteenth century and to consider ways forward. We invite the submission of abstracts on any topic connected to nineteenth-century theatre and performance in any part of the world. We are particularly interested in papers focussing on alternative approaches to and/or alternative examples of theatre and performance in our period and also in papers relating to what has been called the ‘new theatre history’, to innovative research methods and to reconfigurations of theatre history on both a national and global scale.

The symposium is curated by the editors of Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film: Jim Davis, Janice Norwood, Pat Smyth, and Sharon Aronofsky Weltman. 

Please submit symposium abstracts for consideration to jim.davis@warwick.ac.uk by 15 March, 2016.
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<![CDATA[Pickwick Opera in the Works: Become a Supporter!]]>Thu, 25 Feb 2016 16:26:56 GMThttp://martygould.com/blog/pickwick-opera-in-the-works-become-a-supporter I hope everyone reading this, especially those who love “Cox and Box,” will be delighted to learn that Retrospect Opera, a UK charity I help direct, is going to make a recording of Sir Francis Burnand and Edward Solomon’s “Pickwick” of 1889. Better still, Simon Butteriss is going to sing the role of the immortal Mr Pickwick! Please do look at our website for more details: 

http://www.retrospectopera.org.uk/

Burnand and Solomon, who were writing comic songs together as early as 1880. Of their collaborative works we believe that “Pickwick,” the first really successful musical version of a Charles Dickens story, is the one that merits revival. When it first appeared, critics saw it as a natural successor to “Cox and Box.” Though Solomon was often compared to Sullivan, and sometimes seemed to be waiting in the wings to take over as the Savoy’s composer in chief, we believe that his music has NEVER been recorded! If anyone knows differently, please reply to me. 

That’s the good news. The bad news (mayhap) is that we do need to raise funds to make the recording possible, probably about £12,000. We have a supporters’ scheme whereby anyone who donates £25 or more gets their name on our website and a copy of the recording and accompanying materials when it is released. Bigger donations get bigger rewards. Anyone who wants to pay for the whole thing will be wined and dined as they have never been wined and dined before!! (But in fact, 10% of the funding has already come in from Dickens people and more is promised from that direction.)

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<![CDATA[Theatre Studies Conference in Stockholm (13-17 June 2016)]]>Thu, 25 Feb 2016 12:01:02 GMThttp://martygould.com/blog/theatre-studies-conference-in-stockholm-13-17-june-2016Picture
"Presenting the Theatrical Past: Interplays of Artefacts, Discourses and Practices"
IFTR Conference, Stockholm University, 13-17 June 2016



The conference “Presenting the Theatrical Past. Interplays of Artefacts, Discourses and Practices” addresses questions concerning our relationship to theatre history, i.e. the relation between present and past. How and why do we deal with history? What do we do with history? To what extent is historical research an exploration of our present?

Departing from the 250th anniversary of the Drottningholm Court Theatre, IFTR 2016 focuses on critical perspectives on theatre history. The theatre of the past is accessible to us via historical objects, theoretical discourses and archive materials. But we can also experience it through performance practices that keep traditions alive or engage in re-enactments of theatre events and representations.

Critical investigation of historiographical issues in the field of Theatre Studies touches upon the interplay between theatrical artefacts, practices and discourses. In our view such historical artefacts in relation to theatre can be theatre sites/venues, historical objects (props, scenery, costumes), historical materials and documents, historical locations for re-enactments, etc. Practices comprise performances such as theatre, drama, dance, opera, performance, installation art, laboratory experiments, educational curricula etc. The notion of discourse relates to historical ideas as well as contemporary theories, questions of ‘historically informed productions’ (HIP) and historiographical concepts, reconstructions of past performances etc.

For more information, visit the International Federation for Theatre Research website.


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<![CDATA["Adapting Dickens" Conference in Reykjavik (11-13 July 2016)]]>Thu, 25 Feb 2016 11:50:38 GMThttp://martygould.com/blog/adapting-dickens-conference-in-reykjavik-11-13-july-2016Picture
Dickens Society 21st Annual Symposium: “Adapting Dickens”
Iceland University, Reykjavik
11–13 July, 2016

No sooner had Dickens made a name for himself by writing novels than the London theatres began to adapt them to the stage. Indeed, both The Pickwick Papers (April 1836–November 1837) and Oliver Twist (February 1837–March–1838) underwent such adaptations before the serial run of either had come to an end, and the latter was staged in one form or another no fewer than forty times before 1850! Just over half a century later, “The Death of Poor Joe,” a silent film from 1901 initiated a long series of adaptations of his works for cinema, and in 1959, BBC television broadcast adaptations of Great Expectations and Bleak House that proved how well suited his works were to either type of screen. Over four hundred adaptations later, there is no sign that the public’s enthusiasm for adapting Dickens is on the wane. Quite the contrary, audio versions of his works, a mode that can be traced directly to Dickens’s own dramatizations and his celebrated (and much imitated) readings can now be downloaded in a matter of minutes in MP3 format from a large number of internet sources. By the 1840s, his novels had been translated in Dutch, French, German, Italian and Russian, influencing a host of European writers over the following three decades. If we add the visual arts, musicals, graphic novels, video games, and a multitude of objects from Christmas decorations to cigarette cards and figurines, there seems to be no limits to the adaptability of Dickens’s works.

Papers (deliverable in twenty minutes) related to adaptation as well as proposals on all aspects of Dickens and his works are welcome.

Potential subjects related to the symposium theme include:

  • Dickens and translation
  • Dickens and film
  • Dickens and performance
  • Dickens and the theatre
  • Dickens and television
  • Dickens and audio
  • Dickens and the visual arts
  • Dickens and adaptation theory
For more information, visit the Dickens Society Website.



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