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"Unfaithfulness" to Jane Austen?: communicating readings and interpretations of her novels through their films adaptations
Año del Documento
ES: Revista de filología inglesa, 2005, N.26, pags.189-200
As Deleyto claims (1991:162), it is through films that most stories are told nowadays. We can add to this statement that it is through films that many literary works are known to popular audiences, millions of people, throughout the world. One of the British authors whose works have been adapted to the big screen is Jane Austen. These Hollywood film adaptations have been released in cinemas worldwide and have contributed to the cultural and literary exchange between English speaking countries and the rest of the globe, including continental Europe. In this paper, we will focus on two adaptations of Austen's novels:Clueless, an update of Emma directed by Amy Heckerling in 1995, and Mansfield Park, directed in 1999 by Patricia Rozema. These films challenge the traditional notion of fidelity and have been considered by many Austen's devotees to be radical and "unfaithful" deviations from the original texts. However, if we go beyond this notion, these films can be analysed as individual works of art which weave together several prior texts and several interpretations and readings of the novels.
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