as we work our way through these readings, I have involved myself in the futile effort of nailing down a single clarified opinion about film adaptations. Before Elliot, I thought I was on my way, leaning toward a defense of adaptation and a heightened appreciation for it. I was in great shape when on page 157 she begins the De(re)composing concept. When she quotes J. Hillis Miller, “each [critic of Wuthering Heights] takes some one element in the novel and extrapolates it toward a total explanation,” I already knew the next line. Equating film adapters with literary critics is perfect for me. It is an argument which is solid and helps me rid myself of negative judgement of film. If each film is just like an essay, a perspective, then it is easy to view it objectively. I was also enjoying how she used the novel in numerous ways to “extrapolate” elements of film criticism. In this way, she was further removing the novel from being sacred. Wuthering Heights is adapted in several languages, cultures, as a tool for literary, film, and numerous other criticism. It is a resource.
and then it all got messed up!
In the discussion regarding the Incarnation Concept of adaptation, Elliot reveals a duel sentiment clarified in Charles Lambs thoughts. He says (of one part) ” When the novelty is passed, we find to our cost that, instead of realising an idea, we have only materialised and brought down a fine vision to the standard of flesh and blood. We have let go a dream, in quest of an unattainable substance.” (166)
Flesh! Blood! Brought Down! Down with our DREAM standard!
It is true, for me, that once I watch an adaptation, the dreaming is OVER. I just did not realise it until Charles Lamb told me so. Now I am not sure I can handle the idea of my dreams becoming flesh and thus able to die.
This is exaggerated and dramatic, of course! What can you expect after all that Wuthering Heights talk! Anyone else have their opinions of adaptation crushed (or mildly skewed) after this essay?