Kamilla Elliot certainly has a lot of ideas on adaptation, but I think she stretches the facts and draws conclusions at times that, while helpful to her theories, are not necessarily based in fact. For example, in the section on the Psychic Concept, she says that the inclusion of an Emily Bronte character in Peter Kosmninsky’s film version of Wuthering Heights “touts the film as more comprehensive of the novel’s origins than the novel itself.” While I agree with the second half of her statement (that including the author is an attempt at “authenticating ” the film, imbuing it with a bit of historical gravitas so that it will be taken more seriously) I think Elliot comes off as judgmental and not very objective in accusing the director of trying to pretend that he knows more about the book than the author herself. I might be a bit critical, however, because I feel like Elliot in general is taking some liberties and stretching things a bit in using Wuthering Heights as an allegory for the struggle between film/literature critics and film adaptations.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I’m kind of left wondering what was going on in the section on ventriloquism (something I know Dana has already touched on). Once again, Elliot seems maybe a bit judgmental in her rather harsh description of what adaptation does: “The adaptation, like a ventriloquist, props up the dead novel, throwing its voice onto the silent corpse.” I mean, goodness. First of all, ventriloquists generally use dummies, not corpses, so way to use a creepy analogy unnecessarily, Elliot. (This is, again, one of those times when she stretches the analogy between Wuthering Heights and adaptation to its breaking point- Heathcliff digging up his dead lover because he finds it impossible to move on/believe she is really gone is not quite the same as a director choosing to adapt a novel into a film, even if that director is doing so for less than admirable purposes or in a less than faithful manner.) Secondly, I was, admittedly, having a bit of trouble following the ventriloquist conversation because those pesky diagrams tend to confuse me more than they help me.