Oh Connor you’re so Persisent…

What is the job of the adapter if not to adapt?

Connor brings up an interesting point that Dudley states that there is an assumption that this the only job that the adapter has which makes for boring fidelity discussion. Isn’t that the point? This somewhat perplexes me because I suppose that I would assume, where Connor would not that there is some level of obligation owed to the fidelity of the original source by the adapter. I suppose that I also additionally understand the notion that only discussing the familiarity between the adaptation and the adapted can make for traditional and uninteresting discourse however this still does not tell me what if my IS the job of the adapter? Adaptation is inherently bound to its source material is it not? Bazin, who seems to be my go to theorist/thinker, would argue that so long as the spirit is faithful to the original it is still a good adaptation. Does this mean that the responsibility is to simply create a good adaptation based on less traditional thinking? This may be too many questions in one post.
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One Response to Oh Connor you’re so Persisent…

  1. Hmmm…I think that Connor is arguing against the same thing that we all clung to when we first heard about fidelity. In class, I think we all clung to the idea of fidelity, because it made sense to us. When we, in our layman discussions, talk about an original and the adaptation, we talk about which is faithful based on some kind of spirit of the original.

    As such, I don’t think that Connor is looking at how the movies are made or who the screenwriters or directors are, but at the discussions that occur about the movies. He says, “still, like a vampire, fidelity did not die” (Connor 2). There is lots of discussion in the critical community about how fidelity is terrible, but fidelity still seems to be there. I think that’s a bit weird that this discussion about fidelity should still exist especially when so many theorists see that it’s not a productive discourse. Fidelity — spirit or letter — is not useful. Fidelity to the letter is not useful for me it’s still fidelity. But spirit is so useless, because it’s not quantifiable; it’s difficult to measure and what it proposes to measure is not useful to adaptation studies, i.e. some “spirit” or “soul” of a text. How do you measure that? What if Reader A thinks that there is a different spirit than Reader B?

    Connor says, “I am saying that fidelity debates provide a way of avoiding questions of quality. Something is faithful or it’s not. At least, whether something is faithful seems an easier question to settle than whether something is better than something very different” (2). So then fidelity reduces the discussion about adaptation to something that’s simple and doesn’t provide the kind of discussion that critics are looking for.

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