Chapter: 1 Novel to Film problematic
The purpose of my research is to explore the relation between Cinematic version and the written literary text: Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Anita Desai’s In Custody. My aim is not only to examine how they differ from each other but also to find out the ways to stay the same.
My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you feel- it is before all, to make you see. That and no more, and it is everything.JOSEPH CONARDThe task I am trying to achieve is above all to make you see.W. GRIFFITH |
These two famous passages, one by a widely celebrated writer Joseph Conard, and another by an American Filmmaker D.W. Griffith, are frequently cited and discussed in comparison of film and literature. In this chapter, I will consider some compositional similarities and differences between the two mediums, and examine the various ways of adaptation and address some questions of how a filmmaker can go about adapting a novel into film. ‘Ever since film arouse as a story-telling art, there has been tendency by filmmakers, writers, critics, and audiences alike to associate it with literature, as well as an insistence by many people that the associating is false or perhaps deceptive”, Morris Beja observes in his book FILM AND LITERATURE (1979). Many critics and theoreticians have argued that film shares a closer relationship to prose fiction, particularly to novel, than to drama. Robert Nathan makes an argument that the film “is like a novel, but a novel to be seen instead of told” (qtd. In Ross.5)
The theoretician, who drew parallels between films and literary technique, was Serei Eisenstein. His famous essay, DICKENS, GRIFFITH AND THE FILMS TODAY, examines the influence of the novels of Charles Dickens on the early films, and argues that the movies of Griffith owe depth to Dickens. The even claims that