At the core of Bethany Wood's absorbing book, Women Adapting: Bringing Three Serials of the Roaring Twenties to Stage and Screen, lies what should be a self-evident claim: that adaptations, whether for stage or screen, emerge out of a complex process in which multiple individuals—not just a single author—participate. This process is shaped by specific historical, economic, and ideological conditions that “exert multidirectional pulls on [original] content” (209). And yet any cursory review of adaptation scholarship reveals that it generally neglects process and historical concerns, instead prioritizing analysis of the end-product in a vacuum. What gets forgotten or erased, Wood asks, when we stubbornly maintain this focus on textual analysis and fail to situate adaptations as the outcome of a historically determined process? For one, such methodology ignores the ways in which the industries commonly involved in adaptations—in the 1920s, this included periodical and book publishing, theater, and film—are...
Women Adapting: Bringing Three Serials of the Roaring Twenties to Stage and Screen
MARGARET A. TOTH is Professor of English and the director of the film studies minor at Manhattan College. Her research interests include late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century U.S. literature, film, and adaptation studies. Her scholarship on Edith Wharton has been published in such journals as Modern Fiction Studies and the Journal of Narrative Theory and in the collections Edith Wharton in Context (ed. Laura Rattray), Edith Wharton and Cosmopolitanism (ed. Meredith Goldsmith and Emily Orlando), and Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence (ed. Arielle Zibrak). Her current book project, After Innocence: Edith Wharton and Post-War Writings on Art and Faith, is an intertextual study that focuses on the figure of the artist and forms of spirituality in Wharton's late works.
Margaret A. Toth; Women Adapting: Bringing Three Serials of the Roaring Twenties to Stage and Screen. Edith Wharton Review 30 November 2020; 36 (1): 72–76. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/editwharrevi.36.1.0072
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