Abstract

The abundant literature on adaptation theories and methods stop short of offering an abstract model which suits adaptation across all different literary modes and genres. Instead, they mostly cover the adaptation of one communication system to another, for example, literature to film. To close this gap, I rely on Niklas Luhmann's social systems theory and his communication model as well as notions of medium and form. Coupling his theory with the literary theories of Northrop Frye and Mikhail Bakhtin, I not only revive these theories in a new context, but also propose a method for literary adaptation that serves adapting across different modes and genres within the subsystem of literature. To render this theory and its applicability more vividly, I introduce how I applied it to a thirteenth-century Persian-language romance, namely Bakhtiyār-nāme, to adapt it to drama. In doing so, I demonstrate how my suggested methodology serves to determine the mode and genre of the original work as well as those of the adapted work by spotting certain adaptation potentials within the original. These include silenced voices and contradictions that make way for a deconstructive re-reading of it in the form of an adapted work of literature.

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