Last year, as I followed discussions about the new film version of Persuasion, I began thinking about how adaptations are really a form of translation. Instead of moving between languages, adaptation brings a story from one form to another.
For those doing the translating, it can be a fine balance. On one side there are those who love the original source material, who have built a connection to the story, and the heart of the original narrative. On the other hand, going from one medium to another provides opportunities for new considerations, new ways of creating reflections between story and human emotion.
Sometimes these adaptations can be incredibly successful. Other times they fall flat for the majority of people, resulting in a wave of consternation that feels deeply personal. And yet, these translations can touch people in different ways depending on the medium through which it is being shared.
For the purpose of this piece we’re going to look at three different types of adaptation, book to television, myth and oral tradition to visual arts, and book to opera. In each case the translation of the original source material gives us something different to examine, often leading to a renewed sense of wonder.Continue reading “In Translation: Adaptation, Connection, and the Heart of a Story”