The Catbird Seat Essay

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In the following essay, Kendle discusses the difficulties of translating literature into popular film, with specific attention to Thurber's "The Catbird Seat."

My pleasurable recognition of the Aged P, Dickens's lovable and thematically crucial character who doddered briefly across the screen in David Lean's Great Expectations (1946), generated a perplexing question. I wondered whether the movie image would have been meaningful to someone who had not spent the previous two weeks rereading and teaching the novel. This concern, added to others I felt about Lean's version, led me to a number of more general questions about the process of translating a work of fiction to film. Is a film adaptation an independent entity accessible to even an unlettered viewer, or does the adaptation exist primarily as an homage to, or even a series of illustrations from, the original? Such speculations inevitably involve assessments of the intrinsic worth of...

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This section contains 2,058 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Catbird Seat Study Guide
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The Catbird Seat from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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