Literary Adaptations in Spanish Cinema

Literary Adaptations in Spanish Cinema

SALLY FAULKNER
Series: Monografías A
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 208
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt9qdq7r
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Literary Adaptations in Spanish Cinema
    Book Description:

    New readings of literary and cinematic texts are presented here in historical context, informed by cultural theory. In her survey of the history of Spanish cinema in the dictatorship and democratic periods, the author argues that studies of adaptations must simultaneously address questions of 'text' - formal issues central to the study of film and literature - and 'context' - ideological concerns crucial to late twentieth-century Spain. She examines three themes of particular importance to contemporary Spanish culture - the recuperation of history, the negotiation of the rural and the urban, and the representation of gender - and considers the related stylistic issues of the affinities between cinematic expression and nostalgia, the city and phallocentrism. The study concludes with an analysis of the formal question of the narrator in film and literature, through an assessment of Buñuel's previously unacknowledged stylistic debt to Galdós as manifested in his adaptations of Nazarín/ and Tristana. SALLY FAULKNER is Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at the University of Exeter.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-276-4
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. 1 INTRODUCTION: TEXTS AND CONTEXTS
    (pp. 1-14)

    Narrative film is as we know it today due to literature. From the consolidation of the still prevailing ‘Institutional Mode of Representation’ in early sound film, based on the techniques of the nineteenth-century novel,¹ to the purchase of the rights of bestsellers by contemporary global film conglomerates, and from the recherché literary intertextuality of art house cinema to the lucrative commercial exploitation of a pre-sold book title of Hollywood movies, the influence of literature on film, Raymond Durgnat’s ‘Mongrel Muse’ (1977), is a fact of all cinematic fiction. The history of the relationship between literature and cinema is therefore logically...

  5. 2 POST-FRANCO FILMS OF THE POST-WAR NOVEL: AESTHETICS AND HISTORY
    (pp. 15-46)

    The coincidence of a number of social, political and industrial factors from the late 1970s onwards gave rise to a flourishing of the literary adaptation genre in 1980s Spanish cinema.¹ These were: the will to recuperate a previously colonized past which characterized Spanish culture from the mid-1970s; the victory of Felipe González’s Socialist party in the elections of 1982 and their policy to subsidize art which projected their vision of a new, democratic, European Spain; and the changes in film funding which crystallized in the cinema-TVE deal of 1979 to co-produce films based on the Spanish literary canon, a policy...

  6. 3 RURAL AND URBAN SPACES: VIOLENCE AND NOSTALGIA IN THE COUNTRY AND THE CITY
    (pp. 47-78)

    In his classic 1973 study of rural and urban spaces in English literature,The Country and the City, Raymond Williams asserts that ‘the English experience is especially significant, in that one of the decisive transformations in the relations between city and country occurred there very early and with a thoroughness which is still in some ways unapproached’ (1985, 2). If the significance of English experience of rural and urban spaces lies in its early industrial revolution, the concepts of the country and the city in Spanish culture are important precisely for Spain’s tardy industrialization. Williams continues: ‘even after the society...

  7. 4 RE-VISING THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY NOVEL: GENDER AND THE ADAPTATIONS OF FORTUNATA Y JACINTA AND LA REGENTA
    (pp. 79-125)

    The evidence of an affinity between the nineteenth-century novel and screen narrative, and hence the particular felicity of adapting that source, is both theoretical and actual. Film theorists have persuasively argued that film is more suited to adapting novels than plays using the Dickens/Griffith model,¹ although drama offers equal potential for cinematic creativity, as we have seen with respect toCarícies. The supposed parallel between the mimetic capacity of nineteenth-century literary realism and classic narrative film apparently explains adaptors’ attraction to novels of that particular period.² Approaching the question from a historical rather than theoretical standpoint, we may alternatively account...

  8. 5 ARTFUL RELATION: BUÑUEL’S DEBT TO GALDÓS
    (pp. 126-162)

    In the preceding chapters I have compared the work of a number of directors, whose adaptations have been inspired by a number of writers, within the context of three topics – history, space and gender. In this final chapter I will take Buñuel’s adaptations of Galdós as a case study, not least because Buñuel and Galdós are among Spain’s most influential artists, in the national cinema and modern literature respectively. For this reason Buñuel’sNazarínof 1958, in many respects a Mexican film, has been included.¹ Unlike some of the adaptations considered in previous chapters, there is a wealth of...

  9. 6 CONCLUSION: CINEMA AND HISTORY
    (pp. 163-166)

    It is revealing that the topic of an unpublished doctoral thesis on Buñuel written in Franco’s Spain was the apparently ‘safe’ question of literary adaptations in the director’s work (Lara 1973; see Lara 2001, 9, for a retrospective account of studying Buñuel in this period). If Buñuel has subsequently been recovered by critics, in Spain and elsewhere, as the quintessential cineaste of dissent, film adaptations of literary texts remain shrouded by a suspicious air of conformity. Adaptation studies have consequently languished. The field has been dominated by structuralist critics who adopt an ahistorical approach and literary scholars keen to dabble...

  10. FILMOGRAPHY
    (pp. 167-170)
  11. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 171-188)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 189-198)