Mapping Memory and Desire in The English Patient: A Postmodern Novel’s Adaptation to Film
Keywords:film adaptation, supplementation, surplus value, postmodern Canadian novel, adaptation of a postmodern novel
The exploration of the adaptation of Michael Ondaatje’s postmodern Canadian novel, The English Patient, into Anthony Minghella’s film of the same name, is based on a postmodern approach to the theory of adaptation that distances itself from the fidelity critique in and dualistic approach to adaptations and views them as instances of intertextual dialogism. Additionally, the postmodern approach that is developed by Peter Brooker and Gordon Slethaug implements ideas of supplementation and surplus value to adaptations and indicates how meaning can be broken down and destabilized. The paper investigates the traits of the postmodern Canadian novel, such as historiographic metafiction and fragmentation, while also analyzing the novel The English Patient and the film The English Patient. Namely, the novel’s narrative organization according to the dynamics of memory and the film’s exploration of transgressive desires are presented, thus creating a detailed analysis of the adaptation of Ondaatje’s novel into a new cinematic work.
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