Adaptation, the genre

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TitleAdaptation, the genre
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsLeitch, Thomas
Keywordsadaptation, adventure, Dumas, film, genre, romance

Instead of considering film and television adaptations in the context of the source texts they are adapting, this essay proposes another context for their reception and analysis: the genre of adaptation itself. Focusing on the Hollywood traditions of masculine adventure and feminine romance associated respectively with adaptations of Alexandre Dumas père and fils, it identifies four genre markers common to both traditions that make it more likely a given adaptation will be perceived as an adaptation even by an audience that does not know its source, and one anti-marker associated with adaptations in the tradition of the younger Dumas but not the elder. The essay concludes by proposing adaptation as a model for all Hollywood genres.