College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Professor Marion Schmid

Details of Professor Marion Schmid's inaugural lecture.

Event details

Lecture title: For an Impure Art: Literature and Film

Date: Tuesday 5 March 2013

Venue: Lecture Theatre 2, Appleton Tower

Lecture abstract

Although highly popular amongst audiences, film adaptations tend to be the subject of much critical denigration. Perceived as a vulgarisation and a degradation of literature, but equally as a threat to the purity of cinema, ‘mixed cinema’ has been accused of lowering and compromising both media. Associated with conservative practices of cinematic production, it has long been relegated to the backwaters of film criticism.

This talk will revisit the prejudices against adaptation - the primacy of the written word, iconophobia, the alleged limitations of film compared to literature - and explore the richly diverse crossovers between the two media. Far from being secondary or derivative, the most original adaptations not only celebrate the expressive powers of cinema, but can become an exciting new way of experiencing and thinking literature. For, as Orson Welles once put it, ‘if one has nothing new to say about a novel, why adapt it at all?’

Lecture video

There is no video available for this inaugural lecture.