Film (Adaptation) as Translation: Some Methodological Proposa

Patrick Cattrysse
K.U Brussel

This paper proposes an application of some particular theories, known as the 'polysystem' theories of translation, to the study of film adaptation. A preliminary and experimental analysis of a series of film adaptations made in the American film noir of the 1940s and 1950s shows that this approach provides the basis for a systematic and coherent method with theoretical foundations, and that it permits the study of aspects of film adaptation which have been neglected or ignored so far.

Table of contents

The following methodological proposals concern the study of film in terms of translation. This proposition is not presented as a mere play on words nor is its intention polemical. Film studies and translation studies do have different objects, of course. However, I think that an extension of the concept of translation, and an approach to the study of film (adaptation) in terms of this extended concept could provide us with new insights into the [ p. 54 ]fundamental patterns of communication in both film and translation. Also, when I speak of translation studies, I do not have in mind just any theoretical framework. I wish to join a relatively new tendency among a group of translation scholars who believe that there are no grounds for reducing the concept of translation to interlinguistic relationships only and who accept that translation is in fact a semiotic phenomenon of a general nature.

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