Friday, July 4, 2014
Adaptation and the Survival of the Literary Species
Adaptation is a nineteenth-century concept, popularized by Darwin, who adapted (borrowed, stole) it from Herbert Spencer. It’s the process that drives the evolution of species, the concept that shook the Victorian world by challenging the conventional view of the divine ordering of the universe. At its best moments, adaptation does just that: it offers us a completely new and game-changing point of view. It insists on an organic, evolving, intertextual and multi-media perspective. It is a dynamic concept with potential to open up exciting new avenues of critical textual investigation. Adaptation suggests an engaged and constructive form of reading, which can empower our students and yield an understanding of literature as a dynamic cultural form.