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From Film to Novel

Jan Baetens

6 x 9, 202 pp.

Pub Date: April, 2018

Subjects: American Literary Studies
Literary Theory

Series: Theory and Interpretation of Narrative

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Novelization: From Film to Novel is absolutely a joy to read. Baetens basically owns this field, and his scholarship is profound and almost overwhelming. The examples are brilliantly chosen to highlight specific aspects of the film/novelization relationship.” —David Richter, Queen’s College, City University of New York

Studies of adaptation from novels to film are common, but not as widely known are adaptations with the opposite relationship. In Novelization: From Film to Novel, Jan Baetens explores how transforming an original film or screenplay into a novel establishes a new genre and revises our understanding of narrative theory more broadly. A typical example of popular literature, novelization has remained an overlooked practice in spite of the cultural and commercial importance of the genre, which is as old as cinema itself.

Novelization offers a historical overview of the genre, focusing on the various formats that have been adopted since the first decades of the twentieth century until today: daily and weekly novelizations, cheap brochures, pocket books, and trade editions. It studies the specific features of the genre from various points of view: narrative style, illustrations, authorship, and marketing. By studying novelization from a broad historical perspective, Baetens reframes our understanding of adaptation and the relationship between cinema and literature. Rather than assume that cinematic adaptations either cannibalize or rejuvenate literature, Novelization ultimately offers the opportunity to rethink the adaptation paradigm of film and literary studies.

Jan Baetens is Professor of Cultural and Literary Studies at University of Leuven.



Introduction     A Universe to Discover

Part I   On the Genre of Novelization

Chapter 1         Establishing Landmarks in the Genre’s History

Chapter 2         Variations on a Definition

Chapter 3         Illustrations: A Rhetorical Tool

Part II  A Sample of Case Studies

Chapter 4         Transcription of a Silent Film: The Passion and Death of Joan of Arc by Pierre Bost

Chapter 5         Jean-Claude Carrière, Tati’s Novelizer

Chapter 6         Scandalous Novels, Shocker Collection: Vian’s Seghers Saga

Chapter 7         Out of Breath: A Novelized Remake Translated Back into French

Chapter 8         Cinephilia and Screenplays

Chapter 9         Olivier Smolders and the Self-Novelization of Nuit noire

Part III             The Poem-Novelization

Chapter 10       The Poem-Novelization, A Sub-Genre?

Chapter 11       Jean-Luc Godard 1, 2, Infinity . . .

Part IV            From Novelization to Adaptation

Chapter 12       New Readings of the Genre


Author–Work Index
Subject Index

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