Published in this English translation ten years after appearing in French, Jan Baetens’s Novelization valorizes a kind of writing—the novel written in the wake of a movie, the ostensible inverse of the more familiar adaptation—that’s often disparaged and dismissed as transmedial marketing ephemera when it isn’t ignored entirely. Novelization comprises an introduction, a conclusion, and four sections: “On the Genre of Novelization,” three chapters on the history, theory, and rhetoric of the genre; “A Sample of Case Studies,” concerning French-language novelization ranging from the silent era (Dreyer’s Passion of Joan of Arc ) to the present day (Olivier Smolders’s Nuit noire ); “The Poem-Novelization”; and, special for the English edition, “From Novelization to Adaptation,” an attempt to reckon with scholarship produced in the intervening decade. The volume contains nearly two hundred pages spread over fourteen chapters, with much space devoted to block quotations doubled in French and English, to footnotes,...
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Book Review| September 01 2020
Novelization: From Film to Novel
Novelization: From Film to Novel. By Baetens, Jan. Translated by Feeney, Mary.
Ohio State University Press,
2018. vii + 195 pp.
Modern Language Quarterly (2020) 81 (3): 394–397.
Jordan Brower; Novelization: From Film to Novel. Modern Language Quarterly 1 September 2020; 81 (3): 394–397. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00267929-8351675
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