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Title: Translation beyond words : film adaptations of classical myths as reverse ekphrasis
Author: Besnard-Scott, Laurence
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 3479
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2017
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My PhD thesis proposes to look at film adaptation through a concept derived from ekphrastic discourse in order to delineate a critical space, or ‘ekphrastic third space’, opened up by the process of adaptation. It raises questions about the semiotic dialogue between (moving) image and text, cinema and literature, and how that dialogue is enriched by reconfiguring traditional notions of ekphrasis as ‘reverse ekphrasis’. The chosen case studies - film adaptation of classical myths - reconnect with the origins of ekphrasis as a rhetorical figure, in an attempt to link it with cinema's 'mythical' dimension. The concept of reverse ekphrasis is mediated through a hermeneutic theory of translation which, 1 argue, offers a way of countering overly instrumentalist or transpositional, semiotic readings of film adaptations. The hermeneutic model allows the critic to see all texts as inherently unstable and dialectical; thus opening the way to seeing film adaptations of classical myths as a way of revealing and/or problematising the conditions of production. The ekphrastic third space is therefore not defined by its polarity but by the interlacing occurring in-between; its premise is founded on an unpredictable process’vyhich adjusts itself as a territory for creativity and critical thinking, not on a finality based on a logic of containment. The image-text relationship is thus envisaged not only as a relationship between the said and the seen but between the unsaid and the unseen. The outcome of such an approach is twofold: the process is both mechanical and organic, hermeneutic and poetical, which implies a constant concern for the ambivalence of signs. In that sense, the workings, or illogical ‘logic’, of reverse ekphrasis concur with a cinema of signs that opens up a discursive space on the transformative process from words into moving images and on its conditions of production.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available