Rewiring the Text: Adaptation and Translation in the Digital Heteroglossia.

This source preferred by Richard Berger

Authors: Berger, R.

This dissertation is concerned with adaptation, in the context of new emerging digital media platforms. The project proposes that new media has allowed for the creation of a universal digital heteroglossia; a heteroglossia that contains the plurality of the unstable utterances of cinema, radio, television, the web and computer games. This has allowed for the process of adaptation to become more instantaneous in the simultaneous deployment of narratives across the digital heteroglossia. Therefore, the process of adaptation is far more dialogical, with previous variants of narratives being ‘rewired’ and gaining an ‘afterlife’ through adaptation, and through the creation of new variants and versions.

The Internet has allowed for adaptation to move into a participatory mode, where fanfic writers fill in ‘gaps’ left by the creators of televisual and filmic texts. Videogames, based on pre-existing or co-existing texts, mean that players can experience moments of supreme and non-permanent adaptation themselves. This thesis suggests that this participation has democratised adaptation, and has fundamentally altered the nature of ‘traditional’ adaptation.

The thesis concludes that, due to a digital heteroglossia, ‘traditional’ adaptation will decline, as the process becomes more plural and instantaneous. With previous variants of narratives being summoned back into life - due to adaptation, remaking and refashioning - it is increasingly unlikely that ‘fidelity’ strategies of adaptation will continue to be the dominant discourse, as all variants of narratives begin to exist in a dialogical plurality with one another; a mutual exchange of fluctuating source and target texts, cross-referenced through intertextuality and assembling a collage of influences.

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