L'adaptation cinematographique des oeuvres litteraires (l'exemple de Dostoievski)

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Title: L'adaptation cinematographique des oeuvres litteraires (l'exemple de Dostoievski)
Author: Ershova-Darras, Eugenia Zoltanovna
Advisor: Aresu, Bernard
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy thesis
Abstract: This study examines different aspects of the screen adaptation of literary works through the close analysis of three films based on Dostoyevsky's novels: Pierre Chenal's Crime and Punishment, Robert Bresson's Pickpocket, Denys Arcand's Jesus of Montreal. Its originality lies in bringing to light the multifaceted nature of adaptation which is presented not only as a transfer, but also as a phenomenon having different degrees of occurrence, which can range from a simple borrowing to an elaboration of new artistic forms. The study is divided into three parts. It starts with the introduction which discusses adaptation in the light of the theory of Gerard Genette and establishes three major degrees of adaptation: formal, thematic and dialogic. The first part deals with the praxis of formal adaptation, specifically how Pierre Chenal adapted Crime and Punishment, i.e. what he borrowed from the original novel and how he created the atmosphere of nightmare by using expressionist elements such as a slightly deformed set, contrasting lights, projection of shadows. The second part focuses on the thematic adaptation by Robert Bresson who develops in his Pickpocket the themes of transgression, pride, the "will to power", and solitude, which were treated by Dostoyevsky in Crime and Punishment and The Gambler. It also highlights similarities between Bresson's and Dostoyevsky's aesthetic conceptions. The last part examines Denys Arcand's dialogic adaptation which contains a great variety of quotations and references, as well as a multiplicity of voices which composes a modern parable of the Passion. In focusing on the two main voices, the Gospels' voice and Dostoyevsky's voice, this final portion establishes their narrative functions, mode of occurrence, and relationship to one another.
Citation: Ershova-Darras, Eugenia Zoltanovna. (2003) "L'adaptation cinematographique des oeuvres litteraires (l'exemple de Dostoievski)." Doctoral Thesis, Rice University.
Date: 2003

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