Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘adaptations’

Interviews |

That Tar-Black Taste: An Interview with Vladislav Todorov

Where do film noir, post-communist Bulgarian fiction, and black comedy intersect? In Vladislav Todorov’s searing noir-meets-social-commentary novel, Zift. Contributing Editor Steven Wingate and Todorov discuss poisonings, the resurgence of narrative fiction in post-communist Eastern Europe, the idea that “many people enjoyed spying on their neighbors” for the state, and much more.

Shop Talk |

B-Movie Sparks Rick Moody's New Novel

Adaptations usually go from novel to film (okay, unless you’re Dave Eggers, in which case all bets are off). But later this month, Rick Moody will publish The Four Fingers of Death—a 700-page novel involving a (fictional) novelization on the B-movie The Crawling Hand. io9 takes a closer look at the novel: It’s the year 2025, and the NAFTA bloc has fallen into such a perilous decline that we barely have an economy or a functioning society any longer, and we’re at the mercy of the much more powerful Sino-Indian economic bloc. A failed writer, Montese Crandall, wins the rights […]

Shop Talk |

Gatsby: The Video Game

We’ve talked about video games and their relation to narrative before. But how about fiction as video game? Enter I-Play’s video game Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. According to the game description, you can “Find the hidden items on your list triggering character dialogue and progressing the story,” “Recreate Fitzgerald’s famous prose, assemble your own library and earn trophies to share with friends on Facebook,” and “Complete unique mini-games: test your memory, put yourself in the author’s seat, or solve portrait puzzles.” Here’s a screenshot, complete with some landmarks from the novel: I-Play offers […]

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Trailer for Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go is being adapted to the big screen, directed by Mark Romanke and with a screenplay by novelist Alex Garland. Stars include Keira Knightly as Ruth, Carey Mulligan as Kathy, and Andrew Garfield as Tommy. It’s hard to say much about the plot without giving away the secret (and oh boy, is there ever a big secret!), but below is the recently released trailer: The movie isn’t out until October 1, so you’ve got 3 months to read the novel. (Click the image at left to find it at an indie bookstore near you.) […]

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The Writer Who Forgot How to Read

What happens to a writer who can no longer read? NPR’s Morning Edition presents this fascinating (true) story of Canadian novelist Howard Engel, who forgot how to read—literally—after suffering a stroke. Engel managed to teach himself to read again and shared his story with neuroscientist Oliver Sacks. When he looked at the front page — it was the Toronto Globe and Mail, an English-language journal — the print on the page was unlike anything he had seen before. It looked vaguely “Serbo-Croatian or Korean,” or some language he didn’t know. Wondering if this was some kind of joke, he went […]

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Glass Wave: Lit-Inspired Music

Ever wonder what happens when literary professors make music? Glass Wave is what happens. Composed of four literary scholars—Thomas Harrison of UCLA and Robert Pogue Harrison, Dan Edelstein, and Christy Wampole of Stanford—plus drummer Colin Camarillo, Glass Wave has just released its first, self-titled album, with songs based on canonical Western literature. Inside Higher Ed profiles the band and the album: The 11-track album adapts themes and narratives from Homer, Ovid, Shakespeare, Herman Melville, Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and Vladimir Nabokov, and sets them to musical compositions, generally in the vein of 1960s and ’70s progressive rock typified by […]

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Short Stories Out Loud

I frequently happen upon Selected Shorts on NPR midway through a story and go through a predictable course of thinking: I’ve missed the first part of the story. I should just download the podcast and hear it from the top. Wow, that sentence was brilliant. What the heck is going on here? And then I end up listening to the conclusion of the story and enjoying it immensely. Now that I’m in New York, I hope to make it to one of the live stage performances of Selected Shorts. If you’re lucky enough to already have a ticket, on May […]

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Electric Literature's Short Story "Trailer"

Literary journal Electric Literature has put out a wonderfully weird animation based on one sentence from Jenny Offill’s short story “The Tunnel,” from Electric Literature No. 3. It reminds me of a mix between Alice and Wonderland and Monty Python, both whimsical and serious, but take a look for yourself: This video is actually the latest in a series: lots more are available on Electric Literature‘s website. But the videos aren’t just a gimmick; they’re an integral part of the journal’s mission. The editors write: Electric Literature’s mission is to use new media and innovative distribution to return the short […]

Shop Talk |

Gatsby, Uncut

We’ve seen a lot of book adaptations lately, from Where the Wild Things Are to Precious to The Lovely Bones. Screenwriters and directors cut scenes here and add scenes there to transform the book into a cohesive viewing experience. A good adaptation can be a brand-new work of art. But in the process, the book is often boiled down to its essence while the particulars–the writer’s own words–are often lost. The American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is trying to work around that. The A.R.T.’s latest production is “Gatz,” a staged reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby […]

Essays |

Writing the Great American Novel Video Game

For some time I was one of few standing firmly in both camps—writer and gamer, fiction-fiend and pixel-popper. But the innovative nature of Next-Gen gaming, with its leaps in technology and massive install-base, means games have developed new depth–and the future of gaming promises to look a lot more like literature than flight simulators. This is, in many ways, the rise of a new novel. Like its lexicographic predecessor, the pixilated form revels in moral ambiguity, character motivations, conflicts between free will and fate.