Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

independent study updates

Franny's picture

i've been exploring different adaptions of the color purple and am trying to dig into what about this narrative has made it a commercial success & a work that has been canonized as "serious literature" 

so far i have:

  • read the book
  • familiarized myself with the musical adaptation
  • begun compiling critical responses to the book/film/musical & other additional texts

going forward i need to:

  • watch the movie
  • read all additional texts, determine if more research needs to be done/what other supplementary texts might help
  • come up with an argument/main focus for my paper
  • write the paper obviously

i think i'm in an okay spot right now. i'm not totally sure where i'm going to go with my paper but i feel like what i want to do is starting to take shape and will become more clear/focused as i continue working.


Anne Dalke's picture

reading this, I'm reminded of the good question you asked in your last paper: Why is Suzan-Lori Park’s Getting Mother’s Body a Novel?

Your question then provokes mine, this time ‘round: why was The Color Purple a novel? (Or: what was accomplished by that form?) And what was lost/gained/altered in its “translation,” first into a movie, then a Broadway musical, then a radio play? What difference does genre make? How do the four genres differ, in how they represent, and how they act on us as readers, viewers, listeners?

Do you know about the field of Adaptation Theory? You’ll find a fair overview @ which also includes a starting bibliography (see esp. Linda Hutcheon’s 2006 book, A Theory of Adaptation). Another perhaps helpful starting point is

Since this project is still, for me, haunted by the notion of haunting, I’m wondering if that term might still prove resonant to you here--perhaps more so than some of the terms conventionally used in Adaptation theory, such as fidelity and replication, intertextuality and dialogue, compression and expansion, correction and amendment, repetition and replication.….

Looking forward to seeing where this goes! A.