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Franny's picture

i'm still trying to sort out the best way to convey what i've been thinking about/researching. i had assumed i would write a paper up till now but seeing other people's creative approaches, i'm considering shifting my approach. (Anne, what am I able to do? What are the boundaries of this project?)

my guiding question remains: Why has The Color Purple become such a success, both commercially and within literary circles? 

I'm really interested in the minimization of Celie & Shug's sexual/romantic relationship in the film and musical versions of story. Why was this reduced? For commercial appeal? I'm interested in looking at what has become absent in the shift away from a novel towards other forms.

i'm still sort of...wondering at the possibilities for this project. maybe it's a little late for that, but i would love to approach it more creatively. (maybe writing excerpts from a new adaptation or mimicking the glossary of haunting to highlight what has been removed from the story...)


Anne Dalke's picture

You've certainly already shown me that you know how to write a conventional paper, so I'd be very glad for you to pursue some more creative options here, if you think they'd better (or more interestingly, or just making the process ore engaging for you) demonstrate what you've learned. Would be quite glad to have you run specific ideas by me as they emerge, but generally I'd say: go ahead! create!

What's a little more bothersome to me is your guiding question: "Why has The Color Purple become such a success?" (and following from that, the implied claim that "Celie & Shug's relationship was reduced" in the adaptations in order to garner greater commercial appeal). How can you answer such a question, or prove such a claim? Have you found testimony from producers, writers, whoever, speaking to this point? Have analyses been written, which indicate this is what happened? Without textual evidence of this, or actual research into reader/viewer response (a pretty complicated theoretical area, with a high standard for proof) you will just be speculating...perhaps provocatively, but still: speculation.

I am especially drawn, however, to your "looking at what has become absent in the shift to other forms," especially to your "mimicking the glossary of haunting to highlight what has been removed from the story"--that's something that could be both concretely descriptive and evocative of what's missing, without making claims you can't really back up....

Am still very much looking forward to seeing where this goes--and again: please be in touch if you want to talk it through,