In twentieth-century filmmaking, most film critics agree that nineteenth-century novels had a special attraction for filmmakers because they established a national discourse or mythology and generated authoritative figures for their cultures. In the case of Spain, Galdós is a popular nineteenth-century author among filmmakers especially in the late twentieth century. In relation to twentieth-century Spanish history, Galdosian adaptations formulate the expressions of cultural critiques questioning the value and the meaning of the existing social order, such as women under patriarchal rule, and even representing national-historical concerns.
My studies of three adaptations, Tristana (1970) by Luis Buñuel, Marianela (1972) by Angelino Fons, and Fortunata y Jacinta (1980) by Mario Camus, demonstrate that the adaptations establish oppositional discourses to the patriarchal order of society by means of formulating and underlining the novels' femininity used in various ways such as the subversion of female body's conventional concepts, the feminine narrative style, and the emphasis on female perspective and space. The last chapter, which is about the adaptation El abuelo (1998) by Garci, shows that the adaptation questions the conventional way of defining the nation's identity and suggests another way of formulating it through melodramatic structure and emotional effects.
The fact that Galdosian novels were adapted during the most critical times in recent Spanish history indicates a national and cultural authority that Galdosian novels have. Therefore, studying literary adaptation can generate various ways to read novels, thus lending the novels cultural significance in a different period of time and through a different medium.
|Subjects||Romance literature; Mass communication; Film studies|
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