Yaggi, Miranda Maney
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A recent explosion in adaptations of nineteenth-century canonical texts has sparked extreme interest in the academic community, and a great deal of controversy has since ensued regarding the role adaptations play in relation to their original source material. This unprecedented peak in critical attention surrounding adaptation has highlighted the limitations scholarship faces in defining, interpreting, and theorizing about this genre that annexes multiple academic fields. Focusing specifically on adaptations of nineteenth-century women’s writing, I argue that traditional approaches to adaptation are no longer productive for grappling with the vast changes postmodernism has instigated in the genre. Identifying a new trend, which I term “adaptive criticism,” I argue that recent adaptations incorporate scholarship, self-reflexive meditations upon the connection between source material and new creation, and move away from mimetic re-telling to culturally-informed re-invention.