One of Henry James's main achievements as a novelist was his ability to demonstrate how the notions of "masculinity" and "femininity" are socially constructed, depending on a variety of contradictory factors: social, political, sexual, and economic. His unique capacity to understand the ideological function of relationships often accepted as "natural" in late nineteenth century culture resulted in works of fiction that impress upon readers the oppressiveness inherent within them. Most adaptations of literary classics, however, tend to be influenced by Hollywood conventions that tend to reinforce dominant notions of gender and heterosexual relations. Adapting a novel for cinema or television is first and foremost a business enterprise, where the screenwriter has to take into account the wishes of conflicting interest groups: producers, stars, directors, and spectators. In Adapting Henry James to The Screen: Gender, Fiction and Film, author Laurence Raw suggests that most James adaptations have sought to shift attention away from the classical narrative to the spectator's interaction with that narrative.
Raw demonstrates that while several adaptations have critically engaged with the subject of gender relations, they have often ended up by reinforcing rather than questioning accepted norms. Yet, there are instances where individual directors and/or screenwriters have bucked the trend and directly engaged with what people understand by 'masculine' and 'feminine' behavior, thus focusing on how the notions of 'masculinity' and 'femininity' are socially constructed, not only in the societies represented on screen, but in the spectators' world as well. This book shows how changing priorities affected the ways in which James's novels were translated to the screen, and how they examined the theme of gender relations. Not only does this represent a new departure for adaptation studies (which hitherto has largely focused on issues of textual fidelity), but it is a particularly appropriate methodology for stu
Laurence Raw is Senior Lecturer, Department of American Culture and Literature, Baskent University, Turkey. He is the author of Changing Class Attitudes (1994) and The Country and the City (1997).
Part 1 Acknowledgments Part 2 Introduction Chapter 3 1 Berkeley Square (1933) Chapter 4 2 The Lost Moment (1947) Chapter 5 3 The Heiress (1949) Chapter 6 4 I'll Never Forget You (1951) Chapter 7 5 The Innocents (1961) Chapter 8 6 The Nightcomers (1971) Chapter 9 7 Daisy Miller (1974) Chapter 10 8 On a Clear Day You and See Forever (1970) and Somewhere in Time (1980) Chapter 11 9 The Turn of the Screw (1974) Chapter 12 10 The Portrait of a Lady (1968) and The Golden Bowl (1972) Chapter 13 11 The Jolly Corner (1975) Chapter 14 12 The Europeans (1979) and The Bostonians (1984) Chapter 15 13 The Turn of the Screw (1989) Chapter 16 14 The Turn of the Screw (1992) Chapter 17 15 Jane Campion's The Portrait of a Lady (1996) Chapter 18 16 The Wings of the Dove (1997) Chapter 19 17 Under Heaven (1998) Chapter 20 18 The Turn of the Screw (1995 and 1999) Chapter 21 19 The American (1998) Chapter 22 20 Washington Square (1997) Chapter 23 21 The House by the Cemetary (1981) and The Haunting of Hell House (1999) Chapter 24 22 Presence of Mind (1999) Chapter 25 23 The Golden Bowl (2001) Part 26 Conclusion Part 27 Bibliography Part 28 Index Part 29 About the Author