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Memories in/of Thérèse Raquin: Émile Zola and Marcel Carné

Griffiths, Katherine 2011. Memories in/of Thérèse Raquin: Émile Zola and Marcel Carné. French Studies 65 (2) , pp. 188-199. 10.1093/fs/knq250

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Memory lies at the heart of the adaptive process as a filmmaker remembers, in a different form or genre, an earlier work. Marcel Carné theorizes the act of adaptation via his contemplation of the role of memory in his 1953 film Thérèse Raquin. Characters remember but do not voice their acts of remembrance. However, if personal memories are foreclosed, Carné explores the textual memories of his film. His work makes widespread changes to the original novel from which it stems: Zola's 1867 text of the same name. Carné, though, is unable to forget what he has altered and, in a series of meta-adaptive scenes, he inserts playful references to the details he has removed. Carné remembers what is no longer there. Memories other than those of Zola circulate in Carné's adaptation, be they traces of Carné's earlier works or those of its principal actors. The film is not a facile or inferior reproduction of Zola's text. It is a self-reflexive piece that considers the personal and artistic acts of recollection at the heart of its adaptive fabric just as Zola's novel, itself fascinated by the memories of its characters, underlines the traces of other texts in its own creative act.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion Pictures
Additional Information: Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for French Studies
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0016-1128
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:30

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