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From Greenwich to Pittsburgh: the Americanisation of Graham Swift’s Waterland in Stephen Gyllenhaal’s 1992 Cinematic Adaptation of the Novel

De Greenwich à Pittsburgh: l’américanisation de Waterland de Graham Swift dans l’adaptation cinématographique de Stephen Gyllenhaal de 1992
Isabelle Roblin
p. 37-48

Résumés

Dans les fictions de Graham Swift, l’Histoire (et en particulier la Seconde Guerre mondiale) est souvent considérée à travers les histoires et la mémoire des différents narrateurs. Cependant, comme Swift lui-même l’a fait remarquer, « nos souvenirs ne nous viennent pas de manière chronologique, mais dans le désordre » et dans ses écrits il tente d’imiter ce processus. C’est le cas dans Waterland (1983) et l’un des défis les plus importants de l’adaptation cinématographique de 1992 du roman était de trouver des équivalents filmiques à cette technique narrative sans perdre le spectateur dans une succession étourdissante de retours en arrière et de sauts en avant. Nous ne nous comparerons pas ici le film au roman et ne nous intéresserons pas à la question de la « fidélité » de l’un à l’autre puisque, comme l’a noté le critique Brian McFarlane et bien d’autres après lui, cette question ne fait qu’en rejeter dans l’ombre d’autres, plus intéressantes. Nous étudierons les choix de (re)lecture du réalisateur (Stephen Gyllenhaal) et du scénariste (Peter Prince) du film, avec Jeremy Irons dans le rôle de Tom Crick, Sinéad Cusack dans celui de Mary et Ethan Hawke, alors tout auréolé de son interprétation de l’élève Todd Anderson dans le film de 1990 de Peter Weir Dead Poets Society, dans celui de Price. Nous nous concentrerons plus spécifiquement sur les conséquences de la transposition d’une partie de ce roman fondamentalement britannique aux États-Unis, sur la manière dont l’Histoire est présentée et sur la transformation de la fin énigmatique du roman en une fin relativement heureuse.

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1Many critics (for example Gallix 63) have pointed out that in Graham Swift’s Waterland the setting—the Fens—is much more than a background. It is in itself a major character in the story. Swift himself commented on the very strong bond between Tom Crick, the narrator and main character, and the watery land of his birth:

the landscape in that novel is partly a real landscape and partly an invented one. In the sense that it has been imagined, it is a landscape of the mind. I think the real connection between the internal and the external territory, if I can call it that, is the central character, a man who has moved away from the physical geography in which he was born, but who is very much attached to it, in fact desperately so, through his memories and through his thoughts. In that sense too, it’s a landscape of the mind.
(Bernard and Menegaldo)

  • 1 The choice of Greenwich is interesting: Jean-Louis Picot, in his article ‘Waterland: la machine à r (...)
  • 2 Ironically, ‘the interior scenes for the wholly spurious Pittsburgh household . . . were shot in a (...)

2When Tom, who has become a history teacher, starts telling his class stories about the Fens, he no longer lives there, he has indeed ‘moved away from the physical geography in which he was born’: he and his wife Mary have settled in Greenwich, where they own an ‘“enviable Greenwich home” (Regency, porticoed front door)’ (Swift 1983, 107), full of antiques and books.1 From the start, this somewhat cosy and elegant English setting is totally absent from the American director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Peter Prince’s 1992 adaptation of the novel: just after the credits, but before the beginning of the film proper, the caption ‘Pittsburgh 1974’ appears on a black screen, followed by a close-up shot of Jeremy Irons/Tom Crick with the typical modern American city skyline in the background. We then move on to his non descript, very middle-class house2 and then back again to the Monongahela River Wharf, complete with an American flag. Tom’s voiceover rambles on, accompanied by a romantic musical theme with strings and a set of bells over the sound of a crying baby. As he explains that he and his wife have been living in this place for twenty years the audience is left in no doubt that this Pittsburgh is indeed Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (DVD chapter 1).

  • 3 He makes it very clear in his piece about the filming of his novel in Making an Elephant: he writes (...)

3This choice puzzled not only the author himself3 but also many critics: ‘these present-day scenes are set for no clear reason in Pittsburgh,’ Janet Maslin of The New York Times remarked, while Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun Times wrote that ‘the transfer to Pittsburgh is a mystery’, even though for him it was ‘not a serious distraction’. Linda Hutcheon famously saw in the deliberate ‘move off-center’ in many contemporary novels ‘the contesting of centralization of culture through the valuing of the local and peripheral: not New York or London or Toronto, but William Kennedy’s Albany, Graham Swift’s Fens country, Robert Kroetsch’s Canadian West’ (Hutcheon 61). The same idea could perhaps be applied to the film. It is more likely however that there were overwhelming financial incentives to tip the scales in favour of that somewhat improbable location, described by Swift as a ‘transatlantic aberration’ (Swift 2009, 192). Whatever the reasons for the American director’s choice of settings, they have far-reaching consequences on the way this very English novel is transposed onto the silver screen.

4As Brian McFarlane pointed out in his seminal work Novel to Film. An Introduction to the Theory of Adaptation, ‘any given film version is able only to aim at reproducing the film-maker’s reading of the original and to hope that it will coincide with that of many other readers/viewers,’ before concluding: ‘since such coincidence is unlikely, the fidelity approach seems a doomed enterprise and fidelity criticism unilluminating’ (Mc Farlane 9). In Making an Elephant, Swift himself acknowledged that as an author ‘you’re always going to feel that the film isn’t “your book”’(Swift 2009, 189). Moreover, when asked earlier about the cinematic adaptation of his novel, he said: ‘I’m quite sure it would diverge from the novel, in some cases quite drastically, and I accept that, because a film is a different thing from a book. The last thing I would want is some slavish duplication of the book in film. There seems no point in that’ (Bernard and Menegaldo 18). This is also my point of view, and therefore, I shall not try and establish how ‘faithful’ the film is to the novel (especially since, clearly, it is not) but I shall rather try and find out what the implications of this Americanisation are on the spectator’s perception of the film, a spectator who may also, of course, be a reader of the novel.

  • 4 Sinéad Cusack is also Jeremy Irons’s wife in real life.

5The first point is made quite early on in the film: Tom and Mary have emigrated to the United States to make a clean break with their traumatic English past, hoping—like so many immigrants before them—that a new life would be possible in this new country where history is seen not as a crushing human experience but as a subject to be taught to bored students (and even that is under review). They are apparently well integrated in American society, accepting without too much fuss American rituals such as a Saturday night dinner at the Principal’s house, for example. There are, notably in that sequence, some examples of dialogues when the very English-sounding Sinéad Cusack (who plays the adult Mary)4 and Jeremy Irons (‘everybody’s favorite morose Englishman’ according to an American blogger) are contrasted with their American-speaking hosts (this is particularly true of the Principal’s children). This linguistic contrast is also to be found in the exchanges between the American students and Tom. Transplanted in this American context, the quintessential Englishness of the language of the novel is thus used in the film as a gimmick to signify one of the odd and peculiar idiosyncrasies of the history teacher, who is further stereotyped as the Englishman by his—unconvincing—pipe smoking.

6For the English couple however, even in America the past is not so easily buried and their quiet life is suddenly shattered by the return of the repressed as Mary, who was left barren after a botched abortion and is now in her mid-fifties, suddenly announces that a miracle has happened and that she is going to have a baby, given to her by God, and then proceeds to steal one at the nearest supermarket, called, perhaps ironically, Shop and Save. The consequences of that act, so momentous in the novel, since Mary is sent to a psychiatric hospital, are curiously de-dramatised in the film: the baby is handed back to the tearful mother, Tom comes up with a very unconvincing lie and this is apparently the end of the matter (DVD chapter 11). Rather than having Mary tried for kidnapping and confined to an asylum, the film deliberately opts for another outcome: she goes back to England and the Fens5 and shortly afterwards Tom, having been ‘retired’ from the school where he was no longer teaching the history syllabus, is about to join her and, it is implied, once they are back together in the land of their birth they will finally come to terms with the tragedies they have never really dealt with, having chosen instead to escape to America. The concluding voiceover suggests that Tom might after all have finally found a story with a fairly happy ending: ‘I said to [my father] once, “Don’t you know any stories that have a happy ending?” He said “No.” He said if I ever was to find one, I should be sure to let him know’ (DVD chapter 15). This is confirmed by the movie trailer, which defines the film as ‘the extraordinary story of one man’s life relived so that romance might be reborn’, before concluding, somewhat pompously, ‘For love to have a future, we must never forget the past’,6 and by the back cover of the DVD, where the film is summed up as ‘an impressive adaptation of Graham Swift’s classic tale of love and redemption’, which may not exactly coincide with how the readers remember it. The cyclical music score, in the late romantic tradition, complete with a melody accompanied by strings—particularly cello and harp—reinforces the theme of romance as the two characters are about to be reunited.

7The ‘feel good’ factor (especially coming after the depiction of Mary’s abortion just before) that audiences—not just American ones—generally like is far from present at the end of the novel, in which Tom’s idiot brother Dick literally disappears from the surface of the earth. Even though Swift himself pointed out the different possible interpretations of the somewhat enigmatic ending—‘You can see it as a suicide and a form of mysterious escape. I wanted it to be amphibious, ominous and a little uplifting at the same time’ (Birat 8)—this event, which took place almost forty years before the telling of the story, is traumatic to say the least, for the reader as well as for the characters. It can be compared to the very end of Ever After when the very last line of the novel—‘he took his life, he took his life’ (Swift 1992, 261, original italics)—cancels with a single stroke the preceding happy description of the wonderful memory of the first night Bill Unwin, the narrator, and his future wife spent together and takes the reader back to an early distressing event in Bill’s life, i.e. the suicide of his putative father. Dick’s disappearance is also to be found in the film, but much earlier on (chapter 10 out of 15 in the version), since Tom’s memories are organised more or less chronologically (or at least much more so than in the novel), as he tells his pupils his story, and so the effect on the spectator is not as powerful and memorable. Interestingly, the last memory recalled by Tom during his retirement speech (DVD chapter 14), before he leaves Pittsburgh to go back to the Fens and his wife, is also quite ghastly and probably even more controversial, since it is the story of the teenage Mary’s horrific abortion, a very risky subject for an American director in a supposedly mass audience film. The stunned faces of Tom’s colleagues and students in the assembly hall testify to the state of shock they are in at the end of this public display of a taboo subject: this time, there are no more giggles, no more banter, no more sniggering, only silence.

  • 7 Strangely enough, ‘the American classroom scenes, with an imported cast of American teenage actors, (...)

8I quite agree with François Gallix when he writes that, in the novel, it is quite difficult for the reader to know whom exactly Tom is addressing, what he is ‘really’ telling his class and what he is in fact imagining or daydreaming, for the two modes of narration are closely interwoven in the narrative (Gallix 40). But in the film, there is no real ambiguity and the telling of the story is almost always linked to classroom situations in which Tom the English history teacher interacts with his American students. There are several uses for the many classroom or school scenes7 in the film: first they provide a kind of light comic relief taking the form of bantering, as in the ‘discussion’ about the respective merits of trains, cars or motels for teenage love making ; or classroom vulgarisms and typical adolescent humour and double entendre (about Tom’s brother’s name, Dick, for example, DVD chapter 4).

9Tom’s very personal story telling—instead of the normal history lessons about the French revolution he is supposed to teach—establishes a new kind of relationship between him and his class. At one point the students suggest two possible explanations as to the ‘why’ of this new kind of (his)story-telling: for Judy, a nice girl and obviously a good student, ‘it’s not just dirty stories . . . ; you’re showing us, like you were part of history too’, whereas for the rebellious Price, played by Ethan Hawke, ‘You’re trying to buy us off . . . so that you can get in with us. But you can’t, because you’re just a teacher, that’s all’ (DVD chapter 5). Tom’s refusal to commit himself one way or the other indicates that he himself is no longer certain about his own status.

10The role of the high school students as a whole is much more important than in the novel where, with the exception of Price, they hardly ever appear as distinctive individuals. This sometimes takes on a rather bizarre form: for example at one point Tom (and the spectator through his eyes) suddenly sees Judy, who has just asked a rather naive question about his history class on the French revolution (‘Mr Crick, are we done with the guillotine for good or just today?’), naked (DVD chapter 6), whereas there is no hint anywhere else in the film of Tom lusting for the beautiful nubile bodies of his female students. The most outlandish ‘aberration in handling of time’ (Swift 2009, 192–3) however is to be found when Tom apparently takes his whole class on a surrealistic field trip, teleporting them so to speak in time and space from 1974 Pittsburgh to the early twentieth century Fens where, in an open motor vehicle, they visit his grandfather’s mansion and hometown. The slightly ludicrous dimension of the scene is also reinforced by the musical score: the double bassoon (rarely used in orchestration) marks the beat in a very slow tempo, giving the piece a parodic or even farcical tone. The episode first takes the form of a classical history lesson, with typical pedagogical exchanges: ‘Leave your things in the bus. Take your notebooks with you. Stay together, don’t get lost. And no smoking in the house’, Tom instructs his students, like any teacher on any school outing ; or he makes sure they have the necessary background to understand what is going on: ‘It’s 1911 now’ ; ‘Today, a nation hungry for war, glory and profit is crowning its new king, George V’, and likewise in the following dialogue, which reminds the students—and the spectators—that European History and American History do not always coincide:

Tom: After the First World War—dates somebody?
American student: 1917–1918.
Tom: We are in England!
Student: Oh, 1914 to 1918. (DVD chapter 5)

11However the apparent normality of the history lesson is completely undercut by the surroundings: as the students visit Tom’s family mansion and Gildsey, his native town, the 1911 inhabitants seem to take no notice of the intrusion of these aliens from the future and go about their business: Tom’s grand father Ernest Atkinson and his daughter are making beer, the villagers are drinking Atkinson Coronation Ale, getting very drunk and , as a American student, typically shocked by this public display of collective drunkenness, remarks (DVD chapter 5). The discrepancy between what is presented as a conventional history lesson and the science fiction setting of the scene generates a feeling of disbelief and puzzlement as the spectator tries to figure out what kind of film he /she is watching or what the screenwriter and the director are trying to do (there is no indication for instance that Tom is dreaming this strange school trip, which would have been an obvious way out). After this episode, there are no more whole class outings and the script returns to ‘normal’ classroom situations, but the relationship between Tom and his pet bratty student Price, whom he sees as a substitute son (as in the novel, in the bar he takes Price to, he tells the barman, who questions the boy’s age, that Price is his son [DVD chapter 13]) takes a new but not entirely unexpected turn. While I, for one, quite agree with Roger Ebert when he writes in The Chicago Sun-Times: ‘I am fuzzy about some of the modern details, such as Crick’s liking for a difficult student played by Ethan Hawke’ and while I think that Price’s ‘no future’ attitude in particular is very dated now, we should remember what Swift himself pointed out about his novel:

Waterland is about—among other things—the notion that there is no future, that the world is coming to an end, that history is coming to an end, and so forth . . . Now in one sense that is already out-of-date. I was writing the book at the end of the seventies and the fear of a nuclear war was a very current fear then, particularly among young people. Hence the character of the student, Price. (Bernard and Menegaldo)

12Price’s role is much amplified in the film as Tom comes back to the Fens with Price alone after the school trip through time and together they watch the unfolding of Tom’s family history. While keeping up the history lesson and his posture as a history teacher (‘It’s 1922, Price’ ; ‘Bombers. Heading for Germany. It’s 1943, Price. There’s a war on’ [DVD chapter 7]), Tom becomes more and more personal in his story telling, showing Price not only the old family mansion where his mother met his father, a war casualty she nursed back to health, but also their cottage, the sluice, his own childhood room and finally the attic and the trunk containing his grandfather’s letter to his brother Dick and the twelve bottles of Coronation Ale (DVD chapters 7 and 8). Price also witnesses teenage Tom’s fit of jealousy, for example, as well as Tom’s mother’s death. The sharing of these moments of intimacy clearly emphasises Tom’s attempt to make Price his chosen spiritual heir, to replace the child he never had with Mary. The fact that during his official retirement speech, as the whole school is gathered in the hall, he addresses Price directly by name confirms this interpretation: the screenwriter and director chose to privilege the special father/son relationship (paradoxically, a typical and recurrent Swiftian motif) between the middle aged Tom and the teenage Price. The question is, of course, once again, why?

13There are probably many reasons, but I am quite positive one of the main ones is the director’s wish to cast Ethan Hawke in a major role. This is confirmed by the DVD cover (from one of the film posters), on which his name and Jeremy Irons’ are the only ones that appear. They are also the first ones in the film credits, with Sinéad Cusack coming only in third position. When Waterland was shot in 1992, Ethan Hawke was still fresh from his main role as student Todd Anderson in Peter Weir’s 1990 very successful film Dead Poets Society, a film similar in many ways to Waterland (e.g., both are about a teacher with unconventional teaching methods who in the end is sacked by the school authorities). Both films clearly appeal to the same audiences, the 14 to 25 age-group which is the core target of all the major studios. Dead Poets Society ranks number twenty on Entertainment Weekly’s list of the 50 Best High School Movies8 and I think Waterland’s director’s ambition might have been to emulate the previous movie, thus the emphasis on the school class scenes, the teacher/pupil relationship and Ethan Hawke’s amplified part in the film.

  • 9 It grossed only $1,034,287 in the USA. As a comparison, Dead Poets Society grossed $ 95,860,116 (ww (...)

14However, when Dead Poets Society came out, it was rated PG (‘Parental Guidance’ suggested, as ‘some material may not be suitable for children’) in both the USA and the UK, whereas Waterland was classified R in the United States (‘Restricted, Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian’) for ‘Sexuality And Language, And For Abortion Theme’ and 15 in the United Kingdom (‘Suitable only for those aged 15 and over. Nobody younger than 15 can see a 15 film in a cinema’). Clearly the targeted audience was slightly older for Waterland, which is indeed full of sex, violence, juicy revelations about a teacher’s past, themes which after all might be of some interest for high school students . . . In the end, however, even with stars like Jeremy Irons and Ethan Hawke, the film was not a success.9

15As an anonymous critic from the Washington Post pointed out, ‘Waterland makes a valiant attempt to create a coherent movie from a highly interior, meandering novel’ but ‘the adaptation doesn’t quite hold’ and the almost happy ending in particular is very much contrived. The film also has a gimmicky feel about it, particularly when Tom takes his Pittsburgh students travelling back in time to the Fens: the pseudo sci-fi episode is all in all quite (and self-consciously?) ridiculous. Perhaps Stephen Gyllenhaal and Peter Prince concentrated too much on the school teacher/pupils elements, which are not really what the novel is mainly about, and not enough on the relationship between personal and public history for example, probably because it would not appeal to an American public. Tom’s deep conviction in the novel that ‘history is only a kind of collective story-telling’ (Swift, quoted by Bernard and Menegaldo 14) in particular does not really transpire in the film. The summary which appears on the DVD cover (‘A story of long kept secrets, sexual scandal, even murder. The story of his life’) illustrates the choices made by screenwriter and director who have deliberately retained the more sensational aspects of the novel. Graham Swift has many times repeated that the themes of his novels, even those which, like Waterland, are rooted in a particular landscape (which is also a mindscape [see Bernard and Menegalgo, 9ff]), are universal. But in that filmic adaptation of the novel, the Americanisation has in fact considerably narrowed the scope of the novel. As Swift himself declared in an interview: ‘the fact that the book exists is of course one’s final protection. A film does not remove the book. Even if the film turns out not to be very good, the book is still there’ (Bernard and Menegaldo 18).

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Bibliographie

Anon., ‘Waterland’, The Washington Post, November 06, 1992,
www.washingtonpost.com/wpsrv/style/longterm/movies/videos/waterlandr_a09e77.htm, last accessed on 3 June 2010.

Bernard, Catherine, et Gilles Ménégaldo, ‘Entretien avec Graham Swift’, Graham Swift ou le temps du récit, ed Michel Morel, Paris: Messène, 1996, 9–18.

Birat, Kathie. ‘Avant-Propos’, Graham Swift ou le temps du récit, ed. Michel Morel, Paris: Messène, 1996,7–8.

Ebert, Roger, ‘Waterland’, Chicago Sun-Times, Nov 6, 1992,
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID =/19921106/REVIEWS/211060304, last accessed on 3 June 2010.

Gallix, François, Graham Swift. Écrire l’imagination, Pessac: PU de Bordeaux, 2003.

Gyllenhaal, Stephen, Waterland (1992), produced by British Screen Productions, Channel Four Films, Palace Pictures and Pandora Cinema, directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal, screenplay by Peter Prince, with Jeremy Irons, Ethan Hawke, Sinéad Cusak, Grant Warnock, Lena Headey . . ., Optimum Home Entertainment DVD, 2006.

Hutcheon, Linda, A Poetics of Postmodernism. History, Theory, Fiction (1988), London: Routledge, 1991.

Maslin, Janet, ‘Memories Of Madness And Love’, The New York Times, October 30, 1992, www.nytimes.com/1992/10/30/movies/review-film-memories-of-madness-and-love.html, last accessed on 3 June 2010.

McFarlane, Brian, Novel to Film. An Introduction to the Theory of Adaptation (1996), Oxford: Clarendon, 2004.

Picot, Jean-Louis, ‘Waterland: la machine à remonter le temps’, Graham Swift ou le temps du récit, ed. Michel Morel, Paris: Messène, 1996, 29–38.

Swift, Graham, Waterland (1983), London: Picador, 1984.

Swift, Graham, Ever After, London: Picador, 1992.

Swift, Graham, ‘The Sorbonne Lecture’, Études britanniques contemporaines 18 (juin 2000): 14.

Swift, Graham, ‘Filming the Fens. Norfolk and Twickenham, 1991’, Making an Elephant. Writing from Within (2009), London: Picador, 2010, 185–195.

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Notes

1 The choice of Greenwich is interesting: Jean-Louis Picot, in his article ‘Waterland: la machine à remonter le temps’ has commented on its English historic and cultural connotations (the Royal Observatory, the Meridian, the Park, etc. [Morel 32–33]; we could probably add a literary allusion to Conrad’s 1907 novel The Secret Agent) and their relevance to the story. The Englishness of the setting is of course totally lost in the film adaptation.

2 Ironically, ‘the interior scenes for the wholly spurious Pittsburgh household . . . were shot in a house in south London’ (Swift 2009, 192).

3 He makes it very clear in his piece about the filming of his novel in Making an Elephant: he writes about ‘encountering the movie business at its crassest’ and acknowledges that he ‘could and should have done more checking up’ and ‘have had more scrutiny over the script’ (Swift 2009, 190). This is however a rather naive view of the industry. As Kazuo Ishiguro, a good friend of Swift’s, pointed out, referring to the filmic adaptation of The Remains of the Day, ‘basically how it works is that until the moment the film company actually buys the rights, you have a certain amount of power because you can always say: “I don’t like this, I’m going to give it to somebody else”. But the moment they actually pay you quite a large amount of money, it becomes their property, they can do whatever they like. You have no say in it at all’ (Swift 2000, 14).

4 Sinéad Cusack is also Jeremy Irons’s wife in real life.

5 Contrary to the ‘perfidious Pittsburgh scenes’, the Fens scenes of Tom and Mary’s childhood were shot on location, and Swift acknowledges that, ‘in Norfolk, the director of photography, Robert Elswit, produced some haunting images of the novel’s authentic locale’ (Swift 2009, 193).

6 See www.reelzchannel.com/trailer-clips/27845/waterland-trailer, last accessed on 4 June 2010.

7 Strangely enough, ‘the American classroom scenes, with an imported cast of American teenage actors, were shot in an old school’ in south London (Swift 2009, 192).

8 See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Poets_Society, last accessed on 4 June 2011.

9 It grossed only $1,034,287 in the USA. As a comparison, Dead Poets Society grossed $ 95,860,116 (www.imdb.com/title/tt0105790/business).

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Référence papier

Isabelle Roblin, « From Greenwich to Pittsburgh: the Americanisation of Graham Swift’s Waterland in Stephen Gyllenhaal’s 1992 Cinematic Adaptation of the Novel », Études britanniques contemporaines, 41 | 2011, 37-48.

Référence électronique

Isabelle Roblin, « From Greenwich to Pittsburgh: the Americanisation of Graham Swift’s Waterland in Stephen Gyllenhaal’s 1992 Cinematic Adaptation of the Novel », Études britanniques contemporaines [En ligne], 41 | 2011, mis en ligne le 24 juin 2015, consulté le 24 octobre 2017. URL : http://ebc.revues.org/2344 ; DOI : 10.4000/ebc.2344

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Auteur

Isabelle Roblin

ULCO, HLLI, Université Lille 3.
Isabelle Roblin, a senior lecturer in English at the Université du Littoral-Côte d’Opale, after writing her thesis on Kinship in Graham Swift’s Fiction, has studied rewritings of history and Victorian and American canonical texts by contemporary writers (numerous articles on Graham Swift, Kazuo Ishiguro, Emma Tennant, Valerie Martin, Alice Randall . . .), then has been concentrating on the specific form of rewriting involved in screenwriting. She is currently working on cinematic adaptations of novels, and more particularly on Harold Pinter’s screenplays and has published studies of his adaptations of The French Lieutenant’s Woman, À la recherche du temps perdu, The Handmaid’s Tale, Victory, The Last Tycoon . . .

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Études britanniques contemporaines est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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