The Value of Fidelity in Adaptation

British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (1):89-100 (2018)
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© British Society of Aesthetics 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society of Aesthetics. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.comThe adaptation of literary works into films has been almost completely neglected as a philosophical topic. I discuss two questions about this phenomenon:What do we mean when we say that a film is faithful to its source?Is being faithful to its source a merit in a film adaptation?In response to, I set out two distinct senses of fidelity: story fidelity and thematic fidelity. I then argue, in response to, that thematic fidelity, but not story fidelity, is an aesthetic merit in a film adaptation. The key steps in this argument involve showing that merely preserving the story from one medium to another does not typically involve an aesthetically...
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