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Mahajar, Jaffar (2009) Narrative Transformation From Text to Screen: A Study of the Adaptation of the Novel in Arabic Cinema. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The Arabic novel has been a valuable source for a large proportion of feature films in the cinemas of the Arabic speaking world. In fact, the rise of cinema in the Arab world in the last one hundred years has been parallel to the rise and development of the novel in Arabic culture. From its inception, Arabic cinema resorted to making films of highly appreciated literary texts, to provide films with respectability and relevance. This helped to root cinema in the culture of this region. Early narrative films evolved in parallel to the historical moment at which the Arabic novel was beginning to acquire its autonomy from other narrative forms. The thesis focuses on five works of literature from across the Arab world and studies the process of their adaptation to the cinema, in order to evaluate the extent of success or failure that the filmmakers encounter in the interaction between the two narrative media. Due to the leading and pioneering position of Egyptian cinema in the context of the Arab world and the wider Middle East and Asia, two Egyptian film adaptations have been selected for analysis, and the remaining three case studies were selected from Syria, Iraq and Algeria, in a manner that provides the study with a comparative perspective, covers different cinema genres, and deals with varied approaches to adaptation. The study concludes with a discussion of differences and similarities between these adaptations and endeavours to draw a general thesis regarding the interplay between text and context on the one hand and theme and medium on the other.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:19

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