“I DON’T THINK WE’VE BEEN FORMALLY INTRODUCED?” Re-contextualising a Literary Model for First Meetings through Adaptation Theory and Fan Fiction
Abstract: (Re-)contextualising narratology in today’s world of rapid technological developmentand widespread access to the internet serves as the basis of this essay, which exploreswhat happens when narratology, adaptation theory and fan fiction theory intersect andinteract. It combines a surface level quantitative study with qualitative text analysis,using Rousset’s literary model from 1981 on first meetings between lovers-to-be as thenarratological reference, and the first meeting between the characters Alec Lightwoodand Magnus Bane as the text subject (using a corpus consisting of a novel, its officialfilm and TV-show adaptations, and thirty fan fictions). The study found expectedpatterns of simplification and short-cuts, in the material studied, as well as partialconvergence of fan fictions with Rousset’s model, dependent on the level of complianceof the source adapted. It also found that fan fictions and adaptations generally followRousset’s postulated structure of first meetings, with a few notable exceptions regardingthe focal points of these scenes.
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