“A sign of a letter coming”. Adapting Munro’s (faked) epistolary correspondence
This article examines American director Liza Johnson’s adapted film Hateship Loveship (2013), based on Alice Munro’s short story “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” (2001). It forms part of an ongoing project on Munro television and film adaptations, acknowledged as other, distinct, independent stories generated by the writer’s storytelling impulse, by the story(re-) telling tension inherent in her narrative. Specifically, this work concentrates on the film adaptation of the epistolary correspondence. Pervasive and pivotal, letters are indeed at the core of the story, as epistles ostensibly exchanged by an adult couple are actually faked by two young girls. In metafunctional terms, these letters operate in the narrative at the ideational, interpersonal and textual levels: by conveying information about characters, events, places; by establishing social relations among characters and between the narrator and readers/spectators; by configuring fractured and layered textuality. The short story and the film offer distinct treatments of the letters in terms of presence, distribution, remediation, and transcodification, which in turn impacts narrative development, focalization and engagement.
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