This paper is an essay for the theoretical research on adaptation in new media era, and aims at the excavating of theoretical and political potentials through the close reading of Linda Hutcheon’s The theory of Adaptation(Second Edition).
Hutcheon problematize the fact that although adapatations are ubiquitous many scholars have an negative view on it. Storytelling is essentially intertextual, and genres or media are all the same as the forem of intertextuality, so all storytellings are considered as kind of adaptations. Then, “treating adaptations as adaptations” are needed. To do this work, Hutcheon introduces the category of “mode of engagement” instead of genre or media, and examines the problem of forms in tems of three type of adaptations(telling↔showing, showing↔showing, interacting↔telling or showing), then explaines the broad communicative context (adpator, audience, context).
In “Preface to the second edition”, Hutcheon focuses on the transmedia storytelling which have been formed as the new entertainment norm. Here, adaptation becomes not the adaptation of narrative or story, but story world, that is, “world building.” So, Hutcheon confesses the limitation that only the definition of “repetition with variation” could not explain the adaptation in new medea era. Whereas, Siobhan O’Flynn’s “epilogue” shows that Hutcheon’s theory of adapatation have a power to explain not only the adaptations across genres or media, but also the adaptations in such various ereas as fan communities, social webs, marketing, social practice, I-Pad, and so on.
The Hutcheon’s theory of adaptations have its significance in that the theory make possible to understand the extended adaptation. In special, the emphasis on “adaptor” and “audience” which comes from the awareness of the significance of audience’s participation in new media shows the necessity of critical reconsideration on the theorem of what they call as “death of author.” And, most of all, the politics of adaptation which would break down the hierarchy of genres or media could contribute to break down the hierachy of real world through the practice of “audience=adaptor=subject” as “author” of “world building.”