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Re-visions through Adaptations of Pinter’s The Dwarfs

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2021, 34(1), pp.145-176
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Received : March 8, 2021
  • Accepted : April 14, 2021
  • Published : April 30, 2021

Moonyoung Chung 1

1계명대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper attempts an intertextual and intermedial reading of adaptation texts of Pinter’s The Dwarfs, as a series of re-visions in terms of adaptation studies. His first and semi-autobiographical novel has initiated his own adaptations for his radio (1960) and stage play (1963) before publishing its adaptive version (1990) and then Krabbe’s adaptations for his unfilmed film script (1996), his revised play and film versions (2002), and his another play version (2003). The reading of adaptation texts of The Dwarfs offers a re-vision of hegemonic criticisms on Pinter’s accomplishments as a political dramatist and a cryptic feminist, that is, an act of looking back on his writings based on the interrelationship between his politics and sexual politics, from a new critical direction. This paper demonstrates the adapters’s political and sexual political motivations in inscribing differences in the original and previous texts for their new versions. Pinter’s excluding Virginia, the major female character of the novel for an all-male play shows his intention to create a new genre of political play, comedy of menace, as a political metaphor to appropriate sexual politics. His retrieving Virginia out of the outer darkness in the published novel also proves that his political plays are structured in-between of politics and sexual politics. By presenting his male characters as gendered beings in terms of the hegemonic masculinity and his female character as a precursor of his strong women who can exercise subversive sexual politics in his political plays, he proves that he has been insistently concerned with gender issues as a cryptic feminist. This intertextual reading of various versions of The Dwarfs offers an approach toward Pinter’s new creative space expanded by persistent re-visions.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.