Monday, May 9, 2016

Retellings

I have a love-hate relationships with retellings.

On the one hand, I love when I find a clever retelling.  For example, I'm currently reading Curtis Sittenfeld's Eligible, which is a modern-day Pride & Prejudice retelling.  Overall, I'm enjoying it.  But since I've already read Pride & Prejudice, I kinda know the plotline and the characters. 

It's sort of how I feel about remakes and even sequels to good movies:  You loved the first one and you want to watch the second one but the second one is never as good as the first and after you watch the sequel or remake you wonder why they just couldn't leave a brilliant thing alone.

With authors and retellings, while I appreciate the cleverness (and good writing) of a retelling, I have to wonder why a talented author couldn't dream up a totally new story on his or her own.

Thoughts, dreams, aspirations?

4 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

As with movies, I think the originals are almost always better. Constant remakes can be boring.

Crystal Collier said...

I get what you're saying. Until this recent trend of fairytale retellings, I thought they were epic. BUT now that the market has been flooded...

See, I love the spin. There are always unique and different characters and environments. Personally, I like both--retellings and originals. There's always something different. The exception is Les Miserables. Hollywood, leave that one alone. You'll never be able to do it justice.

Stephanie Faris said...

I like retellings but only when they're contemporary versions that are nothing like the original in most ways, if that makes sense. More of a takeoff on the original story.

Jean Davis said...

Generally, I think the original is better. There are exceptions, such as when the original was done long ago and either the wording or technology has been significantly updated in a manner than makes the piece more easily understandable or visually improved to a point where my kids don't spend half the movie telling me how awful the effects are rather than appreciating the plot and characters.