What I've read lately

Abe Gross argross at bigpond.net.au
Tue Jan 28 06:29:23 EST 2003

> On Tue, 28 Jan 2003 00:26:00 +1100, Kathryn Andersen wrote:
> >So why did they work, and this one didn't?  I think maybe for a
> >retelling to work, one has to focus on the emotional core of the plot,
> >rather than its details.  In "The Stars My Destination", the emotional
> >core is a man betrayed -- the form the betrayal takes is different, but
> >the emotional resonance is the same.  Concentrating on the characters is
> >always a good thing.
> >
> >So, could Jenna Starborn have been salvaged if it had been written in a
> >different way?  I don't know.

Melissa replied:

> If you are retelling a story, and the only thing you do is change the
> of the characters and the setting, you haven't given the reader anything
> new, and consequently haven't given them any reason to read.  I think what
> happened here is that the author didn't have anything new to say--or, if
> did, failed to deliver.  I don't see any reason why a science-fictional
> retelling of _Jane Eyre_ couldn't succeed, mainly because the novel has so
> many "things" it's about: honor, chastity, passion, love.  Pick one and
> it relevant in a society where those things are all passe.  Focus on
> Jane/Jenna's emotions rather than making up an SF equivalent for the
> traveling fortune-teller.  So yes, I think you're right that focusing on
> details doesn't work.  Maybe this could be a lesson to anyone interested
> retelling others' tales....

I think you've just said what I was trying to say (probably more clearly)!


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