Retelling

Abe Gross argross at bigpond.net.au
Tue Jan 28 06:33:30 EST 2003


> >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.

Robyn replied:

> I haven't read the book (the retelling - I've read the Bronte), but this
is
> an interesting question. I think it might rest more on the things in the
> book that are not the plot. Because really, the plot of Jane Eyre is
pretty
> stupid (unbelievable in places), and what makes the book good is the
> characterisation and the way the story is told and the details of the
> description. So any book that takes the plot and depends upon it is just
> writing a slightly long Mills and Boon romance.

Good point, with the caveat that, where it's possible for some Mills and
Boons to have a genuinely interesting romance at their base (I didn't say
likely, I said *possible*!) this novel fails to deliver even that (IMO, of
course).

Ros

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