Adapting Literature: a tentative methodology

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper proposes that the practice of producing the screenplay for a screen adaptation of a literary text can be turned into a research project by evaluating the new text in relation to the original. Tentatively named Sequential Hermeneutic Chain Analysis, this analysis draws on, and develops, a few of the features of Barthes’(1974) semiotic analysis method outlined in S/Z. Namely the process of breaking the narrative down in to arbitrary chunks of surface meaning (in this case scenes or sequences), and exposing the hermeneutic coding at play within those chunks.Accordingly, the paper holds that we should conceive the texts (source & adaptation),as represented by a chain of enigmas that combine to form the whole of the narrative.As such, the researcher would expose the hermeneutic chains existing in the source and resultant text; looking at how the changes in the hermeneutic sequences of the adaptation sit in relation to the source. Ultimately, producing a detailed semiotic analysis of their own creative practice, utilising a replicable research methodology.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventEnterprising Creativity - Leeds Humanities Research Institute, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Apr 2009 → …


ConferenceEnterprising Creativity
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period1/04/09 → …


Cite this

Quinn, J. (2009). Adapting Literature: a tentative methodology. Paper presented at Enterprising Creativity, Leeds, United Kingdom.