Adaptation

Broadly speaking, the recasting of a work to fit another, such as the recasting of novels and plays as film or television scripts. For example, Stephen Hero, A Passage to India, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and Les Liaisons dangereuses as stage plays; The Forsythe Saga, Daniel Deronda, War and Peace, Brideshead Revisited and The Jewel in the Crown as television dramas. Sometimes a cycle or sequence is adapted: for instance, the dramatization of some of the Canterbury Tales as a musical comedy (1967). Short stories and poems are often equally suitable.

As an extension there are works like the Peyton Place and Colditz of which episodes continued to be presented long after the original stories had been used up.”

Excerpted from: Cuddon, J.A. The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. New York: Penguin, 1992.

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