Adaptation, Translation, and Philosophical Investigation in Adaptation

  • Garry L. Hagberg


This chapter investigates the content of the concept of adaptation, as it is seen on analogy to linguistic translation and as it is seen as itself a representation of the process of human self-definition and self-composition. Word-to-word translation is uncovered as a misleading analogy, but larger frames of translation are shown to be illuminating. Quine’s work on the indeterminacy of translation is intertwined with Charlie Kaufman’s script for his film Adaptation, and the simple notion of the matching of the adaptation to the original is called into question—as is the very idea of a static original against which the verisimilitude of an adaptation would be measured. The chapter concludes with an inventory of the elements that fill the creative space that is opened between an originating text and its adaptation.


Film adaptation Charlie Kaufman W.V.O. Quine Indeterminacy of translation Adaptation Film interpretation Susan Orlean Form of life 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Garry L. Hagberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Bard CollegeAnnandale-on-HudsonUSA

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