Doctor of Philosophy
School of English Literatures, Philosophy and Languages
Hurst, Rochelle Anne, Chick-Lit and a Feminist Theory of Novel-Into-Film Adaptation, Doctor of Philosophy thesis, School of English Literatures, Philosophy and Languages, University of Wollongong, 2010. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/3353
This thesis, first and foremost a contribution to novel-into-film adaptation scholarship, is situated at the juncture of multiple fields of study, bringing together such disparate subjects as the twenty-first century genre of chick-lit, the challenges posed by constructivist approaches to feminism, Angela Carter’s subversive renditions of “Beauty and the Beast”, Derrida’s concept of the undecidable and Sex and the City’s post-structural use of outlandish fashion. These concerns are brought together in a provocative way that serves to underwrite the thesis’ dual central aims.
Adaptation scholarship has been rendered somewhat static by what is seemingly an intractable fixation with fidelity. Along with complicating fidelityfocused criticism of novel-into-film adaptation by way of providing an alternative analytical framework that looks at meaning-making via intentional and revisionary infidelity, this thesis posits feminist adaptation as a continuing political project. This thesis, then, is intended to inspire and encourage practitioners of feminism, as well as to locate feminism as just one of plural and equally plausible interpretative possibilities with respect to works of chick-lit. This thesis embraces chick-lit’s ambiguous politics, ultimately seeking to harness the contestedness of the genre as a means of challenging the validity of adaptation theory’s fidelity fixation. The chick-lit novel, as a potentially and/or partially feminist text, is particularly open to generating a number of possible adaptations, and, as such, renders arguments for fidelity to the spirit or essence of a text flawed.