Mise en scène in the original and adaptation: narrative organisation of the event in its internal symbolism

Keywords: adaptation, mise en scène, original, retranslation, transponent


This article explores narrative organisation of the event in the literary story Nunc dimittis by T. Lee and the screen version of the same name. The event in its entirety of concrete episodes is a change of states with the known and the unknown confronting each other throughout the whole narrative. The character of the known side is a young criminal, while a female vampire and her servant stand for the unknown. The literary story and its screen version (the filmic narrative) are brought to comparison in terms of the authentic retranslation that reproduces the original event in another (cinematic) medium in detail, but with minor fluctuations seen in each episode separately. In the article, the mode of retranslation is shown according to the pattern the original – a transponent, where the original is the initial, primary work, and transponents are the products of intermedial, or extracompositional reinterpretation (in this article the only existing screen version is at issue). All adaptations, notwithstanding their number, make up the matrix of a certain narrative together with the original. The literary as well as the filmic episodes of Nunc dimittis resolve into three types of mise en scène where the latter term is defined as the elements that make up the event. The types suggested include the enclosed mise en scène keeping all the participants inside up to its end; the pass-through mise en scène that adheres to one of the characters who is in and out; the open mise en scène where the characters take turns in coming and going. Minor differences between the original and its transponent concern the symbolic load on the names of characters and their actions, which do not change, but rather amplify the original message of the story.


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How to Cite
Ihina, Z. (2019). Mise en scène in the original and adaptation: narrative organisation of the event in its internal symbolism. Cognition, Communication, Discourse, (19), 29-54. https://doi.org/10.26565/2218-2926-2019-19-03