Intertextuality and YA Fairytale Adaptations

As you probably know, I am fascinated by intertextuality and the transformation of genres, particularly the way that recent YA fiction has taken classic narratives and reimagined them as contemporary paranormal romance or other YA genres. The chart here is an inspiring achievement (though it needs to be viewed on a large screen); the visual representation of 162 YA adaptations of myth, fairy tales, and other narratives, showing the intertextual pathways between works and genres.

The web page also has some chatty, but quite useful, information about the adaptation of classic tales, with lists of YA novels for each source narrative. And, unusually, the comments are worth reading; they provide genuine debate and some suggested additions to the list. It’s not confined to fairy tale: there are retellings of Shakespeare, Peter Pan, the Alice stories, Jane Austen, the Brontes, and world mythology. It’s an extensive list that inspires my curiosity and uncontrollably acquisitive bibliophilia.

My friend Sarah Bartlett and I initiated our own research into graphical representations of intertextuality, employing the new technology of Linked Data and using Jane Eyre as an example of what could be done. You can read about it here; it’s not overly technical and is just an introductory exploration of the possibilities.

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7 Responses to Intertextuality and YA Fairytale Adaptations

  1. firekrank says:

    This is amazing! I find graphs and images so useful for seeing patterns in genres. Also, your work on genre has been very detailed and useful in contextualising and cementing the terms of ‘paranormal romance’ and ‘YA Gothic’.

    • William the Bloody says:

      Yes, I love it–would like to do one of my own.
      Thank you for finding my work useful, Kaja! I’m definitely going to elaborate this work further, drawing on genre theory, reception theory, and intertextuality; I think there’s a book in this.
      Visualisation can be so useful; there’s a lot of amazing stuff going on in the field of Digital Humanities on this which interests me, and Franco Moretti’s recent work is fascinating. Have a look here:
      http://www.versobooks.com/books/261-graphs-maps-trees

      • firekrank says:

        I want the Moretti book! I find that I appreciate the squirrel approach to theory (little bit of this and a little bit of that and store it away until the links emerge) because it forces you to think in a more original and striking way. Patterns and trends are incredibly interesting and open the door to considering more popular forms of literature.

  2. Lucy Northenra says:

    Thanks for posting this it is really, really useful for choosing texts and looking at patterns in YA. I have downloaded the PDF and hope to print the poster for my study…it will undoubtedly trigger a book buying frenzy however……I am interested in the Oz ones for my witch project and the mythology strand for the work I am doing on Marcus’s books. Exciting resource! We could do something on mapping witches in YA and intertextual readings of FT with witches such as Snow white and Hansel and Gretel. I have an MA student working on YA witches too!

    • William the Bloody says:

      It’s fab, isn’t it? I think this sort of thing opens up all sorts of potential areas for OGOM. I’m working on a paranormal romance database and, with time, I might be able to generate these kinds of visualisations from it. Witches definitely interest me and mythology has long been a source of fascination for me.

  3. Lucy Northenra says:

    Maria Mellins who gave a paper at the first OGOM on steam punk has a YA novel out on gothicky themes she messaged me on Twitter. Will mention it on the blog.

    • William the Bloody says:

      It looks interesting–mermaidy! And Amazon has a whole load of other mermaid paranormal romances alongside it which I feel compelled to investigate

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