Wuthering Heights: screen adaptations and cultural afterlives

Hila Shachar

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] This thesis explores a “Victorian afterlife,” a phrase I borrow from the aptly titled collection of critical essays edited by John Kucich and Dianne F. Sadoff, Victorian Afterlife: Postmodern Culture Rewrites the Nineteenth Century (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000). Like the other Victorian novels discussed in this collection of critical essays, Emily Brontë’s 1847 novel, Wuthering Heights, has a prolific “afterlife.” The novel has been a constant source of adaptation into film, television, theatre, song, opera and ballet, and has elicited numerous novelistic derivatives. It is this vast afterlife that Patsy Stoneman catalogues in Brontë Transformations: The Cultural Dissemination of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights (London: Prentice-Hall/Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1996). Stoneman’s work shares similarities to my own; however, mine is a more text-specific analysis of certain screen adaptations. The films I examine are William Wyler’s Wuthering Heights (1939), Jacques Rivette’s Hurlevent (1985), Peter Kosminsky’s Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1992) and MTV’s Wuthering Heights (2003). I have chosen to limit my analysis to a small number of adaptations as I am concerned with the intricacies of each adaptation, which have often been treated in a general manner, or, in the case of the 1985 and 2003 films, largely ignored. However, if I privilege certain adaptations above others, it is with the knowledge that they are part of a wider network of meaning to which they contribute.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2009

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