The Writer on Film: Screening Literary Authorship

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology


This edited volume includes fourteen specially commissioned essays and a 12k-word introduction. It considers cinema's explicit engagements with literary process and literary figures (real and fictional) and asks how the processes of creativity and creation in one medium have proved narratable (and un-narratable) through the codes and conventions of another. Areas of attention include film’s interest in the imaginative processes and material craft of literary creation and in the figure of the author him/herself. How has cinema chosen to configure the tools and symbols of writing – quills, pens, ink pots, desks, studies, paper, typewriters, keyboards, etc? What views of inspiration, muses, redrafting etc have films taken? To what theoretical (and affective) versions of literary authorship has cinema subscribed in different national industries and in different periods? What cultural and commercial agendas are evidenced through cinema's compulsive return not just to literary material but, specifically, to literary process? The subject of the writer (and acts of writing) on film is thus being invited to provide a useful filter through which cinema and literature can encounter and illuminate each other’s processes and cultural charge. Films covered include literary biopics (such as Bright Star, and the raft of recent films dramatising the lives of Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare, Iris Murdoch, Dylan Thomas, Dorothy Parker, Sylvia Plath and more) and more oblique, and/or fictionalised, reflections on literary process (including pieces on Hemingway, Letter to an Unknown Woman, The Lives of Others, The Diary of a Country Priest, The Secret of Kells).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages288
ISBN (Print)0230313841, 978-0-230-31384-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2013


  • Cinema
  • Literary Biography
  • Authorial Processes
  • Intermedial reflection
  • writers
  • writing
  • authorial desire

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