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Laurence Raw

Open access

Laurence Raw

Abstract

This article offers a view as to why Jerome Bruner should become an important figure in future constructions of adaptation theory. It will be divided into three sections. In the first, I discuss in more detail his notions of transformation, paying particular attention to the ways in which we redefine ourselves to cope with different situations (as I did while visiting two specific museums in Vienna and Samos). The second will examine Bruner’s belief in the power of narrative or storytelling as ways to impose order on the uncertainties of life (as well as one’s expectations from it) that renders everyone authors of their own adaptations. In the final section I suggest that the capacity for “making stories” (Bruner’s term) assumes equal importance in psychological terms as it does for the screenwriter or adapter: all of us construct narratives through a process of individual distillation of experiences and information, and subsequently refine them through group interaction. Through this process we understand more about ourselves and our relationship to the world around us. I elaborate this notion through a brief case-study of Charlie Kaufman’s screenplay for the film Adaptation (2002).

Open access

Laurence Raw

Abstract

This essay exposes the constructed nature of the east/west binary as a means by which westerners (especially) can reinforce their sense of superiority, while easterners can use it as an intellectual stick to criticize their western counterparts. In its place I advocate a more measured approach based on listening to and understanding alternative perspectives, not only in terms of interpersonal relationships but in terms of personal psychology. The importance of mesearch as a concept, uniting scholarly and personal approaches, is proposed as a means to achieve this aim.

Open access

Laurence Raw

Abstract

Based on a transformational moment in 2013, this piece calls for a revision in research methods, with the attention focused less on critical objects and more on one’s personal response to them. This technique of mesearch, with the self placed at the center of one’s agenda, offers unique opportunities for self-analysis through redefining one’s relationship to literature. The point is exemplified through a case-study of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Open access

Laurence Raw

Open access

Laurence Raw

Abstract

G. Wilson Knight (1897-1985) was one of the most influential Shakespearean critics of the mid-twentieth century. This piece surveys his work from 1930 until the early 1980s. Much affected by the First World War, he developed a style of criticism based on Christian principles of respect for other people and belief in an all-powerful God. Many of his most famous pieces (in THE WHEEL OF FIRE, for instance) argue for human insignificance in an indifferent universe. It is up to all of us as individuals to develop methods of coping with this world. Wilson Knight’s ideas gained particular currency during the Second World War, when Britain’s very future seemed at risk due to the threat of Nazi invasion. Although much derided for his use of transcendent language—especially by his contemporary F. R. Leavis—Wilson Knight’s ideas seem to have acquired new significance in a globalized world, where individuals fight to main their identity in a technology-driven environment.