Wilson Library Visit

As a class, we had visited Wilson Library. The different materials that we were able to look over showed how stories such as that of Frankenstein, Robinson Crusoe, Sherlock Holmes, and Jane Eyre were repurposed over time. One of the materials that I looked at was a comic book adaptation of the classic Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of Baskervilles. What I found to be pretty interesting, was a page of the comic in which a group of suspects was laid out, through photos and description of each them. This gave an interactive element to the text so that the reader felt as they were more involved in the search for the criminal. I am not entirely familiar with the original source material, but what I do know is that this particular story is not very action-packed. But the comic book gave off a very different impression, as the first image of the comic book shows Sherlock Holmes punching somebody, which is a particularly violent image for a detective known for his deductive reasoning rather than his fighting prowess. There is also another image within the comic book that shows Sherlock holding a gun. Which got me to thinking about how this adaptation of The Hound of Baskervilles could be adhering to the action-packed format that is synonymous to that of a comic book. A comic book warrants spectacle, which is what this particular story could have originally been lacking, so it may have been essential to the authors to make the story seem more exciting by inserting more violence. The changing of Sherlock Holmes’ character reminded me of the movie adaptation of Sherlock Holmes in 2009, in which they turned Sherlock Holmes into an action hero. The movie was filled to the brim with different action set pieces and it seemed as if the greatest commonality between the characters in movies and characters that were based on in the book, were their names. The movie was also incredibly stylized and fast-paced, which is a staple of Guy Richie’s film-making. It’s definitely interesting to see how people take the original source material and how they try to make it their own, but then in certain aspects, it seems like these stories are repurposed completely based off the brand associated with its namesake. There comes a certain point in which an adaptation deviates so much from its original source that it brings up the question of why didn’t a particular author or film-maker, just take their own story. Making a comic book or film about a classic story, can definitely work in one’s favor if an interesting take is brought to the table, but when it seems like elements of a story are used just for the reason that they are recognizable to a general audience, that is when adaptations seem unnecessary. But yet, I digress because I did not read all of the comic books, so regardless of the vivid imagery that I saw in the comic book, it Is possible that these first few images were utilized as a sort of framing to give the audience an expectation that the story will be exciting and fast-paced. This idea of framing was also very apparent in one of the other materials that I came across during our library visit which was the series of reviews regarding Jane Eyre. All the reviews talked about how fantastic Jane Eyre was, calling it one of the most exciting novels to be put to pen and paper. These reviews prime the reader to have lofty expectations of the novel, which could work to its detriment, in that readers could be disappointed in the quality of the writing, or to its benefit if readers forgive the shortcomings of the novel because they think that the book is “a classic”. It is evocative of somebody reading reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and believing that a film will be good, just off the fact that it has a good rating on the somewhat credible site. I found these two materials during my Wilson Library visit to be the most interesting to me, in that they brought up the discussion of why adaptation exist, how can people repurpose stories in an effectual manner, as well as the idea of priming and how exactly it interacts with a reader.