A New Series on Literature and Film Adaptation

| By Elizabeth Ferguson |

In today’s rush to produce more and more content for the silver screen, there is no shortage of cinematic adaptations of literary works. This concept and process is not new, however—directors and screenwriters have long been retelling beloved classics in feature-film format. Take, for example, Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Dracula. Or François Truffaut’s take on Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 and James Whale’s version of Frankenstein. Even current works, such as the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series, have found immense success in the film world. Books to Film: Cinematic Adaptations of Literary Works, a new annual series offered on Gale’s GVRL eBook platform, explores the vast world of film adaptation. Entries discuss basic plot summaries of featured books and films; examine critical reaction to each adaptation at the time of their respective releases; provide biographical information on authors, directors, and screenwriters; and explore the process by which the book is transformed into a film. Adaptations covered range “from the silent period (1895–1927) through to contemporary cinema, from studios major and minor as well as independents, from Hollywood and around the globe” as Editor in Chief Barry Keith Grant writes in his introduction to Volume 1. Literary works covered include fiction and nonfiction, canonical works and bestsellers, classic and contemporary works, and long and short writing.

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The Power of Perusal

| By Catherine DiMercurio | While reviewing entries for Contemporary Authors, Vol. 403, I stumbled across the name of a poet, francine j. harris. Note: she renders her name this way; it isn’t a typo. The poet’s rejection of uppercase letters is not what snagged my attention, though. Words from her biographical sketch leaped out at … Read more

Keeping the Conversation Going

Malala Yousafzai, Svetlana Alexievich and Shakespeare

I think of literary criticism as a conversation: an author speaks to an audience, which responds with comments, questions, sometimes praise, and sometimes disparagement. The discussion can last for centuries. In the case of Shakespeare, for instance, in 1592, early in his career, he was dismissed by fellow writer Robert Greene as an “upstart crow beautified with our feathers” and mocked as a “Shake-scene” (whatever that is).

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Fun, New Ways to Celebrate Book Lover’s Day

By Tara Blair

Readers rejoice—Book Lovers Day (August 9th) is here, encouraging you to kick back and relax with a great book. From shaded spots under arching trees to being tucked in a warm bed, there is no better way to celebrate the holiday than reading. To keep you from growing tired of the norm, we thought of a few ‘out-of-the-box’ ways to honor the occasion.

Read some new ways to observe the classic holiday! 

Find a Literary Haunt Near You
Did you know F. Scott Fitzgerald frequented Oak Bar in New York City’s Plaza Hotel? Or that Victor Hugo found inspiration to write Les Miserables while strolling Paris’ Luxembourg Gardens? No matter where in the world you reside, you can find a great place to get closer to your favorite author while reading.

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Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture: “Enthralling” and “Remarkable” Primary Sources

Searching for “extraordinary” materials to enhance understandings of the evolution of criminal justice and penal reform? Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture 1790-1920 features “easy to use navigation” paired with 2.1 million pages of materials supporting the study of nineteenth-century criminal history, law, literature, and justice, to enhance law and society knowledge during a pivotal era of social change. Only Crime, Punishment, and Popular Culture, 1790-1920 helps users explore the links between fact and fiction by integrating legal and historical documents with literature, an emerging crime-fiction genre, newspaper reports, and more.

Read a review posted by Cheryl LaGuardia of Library Journal, April, 2016

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Explore Histories of Everyday Life in Totalitarian Regimes through first-hand accounts and fictional works from the twentieth century.

Posted on February 22, 2016

 

Guided by a five-person advisory board of distinguished scholars, Histories of Everyday Life in Totalitarian Regimes spans multiple disciplines, including history, literature and language.  Examine what life was like during the twentieth century under totalitarian rule. This set holds a wealth of information for various college courses and also high school teachers encouraging the analysis of primary and secondary sources.

Learn more about Histories of Everyday Life in Totalitarian Regimes with Editor-in-chief Peter Fritzsche, PhD., as he introduces the series’ distinctive approach.

 

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Christmas Fiction: A New Trend?

Posted on December 1, 2015

By Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly

It seems like there are more fiction authors than ever who are publishing Christmas titles. Many can be categorized as “women’s fiction,” but there are a number of Christmas crime books as well. Why is it so popular (and lucrative) to write a Christmas novel? Is this a new trend or simply a tradition?

Christmas novels have been around since roughly Charles Dickens’ time. Sir Walter Scott wrote the Christmas poem “Christmas in the Olden Time” (1904) and William Sandys’ Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (1833) are examples of Christmas titles that pre-date Dickens, but A Christmas Carol by Dickens was among the first Christmas titles in the form of what we consider a “novel” today. Dickens felt that the best way to educate people about poverty and social injustice was through an emotional, touching Christmas story, rather than through political pamphlets. He wanted people to be kind and generous toward one another, and used “the spirit of Christmas” to make his point (1).

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Evanston Public Library Enhances Patrons’ Experience with Gale’s Vast Online Resources

GVRL eBook Success Story

Posted on November 30, 2015

Lesley Williams is Head of Adult Services at the Evanston Public Library (EPL) in Evanston, Illinois. In the 18 years that she Evanston Public Libraryhas worked there, the library has continually subscribed to products from Gale. Today, as a primary “go to” resource for the library’s broad range of patrons, GVRL eBooks are instrumental in helping EPL fulfill its mission. That mission is to be the heart of the community, promoting the development of independent, self-confident, and literate citizens by providing open access to cultural, intellectual, technological, and informational resources. “GVRL is the only online reference book service that we’ve ever had,” says Lesley.

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Content Updates for Kids InfoBits (week of 8/24/2015)

Posted on August 27, 2015

Take a look at the latest content that has been added to Kids InfoBits:

  • The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia has increased its content with the addition of Quarterly updates.
  • Under the category of Fish, six new entries have been made include Angelfish, Mollie, and the Mullet.
  • New homepage snippets (InfoBits) have been added for September including:
    • Museums feature in the Arts category
    • Back to School in the People category
    • Labor Day, which is September 7, in the Social Studies category
    • Read-A-New-Book-Month which is in September will be featured in the Literature category
    • Football is featured in the Sports category
  • Over 450 entries have been updated, with many of them focusing on marine life, contemporary figures and countries. Some of these that you’ll see are:

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Look at Literature in a Whole New Way

iPad reading

Posted August 7, 2015

Noted Russian poet and author once said, “Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.”

Literature opens doors to understanding ideas, people, and cultures. Extraordinary tools enable greater understanding and expand opportunity for discovery. And now, with upcoming enhancements, three landmark Gale literature resources will provide a more welcoming and accessible experience for literature researchers at all levels.

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