September 23, 2007
We've known these were coming for a while, but somehow the news hit me harder seeing this up on Amazon. I'm not sure what people will think they have read after finishing one of these volumes. A novel is not identical with its plot summary, after all: the complete reading experience includes aesthetic, formal, and intellectual aspects as well. And cutting is hardly a neutral activity: every choice represents an interpretation as well as a judgment (one reader's excess verbiage is another's delight). A further concern: I already feel I need to see most adaptations of novels I teach so that I can anticipate ways students may conflate original and adaptation (or recognize the signs that they have substituted watching for reading). Will I have to read these mutant versions too?