Disobedient Women/Disobedient Detours

Shohini Ghosh

in Filming Fiction

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780198075936
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081851 | DOI:
Disobedient Women/Disobedient Detours

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Satyajit Ray made a number of films based on Bengali literary texts. What happens when a literary text transforms itself into a cinematic text? In order to measure a worthy film adaptation, one may talk about its fidelity to the source text. But how much does the film stay with or stray from the novel? This chapter discusses Ray's Charulata (‘The Lonely Wife’, 1964) and Purnendu Patrea's Streer Potro (‘Letter from A Wife’, 1972), both of which were adapted from Rabindranath Tagore's short stories, while making disobedient detours through other films. In reflecting upon the ‘disobedient detours’ made through adaptation, the chapter highlights certain textual moments that allow for a consideration of ‘medial breaks’. This raises the question of what films can do that novels cannot. The chapter concludes by drawing attention to a ‘textually transmitted disease’ of disobedient women—the trope of clothing, jewellery, dress, and ornamentation.

Keywords: Rabindranath Tagore; Satyajit Ray; films; novels; Charulata; Purnendu Patrea; Streer Potro; disobedient detours; disobedient women; film adaptation

Chapter.  4088 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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