Thursday, May 29, 2008

Updating the Classics

I was thinking about the process involved in writing my Dante novel. (I also did a short story that was a retelling of one chapter of Moby-Dick, but moved into the Lovecraftian universe of Cthulhu, it'll soon be out in Cthulhu Unbound.) What's fun and challenging about the exercise is that it makes the author revisit and rethink what he thinks is important and interesting in the original classic, and think how to move that into a different idiom. And even (gasp!) at some few points, what he might find lacking or deficient in the original, and how he would change that. It gives me new appreciation, both for the classic, and for artists like, say, Kurosawa, who could update and revision other people's work very effectively to create new art.


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