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Re: Review on IMDb

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Posted by Peter Hyland on September 16, 2016 at 06:54:08 user Peter_H.

In Reply to: Re: Review on IMDb posted by JG on September 15, 2016 at 13:06:49:

“New Nancy Interpretation”

I think it should be borne in mind that “Swallows & Amazons” is not a play – it is a novel, which is a very different animal. With a play, be it Shakespeare or whoever, all you need do is stick to the script, and then you can do what you like with the setting, the costumes, have women playing male roles etc etc, but it is considered a no-no to interfere with the script written by the playwright. With a novel, the whole book is in effect the “script” and therefore you should be faithful to it. A “new Nancy interpretation” is, to my mind, a perversion of what Ransome intended. He did not write Nancy as a “sulky pre-teenager” and therefore you should not portray Nancy as such. The fact that it may appeal more to present-day children (and thereby increase box-office appeal) is to my mind irrelevant. I am not concerned with film-maker’s profits.

And I am not concerned with the idea that such a portrayal will generate interest in the original book – it may do or it may not do, but Ransome’s work is not a religion (though heaven knows, people have behaved as if it is) There is no divine duty on us to spread it at all costs, other than by simply encouraging people to read the books. Those books are there, in print, with their own particular magic, for people who want them and that is how it should stay. If no one wants them any more, then that would be very sad, but, well, that's just too bad. I think there will always be readers of Ransome, but I like the idea of the books being a perpetual semi-secret cult, going from age to age, each age finding what they want in them, without “re-interpretation”.

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