One of the best-known contemporary examples is Jane Smileys novel A Thousand Acres, in which almost every scene of King Lear is transposed to a farm in 1970s Iowa. A Thousand Acres: A Homage to Shakespeare. She sets her version of Jane Eyre mostly in a Korean American community in New York and lets the reader figure out for herself that the feminist literary critic, writing away at the top of the house, is a version of Mrs. Rochester. Once I finished this section of the novel I began to ponder whether I could do something similar for my three other main characters and give each of them what I decided to call a literary godparent, an author whose work and life addresses their deeper preoccupations. For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. I wanted Gemma to have her own story, even while she, in many respects, follows Janes. See our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. If I had to choose a pair of paintings to illustrate my homage and its relationship to the original, it would perhaps be Manets iconic Le Djeuner sur lherbe and one of Czannes several paintings by the same name. (The classical view argues that there is a single text and a single, correct interpretation. For the character of A Thousand Acres Ginny, Rose, Larry, and Caroline remind the readers about Goneril, Regan, Lear, and Cordelia. Christopher Marlow wrote a very good poem The Passionate Shepherd to His Love, showing a shepherd who tells his beloved how he enjoys life saying, And I will make thee beds of Roses / And a thousand fragrant posies. Sir Walter Raleigh has echoed these feelings in his famous poem The Nymphs Reply to the Shepherd in which he has elaborated it further with his own premises If all the world and love were young / And truth in every Shepherds tongue. This shows how Sir Walter Raleigh has paid homage to the classic master through the inclusion of his thoughts in his poem. - Parody But in my second chapter, I departed radically from Bront and gave Gemma an Icelandic childhood. It follows a cultivated middle-aged man who, while traveling, rents a room and proceeds to fall in love with his landlords daughter.

My solutionstill evolvingis a variation on reader response theory. A second category of homage is the much less faithful, slantways retelling that still makes clear the borrowing and still, despite departures from the original, follows the same arc. In The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski also turns to Shakespeare but does so in a much more covert fashion than Smiley. If these delights thy mind may move, As we read further, it becomes apparent that Smiley is not merely nodding toward her original, or using it as a starting point, but following the plot in almost every detail. By shallow Rivers to whose falls It is structured as a journey with five distinct settings, each with its own atmosphere and psychological arc. There isnt any other tale to tell, its the only light weve got in all this darkness. But in The Hours Cunningham is clearly aware of Woolfs cadences. Or even half as well? What is the reimaginer to do? FromThe Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing. He has depicted the otherness of the Kashmiri people at the hands of the Indian administration and military crackdowns against the resistance. Used with permission of Tin House. As I kept reading, I found several more reasons to identify with Jane. And Bront makes Janesmall, plain Janethe embodiment of two of our great archetypes: the pilgrim and the orphan. Her poem opens with a syllogism: If all the world and love were young, Her poetry conquers both Mr. Rochester and the reader. Ezra Pounds make it new is one of the most famous commandments of 20th-century art and, like much great advice, is more complicated than it at first seems. A much earlier version of the faithful homage can be seen in Sir Walter Raleighs poem The Nymphs Reply to the Shepherd. Writing in 1600, Raleigh is responding to Christopher Marlowes poem of the previous year: The Passionate Shepherd to His Love. Marlowes shepherd offers his beloved the conventional pleasures: And we will sit upon the Rocks, All Rights Reserved. Did the first cave painters copy each others bison and horses? And truth in every Shepherds tongue, Jean Rhyss Wide Sargasso Sea was published the same year and has a darker purpose. In the reimagined work the suspense for one group of readers comes partly from their very familiarity with the plot and the characters; for another it resides purely in the work itself, which is why the reimagining needs to be its own compelling story. Medallion of art! But then he too, in the last stanza, succumbs to the moons power: it is, he tells us a reminder of the strength and pain / Of being young: that it cant come again, / But is for others undiminished somewhere.. We are not diminished or dulled by borrowing and lending. Writing a novel is hard enough. On my journey I have paid homage to several writersthey had no say in the way I borrowed their landscapes and their insights, their nightingales and their bad behavior. Tom Stoppards 1966 play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which puts the two minor messengers in Hamlet center stage, is one of the best-known examples. Several centuries later Larkin signals with his title Sad Steps that he is writing back to Sidney, but then uses the vernacular of his opening lineGroping back to bed after a pissto make us forget. Shortly after that evening at the book club, I hid my copy of Jane Eyre and sat down to ask again Bronts great question: How is a girl with no particular talents, no means, and no family (that she knows of) to make her way in the world?

Bront began Jane Eyre in response to the nicest of the rejections, and first and foremost among her good decisions was to make her narrator a young woman not so different from herself, capable of remarkable passion and poetry. The earlier work is usually well known, if not canonical, and the borrowing is not a secret, guilty or otherwise. The good news is that we value both kinds of suspense. Li, like Trevor, allows us to understand all three points of view. Are beauties there as proud as here they be? Here is her response when he pretends that hes going to marry another woman and asks Jane to remain in his household: I tell you I must go! I retorted, roused to something like passion. And, like Jane, she is truthful and opinionated. With how sad steps, O moon, thou climbst the skies! The novel is mostly a prequel to Jane Eyre told partly from the point of view of the young Mrs. Rochester and partly from the point of view of Rochester himself. A heroine cannot simply sit at home, drinking cups of tea. She also achieves a crucial deepening of her psychological themes. Such borrowing leads to feelings in the readers that the writers have merely borrowed ideas and that they are not creative. There would be no attics in Gemma Hardy. Every artist who attempts an homage has to find her or his own way to answer a version of these questions. The world is neither young nor truthful, and the nymph goes on to dismiss the shepherds blandishments not calmly or humorously, but savagelyTime drives the flocks from field to fold, / When Rivers rage and Rocks grow cold, / And Philomel becometh dumbuntil her last irrefutable quatrain: But could youth last, and love still breed, This is almost invariably subversive and has grown increasingly popular in the last half century. Among the more faithful, I would suggest, is Manets Olympia, which pays homage to Titians Venus of Urbino. Jane gains a family (the kind people turn out to be her cousins), money (a long-lost uncle dies), and the husband of her hearts desire: Rochester, now blind. To demonstrate political, or other forms, of social evolution, 6. Although Paris enters both the novels, the distance between the novels is not bridged due to the time differences. Yet, this remaking and making of the classics continue since antiquity. He himself famously borrowed many of his plots, and it seems only fair that his work is so widely the subject of homage that a whole industry has sprung up around these forays into intertextuality. And of course what is most essential in Lolita, the gorgeous, driving voicelight of my life, fire of my loinsis entirely his own. The secrets in the two stories are very different but the arc and the somber tone are similar. This was my first venture into thinking as a writerrather than as a reader, or a critic, or a teacherabout literary borrowing and what it could do for my fiction. Jane survives, and, at the age of 18, finds a job as a governess at Thornfield Hall. Then these delights my mind might move A story was not worth writing if it didnt have a fresh and surprising plot; I had not yet discovered the possibilities of prose. - Pastiche. No wonder we dont stop to question the plausibility of a wealthy, powerful, upper-class man falling in love with a poor, plain, middle-class woman. I did briefly consider reversing Rochesters and Janes roles, making them a young man and an older, more powerful woman, but (sadly) I worried about issues of plausibility. These difficult people, the child thinks, are not my parents; my real parents are wonderful, talented aristocrats. This kind of close borrowing has been with us for centuries, perhaps as long as people have been making art. Fairly early in my novel I recognized that re-creating Mrs. Rochester in 1960s Scotland was, for me, an impossible task. So once again I have to ask: Why embark on such a hazardous enterprise? If I had looked at Pounds own work, full of translations and reworkings, I would have realized that the it in make it new is not so much the world as art and that Pound is saying much the same thing as James Baldwin at the end of his story Sonnys Blues. Baldwins narrator is in a bar listening to his brother, Sonny, play the piano with a group of musicians, led by Creole: Creole began to tell us what the blues are all about. Since the Second World War readers have been growing increasingly diverse; no writer now, in Europe or the States, can count on having a single unified audience. When done secretly, with intent to deceive, it is described in harsher terms as copying, or plagiarism, or theft. Once I had begun Gemma Hardy, I did not open my copy of Jane Eyre for three years. It is not possible to explore how every art form borrows and quotes, but looking at visual art we find many examples of homage, from the faithful to the subversive. It was only when I was well into writing the novel that another truth also became apparent. Indeed so much have social and sexual mores changed, along with our attitudes to mental illness, that I am not sure such an enterprise is possible. Foreign Bodies: A Homage to The Ambassadors. Only the fall of white drapery suggests her presence. Such creations and recreations continue creating creativity among the new readers and students. Interestingly, he has won laurels for paying homage to the old master by adopting his characters and lines and parodying them to see the enactment of the play in the postmodern period. Bront herself may not have understood what she accomplished when a voice calls out in the church, The marriage cannot go on: I declare the existence of an impediment. In writing this dramatic scene she satisfies the conventions of both the heroic novel, by which the heroine must face repeated trials, and the gothic novel, which demands dark coincidences. Copyright 2022 Literary Devices. Most writers also have to find a way to respond to the voice of their chosen text. Finally, and Ive thought about this long and hard, there is the question of suspense in literary homage. The Hero We Need: a Chinese man has been discovered reading books in a remote cave. Gradually, as he whisperedBut thats his mother! Dont do it!I realized he did not know the plot. Soon after I read the novel I gained an additional reason for empathizing with Jane when we moved to the south of Scotland and I too was sent to a dreadful girls school. In his essay Family Romances Freud argues that children take refuge in the belief that they are orphans because on the one hand they feel slighted and on the other they begin to notice that their parents are less than perfect. It could be the creation of a poem, a short story. Jane cannot marry Rochester because she is not yet her own person. The undiminished of Larkins last line gracefully echoes Sidneys ungratefulness. Like Raleighs poem to Marlowe, Larkins poem is both homage and reply but it is also very much its own work of art, one that can be appreciated by readers with no inkling of its ancestor. - Homage Curfewed Nights Epigraph: A Homage to James Baldwin. Raleighs nymph, however, is not fooled for a second. Even she has touched the same themes; inheritance and displacement of families. I knew, almost from the first page, that I was not going to follow Smiley in faithfully and obviously updating the story, or even Wroblewski in doing so faithfully and subtly. Writing, for me, is always a roller coaster, and it was never more so than when working on Gemma Hardy. We debated the meaning of such words as home, family, love, goodness.. They were not about anything very new. The French critic Derrida, punning on ontology, uses the term haunting. I love this image of the earlier work ghosting around in the background of the new. Edgars favorite dog, the amazing Almondine, plays the part of Ophelia, and suffers a similar fate. The SlideShare family just got bigger. Although both the novels seem different having some differences in thematic strands, the similarity between the novels as Wide Sargasso Sea being a prequel to Jane Eyre is unmistakable. In her novel Foreign Bodies, Cynthia Ozick pays lively tribute to Henry Jamess The Ambassadors.

As a noun, it is also used as a public acknowledgement of political allegiance. Activate your 30 day free trialto unlock unlimited reading. Rhys follows this advice. Copyright 2017 by Margot Livesey. My hope was to be both faithful and faithless, somewhere between, say, Ozick and Smiley. Still this does not, for me, count as homage. Yet it seems impossible to write a reimagining without attempting a reprise of at least some of the key scenes. The handsomest arrested man in the world just signed a book deal. Then the girl dies, and the man is left alone forever. Let me suggest, then, that one way to make both art and the world new, a way that would never have occurred to my younger self, is to consciously retell an old story. Gemma Hardy, I decided, would be an orphan growing up in 1960s Scotland. In literary terms, it means to create something in the name of some other great writer purely to pay homage to that writer. In my novel The House on Fortune Street one of my characters is doing his PhD on Keats.

I had secretly borrowed (or do I mean appropriated?) He and his boys up there were keeping it new, at the risk of ruin, destruction, madness, and death, in order to find new ways to make us listen. The novel of Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres, is a homage to William Shakespeare as it imitates and includes several scenes and characters of King Lear. Faithful borrowing, however, is not always immediately obvious. Yet, the homage Rhys has paid to the great writer of her times attracts the attention of the readers.if(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[250,250],'literarydevices_net-leader-1','ezslot_7',129,'0','0'])};if(typeof __ez_fad_position!='undefined'){__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-literarydevices_net-leader-1-0')};if(typeof ez_ad_units!='undefined'){ez_ad_units.push([[250,250],'literarydevices_net-leader-1','ezslot_8',129,'0','1'])};if(typeof __ez_fad_position!='undefined'){__ez_fad_position('div-gpt-ad-literarydevices_net-leader-1-0_1')};.leader-1-multi-129{border:none!important;display:block!important;float:none;line-height:0;margin-bottom:15px!important;margin-left:0!important;margin-right:0!important;margin-top:15px!important;max-width:100%!important;min-height:250px;min-width:250px;padding:0;text-align:center!important}. Best Books of the Year (So Far): Crime Fiction in 2022, Six Private School Thrillers For the Grown-Up and Graduated, Bad Seeds and Mad Scientists: On the Build-A-Humans of 19th-Century Literature, The Best International Crime Fiction Out This June and July.