Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Adapting a book into a film and its consequences by Claudia Stehr Summary
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, Technical University of Braunschweig (Englisches Seminar), course: British Popular Culture, 14 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: When adapting a book into a film, different decisions have to be made concerning the narration, tense, point of view, and other formal devices. (Cf. Whelehan 1999: 9) This essay examines the differences and similarities between the novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and its film adaptation. It points out problems that occur when transposing a text to screen, and raises the question of the film’s authenticity towards the novel. Firstly, different critics are going to be scrutinized to get a better understanding of the discrepancy between literary criticism and film studies. Secondly, the characteristics of each medium shall be pointed at, combined with possible arising advantages and disadvantages. The following section evaluates the fictional source Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone versus the filmic source, asking the question of the primary importance of the origin text. For a concise analysis of book and film, I provide a sequence protocol and chapter record in the appendix. Lastly, I want to consider the issue of popular culture, and examine the question of the demand of popular literature to be turned into a film. The focus of examination will always be the first Harry Potter book and film version, although some references to the later volumes are made. Yet, it would go beyond the scope of this paper to consider all written and filmic sources of the Harry Potter phenomenon.