Britain Colonized: Hollywood's Appropriation of British Literature

Paperback | December 15, 2011

byJennifer M. Jeffers

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Britain Colonized analyzes how and why filmmakers use clichéd Hollywood formulas and American cultural standards when adapting British literature. The films discussed in this book are evidence of the way one nation remakes another, often in the image of itself or what it needs the Other to be (as the British Empire once did). Reterritorialization on the part of Hollywood manifests American cultural and capitalist hegemony over the English speaking world. Britain Colonized identifies the phenomena portending the future of British and Anglophone literary and cultural studies as a group of citations appropriated for American ends.

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Britain Colonized analyzes how and why filmmakers use clichéd Hollywood formulas and American cultural standards when adapting British literature. The films discussed in this book are evidence of the way one nation remakes another, often in the image of itself or what it needs the Other to be (as the British Empire once did). Reterrito...

Jennifer M. Jeffers is Associate Professor of English at Cleveland State University.  In addition to numerous articles, Professor Jeffers is the author of The Irish Novel at the End of the Twentieth Century:  Gender, Bodies, and Power (Palgrave Macmillan, 2002) and Uncharted Space: The End of Narrative (2001), the editor of Samuel Bec...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:300 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.63 inPublished:December 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230120997

ISBN - 13:9780230120990

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Table of Contents

Context and Desire in the Colonization of British Literature * Heritage and Nostalgia in The Remains of the Day * American Cowboy in England: Possession * Cinema's Romance with the Colonial: The English Patient's 'Anti-Conquest' Adventure * Cool Britannia For Sale:  Trainspotting and Bridget Jones's Diary * Reterritorializing British Masculinity for American Consumption: Waterland and High Fidelity * Shakespeare's Counterfeit Signature: Shakespeare in Love

Editorial Reviews

"Jeffers reaches a disturbing conclusion when she claims American film has the potential to reinvent the 'tradition' of the 'classics' of English literature, for, in fact, students have often willingly substituted film adaptations to escape the rigors of reading novels as they were written . . . I found this book disturbingly perceptive and original. It deserves to be taken seriously."--Journal of American Cultures "Britain Colonized is a very important book for film adaptation studies. In reframing how film adaptations work, reconcile their artistic duties with economic considerations, and differ when appropriated in different national contexts, Jeffers has provided scholars with new map for how to study literature on screen."--Scope "Jeffers has taken a significant step toward rectifying this scholarly lacuna in Britain Colonized: Hollywoods Appropriation of British Literature, which focuses on a relatively brief but vitally important stage of Hollywood's long-standing, deep-seated "Brit-Lit" obsession, spanning the early 1990s to the early 2000s. The book is important too as a contribution to adaptation studies, generally, although as Jeffers readily acknowledges, Hollywood's exploitation of British literature has been altogether unique in the annals of commercial films and filmmaking....We may agree to situate Booker Prize novels in a rarified realm beyond the "culture industry," but what are we to do with the work of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and (heaven forbid) J.K. Rowling? This is no minor quibble, finally, but a crucial concern that cuts to the very core of Jeffers's argument and of adaptation studies generallyIndeed, it engenders a debate that Jennifer Jeffers's Britain Colonized brilliantly provokes, and one that literary and film scholars would do well to pursue."--Thomas Schatz, The University of Texas at Austin"The idea that British literature could be "colonized" for American viewing is intriguing, and the way that concept is carried off is a compelling one. Jeffers treats colonization-national/racial/cultural superiority and American hegemony, which are crucial issues, since American films now enjoy an audience that is international. Thus, Jeffers gives flesh to the idea that in promoting American films we are also promoting America's sense of superiority."--Todd May, Clemson University “Divided by an ocean yet bound by history and language, Britain and America have engaged for centuries in a dance around the question of territory.  Jeffers’ book articulates one crucial moment of this dance by connecting “territory” to the visual image that has the power to re-articulate it.  Her argument--that American film returns the postcard to its sender, colonizing the colonizer--is an important contribution to critical theories dealing with one nation’s remaking of another and the shadows such remakings cast on the very concept of a historical future.”--Helen Regueiro Elam, University at Albany