September 17, 2023

The Arab Novel on the Screen

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Audiovisual Interaction Takes on Literary Discourse

TV lifts its topics and stories from life and other sources. Its producers never stop searching for effective, high-end and dramatic narrative content to present for an audience thirsty for recreation on one hand and novelty on the other. As a result, narratives have been connected to screens for as long as we’ve been making programmes. The two artforms of film and literature have reigned supreme because of their extraordinary ability to interact with life and permeate its complex pathways. Narration, description, characterisation, plotting and scene-setting – all of these are stations that every innovator in these disciplines must go through in order to make modern stories feel real.

Generally speaking, films look to novels for strength of expression, as well as everything that can be seen and sensed, as opposed to interior, mental elements. On the other side of the equation, novelists want films to preserve their basic components. This is not as easy as some authors imagine because books are not simply movies that play in the mind of the reader.

Nevertheless, novels offer rich material and, as a result, filmmakers have been driven to use them since the earliest days of motion pictures. Therefore, the history of filmmaking reveals a lot about the relationship between the two. One film that laid the foundation for this relationship is Trilby and Little Billee, which dates back to 1896. It is more like a silent scene taken from the novel Trilby by the Franco-British writer George du Maurier and it drew attention to the potential of the novel genre as a source for movies.

Nevertheless, novels offer rich material and, as a result, filmmakers have been driven to use them since the earliest days of motion pictures.

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