The Many Sides of Jeffrey Alan Vanderziel

by Martina Krénová and Tereza Walsbergerová

 

foto úvodníkAlthough he is not leaving the department altogether, the fact that he is stepping down as  head after 15 years definitely feels like the end of an era. That is why we decided to sit down with the former Head and current Deputy Head of the Department of English and American Studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Jeffrey Alan Vanderziel, find out more about his life, and take a peek at the many different sides of the man who has gone from doing the local paper delivery route in San Francisco suburbia to being in charge of one of the oldest English departments in the world. Read more

In the Land of the Armed

By Jan Beneš

Cocks Not Glocks demonstration at UT on August 24, 2016
Cocks Not Glocks demonstration at UT on August 24, 2016

I don’t always receive emails inviting me to go to an active shooter training, but when I do, I attend it. (Un)fortunately, there are no actual guns or any weapons involved in this kind of training; rather, it is a dry presentation by the campus police at Texas A&M, where I am currently studying, on how to act in case of an active-shooter situation on campus. Rather than being a hands-on practice session on how to neutralize a threat, the seminar involves a brief, yet effective presentation of a triad of strategic principles in case of attack: run, hide, fight. Have an escape route, evacuate regardless of others’ decision to stay behind – that is the run part. Locking yourself in your office, staying out of the shooter’s line of sight, barricading the door, and spreading people around the room are sound hiding strategies. Fighting back, though – that is where the presentation turns into sobering reality. During the Q&A at the end, where educators around me ask how to protect not only themselves, but their students from a potential, but all-too-real threat of an active shooter on campus, the presenter acknowledges that fighting back, and not coming out alive, might be your only option. After all, as one of the Powerpoint slides states: the aim is to prepare both mentally and physically for what might come. Read more

Brexit: Post-Referendum Sentiments

By Natália Poláková

In the last issue, Re: Views brought its readers detailed coverage of the Brexit campaign as an indecisive contest between the ‘inners’ and the ‘outers’. The referendum, held on June 23 2016, turned out to be a surprising exercise in democracy for Britain.  Some 52 per cent voted to leave the European Union and steer the country toward a new destination. Its captain has already hopped off the sinking ship and the new one has seized the wheel. Where Britons are heading now, nobody exactly knows. Read more

Playing the Books

Adapting Literature into Videogames

By Blanka Šustrová

Sony Playstation 3 controller can be also connected to PC
Sony Playstation 3 controller can be also connected to PC

“[Videogames are] any forms of computer-based entertainment software, either textual or image-based, using any electronic platform such as personal computers or consoles and involving one or multiple players in physical or networked environment” (Frasca in Newman 27). Read more

Propaganda on Screen: Adapting Shakespeare’s Henry V

By Markéta Šonková

King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt
King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt Harry Payne, wikimedia commons, public domain CC0 1.0

It is no news that famous writings and cultural pieces have been, and continue to be used or interpreted differently than might have been their original literary purpose, often as a means to legitimize or explain actions of certain individual(s). This has been the case no matter what ideology or movement was holding the reins. However, not all kinds of content manipulation necessarily serve as a support of totalitarian regimes: they can also serve as a means to boost the morale of a war-tested nation, as is to be seen in Laurence Olivier’s 1944 Henry V movie adaptation or to send a political message in Kenneth Branagh’s 1989 film version. Truth be told, Henry V is an ambiguous text in today’s terms, allowing for various readings, which has been used several times by movie makers to pass on various messages while adapting one of the most famous pieces of British drama. Read more

Artificial Swear Words

How Can We Swear Without Swearing?

By Pavel Peléšek

 

Many children worldwide have been told to “stop watching that filth!” by their parents after a dirty word has been uttered on screen. Many times a writer has received the draft of their new novel back from the publishers riddled with censorship notes whenever a character decided to speak their mind about a particularly nasty situation. There is, however a certain creative way to overcome this problem and that is to adapt. Read more

Frankenstein is a YouTuber: On the Originality, Interactivity, and Contemporariness of Modern Adaptations of Classics

By Tereza Walsbergerová

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The Lizzie Bennet Diaries Courtesy of Pemberley Digital

Have you ever wondered where Elizabeth Bennet might work if she lived in the 21st century? What would Anne Shirley think of poetry slams if she was a college student in 2013 Canada? What would Dr. Frankenstein look like as a modern young woman? The internet has you covered. From all-time classics, such as Pride and Prejudice or Little Women, to slightly more obscure works, such as The Secret Garden, or even some tales from Greek mythology, people have decided to give their favourite heroes and heroines a makeover. This article attempts to get down to the nitty-gritty of modern adaptations of classic literary works on YouTube, focusing on their originality, interactivity, and contemporariness. Read more

Adapting Literature into Cakes

By Martina Krénová

 

Are you a bookworm and a passionate baker? Have you ever wondered if the food in literary works carries a deeper meaning? If so, there is no one to stop you from exploring the world of adapting literature into meals, biscuits, cakes… You might discover hidden treasures you would not necessarily find otherwise, and in addition you will enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you need inspiration, creators of the Literary Kitchen blog, Nicoletta Asciutto and Amy Smith, provide you with great recipes and insightful analyses of literary works of different genres and periods from the fourteenth century onwards.

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Welsh Cakes from Under Milk Wood. Photo courtesy of Nicoletta Asciuto.

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Adapting Big Sisters: The Intermediality of YouTubers Autobiographical Advice

By Silke Jandl

 

Introduction

YouTube vlogger is the new dream job among teenagers (see for example here and here); in fact, over the past decade YouTubers have rapidly become prominent role models and their highly subjective advice is avidly sought after. The fan communities that have evolved around YouTube vloggers have proven not only to be eager consumers of audio-visual material but also dedicated readers of print books. Starting in late 2014 numerous books published by YouTubers have flooded the bestseller lists across the globe. The CEO of Simon & Schuster, Carolyn Reidy, has commented on this trend in Publisher’s Weekly: “YouTube authors draw [sic] new reader who, having seen the personalities on the web, want to own a small piece of them. Online videos are, by their nature, intangible; a printed book, on the other hand, is anything but.”  Accordingly, I will explore the role of materiality and mediality in the interrelationship between YouTube videos and books. I will argue that the books YouTubers publish can be analyzed as adaptations, as well as transmedial expansions. I will be using Werner Wolf’s theory of intermediality in order to shed some light on certain specific adaptation processes. I will furthermore outline the relationship between YouTubers and their viewers, which will aid in the understanding the wide-spread trend of self-help books and videos. I will lastly provide a brief intermedial analysis focusing primarily on the audiobook versions of two such books. Read more