'Things seen and done otherwise': adaptiveness and the dynamics of difference in A. S. Byatt's 'Morpho Eugenia'
Merchant, P. 2019. 'Things seen and done otherwise': adaptiveness and the dynamics of difference in A. S. Byatt's 'Morpho Eugenia'. Culture Com'. (2).
“Double vision,” defined as an awareness “of things seen and done otherwise,” permeates A. S. Byatt’s novella “Morpho Eugenia,” first published in 1992. The fact that its hero is a returning traveller, and an expert on insect behaviour, makes for connections which work both interculturally and across species. The novella’s acknowledgment of a number of precursor texts prompts us continually to refer Byatt’s writing back to the work by others which it artfully reimagines. Finally, “Morpho Eugenia” sets up an intersemiotic encounter between fiction and film; for a cinematic version was part of the author’s original conception and became a reality just two years after publication. This paper accordingly—and, it is hoped, appropriately—attempts a comparative treatment of a text whose techniques are themselves comparative. It explores the making of anagrams, through which existing elements are suggestively redisposed, as a parallel to the adaptive impulse and the adaptive act.
|Keywords||Adaptation; A.S. Byatt; Hypertextuality; Intermediality; Morpho Eugenia; Neo-Victorian narrative; Parody|
|Publisher||Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines-Lille | FLSH, Universite catholique de Lille|
|04 Jul 2019|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||16 Dec 2019|
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