HUM100 Essay # 3, Literature and Cinema

  1. Instructions:
  • Use Paragraphing
  • Double-space the entire response–everything–without the manually set extra spacing functions–and use 1 inch top, bottom, and side margins without justifying the margins (having your text be blocked with all right hand margins ending at the one inch from the paper’s right side).
  • Use and double-space the 4 headings of your name, my title and last name, the class, and the date due (even if turned in later), and and have page numbers in the upper right hand header after your last name and a space–be sure the numbers change with each page, too.
  • Then center your original title–avoid such titles as “Response Essay 3” or “Novella and Film Essay” or the title of the book/film only.
  • The Works Cited page is its own page and numbered concurrently, but does not count toward you required minimum or the maximum number of pages.
  • The Response needs to be 3 full pages minimum—no shorter and if longer, no more than only a few lines longer beyond a full page 4.
  • Use 12-point Times New Roman font and remember it’s safest for formatting to submit a PDF version–you receive the Presentation/Formatting portion of your grade based on the copy I receive.
  • For any outside information or quoting (short only) you include, simply give the author and title. No need for a Work(s) Cited page or formal documentation, but you still have to give credit for quotations and for unquoted ideas, etc.
  • Feel free to use terms from the book: do not worry about crediting it except for page number in ( ) at the end and outside the quotation marks and any quotations you use from it.
  • Whatever criteria you use as part of your response can come from any of the book’s terms, your own knowledge, material you look up, and your own experience. Keep in mind, however, that you are indeed responding to how the piece of art works or doesn’t (or some of both) for you in light of the prompt: you are evaluating it and supporting/developing your evaluation. It can of course also interpret aspects of your interpretation of it, though you should also link that to how you respond to its meaning to you and how and why you react to that as you do. Be sure to avoid merely generalizing: offer support for all claims.
  • Be sure all quotations include quotation marks: avoid Plagiarism.
  • Prompt # 3, Due Sunday, April 12, at 11:00 p.m. Mountain Time: For this response, you will briefly discuss the following prompt from Jim Harrison’s novella Legends of the Fall and the film version of it by the same title (warning: you need to always be clear which version you are talking about). This novella (see note below) is based partly on real-life people, especially Ludlow. But overall it is fiction, with much of the story changed, compressed, fictionalized. Many works of literary art blur “true stories” with “fictionalized” stories for numerous reasons. That said, without being at all concerned with what Harrison took from “real life” and what he changed, select three or more differences between the novella and film version and argue from your point of view why these differences in the film are either necessary or not because of how film differs as a medium (or genre of art) from written art. Also do not forget to come up with a meaningful thesis of limited topic and narrowed claim to fit your essay, with an original title and introduction to interest and lead in your audience and a good conclusion to make your last impression and lead your audience out of your essay.
  • Some notes on terminology: 1.) Generally speaking, a Novella is a work longer than a short story yet shorter than a novel. 2.) Typically a Novel should be reserved for use about longer works of fiction (at least for the most part–there is a type of blurring between fiction and non-fiction only (though there is a sub-genre considered “Non-fiction Novel,” it would need to be listed by that full name: “novel” alone (or “fictional novel”) is best used alone only to describe fictional works). Personally, I would claim novellas run from roughly 50/60 pages to roughly 110/120 pages—of course, the size of print and spacings can make that range inexact. Some people argue that the novella isn’t even a genre or form: just that there are short novels. I think “novella” is a useful term, though, and that it actually differs in form from the other two prose literary genres. Here for this work, use novella, consistently. 3.) Cinema and Film are the terms we usually use when referring to efforts more directly and completely “artistic” in a sense–we often use “movie” for this category, but generally that term should be reserved for less “serious” works focusing only on entertainment, and one you should try to avoid in this essay. (Keep in mind that many comedies are more serious and “artistic,” while many “dramas” aren’t: the variety and ranges are astounding.) 4.) Adaptation is most used in the Arts to refer to taking a written work–perhaps an epic poem, perhaps a short story or novella, or perhaps a novel–and converting it to a film. The term would also include, in terms of film, “Remakes” of earlier films (often already adaptations themselves). However, while many films are adaptations from writing, there are also Original Screenplays–works without (at least apparently) reference to works written before they became film. Our film for this class is of course an adaptation of a written work we have read. This essay consequently will focus on bringing together the two arts–Literature and Cinema–in our essay.

Do not forget, either, how to credit and document your sources of the book and film, and of any other outside sources if you use any.

Be certain not to simply watch or rely only on any previous viewings of the film version by the same title. I know both works inside and out, and they are substantially different in numerous ways, and thus you should have ample possible material for this essay.

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