Books live in our collective unconscious as well as our individual imaginations. It’s best to air these stories occasionally so that we may examine the myths we hold dearly. Movies may be messy but they can be viewed en masse, which makes them the perfect medium for this analysis. But there’s a bigger reason we keep adapting our favorite books to screen, and it’s not just because of cinema’s notorious dearth of original material. It is because we adore magic, and the only thing more magic than movies are watching our private fancies come to life.
Lisa Rosman wonders if great books, like David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest and Toni Morrison’s Jazz, can be adapted to film without losing any of their detailed nuances. Her answer? Not really, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try.