Via Lithub I read an interesting essay/editorial at the Atlantic magazine online, which discussed the new Netflix series, adaptation of Anne of Green Gables. The author talks about how after viewing the adaptation and then re-reading the book, she got more of a sense of the darkness. In the new adaptation there will be more of a focus on Anne’s past via flashbacks — suggesting perhaps PTSD from her orphan years. The author also sort of dismisses I think the beloved CBC’s adaption that ran on PBS for many years.
While I realize that Anne came from a dark and unstable background, I think it is her unending optimism that sets her apart — as misguided sometimes as it may be. Kindred spirit has been part of my vocabulary since I read the first book, and also “getting into scrapes.” For some reason I had a stretch of strange, little accidents and/or scrapes back in my late 20’s–which resulted in minor injuries and visits to the emergency room–on the last one I said to the nurse doing the intake interview, “I just keep getting into all these scrapes–thinking I’m going through this Anne of Green Gables phase or something.”
And without missing a beat she looked up at me and asked: “Well you didn’t try to climb up on the roof pole did you?” Yes you know you live in a well-read city, when your ER nurse gets your Anne of Green Gable reference.
Generally, these days I’m not sure about all these adaptions. To be clear, I have nothing against book to film, or book to TV adaptions. If done well they can be a nice companion of sorts to the original book. But I feel like we are perhaps re-visiting and recycling things a little too much and in the process to do this revisiting/recycling, putting darker/different shades of meaning on them — really moving away from the original books. Full disclosure here, I don’t have Netflix or Hulu so I may not see any of these more recent literary adaptations unless they are rebroadcast later on regular cable/television — years later, etc. Here is a URL if you want to check out the editorial/essay at the Atlantic: