Original Minority: The Screenplay Based on the Literary Text (“Intermezzo” by Serhii Parajanov)

Nataliia Nikoriak


A screenplay, being a new and objectively separate form of the modern art and at the same time a new type of text, takes an autonomous niche in the literary canon. Though and nowadays too little scientific attention is paid to the script legacy of one writer/scenarist/artist or another. Normally screenplays are incorporated into the complete works of a writer on the rights of addendum to the main body of texts as merely a minor work in spite of the fact that a screenplay can be written more masterly than its film interpretation. If it comes to an editor or a scenarist who did not manifest themselves actively on the field of literature then their texts can be found at best in collections of screenplays or in archives in typewritten form albeit the texts as separate creations can appear really valuable from the aesthetic standpoint. Even more complicated situation is with a screenplay-interpretation of a literary text: first of all because of uncertainty of the status it does not just stay on peripheries of the genre hierarchy but is ignored as a text.

A scenarist-adapter in such a case appears not quite an original author of his text: he does not bear full responsibility for his creation as the aesthetic value of adaptation on the one hand depends on quality of the original and on the other hand on competence of the screenplay's reader (the whole film crew), capable of noticing, evaluating and accepting the scenarist's version. Hence the reference to the literature classics, proven by the receptive environment and by time, argues “the technology” of creation of an original film model. Thus the minor status of the text-intermediary must not necessarily evidence of the minor quality. The more original are properties of a literary primary source, the greater unbalancing of them creates the screen adaptation, the bigger creative talent is needed to strike a new balance, may be not the same but equivalent in artistic value to the previous one. In line with the defined vector the original minority demonstrates itself on the example of the screenplay “Intermezzo” (1970) by Serhii Parajanov based on the text of the same name of Mykhailo Kotsiubynsky.


S. Parajanov; M. Kotsiubynsky; “Intermezzo”; screenplay; poetics of the name; person sphere; narrative; intermedial remake; intertextuality


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Pytannia literaturoznavstva
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