Adaptations, yes or no?

Since I was a kid, I have heard a lot about this very topic, with opinions against and in favor of the creation and use of adaptations. Mainly about books. Since the arrival of the Internet to our lives, these opinions have get kind of… p Powerful (a nice polite way to say crazy AF, like any opinion on the Net nowadays).

Spanish version: Adaptaciones, ¿sí o no?


When I say “adaptation” I mean the change of an original for a easier, better and/or alternative comprehension for the reader. For example, an adaptation of the works by Shakespeare or Don Quixote of La Mancha, by Cervantes. In order to give children an easier way to understand (and read, in general) those texts that could be pretty difficult for people of their age.

But… what do you think? Do you like adaptations? Yes? No? Well, even if you have already an answer for this, before explaining it, let me give you some points for each one of the current situations. Just for you to have the proper information to “choose a side”. Nah, you don’t really have to choose, since this is a matter of taste, not a real, important choice.

But I do have my own opinion about it, and I will give it to you.

Spoiler alert: I do like adaptations, with a “but”.

YES: “The original is boring/difficult!”

Sometimes, as I have already said, certain texts can be difficult to read and to understand by different readers, such as kids or adults with a lower level of education. If there wasn’t adaptations, those people would get prohibited from enjoying the great pieces that the geniuses created for all of us. And just because they can’t understand them properly, or even not at all.

For example, Don Quixote of La Mancha can be boring as hell, I know that. But if you are able to read an adaptation when you are not capable of a proper understanding, you will enjoy it and, in a future, maybe you will come back to the original and you will do your best to understand it all. Without the help of adaptations, that chance of bringing those texts closer to the common reader would get lost. And it will always remain as “boring”, not “difficult but great”.

NO: “Nothing can substitute the original!”

Adaptations can really miss vital points of any texts, losing even key elements that can result in the destruction of the original meaning the author wanted the title to have. Even if they are correctly done, the actual spirit of the original can be reduced and damaged severely. Until the point of handing the reader a feeling and general idea of it that has barely nothing to do with what he/she should have received. As I said, no adaptation can be as good as the original.

My opinion

Adaptations are a necessity, but not for everyone. In case you have problems understanding the original, since you are a child or an adult with a lower level of education, helping yourself out with an adaptation is totally great. Since, at least, you would have made the effort to know about it, and you will, for sure, try to read the original when your skills get improved. However, if you are capable of reading the original, please, don’t read the adaptation. Or you are going to miss those amazing key elements, and even the spirit of the original, just because you have chosen the easy path, a.k.a. the adaptation.

And make others do the same, don’t recommend adaptations to people that you know can read the original. Encourage people to choose the books that better suits their neccessities, and always aim to improve your skills and get better. Adaptations are a necessity as a help for those that find hard to understand the original. But they should never, ever, be the final goal for a reader. Since they already have the original text as the one. Think in the movies that are an adaptation from a book. They are not nearly as good as the book (in the majority of cases). But they at least bring the story to a more general public. And then, if they are interested, they will find the book and make the effort to understand it.

And now, tell me what you think: Do you agree or disagree with me? Let me know in the comments below and try to explain why. It would make me happy to read your opinions about this simple, yet intrincate, topic :).

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