Like that early evolutionary theory (though unlike Darwin himself), much work in literary adaptation today thinks only in terms of higher and lower forms, that is, considering adaptations as more or less "faithful" to the "original". In biology, it was only when this sort of evaluative discourse was discarded that new questions could be asked and therefore new answers offered. To that end, a biologist and a literary theorist work to develop the homology between biological and cultural adaptation, between natural and cultural selection: stories, in a manner parallel to genes, replicate; the adaptations of both evolve with changing environments. Their "success" cannot and should not, in either case, be limited to their degree of "fidelity" to anything called a "source" or "original".


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pp. 443-458
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