Unbinding the text
Intermediality concerns either the transgression of the boundaries between conventionally distinct media or the iconic enactment of one medium within another. How does this function in such a complex multimedia work as <i>Prospero’s Books</i>, Peter Greenaway’s film adaptation of Shakespeare’s <i>The Tempest</i>, which not only comments on other media but also addresses all other adaptations of Shakespeare’s play? How is the figure of dislocation – shipwrecks, loss of home and culture, the disorientation generated by Prospero’s masques – translated into Greenaway’s postmodern adaptation? To what degree does adaptation itself involve dislocation as Shakespeare’s figuration of dislocation resonates throughout Greenaway’s multimedia reworking of this text into contemporary sensibilities? Not only does the film self-reflexively perform the very process of adaptation but by ‘destructuring’ – or dislocating – the text into images, it also creates a visual vocabulary articulating a new order of reading and suggesting a new visual literacy.