Kids-book-to-movie adaptations and multiple textual traditions

This post is dedicated to anyone who has ever watched a film adaptation of a book and has said, “That’s not what happens in the book!” Take a deep breath. Textual multiplicity often precipitates violence, but it doesn’t have to!

Our family watches a fair amount of television and movies. My son, Cædmon, and my daughter, Esther, enjoy watching shows like Daniel Tiger and Thomas the Train, and, when I can persuade them, they’ll join me in watching an NPR Tiny Desk Concert or a short film on Vimeo.

I worry, though, that their little imaginations are being overrun by the powerful images of the screen. So, for example, Cædmon doesn’t just pretend that he is a robot; he pretends that he is Wall-E. An undersea adventure can’t happen without Nemo making an appearance, and a song can’t be sung that doesn’t reference (if only obliquely) the musical world of Daniel Tiger or Mary Poppins.

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Augustine and interpretive pluralism

I was chugging along in the part of Book XI of The City of God where Augustine is talking about the nature and status of fallen angels, when I came across this line:

“The obscurity of the divine discourse actually serves the useful purpose of giving birth to many views of the truth and bringing them into the light of knowledge, one person understanding the divine words in this way and another in that.” (civ. XI.19)

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