"It's off-book!": Developing Serial Complexity across Media in A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Abstract

The article traces the development of narrative complexity in the book and television versions of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. The series has been criticized for its repetitive structure; however, drawing on seriality theory by Umberto Eco, Jason Mittell and Frank Kelleter, I demonstrate how it does move beyond repetition and towards a more complex narrative structure. I point out how the recent Netflix adaptation, rather than merely repeating the books, adds to this development of serial complexity. Thus, by comparing the book series and the adaptation, I demonstrate a tendency towards developing transmedial complexity in serial narratives.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Literature Studies
  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-79
JournalChildren's Literature Association quarterly
Volume45
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 27
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes