Redefining Fidelity - Kate Lewis BA English Literature Dissertation 2018

The aim of this dissertation will be to examine Miyazaki’s fidelity towards three selected texts, this fidelity being redefined from the notion of the film having to be a carbon copy of the novel. Much is to be considered when adapting for cinema, of course, so each film will be assigned an attribute: setting and context for Howl’s Moving Castle; characters for Kiki’s Delivery Service; and storyline and theme for Laputa: Castle in the Sky in order to analyse Miyazaki’s approach to each aspect of the texts he adapts. Though all three will appear to have undergone drastic changes at first, this dissertation aims to prove that Miyazaki’s films are in-keeping with the visions of Jones, Kadono and Swift while clearly displaying his stylistic and personal stamp. As Aristotle said in his Poetics, “in telling a story, every one adds something startling of his own.” (Ar. Poetics, XXIV, 8)

The Swan King

During my time inter-railing through Europe (yes I did Find Myself, thank you for asking) I was fortunate enough to visit Neuschwanstein Castle in Munich, constructed by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in 1869. Ludwig was a rather eccentric young king, obsessed with fairy-tales and legends and did not spare much thought for matters of state. I was very drawn to his character, and have always wanted to write from his point of view, but for my final '7 Basic Plots' assignment, taught by acclaimed author Carlo Gébler, Carlo suggested I tell Ludwig's final moments (still shrouded in mystery) through another character. Ludwig had been quite close with the Tsarina of Russia, Maria Alexandrovna, so close in fact that he had reconstructed part of a castle for her to stay in. She did not visit during the time I claim she visited in my story, and nor did my protagonist, her son Sergei. I do, however, think it all works quite well. My friend Katy has not drawn swans or kings as of yet, but I feel the quotation she re-wrote so beautifully quite fits the story! (

Like Father Like Daughter

I wrote a story about Edward Mordake as my final project for my creative writing class, mainly because: 1) I was eager to research his life, and 2) I wanted to write about that little voice inside everyone's head that tells them they aren't enough. Edward Mordake was, supposedly, a nineteenth century British aristocrat who had become reclusive due to his shocking deformity, namely a small face on the back of his head which whispered sinister things to him in the night. I included the Father of Experimental Psychology, Wilhelm Wudnt, and his daughter Eleanor into this story, although they had no connection in real life, unfortunately (or fortunately?) The above drawing, which depicts Eleanor perfectly, is by my talented friend Katy Banahan (

A Fairytale Romance

In my creative writing class I wanted to write a satirical piece about idyllic fairytale romances, and used a particularly strong couple I know in order to craft my characters. The female of said couple suggested part of the ending, and I was surprised at the direction the story took afterwards! I allowed her to read it, but I doubt he ever will! I had so much fun writing it, and I hope you enjoy reading it. The illustration for this is perfect, and is by my friend Katy Banahan (

Family Trees

I wrote this short story for my creative writing class in Trinity College Dublin, taught by the award-winning Irish writer Deirdre Madden. Our prompt was the word 'tree', and this is where my mind went! Very Grandmother Willow, of course, but I also wanted to comment on how people deal with painful experiences. To turn to major introspection, or to unload some of your problems onto loved ones? The above illustration was by my talented friend Katy Banahan (