Mythical Returns: Televising Thérèse Raquin

Television is not an obvious home for Zola's novels. Its spatially-restrained aesthetic crops Zola's sweeping vistas and the repetitions inherent in its serial structures have led some to query its artistic endeavour. However, France 3's La Liberté de Marie (2002), an adaptation of Zola's Thérèse Raquin (1867), written and directed by Caroline Huppert, counters both assumptions. It underlines the compatibility between Thérèse Raquin and the medium of television in spatial terms. The adaptation does not return to the detail of Zola's text, but, through its exploration of myth, it echoes Zola's belief that originality lies in the innovative re-telling of an age-old story in a new context.

Kate Griffiths
Volume 39.3-4