Call for Papers

Anachronism in Art - Pros and Cons

by Karen Zarker

23 May 2013

Why do modern adaptations of Shakespeare work? Yet Baz Luhrmann's adaptations of period pieces don't?
Ethan Hawke in Michael Almereyda's Hamlet (2000) 

PopMatters seeks feature essays (min. 1,200 words - no max. limit) arguing the pros and cons of anachronism in film, literature, video games, music and other products of pop culture.
I can’t bring myself to see Baz Luhrmann’s version of ‘The Great Gatsby’ precisely because its hip-hop soundtrack reads as an insult to The Jazz era in which the story is set. And I like Jay-Z. But what a wasted opportunity to introduce a huge audience to the music of the era—and some would argue the best period of jazz in America.

For this same reason, I walked out of ‘Moulin Rouge!’ (Well, that and actors that can’t sing. Aye.)

Yet I’ll see virtually any modern adaptation of a Shakespeare play—and love it.

Pick a product of culture, and 1-3 examples, to make your argument against anachronism in storytelling—or impress us with your argument for using art from one era to tell the story of another.

Opinion is clearly the driving force, but bring in grounded examples and a solid understanding of history to your essay. PopMatters readers are savvy, educated, and generalists, and we ask that you bring that spirit to your paper.

Send pitches to: [email protected]
email subject line: PopMatters / Features: Anachronism
Deadline for pitches: Friday, 07 June 2013


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