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The interpretation of the source text and its transcoding, that is translation to different medium, depends

entirely on the reader’s mentality and cultural background. As Hans Robert Jauss sustains, “a literary
work is not an object which stands by itself and which offers the same face to each reader in each period.
It is not a monument which reveals its timeless essence in a monologue” (qtd. in Selden 2005: 51). In his
view, the literary text will have a different message for readers of different periods. A text can be
interpreted in many ways, and the interpretation depends on the reader’s experiences, mentality and
cultural background. The cultural background readers have is emphasized by Selden as well, who argues
that “our understanding of a work will depend on the questions which our own cultural environment
allows us to raise” (2005: 51). Readers are bound by their own time, their experiences and mentality when
reading a text. It is no surprise then that the filmic rhetoric applied in the adaptation borrows from video-
game techniques or uses “fashionable” props. The sculptures in the Pemberley sequences give a modern
edge to the story – Elizabeth can also touch the artefacts, her experience is not resumed to only watching.
Experiences, emotions, states of mind in the story are presented through techniques familiar to the
twenty-first century viewer.

Adaptations are often accused of reflecting our times rather than that of the adapted text. However,
considering Hans Georg Gadamer’s view that we can grasp the past only through the present, we may
understand why most adaptations have modern flavour. This is why adaptations are seen to “negotiate the
past/present divide by re-creating the source text – as well as its author, historical context and, […], a
series of intertexts” (Aragay 2005: 23). Filmmakers translate the past and present it in a digestible way.