The Cultural (R)evolution of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

No Thumbnail Available
Warenik, Victoria
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Middle Tennessee State University
In 1978, British-born Douglas Adams (1952-2001) wrote what would become six episodes of the celebrated The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio show for BBC's Radio 4. Adams's career was marked by his constant return to his original work, reworking and adding on to what most critics deem his best idea into a bestselling book, a miniseries, comic books, sequels, radio adaptations of later Hitchhiker's novels, and finally a feature film. Over the course of thirty-five years, fans have been listening, reading, and watching The Hitchhiker's Guide and its four subsequent sequels. As this thesis ascertains, Adams's works need further investigation because of their prominence in contemporary culture and their relevance as subjects for such multiple academic spheres as literature, media, and fan studies.
To develop this argument, this thesis focuses on the evolution of Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide over the years and its remarkable author. The first chapter concentrates on Adams's contribution to the popular culture canon and the need to legitimize the study of popular culture. Douglas Adams, the man, and his particular genius--the constant revision of The Hitchhiker's Guide, its unceasing popularity with fans, and its many paratexts--is the subject of Chapter Two. Finally, Chapter Three takes as its subject Adams's authorial intent and the posthumously produced and cast Hollywood feature film, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Adams, Douglas, Evolution, Fandom, Hitchhikers, Media