Upholding literature and film together as academically interwoven, Perpetual Carnival underscores the everlasting coexistence of realism and modernism, eschewing the popularly accepted view that the latter is itself a rejection of the former. Mining examples from both film and literature, Colin MacCabe asserts that the relationship between film and literature springs to life a wealth of beloved modernist art, from Jean-Luc Godard's Pierre le Fou to James Joyce's Ulysses, enriched by realism's enduring legacy. The intertextuality inherent in adaptation furthers this assertion in MacCabe's inclusion of Roman Polanski's Tess, a 1979 adaptation of Thomas Hardy's nineteenth-century realist novel, Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Showcasing essays enlivened by cosmopolitan interests, theoretical insight, and strong social purpose, Perpetual Carnival supports a humanities which repudiates narrow specialization and which seeks to place the discussion of film and literature firmly in the reality of current political and ideological discussion. It argues for the writers and directors, the thinkers and critics, who have most fired the contemporary imagination.