The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama and the Mode of Excess

The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama and the Mode of Excess

Paperback

By (author) Peter Brooks

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  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 251 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 231mm x 15mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 2 January 1996
  • Publication City/Country: New Haven
  • ISBN 10: 0300065531
  • ISBN 13: 9780300065534
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Sales rank: 214,345

Product description

This text argues that melodrama is a crucial mode of expression in modern literature. After studying stage melodrama as a dominant popular form in the 1800s, the author looks at Balzac and Henry James, to show how these realist novelists created fiction using rhetoric and excess of melodrama.

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In this lucid and fascinating book, Peter Brooks argues that melodrama is a crucial mode of expression in modern literature. After studying stage melodrama as a dominant popular form in the nineteenth century, he moves on to Balzac and Henry James to show how these "realist" novelists created fiction using the rhetoric and excess of melodrama - in particular its secularized conflicts of good and evil, salvation and damnation. The Melodramatic Imagination has become a classic work for understanding theater, fiction, and film.