The Melodramatic Thread

The Melodramatic Thread : Spectacle and Political Culture in Modern France

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In France, both political culture and theatrical performances have drawn upon melodrama. This "melodramatic thread" helped weave the country's political life as it moved from monarchy to democracy. By examining the relationship between public ceremonies and theatrical performance, James R. Lehning sheds light on democratization in modern France. He explores the extent to which the dramatic forms were present in the public performance of political power. By concentrating on the Republic and the Revolution and on theatrical performance, Lehning affirms the importance of examining the performative aspects of French political culture for understanding the political differences that have marked France in the years since more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 156 x 232 x 16mm | 358.34g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253219108
  • 9780253219107
  • 2,052,439

Review quote

Short books on large subjects are often stimulating to read and critique, and Lehning's falls into that category. Vol. 81.3 Sept. 2009 -- Sarah Maza * Northwestern University * The analyses in this book make a real contribution to debates about the ways in which art, particularly popular art, and politics interact; how politics itself is theatrical in the French case; and the role of ritual in politics and the function of politics as ritual and ceremony.Vol. 40 No.3 2010 -- John Gaffney * Aston University * In this thoroughly researched and persuasive book, Lehning (history, Univ. of Utah) provides a fascinating reading of public performances in modern France. . . . This is an important contribution to the study of French culture and the democratization process. . . . Essential. * Choice *show more

About James R. Lehning

James R. Lehning is Professor of History at The University of Utah and author of To Be a Citizen: The Political Culture of the Early French Third Republic and Peasant and French: Cultural Contact in Rural France during the Nineteenth more

Table of contents

ContentsAcknowledgments1. Introduction2. Varieties of Performance in Nineteenth-Century Paris3. Boulevard Spectacles of the Third Republic4. Spectacles of Light and Darkness between the World Wars5. Commercial Spectacles in Postwar Paris6. ConclusionSelected BibliographyIndexshow more