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Melodrama The Cultural Emergence of a Genre cover
  • ISBN: 9780312126926
  • ISBN10: 0312126921

Melodrama the Cultural Emergence of a Genre

by Michael Hays

  • List Price: $79.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publish date: 01/01/1997
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Using the term "melodrama" as an abstract category to describe almost any literary mode - from nineteenth-century novels to twentieth-century films - modern critics have obscured the genre's historical and cultural functions as well as the nature of its specific appeal to working-class audiences. To rectify this situation, the essays in this volume redirect attention to the historical, social, and cultural milieu in which melodrama emerged. This collection of essays addresses the following important questions: What were the social, cultural, and ideological conditions under which this genre became popular among nineteenth-century theatre audiences? How do ideological and social issues such as nationalism, colonialism, ethnicity, race, gender, and class surface in melodrama? What was the social and cultural profile of its audiences? How do individual playwrights, such as Holcroft and Boucicault, represent changes in the features of melodrama throughout the nineteenth century? Responses to these and other questions will emerge in the essays of this innovative and international collection.
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