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

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

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.

Title:The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama, and the Mode of Excess
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780300065534
Format Type:

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

  • Jsph

    interesting book but written at a college level and much of the discussion is about once popular but now obscure plays. ...

  • Haimaneltohamy

    A wonderful study....

  • Erica

    Brooks argues that melodrama--usually associated with low, simple tastes--actually influences higher realist fiction in the 19C. ...

  • Christina knox

    i read this during 9/11 in a course of the same name where the topic switched from sirk to cnn after the planes hit....