Melodrama! The Mode of Excess from Early America to Hollywood


1. Edition, 2007
377 Pages

ISBN: 978-3-8253-5327-8
Product: Book
Edition: Hardcover
Subject: Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Series: American Studies – A Monograph Series, Volume No.: 145
Available: 28.03.2007

Keywords: Film, USA, Kultur, Geschichte, Aufsatzsammlung, Melodrama (Film), Populärkultur, Melodrama, Hollywood, Sentimentalismus, Genre


This volume explores the current status quo of 'melodrama studies' with respect to theater, prose writing, film, and other genres and forms, spanning a historical range from the eighteenth century to the present time. It starts from the observation that what used to be regarded as a lower form of cultural expression in the first half of the twentieth century, came to be reevaluated markedly in the last decades. These days, melodrama tends to be invoked as a serious and central category to assess the modern cultural imagination and imaginary. Moreover, at a time in which generic classification is becoming increasingly problematical, because genres, be they literary or filmic, are identified less with stable norms, and are understood increasingly as processes, melodrama gains an especially prominent function in literary and cultural studies, since it is seen as cutting across the field of generic identification. The contributions to this volume investigate different manifestations of melodrama and emphasize the multifaceted and heterogeneous character of the melodramatic mode.