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

 
 
 
 
The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama, and the Mode of Excess
Author: Peter Brooks
ISBN 13: 9780300065534
ISBN 10: 300065531
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 1995-11-29
Format: Paperback
Pages: 251
List Price: $30.00
 
 

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.