Tag Archives: books

August 2018

Mélodrames” de Pixerécourt (in French)

Volume 4

Edited by: Lemaire (Marion), Martin (Roxane), Melai (Maurizio)

This volume presents a critical edition of three melodramas (La Citerne, Marguerite d’Anjou, The Ruins of Babylon), accompanied by their original stage music.

August 2018

Melodrama, Self and Nation in Post-War British Popular Film

By Johanna Laitila

This book investigates the portrayal of nationalities and sexualities in British post-Second World War crime film and melodrama. By melodrama popular filmfocusing on these genres, and looking at the concept of melodrama as an analytical tool apt for the analysis of both sexuality and nation, the book offers insight into the desires, fears, and anxieties of post-war culture. The problem of returning to ‘normalcy’ after the war is one of the recurring themes discussed; alienation from society, family, and the self were central issues for both women and men in the post-war years, and the book examines the anxieties surrounding these social changes in the films of the period. In particular, it explores heterosexuality and nationality as some of the most prominent frameworks for the construction of identities in our time, structures that, for all their centrality, are made invisible in our culture.

 

 

 

Mélodrames” de Pixerécourt (in French)

Volume 4

Melodrama pixerecourtEdited by: Lemaire (Marion), Martin (Roxane), Melai (Maurizio)

This volume presents a critical edition of three melodramas (La Citerne, Marguerite d’Anjou, The Ruins of Babylon), accompanied by their original stage music.

May 2018

Dreadful: Aesthetic Fear in Victorian Reading
by Pamela K. Gilbert

in Fear in the Medical and Literary Imagination, Medieval to Modern ed. by Daniel McCann and Claire McKechnie-Mason

Abstract

The late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw the rise of both the novel and physiological psychology, in which thinkers interested in affect often turned to literature to understand the functions of fictional emotion. One problem that has dogged aesthetic and psychological theorists since at least Aristotle is the aesthetic appreciation of negative affects. Why do we read tragedy, melodrama, and horror fiction, which evoke fear and sadness? How do we enjoy them? This essay will survey the history of the debate on the psychology and physiology of fear, including associationism, common sense and evolutionary theories. It will then discuss the period’s fiction, focusing especially on the affect of reading in the genres of gothic and sensation.


Elective Affinities: The Spectacle of Melodrama and Sensationalism in Cinco esquinas by Mario Vargas Llosa

by Jorge Carlos Guerrero

in Postmodern Parody in Latin American Literature ed. by Helene Carol Weldt-Basson

Abstract:

Guerrero argues that Mario Vargas Llosa’s Cinco esquinas [Five Points] is an ironic and self-reflexive parody of yellow journalism that advances a harsh indictment of both yellow journalism’s political uses by Alberto Fujimori’s regime in Peru, as well as its place in contemporary democratic culture. Based on the premise that the aesthetics of melodrama is intrinsic to sensationalism, the chapter examines the ways in which the novel imitates the excesses of sensationalist journalism through an ample repository of melodramatic techniques. Guerrero further contends that, through the playful engagement with other intertexts—notably Peruvian criollo music—Cinco esquinas is self-derisory about its skeptical perspective on culture and politics, thus undermining, in a postmodern fashion, the discourse of a narrator whose views mirror those of the author.

March 2018


Melodrama Unbound: Across History, Media, and National Cultures

Edited by Christine Gledhill and Linda Williams
Columbia University Press

 

For too long melodrama has been associated with outdated and morally simplistic stereotypes of the Victorian stage; for too long film studies has construed it as a singular domestic melodrama unboundgenre of familial and emotional crises, either subversively excessive or narrowly focused on the dilemmas of women. Drawing on new scholarship in transnational theatrical, film, and cultural histories, this collection demonstrates that melodrama is a transgeneric mode that has long spoken to fundamental aspects of modern life and feeling.

Pointing to melodrama’s roots in the ancient Greek combination of melos and drama, and to medieval Christian iconography focused on the pathos of Christ as suffering human body, the volume highlights the importance to modernity of melodrama as a mode of emotional dramaturgy, the social and aesthetic conditions for which emerged long before the French Revolution. Contributors articulate new ways of thinking about melodrama that underscore its pervasiveness across national cultures and in a variety of genres. They examine how melodrama has traveled to and been transformed in India, China, Japan, and South America, whether through colonial circuits or later, globalization; how melodrama mixes with other modes such as romance, comedy, and realism; and finally how melodrama has modernized the dramatic functions of gender, class, and race by orchestrating vital aesthetic and emotional experiences for diverse audiences.

About the Author

Christine Gledhill is a visiting professor in cinema studies at the University of Sunderland. She is the author of Reframing British Cinema, 1918–1928: Between Restraint and Passion (2003); editor of Home Is Where the Heart Is (1987); and coeditor of Doing Women’s Film History: Reframing Cinemas Past and Future (2015).

Linda Williams is professor emerita in film & media and rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. Her books include Hard Core: Power, Pleasure and the “Frenzy of the Visible” (1989/1999); Playing the Race Card: Melodramas of Black and White from Uncle Tom to O.J. Simpson (2001); and On The Wire (2014).

October 2017

Media and Class : TV, Film, and Digital Culture

Edited by June Deery, Andrea Press

Although the idea of class is again becoming politically and culturally charged, the relationship between media and class remains understudied. This diverse collection draws together prominent and emerging media scholars to offer readers a much-needed orientation within the wider categories of media, class, and politics in Britain, America, and beyond. Case studies address media representations and media participation in a variety of platforms, with attention to contemporary culture: from celetoids to selfies, Downton Abbey to Duck Dynasty, androyals to reality TV. These scholarly but accessible accounts draw on both theory and empirical research to demonstrate how different media navigate and negotiate, caricature and essentialize, or contain and regulate class.

In the Name of the Mother: From Fascist Melodrama to the Maternal Horrific in the Films of Dario Argento

by Marcia Landy

in Italian Motherhood on Screen pp 21-44

In this chapter, Landy explores melodrama as a contentious literary and cinematic form in Italian culture through its alignment with a politics of the body by way of sensational affect. Bordering on, at times metamorphosing, into the horrific, the melodramatic imagination entertains scenarios of murder, monstrosity and bodily mutilation perpetrated by or on maternal figures.

 

September 2017

Rebecca d’Alfred Hitchcock by Jean-Loup Bourget

I have just published a monograph (in French) which deals with Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca. I start by examining the movie’s complex genesis, the respective contributions of Selznick and Hitchcock and the decisive role played by Orson Welles’ radio version of the novel. I then replace both novel and movie in the context of the subdued Gothic tradition exemplified by Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, draw attention to various Hollywood attempts to resort to 1st person narration in film, and conclude that although Rebecca does constitute a turning point in Hitchcock’s career and oeuvre, it should also be re-assessed in the light of some of the director’s English movies, specifically Easy Virtue and The Skin Game.

À Manderley, fastueuse demeure gothique de la côte des Cornouailles, se joue un drame fascinant. La jeune épouse du riche Maxim de Winter, désemparée dans un milieu où elle évolue pour la première fois, se trouve perpétuellement en butte au souvenir de la première femme de son époux, l’énigmatique Rebecca, qui semble hanter encore les lieux.
Tiré du best-seller de Daphné du Maurier, Rebecca, sorti en1940, est la première réalisation américaine d’Alfred Hitchcock. Mais était-ce vraiment son film, ou celui du producteur, David O. Selznick, internationalement reconnu pour Autant en emporte le vent (1939) et réputé pour son interventionnisme ? Deux visionnaires pour une œuvre magistrale, analysée en détail dans un ouvrage combinant description de séquences, études comparatives et lectures critiques.