The Drama of the American Short Story, 1800-1865 (Hardback)
  • The Drama of the American Short Story, 1800-1865 (Hardback)
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The Drama of the American Short Story, 1800-1865 (Hardback)

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£65.95
Hardback 288 Pages / Published: 30/10/2016
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This book argues that to truly understand the short story form, one mustlook at how it was shaped by the lively, chaotic, and deeply politicizedworld of 19th-century transatlantic theater and performance culture. Byresurrecting long-neglected theatrical influences on representative worksof short fiction, Michael J. Collins demonstrates that it was the unrulyculture of the stage that first energized this most significant of Americanart forms. Whether it was Washington Irving's first job as theatercritic, Melville's politically controversial love of British drama, Alcott'sthwarted dreams of stage stardom, Poe and Lippard's dramatizations ofpeculiarly bloodthirsty fraternity hazings, or Hawthorne's fascination withautomata, theater was a key imaginative site for the major pioneers of theAmerican short story.

The book shows how perspectives from theater studies, anthropology,and performance studies can enrich readings of the short story form.Moving beyond arbitrary distinctions between performance and text,it suggests that this literature had a social life and was engaged withquestions of circumatlantic and transnational culture. It suggests thatthe short story itself was never conceived as a nationalist literary form,but worked by mobilizing cosmopolitan connections and meanings. Inso doing, the book resurrects a neglected history of American Federalismand its connections to British literary forms.

Publisher: The University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9780472130030
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm

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