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Thomas Hardy, Sensationalism, and the Melodramatic Mode (Hardback)
  • Thomas Hardy, Sensationalism, and the Melodramatic Mode (Hardback)
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Thomas Hardy, Sensationalism, and the Melodramatic Mode (Hardback)

(author)
£69.99
Hardback 245 Pages / Published: 05/04/2011
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The first full-length study of sensationalist and melodramatic elements in Hardy's novels uses six of his texts to demonstrate the ways in which Hardy uses the melodramatic mode to advance his critique of established Victorian cultural beliefs through the employment of non-realistic plot devices and sensational 'excess.'

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN: 9780230621466
Number of pages: 245
Weight: 455 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 16 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Nemesvari locates six Hardy novels in two groupings: fiction of ingenuity and fiction of environment and character. The analyses center on masculinity, public spectacles, and class status, and the prevailing issue is this: how does the oral tradition of Dorset affect Hardy's theory of fiction? The answer, Nemesvari writes, is that Hardy drew on melodrama for his plots and ideas, and melodrama allowed intense emotion, exaggerated plot twists, sudden revelations, sensational scenes, and appeals to readers' shared communal experiences. In treating external conflict, Hardy engaged late-Victorian cultural, economic, and sexual anxieties - a polemical response to changes taking place in a "consolidating market society." Hardy challenged Victorian conventions by portraying ethical conflicts in a world without divinity. Since for Hardy criminality represented the individual challenging traditional culture, Hardy's villains and protagonists engage in a litany of crimes. Social forces dictate his characters' choices. In his introduction, Nemesvari engages traditional scholars like Kathleen Tillotson and J. Hillis Miller and sets the stage for his justification of the melodramatic stage of the Wessex novels. Nemesvari's scholarly volume includes extensive notes and useful biography and index." - Choice

"Carefully researched and closely argued, Richard Nemesvari's Thomas Hardy, Sensationalism, and the Melodramatic Mode represents generic criticism at its finest. In Nemesvari's hands, genre becomes a flexible and innovative tool of dissection that yields complex new classifications, a kind of recombinant DNA of Hardy's fiction for the twenty-first century . . . This is one of the best monographs on Hardy to come along for a long time, and in my opinion one of the best ever, synthesizing huge and previously somewhat amorphous areas of Hardy criticism at the same time as it explores its own very precise critical paradigms." - The Hardy Review

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