The Melodramatic Thread - Spectacle and Political Culture in Modern France
Publisher: Indiana University Press
“This ambitious undertaking is concerned with the melodramatic form in theatre and film and its impact on French political culture.” —H-France Review
In France, both political culture and theatrical performances have drawn upon melodrama. This “melodramatic thread” helped weave the country’s political life as it moved from monarchy to democracy. By examining the relationship between public ceremonies and theatrical performance, James R. Lehning sheds light on democratization in modern France. He explores the extent to which the dramatic forms were present in the public performance of political power. By concentrating on the Republic and the Revolution and on theatrical performance, Lehning affirms the importance of examining the performative aspects of French political culture for understanding the political differences that have marked France in the years since 1789.
“In this thoroughly researched and persuasive book, Lehning provides a fascinating reading of public performances in modern France . . . This is an important contribution to the study of French culture and the democratization process . . . Essential.” —Choice
“Lehning’s application of the themes of melodrama to French political culture offers new insights into French history. His style is lively, clear, and highly readable.” —Venita Datta, Wellesley College
“The analyses in this book make a real contribution to debates about the ways in which art, particularly popular art, and politics interact; how politics itself is theatrical in the French case; and the role of ritual in politics and the function of politics as ritual and ceremony.” —John Gaffney, Aston University
Available since: 07/09/2007.
Print length: 193 pages.