Melodrama And Modernity

Melodrama And Modernity

Melodrama and Modernity

Looking back to the sensational or "blood and thunder" melodramas (e.g., The Perils of Pauline, The Hazards of Helen, etc.), Singer uncovers a fundamentally modern cultural expression, one reflecting transformations in the sensory environment of the metropolis, in the experience of capitalism, in the popular imagination of gender, and in the exploitation of the thrill in popular amusement.


A remarkably readable work on the contextual relationship of modernity to stage and screen melodramas in the early 20th century.... He accompanies his text with one of the best and most unusual selections of illustrated materials this reviewer has ever seen... He elucidates the cluster ideas of both melodrama and modernity with uncommon good sense and clarity. Highly recommended.

(T. Lindvall Choice)

A fluent, precise, and excellently historicized account of the interaction between early narrative film and the processes of industrial modernization.


Singer's excellent monography Melodrama and Modernity operates firmly within this historiographic field.

(Melanie Nash Cinema and Its Context)


A challenging, alternative history... Singer's book is nothing less than sensational.

(Richard Abel, Ellis and Nelle Levitt professor of English, Drake University)

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