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Imitations of Life

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction / Louise McReynolds and Joan Neuberger The Misanthrope, the Orphan, and the Magpie: Imported Melodrama in the Twilight of Serfdom / Richard Stites Melodramatizing Russia: Nineteenth-Century Views from the West / Julie A. Buckler The Importance of Being Unhappy, or, Why She Died / Beth Holmgren Melodrama as Counterliterature? Count Amori's Response to Three Scandalous Novels / Otto Boele Home Was Never Where the Heart Was: Domestic Dystopias in Russia's Silent Movie Melodramas / Louise McReynolds Alcohol is Our Enemy! Soviet Temperance Melodramas of the 1920s / Julie A. Cassiday Melodrama and the Myth of the Soviet Union / Lars T. Lih Soviet Family Melodrama of the 1940s and 1950s: From Wait for Me to The Cranes Are Flying / Alexander Prokhorov Conventional Melodrama, Innovative Theater, and a Melodramatic Society: Pavel Kohout's Such a Love at the Moscow University Student Theater / Susan Constanzo Between Public and Private: Revolution and Melodrama in Nikita Mikhalkov's Slave of Love / Joan Neuberger Playing Dead: The Operatics of Celebrity Funerals, or, The Ultimate Silent Part / Helena Goscilo Suggested Reading Contributors Index

About the Author

Louise McReynolds is Professor of History at the University of Hawai'i. Joan Neuberger is Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas.


"Melodrama bore all the defects and virtues of its parent, the French Revolution. Given to wild flights, neck-breaking twists and turns, stark judgements of good and evil, the genre also brought public attention onto private life and the vicissitudes of underprivilege. Melodrama taught much to the Russians who appropriated it. As the contributors to the present volume demonstrate, it taught them how to see, to understand and even how to accomplish history. An imitator surely, but also a creator of life-we can all be grateful to Neuberger and McReynolds for bringing this to our attention."-James von Geldern, Macalaster College

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