1 Brooks, The Melodramatic Imagination (1995), viii. Subsequent citations to
this edition are given in parentheses in the text.
2 Berlant and Edelman, Sex, or the Unbearable, xvii.
3 Tereda, Looking Away, 3, 33, 9.
4 For an example, see Linda Williams, Screening Sex; where, for once, she
considers same-sex sex, in Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005). Taking
issue with D. A. Miller, who has qualms about the film’s representational
strategies, Williams is sure that homosexuality in the film does not pre-
exist homosexual sex (with what she terms its “threat of castration”) and
thereby shows that homosexuality is not a minority issue but “a fear, and a
desire, sympathetically, and even melodramatically, felt by all” (238). “All”
here seems to mean “all heterosexuals,” and the parsing of minoritizing/
universalizing that Williams takes from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s Episte-
mology of the Closet is bent in a straight direction.
5 Berlant, The Female Complaint, 268.
6 Mercer and Shingler, Melodrama, 1.
7 Mercer and Shingler, Melodrama, 7.
8 Brooks continually likens the melodramatic plot to psychoanalysis, offer-
ing a just-so story that brings analysis to the happy ending of recognition,
a repudiation of the dark forces within.
9 Mercer and Shingler, Melodrama, 105.
10 Gledhill, “Rethinking Genre,” 227.
11 Gledhill, “Rethinking Genre,” 238, 240.
12 Foucault, The History of Sexuality, 93.
13 Gledhill, “The Melodramatic Field,” 33.
14 Alfred Hitchcock, “Why I Make Melodramas” (1936), available at http://
www.labyrinth.net.au/~muffin/melodramas_c.html (last modified March
31, 2000). Hitchcock notes that melodrama is a designation that as easily
marks a theatrical milieu as a generic kind; that it often is attached to ex-
aggerated emotional response but can as easily be found in ordinary re-
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