Contesting tears : the Hollywood melodrama of the unknown woman /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator: Cavell, Stanley, 1926-2018.
Format: Book
Language:English
Imprint: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1996.
Subjects:
Description
Summary:What is marriage? Can a relationship dedicated to equality, friendship, and mutual education flower in an atmosphere of romance? What are the paths between loving another and knowing another? Stanley Cavell identified a genre of classic American films that engaged these questions in his study of comedies of remarriage, Pursuits of Happiness . With Contesting Tears , Cavell demonstrates that a contrasting genre, which he calls "the melodrama of the unknown woman," shares a surprising number and weave of concerns with those comedies.<br> <br> Cavell provides close readings of four melodramas he finds definitive of the genre: Letter from an Unknown Woman , Gaslight , Now Voyager , and Stella Dallas . The women in these melodramas, like the women in the comedies, demand equality, shared education, and transfiguration, exemplifying for Cavell a moral perfectionism he identifies as Emersonian. But unlike the comedies, which portray a quest for a shared existence of expressiveness and joy, the melodramas trace instead the woman's recognition that in this quest she is isolated. Part of the melodrama concerns the various ways the men in the films (and the audiences of the films) interpret and desire to force the woman's consequent inaccessibility.<br> <br> "Film is an interest of mine," Stanley Cavell has written, "or say a love, not separate from my interest in, or love of, philosophy." In Contesting Tears Cavell once again brilliantly unites his two loves, using detailed and perceptive musings on melodrama to reflect on philosophical problems of skepticism, psychoanalysis, and perfectionism. As he shows, the fascination and intelligence of such great stars as<br> Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, and Barbara Stanwyck illuminate, as they are illuminated by, the topics and events of these beloved and enduring films.<br>
Item Description:Filmography: p. 241-242.
Physical Description:xvi, 255 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references (pages 231-239) and index.
ISBN:0226098141
0226098168
Author Notes:Stanley Cavell was born Stanley Louis Goldstein in Atlanta, Georgia on September 1, 1926. He received a degree in music from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University. From 1953 to 1956, he was a junior fellow in Harvard's Society of Fellows. He then taught for six years at the University of California, Berkeley. He returned to Harvard to teach in 1963, becoming professor emeritus in 1997.

His first book, Must We Mean What We Say?, was published in 1969. His other books included The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy; Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage; and Themes Out of School: Effects and Causes. He died from heart failure on June 19, 2018 at the age of 91.

(Bowker Author Biography)