So today I hit paydirt on the melodrama thing, both in the Peter Brooks book and in the article by Kamilla Aslaksen on melodrama and Et dukkehjem. I got so excited about the obvious ways this stuff relates to Fruen fra havet that I finally (finally!!!) got up the nerve to open up the previous draft of the article and take a look at it. Oh, how I have been dreading that.
I gave it a quick skim through, and it was an easy decision to just delete the entire section on the National Theater performances. It was only about three pages, so it wasn’t even that traumatic to jettison it. I had forgotten how much the article focuses on questions of space (duh, I should know that since A) space/place has been a major part of my research agenda, and B) I wrote the article), which may make it a little tricky to integrate the new melodrama material. The one thing that springs to mind immediately, though, is Brooks’ mention of the garden as a place of innocence in classical melodrama, which has interesting implications for the Wangel family garden in Fruen fra havet.
On my way home I read some other more recent work on melodrama that is critical of Brooks, so as to gain a little perspective. I also did a little work on editing the Amtmandens Døttre article, but I really just need to bring my list of sources that need double checking with me to the library. I think I’ll do that first thing tomorrow, and then spend the rest of the day trying to draft some new melodrama sections for the Fruen fra havet analysis. And I really need to get my book contract sent off to the publisher in the US!