Adventure, Mystery, and Romance has 48 ratings and 7 reviews. Cawelti discusses such seemingly diverse works as Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Dorothy . Read “Adventure, Mystery, and Romance Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture” by John G. Cawelti with Rakuten Kobo. In this first general theory for the . Download Citation on ResearchGate | Adventure, Mystery, and Romance: of popular literary formulas, John G. Cawelti reveals the artistry that underlies the.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Adventure, Mystery, and Romance: In this first general theory for the analysis of popular literary formulas, John G.

Cawelti reveals the artistry that underlies the best in formulaic literature. Cawelti discusses such seemingly diverse works as Mario Puzo’s The GodfatherDorothy Sayers’s The Nine Tailorsand Owen Wister’s The Virginian in the light of his hypotheses about the cultural function of formul In this first general theory for the analysis of popular literary formulas, John G.

He describes the most important artistic characteristics of popular formula stories and the differences between this literature and that commonly labeled “high” or “serious” literature. He also defines the archetypal patterns of adventure, mystery, romance, melodrama, and fantasy, and offers a tentative account of their basis in human psychology. Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Adventure, Mystery, and Romanceplease sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Adventure, Mystery, and Romance. Lists with This Book. Jan caaelti, Mattia Ravasi rated it it was amazing. Academically sound yet very accessible. Zdventure a milestone of literary criticism. Apr 05, Catherine rated it it was amazing Shelves: Excellent breakdown of formula fiction, especially for adventure and mystery. Cawelti shows why formula story should not be viewed as inferior novels or stories but as art in itself.

Adventure, Mystery, and Romance: Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture by John G. Cawelti

Great insight to the moral fantasies that are being fulfilled in each formula. Jan 15, Joseph Valoren rated it really liked it.

This is a stance that was controversial when the book was written. In the same way that subgenres of various horror films have been acknowledged as being representative of the great cultural fear of the age, Cawelti argues: Moreover, these reinforcing notes in that song are what allow artistic apexes like Hemingway, Capote, etc.

This is not an easy book to read. It seems to be a scholarly text, written to be studied as part of a lecture course. Adn is packed with dense, meaningful text, heavily cited throughout, and the author states his intentions and conclusions rather plainly.

He relies heavily upon case examples, as one must romqnce performing literary criticism and synthesis, and makes a very solid case for his thesis, even if that case is sometimes so heavy and detail-laden that one could be forgiven for losing the thesis in it. Something heartening that came up again and again in this book is that Cawelti seems to approach his subject matter from a theoretical adcenture that is inclusive of feminist and critical theory.


If you have a keen interest in the genre studies, or an anthropological interest in how fiction is reflective of the culture that creates it, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

Good luck finding it. Feb 15, Karl Bunker rated it it was amazing. Mjstery fascinating, engaging, and insightful book examines “formulaic” genres of literature. The early chapters focus on the generalized readers’ experience — the appeal of works of fiction that provide a seemingly paradoxical combination of pleasures: In his introduction, Cawelti charmingly compares the experience to that of a yo This fascinating, engaging, and insightful book examines “formulaic” genres of qdventure.

In his introduction, Cawelti charmingly compares the experience to that of a young child’s bedtime story: By hearing about creatures and events that transcend the limits of space and time allotted to us we widen the range of our imagination and are prepared to deal with new situations and experiences. But children also clutch at the security of the familiar. How often a child rejects a new story, preferring to hear one he has already been told a hundred times. And as he hears again the often-heard, his eyes glaze over with pleasure, his body relaxes, and, the story ends in peaceful slumber.

The classic rromance story, the hard-boiled romnce story, the western, and “the best-selling social melodrama” think Jacqueline Susann, etc. In addition to taking an overall look mysstery these genres, several authors and novels are analyzed in greater detail. Cawelti gives us insights into how a number of novels fit into their particular genre, into the world of literature in general, and into their contemporary culture.

I found his examinations of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler particularly interesting, but all of the “analytic criticism” to be found in the book was cogent, informative, and just plain enjoyable reading. And indeed, this book as a whole should be enjoyable reading for anyone who’s interested in formulaic genre fiction, or literature and fiction in general.

Through the study of this branch of fiction, one can’t help but be enlightened about all the rest of literature as well; after all, isn’t literary fiction largely defined by what it is NOT — by its avoidance of much of what genre fiction embraces? I would also recommend this book to any author who writes or is thinking of writing within the genres that Cawelti covers. In this book you’ll find some remarkably clear analyses of the “formulas” of the formulaic genres — what fans of the genre expect and what it is about the genre that they find appealing.

So in sum, if anyone has ever asked you “Why do you read that trash?

Feb 04, Nathanael Booth rated it it was amazing. This book is comprehensive and comprehensible and convincing. He examines five modes of formula fiction: In his discussion of each of these forms, Cawelti carefully outlines the conventions required and demonstrates with one or two authors the ways in which they mold the formula to meet whatever end they have in mind. Cawelti also offers sociological and psychological possibilities for why the form became popular, but this is not the strongest point of the book.


The real strength is the meticulousness and seriousness with which Cawelti engages with forms of fiction that have historically been regarded as lower in status than properly literary fiction. This book is—let us not mince words—a masterpiece and deserves to be read by anyone who is interested in formula fiction or by anyone who wonders how someone could be interested in formula fiction.

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Mar 14, Elizabeth rated it liked it. This is quite a useful analysis of formulaic literary genres. However, I made the mistake of having my senior English class read part of the chapter on formulaic literature without having read the whole thing myself, and I later realized it had a VERY graphic description of pornography, albeit in service of making a very relevant point about how people misunderstand formula in literature.

It’s fascinating to read Cawelti’s dissection of crime and mystery, and adventure. He traces the evolution of the detective story from Poe’s ‘The Purloined letter through to the early ‘s the book was first published in and makes fascinating what could be as dry as dust. David rated it really liked it May 05, Geoffrey Long rated it it was amazing Dec 04, Jochen rated it really liked it Nov 26, Sartika rated it really liked it May 22, Tim rated it it was amazing Apr 15, Phillip Kay rated it it was amazing Dec 11, Amanda Velasquez rated it did not like it Jul 20, Pia rated it it was ok Feb 16, Chuckie Palmer-Patel rated it liked it Oct 18, Sofia Sunnervik rated it really liked it Apr 22, Alex rated it it was amazing Mar 29, Bruno Cantellano rated it really liked it Jul 16, Ryan rated it liked it Jul 19, John rated it really liked it Jan 20, Heidi rated it liked it Jan 09, Bill FromPA rated it it was ok Oct 12, Flora rated it it was ok Mar 25, Bryonny rated it it was ok Nov 30, Whitney rated it really liked it Jan 16, Zack Kruse rated it really liked it Sep 08, M rated it it was amazing Jun 22, Zach rated it really liked it Jul 02, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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