From the era of the wars for independence onward, the emotionally heightened and ethically charged theatrics of melodrama have played a substantial role in the framing of Latin American fictional narrative. Over that same time period, melodramatic reasoning has influenced the critical models through which the countries of the region conceive their respective histories and political landscapes. Pragmatic Passions: Melodrama and Latin American Social Narrative demonstrates how melodrama is deployed as a convincing means of affectively narrating socio-political messages, yet how it also unwittingly undermines the narrative structure of paradigmatic works by Rómulo Gallegos, César Vallejo, Roberto Arlt, Jorge Amado, and Carlos Fuentes.
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