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Annotated bibliography (Altman, Neale, or McMahon)

Open Posted By: ahmad8858 Date: 16/02/2021 Graduate Coursework Writing

Write an annotated bibliography for one of the scholarly readings assigned on genre theory.  Be sure to start with a full citation of the reading and use bold for this header to distinguish the text from your annotation.  You may take a look at on the full version of Robin Wood's article "Ideology, Genre, Auteur" (1977).

An annotated bibliography is a three paragraph, 400-500 word assessment of an article you read. 

  • The first paragraph (usually the longest) summarizes the author's argument and the conversation or research question with which it is engaged.  Do your best here to present the author's argument on their own terms.  Quote a key phrase or two that help communicate the main idea.
  • The second paragraph offers thoughts about what from this article could be useful for you, given your subject or area of interest.  For instance, all of you will be writing about Star Wars in relation to ideas about genre.  When you read a theory about what genre is or how genres change, are there ideas that do and don't make sense for the way you're thinking about Star Wars?
  • The third paragraph discusses the limitations you see in the author's argument given the scope, method, or subject matter used to make it.
Category: Business & Management Subjects: Human Resource Management Deadline: 12 Hours Budget: $120 - $180 Pages: 2-3 Pages (Short Assignment)

Attachment 1

Questions of genre

STEVE NEALE

1 Alan Williams. Is A Radical

Genre Criticism Possible7'.

Quarterly Renew of Film Studies

vol 9 no 2 ISpnng 19841

Thomas Schac. Hollywood

Genres formulas Filmmaking

and the Studio System {New

York Random House 1381).

Sieve Neale Genre ILondon BH

1380]

THIS article will discuss some of the issues, concepts and concerns arising from work on genre in the cinema published over the last decade or so. It seeks to highlight a number of questions and problems which may pinpoint some possible directions for future research. I will be particularly concerned with the constitution of generic corpuses with the extent to which they are constituted by public expectations as well as by films, and with the role of theoretical terms, on the one hand, and industrial and institutional terms, on the other, in the study of genres. The concept of verisimilitude is central to an understanding of genre, as is the question of the social and cultural functions that genres perform. These, too, will be discussed. Stress will be laid throughout on the changing, and hence historical nature, not just of individual genres, but of generic regimes as well.

I shall be referring to several books and articles (and thus, to some extent, this piece will serve as an extended review) But at a number of key points I shall be taking my cue, explicitly or otherwise, from an article by Alan Williams entitled, 'Is A Radical Genre Criticism Possible?' (an article which is itself a review of Thomas Schatz's Hollywood Genres, and to some extent of my own book, Genre) '

Despite, or perhaps because of the fact that it raises so many fundamental questions, Williams' article has not been discussed as much as it deserves. In saying this, however, I should note that, insofar as I shall be concentrating here on America, American cinema and American genres, I shall myself be ignoring (or at least setting to one side), one of Williams' most important points - that '"genre" is not exclusively or even primarily a Hollywood

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2 wiiiiams op a p 124 phenomenon', and that 'we need to get out of the United States.'2

I concentrate on America partly because, as Williams himself notes elsewhere in his article, there is still an enormous amount of research to be done on what is still the most powerful national cinema in the world, and partly because most of the work published on genre and genres to date has tended overwhelmingly to concern itself with Hollywood. In order to engage with this work, it is necessary to engage with its object. However, I should like to note too that a number of the more general, conceptual points I wish to make are as applicable to the consideration of genre and genres in India or Japan or Italy or Britain as they are to America and Hollywood.

For discussions of verisimilitude

and genre see Ben Brewster

Film . in Dan Cohn-Shertok and

Michael liwin leds). Exploring

Reality (London Allen & Unwin

19871, esp pp 147-149 Gerard

Genette ' Vraisemblance et

motivation', in Figures vol 3

{Pans Seuil 19691 and Tnetan

Todorov 'The Typology of

Detective Fiction and An

Introduction to Verisimilitude' in

The Poetics of Prose (Ithaca

Cornell University Press 19771

and Introduction to Poetics

(Brighton The Harvester Press,

1981) esp pp 118-119

Expectation and verisimilitude

There are several general, conceptual points to make at the outset The first is that genres are not simply bodies of work or groups of films, however classified, labelled and defined Genres do not consist only of films: they consist also, and equally, of specific systems of expectation and hypothesis which spectators bnng with them to the cinema, and which interact with films themselves during the course of the viewing process. These systems provide spectators with means of recognition and understanding. They help render films, and the elements within them, intelligible and therefore explicable They offer a way of working out the significance of what is happening on the screen: a way of working out why particular events and actions are taking place, why the characters are dressed the way they are, why they look, speak and behave the way they do, and so on. Thus, if, for instance, a character in a film for no reason (or no otherwise explicable reason) bursts into song, the spectator is likely to hypothesize that the film is a musical, a particular kind of film in which otherwise unmotivated singing is likely to occur. These systems also offer grounds for further anticipation. If a film is a musical, more singing is likely to occur, and the plot is likely to follow some directions rather than others.

Inasmuch as this is the case, these systems of expectation and hypothesis involve a knowledge of - indeed they partly embody - various regimes of verisimilitude, various systems of plausibility, motivation, justification and belief Verisimilitude means 'probable' or 'likely' 3 It entails notions of propriety, of what is appropriate and therefore probable (or probable and therefore appropriate)

Regimes of verisimilitude vary from genre to genre (Bursting into song is appropriate, therefore probable - therefore intelligible, therefore believable - in a musical. Less so in a thriller or a war film.) As such these regimes entail rules, norms and laws. (Singing in a musical is not just a probability, it is a necessity It is not just

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likely t o o c c u r , it is b o u n d t o . ) A s T z v e t a n T o d o r o v , in p a r t i c u l a r ,

has insisted, t h e r e a r e t w o b r o a d t y p e s of verisimilitude a p p l i c a b l e t o

r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s g e n e r i c verisimilitude o n t h e o n e h a n d , a n d , o n t h e

o t h e r , a b r o a d e r social o r cultural verisimilitude N e i t h e r e q u a t e s in

any direct sense t o 'reality" o r ' t r u t h ' .

If w e study the discussions b e q u e a t h e d us by t h e p a s t , we realize

that a w o r k is said t o h a v e verisimilitude in r e l a t i o n t o two chief

k i n d s of n o r m s . T h e first is w h a t we call rules of the genre: for a

w o r k t o b e said t o h a v e verisimilitude, it m u s t c o n f o r m to t h e s e

r u l e s . In c e r t a i n p e r i o d s , a c o m e d y is j u d g e d ' p r o b a b l e ' only if, in

t h e last a c t , t h e c h a r a c t e r s are d i s c o v e r e d t o be n e a r r e l a t i o n s . A

s e n t i m e n t a l n o v e l will be p r o b a b l e if its o u t c o m e consists in t h e

m a r r i a g e of h e r o a n d h e r o i n e , if v i r t u e is r e w a r d e d a n d vice

p u n i s h e d . V e r i s i m i l i t u d e , t a k e n in this s e n s e , d e s i g n a t e s t h e

w o r k ' s r e l a t i o n t o literary d i s c o u r s e , m o r e e x a c t l y , t o c e r t a i n of

t h e l a t t e r ' s subdivisions, which form a g e n r e .

B u t t h e r e exists a n o t h e r verisimilitude, which h a s b e e n t a k e n

e v e n m o r e f r e q u e n t l y for a relation with reality A r i s t o t l e ,

h o w e v e r , has a l r e a d y p e r c e i v e d that t h e verisimilar is not a

r e l a t i o n b e t w e e n discourse a n d its r e f e r e n t ( t h e r e l a t i o n of t r u t h ) ,

but b e t w e e n d i s c o u r s e a n d w h a t r e a d e r s b e l i e v e is t r u e T h e

relation is h e r e e s t a b l i s h e d b e t w e e n t h e w o r k a n d a s c a t t e r e d

discourse that in p a r t belongs t o each of t h e individuals of a

society b u t of which n o n e may claim o w n e r s h i p ; in o t h e r w o r d s ,

t o public opinion T h e l a t t e r is of c o u r s e n o t ' r e a l i t y ' b u t m e r e l y a

4 Todorov H981I op at pp further d i s c o u r s e , i n d e p e n d e n t of t h e w o r k 4

118-119

There are several points worth stressing here The first is the extent to which, as the example of singing in the musical serves to illustrate, generic regimes of verisimilitude can ignore, sidestep, or transgress these broad social and cultural regimes

The second is the extent to which this 'transgression' of cultural verisimilitude is characteristic of Hollywood genres. This has implications for conventional notions of 'realism' There is, of course, always a balance in any individual genre between purely generic and broadly cultural regimes of verisimilitude Certain genres appeal more directly and consistently to cultural verisimilitude Gangster films, war films and police procedural thrillers, certainly, often mark that appeal by drawing on and quoting 'authentic' (and authenticating) discourses, artefacts and texts maps, newspaper headlines, memoirs, archival documents, and so on But other genres, such as science fiction, Gothic horror or slapstick comedy, make much less appeal to this kind of authenticity, and this is certainly one of the reasons why they tend to be despised, or at least 'misunderstood', by critics in the 'quality' press. For these critics, operating under an ideology of realism, adherence to cultural verisimilitude is a necessary condition of

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Christine Gledhill 'The

Melodramatic Fteld An

Introduction in Gledhill led )

Home is Where [he Heart Is

Studies in Melodrama and the

Woman s Film (London BFI

1987) esp p 9 'As a bourgeois

form melodrama is constrained

by the same conditions ol

verisimilitude as realism If the

family melodrama speciality is

generational and gender conflict

verisimilitude demands that the

central issues of sexual

difference and identity be

lealistically presented

Kathryn Kane, Visions of War

Hollywood Combat Films of

World War II (Ann Arbor

Michigan U M I Research Press

19761, esp p 121 The

achievement of 61 Joe howevei

is not really one of historical

data providing the truth of what

is portrayed Rather its

power is the result of an

insistence on verisimilitude the

stylistic groundwork on which

the authenticity props rest'

'serious' film, television or literature. As Todorov goes on to argue, realism as an ideology can partly be defined by its refusal to recognize the reality of its own generic status, or to acknowledge its own adherence to a type of generic verisimilitude.

A third point to be made is that recent uses of the concept of verisimilitude in writing on genre tend to blur the distinction between generic and cultural verisimilitude, and tend therefore to vitiate the usefulness of the term Both Christine Gledhill and Kathryn Kane, for instance, in writing about melodrama and the war film respectively, tend to use 'verisimilitude' simply as a synonym for 'realism' or 'authenticity'.5 This is a pity because, as, in fact, both Gledhill and Kane implicitly demonstrate, melodrama and the war film are genres which often themselves seek to blur the distinction between the cultural and the generic, and are often particularly marked by the tensions between the different regimes.

The fourth point is that, at least in the case of Hollywood, generic regimes of verisimilitude are almost as 'public', as widely known, as 'public opinion' itself. It is not simply in films or in genres that the boundaries between the cultural and the generic are blurred: the two regimes merge also in public discourse, generic knowlege becoming a form of cultural knowledge, a component of 'public opinion'.

Fifth, and finally, it is often the generically vensimilitudinous ingredients of a film, the ingredients, that is, which are often least compatible with regimes of cultural verisimilitude - singing and dancing in the musical, the appearance of the monster in the horror film - that constitute its pleasure, and that thus attract audiences to the film in the first place They too, therefore, tend to be 'public', known, at least to some extent, in advance

These last two remarks lead on to the next set of points, which concern the role and importance of specific institutional discourses, especially those of the press and the film industry itself, in the formation of generic expectations, in the production and circulation of generic descriptions and terms, and, therefore, in the constitution of any generic corpus

6 John Ellis, Visible Fictions

Cinema Television Video

(London Routledge. 1981) p 30

Genre and institutional discourse

As John Ellis has pointed out, central to the practices of the film industry is the construction of a 'narrative image' for each individual film

An idea of the film is widely circulated and promoted, an idea which can be called the 'narrative image' of the film, the cinema's anticipatory reply to the question, 'What is the film like?'6

The discourses of film industry publicity and marketing play a key role in the construction of such narrative images; but important, too.

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7 Gregory Lukm and Stem R I ~ . 7he "-, goes "plblu"

inter-Imual~ty. gene. and Lhe

mpmitnlmes ol film Itterac~'. On hlm. w 12 ISpmq. 19341. p 29

8 R ~ c k A l t m . Jhe Amernwn frlm

Musrcal Illlslmmmgt~l and lnd~anapol~s lndma Unlverstty

Press. and London BFI. 19891

are other institutionalized public discourses, especially those of the press and television, and the 'unofficial', 'word of mouth' discourses of everyday life.

Genre is, of course, an important ingredient in any film's narrative image. T h e indication of relevant generic characteristics is therefore o n e of the most important functions that advertisements, stills, reviews and posters perform. Reviews nearly always contain terms indicative of a film's generic status. while posters usually offer verbal generic (and hyperbolic) description - 'The Greatest War Picture Ever Made' - as anchorage for t h e generic iconography in pictorial form.

These various verbal and pictorial descriptions form what Gregory Lukow and Steven Ricci have called the cinema's 'inter-textual relay'.' This relay performs an additional, generic function: not only does it define and circulate narrative images f o r individual films, beginning the immediate narrative process of expectation and anticipation, it also helps to define and circulate, in combination with the films themselves, what o n e might call 'generic images', providing sets of labels, terms and expectations which will come to characterize the genre as a whole.

This is a key point. It is o n e of t h e reasons why I agree with Lukow and Ricci o n the need t o take account of all the component texts in the industry's inter-textual relay when it comes t o studying not only films, but genre and genres. A n d it is o n e of the reasons why I would disagree with Rick Altman, in The American Film Musical,8 on the limited significance he assigns to the role of industrial and journalistic discourses in establishing a generic corpus (though it is o n e of the many merits of Altman's book that he

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devotes the best part of a chapter to this issue. Most books and articles on genre fail to discuss it at all.)

For Altman,the role of industrial and journalistic terms is crucial in establishing the presence of generic consistencies, but of limited use in defining them:

The fact that a genre has previously been posited, defined, and delimited by Hollywood is taken only as prime facie evidence that generic levels of meaning are operative within or across a group of texts roughly designated by the Hollywood term and its usage. The industrial/journalistic term thus founds a hypothesis about the presence of meaningful activity, but does not necessarily

9 ibid p 13 contribute a definition or delimitation of the genre in question 9

The identification of an industrial/journalistic term, then, is for Altman merely the first step in a multi-stage process. Having established a preliminary corpus in this way, the role of the critic is next to subject the corpus to analysis, to locate a method for defining and describing the structures, functions and systems specific to a large number of the films within it. Then the critic, using this method as a basis, reconstitutes and re-defines the corpus:

Texts which correspond to a particular understanding of the genre, that is which provide ample material for a given method of analysis, will be retained within the generic corpus. Those which are not illuminated by the method developed in step three will simply be excluded from the final corpus. In terms of the musical, this would mean admitting that there are some films which include a significant amount of diegetic music, and yet which we will refuse to identify as musicals in the strong sense which the final

10 ibid p 14 corpus implies 10

H a v i n g t h u s established a final c o r p u s , t h e critic is finally in a

position t o p r o d u c e a history of t h e g e n r e , a n d to a n a l y s e ' t h e way

in which t h e g e n r e is m o u l d e d by, functions w i t h i n , a n d in turn

11 ibid pp H-15 informs t h e society of which it is a p a r t . "

B e f o r e explaining my d i s a g r e e m e n t with t h i s , it is i m p o r t a n t t o

r e c o g n i z e , a l o n g with A l t m a n , that it is not possible to write a b o u t

g e n r e s w i t h o u t b e i n g selective, and that m a n y of t h e deficiencies of a

g o o d d e a l of writing on g e n r e stem from defining a n d selecting on

t h e basis of p r e - e s t a b l i s h e d a n d u n q u e s t i o n e d c a n o n s of films. A s

A l a n Williams points o u t , this is o n e of t h e c e n t r a l deficiencies of

Schatz's b o o k , in which c o v e r a g e of any given g e n r e ,

d e p e n d s not on historical o r t h e o r e t i c a l e v e n h a n d e d n e s s but

on tacitly a g r e e d - u p o n l a n d m a r k s . T h u s the c h a p t e r on the

musical c o v e r s mainly W a r n e r B r o t h e r s / B u s b y B e r k e l y , Fred

A s t a i r e at R K O , and t h e F r e e d U n i t at M G M . So w h e r e is

Lubitsch a n d t h e o p e r e t t a 7 ( M a y b e t h e l a t t e r is n o t 'a M u s i c a l ' .

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b u t Hollywood Genres d o e s n o t e x p l a i n ) A l J o l s o n a n d t h e crucially i m p o r t a n t m e l o d r a m a t i c musicals of t h e early s o u n d

12 Williams, op at. p 123 y e a r s ? W h o d e c i d e d t h a t t h e s e p o i n t s a l o n e w o u l d suffice?12

In c o n t r a s t , A l t m a n ' s b o o k is impressively wide in its r a n g e of r e f e r e n c e s , a n d refreshingly free from e s t a b l i s h e d c a n o n s of t a s t e a n d c a t e g o r i z a t i o n , including as it d o e s n o t only J o l s o n , o p e r e t t a a n d L u b i t s c h , b u t also t h e Elvis P r e s l e y films of t h e fifties a n d sixties, a n d films like Grease (1978) a n d Flashdance ( 1 9 8 3 ) . It is i m p o r t a n t t o say, t o o , t h a t I a g r e e with A l t m a n t h a t j o u r n a l i s t i c a n d i n d u s t r i a l labels r a r e l y , o n t h e i r o w n , p r o v i d e a c o n c e p t u a l basis for t h e analysis of g e n r e s , or for t h e l o c a t i o n of g e n e r i c p a t t e r n s , s t r u c t u r e s a n d s y s t e m s , j u s t as I a g r e e t h a t such analysis is vitally i m p o r t a n t .

W h e r e I d i s a g r e e , h o w e v e r , is o n A l t m a n ' s a s s e r t i o n t h a t t h e i m p o r t a n c e of i n d u s t r i a l / j o u r n a l i s t i c t e r m s is r e s t r i c t e d t o t h e first s t e p of g e n e r i c analysis I d i s a g r e e with this b e c a u s e I d o not b e l i e v e t h e aim of g e n e r i c analysis is t h e re-definition of a c o r p u s of films Such a n aim is in t h e e n d n o different, in effect if n o t in i n t e n t i o n , from t h e highly selective c a t e g o r i z a t i o n s of S c h a t z , o r from t h e w o r s t , p i g e o n - h o l i n g i n h e r i t a n c e s of neo-classical l i t e r a r y t h e o r y . W e can easily e n d u p identifying t h e p u r p o s e of g e n e r i c analysis with t h e r a t h e r fruitless a t t e m p t t o d e c i d e which films fit, a n d t h e r e f o r e p r o p e r l y b e l o n g t o , which g e n r e s . W e c a n also e n d u p c o n s t r u c t i n g o r p e r p e t u a t i n g c a n o n s of films, privileging s o m e a n d d e m o t i n g o r e x c l u d i n g o t h e r s ( T h u s e v e n A l t m a n , d e s p i t e his b r o a d r a n g e , a n d d e s p i t e t h e p o w e r of his m e t h o d , finds himself e x c l u d i n g films like Dumbo [1941] a n d Bambi [1942], a n d n e a r l y e x c l u d i n g The Wizard of Oz [1939])

Such an aim is, t h e r e f o r e , i n h e r e n t l y r e d u c t i v e M o r e t h a n t h a t , it is in d a n g e r of c u r t a i l i n g t h e v e r y c u l t u r a l a n d historical analysis u p o n which A l t m a n rightly insists as a n a d d i t i o n a l t h e o r e t i c a l aim T h e d a n g e r lies n o t only in t h e d e v a l u a t i o n of industrial/journalistic d i s c o u r s e s , b u t in t h e s e p a r a t i o n of g e n r e analysis from a n u m b e r of t h e f e a t u r e s which define its p u b l i c circulation T h e s e f e a t u r e s include t h e fact t h a t g e n r e s exist always in excess of a c o r p u s of w o r k s ; t h e fact t h a t g e n r e s c o m p r i s e e x p e c t a t i o n s a n d a u d i e n c e k n o w l e d g e as well as films, a n d t h e fact t h a t t h e s e e x p e c t a t i o n s and t h e k n o w l e d g e t h e y e n t a i l a r e p u b l i c in s t a t u s A s T o d o r o v h a s a r g u e d (while himself t e n d i n g t o e q u a t e g e n r e s solely with w o r k s ) :

O n e can always find a p r o p e r t y c o m m o n t o t w o t e x t s , a n d t h e r e f o r e p u t t h e m t o g e t h e r in o n e class B u t is t h e r e a n y p o i n t in calling t h e result of such a u n i o n a ' g e n r e ' 9 I t h i n k t h a t it w o u l d be in a c c o r d with t h e c u r r e n t u s a g e of t h e w o r d a n d at t h e s a m e time p r o v i d e a c o n v e n i e n t a n d o p e r a n t n o t i o n if w e a g r e e d t o call ' g e n r e s ' only t h o s e classes of texts t h a t h a v e b e e n p e r c e i v e d as such in t h e c o u r s e of h i s t o r y . T h e a c c o u n t s of this p e r c e p t i o n a r e

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found most often in the discourse on genres (the metadiscursive i s Twetan Todorov The Ongin of discourse) and, in a sporadic fashion, in the texts themselves.13

Genres' New literary History.

voi 8 no i lAutumn 19761 p As far as the cinema is concerned (Todorov here is writing about 102 literature - and High Literature at that), this metadiscursive

discourse is to be found in its inter-textual relay. Clearly, generic expectations and knowledges do not emanate solely from the film industry and its ancillary institutions; and clearly, individual spectators may have their own expectations, classifications, labels and terms But these individualized, idiosyncratic classifications play little part, if any, in the public formation and circulation of genres and generic images. In the public sphere, the institutional discourses are of central importance. Testimony to the existence of genres, and evidence of their properties, is to be found primarily there.

A distinction needs to be made, then, between those studies of genres conceived as institutionalized classes of texts and systems of expectation, and studies which use critically or theoretically constructed terms as the basis for discussing classes of films. (Studies of film noir are obvious examples of the latter.) A distinction also needs to be made between institutionally recognized sub-genres, cycles and categories ('operetta' and 'the singing Western') and theoretically or scholarly based classifications ('The Fairy Tale Musical', 'The Show Musical', and 'The Folk Musical'). This is not to argue that theoretically based studies and classifications are somehow illegitimate. (Far from it. These examples all illustrate how productive they can be.) It is, however, to insist on the pertinence of Todorov's distinction for an understanding of what it is that is being studied.

Institutional discourses and genre history

Not only do industrial and journalistic labels and terms constitute crucial evidence for an understanding of both the industry's and the audience's generic conceptions in the present, they also offer virtually the only available evidence for a historical study of the array of genres in circulation, or of the ways in which individual films have been gcncrically perceived at any point in time. This is important for an understanding of the ways in which both the array and the perceptions have changed

Let me give some examples. Both 'the Western' and The Great Train Robbery (1903) are firmly established in genre studies, the latter as an early, highly influential example of the former. However, in his Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Eric Partridge dates the first colloquial use of the term 'Western' in anything other than an adjectival sense to around 1910. The first use of the term cited in the Oxford English Dictionary with reference to

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14 On 'lhe Weow6 p y a to the emenJBnceofmeunama.and m all these hm see Edwad Busmnbeledl. Them Carpannn 10 ilw W e s m ILadm Andre LhmhBFl. 19881. pp 1bZ

"The RATTLE-CROUNR" 1

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a film dates from 1912. occumng in a review of The Fight at the Mill (1912) in an issue of the trade magazine, The Moving Picture World, dated 27 July. This was nine years after The Great Train Robbery was released.

Now it may be argued, of course. that this is merely quibbling. While the specific term 'Western' may not have been available t o audiences in 1903, Westerns themselves, in the form of dime novels, Wild West shows, paintings, illustrations. short stories and the like (as well as o n e o r two films), had been around for some time." Thus audiences of The Great Train Robbery, well-accustomed t o these forms, would have drawn on the paradigms they provided in understanding and locating the film. Charles Musser. however, has convincingly argued that this was not the case, that the paradigms used both by the industry and its audiences were different, and that

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it was the confluence of paradigms provided by melodrama, the 'chase film', the 'railway genre' and the 'crime film', rather than 'the Western', which ensured the film's contemporary success:

Kenneth MacGowan attributed this success . . . to the fact that the film was 'the first important Western', William Everson and George Fenin find it important because it is 'the blueprint for all Westerns'. These, however, are retrospective readings. One reason for The Great Train Robbery's popularity was its ability to incorporate so many trends. genres and strategies fundamental to the institution of cinema at that time. The film includes elements of both re-enactment of contemporary news events (the train hold-up was modeled after recently reported crimes) and refers to a well-known stage melodrama by its title. Perhaps most importantly, The Great Train Robbery was part of a violent crime

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