Consuming pleasures: active audiences and serial fictions by Jennifer Hayward

By Jennifer Hayward

" ""To be continued... "" even if those phrases fall at a season-ending episode of big name Trek or a television advertisement flirtation among coffee-loving pals, real lovers locate them irresistible. Ever because the 1830s, whilst Charles Dickens's Pickwick Papers enticed a mass marketplace for fiction, the serial has been a favored technique of snaring avid audiences. Jennifer Hayward establishes serial fiction as a unique style -- one outlined via the actions of its viewers instead of through the formal features of the textual content. starting from installment novels, mysteries, and detective fiction of the 1800s to the tv and picture sequence, comics, and ads of the 20 th century, serials are loosely associated by way of what might be referred to as "family resemblances." those features contain intertwined subplots, different casts of characters, dramatic plot reversals, suspense, an such narrative units as long-lost kin and evil twins. Hayward chooses 4 texts to symbolize the evolution of serial fiction as a style and to investigate the odd draw that serials have upon their audiences: Dickens's novel Our Mutual buddy, Milton Canif's cartoon Terry and the Pirates, and the cleaning soap operas All My little ones and One lifestyles to dwell. Hayward argues that serial audiences have constructed energetic innovations of intake, similar to collaborative studying and makes an attempt to form the construction strategy. during this method fanatics have pressured serial manufacturers to recognize the ability of the viewers.

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As we will see, the controversy surrounding the status of Dickens's work bears out this argument. Given genre's inseparability from the high/low culture dichotomy, Neale points to the need for research on generic formation and circulation across the mediaand specifically on the transformations each genre undergoes as it crosses formal boundaries. As he argues elsewhere (1980), the term "genre" became in film theory an often derogatory signifier for the supposedly formulaic, unimaginative productions of the mass culture industry, a term set over against "auteurism,'' which is used to signify a much more creative and imaginative product (9 and passim).

The suspense which permeates the novel is very much like the draft which stimulates the flame in the fireplace and enlivens its play" (100). Beyond the destructive metaphor chosen to depict the reading processa metaphor that conveys mourning for a storytelling mode Benjamin sees as lost foreverone aspect of the comparison particularly stands out: the consuming interest fanned by the draft of suspense, its purpose to both postpone and anticipate one's own death by "warming" oneself, as he puts it, with fictional deaths.

Page iii Consuming Pleasures Active Audiences and Serial Fictions from Dickens to Soap Opera Jennifer Hayward Page iv Disclaimer: Some images in the original version of this book are not available for inclusion in the netLibrary eBook. Publication of this volume was made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Copyright © 1997 by The University Press of Kentucky Scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth, serving Bellarmine College, Berea College, Centre College of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, The Filson Club Historical Society, Georgetown College, Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, Transylvania University, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, and Western Kentucky University All rights reserved.

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