From Fiction to Libretto

Irving, Hawthorne, and James as Opera

by Nassim Balestrini (Author)
©2006 Postdoctoral Thesis XII, 582 Pages


This study introduces the reader to the mostly unknown world of libretto adaptations of nineteenth-century American fiction. The analysis of stage works based on Washington Irving’s «Rip Van Winkle», Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, and Henry James’s Washington Square explores a largely unexamined area of the reception history of these authors and narratives. As opera and drama have been interlinked throughout American theater history, the discussion of adaptations will include multiple types of spoken and musical theater. Appendices documenting the existence of over 350 stage works based on nineteenth-century American fiction further illustrate how librettists, composers, and playwrights have participated in the endeavor to understand and contextualize literary texts within cultural history.


XII, 582
ISBN (Softcover)
Irving, Washington Amerikanisch-europäische kulturelle Beziehung Bühnenbearbeitung Rip Van Winkle Libretto Rezeptionsgeschichte Literarisches Werk
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2005. XII, 582 pp., 2 fig.

Biographical notes

Nassim Balestrini (Author)

The Author: Nassim Winnie Balestrini studied American and Russian literature and culture as well as mass media communication at the University of Mainz and on a one-year scholarship at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. In 2004 she completed the postdoctoral Habilitation in American Studies. The author has taught in the English Departments at the University of Mainz, the University of California, Davis, and the University of Paderborn. Her earlier book on imagery in Vladimir Nabokov’s works appeared as volume 31 in this series (1995).


Title: From Fiction to Libretto