This is a pre-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in The Velvet Light Trap following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available through the University of Texas Press.


This essay reads Clint Eastwood's The Bridges of Madison County (1995) as a radical adaptation of Robert James Waller's novel. The piece uses three methods--close aesthetic analysis, Freudian melancholia theory, and Freudian joke theory--to unravel the films' deconstruction of Waller's lachrymose novel.