Magical Realism and Cosmopolitanism details a variety of functionalities of the mode of magical realism, focusing on its capacity to construct sociological representations of belonging. This usage is traced closely in the novels of Ben Okri, Salman Rushdie, Cristina García, and Helen Oyeyemi.
A collection of essays that explores magical realism as a momentary interruption of realism in US ethnic literature, showing how these moments of magic realism serve to memorialize, address, and redress traumatic ethnic histories.
Although the term magic(al) realism appeared in 1925 in pictorial art in Germany, it became well-known with the boom of magical realist fiction in Latin America in the 1960s. Since the 1980s, it has become one of the popular modes of writing worldwide. Due to its oxymoronic and hybrid nature, it has caught the attention of critics. Some have called it a postcolonial form of writing because of its prominence in postcolonial countries, while others have called it a postmodern mode because of the time of its emergence and the techniques applied in these kinds of novels. This book discusses how magical realism was used in the works of three contemporary female writers, Indigo or, Mapping the Waters (1992) by the British Marina Warner, The House of the Spirits (1982) by the Latin American writer Isabel Allende, and Fatma: a novel of Arabia (2002) by the Saudi Arabian Raja Alem. It shows how, by applying magical realism, these writers empowered women. Using revisionary nostalgia, these works changed the process of history writing by the powerful, showed the presence of women, and gave voice to their unheard stories. Even the techniques applied in these novels presented the clash with patriarchy and power.
This study aims at delineating the cultural work of magical realism as a dominant narrative mode in postcolonial British fiction through a detailed analysis of four magical realist novels: Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children (1981), Shashi Tharoor's The Great Indian Novel (1989), Ben Okri's The Famished Road (1991), and Syl Cheney-Coker's The Last Harmattan of Alusine Dunbar (1990). The main focus of attention lies on the ways in which the novelists in question have exploited the potentials of magical realism to represent their hybrid cultural and national identities. To provide the necessary historical context for the discussion, the author first traces the development of magical realism from its origins in European Painting to its appropriation into literature by European and Latin American writers and explores the contested definitions of magical realism and the critical questions surrounding them. He then proceeds to analyze the relationship between the paradigmatic turn that took place in postcolonial literatures in the 1980s and the concomitant rise of magical realism as the literary expression of Third World countries.
This study contextualizes magical realism within current debates and theories of postcoloniality and examines the fiction of three of its West African pioneers: Syl Cheney-Coker of Sierra Leone, Ben Okri of Nigeria and Kojo Laing of Ghana. Brenda Cooper explores the distinct elements of the genre in a West African context, and in relation to: * a range of global expressions of magical realism, from the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez to that of Salman Rushdie * wider contemporary trends in African writing, with particular attention to how the realism of authors such as Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka has been connected with nationalist agendas. This is a fascinating and important work for all those working on African literature, magical realism, or postcoloniality.
Magical realism can lay claim to being one of most recognizable genres of prose writing. It mingles the probable and improbable, the real and the fantastic, and it provided the late-twentieth century novel with an infusion of creative energy in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and beyond. Writers such as Alejo Carpentier, Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, Salman Rushdie, Ben Okri, and many others harnessed the resources of narrative realism to the representation of folklore, belief, and fantasy. This book sheds new light on magical realism, exploring in detail its global origins and development. It offers new perspectives of the history of the ideas behind this literary tradition, including magic, realism, otherness, primitivism, ethnography, indigeneity, and space and time.