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This title in other editions

Ordinary Enchantments: Magical Realism and the Remystification of Narrative

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Ordinary Enchantments: Magical Realism and the Remystification of Narrative Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ordinary Enchantments investigates magical realism as the most important trend in contemporary international fiction, defines its characteristics and narrative techniques, and proposes a new theory to explain its significance. In the most comprehensive critical treatment of this literary mode to date, Wendy B. Faris discusses a rich array of examples from magical realist novels around the world, including the work not only of Latin American writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but also of authors like Salman Rushdie, Gunter Grass, Toni Morrison, and Ben Okri.

Faris argues that by combining realistic representation with fantastic elements so that the marvelous seems to grow organically out of the ordinary, magical realism destabilizes the dominant form of realism based on empirical definitions of reality, gives it visionary power, and thus constitutes what might be called a "remystification" of narrative in the West. Noting the radical narrative heterogeneity of magical realism, the author compares its cultural role to that of traditional shamanic performance, which joins the worlds of daily life and that of the spirits. Because of that capacity to bridge different worlds, magical realism has served as an effective decolonizing agent, providing the ground for marginal voices, submerged traditions, and emergent literatures to develop and create masterpieces. At the same time, this process is not limited to postcolonial situations but constitutes a global trend that replenishes realism from within.

In addition to describing what many consider to be the progressive cultural work of magical realism, Faris also confronts the recent accusation that magical realism and its study as a global phenomenon can be seen as a form of commodification and an imposition of cultural homogeneity. And finally, drawing on the narrative innovations and cultural scenarios that magical realism enacts, she extends those principles toward issues of gender and the possibility of a female element within magical realism.

Book News Annotation:

Faris (English and comparative literature, U. of Texas at Arlington) co-edited the highly regarded book . Here she discusses the importance of magical realism as a trend in international literature (not just in Latin American literature), and describes its characteristics and narrative techniques. The book also explores topics such as the female element within magical realism, the decolonizing properties of magical realism, and the accusation that magical realism can be seen as a form of commodification.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Ordinary Enchantments investigates magical realism as the most important trend in contemporary international fiction, defines its characteristics and narrative techniques, and proposes a new theory to explain its significance. In the most comprehensive critical treatment of this literary mode to date, Wendy B. Faris discusses a rich array of examples from magical realist novels around the world, including the work not only of Latin American writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but also of authors like Salman Rushdie, Gunter Grass, Toni Morrison, and Ben Okri.

About the Author

Wendy B. Faris is professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is the author of Carlos Fuentes and Labyrinths of

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Preface

Permissible Savag'ry

Introduction

1 Definitions and Locations

Magical Realism between Modern and Postmodern Fiction

Definitions

Locations

2 "From a Far Source Within"

Magical Realism as Defocalized Narrative

Defocalization

Postmodern Primitivists

The Presence of Spirit

Shamanistic Narrative Healing

3 Encoding the Ineffable

A Textual Poetics for Magical Realism

Magical Details, Naive Narrators, Indeterminate Spaces and Times, the Oneiric Optic

Bridges

Two-Way Streets

Narrative Distances and Chinese Boxes

Mirroring

4 "Along the Knife-Edge of Change"

Magical Realism and the Postcolonial Dynamics of Alterity

Decolonization

Historical Realities

Ventriloquism

Transculturation

Recent Literary History and Cultural Politics

5 "Women and Women and Women"

A Feminine Element in Magical Realism

Housekeeping

"Virgin Paper"; or, Inhabiting Female Bodies

The Female Body of Writing

Cooking

Territorial Magic

"La Mysterique"

Notes

Works Consulted

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780826514424
Subtitle:
Magical Realism and the Remystification of Narrative
Author:
Faris, Wendy B.
Publisher:
Vanderbilt University Press
Location:
Nashville
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Caribbean & Latin American
Subject:
History and criticism
Subject:
Magic realism
Subject:
Central & South American
Subject:
World Literature, Latin American Literature, Modern Fiction Studies
Subject:
LITERARY CRITICISM/Caribbean and Latin American
Subject:
Fiction -- 20th century.
Subject:
Magic realism (Literature)
Subject:
Literature; Literary Criticism; Latin American Studies
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
Literary criticism
Subject:
Latin American studies
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
short discount paperback
Series Volume:
no. 72
Publication Date:
20040227
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
Symbolic Landscape and Narrative Design in Modern Fiction</I> , as well as co-editor of <i>Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community .</i>
Pages:
280
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Product details 280 pages Vanderbilt University Press - English 9780826514424 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Ordinary Enchantments investigates magical realism as the most important trend in contemporary international fiction, defines its characteristics and narrative techniques, and proposes a new theory to explain its significance. In the most comprehensive critical treatment of this literary mode to date, Wendy B. Faris discusses a rich array of examples from magical realist novels around the world, including the work not only of Latin American writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but also of authors like Salman Rushdie, Gunter Grass, Toni Morrison, and Ben Okri.
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