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An evolutionary definition of magical realism

Reeds, K.S.; (2008) An evolutionary definition of magical realism. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis, titled ‘An Evolutionary Definition of Magical Realism’, studies the changing meaning attached to the term in the secondary literature and, more importantly, contextualizes the criticism with a detailed analysis of key literary texts from throughout magical realism’s more than eighty years of evolution. The work of Jorge Luis Borges and Alejo Carpertier is used to elucidate the magical-realist pre-history, with particular focus on two tropes: the ‘neo-fantastic’ (a term created by Jamie Alazraki for a notion first outlined by Tzvetan Todorov) and ‘recasting of history’. The thesis subsequently analyses the presence of these two tropes in five test-cases taken from various stages in magical realism’s evolution: Gabriel García Márquez’s Cien Años de soledad, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Günter Grass’s The Tin Drum, Toni Morrison’s Son of Solomon, and Orhan Pamuk’s Snow. The thesis’s final goal is to demonstrate that magical realism is a combination of the neo-fantastic and recasting of history and with this definition and the close-readings which support it, confront the critical imprecision which has beleaguered the magical-realist debate for many years.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:An evolutionary definition of magical realism
Language:English
Additional information:Authorisation for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of EU Langs, Culture and Society > Spanish and Latin American Studies

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