Cover illustration by Wendy B. Faris
Magical realism is often regarded as a regional trend, restricted to the Latin
American writers who popularized it as a literary form. In this critical anthology,
the first of its kind, editors Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris show
magical realism to be an international movement with a wide-ranging history and a
significant influence among the literatures of the world. In essays on texts by writers
as diverse as Toni Morrison, Günter Grass, Salman Rushdie, Derek Walcott,
Kobo, Gabriel García Márquez, and many others, magical realism is
examined as a
Presenting the first English translation of Franz Roh's 1925 essay in which the term magical realism is coined, as as Alejo Carpentier's classic 1949 essay that introduced the concept of lo real maravilloso to the Americas, this anthology begins by tracing the foundations of magical realism from its origins in the art world to its current literary contexts. It offers a broad range of critical perspectives and theoretical approaches to this movement, as well as intensive analyses of various cultural traditions and individual texts from Eastern Europe, Asia, North America, Africa, the Caribbean, and Australia, in addition to those from Latin America. In situation magical realism within the expance of literary and cultural history, this collection describes a mode of writing that has been a catalyst in the development of new regional literatures and revitalizing force for more established narrative traditions - writing particularly alive in postcolonial contexts and a major component of postmodernist fiction.
"This critical collection combines astute and graceful interpretations of well-known literary texts from the Americas while at the same time displaying a rich global understanding of the borad reach of magical realism. Fashioning subtle rethinking of the magical realist movement, it will shape discussion of postmodern and postcolonial literary histories." - José David Saldivar, University of California, Berkeley
"Zamora and Faris persuasively support their claim that magical realism is not only - or even mainly - a Latin America phenomenon, as is usually thought, but a truly international development of the last half century or so and, a major, perhaps, the major, component of postmodernist fiction." - Matei Calinescu, Indiana University.
Lois Parkinson Zamora is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Houston. Wendy B. Faris is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Arlington.
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