Theory, History, Community

Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris, Editors

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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, Abe Kobo, Gabriel García Márquez, and many others, magical realism is examined as a worldwide phenomenon.

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.

Box 90660
Durham, North Carolina 27708-0660
ISBN: 0-8223-1640-4

Table of Contents

I. Foundations

Franz Roh
Magical Realism: Post-Expressionism (1925)

Irene Guenther
Magic Realism, New Objectivity, and the Arts
during the Weimar Republic

Alejo Carpentier
On the Marvelous Real in America (1949)
The Baroque and the Marvelous Real (1975)

Angel Flores
Magical Realism in Spanish American Fiction (1955)

Luis Leal
Magical Realism in Spanish America Literature (1967)

Amaryll Chanady
The Territorialization of the Imaginary in Latin America:
Self-Affirmation and Resistance to Metropolitan Paradigms

Scott Simpkins
Sources of Magic Realism/Supplements to
Realism in Contemporary Latin American Literature

II. Theory

Wendy B. Faris
Scheherazade's Children: Magical Realism and
Postmodern Fiction

Theo L. D'haen
Magical Realism and Postmodernism: Decentering
Privileged Centers

Rawdon Wilson
The Metamorphoses of Fictional Space:
Magical Realism

Jon Thiem
The Textualization of the Reader in Magical
Realist Fiction

Jeanne Delabaere-Garant
Psychic Realism, Mythic Realism, Grotesque
Realism: Variations on Magic Realism in
Contemporary Literature in English

III. History

John Burt Foster Jr.
Magical Realism, Contemporary Vision, and Felt
History: Classical Realism Transormed in
The White Hotel

P. Gabrielle Foreman
Past-On Stories: History and the Magically
Real, Morrison and Allende on Call

Richard Todd
Narrative Trickery and Performative Historiography:
Fictional Representation of National Identity in
Graham Swift, Peter Carey, and Mordecai Richler

Patricia Merivale
Saleem Fathered by Oskar: Midnight's Children,
Magic Realism, and The Tin Drum

Steven F. Walker
Magical Archetypes: Midlife Miracles in
The Satanic Verses

David Mikics
Derek Walcott and Alejo Carpentier: Nature, History,
and the Caribbean Writer

IV. Community

Steven Slemon
Magic Realism as Postcolonial Discourse

John Erickson
Metoikoi and Magical Realism in the Mahregian
Narratives of Tahar ben Jelloun and
Abdelkebir Khatabi

Susan J. Napier
The Magic of Identity: Magic Realism in Modern
Japanese Fiction

Melissa Stewart
Roads of "Exquisite Mysterious Muck": The Magical
Journey through the City in William Kennedy's
Ironweed, John Cheever's "The Enormous Radio,"
and Donald Barthelme's "City Life"

Lois Parkinson Zamora
Magical Romance/Magical Realism: Ghosts in U.S.
and Latin American Fiction