Ordinary Enchantments
337 pages

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337 pages
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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.



Publié par
Date de parution 27 février 2004
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9780826591777
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Ordinary Enchantments Magical Realism and the Remystification of Narrative
Wendy B. Faris
Ordinary Enchantments
Ordinary Enchantments Magical Realism and the Remystiîcation of Narrative
Wendy B. Faris
Vanderbilt University Press 
©  Vanderbilt University Press All rights reserved First Edition 
is book is printed on acid-free paper. Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Faris, Wendy B. Ordinary enchantments : magical realism and the remystiîcation of narrative / Wendy B. Faris. —st ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index.  ––– (alk. paper)  ––– (pbk. : alk. paper) . Magic realism (Literature) . Fiction— th century History and criticism. I. Title. .  .’—dc 
For the birds . . .
Preface Permissible Savag’ry
Deînitions and Locations  Magical Realism between Modern and Postmodern Fiction Deînitions  Locations
 “From a Far Source Within”  Magical Realism as Defocalized Narrative Defocalization  Postmodern Primitivists  e Presence of Spirit  Shamanistic Narrative Healing
Encoding the Ineable  A Textual Poetics for Magical Realism Magical Details, Naïve Narrators,  Indeterminate Spaces and Times, the Oneiric Optic  Bridges  Two-Way Streets  Narrative Distances and Chinese Boxes  Mirroring
viiiOrdinary Enchantments
“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
“Women and Women and Women”  A Feminine Element in Magical Realism Housekeeping  “Virgin Paper”; or, Inhabiting Female Bodies  e Female Body of Writing  Cooking  Territorial Magic  “La Mystérique”
Works Consulted
Many thanks to Stacy Alaimo, Jon iem, and Lois Zamora for their thoughtful readings of parts of the book and their helpful suggestions, and to Dave Faris for presenting me with several of the books that eventu-ally became central to this study. Special thanks to Emma Kafalenos, for her reading of the entire book in the midst of a busy teaching schedule, as well as for sharing her knowledge of narratology, and to Steve Walker, for his nu-merous valuable ideas and clariîcations. I am also grateful to Michael Ames, director of Vanderbilt University Press, and my editor, Betsy Phillips, for their constructive comments, their encouragement, and their patience, and to the University of Texas at Arlington, which provided me with a grant to aid in publication costs, and two faculty leaves to work on this project (which has taken more time than I could ever have imagined).  I wish to thank Duke University Press for permission to include here modiîed versions of my essay “Scheherazade’s Children: Magical Realism and Postmodern Fiction,” inMagical Realism: eory, History, Community,ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris (), and the editors of Janus Headfor permission to include sections of my article “e Question of the Other: Cultural Critiques of Magical Realism” (,  []).
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