Strange changes: cultural transformation in U.S. magical realist fiction

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lisa Wenger Bro (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Scott Romine

Abstract: The focus of my dissertation is recent U.S. magical realism, more precisely, the cultural-ideological role the magic plays as a technique or effect fiction writers use to describe particular transformations characters undergo. Since critics have repeatedly identified the magic within the broader zone of postmodern and postcolonial writing, a first step will involve reexamining the complex relationships of magical realism with the postmodern and the postcolonial in American and international context. Coming to terms with the dynamic of the three terms and related literary-cultural practices will help understanding why and how American writers of the past decades have been using magical realism to suggest how human beings go through a restructuring process wherein beliefs they hold are reassessed and reformed, that is, how the magic acts as a cultural agent. Indeed, as my project will show, not only does the magic open up new possibilities and worlds for the characters; it also allows for the reformation of longstanding beliefs. Through this process, we see characters wrestle with and adopt new ideologies, often gaining strength as a result.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2008
Keywords
American, Cultural agency, Literature, Magical realism, Postmodern
Subjects
Magic realism (Literature)
American fiction $y 21st century.
Postmodernism (Literature)
Postcolonialism in literature.