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Magic(al) Realism (The New Critical Idiom) 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415268547
ISBN-10: 0415268540
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'[Bower's] overall purpose is "to guide the non-expert through the minefield of terms, to identify the origins of the terms and concepts in art, literature and film and to introduce readers to a range of innovative and engaging fictions". All of this she achieves: the text is easily understood without being simplistic, and the glossary, though short, is clear and very helpful.' British Bulletin of Publications

'What renders Bower's Magic(al) Realism such a valuable and comprehensive introduction is that in addition to literature, she also considers artefacts from other fields of cultural production ... Bower's analysis of magical realism also proves exceptional in that she repeatedly draws attention to the importance of the cultural location of the audience in receiving a work as magic realist.' - Wasafiri

About the Author

Maggie Ann Bowers teaches American and Canadian literature at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. She has published numerous articles on contemporary American and Canadian authors, and is the co-editor of Convergences and Interferences (2002).
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Product Details

  • Series: The New Critical Idiom
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (November 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415268540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415268547
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #954,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By R. M. Peterson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
I normally shy away from anything having to do with literary theory, but, intending to read several of the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, when I saw this brief work in a bookstore I bought and read it on a flyer. It turned out to be surprisingly good and useful.

Bowers presents and discusses three distinct variants -- magic realism, magical realism, and marvellous realism -- and she does so without undue pedantry. She also distinguishes magic(al) realism from surrealism, the fantastic, and science fiction. By way of illustration and application of its theoretrical principles, the book contains relatively extended and constructive discussions of works of, inter alia, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende (principally "The House of Spirits"), Salman Rushdie (mainly "Midnight's Children"), Toni Morrison (chiefly "Beloved"), Gunther Grass ("The Tin Drum"), and Maxine Hong Kingston.

To my mind, there still is some nonsense -- although much of it undoubtedly is that of other literary theorists/critics whom Bowers is obliged to cover in this survey work. Thankfully, the book is relatively light on (although not entirely free of) the dense and syntactically tortured academic jargon that pervades so much literary theory and criticism. (An example, which Bowers unfortunately and unhelpfully quotes: "Magic realist works * * * bear witness to their liberation from a teleological and homogeneous historical discourse and to an acceptance of postcolonial heterogeneity with regard to historiography and to myth." Why does anyone who wishes to be read write like that? More baffling, why does anyone publish such stuff?)

I can recommend MAGIC(AL) REALISM to any lay reader interested in the literary construct(s) at issue or as background for someone about to embark on a serious reading/study of authors such as Garcia Marquez, Allende, Rushdie, and Grass.
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Format: Paperback
Perhaps because someone knew of my fascination with Kafka he gave me a copy of Maggie Ann Bowers' "MAGIC(AL) REALISM: the New Critical Idiom". It was an enlightening experience. The text examines the nearly worldwide occurrence of "magic realism" or "magical realism" (both terms continue to compete) in literature and art across the globe. From the Latin America of Gabriel García Márquez to the India of Salman Rushdie to the Germany of Günter Grass (where the term was first used) to the Britain of Harry Potter and to contemporary films like Woody Allen's "Scoop", magic(al) realism - that is, the mingling or rather fusion of the real and the surreal - seems so to permeate modern literature and art that Bowers' book appears if anything long overdue. In her analysis she takes us across decades, continents and art forms in a book that is a `must' for any student of modern world culture and of the magic that seems to bind us all, whether artists/authors or readers, together.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another great release from 'The New Critical Idiom' series. Takes a very muddled genre, Magical Realism, and examines the history and development in an easy to follow way.

I have been using this text as well as 'Myth' in my studies and they were both worth the money and will no doubt be texts that I will refer to in the future.

Comprehensive, well-researched and most importantly interesting!
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Format: Paperback
This was a real find because it helped me understand the background to magic(al) realism and provided good food for thought about where it is going next.

I like the way the author shows the links between the painters, writers and film makers in particular.

There are some fun surprises, such as finding that Paddington Bear has his magic(al) realist side!
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