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Postethnic Narrative Criticism

Magicorealism in Oscar "Zeta" Acosta, Ana Castillo, Julie Dash, Hanif Kureishi, and Salman Rushdie

By Frederick Luis Aldama

Publication Year: 2003

Magical realism has become almost synonymous with Latin American fiction, but this way of representing the layered and often contradictory reality of the topsy-turvy, late-capitalist, globalizing world finds equally vivid expression in U.S. multiethnic and British postcolonial literature and film. Writers and filmmakers such as Oscar "Zeta" Acosta, Ana Castillo, Julie Dash, Hanif Kureishi, and Salman Rushdie have made brilliant use of magical realism to articulate the trauma of dislocation and the legacies of colonialism that people of color experience in the postcolonial, multiethnic world. This book seeks to redeem and refine the theory of magical realism in U.S. multiethnic and British postcolonial literature and film. Frederick Aldama engages in theoretically sophisticated readings of Ana Castillo’s So Far from God, Oscar "Zeta" Acosta’s Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Shame, The Satanic Verses, and The Moor’s Last Sigh, Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust, and Stephen Frears and Hanif Kureishi’s Sammy and Rosie Get Laid. Coining the term "magicorealism" to characterize these works, Aldama not only creates a postethnic critical methodology for enlarging the contact zone between the genres of novel, film, and autobiography, but also shatters the interpretive lens that traditionally confuses the transcription of the real world, where truth and falsity apply, with narrative modes governed by other criteria.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Contents

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pp. vii-

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Preface

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pp. ix-xi

This study of contemporaryU.S.multiethnic and British writers and movie directors who employ magicorealism to tell stories is more than a study of how language, style, and form—in novels, autobiographies, and film— work to represent the unrepresentable. It is a celebration of the coming of age of certain writers and directors who revitalized and reformed a storytelling...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

This book grows out of deep discussions on, and a long-standing scholarly interest in, developing a conceptual framework for reading U.S. ethnic and British postcolonial literatures, fictionalized autobiographies, and films. The sometimes heated and always layered conversations and debates that inform this book took place in a variety of venues. Over food and drink...

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Introduction: RETHREADING THE MAGICAL REALIST DEBATE

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pp. 1-16

Magical realism’’: Does the term identify a subtype of basic prose epic genre, a storytelling style, or an ethnopolitics of representation? Furthermore, if identified as a subtype, is magical realism to be located within a particular cultural and historical period such as the...

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Chapter One: REBELLIOUS AESTHETIC ACTS

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pp. 17-41

When Gabriel García Márquez’s Cien años de soledad was first published in Spanish in 1967, it flew off bookstore shelves at a rate never before imagined. Gregory Rabassa’s scrupulously careful translation hit worldwide Anglophone book markets hard three years later—leading to the overnight global success of...

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Chapter Two: DASH’S AND KUREISHI’S REBELLIOUS MAGICOREELS

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pp. 42-62

Contemporary ethnic- and postcolonial-identified magicorealist narratives represent a late-capitalist society that is characterized as being more and more unreal. French critics Guy Debord and Jean Baudrillard have respectively identified this as a ‘‘society of the spectacle’’ or the ‘‘hyperreal’’ in which the ‘‘real’’ in the world out there is a...

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Chapter Three: OSCAR ‘‘ZETA’’ ACOSTA’ S DE-FORMED AUTO-BIO-GRAPHÉ

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pp. 63-75

Chicano/a novelists such as Aristeo Brito, Alfredo V

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Chapter Four: ANA CASTILLO’S (EN)GENDERED MAGICOREALISM

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pp. 76-89

Magicorealism can be a narrative mode used by U.S. Latina authors to invent stories that centrally emplace their Latina characters. Aswe have seen in the past few decades, the form can also be a storytelling mode used by some Latina authors as a formulaic container...

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Chapter Five: SALMAN RUSHDIE’S FOURTHSPACE NARRATIVE RE-CONQUISTAS

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pp. 90-102

When Rudyard Kipling published Kim in 1902, he did not just give the world an adventure novel. The detailed realism he used to describe the protagonist Kim’s coming-of-age and his journey across Northeast India mapped an Indian landscape filled with primitive, childlike ‘‘burned-black’’ (49) people who depended on the parenting...

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Coda: MAPPING THE POSTETHNIC CRITICAL METHOD

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pp. 103-109

Gabriel García Márquez ends One Hundred Years of Solitude with the last of the Buendías, Aureliano Babilonia, deciphering Melquíades’s Sanskrit parchments. The more he deciphers, the more he discovers that he is reading his own beginning and end. At the end of Postethnic Narrative Criticism: Magicorealism in Oscar ‘‘Zeta’’ Acosta, Ana...

Notes

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pp. 111-121

Works Cited

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pp. 123-130

Index

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pp. 131-141


E-ISBN-13: 9780292797703
E-ISBN-10: 0292797702
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292705166
Print-ISBN-10: 0292705166

Page Count: 157
Publication Year: 2003

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Minorities in literature.
  • English fiction -- Minority authors -- History and criticism.
  • Ethnic groups in literature.
  • American fiction -- Minority authors -- History and criticism.
  • Literature and society -- English-speaking countries.
  • American fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
  • Narration (Rhetoric).
  • Magic realism (Literature).
  • English fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism
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