Abstract

Margaret Mahy’s The Changeover is generally read as what the subtitle terms “a supernatural romance.” But there is evidence to suggest that the status of the supposed villain, Carmody Braque, as a wicked spirit of the dead is imposed upon an ordinary (though unpleasant) elderly man by the novel’s hero, Laura, who is repressing antagonism toward her absent father and preoccupied mother. Her conviction of Braque’s demonic power is the product of Freudian “displacement” and “projection.” Even so, not all the novel’s intimations of the supernatural invite a realist reading. The Changeover’s generic ambiguity reflects Mahy’s longstanding preoccupation with the paradoxical relation between fiction and truth.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-1201
Print ISSN
0885-0429
Pages
pp. 59-73
Launched on MUSE
2016-02-29
Open Access
No
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