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Magical Realism and Cosmopolitanism: Strategizing Belonging by Kim Anderson Sasser (auth.)

By Kim Anderson Sasser (auth.)

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The range of possibilities represented in these (at least) three modes of operation not only offers greater precision when critically positioning a magical realist text, but it also suggests the broad potential of the mode, the diverse ways in which the codes of magic and realism might be made to interact. The first mode of operation includes instances when narrative magic performs the role of the heroic agent of subversion. This does not mean that magic need be embodied in a character, but that, according to a text’s thematics and extratextual referents, the destabilization accomplished by the irreducible elements, the magic, is interpreted as functioning in a protagonist’s role and/or in cooperation with the protagonist(s).

For these reasons, “life on the hyphen,” Gustavo Pérez Firmat’s phrase and the title of one of his books, describes not only García as a Cuban-American but all of them as transnationals. To explore these authors’ experiences with multiple belonging engendered by their experiences with migration, I turn now to Rushdie, who, at least in this instance, serves as an obvious spokesperson for this group. We might consider the following string of questions that he penned in 1982: What does it mean to be “Indian” outside India?

Such a fact destabilizes this magical realist binary, as do narratives that draw from a biblical and/or Christian resource base for the narrative magic. García Márquez’s drawing from Catholic beliefs in demonic possession in his Of Love and Other Demons (De amor y otro demonios [1994]) and Timothy Findley’s Not Wanted on the Voyage (1984), which appropriates the biblical flood narrative in Genesis, offer two instances. 24 Magical Realism and Cosmopolitanism We might resolve the confusion affiliated with Chanady’s definition by making the following key distinction.

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