Defining magical realism in children's literature: voices in contemporary fugue, texts that speak from the margin

Yvonne Hammer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During the latter half of the twentieth century authors of children's fictions have explored boundary transgressions between fantastic and mimetic genres. While contemporary narrative texts continue this heritage, magical realist texts are differentiated by an extensive merging of realistic and uncanny events. These magical transgressions infuse and inform textual interpretations that not only record the perspectives of child subjects, but also expose mimetic representations as concomitant fictions with those of more obvious fantasy realms. This paper will examine issues relating to the emergence of Magical Realism in children's literary texts. Magical Realism is identified as a narrative mode because it is a discourse style that infiltrates realistic genres with an associated capacity to redirect textual interpretation. To facilitate the identification of magical realist strategies that are significant to this discussion, two narratives have been selected: David Almond's "Secret Heart" (2001); and Isabelle Allende's translated children's fiction, "City of the Beasts" (2003).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalPapers: Explorations into Children's Literature
Volume16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Keywords

  • children's literature
  • mimesis

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