SEEKING A VALID THEORY OF MAGIC REALISM: A CRITICAL LITERATURE REVIEW

Laura Milagro Asensio

Resumen


Despite much has been researched and written about the literary genre magic realism, the conclusions to which most studies arrive vary and, in some cases, even contradict each other. The misconceptions associated to the term, on the one hand, and the attachment to a structuralist model, even from postcolonial and postmodern studies of the genre, on the other, have hindered the development of a conceptual framework that can be used for analysing magical realist works. This article addresses these issues by reviewing the critical literature on magic realism since the term was first coined. The most widely used criteria to define and characterise the genre is questioned in the light of both postcolonial and postmodern theories. This examination of the many contributions made by researchers from different literary approaches aims at outlining a well-grounded theoretical framework with sound criteria to define the genre that can be validated and improved in further research.

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