Catching Butterflies

Bringing Magical Realism to Ground

by Maria Takolander (Author)
©2007 Thesis 270 Pages


Magical realism was one of the most significant literary developments in the last century. It has become synonymous with the seductive fictions of writers such as Gabriel García Márquez, Salman Rushdie, Toni Morrison, Ben Okri, Jeanette Winterson and Peter Carey. However, the genre has also become known for its theoretical indeterminacy. In fact, exoticist speculation, inspired by the links between magical realist literature and the world’s cultural or political margins, has thrown the category into critical disrepute.
This book rescues magical realism from misreadings and misdemeanours, tracing the historical development of the literary genre and analysing an original spectrum of magical realist texts from Latin America, Africa, India, Canada, the US, the UK and Australia. It asks such questions as: How did magical realism come to take over the world? What is the nature of its allure? Also, how does the marginal status of its authors inform the genre? Does magical realism have a political agenda?
This book uses postcolonial theory to investigate notions of cultural identity and post-structural theory to examine the narrative strategies of magical realism, presenting a comprehensive historical and theoretical overview of the genre and a politically urgent argument about its subversive potentialities.


ISBN (Softcover)
Magischer Realismus (Literatur) Literary Theory Literary Criticism Mode Hispanoamerican Cultural Study Interculturalism Postkoloniale Literatur Genre
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2007. 270 pp.

Biographical notes

Maria Takolander (Author)

The Author: Maria Takolander has a Ph.D. in Literary Studies from Deakin University, where she is a Lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts. Her poetry and critical work have been widely published in Australian and international journals.


Title: Catching Butterflies