Recent Trends in Magic Realism

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Fastitocalon: Studies in Fantasticism Ancient to Modern

C.f.P for a special issue of Fastitocalon on Recent Trends in Magic Realism

Ever since the publication of the first magic realist novels and stories the genre has flourished, finding its way into the literatures of the world and raising a considerable amount of critical attention. Although its origins have frequently been associated with Latin American literary and cultural traditions, it has undoubtedly become a worldwide phenomenon, using innovative techniques, symbolism or imagery and setting stories in new aesthetic and social contexts. Due to its hybrid nature, magic realist fiction has always been regarded as subversive and particularly suitable for the exploration and transgression of boundaries – be they cultural, geographical, historical or political.

Quickly following the first enthusiastic responses, the term has become controversial and contested in consequence of the different approaches taken to the seemingly oxymoronic concepts fused in this narrative mode, 'magic' and 'realism.' The distinction and even polarization between the two key concepts inherent in the term has been read as indicative of a hierarchical order, favouring an empirical, rational world view over alternative and non-western traditions based on intuitive or occult forms of knowledge. The translation and adaptation into different cultures and literatures has made it notoriously difficult to define its key concepts and invited its commercial exploitation as a literary fashion. In addition, critics and publishers have frequently overused the term magic realism, thereby potentially reducing the form to a set of uncertain qualities and at the same time limiting its perceived significance.

For some time, however, various new trends have exerted a significant impact on magic realist literature and film – e.g. the New Weird, Steampunk etc. The papers in this special issue will explore such new influences and discuss the ways in which recent sociocultural, but also aesthetic developments have instigated innovative trends in magic realism.

Fastitocalon invites proposals for papers on new perspectives on, or new trends in magic realism in literature as well as in the movies. Contributions may focus on individual works, discuss specific developments and transformations, or explore theoretical aspects connected with the genre/mode. Even though the language of the publication is English, we encourage the inclusion and discussion of works in other languages.

Abstracts (300 words) accompanied by a brief biographical note (100-150 words) should be sent in to the editors electronically by May 1, 2014
Essays accepted for inclusion in the volume must range between 6000 and 8000 words and will be due on October 31, 2014. Fastitocalon: Studies in Fantasticism Ancient to Modern is a peer-reviewed journal. Abstracts and/or full papers submitted will be reviewed by the editors and members of the advisory board.
The editors: Doreen Triebel and Dirk Vanderbeke
Institut für Anglistik/Amerikanistik
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena /