Magic Realism in African Literature: A Study on Selected Works of Ben Okri and Nadine Gordimer

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.53032/tcl.2021.6.4.24

Keywords:

Magic Realism, Afrikaans, Disillusionment, Apartheid, Postcolonialism

Abstract

This article examines the evolution of magical realism as a narrative style used by African writers throughout the transition period, and how it became increasingly suited to African literary sensibilities at the time. At the same time, magical realism relies heavily on African oral traditions, serving as a site of convergence for black and white writing under apartheid, as well as exemplifying the synthesis of Eurocentric Western logic and African tradition. This article discusses the possible origins of the proliferation of African texts embracing this narrative mode in the immediate aftermath of apartheid's demise, as well as the possible reasons for the gradual abandonment of magical realist narrative strategy in the post-millennial era, while discussing magic realism in relation to Ben Okri's and Nadine Gordimer's post-apartheid novels. As a consequence of the short cohabitation of the two literary forms in African literary history, African magical realism works will be located at the intersection of celebration and disillusionment literature.

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References

Gordimer, Nadine. The Essential Gesture. The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics and Places. Eds. Nadine Gordimer and Stephen Clingman. Penguin,1989. pp. 285-300.

Gordimer, Nadine. La Responsabilitépolitique de l’écrivain.” Le Monde DiplomatiqueJanvier, 1985, pp. 22-4.

Okri, Ben : Towards the Inner City. Northcote House, 2002.

Okri, Ben. Flowers and Shadows. Longman, 1980

Olivier, Gerrit, Heerden, Ernst van and Friedmann, Marion Valerie. "South African literature". Encyclopedia Britannica, 6 Mar. 2017, https://www.britannica.com/art/South-African-literature. Accessed 16 July 2021.

Vargas, José Roberto Saravia, and Juan Carlos Saravia Vargas. “A Girl in the Dark with Monsters: e Convergence of Gothic Elements and Children’s Literature in Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.” Revista de Lenguas Modernas vol. 21, 2014.

Wenzel, Marita. “The Latin American Connection: History, Memory and Stories in Novels by Isabel Allende and André Brink.” Storyscapes: South African Perspectives on Literature, Space and Identity. Eds. Hein Viljoen and Chris van der Merwe. Peter Lang, 2004. 71-88.

Zamora, Lois Parkinson, and Wendy B. Faris, eds. Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community. Duke UP, 1995.

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Published

2021-10-30

How to Cite

Mahesh Chandra Tiwari. (2021). Magic Realism in African Literature: A Study on Selected Works of Ben Okri and Nadine Gordimer. The Creative Launcher, 6(4), 148–156. https://doi.org/10.53032/tcl.2021.6.4.24

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Section

Research Articles