A Study of Magical Realism in Steven Millhauser’s, Aimee Bender’s, Kelly Link’s, and Kevin Brockmeıer’s Short Stories
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This dissertation analyzes Steven Millhauser’s, Aimee Bender’s, Kelly Link’s, and Kevin Brockmeier’s short stories in the light of magical realism. The short stories use magical realist and postmodern elements to create alternative depictions of the characters’ troubles, pains, and resistances. Although magical realism, by definition, has been affiliated with non-Western and postcolonial literature, various fiction writers utilize the genre because its adaptable narrative structure elucidates the invisible, inexplicable, and ambiguous aspects and ordeals of modern-day life. The above-mentioned writers do not come from colonized or developing geographies and their adaptation of magical realism mirror lives in the Western society. Their stories incorporate magical, fantastic, science fictional, and postmodern elements to build a reconstructive narrative. Although poststructuralist ideas are traceable and signal deadlocks of language, identity, reality in these stories, the magical realist mode transforms genre fiction and postmodern elements to provide defamiliarized settings in which the relationship between truth and representation is reconfigured. These blended magical realist forms exceed the limitations of genre fiction and confined writing methods, which have been deployed by academic institutions and creative writing programs. The adaptation of magical realist narratives do not only transform conventional postmodernist writing methods and genre fictions, which have already been worn out, but also reformulate oral traditions of storytelling, fairy tales, and fables. Blending magical, science fictional, surrealist, and absurd elements help the writers to reconfigure conventional literary labels and explore alternative representations.