Discussion – Author Of The Week Discussion – Author of the Week: Modernist, Post-Modernist, and Post-Colonial Literature Discussion TopicTop of Form Di

Discussion – Author Of The Week Discussion – Author of the Week: Modernist, Post-Modernist, and Post-Colonial Literature

Discussion TopicTop of Form


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Discussion – Author Of The Week Discussion – Author of the Week: Modernist, Post-Modernist, and Post-Colonial Literature

Discussion TopicTop of Form


As you explored three major categories in Module 03 with modernism, post-modernism, and post-colonial literature, who was your favorite author and what specific short story of the assigned Module 03 readings did you like best? Why?

For your initial post, choose one of the readings from the Module 03 short stories to discuss. Please refer to the specific elements of the category that you found in the text as well as direct quotes and lines from the reading. You may choose more than one story if you like, but the minimum is to discuss at least one of the short story readings in Module 03 in detail.
· Name the work and author
· Give at least three examples from the reading
· Explain how what characteristics were evident in the story that made it modernist, post-modernist, or postcolonial according to your course content lessons folder. Please note: You may include magical realism under the post-colonial category.
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Here are stories to choose from. Thanks

· Gabriel Garcia Marquez (b. 1927-d. 2014)

Columbian author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, was born in a small village on the Caribbean coast of Columbia. He was the oldest of twelve children and was raised in an older, but somewhat grandiose (for the area) house owned by his grandfather who was a retired colonel. This grandfather inspired Marquez with his tales of the civil wars of 1899-1903 in Columbia and with tales of his boyhood as well. He credits his grandmother’s influence as a great story-teller, enchanting the children in the household with stories of ancient legends, myths, and supernatural happenings of the region. Marquez’s magical childhood is deeply reflected in his own stories and was the beginning foundation for magical realism. His fiction is alive with tales of old houses, ancient matriarchal figures, supernatural events taken as ordinary, and a fictional place, Macondo, that is based on his village life in Aracataca, Columbia.

In his early career, Marquez was a journalist, traveling to Cuba and Paris where he was heavily influenced by the American and Western European authors of the day, including John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Joseph Conrad, and James Joyce. He continued his journalism work to support his family until a long drive from Mexico City to Acapulco sparked the idea for his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. His next two years produced a novel based on his childhood, but a fictionalized account of his extended family as well as the stories of his beloved grandfather, grandmother, and great-aunts all wrapped into a fictional village that would also be based on his small village upbringing.

The novel has been acclaimed as one of the major novels of the twentieth century and earned Marquez the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. There is an incredible blend of objective reality and the magical events that seem to occur without warning. It has been read as a social and political commentary, albeit with great humor interwoven, on the economic and political upheavals in Latin America at the time the novel covers. Many critics have also lauded it as a “biblical allegory of the history of humanity” (Fulton, 2013, para 9). After its publication, Marquez finally decided to devote the rest of his life to writing.

In 1988 the international best-seller, Love in the Time of Cholera, was published. In this masterpiece of magical realism, he examines the themes of love, old age, dignity, and what it means to be truly happy. Interwoven in the collection are incredible images, like butterflies that come to life off the wallpaper, a rose that never dies, and other images that question the nature of what we perceive as reality. All are seamlessly woven with the masterful touch of Marquez until the reader accepts the miraculous as part of the greater story being told without question.

Magical Realism Novels

A quick internet search of the term reveals novels like “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel, “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, and “Practical Magic” by Alice Hoffman. All are considered “magical realism” novels. There are hundreds more utilizing this narrative style as the genre has expanded into mainstream fiction today and is no longer simply a Latin American trait. Magical realism has become quite conventional in popular best-selling fiction, both in the United States and abroad. With its fusion of realistic settings and storylines, the narrative tales are then interwoven with images of often bizarre or supernatural elements that are taken as “commonplace” in the story. The focus then becomes how the characters interact, both with each other and with the elements introduced. The supernatural becomes the common factor that often reveals both theme and the conflict which drives the characters and the plot forward to the climax of the story or novel.

“Life of Pi” by Yann Martel

The main character is shipwrecked along with a Siberian tiger, which does not react in the normal way a wild animal would react in such circumstances. The reader is left to wonder if the tiger is real or if it is simply a figment of the narrator’s imagination. As the story evolves, other seemingly magical elements and places spontaneously appear until they seem almost commonplace by the end of the book.

“Beloved” by Toni Morrison

The main character who has escaped slavery struggles to overcome her grief in her new home, which seems to be haunted by the spirit of her deceased baby, “Beloved.” The reason for the haunting is not revealed until the climax of the novel as she had buried on the baby on the plantation where she was enslaved and brutalized. Other characters in the novel accept the fact that there is a ghost, and each character sees the ghost in a different light. It is the “ghost” that prompts the remainder of the novel, which is a re-telling of what had happened to the characters before they were set free. It is a story of pain, anguish, struggle, humiliation, and loss. It takes great bravery to overcome the wounds, and it is through the introduction of the supernatural elements that enables the characters to come to terms with their pasts and to begin to heal at last.

“Practical Magic” by Alice Hoffman

Two orphaned sisters inherit the family talents for witchcraft. Other mysterious elements are thrown in the mix that includes among other things: a decaying mansion, two eccentric aunts, a horde of mice that live in the cupboards unmolested as they do not bother anyone, and a very special kind of woodwork in the house which never needs polishing or dusting. The reader is immediately introduced to the fact that something is not quite normal about the Owens family.
In magical realism novels, supernatural elements are introduced as very real occurrences in the novel and carry the plot and theme seamlessly forward in the book until the reader quite forgets that these elements are unusual or supernatural. They become commonplace to both the characters and the audience as well.

It is also important to note that no clear-cut answers are ever given by magical realism authors. It is up to the reader to decide if it is happening the way the characters state it is or if the reality being shown are simply figments from the imagination of an overwrought or even unreliable narrator. As with most post-modern fiction, it is up to the reader to come to terms with what is being presented or not. That is the freedom of post-modernism. There is no easy answer to life’s most perplexing question—what is the nature of reality? In magical realism, the reality is never what it seems. At times, it appears as elusive as a dream one has that upon awakening, vanishes, leaving only the faintest trails of what seemed so clear only moments earlier.

As with any new movement in literature, one needs to examine its beginnings to understand how it has evolved. The novels listed above are all examples of 21st-century writings except Beloved, which Morrison published in 1987. All three are considered post-modernist novels in style and narrative technique.
· References

The Nobel Prize in Literature 1982: Gabriel Garcia Marque [Press release]. (n.d.) Retrieved from

Magic realism. (2014). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from

Brownrigg, S. (1999). Hoffman, Alice 1952 – In L. Sage, G. Greer, & E. Showalter (Eds.), The Cambridge guide to women’s writing in English. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from

Wall, C. (2016). Morrison, Toni. In S. Bronner (Ed.), Encyclopedia of American studies. MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Retrieved from

Martel, Yann. (2016). In Marquis Who’s Who (Ed.), Who’s who in the world 2016 (33rd ed.). New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who’s Who LLC. Retrieved from

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