What Makes a Text a Magical Realist Work? - A Study Using Family Resemblance and Genre Theory

Aishwarya. V, Devimeenakshi. K


Magical Realism is one of literatures most elusive and debated concepts, as it can be easily confused with other related genres. There is an ongoing debate about whether to label it as a genre or mode of narrative. Magical Realism is an International contemporary genre with its roots in Germany, while it became popularised and pioneered in South America. Over the years, critics have had issues defining the characteristics of Magical Realism as it subtly overlaps with other similar genres like surrealism, fantasy, science fiction, and gothic. Family Resemblance theory explains the overlapping resemblances of almost similar genres using Genre theory. This paper explores the binding relationship between Magical Realism and other genres. Later, they resemble yet differ in detail using their core characteristics. The paper also provides a comparative study on selected genres and studies the concept of genres, their construction, and their evolution. Textual analysis methodology is used in this article to understand the characteristics of magical realism in the novel Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. Further analysis of how the novel differs from the other genres is also studied using textual analysis. Genre theory can be analysed to trace the origin and evolution of a genre throughout the years and how they are arbitrary and are constantly misused by authors.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v14n1p511

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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