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Title: Fantastical journeys : an investigation of magical realist travel fiction, including 'Eithe's Way', a magical realist novel, and 'Fantastical Journeys: a fusion form', a critical thesis
Author: Waller, Rhian
Awarding Body: Prifysgol Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2013
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Magical realism is a mode of literature that does not fit easily in anyone genre. In contrast, travel fiction has existed for so long that it has evolved into a straggling, cross-genre narrative form. Nevertheless, when coupled together, magical realist and travel fiction narratives share in common a number of features that allow the resulting text to traverse, create and challenge notions of space, territory and borders. I theorise that a number of key authors have already harnessed these features to criticise and deconstruct dominant hegemonic ideologies, including those of class, gender inequality and racial constructs. This thesis is an examination and discussion of how the two forms intertwine and complement each other, and how the features and characteristics encountered in one fonn augment and inform the other. I also posit clear examples of the phenomenon of intermingling in established texts. This thesis includes an in-depth discussion of key magical realist travel texts and the production of a new novel. The critical essay stretches to 27,000 words. The novel, a 71,000 word work, is written with these concerns as a central feature. It incorporates travel fiction and magical realist gemes in an attempt to update and re-deploy the form in a contemporary setting. The process of creating both texts necessitated a great deal of background reading from plimary and critical sources. My analysis of source texts and critical texts led to the conclusion that my initial theory was correct. Select examples of travel and magical realist literature employ narrative features to reinforce challenges to the established status-quo. However, the thesis further argues the two forms are interrelated in other ways, containing contradictory elements, a preoccupation with place and identity and the deconstruction and re-creation of myth. These features are also examined and discussed. Analytical reading and the writing of a related novel indicate that the use of magical realism and travel fiction results in a dynamic and effective challenge to the construction of oppressive societal norms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available