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Gabriel García Márquez and Ovid

Gabriel García Márquez and Ovid: Magical and Monstrous Realities

Series: Monografías A
Volume: 314
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 200
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  • Book Info
    Gabriel García Márquez and Ovid
    Book Description:

    This book explores the ways in which Ovid's poem, 'Metamorphoses', and Gabriel García Márquez's novel, 'One Hundred Years of Solitude', use magical devices to construct their literary realities. The study examines in detail the similarities and differences of each author's style and investigates the impact of politics and culture upon the magical and frequently brutal realities the two authors create in their works. Ultimately the book is interested in the use of magical elements by authors in political climates where freedoms are being restricted, and by using magical realism to explore Ovid's 'Metamorphoses', it is able to illuminate aspects of the regime of emperor Augustus and the world of Ovid and demonstrate their closeness to that of García Márquez's Colombia. Lorna Robinson holds a PhD in Classics from University College London. She is the author of 'Cave Canem: A Miscellany of Latin Words and Phrases' and the essay 'The Golden Age in Metamorphoses' and 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' in 'A Companion to Magical Realism' (Tamesis, 2005).

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-066-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    Lorna Robinson
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)

    On first viewing, Ovid and Gabriel García Márquez could not seem to be much further apart. One was born into a well-to-do family in the peaceful, golden reign of the emperor Augustus in the first century BC. Enjoying the life of a wealthy, talented young man in Rome, he tried his hand at love poetry before penning the imaginative delights of his epic story of things changing into other things, in a bid to impress his eager literary audience of fellow poets. The other was born in the heat of twentieth-century Colombia, raised in a climate that was politically charged...

  5. 1 Telling Tales
    (pp. 17-60)

    The theorists and writers who have tried to define and categorise magical realism have been keen to distinguish the mode of writing from fairy tales and other well-known vehicles for the fantastic and miraculous. Flores (1995, 115–16) writes: ‘the practitioners of magical realism cling to reality as if to prevent ‘literature’ from getting in their way, as if to prevent their myth from flying off, as in fairy tale to supernatural realms’. Leal likewise strives to separate magical realism from the common fantastical genres: ‘magical realism cannot be identified either with fantastic literature or with psychological literature, or with...

  6. 2 Points of View
    (pp. 61-85)

    In the first chapter, I studied the various ways in which a narrator produces a magical realist effect in the text. One important point that emerged from the passages being analysed was the centrality of communal belief for adopting a perspective upon reality that is regarded as valid. Disbelievers are frowned upon while storytellers are seen to embellish and exaggerate their accounts on many occasions. The confusion that arises for the reader creates the impression that two points of view upon a given reality are battling with one another. In fact, there are frequent examples within both texts where events...

  7. 3 Fertile Ground
    (pp. 86-126)

    The previous chapter explored perspectives of causation; the communities of people in each text had different ways of explaining the world around them, which the narrator presented as valid. Where these clashed with the reader’s perspectives, this produced the atmosphere we have come to label ‘magical realist’ in literature.

    Latin American scholars and writers at the first appearance of the genre in Latin American literature, towards the middle of the last century, construed a theory of magical realism in territorial terms, claiming that it was the specific circumstances of Latin America that produced magical realism. In an expanded version of...

  8. 4 More than Words Can Say
    (pp. 127-161)

    In the previous chapter, I examined the claims of Latin Americanists that magical realism emerged from their continent due to its unique history, geography and racial mixing. It was demonstrated, by the analysis of key passages in García Márquez’s novel and Ovid’s poem, that there are many factors that can explain the use of magical realism, ranging from political and cultural to literary traditions. In this chapter, I continue to examine the claims of Latin Americanists, in this instance, focusing upon the aesthetic effect of magical realism, rather than the reasons for its appearance.

    When Roh first coined the term...

  9. Conclusion
    (pp. 162-168)

    This book has examined the use of magical realism in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, using García Márquez’s Cien años de soledad as a comparative tool. Chapter one examined how magical realist effects were produced by manipulating aspects of narration; cultural perspectives were explored in chapter two, specifically how and to what effect these were incorporated into the texts by the authors. The third chapter analysed the influences of Latin America upon García Márquez’s novel, exploring political, historical and cultural spheres. Finally, case studies were used in chapter four to examine realistic depiction, and how magical realism can supplement the failings of the...

    (pp. 169-182)
  11. INDEX
    (pp. 183-188)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 189-189)