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Magical Realism and Deleuze

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Magical Realism and Deleuze


The Indiscernibility of Difference in Postcolonial Literature

Eva Aldea

Continuum Literary Studies

Continuum International Publishing Group The Tower Building 80 Maiden Lane 11 York Road Suite 704 London, SE1 7NX New York, NY 10038 www.continuumbooks.com Eva Aldea, 2011 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Eva Aldea has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Author of this work. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: 978-1-4411-0998-9 (hardcover) Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Aldea, Eva. Magical realism and Deleuze : the indiscernibility of difference in postcolonial literature / Eva Aldea. p. cm. -- (Continuum literary studies) Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-1-4411-0998-9 (hardcover) 1. Magic realism (Literature) 2. Fiction--20th century--History and criticism. 3. Commonwealth fiction (English)--History and criticism. 4. Postcolonialism in literature. 5. Deleuze, Gilles, 19251995--Criticism and interpretation. 6. Deleuze, Gilles, 1925-1995--Knowledge--Literature. 7. Literature--Philosophy. I. Title. II. Series. PN56.M24A63 2011 809'.915--dc22 2010015193

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Contents

Preface List of Abbreviations Chapter 1 Introduction: Magical Realism Chapter 2 Gilles Deleuze and Magical Realism Chapter 3 Models of Magical Realism Chapter 4 Magical Realism and the Signs of Art Chapter 5 Deleuze and the Postcolonial Politics of Magical Realism Chapter 6 Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index

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Preface

Since being introduced to magical realism through the short stories of Julio Cortzar, many years ago, I have always wanted to know why magical realism has been so fascinating and tantalizing a genre for me and so many other readers. What exactly is it that makes the appearance of the unusual, strange and supernatural so alluring when it is described in that deadpan, matter-of-fact voice we have all become so familiar with since the Latin American literary boom reached the Anglo-Saxon readership in the 70s? I never found a thoroughly satisfactory answer. Any definitions and descriptions of the genre seemed to me never quite to get to the bottom of how the interaction between the real and the magic in magical realist novels and stories actually functions. I mean functions in the way a car or train functions I wanted to know what drives the fantastic yet thoroughly familiar engine of magical realism. There was nothing for it but to investigate the matter myself. Having come across the idea of the machinic assemblage in Gilles Deleuze and Flix Guattaris work, an early project looking at Cortzars stories as such little literary machines yielded some results. It also pointed to the fact that Deleuze could provide the thoroughly different approach to magical realism that I was looking for, partly as a philosopher that could take me back to basics What is the real? What is the magic? partly because of his insistence that the all that is is in the same way, yet is different. This challenge to hierarchies of being seemed to me to chime true with the main motion of the magical realist machine. This book is the final result of a long process of research but also of thought, the importance of which my guide throughout would never let me forget. I am very grateful to Andrew Gibson for his long and continued support for, belief in and acute criticism of my work. I would also like to thank my parents for their never failing belief in the ultimate fruition of my work, and my friends and colleagues for their input, patience and support. Finally, a special thank you to Marcus Cheadle, without whom this book would never have been written.

List of Abbreviations

Primary Works
BD CR DV FR LP MC NC OHYS SC WCS Toni Morrison, Beloved (London: Vintage, 2005). Amitav Ghosh, The Circle of Reason (London: Granta Books, 1998). Andr Brink, Devils Valley (London: Vintage, 2000). Ben Okri, The Famished Road (London: Vintage, 1991). Yann Martel, Life of Pi (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2002). Salman Rushdie, Midnights Children (London: Vintage, 1995). Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus (London: Vintage 2003). Gabriel Garca Mrquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, trans. Gregory Rabassa (London: Penguin Books, 1972). Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry (London: Vintage, 1989). Robert Kroetsch, What the Crow Said (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1978).

Works by Gilles Deleuze


AO Gilles Deleuze and Flix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, and Helen R. Lane (London: Athlone Press, 1984). Gilles Deleuze, Bergsonism, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (New York: Zone Books, 1988). Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2: The Time-Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta (London: Continuum, 2005). Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet, Dialogues II, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (London: Continuum, 2006). Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton (London: Athlone Press, 1994). Gilles Deleuze, Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza, trans. Martin Joughin (New York Zone Books, 1990).

B C2 DII DR EP

List of Abbreviations KM LS PS TP WIP

xi

Gilles Deleuze and Flix Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, trans. Dana Polan (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986). Gilles Deleuze, The Logic of Sense, trans. Mark Lester and Charles Stivale (London: Continuum, 2004). Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs, trans. Richard Howard (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000). Gilles Deleuze and Flix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi (London: Athlone Press, 1987). Gilles Deleuze and Flix Guattari, What Is Philosophy?, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell (London; New York: Verso, 1994).

Critical Works
AP DC LC MGP MRF MRPD Peter Hallward, Absolutely Postcolonial: Writing between the Singular and the Specific (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001). Alain Badiou, Deleuze: The Clamor of Being, trans. Louise Burchill (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000). Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 2004). Jean-Pierre Durix, Mimesis, Genres, and Post-Colonial Discourse: Deconstructing Magic Realism (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998). Amaryll Beatrice Chanady, Magical Realism and the Fantastic: Resolved Versus Unresolved Antinomy (New York: Garland, 1985). Stephen Slemon, Magic Realism as a Postcolonial Discourse, Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris (eds), Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995): 407426. William Spindler, Magic Realism: A Typology, Forum for Modern Language Studies, 29/1 (1993): 7585. Robert R. Wilson, The Metamorphoses of Space: Magical Realism, Peter Hinchcliffe and Ed Jewinski (eds), Magic Realism and Canadian Literature: Essays and Stories (Waterloo: University of Waterloo Press, 1986): 6174. Fredric Jameson, On Magic Realism in Film, Critical Inquiry, 12/2 (1986): 301325. Frederick Luis Aldama, Postethnic Narrative Criticism: Magicorealism in Oscar Zeta Acosta, Ana Castillo, Julie Dash, Hanif Kureishi, and Salman Rushdie (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003). Fredric Jameson, The Political Unconscious (London: Routledge, 2002). Mara-Elena Angulo, Magic Realism: Social Context and Discourse (New York: Garland, 1995). Fredric Jameson, Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism, Social Text, 15 (1986): 6588. Brenda Cooper, Magical Realism in West African Fiction: Seeing with a Third Eye (London: Routledge, 1998).

MRT MS

OMRF PNC

PU SCD TWL WAF

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Chapter 1

Introduction: Magical Realism

A History of Magical Realism: Typologies and Definitions


Since the incredible success of Gabriel Garca Mrquezs 1967 novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, and the following Latin American literary Boom of the late 1960s and 70s, magical realism has enjoyed attention from publishers, the reading public and academia. Yet while magical realism has become established as a literary genre, its definition has remained vague. Although key works have had a distinct impact, magical realism seems constantly to overlap and merge with other types of literature and critical currents. As Peter Hinchcliffe and Ed Jewinsky note, Magic realism has been used for such a variety of fictions and theories that the very variety compels critics to teeter on the verge of inconsistency, juxtaposition and even contradiction.1 On the one hand, a great number of works referred to as magical realism belong to the realm of commercial mainstream fiction, for example Laura Esquivels Like Water for Chocolate or Patrick Sskinds Parfume, which, while they have enjoyed great popular success, merit only limited academic attention. On the other hand, many works now commonly referred to as magical realist have attained canonical status, such as Gabriel Garca Mrquezs prototypical One Hundred Years of Solitude or Salman Rushdies Midnights Children, and provide a rich ground for academic inquiry. However, such key magical realist texts have often been read primarily as postcolonial or postmodern works, shifting the critical focus away from their specific magical realist form and function. In spite of this, magical realism as a term has been neither rejected nor replaced. The fact that it has been applied widely, almost carelessly, to quite differing works, testifies to both its allure and its possibilities, at the same time as it also indicates the need for a reconsideration of the genre. Cuban-born literary critic Roberto Gonzles Echevarra believes the general absence of historical bearings in the formulation of magic realism is responsible for the confusion surrounding the term, as he traces the appearance of the term in three distinct moments in the twentieth century.2 He finds the first use of the term magical realism in a 1925 article on Post-Expressionist painting, attributed to German art critic Franz Roh. Roh contrasts the fantastic, exotic,

Magical Realism and Deleuze

transcendental paintings of the Expressionists with a return to reality emerging in art at the time, a wish to feel the reality of the object and of space, not like copies of nature but like another creation.3 While often mentioned in overviews of the beginnings of the genre, this definition has had the least impact on the concept of magical realism commonly used in literary criticism today, although it has remained a current idea in painting.4 However, Rohs article, receiving wide circulation in Latin America, did influence Cuban Alejo Carpentier to develop the term into a uniquely Latin American concept, which Gonzles Echevarra defines as the second moment in the history of magical realism: lo real meravilloso. In the 1949 foreword to his novel Kingdom of This World Carpentier criticizes the tiresome pretension of creating the marvellous that has characterized certain European literatures over the past thirty years,5 and calls for a marvellous real literature of America, born out of the existing reality of the continent and characterized by a rich style: I have to create with my words a baroque style that parallels the baroque of the temperate, tropical landscape [of Latin America].6 Finally, a 1955 lecture by Mexican writer Angel Flores magical realism marks the third moment in Gonzles Echevarras history or the genre. Flores notes that Latin American romantic literature is full of elements of realism, and realist works are full of elements of fantasy, and calls this mix magical realism.7 Flores points out the affinity of this magical realist style with the opening sentences of Kafkas The Metamorphosis: As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.8 Flores explains: The transformation of Gregor Samsa into a cockroach [. . .] is not a matter of conjecture or discussion: it happened and it was accepted by the other characters as an almost normal event. Similarly, magical realism, to Flores, is not weighed down by needlessly baroque descriptions but cling[s] to reality as if to prevent literature from [. . .] flying off, as in fairy tales, to supernatural realms.9 To Gonzles Echevarra none of these historical definitions of magical realism have provided an approach adequately describing post-Boom examples of the genre, and criticism since the Boom has rarely gone beyond discovering the most salient characteristics of avant-garde literature in general. In response to this inadequacy, he goes on to propose the identification of two versions of magical realism: a phenomenological magical realism, corresponding to Rohs ideas, and an ontological magical realism, stemming from Carpentiers approach. In the former, the interaction of subjectivity and reality, mediated by the act of perception [. . .] generates the alchemy, the magic, but reality remains unaltered. In the latter, the marvellous exists in Latin America, and is revealed to those who believe through the act of faith that is literature.10 Even though Gonza les Echevarra is sceptical about the usefulness of the term magical realism, his division raises some valid questions about the genre: is the magic understood as the supernatural, or merely a way of looking at reality? Is the magic inherent in reality or is it purely textual? These questions have shaped

Introduction: Magical Realism

contemporary views of magical realism, as we can see in the typology of the genre proposed by William Spindler in 1993. Spindler suggests three variants of magical realism. Metaphysical magical realism is characterized by the technique of defamiliarization, creating an uncanny and disturbing atmosphere, but without an element of the supernatural. Spindler cites Kafkas The Trial, Borgess story The South, and even Jamess The Turn of the Screw as examples.11 Anthropological magical realism, to Spindler, corresponds to the most current definition of the genre. It is characterized by the use of two voices: one rational and realist, and the other indicating a belief in magic. The implied contradiction or antinomy between these two voices is resolved by the presence in the text of a specific cultural world-view, a Weltanschauung where the mythical and the rational coexist. Spindler links this type of magical realism to a postcolonial search for national identity, and the struggle to reverse the hierarchy between Western and nonWestern cultures. Among the examples he gives are works by both Latin American greats such as Gabriel Garca Mrquez, Alejo Carpentier, and Guatemalan Miguel ngel Asturias, and by writers from other parts of the world including Guyanese writer Wilson Harris and Salman Rushdie. (MRT 8082) Finally, in ontological magical realism the supernatural also appears, but the contradiction between it and the real world is resolved through a matter-of-fact presentation rather than by the presence of a particular Weltanschauung. The magic is not explained in any subjective, psychological way; but rather the unreal has an objective, ontological presence in the text (MRT 82). Spindlers examples are Kafkas The Metamorphosis, Argentinian writer Julio Cortzars story Axolotl, and Carpentiers Voyage to the Seed (MRT 8283). We can easily map Spindlers metaphysical magical realism onto Gonzles Echevarras phenomenological magical realism, where there is no supernatural as such, but rather a magical consciousness of reality. In addition, what Spindler seems to have done is to divide what Gonzles Echevarras calls ontological magical realism according to whether the magic originates in a specific extra-textual reality, or within the text itself. Notably, however, in both anthropological and ontological magical realism, the main characteristics the ethnic Weltanschauung or the matter-of-fact narration perform the same function: they resolve the implicit contradiction between the natural and supernatural. However, this division points to the fact that in approaches to the genre a dichotomy has remained between attempts at defining magical realism through socio-geographic factors on the one hand, and specific textual features on the other. The vast majority of current Anglophone literary criticism of the genre is concerned with what Spindler calls anthropological magical realism, which he links ostensibly to postcolonial literature. Indeed, many critics read magical realism primarily in this context, some defining it as a type of literature emerging exclusively in a postcolonial situation. The fact that magical realism can be concerned with different cultural versions of reality potentially allows it to deal

Magical Realism and Deleuze

with questions of cultural hegemony and its role in colonization, and to explore the politically subversive power of exposing the relativity of such hegemony. However, many critics also link magical realism with postmodernism, referring to a number of specific textual characteristics that allows the genre to raise questions about the nature of reality and fiction.

Reality and Text: Postcolonial or Postmodern?


In his widely read 1988 article Magic Realism as Post-Colonial Discourse, Stephen Slemon explicitly links the narrative structure of magical realism to counter-colonial writing. Although he does not speak of a resolution of an antinomy in magical realism, he offers a familiar concept of it as a battle between two oppositional systems, or narrative modes, which remains unresolved or suspended, so that neither mode takes primacy over the other.12 To Slemon, the metaphysical clash or double vision inherent in colonial history and language is recapitulated in transmuted form in the texts oppositional language of narration and mirrored in its thematic level (MRPD 420). Slemon thus concludes that magic realism can be seen to comprise a positive and liberating engagement with the codes of imperial history and its legacy of fragmentation and discontinuity (MRPD 422). Slemons view is echoed in recent major publications on magical realism. In her 2004 study of magical realism, Wendy Faris argues that the genre is a narrative inscription [that] begins to transfer discursive power from colonizer to colonized, to provide a fictional ground in which to imagine alternative narrative visions of agency and history. Novelists such as Rushdie and Ben Okri use their magic against the established order and [this] use of magic often ultimately highlights the historical atrocities narrated in them.13 Also note Wen-chin Ouyangs unambiguous statement in his introduction to the section on The Politics of Magic in the 2005 Companion to Magical Realism: Magical realism is inherently political concerned [sic] not only with the continuing influence of empire in the postcolonial world but also with the corruption of political authority set up in postindependence nation-states, not to mention the attendant cultural politics that partake in the formulation of a plausible postcolonial national identity.14 Fredric Jameson has been immensely influential on such postcolonial readings of magical realism, despite never offering a coherent definition of the genre in literature. His main thesis, based mainly on a reading of films, although occasionally referring to Latin American literature, concludes that magical realism depends on a content which betrays the overlap or the coexistence of pre-capitalist with nascent capitalist or technological features.15 He proposes that the genre relies on a narrative raw material derived essentially from peasant society, drawing in sophisticated ways on the world of village [sic] or even tribal myth (OMRF 302). Jameson seems to share Carpentiers view of existing reality as a base for magical realism, a reality which is already in and of itself

Introduction: Magical Realism

magical or fantastic (OMRF 311). Jamesons definition thus coincides, at least in part, with Spindlers anthropological magical realism, where the encounter of the magic and the real in the text mirrors a meeting of old and new cultures. To Jameson, magical realism is an inherently historical and political genre, explicitly opposed to postmodern literature, which he elsewhere describes as depthless and characterized by a consequent weakening of historicity.16 Notably, while to Spindler the contradictions implied by the dual cultural context of magical realism are resolved in the magical realist text, to Jameson there is no such resolution, but rather a distinct clash of cultures. However, while Jameson continues to be regularly quoted by critics attempting to define the genre, the notion of a resolution of the contradiction between the magic and the real remains central to magical realism in literature. A notable example of the use of Jamesons ideas in critical studies of literary magical realism is Brenda Coopers Magical Realism in West African Fiction. Cooper defines magical realism through, first, the political circumstances from which it emerges, and second, its textual and thematic characteristics. Expanding on Jamesons approach, she concludes that the often chaotic meeting between capitalism and a pre-capitalist society in developing countries, and the ensuing climate of change and ambiguity, is a catalyst for magical realism. While naming the pre-capitalist world as a critical inspirational source for the magic of this magical realism, Cooper defines it more broadly as the fictional device of the supernatural, taken from any source that the writer chooses [including his or her own imagination], syncretized with a developed realistic, historical perspective.17 To Cooper, the notion of hybridity lies at the heart of the politics and techniques of magical realism (WAF 1720). In political terms, this hybridity can allow magical realism to oppose imperialism and promote cultural multiplicity, although, interestingly, Cooper suggests that it may also end up reaffirming the Western stereotype of the exotic Other. In technical terms, hybridity is a syncretism between paradoxical dimensions of life and death, historical reality and magic, science and religion, [that] characterizes the plot, themes and narrative structures of magical realist novels (WAF 32). Crucially, such a thematic and stylistic hybridity allows the magical realist writer to see with a third eye or to create a third space, beyond the binary structure of colonizercolonized. So even though Cooper allows that the magic of magical realism could have a source outside a specific culture, she explicitly links what she sees as its essential hybridity to a postcolonial context. In addition, at the same time as she adheres to Jamesons view that the genre grows out of the conflictual meeting of pre-capitalist and capitalist societies, her insistence on the hybridity of the genre, in its creation of a third space, implies a resolution of the contradictions between magic and reality and thus between the worldviews or cultures they are linked with. Furthermore, Cooper characterizes magical realism by listing such elements as the deformation of time and space, a Bakhtinian use of carnivalesque and polyvocality, and narrative irony. These features lead her, while situating the

Magical Realism and Deleuze

emergence and thematics of magical realism within a postcolonial environment, to place it, in terms of style, within postmodernism: Magical realists are postcolonials who avail themselves most forcefully of the devices of postmodernism, of pastiche, irony, parody and intertextuality (WAF 29). Thus she again deviates from Jamesons definition, which placed magical realism in opposition to postmodernism. However, Cooper fails to explain fully why such devices are necessary to the genres hybrid nature, and thus how magical realism can be seen as a specific genre distinct from any kind of writing that attempts to find a third way of seeing things through a mix of postcolonial themes and postmodern techniques. Jean-Pierre Durixs postcolonial reading of magical realism places the genre within the context of what he calls New Literatures, a term he finds more suitable than postcolonial for literature produced in countries that have undergone a process of colonization.18 He articulates a hybrid aesthetics to describe these new literatures: novelists experiencing a multiple and contradictory reality feel the need to approach it from several sometimes widely differing angles creating mixed or hybrid genres. Durix proclaims magical realism one of the best-known forms of this generic hybridity (MGP 187), and he attempts to define the hybridity specific to magical realism in more precise literary terms than Cooper. He differentiates between the use of the fantastic in European literature and New Literatures: in the former the fantastic serves to protest against the tyranny of fact , in the latter it serves to incorporate the old values and beliefs into the modern mans perception (MGP 7981). Durix admits that this geographic division of the fantastic is problematic, as it is questionable whether one can still speak of real and unreal in the postcolonial version of the genre. Since reality in the New Literatures wavers between the Western logos and an uneasy acceptance of ancient spirituality, works of this kind cannot really be called fantastic, as the fantastic depends on the presence of a distinct unreal. Instead, says Durix, these texts are precisely magical realist (MGP 102). In the European fantastic, real and unreal are pitched against each other, but in magical realism there is not only an interweaving of the realistic and fantastic modes but also an implicit questioning of the polarity on which such terms are based, and thus versions of reality are presented in a less conflicting way (MGP 146). Durix, then, explicitly links the resolution of antinomy in the magical realist text to a postcolonial cultural hybridity, implying that the magical realist text provides a resolution of the widely different angles on reality encountered in the postcolonial world. To Durix the resolution of the antinomy of real and magic is key, but he also narrows his definition of magical realism by stressing that it must have a thematic engagement with the conflict between a local community and an imperial authority. Thus he sees Garca Mrquez and Rushdie as prototypes of magical realism, but excludes Borges and Cortzar, whose works lack this engagement (MGP 146). Durix provides a more specific definition of the

Introduction: Magical Realism

hybridity in magical realism than Cooper, but he also lists elements of grotesque and picaresque as typical of magical realism, as well as features that Cooper sees as postmodern, such as intertextuality and metatextuality; again, however, these characteristics appear more circumstantial than necessary for the central resolution of the antinomy in magical realism. While Cooper and Durix find some typically postmodern devices in magical realism, such as self-reflexivity and metatextuality, playfulness and irreverence towards established cultural forms or categories, they have not been able fully to integrate these in a definition of the genre. Frederick Louis Aldama argues, however, that these particular devices do define magical realism. He approaches postcolonial readings of magical realism critically, suggesting that they have made the mistake of confusing literary and ethnographic components. He traces this error back to Carpentiers work, as well as to Fredric Jamesons reading, and sees it repeated in the work of various critics such as Gonzles Echevarra, Cooper and Durix. According to Aldama, such critics reify the literary text, on the one hand, and view the empirical world as a narrative on the other. Aldama, in contrast, proposes a view of the literary, not as a source of information or a conveyor of truth or falsity about the empirical world, but as a narrative with its own kind of rationale, separate from the extra-textual world.19 That is, as opposed to those critics focusing on cultural hybridity, Aldama looks at magical realism as dealing with exclusively textual versions of reality. Aldama refers to magical realisms vibrant interplay between discourse and story, a characteristic that makes the genre a rebellious aesthetic (PNC 19). Magical realism derives from realism the formal arrangements selected for telling the story, but adds to them the mimesis-as-play of intertextuality, metatextuality and self-reflexivity (PNC 37). According to Aldama, these impurities in the discourse are crucial to magical realism, offering a how-to-read magicorealism contract that prevents the reader from hesitating in the face of the magical elements, allowing them instead to perceive an everyday reality that is seamlessly both real and unreal (PNC 3739). Aldama thus also suggests a definition of magical realism that hinges on the resolution of the antinomy between the real and the magic, but claims that it is the intertextuality and metatextuality of magical realism that brings about this resolution, ensuring there is a categorical difference between the invention of limitless possibility within the novels pages and the reality outside (PNC 1819). That is, the resolution of antinomy in magical realism, to Aldama, does not extend to the differences between cultural versions of reality. Nevertheless, Aldama situates magical realism within postcolonial literature by default, focusing on US ethnic minority and British postcolonial literature, and apparently discounting the possibility that the genre could exist in a nonpostcolonial context. Ultimately, he expresses the familiar view that the coexistence of the real and unreal in magical realism is particularly suited to expressing

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a specific cultural experience, because of the absence of an antinomy between two views of the world (PNC 39). Thus, even though he insists that the transaction is purely textual, he suggests a rebellious side of magical realism that lies in its ability to highlight its own artifice and therefore transform perceptions of the world. Aldamas reading is therefore quite similar to other postcolonial readings of magical realism, yet it does raise some interesting questions about the definitions of magical realism that we have seen so far. It appears that while the antinomy between versions of reality could not be satisfactorily resolved by cultural hybridity alone, the antinomy between textual versions of reality can be resolved without a parallel cultural resolution. This suggests that definitions of magical realism must be concerned with the way the text presents reality; merely a representation of cultural hybridity, the inclusion of, or encounter between, different cultural views, is not enough to distinguish the genre. However, it seems that this resolution can be attributed to a whole range of literary devices, depending on the critics point of view. Most critics, even if they are reading magical realism as postcolonial, stress that many of these stylistic and structural characteristics are postmodern. Theo L. DHaen suggests that the terms magical realism and postmodernism denote the same type of literary mode, but that one is used predominantly in Latin America and Canada, and the other in Europe and the US.20 DHaen concludes that magical realism is a subset of postmodernism, referring to Brian McHales and Linda Hutcheons approaches to the postmodern.21 Certainly these two theorists place a number of novels widely referred to as magical realist within their consideration of postmodernism, and discuss many of the characteristics attributed to magical realism (those very characteristics which critics point out magical realism has in common with postmodernism). However, neither offers a specific definition of magical realism as a distinguishable part of postmodernism. Hutcheon, however, explicitly labels postmodernism ex-centric,22 which DHaen identifies as the feature which situates magical realism within the framework of postmodernism: magical realism appropriates the literary techniques of the centre or the colonial power, and uses them to create an alternative world correcting so called existing reality.23 However, in DHaens analysis of Coetzees Foe, Fowless The French Lieutenants Woman, Rushdies Midnights Children and Carters Nights At the Circus, it is not clear how, although these novels speak from the margins and attempt to correct an existing view of reality, they do so in a way that is specifically magical realist. Again we are given a description of magical realist texts via a list of literary devices such as intertextuality, metatextuality, deformation of time and space, bifurcation of plot, and so on, that are identified as postmodern, and that allow these novels to subvert existing views of reality. However, this subversion is also what critics reading magical realism from a postcolonial perspective identify in the genre. Thus, although DHaen fails to provide a definition of magical realism, his

Introduction: Magical Realism

analysis indicates the fact that marginality and subversion may be seen as the site where postmodernism, postcolonialism and magical realism intersect. This is Linda Hutcheons thesis in an article analysing postmodernism and postcolonialism: The formal technique of magic realism (with its characteristic mixing of the fantastic and the realist) has been singled out by many critics as one of the points of conjunction of postmodernism and postcolonialism. Its challenges to genre distinctions and to the conventions of realism are certainly part of the project of both enterprises.24 This conjunction, however, hinges on the fact that Hutcheon sees postcolonialism and postmodernism as related by a strong shared concern with the notion of marginalization, with the state of what we would call ex-centricity.25 However, such a shared concern is by no means a given: Jamesons approach to magical realism problematizes the positioning of magical realism precisely at this intersection. In addition, but in contrast to Jameson, Aijaz Ahmad identifies magical realism with postmodernism, something that for Ahmad is inherently problematic in the face of a postcolonial realm that he defines as essentially political. To Ahmad, it is impossible to reconcile the explicitly political concerns of the Third World and postmodern theories of the fragmentation and/or death of the Subject: the politics of discrete exclusivities and localisms on the one hand, or, on the other as some of the poststructuralisms would have it the very end of the social, the impossibility of stable subject positions, hence the death of politics as such.26 This leads Ahmad to dismiss the claim made by postcolonial theorist Homi K. Bhabha that magical realism has become the literary language of the emergent postcolonial world as a routine feature of metropolitan theorys inflationary rhetoric.27 However, neither Hutcheon nor Ahmad actually consider magical realism in any great detail, and certainly do not offer any adequate definition of the genre. Wendy Faris states that magical realism is an important component of postmodernism,28 which she defines using Brian McHales distinction between modernism as an epistemological and postmodernism as an ontological literary mode. To Faris, the moment of invention, the realisation of the imaginary realm is what signals that magical realism, as postmodernism, is concerned with questions of being rather than questions of knowledge, echoing Gonzles Echevarras and Spindlers typologies. Faris refers to John Barths essay The Literature of Replenishment in which he takes Garca Mrquezs One Hundred Years of Solitude to be the perfect example of postmodernism, describing it as a synthesis of straightforwardness and artifice, realism and magic and myth, political passion and nonpolitical artistry, characterization and caricature, humour and terror.29 In addition, she lists a number of secondary specifications of magical realism, some by now familiar, which also allow her to place it within the postmodern: metafictionality, linguistic playfulness and self-awareness, repetition and intertextual reference, an anti-bureaucratic agenda, a carnivalesque spirit and so on. Once more, however, while these

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devices certainly appear in magical realist works, it is not obvious how they are specific to magical realism. Despite these critics attempts, it remains unclear how magical realism can be satisfactorily described as a particularly postmodern genre. Indeed, efforts to align magical realism with postmodernism, although interesting, have failed to provide a definition of the genre.

Realism and The Resolution of Antinomy


The closest Wendy Faris comes to a definition of magical realism is in her suggestion that magical realism must be defined in opposition to realism, through its inclusion of an imaginative moment: the fantastic or supernatural. Yet magical realism remains linked to realism in that it combines realism and the fantastic in such a way that magical elements grow organically out of the reality portrayed.30 Realist descriptions, a physical experience of the magic, and a literalization of metaphors allow the magical elements to grow almost imperceptibly out of the real.31 In the end, Fariss definition conforms to those already considered: narrative characteristics allow the coexistence of the real and the magic to be organical or imperceptible, that is, without the appearance of any disparity between them. Definitions of the genre remain vague and unsatisfactory if they concern themselves only with contexts or list characteristics without giving their specific function in the text, whether these be anthropological postcolonial contexts or ontological postmodern characteristics. Rather, the idea of the resolution of the contradiction between the real and the supernatural in the magic realist text appears to be not only the most often cited characteristic of magical realism, but also its most distinguishing feature. Unsurprisingly, one of the few fully developed and most convincing definitions of the genre so far centres on this resolution: Amaryll Chanadys seminal Magical Realism and the Fantastic. Chanady mainly surveys works of Latin American magical realism, including novels and short stories by Garca Mrquez, Carpentier and Asturias. Her definition of magical realism is grounded in its opposition to the fantastic in terms of its narrative treatment of the natural and supernatural. Chanadys starting point is therefore Tzvetan Todorovs famous definition of the fantastic. Todorov offers a symmetrical analysis of literary genres which places the fantastic at the centre between the uncanny and the marvellous. In all three literary forms, as Todorov puts it, an event occurs in the real world which cannot be explained by the laws of reality.32 The thematic and narrative treatment of this event, and the way this treatment determines the readers reaction, is key to Todorovs classification of the text. If the supernatural event is explained in such a way that it is subject to the laws of reality, Todorov marks the text as uncanny. If the event is accepted as supernatural the text is marvellous. Only if the narrative treatment of the event causes the reader to hesitate between a rational and supernatural explanation is the text fantastic.

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Chanady emphasizes that the fantastic is essentially different from what Todorov terms the uncanny and marvellous categories which include fairy tales, fantasy, horror, sci-fi and mysteries because two distinct levels of reality are represented in the text.33 If the supernatural is explained or accepted the text includes only one level of reality. Chanadys definition of magical realism is analogous to the fantastic but moves away from Todorovs concept of reader hesitation, instead locating an antinomy between these two levels of reality within the text itself. While in the fantastic the implicit contradiction between the natural and supernatural is unresolved, producing hesitation, in magical realism the supernatural is not presented as problematic (MRF 23). In fact, says Chanady, in magical realism the antinomy which exists on a semantic level is resolved by the text (MRF 36). That is, as Spindler indicates, specific characteristics of the text itself resolve the conflict between the natural and the supernatural. While Spindler only defines these characteristics as either the use of an ethnic world-view or a matter-of-fact narration, Chanady identifies the use of authorial reticence and focalizers as the particular devices that achieve this resolution. Chanady takes the famous episode of the ascension of Remedios the Beauty in Garca Mrquezs One Hundred Years of Solitude as an example: She watched Remedios the Beauty waving good-bye in the midst of the flapping sheets that rose up with her, abandoning with her the environment of the beetles and the dahlias and passing through the air with her as four oclock in the afternoon came to the end.34 In this passage, Chanady notes the absence of an explanation for the magical event, an absence she terms authorial reticence. Not only does the author refuse to explain the supernatural, or show any surprise, but the narration provides no information which would suggest an alternative reaction to the supernatural (MRF 151). This authorial reticence implies, to Chanady, an absence of a hierarchy between two codes of reality presented, and therefore effects a resolution of the contradiction between them. In the fantastic the narration creates an atmosphere of mystery that underpins the readers hesitation, as the supernatural is rarely described directly, but only implied or hinted at. In magical realism, on the other hand, the supernatural is described in a detailed, natural way, and this is essential to the resolution of its antinomy with the real. Chanady explains that the reader is carried away by the matter-of-fact descriptions so that he does not have the opportunity of questioning the fictitious world view (MRF 123). To Chanady, the focalizer is the point of view from which characters and actions are presented. In the above passage, the focalizer [here the narrator] places a supernatural event on the same level as an ordinary occurrence, and the narrative voice fuses the two levels (the logically impossible ascension and the prosaic washing on the line) (MRF 36). Chanady states that the magical

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realist narrator and the focalizer must present a coherent Weltanschauung, but she also stresses that it is the consistency and verisimilitude within the fictitious world which is key, not whether this Weltanschauung actually conforms to a particular cultural world-view (MRF 36). Chanady elsewhere notes that most of Garca Mrquezs supernatural motifs do not, in fact, have a connection to an existing indigenous world-view. Thus, although magical realism can be traced to Latin American syncretism, Chanady extends the term to refer to any fictitious juxtaposition of the natural and the supernatural.35 In Chanadys magical realism both authorial reticence and focalizer work simultaneously to resolve the antinomy between the magic and the real. Chanadys definition of magical realism thus combines elements of Spindlers anthropological and ontological magical realism: the manner in which the presence of a particular world-view works to resolve the antinomy between the real and the magic is exactly through the use of a matter-of-fact narration. Chanadys essential definition of magical realism is the coexistence of the natural and supernatural without antinomy, an idea that has, as we have seen, dominated contemporary theories of magical realism in literature. Indeed, this definition of magical realism certainly permits, even encourages, the prevalent postcolonial readings of the genre. However, the division between the cultural and the textual that Spindlers typology suggests also indicates an inherent problem in magical realism, which Aldama touched upon above. Aldama stresses that magical realism, as a text, was not a de facto site of resistance and emancipation and that it certainly does not change the course of history (PNC 41) a textual resolution of antinomy does not necessarily equal a resolution of the antinomy between cultural world-views. Indeed, Jamesons definition of magical realism suggested that it was borne out of a conflict between cultures. In addition, Jameson indicated that as such, magical realism was precisely opposed to an aesthetic postmodern textuality divorced from the real world. Brenda Coopers attempt to reconcile Jamesons definition with an articulation of magical realism as genre that expresses cultural hybridity through postmodern techniques highlights the inherent contradiction in postcolonial approaches to the genre. Cooper is forced to conclude that the hybridity of magical realism does not, in fact, necessarily imply a straightforward political reading of the genre: This mode contests boundaries, seamless unities and ethnic purities and can therefore co-exist only very uneasily with cultural nationalism (WAF 216). In the texts she considers she often finds that the proposed alignment of realism and the colonial power, on the one hand, and magic and a decolonizing force, on the other is, at best, ambiguous. In fact, she has to admit that the folkloric tradition of these novels often carries a conservatism and a cultural exclusiveness that also shuts down the vision of the third eye (WAF 218). She explains this ambiguity by pointing to the relatively privileged point of view of most writers of magical realism, their position as migrant cosmopolitans, which inevitably implicates them in Western capitalist culture. In fact, despite her best efforts to prove the contrary,

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in her book about African magical realism, Cooper does little to move away from a conclusion she draws in an earlier article: The term Magical Realism in its most common usage [. . .] is not linked to a specific ideological or theoretical framework and cannot be assumed to be politically enlightened.36 Similarly, while Durix expressly narrowed the definition of magical realism by adding the proviso that the text must include a socio-political content, he is acutely aware of the inherent problems with such a condition. For, although the presence of the two radically antithetic but nevertheless equally essentialist discourses in the same fictional structure results in a mutual questioning of each ones pretensions to totality and unproblematic ease, the seriousness of the political discourse is duplicated and somewhat undermined by the equally serious at least on the surface conventions of magic (MGP 188). Durix argues for the liberatory potential of the hybrid aesthetics of the New Literatures, but while magical realism plays a major part in this aesthetics, he is continually forced to concede that it is a problematic genre in the postcolonial context. The magic is always in danger of undermining political readings of the genre and demonstrating that magical realism offers nothing but a futile inversion of existing hierarchies, pandering to the tastes of Westerners eager to read about quaint exotic worlds (MGP 188). In fact, can the magic in magical realism be seen to embody any kind of politics at all? Timothy Brennans critique of magical realist works in his Salman Rushdie and the Third World is worth noting. Although he does not attempt to define magical realism, his readings of One Hundred Years of Solitude and Midnights Children highlight a central problem for magical realism in a postcolonial context. He notes that the way these novels magically, we must note end in apocalypse ambiguously counters their passionate opposition to censorship and their struggle for human rights in the public forum.37 Brennan repeatedly suggests that the magical elements seem to be contradictory to, rather than facilitating, the socio-political content of these novels. In Midnights Children authorial creation, or what we would call the magical content, is sourced from Indian culture, folklore and myth and explicitly attempts to fulfil Indias, in Rushdies words, national longing for form,38 suggesting a postcolonial, nationalistic theme. However, Brennan notes that Rushdies novel also repeatedly suggests that such invention or fakery is problematic in this setting: Although the nave dilemma of fakery is a truism in fiction, in Rushdie it is something more a plague on political discourse, and so, in Rushdies case (who combines the two), a double bind.39 Indeed, this double bind between realist political discourse, on the one hand, and authorial invention, fakery or magic, on the other, is at the heart of the possibilities and problems of magical realism in a postcolonial context. However, the problem posed by Cooper, Durix and Brennan is perhaps the wrong one. Their analyses of the genre assume, as many critics do, that the magic element of magical realism must be central to the genres perceived subversion of Western categories of real and supernatural. However, looking back

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at definitions of the genre, the one narrative technique that has consistently been privileged as essential to magical realism is the factual or matter-of-fact tone. Wendy Faris highlights that this device is provided by the realism in magical realism, and therefore realism must be part of the genres definition. In other words, the term magical realism itself indicates not only the inclusion of both natural and supernatural events without antinomy, but also the key role played by the realistic narration in the resolution of this antinomy. It may be true, as Zamora and Faris point out, that magical realism is an extension of realism in its concern with the nature of reality and its representation, at the same time as it resists the basic assumptions of post-enlightenment rationalism and literary realism.40 However, to Zamora and Faris, as to most of the other critics that we have considered, realism is key to a consideration of magical realism not because the genre departs from realism, but because realism integrates magic into the rationality and materiality of literary realism.41 Robert R. Wilson further explores how realism is central to magical realism using the notion of literary space. Any fictional world invokes an experience of place of volume, distance, co-ordination, interiority and exteriority [. . .] made possible by deictics and descriptive phrases that appear to place characters and things in relation to each other and to a larger context. This space, continues Wilson, can take three forms: 1) a world in which all deictics and descriptions operate as if they were being used in the extra-textual world; 2) a world in which all such indications of space are generated in accordance with self-contained axioms or rules; and 3) a world where the descriptions of space are sometimes those of the extra-textual world, but at other times [. . .] are those of another place which, if it were to exist purely, would be an enclosed axiomatic game of the second kind.42 While the first kind of fictional world corresponds to realism, and the second to fantasy, magical realism belongs to the third category, a fictional space created by the dual inscription of incompatible geometries which allows the coexistence of two distinct fictional worlds, following different rules, in an enfolding of two kinds of cause and effect, two kinds of organism, two kinds of consequence, two kinds of time and space [. . .] even two modes of textuality (MS 7172). To Wilson the hybridness of space eruptions occur normally because the two worlds interact, interpenetrate and interwind, unpredictably but in a natural fashion (MS 71). This effect is attained by avoiding asking certain questions and adopting a neutral narrative voice. What Wilson terms hybridness is thus the resolution of the antinomy between the two worlds, through precisely a matter-of-fact narrative. Crucially, Wilson states that the two worlds of magical realism like parabolic trajectories, always approach each other but never actually merge (MS 73). This is a point that appears to have been overlooked by many critics, but which is, in fact, entirely necessary to the most common definition of magical realism. As Chanady succinctly points out, if the supernatural is not recognized as such, there can be no magical realism (MRF 22). To some extent, we are back to the

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territory staked out by Todorov: according to Wilson, if the supernatural is explained through the laws of nature we are in the realm of realism, and if it is accepted as part of a supernatural world, we are in the realm of fantasy. However, in magical realism, just as in Todorovs fantastic, neither resolution takes place. Rather, as both Chanady and Wilson note, the two levels or realms, the real and the magic, must remain separate. It therefore suddenly becomes clear, that, paradoxically, while the resolution of antinomy is seen essential to magical realism, the continued distinction between the real and the magic must be equally crucial. We are finally faced with the fundamental question of what is perceived as real and as magic in magical realism, and how we differentiate between them. As Zamora and Faris point out, the term implies a clearer opposition between magic and reality than exists within those texts [that are seen as magic realist].43 Most critics who read magical realism in a postcolonial context have simply equated the real with a Western point of view and the magic with a non-Western, ethnic or indigenous point of view. While perhaps adequate for their purposes, this cultural division is ultimately unsatisfactory. Chanady finds the solution to this question in the realism of the genre. Not only is realism the key narrative device for resolving the antinomy between the magic and the real; it is also what defines the magic by establishing the ground of the real against which the magic appears as different. To Chanady, the magical realist author implicitly presents the irrational world view [of the magic] as different from his own by situating the story in present-day reality, using learned expressions and vocabulary, and showing he is familiar with logical reasoning and empirical knowledge (MRF 22). The magic is therefore that which does not conform to the world-view of the realist narrator, whether it be supernatural or simply implausible. Chanady refers to Julio Cortzars story Bestiary, where a tiger is living in a house, side by side with a family. The tigers presence is not supernatural, merely very unusual. Chanady argues that this kind of narrative should be included under the label magical realism: since its [the tigers] presence is so implausible and inexplicable [. . .] the reader sees it as something unreal, even if not supernatural (MRF 55). To Chanady it is not the particular nature of the magic that defines magical realism but the way the structure of the narrative allows two separate codes, one real, familiar or natural and the other unreal, extraordinary or magic, to coexist. Crucial, however, is the fact that it is the realist narrative that sets up difference between the real and the magic: The term magic refers to the fact that the perspective presented by the text in an explicit manner is not accepted according to the implicit world-view of the educated implied author (MRF 22). To Chanady, the realist narration or form of magical realism signals that it is a Western world-view, empirical and positivist, that determines what is real and what is magic. At the same time, this form is applied indiscriminately to all events, whether they are seen as real or magic within this very world-view, which has the effect of apparently resolving the antinomy between them.

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As we have seen, most critics considered above adhere to the idea that magical realism implies a resolution of the antinomy between the magic and the real, allowing the two levels in the text to coexist in a non-hierarchical or equal way. In addition, many readings imply that as Jameson suggests, the real and the magic are representative of pre-capitalist and capitalist, native and colonial, or non-Western and Western cultures or world-views. Such readings also suggest that the resolution of antinomy in the magical realist text implies a subversion of the Western world-view, or a decolonizing movement, expressed as a cultural and generic hybridity. Yet there is surely an implicit contradiction here. If there is to be any kind of hybridity in the magical realist text, the two worldviews, cultures or levels of reality also have to be perceived as distinct and separate, as both Chanady and Wilson suggest. In fact, in order to define magical realism it has to be differentiated in this way from simple realism or fantasy. Furthermore, the particular relationship between the real and the magic has to be defined technically or textually; the mere contextual presence of two world-views is not enough to distinguish magical realism from any type of writing that deals with different cultures. Only the method proposed by Chanady provides an adequate way of describing the unique way a magical realist text works: resolving antinomy through a matter-of-fact realist narrative. However, if this is the manner in which magical realism must be defined, Chanady is also the only critic who provides a convincing account of how the real and the magic are distinguished in the text. A simple contextual approach is unable to do this, or to define magical realism adequately. However, Chanadys method highlights a central problem for postcolonial approaches to the genre. If magical realisms perceived suitability for describing the postcolonial condition depends on the resolution of the antinomy between the real and the magic, then if this resolution depends on a realism that is explicitly connected with a Western world-view, how successful can the genre ever be considered to be? Yet it is striking how pervasive the view of magical realism as a decolonizing genre is, despite the quite obvious problems with this approach. Michael Valdez Moses takes magical realism to be a genre akin to the historical romance, its magic as nostalgia for the pre-modern, precisely because of its essentially Western perspective, but he also notes how writers of magical realism seem to encourage the utopian hopes of those who look to magical realism [. . .] for a radical alternative to the malaise they understand global modernity to be.44 We will return to look at the reasons for this common approach, as well as for its common problems, in the last chapter of this book. As Christopher Warnes points out in his recent Magical Realism and the Postcolonial Novel, there has not been any notable definition of the genre in recent years that diverges substantially from Chanadys model.45 Warnes recommends a formal, lucid and consistent definition and a close attention to the semantics of structure.46 However, he also affirms the formal properties of magical realism we are already familiar with: at key moments in each novel the supernatural is naturalised and integrated into the novels realism without being explained

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away and ends up concluding, rather unsurprisingly, that magical realism in its postcolonial forms can thus be seen as a response to the othering that accompanies Western colonialism, supported as it is in the modern period by the universalist claims of reason.47 Nevertheless, Warnes makes a very important point. To a great extent the problem with postcolonial approaches to magical realism lies in the lack of a proper formal definition of the genre. Slemon, for example, by his own admission takes advantage of the genres lack of theoretical specificity (MRDP 409), and thus, as Warnes points out, reads a selection of texts only loosely connected by a postcolonial theme as examples of magical realism. However, it is not only a failure to offer a formal definition that has been problematic in postcolonial approaches to magical realism, but also the failure to engage with the fact that the only available working model of magical realism may simply not be suitable for postcolonial readings. What postcolonial approaches to magical realism have in common, which is also their weakness, is that they begin with a socio-cultural or geo-political contextual approach to the genre, or rely on contextual definitions of it. Not only does this pose immediate problems for political readings of the genre, but, as we have seen, it also fails to provide a satisfactory definition of magical realism. Rather, as Warnes suggests, a formal approach is necessary in order to provide a definition which can then be applied to any context. What if, then, we were to begin by approaching the magical realist text purely on a formal, textual basis, as partly undertaken by Chanady and Wilson? That is, in an inversion of many critical approaches to magical realism, we would begin by looking at the real and magical elements in the text as separate from any extra-textual context. This would allow us to consider what the real and the magic are in themselves, and how they are related to each other. In fact, in Spindlers terms, we would look at the ontological properties of the real and the magic, rather than their anthropological connections, in order to define magical realism. Once this definition is established, however, we can move on to reconsider magical realism in the context that it most prominently features in, that is, the postcolonial. This inversion of common approaches to magical realism in order to privilege ontology over anthropology, or text over context, taken together with Chanadys suggestion regarding realisms central role in the genre, suggests another inversion of commonly held views of magical realism. Although Chanady herself insists that the resolution of the antinomy between the real and the magic is the key defining characteristic of magical realism, the distinction or separation of the magic and the real is, in fact, primary to her analysis. What if, then, we consider this difference between the magic and the real to be absolutely central to magical realism, indeed, to the ontological character of the magical realist text? In fact, what if magical realism is defined not by the resolution of antinomy between two distinct codes of reality through realism, but by the distinction between these two levels, in the face of a dominant image of reality presented by the matter-of-fact realist narrative? The way that the

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magic in magical realism is continually perceived as different, even though it is narrated in a realist manner, then becomes the central transaction of the genre. Such an approach would clearly have quite distinctive implications for readings of magical realism, in particular postcolonial readings. In order to approach magical realism most fruitfully via these two inversions of common readings of the genre, we need a theoretical framework that provides an adequate ontology: one that allows the nature of the text to be considered separately from extra-textual reality, as well as giving the concept of difference a central place. In order to reappraise the paradox presented to us by Chanadys definition of magical realism, namely the simultaneous difference and non-disjunction between the real and the magic, this framework needs to be able to articulate the conditions of both the real and the magic in the text, without privileging one or the other, at the same time as articulating the difference between the two as primary. In addition, the theoretical model will also need to enable us to consider afresh the relationship of the textual construct we have defined in this way to the cultural, geographical and even political contexts that magical realism has emerged from. An ontological reconsideration of magical realism will allow us to articulate such a relationship in a way which avoids the reductive conclusions that magical realism is, through its dominant realism, inevitably on the side of Western, capitalist or colonizing powers.

Chapter 2

Gilles Deleuze and Magical Realism

Introduction: The Importance of Ontology


If we need an approach to magical realism that takes as its starting point an investigation of the nature of the real and the magic as they appear in the text, rather than beginning with any contextual explanation of these two elements, the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze provides us with the theoretical framework to develop such an approach. Gilles Deleuzes ontology ostensibly revolves precisely around the inversion of the hierarchy of identity and difference, and, in both in his own work and that which he co-authored with Flix Guattari, he offers an ontological model in which the text and the extra-textual world are seen as separate, autonomous entities, but which still allows for the articulation of their relevance to each other. Deleuzes ontology rests on a few simple concepts, at the heart of which lies a paradox: one Being with two distinct yet inextricable sides. To Deleuze, the real consists of the actual and the virtual. The actual is that which exists in time and space: matter and form. The virtual is an abstract and potential multiplicity presupposed by space and time. Deleuze opposes this pluralism of free, wild or untamed difference to specific difference.1 In brief, specific difference, which Deleuze traces back to Aristotle, is the difference between things, dependent on the prior definition and identity of things themselves. To Deleuze, specific difference is only empirical, and the corresponding determinations are only extrinsic. In contrast, immediate, free difference is difference-in-itself a state in which determination takes the form of unilateral distinction (DR 28). The virtual is therefore entirely self-differing: it is a plane of immanence or a field of intensity immediate to itself. Deleuze stresses that the virtual must be defined as strictly a part of the real object (DR 208209). The real consists of the virtual and the actual together. However, this twofold nature of reality is merely the appearance of two aspects of the same thing: Being, says Deleuze, is univocal (DR 36). This does not mean that everything is the same, but that Being is the same for all instances of being: Being is said in a single and same sense of everything of which it is said, but that of which it is said differs: it is said of difference itself (DR 36). In fact, the virtual is properly the force of Being that is actualized in a multiplicity of beings, which are all forms or modes of this

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univocal Being. To Deleuze, difference, rather than identity, is therefore primary to Being. Deleuze emphasizes the role of the virtual in an understanding of reality. A view of reality that only takes the actual side into account, which allows the virtual to be reduced to a simple possible (DR 205), leads to error and illusion. However, to Deleuze, this error does not come about without reason. The virtual consists of pure difference-in-itself, which becomes actualized in matter and forms. However, in this process, says Deleuze, difference-in-itself is negated: Difference is explicated, but in systems in which it tends to be cancelled; this means only that difference is essentially implicated, that its being is implication. For difference, to be explicated is to be cancelled or to dispel the inequality that constitutes it [. . .] it is cancelled insofar as it is drawn outside itself, in extensity and in the quality which fills that extensity. (DR 228) The difference-in-itself of the virtual is pure intensity, or rather, differences in intensity without matter or form, but the actualization of this intensity into matter and form turns difference-in-itself into actual things. Yet, since the virtual and the actual are both part of the real, this is an inevitable transaction: difference creates both this extensity and this quality [. . .]. Difference of intensity is cancelled or tends to be cancelled in this system, but it creates this system by explicating itself (DR 228). This inescapable reduction of the virtual in its process of actualization leads to us to make mistakes in the way we see and describe the world, and the rejection and correction of these mistakes is a central theme in Deleuzes work. Once difference-in-itself is actualized it produces specific difference, and it is here that the long error of what Deleuze calls the image of thought begins: identity (actual) is privileged over difference (virtual) (DR 129). In Difference and Repetition, tracing a line from Plato and Aristotle through Descartes to Kant and beyond, Deleuze finds that this initial confusion underpins and links such erroneous concepts as a transcendent origin or creator, the primacy of the thinking subject (or Cogito), and, importantly for our investigation, what Deleuze calls the illusion of representation (DR 277). In the face of this inevitable error of thought, how is it then possible to grasp the true nature of reality? Deleuze proposes that while there is an actualization of the virtual, there is also a counter-actualization or counter-effectuation of the actual, whereby the actual can, in a sense, communicate with its virtual side. Even when it has been actualized, every object still has a virtual side, an excess of the virtual that is not explicated, but left unaccomplished in actualization.2 Essentially, counter-actualization is a process of recognizing or thinking the virtual side of actuality, but it is also, to Deleuze, a way of reaching the full potential of reality, or, on an individual level, to personal freedom. Counter-actualization

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is where our greatest freedom lies the freedom by which we develop and lead the [virtual] to its completion and transmutation, and finally become masters of actualizations and causes (LS 243). To Deleuze, counter-actualization, the thinking of the virtual together with the actual and according difference its proper weight, is therefore the only ethics and the aim of every individual and of creation as such.

Deleuze and the Univocity of Being


Deleuzes ontology thus provides us with the inversion of the hierarchy of identity and difference necessary to a radical reconsideration of magical realism. However, it also indicates the fundamental significance to Deleuze of the ontological proposition of the univocity of Being. This significance is also crucial to our theoretical model, as it is not only at the heart of Deleuzes approach to reality, textual and extra-textual, but is also key to negotiating the paradoxical relationship of the real and magic as different yet non-disjunctive, and even indiscernible, in magical realism. The importance of this concept to the ethics of Deleuzes philosophical project has major implications for a redefinition of magical realism. However, this is an aspect of Deleuzian ontology which has often been neglected by a prevalent view of his philosophy as a celebration of the plurality of creation, freedom of desires and the liberation of differences. In fact, a reading based on the univocity of Being is often at odds with these familiar positions. Two readers of Deleuze stand out as having afforded Deleuzes univocal ontology the centrality it requires, in contrast to readings of Deleuze as a philosopher of the plural. In his Deleuze: The Clamor of Being, Alain Badiou asserts that contrary to the commonly accepted image (Deleuze as liberating the anarchic multiple of desires and errant drifts) [. . .] it is the occurrence of the One renamed by Deleuze the One-All that forms the supreme destination of thought and to which thought is accordingly consecrated [. . .] Deleuzes fundamental problem is most certainly not to liberate the multiple but to submit thinking to a renewed concept of the One.3 If we consider some of Deleuzes earlier monographs, in which he elaborated his ontological position, Badious point is obvious: to Deleuze the multiple is always a merely formal determination, while in essence Being is One (DC 25). Deleuze finds an affirmation of this ontological unity of multiplicity in, for example, Bergsons idea of time,4 in Nietzsches eternal return,5 and in Spinozas concept of substance.6 Such a reading of Deleuze as a philosopher of the One has profound implications, as Peter Hallward has argued. Hallward explicitly rejects socio-political

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readings of Deleuze, for he sees Deleuze as a philosopher of the singular. To Hallward, a singular philosophy seeks to understand the individuation of all possible beings and experiences as part of one and the same productive process [. . .] [a] single productive energy that saturates, in essentially the same way, every dimension of existence and experience.7 The Deleuzian concept of Being is therefore an example of a singular philosophy: a self-differing creative force, immanent to itself. This creative force is expressed in formally multiple beings entirely unrelated to each other, defined only by their reference to a Being that is One. To Hallward this is a necessary consequence of the ontological privilege Deleuze affords difference-in-itself, which creates rather than relates what it differs.8 Hallward contrasts a singular with a specific thought: a philosophical system in which individuals are defined by their relationships with each other, their environment and themselves. The specific is essentially subjective, a philosophy of the irreducibly social subject, the subject-with-others.9 Hallward concludes that while many critics see Deleuze as an advocate of specific diversity and plurality, of radical democracy and minor identities, in fact, invariably, multiplicity with Deleuze is the predicate of a radical, self-differing singularity. In Deleuzes singular philosophy the multiple, always, is impersonal and ahistorical, and has nothing to do with the aggregation let alone the negotiation or mediation of personal affections or interests.10 In contrast, many readings of Deleuze and Guattari, which echo Constantin Boundass often quoted position that the ritornello of their minor deconstruction coordinates the manifesto of their radical pluralism,11 prioritize Deleuzes works with Guattari, which specifically deal with society, politics, economics and psychology. Michael Hardt defines the fundamental elements of Deleuzes project as an attack on the negative as a political task and a suggestive glimpse of a radically democratic theory.12 Brian Massumi reads Deleuze as envisioning a society almost impossibly plural: Since anarchy-schizophrenia welcomes chance, a society tending in its direction possesses a nearly infinite degrees [sic] of freedom.13 Certainly, one cannot deny that this part of Deleuzes oeuvre concerns itself more with modes of worldly organization than ontology, and in this concern it certainly offers valid and useful models of the world around us.14 However, what Deleuze continually does in his works with Guattari is to account for the ontological basis of every worldly organization, that is, the role of the interaction of the virtual and the actual in shaping our reality. As Badiou suggests, all of Deleuzes work is an exploration of how all existence expresses the One-All or Being. The sheer number of contexts in which Deleuze does this, however, suggests Badiou, is a reason why critics tend to see him as a proponent of pluralism (DC 29).

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Deleuze insists that what he and Guattari are practising is pure philosophy, something which they explain as attempting to save the infinite by giving it consistency: it [philosophy] lays out a plane of immanence (WIP 197). A philosophical plane of immanence, also called the plane of consistency, is nothing but thought cutting through the virtual, capturing a slice of it. In their joint projects Deleuze and Guattari proceed to demonstrate how all structures in the actual, so called assemblages, are conditioned by the virtual, by thinking various planes of the virtual which relate to these structures. Confusingly, they assign different terms to these planes in different contexts such as the abstract machine, the body without organs or the line of flight. Importantly, however, whatever it is called, this virtual plane is never separate, neither prior nor anterior to any of the actual structures social, economical, psychological or linguistic that Deleuze and Guattari consider. It is important to note three aspects of Deleuze and Guattaris endeavour. First, Deleuze and Guattari never abandon the basic principle of the unity of the actual and the virtual and the univocity of Being. Second, they valorize those assemblages which make the virtual more apparent or more active within the actual; and third, the ultimate aim of their project is an articulation of the virtual movement which is presupposed by all of the actual structures they investigate. Throughout their writing this aim is made clear: what they designate variably as the molecular, micropolitical, rhizomatic, nomadic and so on, is constantly articulated as more positive, because closer to its virtual part, than the molar, macropolitical, arborescent or sedentary. Most valued is the abstract machine, the body without organs, or the line of flight, which all designate the virtual plane in itself. While the actual and the virtual are always seen as one, there is a continual imperative not only to move from those actual constellations in which the virtual is less active or apparent to those in which it is more so, but ultimately also to effect a counter-actualization that implies a thinking of the virtual side of Being in itself. Hallward points out Deleuzes distinction between two general kinds of actuality, two orientations of the creature; that is, the difference between the forms of actuality that are oriented to life in the world, e.g. through personal fulfilment, social interaction, political integration, responsible communication, ethical concern etc. and the forms which set out to become adequate to the virtual events which sustain or inspire them and are thus oriented towards a being out of this world.15

Deleuze and Redemption


Hallward suggests such a tendency towards the virtual is a redemptive movement in Deleuzian thought. While the personal, the political, the specific that which seems to be at the centre of most interpretations of Deleuzian thought all reside within the realm of the worldly or actual, redemption lies exactly in

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the virtual that which is impersonal, apolitical and aspecific, and in Hallwards terms out of this world. Badiou similarly states that the aim of Deleuzian thought is to go beyond worldly life: for individuals to attain the point where they are seized by their preindividual determination and, thus, by the power of the One-All of which they are, at the start, only meagre local configurations they have to go beyond their limits and endure transfixion and disintegration of their actuality by infinite virtuality (DC 1213). There is certainly a politics of Deleuzian thought, insofar it privileges certain ways of being in the world, but this is always superseded by an imperative to understand that which this world presupposes. Readers of Deleuze who favour the plural and political, seem to consistently neglect the full implications of Deleuze and Guattaris lines of flight. There is, as Deleuze and Guattari make clear, on one hand, a relative deterritorialization in the actual, and on the other, an absolute deterritorialization from the actual to the virtual. When they speak of the political or revolutionary, it is in the sense of going beyond the actual social, political and revolutionary as such, towards a purely creative force presupposed by social or political formations and structures. As Badiou insists: The question posed by Deleuze is the question of Being. From beginning to end, and under the constraint of innumerable and fortuitous cases, his work is concerned with thinking thought (its act, its movement) on the basis of an ontological precomprehension of Being as One. It is impossible to overemphasize this point, consistently occulted by critical or phenomenological interpretations of his work. (DC 20) For example, the often invoked Deleuzian concept of becoming can be seen as this kind of redemptive movement from the actual to the virtual. While Deleuze and Guattari describe becoming in many different ways (TP 232309), it can be summarised as the process of individual deterritorialization, or the counteractualization of an individual (although the individual is not necessarily a person) precisely towards a pre-individual state. It is, however, not always one single motion. Deleuze and Guattari trace a progression of becomings: Exclusive importance should not be attached to becomings-animal. Rather they are segments occupying a median region. On the near side, we encounter becomings-woman, becomings-child [. . .] On the far side, we find becomings-elementary, -cellular, -molecular, and even becomings-imperceptible [. . .]. Everything becomes imperceptible, everything is becoming-imperceptible on the plane of consistency, which is nevertheless precisely where the imperceptible is seen and heard [. . .]. The imperceptible is the immanent end of becoming, its cosmic formula. (TP 248, 252, 279) Certainly the centrality of the idea of Being as One for Deleuze implies an imperative to a redemptive movement in his philosophy, as suggested by

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Hallward: the need to overcome the illusions of the actual and reach the full potential of Being through thinking the virtual. Deleuze gives possible models for this redemption in his concepts of counter-actualization, becoming-imperceptible, or absolute deterritorialization. What Hallward crucially points out is the radical even though paradoxical difference of the virtual from the actual in Deleuzes philosophy, and the implicit valorization of the movement towards this virtual in his works, including those authored with Guattari. However, Deleuze makes it clear that counter-actualization always begins in the actual, that it presents the possibility of thinking the virtual in this world, rather than, as Hallward claims, out of it. To Hallward redemption is only possible by an abrogation of the actual or worldly. Hallward posits the actual as the Given [. . .] as opposed to the Real [. . .],16 and concludes that Deleuzes philosophy articulates the unqualified dependence of the actual upon the virtual, the pure redundance of the actual .17 In fact, to Deleuze, the very possibility of counteractualization, which is not simply a virtualisation, is, as it were, the redemption of the actual as such the redemption of the actual from redundancy. Deleuze not only insists that the virtual is real, but also emphasizes that the actual is a necessary part of Being: the characteristic of virtuality is to exist in such a way that it is actualized by being differentiated and is forced to differentiate itself, to create its lines of differentiation in order to be actualised (B 97). The virtual is not primordial, and the actual derivative; rather they form an inextricable circuit, which the movement of Being perpetually traces: there is coalescence and division, or rather oscillation, a perpetual exchange between the actual object and its virtual image: the virtual image never stops becoming actual. The virtual image absorbs all of a characters actuality, at the same time as the actual character is no more than a virtuality [. . .]. The actual and the virtual coexist, and enter into a tight circuit which we are continually retracing from one to the other. (DII 114) That is, Deleuzes philosophical method continually involves the actual as much as the virtual. In fact, we have no choice but to begin any inquiry into the nature of Being from the actual. Badiou points out that the starting point required by Deleuzes method is always a concrete case (DC 14). And therefore he finds in Deleuze not an abrogation of the world but a sort of unwavering love for the world as it is (DC 44). If Being is One, and the virtual is always part of the actual, redemption or counter-actualization is a matter of recognizing and understanding the virtual in the actual. The actual without the virtual gives rise to illusion, because it does not attain the ground of its own truth as Badiou puts it (DC 47). In the face of this illusion, Hallward concludes that if equal, univocal being is immediately present in everything, without mediation or intermediary, then our task is to eliminate everything that mediates or re-presents this being.18 In fact, the idea of redemption hinges on a non-hierarchical distribution of univocal

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Being: univocal Being is, in itself, redemption. Because Being is immediately present in everything, there is no need to eliminate anything: the imperative is rather to see and understand, that is, to think, this immediate presence. That is, starting from a position in the actual, to reveal and rediscover, and thus redeem, the actual from the perspective of the virtual. Thinking the virtual is what philosophy offers us one way of doing, by casting a plane of consistency over chaos; it is what Deleuze and Guattari do in their work, studying how the actual and virtual interact. Thought, however, is not only philosophy. Deleuze and Guattari describe philosophy, science and art as three paths of thought that all confront the chaos of the virtual in various ways: The three routes are specific, each as direct as the others, and they are distinguished by the nature of the plane and by what occupies it. Thinking is thought through concepts, or functions, or sensations and no one of these thoughts is better than another, or more fully, completely, or synthetically thought (WIP 198). Philosophy creates a plane of immanence or consistency to conceptualize a slice of infinity, and science, in contrast, creates a plane of coordinates, and thus references and limits the infinite in order to better understand the actual. However, art involves sensation in a higher deterritorialization, making it pass through a sort of deframing which opens it up and breaks it open onto an infinite cosmos [. . .]. Perhaps the peculiarity of art is to pass through the finite in order to rediscover, to restore the infinite [. . .]. Art wants to create the finite that restores the infinite: it lays out a plane of composition. (WIP 197) The centrality of the idea of the univocity of Being to Deleuze thus has profound implication with regard to the Deleuzian theory of literature, as art. Since it is informed by Deleuzes univocal ontology, Deleuze and Guattaris political project is ultimately about going beyond the limits of the actual, and their approach to art follows a similar trajectory. Deleuzes collaborations with Guattari, perhaps in particular Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, have also inspired political readings of Deleuzes approach to literature. However, the literary revolution that Deleuze and Guattari speak of is one, like their politics, which extends beyond the situation of the here and now. What they call a political literature in Kafka, a so-called minor literature, is driven by deterritorialization or becoming. The virtual part, or abstract machine, of the literary text dismantles representation and produces a criticism of concrete, socio-political assemblages which is more effective than any direct political message: this method of active dismantling doesnt make use of criticism that is still part of representation. Rather, it consists in prolonging, in accelerating, a whole movement that already is traversing the social field. It operates in a virtuality that is already real without yet being actual [. . .] [it] transforms

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what is only a method (procd) in the social field into a procedure as an infinite virtual movement.19 Thus literature exceeds the limited field of politics in the actual: In reality writing does not have its end in itself, precisely because life is not something personal. Or rather, the aim of writing is to carry life to the state of a nonpersonal power. In doing this it renounces claim to any territory, any end which would reside in itself [. . .]. The line of flight is creative of these becomings. Lines of flight have no territory. Writing carries out the conjunction, the transmutation of fluxes, through which life escapes from resentment of persons, societies and reigns. (DII 3738) What distinguishes art from philosophy and science is the unique way it brings together the actual and virtual in thought. Art does not actualize the virtual event but incorporates or embodies it: it gives it a body, a life, a universe (WIP 177). We saw that the movement of Being was essentially double: while philosophy follows one side of the movement of being, from the actual or the given states of affairs to the virtual, science follows the other side of the circuit, from the virtual to the actual, or from chaotic virtuality to the states of affairs and bodies that actualize it (WIP 155156). Art, however, embodies the whole circuit in such a way that the virtual and actual become indiscernible. Deleuze describes this function of art in his work on cinema: this point of indiscernibility is precisely constituted by the smallest circle, that is, the coalescence of the actual image and the virtual image, the image with two sides, actual and virtual at the same time [. . .] it does not suppress the distinction between the two sides, but makes it unattributable, each side taking the others role in a relation which we must describe as reciprocal presupposition, or reversibility.20 The way art creates zones of indiscernibility between actual and virtual is key to an understanding of the role of art in Deleuzian ethics. Deleuze often articulates this indiscernibility or becoming-imperceptible as an embrace of or immersion in the world, a surpassing of the human in an inclusive sense. [To become is] to find ones zone of indiscernibility with other traits, and in this way enter the haecceity and impersonality of the creator. One is then like grass: one has made the world, everybody/everything, into a becoming, because one has made a necessarily communicating world, because one has suppressed in oneself everything that prevents us from slipping between things and growing in the midst of things. One has combined everything (le tout). (TP 280)

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What art does is to allow us to think the univocity of Being through an immersion in the world precisely without necessarily renouncing the actual as Hallward would suggest. Thus art, for Deleuze, is one of the most accessible models of counter-actualization or redemption as it provides us with a way of thinking the virtual as Being: What is an essence as revealed in the work of art? It is a difference, the absolute and ultimate Difference. Difference is what constitutes being, what makes us conceive being.21 Thus, not only is Deleuzes ontology central to his theory of art, but art is also key to his ontological inquiry.

Series and Systems


Literature, then, is one of the forms of art that, to Deleuze, allows us to think the virtual through counter-actualization. Deleuze describes counter-actualization as the affirmation of a disjunctive synthesis (LS 240). Badiou argues that, since, in Deleuzes philosophy, all beings are essentially unrelated, and only refer back to Being one has to think the non-relation according to the One, which founds it by radically separating the terms involved. One has to steadfastly rest within the activity of separation, understood as a power of Being (DC 22). The only relation between, or synthesis of, beings is just this nonrelation or disjunction itself. Insofar as Being is difference-in-itself displaced within being (DR 304), it is this power of disjunction which is the very power of Being that makes beings exist. Therefore an understanding of disjunctive synthesis is also a way of thinking the virtual difference-in-itself that is Being. Deleuze explains disjunctive synthesis further in terms of his concept of series. To Deleuze, the structure of reality can be seen as a system of series. The virtual consists of series of differential elements, or what Deleuze calls singularities, while the actual is made up of series of terms consisting of matter and form. However, the notion of series is also central to Deleuzes reading of literature. As Hallward puts it, the univocity of Being has a methodological implication: If all that exists exists in the same way, then there can be only one mechanism of understanding or perception.22 Art is not a copy of reality or a secondary being, but shares the same ontological structure as reality itself. In fact, series allow us not only to understand the process of counter-actualization, but also give us the tools of analyzing how the virtual can be properly, structurally, embodied in literature. Series, to Deleuze, are created through three kinds of syntheses, each arranging elements in a different way. The simplest synthesis is connective, where a succession of similar elements is contracted into a homogeneous series through resemblance. For example, a series of fruits such as orange lemon satsuma, is connected by the resemblances between elements: their appearance, their taste, their provenance and so on. Then there is conjunctive synthesis that connects more or less different elements through coexistence and coordination, making heterogeneous series. For example, the series of my lunch consisting

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of a sandwich an orange reading a newspaper is both coexistent in time and coordinated as the concept my lunch. Conjunctive synthesis also works to connect series both homogeneous and heterogeneous into systems by making them converge through a common element. Here, the series of fruits converges with the series of lunch through the common element of orange. Finally, there is the synthesis of disjunction, which also connects elements into series and series to each other, but only through difference. Any example of such a series is immediately revealed to be entirely inclusive: anthill water bungy-jumping. Each series is defined by the differences between the terms that make it up. The communication between series is, in turn, the relation of the differences between the elements of one series and the differences between elements of another. You can add any other disjunctive series to the one above. What ensures the communication between the series is never resemblance or identity but the very disparity between them. This disparity Deleuze calls a dark precursor, paradoxical object or the object = x; that is, difference-in-itself working as a differentiator in a system of series (DR 117). Recall Badious explanation of disjunctive synthesis. The object = x is virtual difference-in-itself, the force of univocal Being, and as such it relates all things to each other only through their relation to itself: it makes them resonate as part of the One Being, rather than because of their respective identities. Indeed, Deleuze posits that ultimately the virtual as such is the object = x for all series, making all series communicate through itself. In this sense, disjunctive synthesis is also central to Deleuzes ontology, as the very mechanism of univocal Being as difference. While connective and conjunctive syntheses build a system of convergent series, disjunctive synthesis, through difference, creates a system where divergent series communicate. However, if an object = x is introduced into a convergent system it makes the series of that system diverge and ramify. Indeed, disjunctive synthesis is what Deleuze calls the the truth and destination of the other two syntheses. Connective and conjunctive series are dependent on the identity of their elements, either through simple resemblance or through the difference between them which is subject to a coordinating identity of some sort. Disjunctive synthesis, in contrast, is not only free from this dependence on identity, but works in such a way to make the difference-in-itself inherent in connective and conjunctive series become suddenly apparent and visible. The appearance of an object = x in a system of homogeneous or heterogeneous series instantly performs a disjunctive synthesis, making series become resonant with other, divergent, series because they now connect through difference (LS 262263). Add an anthill to the series of my lunch and it is immediately transformed to an entirely different proposition. As we know, difference-in-itself is virtual, and while it is wholly a part of reality it is often obscured by the actual. We also know that the nature of the actual is such as to make difference subject to identity. Thus connective and conjunctive syntheses, based on difference-between-things, operate entirely in the actual: series are connected and converge through resemblance or identity, in time and space. In contrast, disjunctive synthesis, founded on difference-in-itself,

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works in, or by, the virtual. From the perspective of the actual, divergent series are perceived as incompatible, unconnected, and do not form part of a system. However, the virtual object = x, since it connects series only through difference, allows for divergent series to coexist and connect, and this very coexistence makes the virtual thinkable in the actual, by making series resonate, diverge and ramify. This may seem rather intuitive, but Deleuze does allow that disjunctive synthesis has a practical effect, perceptible in the realm of the actual. Every system of disjunctive synthesis has a virtual object = x ensuring communication between series, and while this is always imperceptible within an actual system, the path it traces in the system is visible in reverse as the function it performs within the system: the connection of the series. As such it can be thought in terms of an actual identity, and the relation it gives to the series in the system can be seen as resemblance, although these are merely statistical effects of its initial, invisible function. This resemblance, and the identity that it creates, is always external to the system, because only pure difference is at its core (DR 119). However, these statistical effects are precisely the resonance of the virtual in the actual, which allow us to think disjunctive synthesis in the serial system that is literature. The way that Deleuze works with series in literature is connected to his theory of language and sense. Language consists of a series of propositions (or words) and a series of things, or, a series of signifiers and a series of signifieds. However, to Deleuze, the sense produced by language is not simply the direct reference of one of the series to the other. It is rather a resonance between series, effected precisely through disjunctive synthesis. The two series of language do not actually correspond to each other, and therefore allow the continual displacement of terms of one series in relation to the terms of the other series. Deleuze asserts that there is always an excess in the series of propositions, there are always more words than things, since the elements of the series of words are part of a totality, language, and do not exist independent of their differential relations within this language, whereas things come into being progressively (LS 58). This excess in one series, seen as lack in the other, works as the object = x of language, by means of which the series communicate, without losing their difference. Deleuze likens this object = x to Lvi-Strausss symbolic value zero, a value itself void of sense and thus susceptible of taking any sense, whose unique function would be to fill the gap between signifier and signified (LS 59). To Deleuze, the object = x has the function of articulating the two series to one another, of reflecting them in one another, of making them communicate [. . .] of assuring the bestowal of sense in both signifying and signified series. For sense is not to be confused with signification; it is rather what is attributed in such a way that it determines both the signifier and the signified as such (LS 61). Nevertheless, the statistical effect of the virtual object = x appears as reference or resemblance. Because of the inevitable illusion that the actual gives rise to, if we consider language purely from an actual perspective, it seems

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straightforwardly referential. However, if we consider the function of the virtual object = x, we grasp that this referentiality is essentially an illusion, and that meaning is necessarily dependent on the system in which it is created. As we saw, an object = x can take on an identity as a result of its function in a system. The object = x in language can therefore be recognized as a word which, because it is simultaneously an excess in one series and a lack in the other, is equally present in both; in it the signifier and signified coincide, because the word appears to create its own signified in its very lack of extra-linguistic referent. The word which is recognizable as an object = x is a word which loses its simply referential sense, or which has no sense to begin with. The object = x as a word is what Deleuze calls an esoteric or nonsensical word, a word that, precisely because is divorced, in and by a text, from any direct signification can take on any sense (LS 79). What, then, are the effects of such words in literature? How is the resonance and divergence of series apparent in a text? Deleuze applies his theory of series to literature on many occasions, most extensively in his books on Proust and Kafka. Deleuze gives perhaps the clearest example of the resonance between series created by disjunctive synthesis with reference to Prousts la recherche du temps perdu. Two series of events and situations, Combray of the past and Combray of the present, are initially the result of connective and conjunctive syntheses: elements connected serially by coexistence in time and space, and series joined by resemblances between events. However, it is only through the appearance of an object = x that their differences and variety becomes visible and resonant. The madeleine is the object = x, something which can no longer be defined by an identity: it envelops Combray as it is in itself (DR 122). The madeleine as an object = x, because of its function in the text, loses the identity of a madeleine as such; it no longer signifies the madeleines in the present and past Combrays. This makes the two Combrays resonate across space and time, and causes an epiphany to take place between the two series (DR 121). Although the object = x is always virtual in its function the connection between series through difference it is visible as an actual thing, here the madeleine, as a result of this function, since the resonance of convergent series that it causes is perceptible as a new meaning. New, because ultimately the Combray elicited by the madeleine is neither the Combray of the past or the present, but an entirely new creation. However, disjunctive synthesis also allows divergent series to communicate and coexist. Deleuze describes how Lewis Carroll uses portmanteau words such as frumious23 to act as objects = x and connect two divergent series. Deleuze notes that the necessary disjunction is not between fuming and furious, for one may indeed be both at once; rather, it is between fuming-and-furious on one hand and furious-and-fuming on the other. In this sense, the function of the portmanteau word always consists in ramification of the series into which it is inserted (LS 55). Here, disjunctive synthesis contracts two divergent series, fuming-and-furious and furious-and-fuming, in the successive appearance of

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a single one (LS 199). Therefore its effect is a third outcome which unites two divergent meanings, allowing them to coexist. The Deleuzian notion of series thus explains how counter-actualization is a synthesis which affirms the disjunct as such and makes each series resonate inside the other (LS 204). It shows us how counter-actualization means that the virtual has an effect in the actual, and that it is therefore possible to think the virtual in the actual. In addition, it gives us a practical set of tools to apply to literature. We saw in Deleuzes examples that disjunctive synthesis has a double effect in a text: it makes convergent series resonate with new meaning, and it allows divergent series, and therefore divergent meanings, to coexist at the same time.

Series and Magical Realism


In view of this Deleuzian theory of series, we can now return to magical realism. As we have seen, a realist narration is central to magical realism. This narration was seen by many critics to make the magic of the genre appear real, while Chanady pointed out that it also, importantly, determined what was seen as real or not. We can now consider how a realist narration could be described in Deleuzian terms. Note that we are here concerned with specifically the realist element of magical realism and what has been seen as its key functions and characteristics. What is here referred to as realism is thus not to be seen as entirely synonymous with the general term realism, a term which has its own range of definitions.24 However, the realism of magical realism shares some key components with realism at large, components which make it identifiable precisely as realism: a neutral, objective tone, a focus on empirical detail, in particular the detail of everyday life, a historical time and geographical setting.25 We saw that the realist narration in magical realism was most often characterized by critics as matter-of-fact and that the main function of this tone was to make the magical events of the text appear as ordinary, natural or real. This brings to mind the reality effect that Roland Barthes famously ascribed to realism. He noted that realist narratives include passages of detailed description that seem without function within the structure of the text: they are not justified by any role in the plot, action, or development of characters or themes. They seem rather to take their cue from historical discourse, where concrete detail has the function of authentication.26 Philippe Hamons essay in Lilian Fursts thorough overview Realism, provides a longer list of textual characteristics which contribute to this authentication process, in order to satisfy the demand of the empirically minded reader: I believe only what I see.27 Hamon shows that the realist text is heavily structured according to this demand for authentication. The need for concrete detail shapes a text that appears as a mosaic of frequent descriptive passages, and that privileges a content which is

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suited to such description: places, events and characters that are systematized or categorized. Hamon lists, for example, domestic interiors, ritualized events such as meals or feasts, ordered parts of society such as villages or towns. In addition, he suggests that the theme of family history within a socio-political context is favoured by the realist genre because it provides validation on both the level of character and of setting. This appears to be a description fitting the realism in magical realism identified by Amaryll Chanady, a realism produced by a narrator who is situating the story in present-day reality, using learned expressions and vocabulary, and showing he is familiar with logical reasoning and empirical knowledge (MRF 22). Crucially, in Deleuzian terms this highly systematized detail of the realist narrative can be seen as structured by connective and conjunctive syntheses. Series of items are coordinated by location, series of locations by social organization, series of characters are connected by family ties, and their actions are connected not only temporally, but also conceptually through socio-economic or psychological circumstances. Thus a heterogeneous series of events emerges through a conjunctive synthesis subject to coexistence in historical time and space, and forms a coherent plot. In fact, the main structure of the realist text appears as two super-series, that of the narration and that of the events. These series are composed of sub-series, such as scenes, characters, settings and the narrative elements that relate to them, which are all convergent. In addition, the events of a realist text all conform to the laws of nature. Indeed, to Deleuze, such universal laws are part of a system of convergent series. Deleuze states that the laws of nature are merely an empirical principle governing a domain of the actual, which is a qualified and extended partial system, governed in such a manner that the difference of intensity which creates it tends to be cancelled (DR 241). The laws of nature are therefore part of a system that is not self-differing and not disjunctive. Furthermore, the two super-series seem to be convergent with each other, in the same way that the two series of language appear to refer to each other. As we saw, this illusion of representation is false but inevitable if we only consider the actual part of language or narration. That is, without the divergence or difference of the virtual, the series of narrative and events will appear to resemble one another. This effect of the language system that Deleuze calls the illusion of representation is in essence the same effect that Barthes names the referential illusion in realism, and it is an effect inherent to a convergent system. However, while this convergent system of the realist narration is central to magical realism, effectively providing the authenticating matter-of-fact tone that makes both the magic and the real appear real, magical realism also includes a necessarily incongruent element: the magic. Chanady convincingly argues that the magic appears as different because it does not fit into the world-view indicated by the learned and rational narrator, who can be identified through a detailed and thus authenticating realist narrative. We can now

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reformulate this idea using Deleuzes thought: the magic appears as different because it is a divergent element in the otherwise convergent series of realism. It does not fit into a system of reality that follows empirical laws: it is divergent from the domain of the laws of nature. This is why realism is key to magical realism. It sets up the system of convergence against which the magic is different or divergent, but crucially, it is this divergence that makes things happen in a unique way in the magical realist text, a divergence that is virtual difference-in-itself. In the particular system that is magical realism, the virtual becomes visible, or thinkable, as the magic event, just like in Prousts Combray passage it took on the identity of the madeleine. However, the narration, continuing to be realist, also appears to authenticate the magic: magical events are described in the same way as the real events, using the same authenticating detail. This creates a discrepancy between the way the magic is perceived as divergent from the laws of nature, and the way magic is described as if fitting within these laws. Because of this discrepancy the illusion of representation is exposed. When both the series of narration and events were convergent, there appeared to be a relationship of representation between them. Now that the series of events includes a divergent element that is not mirrored as a divergent element in the narration, this representation is put into question. That is, if the narration would indicate that this element was in some way strange or deviant, as it does in stories of the fantastic or uncanny, this discrepancy would not be apparent. We have to stress that what is seen as real and magic is set up by the text. Thus it does not actually matter if author, reader or even fictional characters (as opposed to the focalizer or narrator) believe or perceive the magic to be true or as actually taking place. It remains divergent from the world-view, or system, established on the realist level of the text. By means of this very textual discrepancy, it becomes obvious that, as Barthes would say, the supposed referent is slipping away: the narration is authenticating something which cannot be authenticated, that does not belong within the framework of thought that authentication per se indicates. Thus the magic exposes the non-correspondence of the narration and events. At the same time, it also exposes an excess in the signifying series: the authenticating devices of realism appear extraneous when used to describe magic, because authentication is part of a partial system that does not include magic, in which magic is a lack. In this way, magic appears as an object = x in the text. It is, in effect, an esoteric unit in the text: non-referential and nonsensical. It becomes clear that the magic can take on any meaning, or rather, that it creates its own sense within the system of the text. Thus magic superimposes a disjunctive synthesis on the connective and conjunctive syntheses of realism. The convergent series of realism are then able to take on new resonance, diverge and ramify. Magic therefore not only creates its own sense, but as a virtual object = x, creates the sense of the text, making its series communicate with each other. Practically, this resonance and divergence, this communication with the virtual, translates

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as new and multiple meaning. As we saw in the examples from Proust and Carroll, meaning created by the relationship or resonance between the series in the text itself, rather than the apparently representational meaning of realism. The magic realist text thus seems to be counter-actualized, yet it also retains a realist narrative. This means that it retains the structure that underpins the referential illusion. It continues to authenticate its events, and thus continues to produce the illusion of representation, even in the face of the disjunctive synthesis that makes it resonate. In fact, there are two very different movements in magical realism: that of disjunctive synthesis and virtual resonance, and that of realism and representation. Why, then, does the counter-actualization of the magical realist text not obliterate the illusion of representation completely? To explore this we can compare magical realism to minor literature. To Deleuze and Guattari, one of the main characteristics of a minor literature is the deterritorialization of language (KM 18). A language is territorialized when it is ordered and codified, conceptually, socially or politically. Such a major language is appropriated by minor literature, in which language stops being representative in order to now move toward its extremities or limits (KM 23). Language, when it directly reverberates with a virtual intensity, no longer has any referential meaning, but is only a sequence of intensive states, a pure and intense sonorous material opposed to all symbolic or even significant or simply signifying usages of it (KM 21, 6, 19). This is an experimental language put to strange and minor uses, which prevents straightforward representational interpretation (KM 17). Magical realism never reaches this stage of directly intense language, because of the dominance of its realism. Realism is exactly a territorialized language, because it reflects a particular order of thought. While the magic in magical realism may make the text resonate in new ways, it never deterritorializes language completely in the way minor literature does. However, Deleuze and Guattari also consider literature which doesnt succeed in bringing itself into full effect that is, in rejoining the field of immanence (KM 87). To Deleuze and Guattari, although it starts out on the right path, Kafkas The Metamorphosis is blocked. The becoming-animal of Gregor Samsa is a deterritorialization of the human and his place in society and the family, which is a step towards counter-actualization. However, Gregor is reterritorialized by his family, forced back into a social order unable to accommodate him, and therefore goes to his death without following a line of escape. To Deleuze and Guattari, the story ends up being too much of a metaphor that is, a representational rather than a minor type of text because it is not rich enough in articulations and junctions (KM 38). If we compare this consideration of minor literature to the concept of serial structures, it seems that the counter-actualization of a text is a complete deterritorialization of language, through a disjunctive synthesis that causes a ramification or proliferation of series, to the extent that language takes flight. Texts of minor literature are worth nothing except in themselves and [. . .]

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operate in an unlimited field of immanence (KM 86). The proliferation of series, or multiplication of meanings, is such that no meaning remains, apart from this field of immanence; that is, the pure thought of the virtual. These texts are then entirely singular, as Hallward would say, and an exemplary definition of the champ littraire [. . .] which transforms the related, actual world into an immanent composition whose value is precisely that it has no worldly value.28 However, it also becomes clear that disjunctive synthesis can be stalled by a reterritorialization of the text. Magical realism is said to be characterized by, on the one hand, the differentiation of the magic and the real by a realist narration, and, on the other, by a resolution of the resulting contradiction between these two codes through that self-same realist narration. Thus, in contrast to an entirely deterritorialized text, it would seem to be closer to writing which is a blocked minor literature, such as The Metamorphosis. Indeed, recall that analogies have been drawn between Kafkas story and magical realism. On the other hand, a disjunctive synthesis is without doubt present in magical realism; the magic element certainly does have an effect. Deleuze and Guattari say of The Metamorphosis and other of Kafkas animal stories, in which they trace a similar partial line of flight, that they show a way out that [. . .] [they] are themselves incapable of following, but already, that which enabled them to show the way out was something different that acted inside them (KM 37). Furthermore, the reterritorialization of magic is only implied by the supposed resolution of the antinomy in the magical realist text. Perhaps, as suggested earlier, the differentiation of the magic and the real has to be seen as the primary characteristic of magical realism. If this is so, then the reterritorialization of the magic is not necessarily inevitable. In the next chapter we will explore this proposition further, considering the extent to which any resolution or equivalent coexistence of the real and the magic can actually be seen as present in some key magical realist texts. However, before we do, we will introduce some of the possible implications of a Deleuzian rethinking of magical realism for the prevalent contextual readings of the genre, by considering the link that Peter Hallward makes between postcolonial theory and Deleuzes philosophy.

Hallward and the Postcolonial Problem


We have thus far seen magical realism as anchored inexorably in realism, in the illusion of representation, but as also displaying a movement towards counteractualization, which thinks the virtual realm presupposed by the actual. How does this influence our readings of magical realism? As we considered earlier, magical realism presents particular problems to postcolonial critics. While most

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see the magic as a subversive element, there is still an uneasiness regarding the merits of magical realism in a postcolonial context. This stems from the very fact that the magic functions as a virtual object, or, in Peter Hallwards terms, from the fact that magical realism tends towards the singular, rather than the specific. In Absolutely Postcolonial and elsewhere, Hallward rethinks postcolonial theory and texts from the perspective of the singular and the specific.29 It is important to note that Hallward posits both the singular and the specific against the specified. The specified should not be confused with the specific, although it also is a mode of individuation dependent on relationality. The specific is actively subjective: that is, a choice of relation by the subject itself. It is not inherently oriented towards a certain political or ethical position. The specified, in contrast, is passive and objectified: a relation imposed from outside. It is a way of thinking of individuals [. . .] as individuated by certain intrinsic, invariant and thus characteristic properties, innate or acquired, racial or sexual, national or cultural, physical or spiritual.30 The postcolonial movement, for obvious reasons, seeks to overcome specified, determined identities (such as colonizercolonized or oppressor oppressed), and the singular and the specific are both ways of thinking being as de-specified in this sense, but in very different ways. The specific achieves de-specification because it reveals the specified object to be a free subject, able to make its own active relational choices. The singular on the other hand is de-specifying because it denies the existence of relationality as such. In the singular, the individual is determined neither by static categories, nor by active relations, but purely by the creative whole or the One of which it is a part. To Hallward, it is crucial to consider whether a text operates as singular, specific or specified in the context of postcolonial literature. A text which expresses the specified, expresses political, ethnic and sexual identities as rigid and essential. A specific text, on the other hand, exposes these identities as fluid, and questions the relational processes that lead to identity in the first place. The specific text, however, retains a political or social dimension: to Hallward it is fundamentally militant, but as opposed to the specified it deals with how over what (AP 248). In contrast to the socio-political dimensions of both the specified and the specific text, the singular text is a productive autonomy (AP 15); denying even the existence of relationality, the singular text is entirely ahistorical, asocial and apolitical. Instead it is an impersonal affirmation of the immediate presence of a univocal creative force (AP 1518). Hallward makes the observation that while the priorities of the postcolonial are mainly presented as specific, theories of the postcolonial are, in fact, more of an expression of singular thought (AP 20). In postcolonial theoretical texts Hallward notes the ritual invocation of the ubiquitously specifying categories of gender, ethnicity, and community affiliation (AP 22). Indeed, we have seen that in postcolonial readings of magical realism the relation of the text to the

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historical, social and economic situation from which it is seen to be produced is stressed. However, says Hallward, this invocation of the specific belies the fact that major works of postcolonial theory are committed to an explicitly deterritorializing discourse in the Deleuzian sense: theirs is a discourse so fragmented, so hybrid, as to deny its constituent elements any sustainable specificity at all (AP 22).31 We can compare this to the deterritorialization of language in minor literature through the proliferation of series, to the extent that it becomes only an expression of the singular virtual. Hallward analyzes the so-called Holy Trinity of postcolonial theory as thinkers of the singular. He finds Homi K. Bhabhas concept of hybridity an example of pure Deleuzian difference without binary terms. In Gayatri Chakravorty Spivaks denial of the possibility of a retrieval of the subaltern subject, he sees a singularization of the subaltern: making it the site of absolute difference and deterritorialization. He also argues that Edward Saids conception of cultural identity as a contrapuntal ensemble is singular, as it is dependent on an idea of global totality; that is, again, a univocal creative agency. What unites all three theorists is ultimately the notion of a singular creative force beyond politics, nationality or culture that is presupposed by any political or cultural enunciation (AP 2428, 5158). It is not so much Hallwards singular readings of these theorists that is the main point here, as his conclusion that this singular tendency, as he says about Spivak, sits a little uncomfortably with the desperately urgent political issues [their] work so often evokes (AP 31). Indeed, in Hallwards own readings of postcolonial literary texts, by Eduard Glissant, Mohammed Dib and others, time after time the presence of the singular comes at a price of denying the practically political, and he convincingly demonstrates how the singular mode of writing is not commensurable with considering the practical trials and tribulations of human life, let alone political questions. How, then, can we apply Hallwards notions of the specified, the specific and the singular to magical realism and a Deleuzian reading of it? As we saw, realism appears to be based on a particular way of thinking about reality, or rather, organized as a particular orientation of the actual, in Hallwards own terms. Hallward identifies the specified as a realm where the demarcation of an individual (subject, object or culture) follows from its accordance with recognized classifications (AP 40) and where what counts is the conformity of actors to a presumed nature, and the consequent supervision of the relative authenticity of this conformity.32 Indeed, it becomes apparent that realism, with its structure of convergent series, is an example of the specified. On the other hand, of course, the disjunctive synthesis that the magic as object = x causes is certainly a singular operation. Through the object = x all elements of the textual system relate only to the virtual. Representation is exposed as an illusion, and the text thus moves towards becoming a singular entity, an autonomous system creating sense or meaning only as an effect of its resonance with the virtual. It thus seems that realism is, potentially, despecified through disjunctive synthesis.

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We can then position this analysis of realism and magical realism in a postcolonial context using Hallwards terms. Realism is generally seen as a type of narrative complicit with colonization. According to Bhabha, colonial discourse resembles a form of narrative whereby the productivity and circulation of subjects and signs are bound in a reformed and recognizable totality. It employs a system of representation, a regime of truth, that is structurally similar to realism.33 Realist narrative in literature is thus ostensibly politicized: it is seen as a part of a dominant discourse, the discourse of the colonizer. Said, whose notion of Orientalism is central to ideas about colonialism and discourse, indeed refers to Orientalism as a radical realism: rhetorically speaking, Orientalism is absolutely anatomical and enumerative: to use its vocabulary is to engage in the particularizing and dividing of things Oriental into manageable parts.34 Compare this anatomical and enumerative discourse to the authenticating devices of realism we considered earlier. Therefore the relation of postcolonial literatures to realism is problematic: it is often felt that realism needs to be replaced with a new, liberating discourse in the fight against colonialism. Indicative of the line taken by many surveys of postcolonial literature, Ashcroft et al. in The Empire Writes Back, identify the main strategies available to writers who want to replace a dominant discourse as abrogation and subversion through appropriation.35 Clearly, magical realism, in the postcolonial context, would be an example of appropriation, since it uses realism. Indeed, it does also appear to subvert realism to a certain extent, insofar as it questions both its specifying characteristics and its representational mode. However, if we view magical realism as a text which also tends to the singular, we must question what this subversion of realism as a dominant discourse actually entails. As we saw, the specific and the singular text move beyond the specified in two very different ways. If we consider realism as specified and complicit in the dominant discourse of colonialism, we find that a subversion of realism through the specific or through the singular would have two very different effects. A specific discourse questions identities that are seen as essential or authentic by considering the relational framework behind these specified identities, while a singular text questions notions of essence and authenticity only insofar it moves away from a framework that allows such notions. Thus the specific, while subverting the specified, remains in the field of the relational, and therefore remains socio-politically oriented. In contrast, the singular text does not engage with the specifying discourse at all, and thus subverts the specified purely because it subverts the relational, and therefore the social or political, as such. We can thus see that if magical realism is an example of a singularizing text, it is problematic for those critics who wish to see it politically subversive. In fact, it seems to occupy a paradoxical position that is typical of the postcolonial, according to Hallward. It appeals to those who call for subversion of the dominant colonial discourse, because it is a subversion of realism. We have noted that the genre seems to encourage such readings. However, if magical realism is

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singular, then it is not a subversion that is unproblematically political. Indeed, the magic does appear to be sitting uncomfortably with a practically political agenda. Magical realism may therefore be typically postcolonial because of this double bind between the real and the magic, the specific and the singular, but this a double bind that cannot be adequately articulated by postcolonial theories alone.

Chapter 3

Models of Magical Realism

Introduction: A Model of Magical Realism One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)


Gabriel Garca Mrquez himself, like many authors, objects to the term magical realism, but, as Regina Janes says of his seminal One Hundred Years of Solitude, in modern usage, the text itself has shaped the definition [of the term].1 A vast amount of critical material is available on the novel and even a brief overview reveals a startling number of approaches and interpretations. This may be seen as part of the reason for the novels great appeal, but a closer look at various readings also highlights the problematics of magical realism as a genre, echoing the critical concerns we looked at in the Introduction. Many approaches to One Hundred Years of Solitude consider the representation of history and politics as primary to the novel, and see the magical element as wholly subordinate to this aspect. Such readings are inevitably suggested by the central part the novel plays in contemporary Latin American literature, and are influenced by Carpentiers definition of magical realism. According to Vargas Llosa: The books greatness lies precisely in the fact that everything in it not only events and scenes, but also symbols, visions, spells, omens and myths is deeply rooted in the reality of Latin America, feeds off it and reflects it with relentless precision as it transfigures it.2 Here, magical realism is considered a tool in the search for a distinctive and positive Latin American identity in the face of external ideas of what this identity should be, in particular through a return to the myths and stories of Latin America, whether they be native, colonial or modern. Magical realism is therefore seen as a political statement, even as a literary parallel to the Cuban Revolution. As the Cuban Revolution was the peak of a period of perceived decolonization and liberation in Latin America, allowing a new freedom for writers, so One Hundred Years of Solitude was seen as central to the liberation through language of the Latin American literary Boom.3 While this period of optimism and liberation was short-lived in Latin America, the connection between magical realism and the politics of decolonization and liberation has

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lived on as the genre has been taken up by writers all over the world. Indeed, Shannin Schroeder, in his overview of the genre in the Americas, reads One Hundred Years of Solitude as founded in Latin American reality, but sees magical realism as a formal encoding of any decentred or marginal position.4 Notably, both a Latin American and a global postcolonial view of magical realism define it as a new way of describing a particular social or cultural situation and therefore see it as a historical or political literary genre. Furthermore, it is often the magic, in particular, which is seen as conveying the political force of magical realism. This is also true for readings of Garca Mrquezs novel. What critics often imply is that the anti-realist elements of One Hundred Years of Solitude are also its anti-colonial elements. Zamora, for example, finds it uses fantastic events and characters to address the abuses of contemporary political and social institutions and myth to recreate history from a new perspective.5 On the other hand, many critics also point to the inherent disjunction between the novels historical and political content and a magic that challenges Western ideas of representation, meaning and truth. The novels elements of magic seem to negate not any political message, and even themselves, through their own ambiguity, and here the end of One Hundred Years of Solitude poses a particular problem. Higgins notes that Paradoxically, [Garca Mrquez] attempts to translate reality into words while casting doubt on the feasibility of such an undertaking.6 Yet, as Williamson points out, the view that the novel presents an autarchic fictional world creating through the act of narration special conditions of development and meaning which enable the fictive imagination to achieve a free-floating state of pure self-reference akin to the exhilarated innocence of children at play [. . .] cannot explain the political and historical allusions in the novel.7 The very multiplicity of possible readings of One Hundred Years of Solitude poses a problem for critics: on the one hand there is meaning, on the other it is so prolific that it negates itself. This tension is clear in Regina Janess extensive analysis of the novel. She suggests that it shatters what seemed to be a centre in order to bring the wider historical, cultural, metaphysical, and literary implications of the narrative to the surface,8 and thus points to one of the central problems for interpretations of magical realism. If magical realism shatters the centre to such an extent that there is considerable difficulty in achieving a coherent reading, how can it at the same time be seen as carrying a particular message? The contradiction lies in the fact that magic seems to break with the politically charged world that realism sets up in One Hundred Years of Solitude, thus appearing to be a subversive force, at the same time as failing to provide any politically useful rearticulation of that world. Williamson notes that the novel does not necessarily support an equation of magic with liberation, for if one examines how magical realism actually functions in the narrative, it will become clear that there is an intimate connection between it and the degenerative process described in the novel; indeed magical realism can be shown to be a manifestation of the malaise that causes the decline of the Buenda family.9

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If magic is seen as part of the world of Macondo, it is difficult to see it as a positive or subversive force; nor is it easy to classify it as a unique expression of a native or pre-colonial society. Janes points out that the myths in the novel have little to do with the pre-colonial civilization: There is no pre-Colombian local history, no Tupac Amaru or Macahueles, not even El Dorado.10 The language is exclusively Spanish, there is no use of native words, and no attempt to revive or celebrate a native culture. In fact, any attempt at reading a coherent political message into One Hundred Years of Solitude must revise the suggestion that the magic is a force for reimagining national identity, for decolonization or for any kind of political subversion. Gerald Martin provides a convincing political reading of the novel, but at the expense of its magic. Martin reads the Buenda family as a portrait of the ruling classes of Latin America whose magical world-view prevents them from understanding their involvement in their own history. However, once the characters become able to interpret their own past, the author is able to end on an optimistic note. The apocalypse of the Buendas is not how could it be the end of Latin America but the end of neo-colonialism and its conscious or unconscious collaborators.11 Indeed, to Martin, magic is not even central to the novel: seen in this light, the novel seems less concerned with any magical reality than with the general effect of a colonial history upon individual relationships: hence the themes of circularity, irrationality, fatalism, isolation, superstition, fanaticism, corruption and violence.12 In fact, Martins political reading only works because it concentrates on the realism of the novel. Thus, while there may be political elements in Garca Mrquezs novel, one has to ask whether they are at all connected with the magic in the texts. Martins reading, centred on realism, seems to ignore or suppress the unmistakable magical elements of the novel. On the other hand, without its anchoring in the real, One Hundred Years of Solitude easily appears as simply a fictional account of the making of fictions, exposing nothing but its own limitations. In fact, this is a double bind typical of magical realism: it is clearly and undeniably rooted in time and place, engaging political readings, and yet it also includes an element which, while offering hope for liberation from dominant ways of thinking, functions in such a way as to make any kind of political engagement ambiguous at best.

Reading One Hundred Years of Solitude in Deleuzian Terms: The State of Macondo
Instead of privileging either the magic or the realism in the genre, reading magical realism through Deleuze provides a means to rethink the real and the magic as two orientations of the same Being. Deleuzes ontology suggests that, instead of considering magical realism as a genre that attempts to unite two entirely different world-views or textual modes, it is possible to view the magic

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and the real as two sides of the same thing, shown to be, at the same time, radically differing. Indeed, in the previous chapter we saw how both the real and the magic could be seen as organized by series. However, the series of the real and of magic were very different. While realism is an ordered system of convergent series connected by resemblance and contiguity, magic appears as a divergent element in this system, ramifying and proliferating series by difference alone. One of the most noted qualities of One Hundred Years of Solitude is its matterof-fact style, now almost universally seen as one of the defining characteristics of magical realism. Critics refer to the novels deadpan or neutral tone and its narrator that does not pass judgement, show surprise, or offer interpretations.13 The other oft-quoted stylistic characteristic of One Hundred Years of Solitude is its richness of ethnographic detail, its local colour, which vividly conveys the lives of the inhabitants of Macondo.14 This detail captures peoples everyday life, including mundane household chores, habits of dressing, eating and sleeping, and even bodily functions, but it also anchors One Hundred Years of Solitude in both geography and history, whether it is by describing the preparation of a local dish, the social conventions or the political machinations of the region: With scrupulous fidelity, the narrative constructs a fictional reality that is recognizably costeo [of the coastal area in Colombia] in its historical, geographical, ethnological, social and cultural detail.15 These elements are absolutely central to the novel as Gene Bell-Villada points out: For all its fantastical exaggerations, and its natural or political catastrophes (those stereotypical Latin American experiences), the narrative centre of One Hundred Years of Solitude is its faithful and convincing account of the domestic routines and vicissitudes of the Buenda clan.16 In addition, the public sphere in One Hundred Years of Solitude includes the social movements, the government actions, the technological changes (railroads, movies, telephones), and the ecological developments, and also those organized rituals such as wakes and group mourning, festive orgies and carnival, all of which affect Macondo life at every possible level and give the book its outer boundaries and broad shape.17 It is notable how Bell-Villadas analysis, suggesting that the Buendas provide the narrative centre of One Hundred Years of Solitude, while Macondo society determines the novels outlines, conforms to Philippe Hamons list of the authenticating features that shape the realist novel: families, villages and towns. This matter-of-fact tone and local colour of One Hundred Years of Solitude indicates that the novel is describing a real world in a realist way; in Deleuzian terms we could say that it is structured as a system of convergent series. The description of the Buendas and their house in the first chapter of One Hundred Years of Solitude is typical of the novel: We learn that rsula and the children broke their backs in the garden, growing banana and caladium, cassava and yams, ahuyama roots and eggplants (OHYS 45), and that the house had a small, well-lighted living room, a dining room in the shape of a terrace with gaily coloured flowers, two bedrooms, a courtyard with a gigantic chestnut tree,

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a well-kept garden, and a corral where goats, pigs, and hens lived in peaceful communion (OHYS 9). It is clear how the elements of this description form convergent series, some connected in lists of resemblances, like that of vegetables or animals, some coordinated by their use or place, like the interior details. They are all brought together by the Buenda house, the pivot of this ordered domestic system. It is the convergence of series that is crucial here. The matterof-fact list of vegetables, animals, chores and domestic features appear more real for their very precision, indicating that the narrator has been there, seen it and counted the chickens. It is this convergence that we recognize as reality because our worldly reality is indeed a system of convergent series. The ordered system of the Buenda household is the centre of the ordered world of One Hundred Years of Solitude. The house is part of a series of locations that make up the village of Macondo, which is in turn a point of convergence for several series of geographical points. Thus the reality effect, that is, the impression of a textual representation of a real, recognizable location, in a real, recognizable geographical position is here furnished by several interconnected systems of convergent series. In terms of the village, we have a series of places: the Street of the Turks, the red light district, the river, the West Indian quarter, the jungle. The village is itself firmly placed within a series of regional features: impenetrable mountains to the east, with the ancient city of Riohacha beyond, the swamps to the south, the sea to the west, and the jungle to the north. The world of One Hundred Years of Solitude in its convergence describes what is, to Deleuze, a fundamental human condition: The human being is a segmentary animal. Segmentarity is inherent to all the strata composing us. Dwelling, getting around, working, playing: life is spatially and socially segmented. The house is segmented according to its rooms assigned purposes; streets, according to the order of the city (TP 208). Deleuzes work with Guattari, in its focus on the assemblages of the actual world, provides us with concepts to analyse this world of convergent series or segmentarity further. However, various modes of social organization, what Deleuze and Guattari call social assemblages, are segmentary to different degrees, some more supple, some more rigid. One social assemblage that is exceptionally rigid, whose segments are clearly delineated and fixed, is the State (TP 210211). The space of One Hundred Years of Solitude conforms to what Deleuze and Guattari describe as the space of the State, which is striated, by walls, enclosures, roads between enclosures (TP 381). The action of segmenting space in this way is a process of territorialization, that is, dividing space into so many specific territories. The story of the settlement and development of Macondo is in many ways an example of how the State is the principle of territorialization that organizes striated or sedentary space, in opposition to what Deleuze and Guattari call smooth or nomadic space. Nomadic space is not divided by walls and there are no preestablished paths that guide movement of people or goods. In opposition to the territorializing action of the State upon land, the process creating nomadic space is deterritorialization. As an example of nomadic space, Deleuze often mentions the desert or sea, spaces without divisions, boundaries and fixed

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points, and in One Hundred Years of Solitude the jungle surrounding Macondo is such a smooth space. Jos Arcadio Buenda, as he leaves his home village, is confused by the jungle which lacks paths or reference points. However, as they settle, the Macondians create a new territory within the nomadic jungle, establishing a new State. Not long after its founding, Macondo begins trading with the outside world and becomes a destination for several waves of migrants, and in conformity with the State described in A Thousand Plateaus begins to capture flows: of population, of commodities and of money. Throughout its cycles of destruction and regeneration, Macondo, as the State, never ceases to decompose, recompose and transform movement (TP 386). Indeed, while the chronology of One Hundred Years of Solitude has often been seen as circular, it is, in fact, a strictly linear affair. This is not to say that there is not an element of repetition in One Hundred Years of Solitude. However, rather than being a feature of cyclical time, this is typical of how the social machine of the State works: by continually capturing or territorializing flows. In the same way as the Buenda house and Macondo village act as coordinating elements for series of points in space, they are also pivotal elements for series of points in time, acting as indicators of the passage of linear time. Each cycle of degeneration and renewal that the house and the village go through are described in detail. The initial descriptions of the house and village identify the Buendas as farmers in the coastal region of Colombia, but also as living in the post-independence era in the late nineteenth century. The changes that the house goes through always indicate a progression in time: each time it is repaired we learn of details like a pianola, a gramophone, or a new bathroom that indicate a particular moment in history. Similarly, descriptive series recount the introduction of the railway, automobiles and electricity in the village, as the novel clearly traces the progress of the early twentieth century. The history of the State, say Deleuze and Guattari, is always about segments and classes, rather than masses or the flows of people (TP 221). Thus any new arrivals in the village are quickly fitted into the State organization, as merchants (the early new arrivals, the Arabs, the Turks), as labourers (the people that the Banana Company brings in), even as sanctioned marginals (the French matrons). Equally, the flow of time is captured in One Hundred Years of Solitude by its convergent series of descriptions, segmenting it into snapshots or successive moments in history, forming a linear series which moves inexorably from beginning to end. That is, the repetitions of the novel themselves form series which by the variation between elements betray the passage of time.

A Regime of Signs and the Apprenticeship of Signs


What we have been describing here appears to be the world represented in the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, a system of convergent series, typical of

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the actual, and organized like the social assemblage of the State. However, to Deleuze, representation is an illusion. Under the ontological doctrine of the univocity of Being, as Hallward notes No art is imitative, no art can be imitative or figurative, because art is Real, and vice versa.18 In fact, One Hundred Years of Solitude, or rather, the realism of One Hundred Years of Solitude, is part of a whole regime of signs (TP 111148), which underpins the illusion of representation, as well as guaranteeing it through the reality effect. A regime of signs, say Deleuze and Guattari, is a system of language and world, of linguistic form and content, together. That is, a regime of signs is a system in which the referent and the sign combine laterally, without the hierarchical relationship of representation. Rather than prioritizing one or the other, to consider how a regime of signs works is to look at the order of this languageworld system as one, analyzing how language and non-linguistic assemblages work on the same principles of organization. The question is what the relationship between these linguistic and non-linguistic components is, if it is not one of representation. As we saw, the content of One Hundred Years of Solitude appears to be organized in a convergent, segmented way under the principle of the State. In fact, this organization belongs not to an external State of Macondo, which is then represented by the form of realism, but to a regime of signs which includes a specific form of expression, realism, as well as a specific content, the State of Macondo. Deleuze states that there are many and various regimes of signs; the one which allows us to make the important connection between the State and the realism of One Hundred Years of Solitude is that of subjectification. Here we need to go back to some of Deleuzes thoughts on how the illusion of representation emerges. Deleuze traces this illusion back to a fundamental philosophical concept which he considers a basic error: the Cogito, or the idea of the thinking or reasoning subject. Both the State and the regime of subjectification are dependent on, or even borne out of, the Cogito. To Deleuze, the Cogito expresses the unity of all the faculties in the subject; it thereby expresses the possibility that all the faculties will relate to a form of object which reflects the subjective identity (DR 133). It is thus the idea of the Cogito that allows for the idea that an independent and coherent subject can perceive a separate and discrete object, a condition necessary for representation. However, the reasoning subject does more than just allow for the idea of the understandable and describable object, says Deleuze, it sanctions it and guarantees its reality. The State, according to Deleuze and Guattari, as opposed to a primitive society of tribal or despotic rule, is dependent on its own sanction, that is, a sanction not from an external deity or a supreme sovereign but from the people. Such sanction is only realized if the State is perceived as a separate site of reason, just like the Cogito. Since reason, by definition, resides in the reasoning subject, it has to sanction its own subjection to the State (TP 376). The existence of the State is therefore dependent on the reasoning subject performing a double role: the legislator, the State, and its subject, the people.

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This doubling, however, gives rise to an illusion, making the State, rather than the subject, appear as the ultimate source of reason. Similarly, the regime of signs of subjectification, in contrast to the regime of signs of signification, where the meaning of signs is assured by a god or despot, is dependent on the subject to sanction or guarantee its own utterances or expressions. In the same way that the State is perceived as a source of reason because of a doubling of role of the reasoning subject, so an expression is perceived as rational or real by a doubling of the thinking subject, the Cogito, into an I who speaks the subject of the enunciation or author-subject and an I who is spoken the subject of the statement or narrator-subject. Deleuze states: Then from the subject of enunciation issues a subject of the statement, in other words, a subject bound to statements in conformity with a dominant reality (TP 129). Dominant reality is precisely the ordered reality of the State, the ostensible source of reason. Indeed, the subject of the statement conforms to the State precisely through a realist narrative, appearing, as Chanady says, familiar with logical reasoning (MRF 22). Thus the subject of the statement or realist narrator becomes a sign, or guarantee, of the reality of any expression by the subject of the enunciation or author (TP 129). This doubling of the subject is precisely what drives the reality effect: the narrator appears as if he has been there, seen it all. Therefore, under the regime of signs of signification any expression that follows the organization of the State will appear as a site of reason and will thus appear to represent reality, although they are in fact, part of one and the same system. In the realism of One Hundred Years of Solitude we can detect this mechanism. There appears a kind of shadow of a Cogito, an author, external to the text, immediately also implying an external object or referent. It appears as if the subject-author, doubled as the subject-narrator of One Hundred Years of Solitude is describing an objective external reality (Macondo and its inhabitants) using reason. In fact, however, the narration and reality are part of the (convergent) series of the same system: subjectification as a regime of signs or a form of expression is tied to an assemblage, in other words, an organization of power that is already fully functioning in the economy, rather than superimposing itself upon contents and relations between contents determined as real in the last instance (TP 130). The State organizes space and time in the same way that the regime of signs organizes expression. In fact, the State of Macondo is the content of the regime of signs of which the text of One Hundred Years of Solitude is the form. Yet this illusion of representation is not primary to the nature of things, but a secondary effect of a particular order. Deleuze and Guattari consider the elements of any expression, signs, as deterritorialized. Signs do not actually resemble reality, they are removed from the territory of things themselves. However, the regime of signs of subjectification captures these signs just as the State captures deterritorialized flows. It makes signs signify, and what is more, through this significance, ordered in convergent series, conform to the order of the State. Writing under this regime of signs, of which the realism of

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One Hundred Years of Solitude is an example, is writing that means reterritorializing oneself, conforming to a code of dominant utterances, to a territory of established states of things (DII 74). In contrast, to Deleuze, a sign that has not been reterritorialized is immaterial, that is, virtual. It does not mean or designate anything but reveals the essence of its nature, and this essence is nothing but Being as difference (PS 41). If realism, then, is writing that conforms to the territory of the State and is a system of convergent series, then the insertion of a divergent element into that system has greater implications than merely undoing the realist form. Indeed, the magic in One Hundred Years of Solitude seems to imply great subversive potential. In the previous chapter we suggested that the magical element, because of its divergence, performs a disjunctive synthesis in the system. This disjunctive synthesis causes the convergent series to diverge and communicate with each other in new ways, which has the effect of proliferating meaning in the text. However, disjunctive synthesis is also a counter-actualization, that is, a way of thinking the virtual side of reality that reveals both the text as a production of the real, and difference-in-itself as the condition for that real. What then does this mean in terms of the regime of signs? To answer this question we have to consider how the magic works as a divergent element in One Hundred Years of Solitude, whether it actually does perform a disjunctive synthesis in the text, to what extent this can be seen as a counteractualization of the regime of signs, and finally what implication this may have for the readings of magical realism. There is, interestingly, no precise definition of what the magic of One Hundred Years of Solitude and magical realism actually entails. There are, of course, famous episodes that are always quoted, but with little explanation as to exactly why these are magical. It is almost seen as a given that they are magical, that every reader perceives them as such. Examples are Remedios the Beautys ascent to heaven, the trickle of blood that finds rsula across the village, or the rain of flowers after Jos Arcadios death. It has been said that the narration in One Hundred Years of Solitude eliminat[es] the barrier between objective and imaginary realities [. . .] creating a total fictional universe19 and that it fus[es] the real and the fantastic.20 However, statements asserting that the narrator stays composed in the face of events that would seem to warrant a more aroused and partisan verbal statement21 surely suggest that the reader is actually surprised at this unperturbed treatment of events. Indeed, the critics insistent reaffirmation of the narrative neutrality, even when describing the magical, betrays the magics difference from and incongruity with this credible narrative. The incongruity is there because the realism of magical realism is much more than just a matter-of-fact narrative. The realism is part of a regime of signs, in which magic appears as different from the established order of things. The regime of signs sets up the world of One Hundred Years of Solitude as our world, not Middle-earth or outer space. The same physical laws apply in Macondo as they do here and now, they just get noticeably broken. It is often said that the status of magic is equal to that of

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the real in magical realism because the characters perceive it to be real. This is not so either. Even if the Macondians believe that the magic is real in so far as it actually takes place, that it is no trick or illusion, the magic is not the same as everyday reality around them. Not everyone levitates in Macondo: it is not a rule of this world that humans fly. Similarly, not everyone is followed by butterflies, not everyone is clairvoyant, and not everyone becomes a ghost or ascends to heaven. While seen as really happening, these events surprise and elicit comment from the Macondians, who flock to see the magic flying carpets of the gypsies or to gawp at the miracle performed by the priest. Thus the first thing that we can say about magic in One Hundred Years of Solitude is that it is indeed divergent from the convergent series of the real: it strays from the network gridding of the possible (TP 212). However, as we now know, the real here is not a matter of an external reality, but of elements which appear as the content of a regime of signs. Interestingly, the regime of signs that One Hundred Years of Solitude operates under does not seem to shift significantly throughout the novel (excepting the end, as we shall see later). That is, the narrator continues to guarantee the authors expression, the text, insofar as we are not given to believe that he has suddenly ceased to be the reasoning subject of the narration, even when what he tells us clearly does not conform to dominant reality. The first instance of magic in the novel is little Aurelianos strange powers. At the age of three he went into the kitchen at the moment she [rsula] was taking a pot of boiling soup from the stove and putting it on a table. The child, perplexed, said from the doorway, Its going to spill. The pot was firmly placed in the centre of the table, but just as soon as the child made his announcement, it began an unmistakable movement towards the edge, as if impelled by some inner dynamism, and it fell and broke on the floor. (OHYS 15) This event is clearly divergent from dominant reality. rsula, witnessing the episode, is alarmed since it is not normal or natural. In contrast, the narrator is matter-of-fact, as if the event stood to reason. However, the event diverges from the domestic series of ordered items with fixed places and functions. Not only does the pot not stay put, literally; it momentarily loses its identity as an inanimate, domestic object, displaying an inner dynamism. The action of the pot also diverges from the series of causality: there is no reason why Aureliano predicts the pots action and why it falls, and it is of no importance to the linear progression of the plot of One Hundred Years of Solitude. Indeed, many of the magic events in One Hundred Years of Solitude are premonitions and omens, events that appear significant, yet are strangely ineffectual and meaningless. A premonition makes rsula scrub the house clean in preparation for Aurelianos return, but this turns out to be futile as he is taken straight to jail. Before her own return to Macondo, an empty flask became so heavy it could

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not be moved and a pan of water on the worktable boiled without any fire under it for half an hour until it completely evaporated (OHYS 36). Before rsulas death, as in the very last days of Macondo, orange disks are seen in the sky. None of these portents has any direct usefulness for anyone; they yield no practical information. Yet because the reasoning tone of the narrator is intact, in the face of their very lack of reason, the magical events appear all the more significant. The reality effect is still there, even though its contents are zero. On the one hand, their referent exposed as null, signs appear as they really are: deterritorialized, that is, not directly referential. On the other, the realist narration remains and the magic omens still appear as if they are significant, that is, they appear as symbolic. Symbols, say Deleuze and Guattari, are precisely deterritorialized signs (TP 111148). However, symbolic meaning still conforms to reason, and is still part of the regime of signs, because it is always reterritorialized, or given meaning, by the persistence of a narrator-subject conforming to the order of the State. Thus while a symbolic sign is indeed deterritorialized, it is, according to Deleuze and Guattari, negatively deterritorialized. These magical omens, while they deterritorialize realism to a certain extent, seem to be immediately reterritorialized by the regime of subjectification. It seems that there are more kinds of signs than simply the territorialized signs of the State and deterritorialized virtual signs. In his Proust and Signs Deleuze traces an apprenticeship of signs, a process of learning the truth about signs, starting with the most material signs, or signs oriented towards the actual, and ending with the virtual signs of art the signs that reveal the essence of Being as difference. There are various kinds of actual signs, says Deleuze, which appear to have different relations to their meaning, although, of course, any relation to a meaning outside the sign is ultimately an illusion. In Proust and Signs there is a progressive understanding of how the various actual signs work which eventually leads to a revelation of the virtual signs of art, and the destruction of this illusion. The first step is a realization of the falsehood of an objective interpretation of signs, that is, considering signs to have purely referential meaning. This is also the realization of the inadequacy of realism: A literature is disappointing if it interprets signs by referring them to objects that can be designated (observation and description), if it surrounds itself with pseudo-objective guarantees of evidence and communication (causerie, investigation), and if it confuses meaning with intelligible, explicit, and formulated signification (major subjects) (PS 33). That is, if it is a literature that assures the meaning of signs through authentication. This disappointment leads onto the next step of the apprenticeship of signs subjective interpretation: finding meaning by the association of ideas, that is, by linking signs and ideas by resemblance or contiguity. Meaning is no longer necessarily authenticated by dominant reality, it is guaranteed instead by the reasoning subject itself. However, the subject remains, and thus signs still remain part of the regime of signs. The magical omens in One Hundred Years of Solitude are

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therefore a kind of magical sign that force such a subjective, symbolic or associative reading upon us. This deterritorialization of the sign, while it does not get rid of meaning, opens up the possibilities of meaning. In Deleuzian terms, the divergence introduced into the convergent system of realism by the magical event or sign has the effect of proliferating series and ramifying the system. Now, rather than appearing to directly mirror reality, the series of One Hundred Years of Solitude, at the points of magic, set off new series of associations. One of the famous instances of magic in the novel, the trickle of blood following Jos Arcadio Buendas death, immediately appears symbolic. Closer scrutiny reveals that read symbolically the event gives rise to a series of possible interpretations. The trickle came out under the door, crossed the living room, went out into the street, continued on in a straight line across the uneven terraces, went down steps and climbed over curbs, passed along the Street of the Turks, turned a corner to the right and another to the left, made a right angle at the Buenda house, went in under the closed door, crossed through the parlour, hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs, went on to the other living room, made a wide curve to avoid the dining-room table, went along the porch with the begonias, and passed without being seen under Amarantas chair as she gave an arithmetic lesson to Aureliano Jos, and went through the pantry and came out in the kitchen, where rsula was getting ready to crack thirty-six eggs to make bread. (OHYS 135) What this magic event does is to literally traverse several of the series of One Hundred Years of Solitude the village, the house and the family connecting and ramifying them. Thus, rather than having one specific significance, it makes series resonate through the association of ideas: it could mean that ultimately Jos Arcadios mother was to blame for his death by making him what he was, that the bad blood of his crimes affected the whole community, or perhaps, simply that his death hurt his mother more than it benefited anyone else. However, in itself, the trickle of blood does not signify anything, its referent is null. It is an object = x, that precisely because it has no sense, can take on any sense (LS 79). We have to remember, however, that this resonance, these interpretations or associations, are just statistical effects, as Deleuze would say. Yet, it is precisely because the statistical effect of resemblance persists that a subjective interpretation persists. For what is symbolic meaning but the connection between ideas through resemblance or contiguity, that is, the reterritorialization of the sign into the convergent system of series of the State, through reason? Thus, any series of associations, any connections between series, any possible meanings, are segmented and convergent. The possible meanings of the magical events surrounding Jos Arcadio Buendas death are still connected to the actual, and

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the State, because they are, precisely, the meaning and not the essence of the magical sign. Such magical signs are still only the first step of the apprenticeship of signs. If some magical events only deterritorialize the sign, others deterritorialize not only the sign but also its non-linguistic part. We can see this in what is one of the most quoted magical events of One Hundred Years of Solitude, which embodies some of the most typical magical realist characteristics of the novel: the ascension of Remedios the Beauty. The narration is unwaveringly realist, it is neutral and unmoved by the events, and there is no explanation sought or provided. The episode is described using a wealth of detail and is anchored in the physical world: just before she takes off it is noted that Remedios is unusually pale; then we see, just as rsula does, Remedios the Beauty waving goodbye in the midst of the flapping sheets that rose up with her, abandoning with her the environment of the beetles and the dahlias and passing through the air with her as four oclock in the afternoon came to an end (OHYS 243). The details of the sheets, the garden, and even the time, are all authenticating the scene, placing the magic in the midst of the convergent realist series of the Buenda house. The magic, however, does not belong to any of these series. It diverges from the domestic details of the sheets and flowers, from the mundane activity of folding, the washing, from the Buendas view of Remedios as a useless retard, from the series of the birth-to-death descriptions of the family members, and, finally, from the laws of nature. However, Remedios is more than just deterritorialized as a sign through her magical ascent to heaven; she is deterritorialized as a character, that is, as a non-linguistic element of the regime of signs. She does not fit into the segmented order of the State of Macondo: Remedios the Beauty was not a creature of this world (OHYS 202). She resists the order of the State, rejecting the conventions of society in matters of clothing, as well as behaviour and education. She rejects the series of the family, turning down all her suitors. Remedios the Beauty resists the territorialization of the State, and ultimately embarks on her own line of flight literally. She leaves the segmented territory of Macondo, and disappears into the smooth space of the sky. Nevertheless, Remedios still seems to be connected to the stratified earth by the thin thread of meaning. As an object = x the magical character of Remedios the Beauty creates resonance, which can be seen in the many attempts at reading her character and her departure from earth as symbols of innocence, virginity and solitude. Avril Bryan, considering the portrayal of the myth of virginity in One Hundred Years of Solitude, reads Remedioss innocent purity as an antithesis to Amarantas twisted preservation of virginity, and Remedioss ascension as the only way to keep the beauty and purity of the symbolic virgin: she never succumbs to her suitors, and she never ages.22 Others have seen Remedios as a symbol of the sterility of the concept of purity as a model for human conduct.23 She has also been seen as a symbol of the barren solitude of the Buenda women and, by extension, their class, in contrast to the fertility of the lower class, or

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amoral, women of Macondo.24 Thus Remedioss ascension traverses several series of the world of One Hundred Years of Solitude, and each of these points of connection pulls her back into convergence through resemblance. She becomes meaningful, symbolic, another expression of the State. If as a sign she is negatively deterritorialized, as a character she is only relatively deterritorialized. Indeed, most of the magic in One Hundred Years of Solitude goes some way in deterritorializing both the expression and the content of the regime of signs of realism and the State, but falls back into the symbolic and the subjective. The ending of the novel, however, takes deterritorialization a step further than the negative or relative deterritorialization of a sign or character: it effects a total deterritorialization of the text. Central to this ending is the character of Melquades, undoubtedly a deterritorialized character; as part of a nomadic gypsy gang, he is without proper territory. He does not have to resist or flee the segmentarity of Macondo as he is never captured by the State in any way. He brings science and reason to Macondo, it is true, but he also brings magic and confusion. He seems to possess an immense knowledge that is more of a flux than segmented pieces of information. He is also, notably, outside linear time and history. The timelessness of Melquadess room as well as his many returns from the dead has been paralleled with the perceived circularity of time in Macondo. However, the repetitions of the novel betray a progressive history, and Melquadess victories over the ravages of time are, in fact, antithetical to these degenerating cycles. The repetitions show us the changes that Macondo undergoes, but Melquades stays the same. Yet Melquadess timeless magic is such that he always appears in a state of flux. That is, he is always aging and he is always dying, yet he always returns from death just to appear to be decaying again. We can draw parallels between the historic time of Macondo and Melquadess timelessness and Deleuzes idea of time in terms of the actual and virtual. The time of the actual is that of the present: it is the time of bodies and matter, a measurable and divisible time. It is time as we know it, which allows us to see history as a series of segments, or consecutive presents, where past and future are two dimensions relative to the present in time (LS 186). In contrast, virtual time is indivisible and immediate. It is past and future simultaneously: Always already passed and eternally yet to come [. . .] [the] pure empty form of time, which has freed itself from its present corporeal content (LS 189). Thus Melquades, always dead and eternally dying, belongs to the timeless simultaneity of pure time. In the room that he is given in the Buenda house after his first death, it is always March [. . .] and always Monday (OHYS 355). After his second death it is padlocked for a long time, but when Aureliano Segundo finally opens it there was not the slightest trace of dust or cobwebs, with everything swept and clean (OHYS 188). Melquadess existence outside linear time is crucial to his prophetic powers: he is able to see past, present and future simultaneously, as his parchments reveal in the end. Melquadess prophesy can be seen as the ultimate divergent element in One Hundred Years of Solitude, an object = x for the whole novel. It does set some

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resonances in motion: offering a range of possible meanings, exposing the contradictions of the novel that we considered at the beginning of this chapter. Then it goes a step further and reveals itself as fiction in such a way that it reveals the essence of the sign of art: its own production. The magic of Melquadess prophesy, together with the biblical hurricane that ends the Macondianss time on earth, constitute the absolute deterritorialization of the novel. The State of Macondo and its local representative, the Buenda family, are totally destroyed. Already before the cataclysm the nomadic jungle is invading the segmentary space of the village, breaking walls, wiping out boundaries, as well as eradicating social structures commerce and government have left, and the life of the remaining humans is increasingly chaotic and driven by instincts rather than social codes. The wind, when it comes, finishes off the core of Macondo, the Buenda house: it tore the doors and the windows of the hinges, pulled off the roof of the east wing, and uprooted the foundations (OHYS 422). As magical events, the revelation of Melquadess prophecy and the apocalyptic wind are deterritorialized signs. However, their potential reterritorialization as symbols is in itself deterritorialized, as the doubling of the subject of the novel, the provider of reason and association, collapses in the mise-en-abyme of the novels ending. As Aureliano reads the parchments, the story of Macondo written by Melquades, reader and the read, narrator and the narrated are conflated. The sign can still be reterritorialized symbolically, reason can still capture it, organize and striate it because of the persistence of the subject. However, the magic of the end of One Hundred Years of Solitude obliterates not only the extra-textual referent but also the narrator-subject, in that it makes the two indistinguishable. Through this ending, McMurray says, the fictional universe appears to engender itself from within, eliminating all elements of the real world outside the novel, including the supposed omniscient, or real author.25 Content and expression no longer appear as world and copy, the fictional universe is revealed as an autonomous part of the real universe. The texts sense is revealed as Deleuzes essence, no longer a meaning dependent on the referent object or the reasoning subject. Rather it is the text itself. Suddenly writing appears as, in Deleuze words, becoming, becoming something other than a writer, since what one is becoming at the same time becomes something other than writing (DII 55): writing becomes a production of the real. Thus One Hundred Years of Solitude takes us through a kind of apprenticeship of signs, from the illusory referentiality of realism, via the plural but still convergent meaning of the symbolic to the essential signs of art which reveal the structure of reality itself. The signs of art give us something that life, in its actuality, cannot give us a view of the world, of Being in its creative action of becoming. This is because essence, says Deleuze, is not something seen but a kind of superior viewpoint, an irreducible viewpoint that signifies at once the birth of the world and the original character of a world. It is in this sense that the work of art always constitutes and reconstitutes the beginning of the world, but also forms a specific world absolutely different from the others and envelops

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a landscape or immaterial site quite distinct from the site where we have grasped it. (PS 110) It is important to note that while art that reaches this level of absolute deterritorialization has the power to reveal the beginning of the world, it also forms a world which is quite distinct from the one in which it originated. Indeed, while absolute deterritorialization means an insight into the ontological conditions of territory, it also means achieving an irreducible viewpoint without any territory. The premises upon which the above reading of the magic in magical realism as a sign of art revealing the conditions of Being rest are those of a singular concept of Being. Deleuzes irreducible viewpoint is nothing but a singular position: the place, necessarily within Being, where the conditions of Being become clear. This position, as Deleuze points out, is distinct from the situation or state of affairs in which we encounter it, precisely because it is not transcendent, but is a part of reality unto itself: a part of reality structurally different because it is absolutely oriented to the virtual, yet existing or being in the same way as the state of affairs from whence it was grasped. The inevitable consequence, as Hallward succinctly insists, is that: The purpose of art is not to represent the world, still less to cultivate or enrich our appreciation of the world, but to create new and self-sufficient compositions of sensation, compositions that will draw those who experience them directly into the material vitality of the cosmos itself.26 The magic elements, as signs of art, are non-relational, impersonal, and ahistorical, and distinct from the characters, relations, places and events from which they have sprung. In fact, in One Hundred Years of Solitude absolute deterritorialization takes place only through the total annihilation of the State of Macondo. It is as if the virtual conditions of Being can only be revealed at the price of the coherence of beings. On the other hand, as we saw in One Hundred Years of Solitude, much of the magic is never absolutely deterritorialized, but falls back into the symbolic or subjective. In the remainder of this chapter, we will further consider the relationship between the magic and the real in magical realism, and whether it necessarily ends in destruction, by having a look at three key texts of the genre in English.

Salman Rushdies Midnights Children (1981): The State as Identity


Helen Carr argues that Angela Carters novels became much more acceptable in Britain after the discovery of South American magic realism: her readers discovered that she was writing in a genre that could be named and to whose apparent random mixture of fantasy and reality some order could be assigned.27

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It is true that the term magical realism has in a sense been imported and imposed on writers in English since this discovery. In the decade following the one in which the Latin American literary Boom reached the English speaking world (One Hundred Years of Solitude was first published in English translation in 1970), numerous novels in English that gained critical acclaim as well as popularity were being labelled as magical realism. Certainly this was partly due to publishing houses strategically placing their products in a genre with a proven sales record. However, the term also provided a fruitful, if problematic, critical tool. Midnights Children clearly demonstrates the central problematic of magical realism. It is ostensibly and undeniably anchored in the historical and the political, a novel about individual and collective national identity. However, it is also permeated by magical events that have often been read as part of the search for identity in the novel. The argument generally follows this pattern: Rushdies use of magical realism shows us in practice how the imagination offers us ways of making sense of the world.28 Referring to Linda Hutcheons concept of historiographic metafiction, which she uses to describe writing with a theoretical self-awareness of history and fiction as human constructs,29 critics assert that the novels magical realism, by foregrounding the commonality of the processes of making history and making fiction, allows us to understand how all identity is created by the processes of the imagination. Midnights Children is seen to demonstrate this by magically paralleling the history of India not only with the personal history of Saleem Sinai, but also with his account, in the process of being created as we read, of both histories. Furthermore, recalling Carpentier, the magical realism of Midnights Children is seen as particularly suited to describing the postcolonial situation in general and India in particular. The richness of the novel, the way it attempts to contain the whole subcontinent and its cultural hybridity, its carnivalesque style, the heterogeneity of its language and its syncretization of the mythical and the historical are all seen as ways of expressing the hybridity, multiplicity, and syncretism of the reality of the postcolonial situation. Indeed, as in the case of One Hundred Years of Solitude, this is seen as the specific political potential of magical realism. However, the focus has shifted from magical realisms fusing of the genres of the real and the surreal as a strategy of liberation 30 to the forms of diversity and multiplicity that magical realism is seen to introduce into the text.31 As Elleke Boehmer states, it is because of its inclusiveness that magical realism is seen as an oppositional, anti-authoritarian, anti-colonial genre: Magical realism [is] enamoured of its own overabundance, performing its tricks of hyperbole, melodrama, parody and fantasy, sometimes for its own sake, but also in order to make a point about the mongrel nature of the world in the face of imperialistic forces, and the value of the Many over the One.32 However, there is a contradiction in this position, similar to the one found in critical approaches to One Hundred Years of Solitude. As Timothy Brennan asks: How does the writer account for both the many and one how capture a sense

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of the new unities while finding the allegiances on which identity thrives?33 That is, there is a contradiction in the novel between the search for identity and the enactment of identity as imagined and multiple, which echoes the problems that Hallwards analysis of postcolonial theories in his Absolutely Postcolonial uncovered. On the one hand, nothing is more orthodox in the postcolonial domain than an insistence on the multiple, particular, heterogeneous nature of contexts and subject positions (AP 21), while on the other, in every postcolonial study worthy of the name, any carefully delineated border of periphery and metropole, colony and empire becomes blurred, de-territorialised, and unbounded (AP 34). Indeed, the narrative exploration of national and personal identity in Midnights Children can be seen as a dramatization of the postcolonial project which attempts to define such identity at the same time as paradoxically rejecting any fixed identities. Like One Hundred Years of Solitude, Midnights Children is rooted in realism. Indeed the thematic and structural similarities between the two novels are striking and well documented. Both are family sagas spanning generations against the backdrop of a communitys destiny; both focus on domestic settings and details, while also providing rich descriptions of the geographical and historical milieu. Indeed, Midnights Children, is, if anything, more overtly grounded in space and time. While Macondo is merely recognizable as Colombia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the setting of Midnights Children is explicitly the Indian subcontinent in the decades running up to and following Independence. In Rushdies novel historical events are continually recounted, and the named settings Kashmir, Bombay, Delhi, Pakistan and Bangladesh are elaborately described. The serial and segmented structure of the State is recognizable in the novels central domestic setting, Saleems family home, and in its abundant familial connections and hierarchies. Despite resembling One Hundred Years of Solitude in the frequency of its prolepses and analepses, the passing of linear time is even more undeniable in Midnights Children. Indeed, as in Garca Mrquezs novel, frequent glimpses of future events keep the narrative moving relentlessly forward, despite its many detours. The authentication process is central to the novel, although continually foregrounded and questioned by the narrator. Saleem, appearing self-consciously in his own narrative, describing his act of writing this story, is nothing but a thinking because doubting subject. The regime of subjectification is, in fact, affirmed when Saleem questions the accuracy of his recollections. His very insecurities about certain historical facts allow us to feel he is a trustworthy eyewitness to his own story. Thus the much-discussed metafictionality of Midnights Children is not as subversive as is implied by critics reading it as historical metafiction. Yes, the novel does draw our attention to the processes of fiction and history alike in these self-conscious passages, but it does not break with the basic principles of the regime of signs that realism exemplifies. We become aware that history and fiction share a common origin the subject but the object and the subject, the world and its representation, persist.

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As in One Hundred Years of Solitude, the State is the ordering principle of the realism of Midnights Children both in terms of the serial structure of time and space, and as part of a regime of signs. However, in Midnights Children, through the focus on the parallel between the national and personal, the State also appears as the regulator of identity. That is, the State is explicitly India, which is, in turn, explicitly tied to the identity of the narrator. Indeed, the State and its order, the regime of signs, are shown as a necessary prerequisite for identity, national or personal. Against this order, the magical sign of art is divergent, and thus distinct from the principles of identity. Importantly, Deleuzes theoretical framework indicates that the central conflict in Midnights Children is not so much between the plurality of the masses and the idea of a unified India, as is commonly held, as between the possibility of identity, be it hybrid and multiple, and the breakdown of an order that upholds that possibility. That is, an order that makes possible the distinctions, categories and divisions the segments necessary for identity. The magic of Midnights Children centres on the children and their abilities. While the narrative is often hyperbolic, it does not include as many instances of incidental magic as One Hundred Years of Solitude. However, there are, as in Garca Mrquezs novel, many instances of premonitions and omens, some seemingly just as meaningless: comets were seen exploding above the Back Bay; it was reported that flowers had been seen bleeding real blood (MC 136). Many of the premonitions, however, are more systematically reterritorialized as symbols by the State than they were in One Hundred Years of Solitude. In fact, this is a notable effect of the search for national identity, as Midnights Children foregrounds the importance of myth in the national project. We must here note the important difference between magic and myth. Magic, as we saw, involves a deterritorialization of meaning. While the magic in magical realism may well have mythical origins, myth, in contrast to magic, is part of an order of meaning territorialized by the State. In Midnights Children many of the omens are explicitly linked to the myths of India: Baap-re-baap, such so-bad things: at Gwalior they have seen the ghost of the Rani of Jhansi, rakshasas have been seen many-headed like Ravana, doing things to women and pulling down trees with one finger. I am good Christian woman, baba; but it gives me fright when they tell that the tomb of Lord Jesus is found in Kashmir. On the tombstone are carved two pierced feet and a local fisherwoman has sworn she saw them bleeding [. . .] the new-born secular state was being given an awesome reminder of its fabulous antiquity, in which democracy and votes for women were irrelevant . . . so that people were seized by atavistic longings, and forgetting the new myth of freedom reverted to their old ways. (MC 245) In this passage freedom is exposed as myth alongside the multi-denominational myths of the past. However, while the magical children, the fantastic heart

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(MC 195) of the novel, seem to have all the hallmarks of a national myth: a pantheon of new gods to bring the plurality of India together, they are, in fact, with regards to the national project anyway, entirely ineffectual. Saleem, for all his grand plans, is exemplary in this: as Goonetilleke notes, he is not able to achieve anything with his supreme magical powers, he uses his gift for useless and valueless things, and is characterized by surprising passivity.34 It is not through revealing the inherent myth-making of the nation that the midnights children pose a threat to the State and to identity, but through their magic, their very lack of meaning and thus identity. Indeed, myths are useful to the State, while magic, on the other hand, is not; quite the opposite. Hence the childrens forced sterilization and loss of powers. In Deleuzian terms the magical midnights children are all lines of flight or radical deterritorializations of identity, and even of the human as such. They are all, to some degree, becoming-other. Recall how the concept of becoming is a counter-actualization of the individual, a process that has nothing to do with multiplying possible identities, as Brian Massumi claims,35 but which means going beyond the boundaries that make up identity, and the order of the State as well as the laws of nature. Becoming-woman (and man again) and becoming-animal (-fish or -bird) are only some of the childrens magical abilities, but they are all divergent elements in the convergent series of the real. There is, from Kerala, a boy who had the ability of stepping into mirrors and re-emerging through any reflective surface in the land, violating the order of space, and the Benarsi silversmiths son [. . .] given the gift of travelling in time, violating the order of time; but there is also at Budge-Budge outside Calcutta a sharp-tongued girl whose words already had the power of inflicting physical wounds, defying the illusory difference between representation and reality (MC 198199). The magical becomings of the children are collectively united in Saleem, their All India Radio operator (MC 166), an object = x in the system of convergent series that is the State of India. The object = x, introducing pure difference into the system, does indeed allow such an India to be a multiplicity, but in Deleuzian, that is, singular terms. Therefore it is emphatically not the kind of multiplicity that could underpin the hybrid yet particular identity that the Indian national project, and indeed the postcolonial project, is looking for. However, going beyond identity or the human can be dangerous, as Deleuze tells us (DII 105; TP 229), and indeed some of the children die or are harmed because of their magical capabilities. Perhaps they are all doomed from the beginning, as the State clearly deems them a severe enough threat to destroy them. Saleem, as the nexus of the magic in the novel and India, is the site of a battle between the ordering forces of the State and the magic of the children. It becomes clear that the more deterritorialized Saleem becomes as a character, the less effectual he becomes as a subject. In fact, because of its divergence from realism, the magic of the novel appears, rather than a political tool, as Saleems loss of identity and thus political agency. When Saleem is brained by the family

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heirloom spittoon and loses his memory, he enters a state of extreme deterritorialization. He becomes like the enlightened Buddha capable of not-living-inthe-world as well as living in it (MC 349). However, he retains the magic power of a fantastic sense of smell, and is coopted into the secret service of the Pakistani army. It appears to be Saleems lack of identity and the lack of identity of his fellow soldiers that prevents them disobeying their orders even when the full horrors of the invasion of East Pakistan become clear. In fact, the more deterritorialized they become the more they seem unable to make a stand against the realities they witness. Their flight into the Sundarban jungle a smooth nomadic space just like the jungle surrounding Macondo makes them all go through individual deterritorializations, and emerging from the jungle they choose to deny the horrors before their eyes. They saw so many things which were not true, which were not possible, because our boys would not could not have behaved so badly; we saw men in spectacles with heads like eggs being shot in side-streets, we saw the intelligentsia of the city being massacred by the hundreds [. . .] slit throats being buried in unmarked graves [. . .] lady doctors were being bayoneted before they were raped, and raped again before being shot. (MC 375376) We see clearly here that the magic is literally ineffectual in the face of real horrors. The deterritorialized soldiers, in particular Saleem, lack the power to do anything but deny these atrocities, which, in themselves are described using a realist, not a magical mode. As we near the end of Saleems narrative his deterritorialization also appears as personally dangerous, as his identification with India as a multiplicity becomes more explicit: Who what am I? My answer: I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine [sic]. I am anything that happens after Ive gone which would not have happened if I had not come [. . .] each I, every one of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. (MC 383) This is a vision of a multiplicity which is a slipping between things and growing in the midst of things (TP 280). However, it is not compatible with the definition necessary for a national or personal identity, but, in contrast, it is a way to rid ourselves of ourselves.36 This is the point at which writing becomes a distinct world rather than a representation of the world, as Deleuze and Guattari describe it in What is Philosophy?: Characters can only exist, and the author can only create them, because they do not perceive but have passed into the landscape and are themselves part

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As in the end of One Hundred Years of Solitude, this transaction leads to an apocalypse. Saleem cracks up into six-hundred-million specks of dust, into the six-hundred-million rich crowd of India. As Saleem passes into the landscape of India, the novel becomes not a representation of India as a nation but the production of an India as a world, a singular multiplicity. We can compare Hallwards consideration of the contradictory project of postcolonialism with Timothy Brennans sustained critique of what he sees as the failure of Midnights Children to provide models of national identity. Brennan notes that the narrators sweeping claims to be the imaginative source of history, eventually lead to a repudiation of the individual as a moral being,37 and that an all-inclusiveness finally undermines the idea of national distinctions themselves, which are orderly and bordered. Everything means not just India. If neither Saleem nor Padma create true national images, it is because the truth of postwar nationalism is international.38 In one sense, Brennan does not take his critique far enough, for the all-inclusiveness of Midnights Children is not about internationalism but about a multiplicity which supports neither individual nor national identity, neither Saleem nor India, but which reveals the singular creative power that writes this multiplicity. The metafictionality of Midnights Children thus does not lie in the frame narrative about the telling of the novels story, but in the becoming molecular of Saleem. It is only when the difference between narrator and narrated, subject and object, disappears, as in the final apocalypse in Garca Mrquezs novel, that writing becomes something else (DII 55). Again, however, it seems that such an absolute deterritorialization of the text is incompatible with the territoriality of realism. Midnights Children, via Hallwards concept of the singular, demonstrates the implications of the magical sign of art. While the sign of art reveals the conditions of Being, it also reveals the non-relation of all individual beings, and is therefore incompatible with the idea of identity. In retrospect we can see that the magic of One Hundred Years of Solitude, rather than assert a Latin American identity, ultimately subverts the possibility of identity: hence the contradiction encountered by critics. However, the contradiction remains, because while One Hundred Years of Solitude and Midnights Children end in the annihilation of time, place and identity, magical realism, as we have noted, is definitely rooted in place and history. Is this realism necessarily entirely contradicted and destroyed by a magical becoming-molecular? The next two novels we will consider are also about identity, but, as opposed to One Hundred Years of Solitude and Midnights Children, do not end in apocalypse.

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Angela Carters Nights at the Circus (1984): Reterritorialization through Relation


Angela Carters Nights at the Circus, in contrast to Rushdies novel, is written firmly from the centre rather than the margins of the postcolonial world. However, there has not been a shortage of comparisons between the postcolonial and the feminist struggles, and indeed Carter makes this point herself. Seeing language as power, life and the instrument of culture, the instrument of domination and liberation,39 Carter considers her writing as a decolonising of language and our basic habits of thought.40 Reminiscent of many descriptions of magical realism in the postcolonial context, and readings of both One Hundred Years of Solitude and Midnights Children, Carter feels the need for the creation of the means of expression for an infinitely greater variety of experience than has been possible heretofore, to say things for which no language previously existed.41 Mentioning Garca Mrquez, she claims to feel affinity with Third World writers who are transforming actual fictional forms to both reflect and precipitate changes in the way people feel about themselves.42 While the magic in Nights at the Circus cannot be categorized as belonging to a specific non-Western culture, la William Spindlers anthropological magical realism,43 the novel displays significant similarities to One Hundred Years of Solitude and Midnights Children in terms of the treatment of both the real and the magic. It is firmly set at the very end of the nineteenth century in London, St Petersburg and Siberia, evoking vivid images of the first two settings in particular: Victorian London through descriptions of the main character Fevverss childhood home, the brothel, and St Petersburg through glimpses of both the extreme poverty and extreme opulence given in between events at the circus. As Day has pointed out, the novel is formally and generically quite traditional and follows the linear progression of the adventures of the protagonists. Day also notes the rich historical contexts that often remain unnoticed: references to historical figures like the entertainer Dan Leno, to Alfred Jarry, Toulouse-Lautrec, Freud and Marx, as well as a subtext of the womens rights movement and leftwing political activism of the time.44 The novel lacks the explicit family structure and domestic settings of the aforementioned novels, although Fevverss upbringing in a brothel provides a kind of substitute. However, in Nights at the Circus the rigid segmentarity of the State is not so much located in the family, as, perhaps surprisingly, in the circus. The particular territorialization performed by the State that Carter is interested in is, of course, male domination. In fact, the way Carter creates a local representative of the State in the circus with its capitalist exploitation, its hierarchy and its segmentarity, makes it clear that she is aware of the pitfalls of some of the characteristics attributed to magical realism. Similarly to both Garca Mrquezs and Rushdies novels, Nights at the Circus has been described as carnivalesque in style. As discussed in the Introduction, the carnivalesque is one of the features

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that cannot be seen as essential to magical realism. However, the perceived subversion of boundaries in magical realism, as well as the hyperbolic tendencies of many magical realist novels, have made critics link the carnivalesque and magical realism. In fact, it is precisely the misreading of magical realism as performing merely a carnivalesque operation by introducing magic into reality that contributes to the perception of the genre as a failure. As Ga siorek points out, Carter is well aware that the carnivalesque inversion of categories, such as magic and real, oppressor and oppressed, male and female, has only a limited subversive power: it does not question these dichotomies as such, and after the laughter of the carnival has died down, the old order easily returns.45 The magic in Nights at the Circus, however, is an element that is divergent both from the ordinary rules of society and their temporary carnivalesque inversion in the circus. In fact, the organization of Carters circus is segmented according to a strict hierarchy: circus manager, audience, performers, with the latter in turn divided into men, women, animals. Its space is striated to reflect these divisions in a sort of inverted cone of concentric circles (the structure of the circular stage) where the further away from the centre you are, the higher up in the hierarchy you find yourself. Importantly, therefore, the circus (which can include any of the theatre stages Fevvers has performed on) is the arena in which Fevvers the woman is objectified, where she has her identity constructed for her. We can recall Hallwards concept of the specified here. A specified identity is passive and objectified, based on a relation imposed from outside. It is here, on stage, in the centre of the cone, that Fevverss identity is specified by those who come to see her: as angel, as freak, as impostor, as sex-object and so on, all predicated on the order of the circus-State where the specifying gaze always belongs to those further up the hierarchy: the audience and the man. Indeed, Fevvers seems entirely dependent on her performance and her audience for an identity: even her interview with Walser is very much a performance of the persona she has made for herself, and later, lost in Siberia, she seems to crumble and fade without the gaze of an audience. However, Fevvers is also the central element of magic in the novel: a woman with wings, not born but hatched, and with no navel to show for it. She is a becoming in the Deleuzian sense, recalling that for Deleuze, becoming is never an imitation, but two things entering a zone of imperceptibility (TP 274). Fevvers is both woman and bird. What Mary Russo interprets as a grotesque, redundant body,46 Paulina Palmer correctly sees as a sign of Carters interest in exploring a completely new order of things .47 Fevvers has both arms and wings, and as Walser muses, she, by all the laws of evolution and human reason, ought to possess no arms at all, for its her arms that ought to be her wings!48 She doesnt imitate the bird in flight either, meandering through the air, somersaulting as no bird, nor human trapeze artist could conceivably do. She is an element divergent from the laws of nature, a line of flight traversing the series of both the human and the avian. She is the object = x of the text, something she, in fact, performs by being anything to anyone that sees her: the identities she is given are like the statistical

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effects of her presence in the system of reality around her. Although she is constantly, and sometimes violently, reterritorialized, she is at core entirely deterritorialized. Nights at the Circus is not explicitly metafictional like One Hundred Years of Solitude and Midnights Children, but it foregrounds narration in its first section by making Fevvers tell her own story. In fact, the novel demonstrates that textual self-reflexivity is not a necessary element of magical realism. The magical element, Fevvers, is both the subject and the object of her own narration; it is clear from the outset of the novel that she is making her own reality. At the same time, however, the omniscient narrator guarantees the dominant reality of her setting, and her inclusion in it. Indeed, Fevvers illustrates quite succinctly the contradiction between the singular position and the wish for a relational identity. That is, as an object = x, she is not bound by any convergent system such as the State or the laws of nature, and is, as it were, autoproductive. However, she is also therefore entirely non-relational. The only way to attain relationality is by reterritorialization, that is, entering into a configuration of relations that is by essence territorial. In order to find a place in the world, a definition of herself, Fevvers has to perform, she has to insert herself into the order of the State through the circus and reterritorialize herself in the gaze of her spectators. Fevvers thus allows us to see the central dilemma of magical realism with greater clarity: magic occupies a position where the binary divisions of any domination scenario are erased and where any rigid organization is destroyed, thus implying a liberation from such specifying structures. However, it also implies the impossibility of the kind of relations necessary for individual identity. In Nights at the Circus Carter dramatizes this dilemma further through the group of Clowns. The identities of the clowns are ostensibly and unashamedly constructs, but underneath there is no true self, no original. Nevertheless, the clowns feel that their awareness of the specified nature of their identity, their choice of the construct, as it were, is a form of freedom: I have become this face which is not mine, and yet I choose it freely (NC 122). However, they also demonstrate the dangers of absolute deterritorialization, similar to those encountered by Saleem in Midnights Children. First Buffo, their leader, in his madness and in a flurry of numerous performed identities, deconstructs himself to his death. Later, the clowns as a group perform themselves to oblivion. Carter seems to imply here, as Day observes, the danger of a non-material, ahistorical and transcendental principle (that is, a singular principle) that is presupposed by identity: enacting or embodying this principle ends in chaos and destruction.49 What Carter seems to advocate is the necessity of constructing a territorial identity. While both One Hundred Years of Solitude and Midnights Children ended in total annihilation, Nights at the Circus includes a kind of personal apocalypse, but ends with a reconstruction of identity. This apocalypse, or rather extreme deterritorialization, takes place in the smooth space of a wintry Siberia. The train that Fevvers and Walser are travelling on, a mini-State dividing people and animals in ordered segments, is literally shattered into pieces. This precipitates

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Walsers total loss of identity through trauma, like Saleems amnesia, as well as Fevverss loss of a performative space and thus her main way of creating identity. In the end, however, they both find new identities through their love, that is, by establishing a relation to each other. Walser starts off comfortable in his role as an adventurous, independent man who possesses a specifying gaze both in his role as a man and as a journalist: he writes down and thus determines the identities of the objects he investigates. Carter has him go through a complete becoming-other in his madness, in order to allow him to emerge a new man; an identity he receives by subjecting himself to Fevverss gaze. In the last pages of the novel he offers an alternative narrative of himself, in her unique style. Fevvers, in turn, having been lost and bedraggled, finds herself again in his eyes. As they meet, he, still in a precarious mental state, looks at her uncomprehending and she suffers the worst crisis of her life: Am I fact? Or am I fiction? Am I what I know I am? Or am I what he thinks I am? She only regains her confidence and identity when she spreads her wings and sees the eyes fixed upon her with astonishment, with awe, the eyes that told her who she was (NC 290). Clare Hanson reads this conclusion of Nights at the Circus as a pessimistic message: one can redraw ones own identity but always at expense of someone elses. Fevvers finds herself again, but only through remoulding Walsers image of her, and to Hanson the end of the novel is thus only a reversal rather than a deconstruction of the power relations that make up identity.50 In a sense this is true, since we are certainly not given an alternative to the construction of identity through a system predicated on delineation and boundaries, on territorialization. However, Carter offers a rather upbeat ending from the point of view of Fevvers, as she has chosen her performance and her spectator. She has thus been able to escape her specified identity through what Hallward would call a specific position. Yet Carter does not allow this to be an entirely unproblematic solution for Fevvers. Walsers question whether she really is the only fullyfeathered intacta in the history of the world is met with the enigmatic Gawd, I fooled you! (NC 294) and the resounding laugh that closes the novel. This laugh seems yet again to set in motion Fevverss endless circulation as the object = x, making her resonate with all the identities she has ever been given, as we have to re-open the question what is she? In fact, the magic does not necessarily lead to destruction or dissolution, but the mechanisms that keep things together, that allow the characters to return from the brink of apocalypse, from total deterritorialization, are those of reterritorialization and of the State.

Toni Morrisons Beloved (1987): The Imperative to Reterritorialization


Toni Morrisons Beloved makes clear the imperative of reterritorialization perhaps more poignantly than both Midnights Children and Nights at the Circus. In the former we encountered the horrors of the real, against which the magic

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appeared as ineffectual, whereas in the latter, the territorial appeared as a way to resolve the non-relationality of the magic. In Beloved such relational territorialization is precisely a way the horrors of the real can be faced, but at the expense of the deterritorialization of magic. Beloved has been repeatedly described in terms by now familiar to us: it is a blurring of the boundaries between fact and fiction, history and fable, the literary and the oral, and it thus rejects identity as fixed, critiquing not only racist but also black nationalist notions of black identity.51 By allowing a multitude of voices and styles to blend without any one taking precedence, the novel rejects the idea of authenticity.52 Furthermore, as Maggie Sale states, Not only does Beloved foreground its own construction as history and fiction, but it asserts that all historical narratives participate in a similar fictionalizing.53 In the face of the atrocities of slavery, an unnatural reality, the novel reimagines the real to redefine history, language, and the purpose of art itself.54 However, the tension between identity and magic we have seen in the novels considered above is also very apparent in Beloved; Peach complains that while the novel favours community, the moral responsibility of individuals to each other, the reclamation of traditional black values and the importance of the ancestor, it is also drawn to the dramatic potential of enigma, distances, spaces, dislocation, alienation, gaps and ellipses that seem to contradict these.55 Yet in its ending it is more like Nights at the Circus than Rushdies or Garca Mrquezs novels, as Conner has noticed: In contrast to the spectacular apocalyptic conclusions that characterize so much of late twentieth-century fiction one thinks of the conclusions of Gravitys Rainbow, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Midnights Children apocalypse in Beloved [. . .] ushers in not annihilation, but renewal.56 Much has been made of the structure of Beloved, which reveals the past in a fragmented manner through the characters memories, often in several versions. Certainly there is a more direct polyvocality in Beloved than in One Hundred Years of Solitude or Midnights Children, even Nights at the Circus, but as opposed to Fevverss auto-narration in this novel, the voices in Beloved work more like Saleems rational narrator in Midnights Children. The voices included in Morrisons novel are more indebted to the classical slave narrative than many critics allow, giving the novel the authenticity of accounts by eye-witnesses to and, crucially, victims of the events that they recount.57 As readers, while we have to work at it, we can piece together a fairly coherent linear progression of events from the time during slavery at Sweet Home to the present of the frame narrative in post-abolition Cincinnati. Morrison has indicated that she wants her writing to speak the unspeakable, and many critics have interpreted the character of Beloved as this unspeakable, thus reading the magic of the novel as a way of articulating horrors that have been repressed. However, Morrison does a much better job at actually just speaking these horrors in the ostensibly realist passages of the characters reminiscences. Sethes memory of her milk being stolen by her new masters nephews, while he watches and takes notes, and her subsequent flogging, or

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Paul Ds memory of the utter humiliation suffered by having to wear the bit at Sweet Home, as well as the physical and sexual abuse he experienced as part of a chain-gang in Georgia, and many more such episodes, are striking precisely because of their unflinching realism. Without these realist episodes, Beloved would not be perceived as such a significant character, for she only attains her identity as a repressed memory through her resonance with these realist passages, in particular the horror of Sethes murder of her own daughter. Notably, this, the central passage in the novel, is entirely realist. However, before we consider Beloved, we need to understand the realism of the novel better, for it nevertheless seems to have an extra dimension to it, not present in the other novels discussed so far. The recollected episodes of slavery and escape often emerge from the involuntary memories of the characters, and the link to Proust has been made on occasion.58 Sethe tries hard not to remember her days of slavery, and is often successful: The picture of the men coming to nurse her was as lifeless as the nerves in her back where the skin buckled like a washboard; but then something will trigger her memory: The plash [sic] of water, the sight of her shoes and stockings awry on the path where she had flung them; or Here Boy lapping in the puddle near her feet, and suddenly there was Sweet Home rolling, rolling, rolling out before her eyes, and although there was not a leaf on that farm that did not want to make her scream, it rolled itself out before her in shameless beauty.59 In Proust and Signs, Deleuze considers the signs of involuntary memory that the narrator in of la recherche du temps perdu experiences as part of the apprenticeship of signs, as a step towards understanding the signs of art. However, these signs of memory are still only a beginning: Reminiscences in involuntary memory are still of life: of art at the level of life [. . .]. On the contrary art in its essence, the art superior to life, is not based upon involuntary memory (PS 55). What the signs of memory do, however, is foreground the difference inherent in the process of art: The essential thing in involuntary memory is not resemblance, nor even identity, which are merely conditions, but the internalized difference, which becomes immanent. It is in this sense that reminiscence is the analogue of art [. . .]: it takes two different objects, the madeleine with its flavor, Combray with its qualities of color and temperature; it envelops the one in the other, and makes their relation into something internal. (PS 60) That is, the signs of involuntary memory introduce a break in the text, by showing up the difference between the narration and the narrated, shattering the illusion of representation. However, reminiscences do not go as far as the signs of art, since they are, says Deleuze, less dematerialized and still depend on associations, and are therefore easily reinterpreted objectively as realism or subjectively as symbols (PS 64). The device of memory thus accounts for Beloveds self-awareness of history and fiction as human constructs,60 as it does

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in Midnights Children, but again we see that such a characteristic is not what defines the magic of magical realism. Indeed, the memories of Sethe and Paul D are reterritorialized within the linear narrative of the story of Beloved, as passages of realism. However, they do seem to have an almost autonomous, physical presence. As Sethe explains to her daughter, Denver, Some things just stay [. . .]. Someday you be walking down the road and you hear something or see something going on. So clear. And you think its you thinking it up. A thought picture. But no. Its when you bump into a rememory that belongs to somebody else (BD 43). These involuntary rememories are the legacy of slavery, and, as has been often noted, seem to be as real and persistent as the scars on Sethes back. They are, we could argue, the remnants of a different regime of signs within the regime of subjectification that governs the realism of the novel. Indeed, the frame narrative of the novel is set in a world segmented and ordered like Macondo. At the centre is the family, however small, and the domestic setting, and then the black neighbourhood in Cincinnati, placed the right side of the all-important line dividing North and South. The year is 1873 and both the benefits and the disappointments of abolition are dramatized by the various characters inhabiting this setting. Certainly the third-person matter-of-fact narration of this frame setting establishes the authenticating voice of realism. However, while the voices of the characters remembering their past also speak under the regime of signs of realism, they describe a different kind of regime. Slavery can be seen as part of what Deleuze calls a despotic regime, as opposed to the State, which is part of the regime of signification (there may have been a State for the white slave-owners, but clearly from the slaves perspective there was no sanction of their subjection through reason). In brief, in this regime all signs are sanctioned by the despot, all signification imposed from this signifying centre. (TP 111148) Rather than the constant reterritorialization of flows that characterizes the State, the despotic regime is an extreme territorialization (although it may be very local applied only to the slave population for example). In Hallwards terms, it is a system under which individuals are entirely specified. The racist discourse that underpins the specification of blacks as slaves is dramatized most explicitly in Beloved by Schoolteacher, the new master of Sweet Home, who has his nephews measure the slaves, writing down their animal as well as human characteristics. However, the specification of slaves as animals, as childlike, or as inhuman is constant throughout the characters recollections. Their memories are part of their extreme territorialization, remnants of the despotic regime erupting in the present. What Beloved emphasizes in the realism of these memories is thus identity as specified. The extremity and violence with which it has been specified is clearly an imperative to despecify: and this imperative is akin to the persistence in postmodern literature not only of desire for elimination of domination, inequality and oppression but also of desire for transcendence itself, as DeKoven points out in her discussion of the novel.61 In a sense, then, the despecifying magic of Beloved feels more necessary in

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Morrisons novel than it ever did in the others, and the battle between a specified identity, a new acceptable identity, and the non-identity of the singular, becomes far more explicitly a matter of extreme importance for the survival of the individual. The memories of the past, the eruptions of the despotic regime, lead to Beloveds appearance in the novel. Sethes struggle with her memories seems to evoke this magical character, although her appearance cannot be easily explained. In fact, the very slipperiness of Beloved that any reader or critic of the novel has to battle against is due to her magic, her absolute deterritorialization, her function as an object = x. As Phelan points out, she is stubborn, she wont yield to interpretation; however one rearranges her character, something does not fit.62 No symbolic or real status that critics have attempted to pin on her ever quite holds: whether she is seen as the ghost of Sethes murdered baby, a runaway slave, the motherdaughter bond incarnate, guilt come alive, or the collective memory of the Middle Passage. These possibilities are merely resonances evoked as she traverses the convergent lines of the realism of the novel. Harris incisively reads Beloved as not a person but a thing without any personality traits or any morality, unleashed and unrestrained, limited only by the imagination. She is the personification of desire, thus epitomizes the demonic.63 Indeed, say Deleuze and Guattari, becomings are demonic, a term they specifically place outside the order distinguishing the divine and the satanic. Beloved may be a becoming-human of desire, but at the same time as she is also a becoming-other, a becoming-ghost, of the human. According to Heinze, Beloved can never be fully conceptualized because she is continually in a state of transition,64 rather like Melquades in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Beloved is always in flux because she has no identity of her own. Just as her skin is entirely smooth and unlined, so she is a smooth, deterritorialized entity. In a sense, she is like Fevvers insofar as she accepts the (pseudo-)identity that others give her (as they speculate on who she is), and she also precipitates the becoming-other of another character. Beloved enters into a zone of imperceptibility with Sethe: She imitated Sethe, talked the way she did, laughed her laugh and used her body the same way down to the walk, the way Sethe moved her hands, sighed through her nose, held her head. Sometimes [. . .] it was difficult for Denver to tell who was who (BD 283). However, their mutual deterritorialization seems to spin out of control, enter into the territory or rather the lack of it where things are torn asunder, as in the case of Saleem or Macondo. Conner reads Beloved as a creature of the sublime, which he explicitly links to the annihilation of self and the disruption of individual and community.65 As Corey has noted, after Paul D leaves the house it enters a liminal period when time seems to stop,66 as if it becomes a piece of the timeless place from which Beloved has come back home (BD 214). We can compare this timelessness to that of Melquadess parchments, as it embodies, quite literally, a simultaneous

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experience of the events of 1873, Sethes memories, as well as the suffering of the Middle Passage. This absence of time is implicitly connected with death. The place to which Sethes daughter went and the Middle Passage are united as an experience of death, and Sethe, in the present, seems to enact it, being sucked dry of life. Again we are made aware of the dangers of total deterritorialization, the total loss of identity. Beloved, as the magic element in the novel, is thus clearly not an element that allows any kind of individual healing after the horrors of slavery. She is not only ineffectual, like Saleem, but deadly. She causes Sethe to go through a personal apocalypse: the loss of her sense of identity. However, at the end of the novel, the singular Beloved is exorcized by the community, re-establishing relations with Sethe and her family, bringing her back into the land of the living the territorial State as well as bringing her back, explicitly through Paul D, to the possibility of an identity. As Conner indicates, Paul Ds return to Sethe is the joining of two people in order to find their identities, something like Walser and Fevvers at the end of Nights at the Circus. Paul D put[s] his story next to hers and by telling her that she, not Beloved, is her own best thing, a glimmer of self appears in Sethes response Me? Me? (BD 322), as if she has only just become aware again of her existence separate from Beloved. To Conner this is indicative of the regeneration of the self and the community in the face of the in-human and other-worldly sublime. Conner also points out how order, law and boundaries are contradictory to the sublime.67 Indeed such a reading of Beloved in terms of the sublime is comparable to what we concluded from Midnights Children and Nights at the Circus: the magic is a movement antithetical to the search for identity. In Beloved, the imperative for such a search becomes far more clear: in the face of an extremely specifying, despotic, regime of signs, despecification becomes a question of survival. The magic of the character Beloved provides such a despecification for Sethe through a precarious process of losing all identity, one, however, which ultimately allows her a reconstruction of identity. What our readings of Midnights Children, Nights at the Circus and Beloved suggest, then, is that the problems encountered by critics of magical realism stem from a misunderstanding of the nature of the magic and the real. The historical or social content of magical realism does not reside in its magic. Instead these aspects of magical realism are rooted in its realism. It appears that the two main elements of magical realism refer to what Hallward usefully designated as two different poles of the ontological orientation of things in Deleuzes thought: towards the actual or towards the virtual. The very structure of realism means that it is oriented firmly towards the actual. This structure is apparently mirroring a world of fixed territories and a rigid organization. In fact, however, realism is not a representation of an external world so organized, but as an expression of the same organizational principle, a regime of signs. This regime determines meaning as well as ordering society, in the State. Thus realism is relevant, albeit not by means of representation, to society, history, geography

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and politics. In distinct contrast, the magic of magical realism is radically divergent from the ordered series of the realism. It appears deterritorialized and free of the strict organization of the actual. The magical events defy determination by place or function, and can be seen to move across the series and segments of the realism. Importantly, however, the magic, in its divergence, is removed from not only the details of daily social life depicted by realism, but also from its engagement with the negotiation of identity, and indeed, with any historical or geographical situation. However, despite its divergence from the territorial world of realism, the magical elements certainly seem to have some kind of effect, not the least in the apocalyptic destruction of the society of Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude and of Saleems identity Midnights Children. In Nights at the Circus and Beloved, on the other hand, we saw that the presence of magic need not have such wholly destructive implications. Rather, for Fevvers and Sethe, the magic, while in itself antithetical to a reconstruction of identity, seems to act as a kind of impetus or catalyst to this reconstruction. If a Deleuzian analysis has revealed the magic as antithetical to the realism of magical realism, it will also allow us to consider in what way the magic can be reappraised as effectual in this way, in an ahistorical, apolitical framework. In fact, it is the very fact that the magic is removed from society and history, indeed, from the human, that enables it to act as a sign of art.

Chapter 4

Magical Realism and the Signs of Art

Introduction: The Magical Signs of Art


In magical realist texts we have looked so far the magic appears to be situated in a realm apart from any human milieus, and yet, the magic is nevertheless patently present and definable. It is clear that the virtual realm of magic, even though removed from the real world, is not ineffectual. Instead it can be thought of as a supplement, which adds a dimension to the magical realist text that cannot be gained through realism. However, to fully understand what this supplement entails, the magic has to be read as part of an ontological order completely distinct to that of realism. The Deleuzian ontological model of actual and virtual as two sides of One Being is thus invaluable to negotiating the contradiction or double bind inherent in magical realism, between a realism that invites contextual readings, and a magic that is radically different. To Deleuze, the unique power of art lies not in its representing the world, but creating a world anew, and by doing so revealing the very conditions of any world. This unique power can be found in the magic of magical realism. In contrast to the historical and political realm of realism, magic allows us to think a dimension presupposed by the historical and political, and therefore free of the limitations of fixed territoriality and rigid organization characterizing these. To Deleuze, the aim of thought is to understand the true nature of reality, the one Being that has two sides, the actual and the virtual. Only by properly thinking the virtual can we understand how both the actual and the virtual are two sides of the same thing. Recall that Deleuze and Guattari delineate three ways of thinking the virtual: science, philosophy and art (WIP 198). Importantly, these three paths of thought all allow us to think further than the actual which usually conditions our thoughts and obscures the virtual from us. To Deleuze, as virtual Being actualizes itself in matter and form it becomes limited and fixed. Thus, from our point of view, as we are such actual beings in the here and now, the virtual initially appears as a disordered, infinite chaos, which, as Deleuze and Guattari say, is difficult to think: We require just a little order to protect us from chaos. Nothing is more distressing than a thought that escapes itself [. . .]. We ask only that our ideas are linked together according to a minimum of constant rules. All that the

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Recall that the realism of magical realism reflects the structure of the actual, and only the actual. Indeed, the laws of nature, which apparently order the realist experience, are to, Deleuze, merely a set of such protective rules governing our thought in the realm of the actual, rules that indeed, exclude winged horses, fire-breathing dragons or any other magic. However, art can also allow us to venture beyond these protective rules, and by the process of counteractualization to restore a piece of the virtual chaos, precisely by allowing us to imagine, to think, all sorts of magical events. We have to remember here the implications of Deleuzes ontology for the status of art as being. If everything that is, is in the same way, art is not a secondary type of being, but yet another creation. The movement of counteractualization is never a representation, or image of the virtual, but rather, thought of the virtual. Art enables us to think the virtual by recreating rather than representing the infinite, by embodying the infinite in a new and unique creation, that can stand alone. What art does, say Deleuze and Guattari, is to preserve itself: What is preserved the thing or the work of art is a bloc [sic] of sensations, that is to say, a compound of percepts and affects. [. . .]. [It] could be said to exist in the absence of man because man, as he is caught in stone, on the canvas, or by words, is himself a compound of percepts and affects. (WIP 164) Indeed, what is crucial to Deleuze is that the work of art is unique precisely because of the way it allows us think the virtual, and that this implies, inevitably, leaving the subject behind and considering a realm that is not personal or even human. The absence of the human from art central to Cinema 2, one of Deleuzes most comprehensive considerations of the workings of an art form. Here he posits the condition for the counter-actualization of cinema, in the so-called crystalline image, as the negation of what he calls the motor-sensory schema (C2 122150). The motor-sensory schema is precisely the human subjective system of rules that protects us from the chaos of the virtual. Our actual, organic body has to sort the information it gains from the senses pragmatically in order to function in the world. To illustrate this, Deleuze and Guattari quote Kants Critique of Pure Reason: If cinnabar were sometimes red, sometimes black, sometimes light, sometimes heavy . . ., my empirical imagination would never find opportunity

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when representing red colour to bring to mind heavy cinnabar1 [. . .] at the meeting point of things and thought, the sensation must recur that of heaviness whenever we hold cinnabar in our hands, that of red whenever we look at it as proof or evidence of their agreement with our bodily organs that do not perceive the present without imposing on it a conformity with the past. (WIP 202) Through our motor-sensory schema we order the world convergently. We do so by selecting perceptions that fit the protective rules necessary for our being in the actual here and now. What the realism in magical realism does is precisely to recreate the selective processes of the motor-sensory schema: by mimicking the details of a personal, eye-witness account, it creates the reality effect, or what in Deleuzian terms could be called the motor-sensory effect. This is a poor substitute for what Deleuze would call art, for in contrast to realism, what true art can do is to create something independent of any motor-sensory schema, any person or subject. In Cinema 2 Deleuze distinguishes between what he calls organic (that is, linked to the motor-sensory schema of an organism) narration and what he calls crystalline or crystal narration. Organic narration has the characteristics that we have previously recognized as those of realism: the real is recognizable by its continuity [. . .] and by the laws which determine successions, simultaneities and permanences: it is a regime of localizable relations, actual linkages, legal, causal and logical connections. It is clear that this system includes the unreal, the recollection, the dream and the imaginary but as a contrast (C2 123). In such narration characters react to situations through their motorsensory schemata in a realistic, or what Deleuze calls truthful way. However disordered it may be, the narrative basically follows chronological time. As we already know, such narration is founded entirely in the actual, and indeed, the magic appears as a divergent element in such a system. On the other hand, in crystalline narration the actual is cut off from its motor linkages, or the real from its legal connections, and the virtual for its part, detaches itself from its actualizations, starts to be valid for itself (C2 123). It is not the case, then, that the images of the crystalline narration are purely virtual, but rather that they reveal as distinct the virtual as it subsists alongside the actual. Crystalline images, the constituent parts of the crystalline narration, are, crucially, both actual and virtual. In the crystalline narration, actions, reactions and situations, just as in a disjunctive system, appear unconnected and anomalous. Time is no longer chronological, but the pure empty form of time of the virtual that we encountered in the magic of Melquades in One Hundred Years of Solitude. The opposition between organic and crystalline that Deleuze sets up in Cinema 2 can thus be paralleled to our earlier distinctions between the real and the magic. In order fully to comprehend Deleuzes crystalline image we need briefly to consider his use of Henri Bergson and Bergsonian concepts of time in his own ontology. Deleuze describes Bergsonian philosophy in such a way that it maps

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onto his own ontological thought, and he finds the Bergsonian concepts of duration and space parallel to his virtual and actual. Bergsons lan vital corresponds to the creative Being which at every instant separates into two movements: duration and space, virtual and actual. Inevitably, however, as the lan vital extends into matter it loses contact with the rest of itself (B 104), that is, the virtual is obscured by the actual, leading to an illusory and erroneous view of Being. Just like Deleuze himself, Deleuzes Bergson urges us to go beyond the state of experience toward the conditions of experience (B 27). This can only be done by understanding the concept of duration. The form of duration is the pure past, which we must reach through pure recollection. The past is not merely that which has been and gone: We have great difficulty in understanding a survival of the past in itself because we believe that the past is no longer, that it has ceased to be. We have thus confused Being with being-present (B 55). To Bergson, however, the past exists all-together and all-at-once, like Deleuzes virtual. Deleuze uses this Bergsonian framework in Cinema 2 to describe the crystalline image, and the interaction between virtual and the actual that it embodies. Duration, the pure past or time all-at-once, is always coexistent with the present of matter and form, which, as present, is always passing on. It is this coexistence that is precisely made visible, or rather thinkable, in the crystalline image: The present is the actual image, and its contemporaneous past is the virtual image (C2 7677). How can we properly think this duration? Deleuze tells us that the condition of the coexistence of the virtual and actual in the crystalline image is indiscernibility. The crystalline image works like all creation, it is the actualization of the virtual: an effective splitting of Being into virtual and actual. But it is also, crucially, a counter-actualization: a coming back together of the actual and virtual, affirming the univocity of Being. This takes place precisely through the indiscernibility of the two sides of Being: The crystal-image is, then, the point of indiscernibility of the two distinct images, the actual and the virtual, while what we see in the crystal is time itself, a bit of time in the pure state, the very distinction between the two images which keeps on reconstituting itself (C2 79). The practical effect of this is what differentiates the organic or actual image from the crystalline one. The rules of the motor-sensory schema are no longer functional, but are replaced by non-localizable relations: motorsensory linkages [. . .] give way to a succession of varieties subject to their own laws of passage (C2 5). As we have already seen, the magical signs in magical realism, at the point of maximum deterritorialization from realism, gain the freedom of multiple meanings, unchained to a referential or even an associative series, that is, free from what Deleuze calls objective and subjective interpretations. However, Deleuze insists that This is not at all a case of each has its own truth, a variability of content. It is a power of the false which replaces and supersedes the form of the true, because it poses the simultaneity of incompossible presents, or the coexistence of not-necessarily true pasts (C2 127). It is thus,

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for the crystalline image as well as the magical sign, not a matter of a freedom of interpretation, but a whole new regime of meaning. The image, rather than being truthful, becomes fundamentally falsifying; that is, what Deleuze calls a simulacrum, not a representation of anything, but a whole new creation in itself. As all the rules of convergence of the organic narration, or realism, are negated, we run in fact into a principle of indeterminability, of indiscernibility: we no longer know what is imaginary or real, physical or mental, in the situation, not because they are confused, but because we do not have to know and there is no longer even a place from which to ask (C2 7). Recall that indiscernibility is also what characterizes Deleuzian becoming: a process of deterritorialization which means entering into a zone of imperceptibility with what one is becoming. Indeed, the crystalline sign is a becoming-indiscernible of the sign: when the sign has detached itself from the motor-sensory schema, when it has become fully non-human, it is no longer possible to perceive the sign as true or false according to the convergent rules of the actual. The implication of indiscernibility is the revelation of a different ontological order, or a new regime of signs; a crystalline or magical regime of the signs of simulation, in contrast to the realist regime of signs of signification. In the last chapter we encountered the apprenticeship of signs that Deleuze discovers in Prousts la recherche du temps perdu, a process of understanding various kinds of signs, from the most actual so called worldly signs to the most virtual the signs of art. Only the signs of art are, like crystalline images, free from the motor-sensory schema, but it is necessary to go through the other signs of the apprenticeship in order to reach an understanding of these. Recall that when a divergent element, an object = x, is introduced into a convergent system, it makes all series, convergent as well as divergent, communicate and resonate anew through difference itself. The sign of art as such an element allows us to see all signs as connected but only through difference. We saw how divergent series created a kind of resemblance or resonance as a statistical effect. In the same way the signs of art create a kind of unity of the work of art when, in fact, there is no totality except a statistical one which lacks any profound meaning (PS 125126). Deleuze contrasts this kind of statistical unity with the unity obtained by traditional logical thought. Rather than parts being linked together and forming a whole through patterns, order or laws, parts become valid on their own, in themselves, precisely because they do not correspond to a whole at all, but are different in themselves. Deleuze also uses Bergsons concepts to articulate his theory of the signs of art. The sign of art is properly time regained, that is, Bergsonian duration, or pure time regained; because time, ultimate interpreter, ultimate act of interpretation, has the strange power to affirm simultaneously fragments that do not constitute a whole in space, any more than they form a whole by succession within time. Time is precisely the transversal of all possible spaces, including the space of time (PS 129130). Thus Deleuze can insist that the signs of art constitute a superior viewpoint, superior because it is no longer a particular

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viewpoint but a thousand various noncommunicating viewpoints resonating through difference only. In fact, this multiple viewpoint is the revelation of Being as One we see the connection, or properly the oneness of disparate beings without any order, transcendent unity, or totalization. Art provides an enactment of the virtual in its chaotic reality: The world has become crumbs and chaos (PS 111). We have suggested that the magic of magical realism has a non-human quality to it. Here we note that a becoming non-human, a negation of the motorsensory schema, is precisely what informs the power of the signs of art. The non-human becoming of the magical sign of art is a crucial step in the apprenticeship of signs, negating the convergent rules of the actual, and allowing for the indiscernibility of the crystalline image or the signs of art, that is, its counter-actualization. In magical realism the moment of indiscernibility is the moment when, as at the end of One Hundred Years of Solitude, the divergence of the magic makes itself felt in the whole text, when suddenly it is no longer possible to tell what is real and what is imaginary. It is at this moment that the revelation of the signs of art becomes apparent. The magical sign allow us to see not only itself but also all realist signs as part of the same creative process of Being. This creative process of Being is precisely revealed to be the timeless simultaneity of pure time, or duration. It is duration that allows the real and the magic to become indiscernible even though they are entirely divergent, because duration brings together the different without unifying or erasing their differences. Magical realism then appears as a way of thinking virtual Being the virtual magic appearing as the paradoxically different yet indiscernible double or supplement to the actual real.

Yann Martels Life of Pi (2002): Becoming Non-Human at Sea


Yann Martels novel Life of Pi is a noteworthy work of recent magical realism both because of its critical and popular success, and because of its differences from as well as its similarities to its magical realist predecessors. The novel was almost universally lauded by critics, despite passing rumours about plagiarism (interestingly, allegedly from a Latin American work described as a novel of magical realism, the Brazilian Moacyr Scilars Max and the Cats). While most critics liked the novel overall, they felt that its chief strength lay in its main section, which recounts the story of a boy shipwrecked on a lifeboat with a tiger. Most reviews criticized the frame narratives for some weakness or other, ultimately perhaps for just not living up to the quality of the middle section. Life of Pi opens with an outer frame narrative, where the implied author describes events surrounding his work on the book, followed by an inner frame narrative dealing with the protagonist Pis childhood in Pondicherry, setting up the circumstances of the unusual shipwreck. Then follows the longest section of

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the novel, describing Pis tribulations at sea. The novel ends with a coda where Pi offers an alternative story of his experiences at sea. The initial frame narratives are interesting for two reasons. First, they ostensibly provide the realist impulse of the novel, and second, they set up what can be seen as a cultural context both aspects which can be seen as rather superfluous to the central story of the novel. It is notable that the narrative strand that initially seems to be central to the novel, Pis attempt to embrace Islam, Hinduism and Christianity at the same time, turns out to be confined to the frame narrative. In the main section there are no references to this particular experience of Pis apart from a few mentions of prayers and rituals. In fact, any specific religious or cultural background becomes redundant in the face of his struggle for survival, therefore also making the careful initial set-up of these particulars in the novel seem redundant. However, before we consider the importance of the situation of the cultural particulars relative to the placement of magic in the novel, we need to consider what the magic, as well as the real of the novel, consists of. The magic of Life of Pi is not the incidental magic of One Hundred Years of Solitude, nor the continuous magical thread in Midnights Children. It appears in the main section of the novel in its entirety and nowhere else. It consists partly of the extraordinary survival of a boy at sea for 227 days, but mainly of the not supernatural, but, to say the least, distinctly implausible presence of a Bengal tiger (called Richard Parker due to a clerical error) throughout the story of Pis survival. The tiger is one sustained element of magic that remains present in an otherwise realist narrative for some 200 pages. It seems to echo magical realisms Latin American roots, reminding us both of Borgess Dream Tigers and the tiger prowling the large country house in Julio Cortzars story Bestiary.2 However, this sustained magic does not mean that the narrative relinquishes its realism at any point. On the contrary, the narration throughout the middle section of the novel, in the face of the presence of the tiger, remains unwaveringly detailed and empirical. Martels novel on the whole remains, as Martel himself notes in an interview, simple and linear, without any stylistic trickery3 and, as Steve Street points out in his review, Martel takes pains with verisimilitude.4 Pis experiences on the lifeboat, both in terms of the animals and of his survival tactics, are described with care. In fact, the inclusion of the frame narrative does seem to serve one specific purpose as regards the narrative detail of the main section of the novel: we find out why Pi knows so much about animal behaviour he is the son of a zoo keeper. This knowledge is indispensable to him on the lifeboat, and also indispensable to providing the narrative with a pseudo-scientific discourse that works as one of the authenticating devices of realism. Unsurprisingly, several critics have compared Life of Pi to Defoes Robinson Crusoe, and Martels novel does use some of Defoes classic realist devices: the practical details of the ordeal, the tale told by an eyewitness. Even as he, like Saleem in Midnights Children, professes the fallibility of his memory, Pis eyewitness account creates a reality effect by the very particularity of the details that are recalled: What I remember are events and encounters and

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routines, markers that emerged here and there from the ocean of time and imprinted themselves on my memory. The smell of spent hand-flare shells, and prayers at dawn, and the killing of the turtles, and the biology of the algae, for example.5 It is precisely bodily sensations Deleuzes so called motor-sensory schema that make up the convergent series of the realism of this part of the novel. We can note in particular the visual impressions of the endless ocean, the light and dark, the glaring sun and the cold wet rain; the specific mechanics of survival, fishing, killing turtles and gathering precious water; and finally the pseudoscientific precision of an educated young man, reasoning and rational, observing the nature that surrounds him inside and outside the boat. While specific details of history and geography are left out, something we will return to later, the narration remains consistent with the realism we have previously identified in magical realism. There may be no houses or towns, but the boat is quickly divided into very specific territories the tigers and the boys. There may be no historical events to mark the progression of time, but Pi acts in a meticulously rational way, segmenting his day according to the tasks that need to be performed: we are given a list of activities including inspection of raft and lifeboat, tending of solar stills, examining of scabs and sores, dinner for self and Richard Parker and so on (LP 190). The lifeboat with its territories, and the ordered activities of Pi are, indeed, Pis protection against the chaos that assails him from both within and without the life-boat. The magic of the animals and the sea, in contrast, constantly challenge these motor-sensory schemata and push him to the limits of human life. True to most definitions of magical realism, the magic in Life of Pi is described precisely by the same realist narration as Pis rational activities. The tiger starts off as part of a veritable menagerie on the lifeboat. Immediately after the shipwreck the boat offers salvation to not only Pi and the tiger, but also an orangutan, a zebra and a hyena. Pis narration of the animals is always steeped in zoological details, and the not unexpected outcome of the strange animal gathering on the boat is described in the same tone. The hyena gets to the dying zebra and kills the orangutan in battle when hunger overcomes it An adult female orang-utan cannot defeat an adult male spotted hyena. That is the plain empirical truth. (LP 130) before succumbing to the tiger. The tiger thus literally absorbs all the other animals, and becomes the one enduring magical sign. This magical sign persists in the face of an unswerving realist narration, vividly evoking the fluid power of the tiger: He completed the turn of his head with a slow turn of his body, moving his forepaws sideways along the side bench. He dropped to the floor of the boat with ponderous ease. I could see the top of his head, his back and his long, curled tail. His ears lay flat against his skull. In three paces he was at the middle of the boat. Without effort the front half of his body rose in the air and his forepaws came to rest on the rolled-up edge of the tarpaulin. (LP 152)

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Martel here provides us with a typical magical realist matter-of-fact narration that leaves no room for doubt about the real presence of the tiger on the lifeboat. The tiger is narrated as if it fitted within the convergent system of realism. Indeed, in some senses the tiger manages to fit into this order, as he does, in fact, obey the laws of nature. Yet the tiger also always seems to exceed any attempt at description. He is, in his fluidity and brightness, always something more than just the referent of a realist narration, and therefore, at the same time, something less than a referent. As we saw, such magical signs exhibit a tendency towards the symbolic, as they appear significant even as the reality of their supposed referent is slipping away. Indeed, it is tempting to read the tiger of Life of Pi symbolically or allegorically. Critics and reviewers have suggested that central part of the novel is an allegory that continues the frame narratives meditation on faith, yet have at the same time been forced to admit that there is little that bears this reading out.6 Not only are Pis own musings on religion almost entirely abandoned, the tiger also refuses to be reduced to a simple symbol. Pi admires his natural beauty, but the tiger is not Nature. Pi is tested by his presence, but he is not Adversity or Temptation or Doubt. He is just a tiger stuck on a lifeboat. This is why the central part of Life of Pi has to be regarded as magical realism: even though the text is dominated by a realist narration; the magic of the tiger is irreducible, unavoidable. We already know that the magic and realism in magical realism coexist, not through any conciliation but in a state of constant tension. This tension is precisely the tension between what Deleuze terms an organic narration and the crystalline signs of magic. A part of the realist narration of the novel, the magic of the animals has an unexpected effect on the language of the novel. Greer starts her review of it by quoting a sentence that to her jumps out of the novel: I turned around, stepped over the zebra and threw myself overboard (LP 100).7 Indeed, this is a sentence that encapsulates the function of the magical signs in the mainly realist text of Life of Pi. The zebra, as a sign, strains against the realism of the sentence. On the one hand, it seems to fit the realist narration, while on the other, it is entirely divergent from it, contradicting realisms ordered world. It seems to imply a certain significance, this zebra in a lifeboat, yet meaning escapes it: it is an object = x. Thus in this sentence, language can be seen to begin to be put to a minor use, as in Deleuze and Guattaris Kafka. Indeed, the sentence has a similar valence to Kafkas As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect,8 or the famous magical realist sentence-long short story of the Latin American Boom by Augusto Monterroso, The Dinosaur: When he woke up, the dinosaur was still there.9 Considering what we argued in the beginning of this chapter, we now see that the moment the magic appears as a crystalline sign, the actual is cut off from its motor linkages, or the real from its legal connections; that is, we move away from a human order, and the virtual magic appears as distinct, valid for itself (C2 123). It is at this moment that language seems to take a leap not just a leap off the page, but in the Deleuzian sense of

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taking flight: Am in lifeboat. Pi Patel my name. Have some food, some water, but Bengal tiger a serious problem (LP 238). However, it is not only the magic of the animals that appears as a crystalline sign in contrast to the organic narration of the realism in the novel. Francie Lin suggests that it is testament to Martels talent that his narrative never drags despite the fact that the movement of time in Life of Pi is almost undetectable. All incidents take place in a kind of vacuum.10 Certainly, the narrative is lacking in the usual realist markers of history and geography, time and location. It is as if the magic of the tiger within the lifeboat has a correlative outside the lifeboat: the absolute absence of signs that is the sea. In contrast to the convergent series of the lifeboat realm, the small but segmented world of Pi, the sea presents a total absence of order. It is a Deleuzian smooth space, a space that is entirely non-human, devoid of all that the motor-sensory schema needs: I considered jumping overboard and swimming away, but my body refused to move. I was hundreds of miles from landfall, if not a thousand miles [. . .]. What would I eat? What would I drink? How would I keep the sharks away? How would I keep warm? How would I know which way to go? (LP 147). The sea, like the jungle that surrounded Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude, is without markers, without territories or places, only a smooth skin reflecting the light with a million mirrors (LP 159). Florence Stratton suggests that the tiger is the spark of the story and that its primary signification is the incantatory or transcendent power of art: the imaginative truths or realities that great art encompasses. That art has redemptive or transformative power is also suggested.11 Though she is actually sceptical about the power of Life of Pi as a work of art, Stratton is on the right track here, while nevertheless making the error of trying to give the tiger a symbolic significance. In fact, the tiger, as a magical sign, does not signify the power of art but embodies it. The power of art, to Deleuze, is not a transcendent but an entirely immanent one. Art does indeed have redemptive and transformative powers, and these are enacted by the magical sign. The tiger embodies the spark of the story, insofar as it embodies the virtual that gives sense to all language. Interestingly, and we will come back to this, Stratton concludes that the central section of Life of Pi is not satisfactory, as it is hollow at the core without literal referent.12 Indeed it is, with its null signifying value, and this is precisely because it embodies the power of art, rather than referring to it. What effect does the power of art of the magical sign have in Life of Pi? One answer lies in the final section of the novel, in which an alternative story of Pis shipwreck is offered. Crucially, this version comes after the magical middle part of the novel, and thus after we have already gone through a kind of apprenticeship of signs in which we have encountered the magical signs of art. Thus when we are faced with the second story, we see it in an entirely different way than we would have done, had it been presented to us at the beginning. In the second story, in place of the menagerie of animals, Pi finds himself on the lifeboat with his mother, a wounded Taiwanese sailor and a murderous

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French cook. The cook kills both the Taiwanese sailor and Pis mother before in turn being killed by Pi, who is then forced to eat his flesh for survival. Although some reviewers have labelled this the true story, most seem to imply that it is a story Pi makes up in his frustration with the incredulity of the inspectors from the Japanese Ministry of Transport who refuse to believe his initial account. The crux of the novel is that Pi manages to get these representatives of reason to admit that his first story is the better one, upon which admission Pi states And so it goes with God (LP 317). Critics and reviewers rightly agree that this is an entirely unsatisfactory line. While Life of Pi at its outset promises to be a story that will make you believe in God (LP xii), most readers note that apart from the rather weak episode of Pis three faiths, the novel has little to say about faith or the existence of God. However, a great many critics and reviewers admit that while the novel does not make a good case for belief in God, it does suggest a faith in fiction or the power of writing.13 In contrast to the weaknesses found in the frame narratives of the novel, critics have praised the inherent ambiguity of the central story. Francis King asks: Is this a narrative [. . .] of what really happened or of what happened in the mind of a boy maddened by fever, terror and grief? However, he concludes that it is a strength, not a weakness, of this extraordinary novel that when boy and tiger at last reach the seaboard of Mexico, that question still remains unanswered.14 In fact, the question remains unanswered even though we are given the alternative of a more believable story, and it does so because of the very power of writing or of art. What the power of writing does is not, as many readers have suggested, make them choose, with the Japanese officials, Pis initial story as the better story. That choice is all their own. Rather, the power of the signs of art is precisely what leaves the question unanswered. This undecidability is exactly at the heart of the magical crystalline signs of the tiger, the sea and sky. The impossibility of survival at sea for 277 days and the extreme impossibility of survival in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger are, in fact, the non-human becomings of the text. Pi notices that I ate like an animal, that noisy, frantic, unchewing wolfing-down of mine was exactly the way Richard Parker ate (LP 225). Pi becomes-tiger in the central narrative to such an extent that it is implied (and noted by several reviewers) that in his second story, if the Frenchman is the hyena, the Taiwanese sailor the zebra, and Pis mother the orangutan, Pi must be the tiger himself. Pis zones of indiscernibility with the tiger, his becoming-tiger, thus introduce zones of indiscernibility between his two stories. The becoming-non-human of the magical sign is therefore part of its power as a sign of art. It is also what inevitably makes the magical sign divergent from the essentially human order of the realism in the text. June Dwyer compares the relationship between human and animal in traditional shipwreck narratives, such as Robinson Crusoe, and Martels novel. She notes that in the shipwreck narrative there is a privileging [of] the know-how and the power of human over non-human animals reflecting the utilitarian view of animals during the Enlightenment period.15 Man is seen as master of

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beasts: an essentially superior, because rational, being. Recalling the link between reason and realism discussed in the last chapter, we can connect this view of the superiority of rational man to the realism of Life of Pi, borrowed from such shipwreck narratives. Dwyer notes that in Robinson Crusoe, animals are seen not as survivors but as part of the useful items Crusoe salvages. In Life of Pi, by contrast, the animal has a central role. Pi, of course, does try to tame Richard Parker, which can be seen, as James Mensch suggests, as a humanization of the tiger.16 It is certainly an attempt to impose a human order on the animal. We noted before how the very undertaking of this taming and its description is central to the realism of the main episode of Life of Pi. That is, again realism is linked to the imposition of order, explicitly now in the attempt of the human to impose order on the animal. While Crusoe keeps the animals at a distance, Pis affinity with the tiger grows: but it is not that Richard Parker is becoming more domesticated [. . .] the reverse is true: Pi is becoming more like a wild animal.17 Not only does Pi eat like an animal, his daily rhythms become more animal, revolving around sleeping, hunting, eating and grooming. In the very struggle for survival, or perhaps in the proximity to non-survival, Pi and the tiger become the same: We were two emaciated animals, parched and starving (LP 239). Pis becoming-tiger is thus a movement away from the human subject effectuated by the presence of the magical sign of the tiger. However, it is also enabled, or rather, enforced, by the other non-human presence in the novel the sea. Both Dwyer and Mensch read the shipwreck situation as a deliberate device for taking the human out of its environment, society, with Mensch drawing a parallel to the zoo animals. Just as the animals on the lifeboat revert to their wild ways and eat each other outside of their cages, Pi in the absence of the structure of society turns to what he himself sees as savagery killing and eating meat. Even though Pi manages to keep a hold on some order in the life-boat, these experiences of killing often shade into the magical, as in the passage, frequently quoted by reviewers, where he catches a dorado: I took the hatchet in both my hands and vigorously beat the fish on the head with the hammerhead [. . .]. The dorado did a most extraordinary thing as it died: it began to flash all kinds of colours in rapid succession. Blue, green, red, gold and violet flickered and shimmered neon-like on its surface as it struggled. I felt I was beating a rainbow to death. (LP 185) Mensch reads both the animal and the divine in Life of Pi as the other of the human. To Mensch the human is defined by its alterity, but also by the inevitable inclusion of this alterity: humanity is defined by the boundaries it draws and the ways it is forced to trespass them.18 This may be so, in which case trespassing is what is happening in the central story of Life of Pi. As we have seen, Pi is becoming-animal, and his encounter with the smooth sea has been read, by Mensch as well as others, as an encounter with the numinous. Pi does see the immensity of the sea and sky as divine. He calls the thunderbolt a miracle and

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an outbreak of divinity, praising Allah. In moments of desolation he tries to seek comfort in the divinity of that which is around him: I would point to the lifeboat and say aloud, THIS IS GODS ARK! I would spread my hands wide and say aloud, THESE ARE GODS WIDE ACRES! I would point at the sky and say aloud, THIS IS GODS EAR (LP 209). This is, however, not a case of a meeting with the divine, but of Pi interpreting these events and things as divine. Mensch has a point, insofar as these things, as we have seen, are distinctly non-human, but while they are part of Pis nonhuman becoming, there is never a sign of a God as such. Pi is ultimately stuck for words in the face of the lightning: This is . . . this is . . . I could not find what it was, this thing so vast and fantastic (LP 233). He also comes to the conclusion that Gods ark was a jail. Gods wide acres were slowly killing me. Gods ear didnt seem to be listening (LP 209). God is conspicuously absent in the main part of the novel, in contrast to his apparent presence in the frame narrative. Pi does, however, continue to pray and perform religious rituals in his bid to keep an ordered existence on the lifeboat. These rituals are, in fact, revealed for what they really are by the presence of the magical signs and Pis becoming non-human: merely ways of ordering existence. It is therefore also in this sense that the magical signs of art of Life of Pi make us see the signs of realism differently: the religious specifics, the presence of God of the frame narrative are revealed as part of the ordered regime of realism and of the State. Rather than offering Pi an experience of the divine, his experimentation with different faiths offers him the conception of God as an other to the human, setting up a binary hierarchy of identity. In contrast to Pis becoming imperceptible with the non-human at sea, in the frame narrative the non-human, God, is offered as strict alterity to Pis human identity, and as Mensch points out, so are the zoo-animals. Here the hierarchical division of animal-man-God is strictly affirmed. However, interestingly, Dwyer interprets Pis post-shipwreck studies of theology and zoology, mirroring his childhood interests, as a wish to understand the human and the non-human, respectively. Indeed, the religious theme of the frame narrative of Life of Pi has more to do with the human than the divine. Not only is religion shown to be culturally determined, it is also shown as precisely an attempt to specify, to order, the idea of the divine in human culture. Rather than persuade us that all religions love the same God, an argument between three religious leaders demonstrates how religion is involved in ordering and thus dividing or segmenting society: the pandit sees both Christianity and Islam as foreign, the former as pandering to colonials and the latter as violent and uncivilized. The imam sees Christians as pigs and cannibals and Hindus as slave-drivers of the caste system. The priest, finally, considers Hindus idolaters and Muslims polygamists (LP 6768). All these negative accusations have very little to do with theology and everything to do with different cultural practices. We can see that it is the realism of the novel that expresses its cultural content, and which allows Pi to explore his identity even when plural or mixed. Realism is the regime of signs that is able to represent the specific order, the

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position, and the identity that any human culture implies, that is, the order necessary for the human motor-sensory schema to function practically in the actual everyday world. Magic, of course, belongs to an entirely different regime of signs. What becomes apparent in Life of Pi is that becoming-non-human, the negation of the motor-sensory schema, is crucial to the magical sign and its divergence from the protective rules of the real. The clear separation between the central narrative that contains the magic of the novel, and the frame narrative that contains the order of human culture, make this fact more apparent. In the core story, the magic literally and poignantly forces Pi towards the limits of his humanity. It is precisely in their utter otherness to the human that the magical signs of the novel work as signs of art, standing on their own, apart from the actual world. However, the signs of art also reveal the structure of the actual world, for after we have become acquainted with the magic of the central narrative we see how the order of the real, the actual, permeates all aspects of human experience, even the experience of the divine. In addition, however, we also see that it is possible to think outside this order, through the non-human becomings embodied in art. If becoming non-human is central to the magic of Life of Pi, it also suggests that imperceptibility is at the heart of becoming, as, at the end of the novel, the magic of the central narrative opens up zones of imperceptibility between Pis alternative stories of his adventures at sea. We saw in the beginning of this chapter how the crystalline sign, because it is free from the human motorsensory schema, allows the virtual to be valid for itself to the extent that it becomes imperceptible from the actual. Becoming non-human in magical realism thus implies a becoming-imperceptible not only between the human and non-human, but between the real and the magic, the true and the false.

Andr Brinks Devils Valley (1998): What is Real and What is Magic?
South African writer Andr Brink is perhaps best known for his dissidence during the apartheid regime, made poignant because of his Afrikaner heritage. His best known novels, such as Looking on Darkness (1974), Rumours of Rain (1978) and A Dry White Season (1979) were all expressions of Brinks belief that the writer has the power and indeed the responsibility to make a difference in an oppressive and unequal society. In Brinks own words, during the apartheid regime whole territories of historical consciousness [were] silenced by the power establishment and invaded by the dominant discourse,19 and it was the restoration of these territories that constituted the most pressing task for the dissident writer, on whom, by political necessity, the role of reporter and historian was imposed. However, with the end of apartheid in 1994 South African writers were compelled to reconsider their position, as well as their way of writing. During the apartheid years realism was the preferred mode of

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writing for the dissident writer, Brink notes, since realism made sufferings apparent to those not directly affected and stimulated a sense of solidarity. However, with socio-political change in South Africa came a new freedom for writers: new possibilities for imaginative engagement.20 Thus in the late 90s Brink turned to the fantastic in his novels, notably in Imaginings of Sand (1996) and Devils Valley. Indeed, he sees literature taking on new regenerative powers after 1994, in order not simply to escape from the inhibitions of apartheid but to construct and deconstruct new possibilities; to activate the imagination in its exploration of those silences previously inaccessible; to play with the future on that needlepoint where it meets past and present; and to be willing to risk everything in the leaping flame of the word as it turns into world.21 These words have a Deleuzian ring to them, suggesting that literature is not simply a way to report the injustices of the world, but a way of thinking, and thus creating, a new world. This does not mean, however, that Brink decided to leave behind all the themes of his anti-apartheid literature. In fact, Devils Valley is very much concerned with the issues Brink lists as silent territories under apartheid: the settlement of South Africa before the whites, the enslavement of the peoples of the interior, the use of the Bible as a justification for oppression, the extent of miscegenation in Afrikaner society, the involvement of coloured in the Great Trek, the marginalization of women, the exploitation of the environment, and Afrikaner dissidence;22 that is, the issues that lie at the core of Afrikaner national identity. Devils Valley, like some of the novels considered in the last chapter, is about history and national identity, and in particular deals with the attempts of a settler colony to create an identity in a strange new land. Of course, South Africa is a special case in many ways, since, as Elleke Boehmer points out, the apartheid regime outlawed the cultural mixing and crossfertilization informing so much postcolonial literature. Boehmer wonders if perhaps the new literature of a society which has laboured under a unique situation of internal colonization in a postcolonial world will [. . .] bypass the teeming dreamscapes that characterize the postcolonial writings of an Amitav Ghosh or a Ben Okri and create something quite its own.23 Actually, as an example of the regeneration of literature in post-apartheid South Africa, Devils Valley does display some strong similarities with the novels of these two postcolonial authors and with other magical realist texts. We will turn to these two authors in the next chapter, but here we will look at how Brinks use of magical realism allows him to imagine the real.24 This act of the imagination will prove crucial to readings of magical realism in a postcolonial political context. What is interesting here is that at a time when the truth of the past was pursued in the name of reconciliation in South Africa, Brink uses a genre where the specifics of a place and time represented by realism are pitted against an ahistorical magic. As we

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saw in Life of Pi, the magical sign, as a non-human becoming, is a movement towards the imperceptibility of the real and magic as well as of true and invented pasts. Devils Valley, as Mlanie Joseph-Vilain says, can be read as a playful transposition of One Hundred Years of Solitude in the South African context.25 Devils Valley shares the themes of migration, settlement and isolation, family and incest, natural disaster and war with Garca Mrquezs novel. What is important here, however, is the mention of context, for Brinks novel is distinctly rooted in South African history and geography, just as Garca Mrquezs novel is in Colombian. The central family in Brinks novel are the Lermiets, who broke away from the Great Trek 150 years ago and settled a remote and isolated valley in the Swartberg range of the Karoo region, where they have remained with minimal contact with the outside world. In contrast to Garca Mrquezs novel, Devils Valley is narrated in the first person by the protagonist, an ageing, disillusioned crime reporter named Flip Lochner, who sets out to find out the truth about the settlement and its history. Through Lochners narration, as Lorna Sage notes in her review of the novel, Devils Valley stages a ritual resurrection and reburial of the Afrikaner past.26 On the one hand, the community embodies the archetypal Afrikaner myth of origins: an independent-minded and resilient people that despite adversity and hostility settle part of the virgin land of Africa and make it their own, building a righteous community heeding the word of the Bible. On the other hand, Lochners experience of the community, even before he arrives in the valley, indicates the instability of this myth. A drunken encounter with a young member of the Lermiet family who has unusually ventured into the outside world leaves Lochner with the fucking shards and tatters and loose ends of stories. A smous [pedlar] returning with exotic wares from the farthest corners of the world. A girl with four tits. A child with goats feet. A large naked woman on a bed crawling with cats. And something about a magician who could track you down to the very end of the earth.27 Thus from the very beginning the novel pits an ordered, in Deleuzes terms organic, narrative of settlement and community against an array of disordered stories, or, the crystalline signs of magic. Devils Valley could be seen simply to perform the customary transaction of historiographic metafiction: by exposing the processes of history-making it reveals that all history is based on stories, which are all equally fictional. Flip Lochner wants to write the true history of the Devils Valley settlement, to capture and define it, but as he questions the inhabitants of the valley he is given a multitude of contradictory tales, and realizes that there are no written records to verify any of them. Indeed, as Ute Kauer notes, the novel follows Flips growing understanding that there simply is no recoverable true history, and that even if he collects all the stories of the valley, they will not cohere into an ordered whole.28 Kauer suggests that Flip ultimately learns to see this not as a loss but as a utopian possibility, a way to recover the lost voices of history. Joseph-Vilain, however, views these alternative stories as destructive; they

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question not only history, but also notions of family and nation imagined communities that rely on stable myths for cohesion and sanction, or in our terms, the State. She notes how the Lermiets are Lermiets only if they lend credence to the familys myths: dissenters leave or die.29 Indeed, once the silenced voices of the community, in particular the women, speak up, the family and the whole community starts to disintegrate. It is true that the many alternative and contradictory stories undo the idea of a single, truthful version of history, as well as expose such a historys centrality to the concepts of family and community. However, the magical events of the novel are different to any version of history, and take us in a different direction to that indicated by the idea of historiographic metafiction. Brink, in Mapmakers, states that whereas society tends to enslave language the writer strives to liberate it,30 and in the inventive freedom he found after the apartheid years, he was able to fully explore this thesis. Each of the multiple stories of the Devils valley is an attempt to order and define experience. However, as they multiply, the success of this attempt becomes less rather than more possible, as they are contradictory and confusing. In contrast, the magical events escape order and definition completely. As such they belong to a different regime of meaning, one where origins and truthfulness are not important, where the divergent and different can coalesce into a whole without unity. Whatever stories the inhabitants of the Devils Valley tell, they all conform to a particular order the linear, convergent order of society, that which is expressed in the realism of the novel. As an eyewitness account, Lochners narration provides us with the requisite details for the reality effect, giving us some background history on the Great Trek, describing how he came to find himself in the remote valley, and furnishing us with vivid visual descriptions of the place. Like Macondo, Devils Valley is a strictly segmented place: Probably thirty or forty houses altogether, arranged in two uneven rows, all of them whitewashed and built to the same basic plan [. . .]. Every backyard had its shed and its haystack and a longdrop, while most sported an old-fashioned stone well (DV 35). At the centre of the settlement lie the church and the cemetery, while its boundaries are the bluegum forest and the cliffs surrounding it. The convergent series of the genealogy of the inhabitants Lukas Seer begat Lukas Nimrod, and Lukas Nimrod begat Lukas Up-Above, and Lukas Up-Above begat Strong Lukas, and Strong Lukas begat Lukas Bigballs, and Lukas Bigballs begat Lukas Devil, and Lukas Devil begat Lukas Death, and Lukas Death begat Little-Lukas (DV 105) is not only a force for community cohesion through its air of Biblical inevitability, but also ensures that each member has his own rightful place. Occupations are passed from father to son or mother to daughter, and nicknames seal the fate of the inhabitants: there is Brother Holy the preacher, Smith-the-Smith, Jurg Water the diviner, Poppie Fullmoon the midwife, Gert Brush the painter and so on. The novels realist order could be read, Joseph-Vilain suggests, as an allegory of apartheid a society strictly stratified and determined by racial lineage.31

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This society is challenged by the alternative stories that Lochner unearths from the inhabitants. The stories shatter the myth of racial purity, as well as the myth of the Devils Valley as an unsettled promised land waiting for the chosen people, and the myth of the peoples strength, courage and righteousness, that is, the myths that also underpinned apartheid. Lukas the Seer, the founder of the colony, is said to have been led by God to the valley, defeated the Devil himself, and established a pure line of descendants. However, the patchwork of stories that Lochner hears indicate that in fact, when Lukas arrived, the valley was settled by a native people who he used and subsequently abused, that he was forced to stay due to losing a leg, that his first wife was responsible for most of the hard work in the early years and that he took a second black wife. These stories surface as the direct contradictions of the villagers grand myth, and it is no wonder therefore that the community begins to fall apart. However, as we follow Lochners attempts to trace these stories to their origin, we find not an alternative past, but a living magic. Faced with an immediate, present magic, the contradictory past suddenly appears less crucial to the community. The dead, including Lukas the Seer himself, wander the settlement and interact with the living population. To Kauer these ghosts are simply the reincarnations of the silenced and forgotten alternative stories: what the ghosts and mythological figures in Brinks novels demand is to be recognized, to be part of cultural memory.32 Joseph-Vilain, however, discovers that the novel does more than lay bare the processes of historiography, noting that in his search for truth, Flip witnesses [the] reinvention of the real.33 In fact, because the ghosts are magic, they are divergent from the alternative stories or cultural memory of the community. Rather than representations of the past, these magical signs are the creation of something new in the present. As such, just as the magic of Life of Pi, they certainly do reveal all stories, present or past, to be inventions of the real. However, they are less crucial as an exposition of the fiction at the heart of all historiography, than as a revelation of the conditions of the present. Flip himself exclaims, Every word spoken in this place is a bloody new invention (DV 45). In the face of magic, it is no longer just impossible to tell true and imaginary pasts apart; it is impossible to know what is real and what is magic in the present. The dead of the Devils valley are indistinguishable from the living from the very opening of the novel when Lochner meets old Lukas the Seer, who is still tending goats on the mountainside even though, as Lochner later finds out, he has been dead for many years. However, it is not only the dead that are indiscernible from the living in Devils Valley; Joseph-Vilain notes that in the village the confusion between real and imaginary is total.34 As Lochner enters the valley he sees a naked woman with four breasts bathing in a rock-pool, a vision that he reports as vividly real: A long black mane that ripples in shiny wet waves all the way to the bulge of her buttocks. In the interests of truth I must specify that her body is a bit on

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the thin side to my taste. If this had been my fantasy Id have filled her out a bit [. . .]. But this is the point: its not a dream, she is real. (DV 26) The next moment the woman, as well as the rock-pool, are gone, yet Lochner insists, as a realist eye-witness narrator: She was there. I can recall every damn detail (DV 27). It later turns out that Emma, a young woman keen to escape the colony who Lochner befriends and falls for, had dreamt of bathing in the rock-pool that same afternoon. Joseph-Vilain sees this as a blurring of the borders between reality and dream, which to her reflects the unstable nature of history in Devils Valley.35 In fact, it is the present of the narrative that is unstable. Joseph-Vilain also refers to Flips nightly sexual encounters with mysterious, animal-like women, which would appear to be dreams, if it were not for the tangible objects they leave behind; to the porcupine-hunt that he participates in which is then denied by the other men of the village; and the encounter with the adolescent temptress Henta Peach in the bluegum woods which Henta seems to have forgotten the next day. Continually in the novel, both Lochner and the reader are unable to tell what is real and what is not, in the here and now. This blurring of the boundaries of the real and the imagined is the moment of the emergence of magic as a Deleuzian crystalline sign a sign which means that we no longer know what is imaginary or real (C2 7). The implications of the crystalline sign go beyond the simple relativization of history, according to Deleuze, because such indiscernibility does not simply imply the subjectivity of truth. Rather, the crystalline sign poses the simultaneity of incompossible presents (C2 127). The magical elements of Brinks novel are not simply part of the alternative stories or subjective truths of the inhabitants, in fact, the two are radically different. The inhabitants stories pose variants of the past and appear contradictory, while the magical events are sites where such contradictions are no longer an issue. The magic does not resolve these contradictions, but rather allows us precisely to gain the superior viewpoint of art, which is also a thousand various noncommunicating viewpoints (PS 166). The established myth of the community recounts how Strong-Lukas singlehandedly repelled government agents sent to the valley to tax the community. Lochner then hears an alternative story from Dalena, the wife of Lukas Death, that Strong-Lukass daughter, Mooi-Janna, sacrificed herself by seducing the government agents, and thus allowed her father and his men to overcome them by surprise. Her father, to save his own reputation and the familys honour, then killed her. Kauer suggest that this is the recovery of the silent womens voice: Dalena telling Mooi-Jannas lost story.36 This may well be so, but the magic in the episode is a different matter altogether. The magic crystalline sign lies not in the alternative story as such, but in the strange fact of the girls four breasts. These breasts are what makes her irresistible to the government soldiers, and allows her to take her tragic action. They are also an image that haunt Lochner throughout his stay in the valley, after he sees the woman at the rock-pool. The

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woman both is Emma dreaming herself at the pool, and isnt Emma, who does not, we learn at the end of the novel, have four breasts. The woman at the pool, therefore, at the same time, both is and isnt Mooi-Jannas ghost. We can now recast the multiplication of possible meanings that we previously noted as an effect of the magic of magical realism, as the opening up of zones of imperceptibility between these alternative meanings. It is, paradoxically, the very difference of the magical sign from the order of realism that makes it imperceptible from the real. The four breasts initially appear as a meaningful sign to Lochner, a vision of the mystery he wants to solve. They may also be interpreted as the sign of the hidden miscegenation and incest of the community, or the secret sign of the female side of the story. What these magic breasts really do rather than mean is, like the trickle of blood in One Hundred Years of Solitude, to traverse the series of the novel as an object = x. It is this movement, diverging from the convergent series of realism yet traversing these series at the same time, that makes the magical sign of the four breasts appear both real and unreal at the same time. Crucially, magical signs are not merely stories we dont know if we believe, but like the ghosts, very much there in the present. The voices in Ben Owls head that everyone can hear; the fact that there are no birds in Devils Valley since Lukas Up-Above tethered them all to a basket and flew away; Hans Magics spells that shrivel a mans foot and give another a perpetual itch; the enormous whales skeleton in the bush these are some of the other magical signs of the novel. It is impossible to say if they are true or imaginary, yet they are unquestionably present. In fact, we can now also see how imperceptibility as a feature of the magical sign is radically different to the idea of magic as cultural pluralism, recalling Life of Pi. The alternative stories in The Devils Valley, Kauer suggests, allow the construction of hybrid identities in the sense of culturally diverse identities. The suppressed stories of Lukas the Seers wives, the strong Mina who saved his life, and black Bilha; the story of Mooi-Janna; the story of Katarina Sweetmeat who took a black servant as a lover; and of Emmas mother who was stoned for carrying an outsiders child these stories do open up the pure genealogy and patriarchal myth of the community to differences of race and gender. However, this kind of difference is, as we saw early on in this book, still predicated on categories of identity, a difference-between. What the magical events of Devils Valley uniquely do, as objects = x, is to introduce difference-in-itself into the realist system of difference-between, creating what Deleuze calls resonance or statistical unity. At the same time, then, as the real and magic are divergent, the crystalline signs of the magical events make the distinction between real and magic disappear. That is, these signs collapse the difference between the very categories that are the foundation of difference predicated on identity. There is by definition no difference-between in zones of indiscernibility. As in Life of Pi, the magic of Devils Valley stands in sharp contrast to its considerations of culture and identity, because the indiscernibility of the magical sign is linked to its becoming non-human. As mentioned, Lochner on several occasions has

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vivid dreams of women coming into his room at night and sexually attacking him, and then slipping away before he can establish their identity. Yet in the mornings he always finds some concrete object left behind by these women. These events do not just erase the difference between dream and reality. The womens arrivals are heralded by owls and baboons, and they are themselves animal-like in more ways than one: one has webbed feet, another a hare-lip, and a third is covered entirely by fur, and they all make love with an animal ferocity. Even the love-making acts themselves are moments when the categories of distinct bodies, of self and world, seem to dissolve: And she was bloody well everywhere, against me, on me, below me, beside me, all over me (DV 83). Lochners nights are zones of indiscernibility between reality, dream, woman, man and animal. Yet these elements (for we can no longer properly call them categories), remain distinct, different in themselves. The crystalline sign is important to Deleuze as a sign of art because in its simultaneous distinctness and indiscernibility it reveals the creative force of Being: We see in the crystal the perpetual foundation of time, non-chronological time [. . .]. This is the powerful, non-organic Life which grips the world (C2 79). The crystalline sign thus makes the powerful Life of the virtual chaos thinkable in the actual. Andr Brink himself states that The writer is not concerned only with reproducing the real. What he does is to perceive, below the lines of the map he draws, the contours of another world, somehow a more essential world.37 As Deleuze posits in Proust, once these privileged signs of art have been understood, a superior viewpoint becomes accessible to the whole work of art. We saw in Life of Pi that the magical signs of the central narrative of the novel made the truth or falsehood of Pis alternative stories impossible to ascertain. Indeed, because of the viewpoint revealed by the magical signs the alternative stories of Devils Valley also cease to be merely a collection of contradictory facts, true or false. The stories become valid simultaneously even though they are incompossible. The novel thus attains a kind of unity in which there is no totality except a statistical one which lacks any profound meaning (PS 125126). This unity has no patterns, there is no new hybrid culture, implying reconciliation, here, rather, the opposing stories all become valid on their own: All I have, I the historian, I the crime reporter, in search of facts, facts, facts, is an impossible tangle of contradictory stories. And yet she said, It doesnt mean that nothing happened (DV 352353). What the indiscernibility of the magic in Devils Valley shows us, in contrast to the contradictory but realist stories of the past, is that the key to magical realism lies precisely in the fact that things did happen, even though they are contradictory. Magical events, by being included in the realist narrative, are both real (there really is a tiger on the life boat in Life of Pi, and Lochner really did see the woman with four breasts at the rock pool in Devils Valley) and divergent from the real (the unbelievable tiger, the magical woman) at the same time. While realism only allows the inclusion of different representations of the past as contradictory, the magic allows for the inclusion of the divergent

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present present both in the sense of presence, and in the sense of the present time. The unique characteristic of magical realism is thus a tension not only between the real and the magic, but the paradoxical tension between the distinct divergence of the magic and its simultaneous indiscernibility from the real. The magic of the nightly visitations or of the dead in the valley cannot be reduced to dream or memory. Old Lukas the Seer is the nexus of the contradictory stories of the community, but he cannot be viewed simply as memory, or as an alternative story among other stories. He is not a mental image, but, in Bergsonian terms, a pure recollection. He is, indeed, as ghosts tend to be, non-chronological and non-organic. He is a piece not of the past but of the virtual pure past a magic moment when time, including all alternative stories of the past, exists in simultaneity. At the beginning of Devils Valley Flip Lochner is descending down the steep mountain-sides to the valley to begin his investigation. The very first words of the novel are uttered by the ghost of Old Lukas the Seer: I been sitting here, waiting for you (DV 3). The novel closes with the very same words, as Lochner, on his way out from the Devils Valley, encounters Lukas once again: I been sitting here, waiting for you (DV 354). The Lermiet is both living and dead, as well as both present and past. Suddenly, he makes the whole narrative of the novel, apparently so linear, timeless. This is the same magical timelessness that we first encountered in One Hundred Years of Solitude, where the old gypsy Melquades, repeatedly returned from the dead and a timeless ghost himself, performed a similar transaction with his miseen-abyme prophecy of Macondos rise and fall. We can now identify this as the timeless or pure time of the virtual, or duration. Duration is crucial to magical realism, since it is duration that drives indiscernibility, allowing for the simultaneity of the real and the magic, the true past and the imagined present and, as we shall see, the future.

Jeanette Wintersons Sexing the Cherry (1989): Transcending the Flesh through Time
Jeanette Wintersons Sexing the Cherry has not been approached as magical realism by most of its critics, yet it is mentioned in many overviews of magical realism. Seen by many, like Suzana Gonzlez, as a feminist fantasy,38 the novel has, unsurprisingly but rather monotonously, been mainly read in terms of gender and sexuality.39 However, many of the readings do have much in common with approaches to other magical realist works, considering precisely the novels treatment of history, identity, and Wintersons use of the fantastic. A reviewer of Sexing the Cherry concluded that Winterson possesses the ability to combine the biting satire of Swift with the ethereal magic of Garca Mrquez, the ability to reinvent old myths even as she creates new ones of her own.40

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At first glance Sexing the Cherry appears to consist of clearly demarcated narrative strands, one historical and the other magical. However, Wintersons novel defies such simple categorisations, not only in these narrative strands but throughout. The first two narrative voices belong to Dog Woman and her foundling son, Jordan. Dog Woman recounts the story of finding Jordan and other adventures that take place in London between the years 1630 and 1666. Her narrative is firmly anchored in the historical events of the day: the last years of King Charles Is reign, the Civil War, the Puritan Commonwealth, including the Kings trial and execution in 1649, the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the plague in 1665 and finally the Great Fire of London in 1666. In contrast, the narrative of Jordan, who joins historical figure John Tradescant the Younger on voyages of exploration, recounts not the real geographical places he visits, but magical journeys across space and time: These are journeys I wish to record. Not the ones I made, but the ones I might have made, or perhaps did make in some other place or time.41 Making her living by keeping fighting dogs, Dog Woman lives on the margins of society, next to the dirty river Thames. She is poor, filthy and fat, clothed in rags and sleeps in a ramshackle hut, but she is also independent, shrewd and strong. In contrast, her son Jordan is slender and delicate, dreaming of voyages to faraway lands. It has been noted how the character of Dog Woman anchors the historical narration in the material and visceral, while Jordans stories are ephemeral flights of fancy. In addition, the female Dog Woman displays what were supposed to be the traditionally masculine characteristics of strength, practicality and logic, while male Jordan is femininely sensitive, intuitive and imaginative.42 This inversion of gender roles is the basis of many discussions of the interrogation of gender in the novel, which we will return to. However, as Susan Onega points out, the division between the historical and fantastical narratives is not without contradictions. Dog Woman may live in a very real historical world, but she is, in fact, a magical character her proportions and strength are supernatural. She is heavier than an elephant, can hold Jordan in the palm of her hand and a dozen oranges in her mouth. She catches bullets in her cleavage and can kill a grown man with one hand. While Dog Womans historical narrative is interspersed with stories of these fantastic feats, Jordans fantastical journeys are told in a very matter-of-fact way by a young man who appears perfectly normal.43 The novels magical realism is thus situated in both these narrative strands both are anchored in realism but include magical elements. The realism of Dog Womans narration is ordered by the historical and geographical detail that she gives. The setting is unmistakably seventeenthcentury London, with the stinking Thames at its heart, and the political tensions between monarchy and parliament as its backdrop. The realism of Jordans narratives lies in his empirical approach to the fantastic journeys. Like any seventeenth-century explorer he keeps a detailed record of both the voyages he takes with Tradescant and his fantastic journeys, describing his experiences

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in an impassive tone: Ive kept the log book for the ship. Meticulously. And Ive kept a book of my own, and for every journey we have made together, Ive written down my own journey and drawn my own map. I cant show this to the others, but I believe it to be a faithful account of what happened (SC 102). In addition to Dog Woman and Jordans narrative strands, two more appear towards the end of the novel. These belong to twentieth-century characters that seem to be the contemporary alter-egos of Dog Woman and Jordan an unnamed female chemist protesting against pollution on the banks of the Thames and Nicholas Jordan, a man who joins the Navy. Both of these narratives are solely realist until they begin to intersect with the two earlier narrative strands. The interweaving of these narratives gives Sexing the Cherry the timeless magic that Melquadess prophecy or Lukas the Seers continual present add to One Hundred Years of Solitude and Devils Valley. In fact, this intersection of narratives across the centuries is, as we shall see, central to the novels treatment of time, an aspect of the Sexing the Cherry that has often been overlooked. As mentioned, most critics have focused on issues of sexuality and gender in the novel, and have therefore often read the magic as functioning simply in these terms. However, some of the problems thrown up by Wintersons use of the real and the magic will appear familiar to anyone considering magical realism. Tiziana Giordano expresses the common view that Winterson transgresses the border between reality and fantasy and creates hybrid fictions and bodies which contrast the binary opposition of male and female and provide a space in which it is possible to reinvent the very notion of subjectivity.44 Again we come across the idea of hybridity as a mixing of categories, although of gender rather than culture. The idea is the same, however, namely that the magic of the text somehow allows categories to coexist in a new and liberating way. Dog Woman is commonly seen as the key site of the subversion of gender stereotypes, and of the disclosure of natural gender characteristics as artificial and contingent she is none of the things that a woman is meant to be. Her magical bulk and strength not only exaggerate her lack of traditional femininity but also make her an image of female power. She has been compared to Fevvers in Nights at the Circus, as they both exist in a liminal space between reality and illusion, truth and simulation that allow [them] to transgress the categories of western culture.45 However, it is also notable that Wintersons novel has been accused of lacking engagement with politics. Lynne Pearce notes the tension in the novel between perceptions of romantic love as a non-gendered, a-historic, a-cultural universal, and as an ideology which the specificities of gender and sexual orientation constantly challenge and undermine.46 Lynn Pykett also finds that Winterson, by creating an alternative reality in Sexing the Cherry, backs off from an engagement with political and material constraints.47 This is, of course, a complaint common to many readings of magical realism. Roessner and Pykett also refer to Wintersons own theories of art, in which she draws on Romanticism and, in particular, Modernism.48 Roessner finds that Sexing the Cherry in its celebration of the irrational and imaginary reinforces an

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essentially Romantic drive to locate a ground of being outside time, space, and material existence,49 while Pykett notes that Winterson attempts, like the Modernists, to harness, through linguistic precision and vitality, the power of words to conjure worlds into existence.50 Both statements notably resonate with a Deleuzian reading of magical realism. Indeed, a Deleuzian framework highlights how Wintersons magical realist text is about much more than reconsiderations of gender. The magic in Sexing the Cherry cannot be reduced to a device for undermining binary categories; rather it appears as something that escapes these categories, something which appears as supplemental to the realist realm where these binaries are expressed. Dog Woman and her magical attributes do not conform easily to readings of her as subverting patriarchy. She may be an unnaturally strong woman, thus de-naturing the feminine, but she is also a supporter of the monarchy, a supremely patriarchal institution, and she is not averse to slipping into expected gender roles, playing coy and demure when it suits her purposes. Her role as doting mother is not particularly controversial, she is very traditional in her view of gender roles in others, and she longs for and even attempts heterosexual love. Nor does sensitive and feminine Jordan always undo male stereotypes. He sets out on his voyages precisely because he wants to conform: I want to be brave and admired and have a beautiful wife and a fine house. I want to be a hero and wave goodbye to my wife and children at the docks [. . .]. I want to be like other men, one of the boys, a back-slapper and a man who knows a joke or two. (SC 101) The image that informs the novels title, referring to Jordan ascertaining the sex of a grafted cherry tree branch, is also problematic if approached in binary gender terms. Dog Woman, allegedly a feminist subversive, is appalled at Jordans efforts: Of what sex is that monster you are making? I tried to explain to her that the tree would still be female although it had not been born from seed, but she said such things had no gender and were a confusion to themselves. Let the world mate of its own accord, she said, or not at all. But the cherry grew, and we have sexed it and it is female. (SC 79) Responses to the grafting theme has been varied, ranging from Shena MacKays who in her review of the novel admits she simply fails to understand the significance of the image,51 to Laura Doans who reads it as a sign of a third sex, free of binarisms.52 There are also those, like Cath Stowers, who note that the cherry problematically remains female. She argues that Sexing the Cherry seems to represent a bisexuality which is based on a free play on identities and heterogeneous desires associated with femininity, for even though Jordans cherry

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tree had not been born from seed it would still be female.53 Others, however, note the significance of the image of grafting outside the issues of gender and sexuality. Maria Lozano reads the novel as questioning the idea of origins, and sees grafting as the main image of this theme. Lozano suggests that Wintersons novel replaces the notion of origins with that of metamorphosis.54 Such a view seems closer to Wintersons own outlook on literature and art, to which, as Pykett notes, the idea of transformation is central.55 Indeed, we can read Dog Woman and her magical body and powers more profitably through the notion of transformation, or in Deleuzian terms, becoming. The parallel to Angela Carters Fevvers continues to be useful here. If Fevvers is becoming-bird, then Dog Woman is becoming-dog. As we know, becoming has nothing to do with imitation, Fevvers does not actually become a bird, or Dog Woman a dog, but importantly, like Pi in the Life of Pi, they enter zones of indiscernibility with something other than the human. Paulina Palmer, who reads Dog Woman in terms of the grotesque, notes how the grotesque body overlaps with the world, how its borders become blended with the animal and the inanimate.56 However, Dog Woman is not just grotesque, she is magical. Deleuze emphatically states that becomings are not metaphors but metamorphoses. Dog-Woman is not just heavy like an elephant, she actually launches an elephant into the air with her weight. Roessner, despite his reservations about the novels politics, very succinctly points out that reading Sexing the Cherry only in gender terms ignores the persistent drive in it to transcend the flesh.57 Indeed, Jordans magical journeys have been either neglected or fitted into gendered readings of the novel, when in fact, their main dynamic is the juxtaposition of corporeal weight and incorporeal lightness, not sexuality or gender. It is true that Jordan visits mainly female communities, that he cross-dresses and that the story-within-a-story of the novel, the tale of the twelve princesses, revolves around the failure of marriage for women. However, just as Dog Woman moves away from the normal motor-sensory schema of the flesh by becoming-dog, so Jordans travels can be thought of, in Deleuzian terms, as flights from the heavy real or actual body through the lightness of virtual magic. In fact, in Sexing the Cherry Winterson continually pits weight against lightness and the historical real against the magic. While Dog Woman is explicitly heavy and bound to the material, Jordans voyages always involve taking flight. On his first journey he visits a house without any floors, where the furniture is suspended from the ceiling and the inhabitants travel from room to room by ropes. Here he has his first glimpse of a magically light figure who becomes his obsession to find again: She was climbing down from her window on a thin rope which she cut and re-knotted a number of times during the descent (SC 21). On his search Jordan meets the twelve flying princesses, whose stories all revolve around escaping the heavy order imposed on them by society through marriage. Marriage is, quite literally, what takes their ability to fly away,

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while their escapes involve renewed flight. It becomes clear that heaviness, not the least in Dog Womans enormous body, stands for the order and rule of the historical, material world, whereas lightness embodies the freedom of the flighty, immaterial imagination. As Cath Stowers notes, in the places that Jordan visits on his travels, houses and towns are refigured as floating and fluid places, rather than solid structures.58 The solid spaces of realism, the segmented structures of the domestic space and the village or city, are literally dissolved by the magic of lightness and flight. In contrast, Dog Woman, however subversive her non-feminine grotesqueness may be, is still tied to the ordered thinking of the time she inhabits, failing to understand the freedom of true love, limited by her heaviness as well as her rigid views on gender, indeed, by her being in and constricted by a specific moment in linear time. In fact, the contrast between the heaviness of the historical world of Dog Woman and the lightness of Jordans magical journeys can be seen as analogous to the distinction between Bergsons space and duration. Space, as the most expanded form of time, exists only in a series of consecutive, but separate, present moments. In duration, however, as the most contracted form of space, everything exists simultaneously. While Dog Woman is stuck in historical time, Jordans travels across time and space are made possible precisely by their existence outside of linear chronology. In fact, the magically light woman whom Jordan comes to pursue is a character that links the idea of flight and incorporeal lightness with that of pure time or duration, as well as situating these explicitly in the realm of art. One story is missing from the princesses personal stories of marriage and escape. It is that of the twelfth princess, Fortunata, who turns out to be the woman that Jordan is searching for. She is the lightest of the princesses, a dancer who defies not only gravity but also physicality itself. She evades marriage by flying away, and lives apart from her sisters. After a long search, Jordan finds her running a dancing school in a remote place where she teaches her pupils to overcome their bodies because she believes that we were fallen creatures who once knew how to fly (SC 72). As Roessner says, in her dance, the bodily organs undergo a mystical transformation that takes the dancers beyond language, concept, and time.59 She makes her dancers spin until all features are blurred, until the human being most resembles a freed spirit from a darkened jar and when all are spinning in harmony down the long hall, she hears music escaping from their heads and backs and livers and spleens. Each has a tone like cut glass. The noise is deafening. And it is then that the spinning seems to stop, that the wild gyration of the dancers passes from movement into infinity. (SC 72) Here Winterson seems to suggest that, as Deleuze and Guattari say, it is the in the power of art to restore the infinite (WIP 197). This restoration of the

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infinite starts with a negation of the motor-sensory schema, but the bodies of the dancers become non-human not only by becoming dance and music, they also pass from the movement of actual time to the infinity of virtual duration. Their dance is a becoming non-human in time as well as space. As we would expect, the magic of Jordans narrative also introduces the element of imperceptibility to Sexing the Cherry. We do not know what is past, present or future: The scene I have just described to you may lie in the future or in the past. Either I have found Fortunata or I will find her. I cannot be sure. Either I am remembering her or I am still imagining her (SC 93). Central to Sexing the Cherry, then, is the non-human becoming we encountered in Life of Pi, as well as the indiscernibility that we found in Devils Valley, but importantly, here they become apparent as transformations in and of time. Indeed, Jordan explicitly meditates on time: Thinking about time is to acknowledge two contradictory certainties: that our outward lives are governed by the seasons and the clock; that our inward lives are governed by something much less regular an imaginative impulse cutting through the dictates of daily time, and leaving us free to ignore the boundaries of here and now and pass like lightning along the coil of pure time, that is, the circle of the universe and whatever it does or does not contain. (SC 8990) Jordans journeys, which extend as much in time as in space, indeed pass along this coil of pure time. This is nothing other than duration, which makes the magic and the real indiscernible even though they are different, precisely because it is the circle of the universe and whatever it does or does not contain (SC 8990), or in Deleuzes words, the transversal of all possible spaces, including the space of time (PS 130). In Deleuzes terms, magical signs have the effect of giving us a superior viewpoint that influences our view of the whole work of art. This effect is noticeable in Sexing the Cherry, when, in Bente Gades words, at the end of the novel these seventeenth-century narrators are doubled by or extended into twentiethcentury counterparts.60 Indeed, the two contemporary narrators are more like extensions of the first two narrators than their alter-egos or doubles. Nicholas Jordan and the unnamed chemist do not simply parallel Jordan and Dog Woman, they are future instances of these characters as they become indiscernible from them, across time. Nicholas Jordan is not merely a modern Jordan, with his adoration of heroes, his obsession with a pineapple and a wish to navigate the seas, he, momentarily, is Jordan. A passage begins squarely in the twentieth century, subtly metamorphoses, and ends in the seventeenth: Six months later I was on board an admiralty tug in the Thames Estuary outside Deptford. We were after a mine someone had spotted, or said they had [. . .]. I was standing on deck with a friend of mine [. . .]. I heard a foot

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scrape on the deck beside me. Then a mans voice said, They are burying the King at Windsor today. [. . .]. nobody wears clothes like that any more [. . .]. I heard a bird cry sharp and fierce. Tradescant sighed. My name is Jordan. (SC 120121) In the same way the chemist not only has dreams of wreaking havoc in a giantesss body; as she protests against pollution, and sits by a rotting river with only the fire for company (SC 129), she is both the contemporary chemist and Dog Woman at the same time. This simultaneity of characters and events across time in Sexing the Cherry has been to some extent noted by critics, although obviously not in these terms. Palmer reads it, rather unimaginatively, in terms of historiographic metafiction: The ambiguous relationship which some of the characters bear to reality are they real or imaginary, we are prompted to ask? highlights one of the novels key themes. As Winterson playfully reminds us, by drawing attention to the fictionality of the text and the acts of representation which its construction involves, the question is ultimately meaningless since all the characters portrayed in it are fictions.61 Indeed, as we have seen, the question what is real or imaginary? is no longer meaningful in magical realism, and to Palmer this is a non-political affirmation of a variety of sexual identity positions, opposed to the radical feminism in the stories of the twelve princesses. Middleton Meyer, on the other hand, finds political agency precisely in this moment when neither set of narratives can be established as real vis-a-vis the other.62 At the end of the novel the chemist and Nicholas Jordan set out to burn down a factory that is polluting the Thames, while simultaneously, three hundred years earlier, Dog Woman, disgusted by the filth and immorality of the city, is instrumental in the beginnings of the Great Fire of London. This, to Middleton Meyer, is a political act: Whether fantastic or real, characters here are empowered to enact social change, revealing the force contained in a multiple existence.63 Rather, we can say, it is a force contained within virtual duration that allows the characters to be linked across time and space. If in the last chapter we saw that the magic of magical realism is ahistorical, it now becomes clear that it is precisely in this ahistoricity, the magics very atemporality, that the revolutionary potential of Sexing the Cherry is situated. The novels flights of fancy lead away from the realism of Civil War London, but they also lead toward a timeless future uniting all four narrators. Recall that in the crystalline sign, The present is the actual image [or sign], and its contemporaneous past is the virtual image (C2 7677). Bente Gade, like Middleton Meyer, finds political action in this episode, precisely in the extension of Dog Woman into contemporary times and issues. For as Gade points out, monsters, such as Dog Woman, resist identities as they cross the boundaries of the unified

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subject, but the chemist lives out her identity as a monster through burning the factory, so that identity is reformulated from a way of being to a way of doing.64 If the identity of Dog Woman is, as we have seen from readings of her above, too ambiguous to be political, Dog Woman, as a contemporaneous past as the virtual to the chemists actual is a kind of catalyst for revolutionary action. Duration is thus at the core of the unique power of art: the ability of connecting the actual present image to its virtual double in the pure past in order to herald the future. In fact, Jordans narrative links his view of time particularly to art, stating that the artist is able to experience time as a larger, all encompassing [sic] dimension and so be in touch with much more than the present (SC 91). To Deleuze, this is what all good art does: it shows us something that the world as it is, in its actuality of the here and now, cannot show us. If art, to Deleuze, is a superior viewpoint, to Winterson the fiction, the poem, is not a version of the facts, it is an entirely different way of seeing things.65 For Deleuze this viewpoint is intimately linked to ontology. While we are only usually aware of the present of the actual, the sign of art is revelatory in the way it enacts the essential double nature of Being: actual and virtual, space and duration. Art signifies at once the birth of the world and the original character of the world (PS 110). Deleuze and Guattari explicitly see movement in art away from the human through becoming and indiscernibility as an ontologically important operation: it is not the passage from one lived state to another but mans nonhuman becoming [. . .]. It is a zone of indetermination, of indiscernibility, as if things, beasts, and persons (Ahab and Moby Dick, Penthesilea and the bitch) endlessly reach that point that immediately precedes their natural differentiation (WIP 173), that is, a point which reveals the ontological conditions of their differentiation. Indeed, in the three texts considered in this chapter, becoming non-human, indiscernibility and duration lead us to a point before differentiation, the point of new creation, of Being in action, as it were. In Chapter 2 it became clear that, even though the magic is distinct from the historical, political and human realm of realism, it nonetheless has an effect. In this chapter we traced how such an effect can be seen as ontological revelation, but we also found in Sexing the Cherry something that was suggested already in Beloved, namely that the magic acts as a kind of catalyst. It seems that the magic can be read as a supplement to the realism of the genre, articulating something that the realism cannot. The magic acts not only as an ontological revelation, but as a part of the text that has direct bearing on the contexts dealt with in the realism of the magical realist text. Indeed, the features that make the magic revelatory can also be read as revolutionary.

Chapter 5

Deleuze and the Postcolonial Politics of Magical Realism

Introduction: Magical Realism and the Postcolonial


In the previous two chapters we have seen how it is possible to describe the magic in magical realism as a particular embodiment of Deleuzes virtual, revealing the singular process of creation that underpins both art and being. It has become clear that this inevitably precludes the magic from being read as political in the traditional sense of politics. Instead, the magic appears as an example of Deleuzes counter-actualization, where the actual of the real and the virtual of magic become indiscernible. In this final chapter we shall consider how such a movement can enable us to reconsider the magic, and thus magical realism, as significant in a political context too, precisely because it allows the magical realist text to articulate possibilities beyond the traditional boundaries of the political. As we have seen, it is most often with reference to postcolonial literature that magical realism has been read in political terms. Peter Hallwards approach to postcolonial theory, in conjunction with his reading of Deleuze, is useful for considering the theories of the postcolonial that have influenced readings of magical realism relative both to each other and to Deleuzian philosophy. Hallward succinctly identifies and pries apart a core problem of postcoloniality, identifying a double bind which we saw mirrored in magical realism, viz. the need to move beyond an insufficiently specific notion of hybridity or pure difference on the one hand, and an excessively specified notion of community or essence on the other (AP xix). The problem for postcolonial theory is widely acknowledged and discussed,1 but, as Hallward notes, both diagnosis and remedies remain vague. In contrast to such vagueness Hallward clearly delineates the split between anti-colonial writing and postcolonial theory. He notes that the clearly political stance of anti-colonialism, as he finds it in writers such as Csaire and Fanon, is based on the assumption of a world of constituent antagonisms and sharply demarcated interests; it is militant and partisan by definition. Its fundamental terms engagement, position, mobilization are necessarily specific or relational rather than singular in orientation (AP xiv). Hallward notes that contemporary Marxist approaches to postcoloniality have

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built on these anti-colonial writers, foregrounding radical politics, retaining this specific orientation. In contrast, Hallward characterizes postcolonial theory, as we have seen, as a refusal of any identifiable or precisely located centre, in favour of its own self-regulating transcendence of location (AP xv). He reads the key terms of postcolonial theory such as the hybrid, the in-between and the subaltern as attempts to evoke that which no concept can capture (AP xi). As such, they articulate a singular configuration, which operates without external criteria on a univocal plane of consistency. That is, these concepts attempt to describe a cultural production which replaces the interpretation or representation of reality with an immanent participation in its production or creation. It immediately follows that such a production leaves nothing outside itself, to which it could be specific (AP xii). Thus it inevitably makes the engagement, position, mobilization of the anti-colonial stance impossible. The postcolonial approach to magical realism has been pervasive, and indeed, at times, persuasive. However, it can be traced to a surprisingly small number of statements that have been called upon time and again as arguments for such readings of the genre. In Imaginary Homelands Salman Rushdie famously states: El realismo magical [sic], magic realism [. . .] is a development out of Surrealism that expresses a genuinely Third World consciousness. It deals with what Naipaul has called half-made societies, in which the impossibly old struggles against the appallingly new.2 Rushdies definition refers to the genres Latin American roots, but also echoes Fredric Jamesons words on magical realism and Third World fiction words which are probably quoted more often than anything else in postcolonial approaches to the genre. As we briefly discussed in the Introduction, Jameson states that magical realism depends on a content which betrays the overlap or the coexistence of pre-capitalist with nascent capitalist or technological features (OMRF 311). Jamesons reading of the genre, then, is aligned with an anti-colonial Marxist approach. Taken together, Rushdies and Jamesons statements seem to imply that the magic encodes an impossibly old pre-capitalist culture, while the realism represents appallingly new capitalist features. Jameson also harks back to magical realisms Latin American roots, stating that Carpentier is able to insist that magical realism is merely Latin American realism exactly because the precondition for magical realism is the articulated superposition of whole layers of the past within the present found in Latin America (OMRF 311). What is central to Jamesons view of magical realism is that it is inherently historical, reflecting a particular social situation. It must be noted that Jamesons influential article tells us virtually nothing about magical realism in literature, but describes a magical realist form in film, which by his own admission has little to do with the literary genre exemplified in Garca Mrquezs work. However, Jamesons article on magical realism in film has been consistently conflated by critics of magical realism with his essay Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism which, like the

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film article, stresses the historicity of its subject in contrast to the lack of such a historical dimension in the postmodern.3 The conflation of the two articles is not surprising, since Jameson in this article considers Third-World literature much in the same Marxist terms as magical realism in the article above, namely as born out of the penetration of various stages of capital in pre-capitalist economies, embodying a life and death struggle with first-world cultural imperialism (TWL 68). In fact, it is in the overlap between the two articles that we find the roots of the idea that magical realism is somehow the paradigmatic genre of the Third World. Jameson also goes on to argue that Third-World texts, even those which are seemingly private and invested in a properly libidinal dynamic necessarily project a political dimension in the form of a national allegory: the story of the private individual destiny is always an allegory of the embattled situation of the public third-world culture and society (TWL 69). This is an overly general assertion to make, and one which can clearly be met with numerous objections,4 but which, crucially, is also an assertion which seems to have had a great deal of influence on readings of magical realism in the postcolonial context. Again, Jameson does not actually consider literary magical realism in his Third World article. However, he does oppose the allegorical-political mode of Third World literature not only to postmodernism but also to Western realism. Furthermore, Jameson finds mythical and ritual elements in this allegorical mode, and describes it as inherently collectively political. These are characteristics that also distinguish Spindlers anthropological magical realism, which centres on a reversal of the hierarchy between a Western and nonWestern world-view, in an attempt to construct a new independent national identity (MRT 8082). Indeed, the familiar politicized anthropological approach to magical realism can ultimately be traced to suggestions, notably Jamesons and Rushdies, that magical realism uniquely represents, and is defined by, the cultural encounters at the center of postcoloniality. At first glance, such a view of magical realism seems to be echoed by one of the holy trinity of postcolonial theory, Homi K. Bhabha, in his short but influential introduction to Nation and Narration: Magical Realism after the Latin American Boom, becomes the literary language of the emergent postcolonial world.5 In fact, on the back of this piece by Bhabha, the model derived from Jamesons articles has been shoe-horned into those approaches to magical realism that use postcolonial theory, even though Jamesons and Bhabhas theoretical positions are, as we shall see, not compatible. Bhabha, like Jameson, is considering the function of literature vis--vis the emerging postcolonial nation, but while Jameson proposes an allegorical model, Bhabha suggests that the literary here operates through Derridas irreducible excess of the syntactic over the semantic,6 and thus what emerges as the effect of such incomplete signification is a turning of boundaries and limits into the in-between spaces through which the meanings of cultural and political authority are negotiated.7 In his The Location of Culture Bhabha elaborates this idea of in-between spaces into a theory of enunciation as the condition not only for the nation, but for

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all culture. The in-between space opens up due to the time-lag inherent in the signifying process, the gap between sign and its initiation of a discourse or narrative (LC 263), a concept based on Derridean diffrance. It is in this [extra] temporality of enunciation that culture is articulated (LC 54). What Bhabha does is to situate this process in a space prior to the text, and, importantly, prior to any specific choices about the text. Hallward alerts us to the singularity of such a position, and indeed, to its Deleuzian echoes (AP 24). The in-between space of the time-lag is one of difference within (LC 19), a difference without binary terms or hierarchy. It is a properly timeless space of undecidability, the uncanny moment of the present all at once where all possibilities, all choices exist at the same time (LC 228). As Hallward puts it, this is the enunciatory moment productive of language itself, the creative agency that gives rise to both culture and language (AP 25). Compare this to the Deleuzian virtual, the undetermined difference-in-itself that is the creative force of all of being. What is particularly important here is the fact that Bhabha situates this uncanny moment specifically in cultural hybridity. Although it becomes a properly post-colonial movement, it is initially located by Bhabha in the colonial, precisely in the encounter between cultures when cultural difference is, as it were, inevitably articulated. It is striking how Bhabha describes this articulation in terms reminiscent of Deleuze. What is at first present in the colonial encounter the boum, oboum of Forsters Malabar Caves and properly employed in the postcolonial narrative the disembodied gaze of the slave-woman in a poem by Meiling Jin are hybrid signifiers which, while they emerge with a certain fixity in the present, cannot be fixed (LC 176177). They are meaningless in themselves, undecidable, untranslatable: a structure of difference that produces the hybridity of race and sexuality [or any index of identity] in the postcolonial discourse (LC 76). Bhabhas hybrid signifier can therefore be described as a Deleuzian object = x, which although it may take on an identity in a certain situation, in itself has no meaning. It is the condition of meaning as such. To Bhabha, the experience of what he calls cultural difference lies precisely in the moment of the hybrid signifier: Cultural difference [. . .] is not the acquisition or accumulation of additional cultural knowledge; it is the momentous, if momentary, extinction of the recognizable object of culture in the disturbed artifice of its signification, at the edge of experience (LC 179180). Such a view of the hybrid signifier as the extinction of culture resonates with Deleuzes description of the signs of art: Beyond designated objects, beyond intelligible and formulated truths, but also beyond subjective chains of association and resurrections by resemblance or contiguity, are the essences which are alogical or supralogical (PS 37). However, while Deleuzes and Bhabhas concepts are structurally similar, we have to note Bhabhas insistence on the location of this moment specifically in cultural difference or hybridity. It is this location, it seems, that allows Bhabha to make rather striking proclamations on behalf of the hybrid. Not only does hybridity open up possibilities for other narrative spaces (LC 255), but it is

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also a liberatory discursive practice where cultural identification [is] articulated at the liminal edge of identity and subjectivities [. . .] are empowered in the act of erasing the politics of binary opposition (LC 256). Indeed, to Bhabha, the liberatory possibilities of the colonial or postcolonial text lie precisely in their enunciatory moments, which they reveal most forcefully as sites of cultural encounter. As we can see from the quotes above, it is a kind of liberation dependent on the very uncertainty and undecidability of this moment. Bhabha insists that this liminal moment of identification eluding resemblance produces a subversive strategy of subaltern agency that negotiates its own authority through a process of iterative unpicking and incommensurable, insurgent relinking (LC 265). To Bhabha, then, the encounter of cultures, whether in the colonial or postcolonial context, is inevitably textual, just as the nation is constructed through narrative, and it is precisely because of their textuality that these encounters necessarily include the possibility of liberation. In the face of Bhabhas claims, Hallward tersely notes: It would seem that lasting (if not catastrophic) oppression is thus effectively precluded as an enunciatory impossibility a point Bhabha might have trouble explaining to, say, the Caribs, the Sioux, or the Palestinians (AP 26). We can see from this brief outline of Bhabhas position, and by comparing it to Deleuzes, that it is, in Hallwards terms, of a singular orientation and thus one which is difficult, if not impossible, to square with the specific, the historical and political. The problem, however, lies not in the singular orientation of Bhabhas thought per se, but rather in the fact, which Hallwards statement alerts us to, that Bhabha, typically of postcolonial theorists, attempts to reinsert subjective agency within this model which is, by definition, as a singular mode of individuation, subject-free: As a result of its own splitting in the time-lag of signification, the moment of the subjects individuation emerges as an effect of the intersubjective as the return of the subject as agent (LC 265). If Bhabha proposes that hybridity is a way to liberation, any close reading of Bhabha should reveal that this kind of liberation has little to do with what Jameson calls a life and death struggle with first-world cultural imperialism (TWL 68). The central problem encountered by postcolonial readings of magical realism, the double bind of the singular and the specific, is caused by a confusion of incompatible approaches to the genre as Third World literature. Bhabhas statement that magical realism is the literary language of the emergent postcolonial world, coupled with his outline of the enunciatory moment of such a literature, clearly invites a reading of magical realism in terms of hybridity (in Bhabhas sense of the word). Bhabhas statement, on the one hand, agrees with the conclusion drawn from Jamesons articles above: magical realism is to be read as Third World literature if the Third World is seen as that part of the world which has suffered the experience of colonialism (TWL 67). On the other hand, Bhabhas view of such literature as characterized by the momentous [. . .] extinction of the recognizable object of culture (LC 180) is hardly compatible with Jamesons view of a Third World literature which depends on

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a content which betrays the overlap or the coexistence of pre-capitalist with nascent capitalist or technological features (OMRF 311). Thus we can trace the conflicting movements in readings of magical realism to the fact that both Bhabha and Jameson have placed magical realism in the postcolonial context, but from opposing theoretical positions. It appears that there was, with Jameson, an early push towards Marxism, the impulse of which has never quite left approaches to the genre. This impulse has remained in the form of an insistence on defining magical realism as an encounter of the pre-capitalist and the capitalist, articulated as the pre-colonial and the colonial, and thus representing liberatory (often nationalist) politics, even though theoretical approaches to the genre have shifted towards postcolonial theories. There is a clear wish to read magical realism both as a specific articulation of the history and politics of the postcolonial situation, and as an example of the hybrid and the in-between in Bhabhas sense. This is the theoretical double bind of magical realism similar to that which Hallward finds in postcolonial theory. The confusion is also augmented because the term hybridity has been applied somewhat indiscriminately in readings of magical realism, to describe both the dual nature of the form itself magic with realism and Bhabhas theoretical term. The two definitions of hybridity are, however, not entirely compatible. Take, for example, readings of Rushdies Midnights Children. We saw that the novel was about a search for identity, personal and national, but we also found that the magical elements of the novel were not able to sustain such an identity. Quite the opposite; the magic in Midnights Children leads to the ultimate breakdown of identity, Saleems explosion into sixty million pieces. Now we can see that Midnights Children does, on the one hand, fit Jamesons model: it represents the clash of India as a modern capitalist nation with its numerous regional pre-capitalist cultures, and it can certainly be read as a national allegory. On the other hand, it is an example of the hybrid in Bhabhas sense as its moments of magic can be viewed as hybrid signifiers. The magic moments in Midnights Children fit our description of the hybrid signifier as an object = x: meaningless in themselves, they reveal the virtual conditions of sense and identity the in-between or enunciatory moment. However, by doing this they preclude any identity as such. Yet the hybridity in Midnights Children that is most often indicated by critics is not the magic moment at all, but the coexistence of real and magic, the intermingling of world-views, or the syncretization of cultures, which is not the same as Bhabhas concept of hybridity. For although Bhabhas hybridity is predicated on the encounter between cultures, it has very little to do with multiple cultural identities as such. Bhabha draws a distinction between cultural diversity and cultural difference: Cultural diversity is an epistemological object culture as an object of empirical knowledge whereas cultural difference is the process of the enunciation of culture as knowledgeable [. . .]. If cultural diversity is a category of

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comparative ethics, aesthetics or ethnology, cultural difference is a process of signification. (LC 4950) Surely Damian Grant, who locates in Rushdie the endorsement of hybridity (the mixture of Western and Eastern forms, of written and oral modes; the mixture of fantasy and naturalism; the mixture of genres and styles, of media and languages),8 or Liselotte Glage, who finds in Rushdies magical realism mo(ve)ments of cross-over between different political, social, and cultural locations9 are thinking of cultural diversity. Furthermore, considering magical realism as hybrid in this syncretizing sense naturally leads critics back to the Jamesonian view of magical realism. Wendy Faris, who ascribed a decolonizing agency to magical realism, notes the multivocal nature of the narrative and the cultural hybridity that characterize magical realism and concludes that through this hybridity magical realism partially reverses the process of cultural colonization.10 Also recall Jean-Pierre Durixs argument that reflecting the multiple and contradictory reality of cultural encounters, magical realism is one of the best-known forms of [. . .] generic hybridity which serves to incorporate the old values and beliefs into the modern mans perception (MGP 187, 81). That is, Bhabhas concept of hybridity and Jamesons idea of the encounter between modes of production are both erroneously elided with the idea of cultural hybridity as diversity, in order to square Bhabhas and Jamesons approaches to magical realism. In fact these concepts come from opposite ends of the philosophical spectrum. Hallwards juxtaposition of the Marxist approach to the postcolonial and postcolonial theory is particularly illuminating when considering approaches to magical realism as postcolonial literature, since these approaches have apparently confused the two. On the one hand, those two articles of Jamesons have been widely applied to magical realism; but Jameson never offers a definition of the magic he simply does not consider the magical realist text and its elements. The Jamesonian Marxist approach will identify the material conditions of the text, and indeed elucidate the politics of the realist part of magical realism, but, as will be discussed, it will not tell us how the magic works in the text. On the other hand, as Hallward argues, postcolonial theory appears misguided in its wish to articulate both the indeterminate conditions of cultural enunciation and political and historical specifics. Bhabhas hybrid signifier can be used to describe the magical element very effectively, as we will see, but it cannot, however, at the same time be seen as related to a a subversive strategy of subaltern agency (LC 265). While Bhabhas concept of the hybrid signifier is useful in order to place the magical element within a postcolonial context, Deleuze allows us to think the magic as revolutionary without having to re-incorporate it into a specific Marxist materialist politics. In fact, a Deleuzian reading of magical realism describes those elements of the text that cannot be defined in Marxist terms. We can take Jamesons Marxist materialist or historicist approach in his

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The Political Unconscious as, broadly, the model for such readings. While Jameson admits that history is only accessible to us through texts, he insists that it exists as a non-textual reality. This reality relates to any text as its subtext, and the aim of literary criticism, to Jameson, is the rewriting of the literary text in such a way that the latter may itself be seen as the rewriting or the restructuration of a prior historical or ideological subtext.11 In the Jamesonian Marxist model, the base of any society, its modes of production, are expressed in various levels of superstructure: the political, the economic, the juridical, the cultural and so on (PU 21). This relationship between modes of production and superstructural levels is crucial to literary analysis: if it is the same essence at work in culture as in organizing relations of production (PU 24), it follows that the text can be read as another expression of this essence. Interpretation will reveal the ideology of a text, for all literature, however weakly, expresses the modes of production of the society in which it is produced, and thus reflects the particular ideological perspective implied in any mode of production. Thus the magical realist text in its contradictory inclusion of the real and the magical reveals the clash between precapitalist and capitalist modes of production, articulating what Jameson reminds us is Marxs most important lesson that of class bias and the conflict it leads to (PU 272). Indeed, in the Political Unconscious Jameson again seems to situate the magical on the side of the oppressed, considering how an oppositional voice pitted against the discourse of ruling classes is constructed most notably, from the fragments of essentially peasant cultures: folk songs, fairy tales, popular festivals, occult or oppositional systems of belief such as magic and witchcraft (PU 71). However, Jameson states that the relationship of a historical situation to the text is not straightforwardly causal, but rather one of a limiting situation; the historical moment is here understood to block off or shut down a certain number of formal possibilities available before, and to open up determinate new ones, which may or may not be realized in artistic practice (PU 134135). To Jameson, neither the presence of two contradictory modes of production nor that of magical elements necessarily has a revolutionary or subversive function. In Chapter Two of The Political Unconscious, Magical Narratives: On the Dialectical Use of Genre Criticism (PU 89136), Jameson considers the possibility of defining the genre of romance in a historically reflexive way (PU 93). The romance is similar to Jamesons magical realism, as it is borne out of the meeting of pre-industrial and industrial society, as well as indulging in elements of fancy which Jameson links precisely to pre-industrial society. His aim is to show how the correlation between these modes of production and the textual form restore[s] our sense of the concrete situation in which such forms can be seized as original and meaningful protopolitical acts (PU 135). However, to his disappointment Jameson finds that romances are instead more likely to offer a nostalgic (or less often, a Utopian) harmony (PU 135). Rather than articulating a political struggle, the romantic narrative cannot dramatize the triumph

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of either force over the other one, or enact any genuine ritual purification, but must produce a compromise in which everything finds its proper place again (PU 136). Thus neither the presence of contradictory modes of production nor that of fantastic or magical elements guarantees a revolutionary text. The affirmation of such nonhegemonic cultural voices [as magic or myth] remains ineffective if it is limited to the merely sociological perspective of the pluralistic rediscovery of other isolated groups: only an ultimate rewriting of these utterances in terms of their essentially polemic and subversive strategies restores them to their proper place in the dialogical system of the social classes. (PU 71) This means that a reading of magical realism as a paradigmatically political Third World genre on the back of Jamesons two articles cited earlier appears even more misguided. As previously stated, the article on magical realism makes no mention of the magical elements usually associated with literary magical realism. The connection between the two articles lies in the articulation of both magical realism in film, as defined by Jameson, and Third World literature as dependent on the presence of two contradictory modes of production. It should be clear at this point in our analysis that the magic in literary magical realism as we have found and defined it, is qualitatively different to the socio-historical elements that Jameson finds in Third World literature: no meaningful protopolitical act can be situated in the magic of magical realism. Jamesons wish to see the romance form as something that leads us back to the concrete situation reminds us of the postcolonial imperative to articulate the specific historical and political situation of a text. Yet Jameson argues that romance does not necessarily lead us in this direction. It rather resolves the class conflict so essential to Marxist materialist readings through dream and fantasy. There thus seems to be a residue or outside to Jamesons material analysis of the text, textual elements that simply do not articulate the contradictions of class and society. To Jameson, these elements, and thus literary modes predicated on these elements, cannot be anything but nave failures, denying the reality of political struggle. It is here that the limit of Jamesons materialist method lies: it cannot articulate what the magic of magic realism does, as opposed to what it cannot do. It is clear that the magic is ahistorical, but this does not mean that it is ineffectual.

A Deleuzian Theory of Magical Realism: The People Are Missing


A Jamesonian approach to magical realism is certainly valid up to a point; we have already noted that Midnights Children can be read from such a perspective. We can now compare this historicist method Deleuzes philosophical stance, where Being as creative agency is the absent cause of all of reality. If Jamesons society and its superstructures is predicated on modes of production, to Deleuze,

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it is the orientation of Being which determines both modes of production and such superstructural levels. Jameson reads the text as inevitably ideologically charged since it reflects the modes of production of a society. Deleuze reads the text as potentially ideologically charged; insofar as a text is oriented in a way analogous to the organization of a certain mode of production or a certain superstructural level, they can be seen as mutually explanatory. Crucially, however, the text for Deleuze does not have to reflect this dimension. Since Deleuzian ontology takes us back to conditions of Being prior to superstructures or modes of production, it allows us to articulate the world in terms not inevitably bound to society, at the same time as it also provides a philosophical framework in which society can be analyzed. Recall, how, following the Deleuzian distinction between two modes of Being, Deleuze and Guattari distinguish between two modes of assemblages. An assemblage is a unit in the analysis of the world that allows them to describe relations between terms (material as well as immaterial) without subjective agency, without hierarchy and without a transcendent organizing principle. Rather, assemblages are determined by their relative territorialization or deterritorialization, or, in some of the many other terms used by Deleuze and Guattari, whether they are striated or smooth, rigid or supple, sedentary or nomadic and so on. In terms of Deleuzes ontology, that which is actual tends to be territorialized, while the virtual is that which is absolutely deterritorialized. As we have seen, society, life in the actual world, is necessarily territorialized as it is inherently organized. That is, the political field is one that is in essence predicated on territory. The same poles of orientation, towards the actual or the virtual, the territorialized or deterritorialized, that inform societies, also determine works of art. Literature is not an image of the world to Deleuze and Guattari, but another assemblage in the world: There is no longer a tripartite division between a field of reality (the world) and a field of representation (the book) and a field of subjectivity (the author). Rather, an assemblage establishes connections between certain multiplicities drawn from each of these orders, so that a book has no sequel nor the world as its object nor one or several authors as its subject. (TP 23) The text may well establish a particular resonance with a certain kind of society, because it embodies the same kind of ontological orientation as that society recall how the organization of the realism in magical realism follows that of the State: rigidly segmented but this is not the limit of what the text can do. The text can also embody something completely separate and different from any society, something unique to art itself, since the principles of its creation, which we considered in the previous chapter, are to be found prior to any society. It is this uniqueness of art that a Jamesonian analysis cannot grant literature, since to Jameson, all literature, no matter how weakly, must be informed by what we

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have called a political unconscious [. . .] all literature must be read as a symbolic meditation on the destiny of community (PU 56). It is precisely by going outside the social realm for the conditions of art that Deleuze enables us to understand what art can do apart from and beyond the territorial, political realm but, importantly, not in detriment to this realm, but as an equally vital part of Being. In the last chapter we discovered how the sign of art, to Deleuze, is something that is the ultimate goal of life, which life cannot realize by itself (PS 155). It allows for a superior view-point where the ontological principle of Being is revealed in all its chaotic reality as it constitutes and reconstitutes the beginning of the world (PS 110). However, while these ontological effects are key to Deleuze and his view of art as revelatory of the virtual, they tell us little about the practical effect art can have in the here and now. After all, the work of art is actual and we encounter it in the actual. Yet there were hints at such practical effects at the end of Sexing the Cherry, as well as Beloved, where the virtual as the contemporaneous past of the actual opened up possibilities of action in the present and future. In order to further consider how art can be both separate from the world in essence, and at the same time be effective in this world, we have to go back to Deleuzes work on art, in particular What is Philosophy? and Cinema 2. It is obvious that Deleuzes approach to art radically differs from Jamesons historicist view, and this is precisely the key to why a Deleuzian approach can articulate what the magical elements in magical realism can do, where a historicist reading cannot. In fact, it is because the signs of art, such as the magical elements, are not historical that Deleuze finds that they have unique revolutionary potential: Becoming does not belong to History (WIP 96). Instead, history is only the set of almost negative conditions that make possible the experimentation of something that escapes history (WIP 111). This experimentation is the creative act of art as revolution, for revolution is absolute deterritorialization even to the point where this calls for a new earth, a new people (WIP 101). The political field as predicated on territory belongs to the actual conditions of history. In contrast, the revolutionary, for Deleuze, is that which moves away from such territory. Magic, as we have seen, is precisely a movement of deterritorialization, divergent from the territoriality of realism, and thus divergent from politics and history, and it is precisely as such that it is revolutionary in Deleuzes sense. If the revolutionary, to Deleuze, is that which is deterritorialized to the point where this calls for a new earth, a new people, the sign of art is revolutionary exactly because it is a new creation in the act of being created. In fact, the specific ontological characteristics of the signs of art that we discovered in the previous chapter are necessary for their revolutionary potential. The point of the call for a new people can only be reached if a sign of art, through its deterritorialization, enacts the birth of the world (PS 110). Any actual people, any people that already exists, and which is merely represented by realism

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reflecting the conditions of that existing society, is, of course, necessarily already territorialized. Only a virtual people without any relation to present or historical society can be absolutely deterritorialized and thus properly revolutionary. Consider Deleuzes notion of the minor. A minority is not defined by the number of its members or elements, but by the connections between these constituents, connections which belong neither to the elements nor to the group as such. While the major is that which is territorialized or coded, a minority has no model, its a becoming, a process [. . .]. When a minority creates models for itself its because it wants to become a majority.12 Only a people that does not yet exist, but which is in the very process of becoming-people, is properly a minority. Equally, minor literature does not designate specific ethnic or national literatures, but the revolutionary conditions for every literature; any author, even one belonging to a majority, can find his own point of underdevelopment, his own patois, his own third world (KM 18). Clearly, Deleuzes use of the term third world here is as idiosyncratic as his use of the term revolutionary. Indeed, we have to consider this a virtual third world just as his revolution is virtual and thus explicitly not an image or representation of the actual Third World, nor of any actual revolution. However, within a Deleuzian framework this certainly does not mean that the two cannot be usefully considered in relation to each other. In Cinema 2 Deleuze defines a Third World cinema in political terms which we can compare to Jamesons analysis of Third World literature. Deleuze states that a Third World political cinema exists exactly on the basis that the people no longer exist, or not yet . . . the people are missing (C2 208). To Deleuze, it is in the Third World, where oppressed and exploited nations remained in a state of perpetual minorities, in a collective identity crisis, that the need for the articulation of a new people becomes clear, precisely because the people are missing: This acknowledgement of a people who are missing is not a renunciation of political cinema, but on the contrary the new basis on which it is founded, in the third world and for minorities. Art, and especially cinematographic art, must take part in this task: not that of addressing a people, which is presupposed already there, but of contributing to the invention of a people. The moment the master, or the colonizer, proclaims There have never been people here, the missing people are a becoming, they invent themselves, in shanty towns and camps, or in ghettos, in new conditions of struggle to which a necessarily political art must contribute. (C2 209) To Deleuze it is thus not a case of finding the contradictions caused by the encounter between individuals, classes or modes of production: If the people are missing, if there is no longer consciousness, evolution or revolution, it is the scheme of reversal which itself becomes impossible. There will no longer be conquest of power by a proletariat, or by a united or unified people (C2 211). The Deleuzian revolution is not about reversing the masterslave,

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colonizercolonized relationship, but about inventing a new people beyond any such opposition. Deleuze and Jameson may appear to intersect at the point where they both proclaim that Third World art is necessarily collective. However, while to Jameson this collective utterance is a function of individual lives expressing national destinies through allegory, to Deleuze, the minority voice is collective precisely because it does not represent any actual, existing people: because the people are missing, the author is in a situation of producing utterances which are already collective, which are like the seeds of the people to come, and whose political impact is immediate and inescapable. The author can be marginalized or separate from his more or less illiterate community as much as you like; this condition puts him all the more in a position to express potential forces and, in his very solitude, to be a true collective agent, a collective leaven, a catalyst. (C2 213) Ronald Bogue, in his essay Bergsonian Fabulation and the People to Come, elucidates this role of the artist as catalyst that Deleuze develops in Cinema 2, by considering Deleuzes analysis of the work of Quebecois film-maker Pierre Perrault and his methods. Perrault makes documentaries, not by producing an objective recording of an external reality, but by entering into a collaborative process of invention with their subjects.13 In Pour la suite du monde (1963) Perrault invites a group of Quebecois islanders, marginalized by both AngloCanadian society and official French culture, to revive a traditional hunting practice. As they go about this task, Perrault films the group not only speaking of memories and folk lore of the hunt, but also beginning to form a new community. Perraults camera captures them in the process of what Perrault calls legending in flagrante delicto, that is, in the very process of inventing a new communal myth. Bogue quotes Perrault on this subject: I do not want to help give birth yet again to myths, but to allow people to give birth to themselves, to avoid myths, to escape customs, to elude Writings.14 While Jameson sees a return to myths and rituals of the past as an expression of the voice of the oppressed constituting an allegory of the nation in Third World literature, to Deleuze, Third World cinema is instead all about legending or inventing myth; an act of story-telling which would not be a return to myth but a production of collective utterances capable of raising misery to a strange positivity, the invention of a people (C2 214). The author, acting as an agent for these new myths, must not, then, make himself into the ethnologist for his people, nor himself invent a fiction which would be one more private story: for every personal fiction, like every impersonal myth, is on the side of the masters (C2 213). To Deleuze, the collective nature of Third World art does certainly not lie in its allegorizing individual stories, or any kind of representation of a state of things, but in its power as the creation of the new. As we have seen, realism is not a matter of verisimilitude as such, but of the text belonging to a particular regime of signs or reflecting a particular

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ontological orientation. Realist fiction keeps up the appearance of referentiality through the regime of signs of subjectification. Such fiction is thus, says Deleuze, a model of pre-established truth, which necessarily expresses dominant ideas or the point of view of the colonizer [. . .] [it] is inseparable from a reverence which presents it as true, in religion, in society, in cinema, in the systems of images (C2 145). The crucial opposition is not between fiction, or text, and reality, but rather between the realist regime of signs and the regime of signs revealed by the signs of art. That is, between a territorial regime and one which embodies the deterritorialization of Being in the act of new creation. Thus what is opposed to fiction is not the real; it is not the truth which is always that of the masters or the colonizer; it is the story-telling function of the poor, insofar as it gives the false the power which makes it into a memory, a legend, a monster (C2 145). This statement may seem to echo the mantra of the magical realist critic that sees freedom in returning to traditional story-telling and legend. This is not what Deleuze means, however. To Deleuze, story-telling is precisely not the return to anthropological myth in search for meaning, or the recollection of personal or collective memories of a people, it is the creation of the monsters of simulacra: myths and legends without origins, that is, myths and legends whose people do not yet exist. It is precisely only when art goes beyond the real, starts making up legends that it contributes to the invention of a new people (C2 145). Bogue rightly asks how this story-telling or legending relates to narrative, and concludes that it does so by opposition. Bogue finds that Deleuze privileges elements antithetical to narrative in his works on literature and art. For example, in Kafka, Deleuze and Guattari find the minority of Kafkas novels in their structure consisting of pieces of discontinuous narrative. In Cinema 2 Deleuze describes Third World cinema as operating through crises or a putting into trance of its narrative or speech-acts. Just as the minority of Kafkas language means being a sort of stranger within [ones] own language (KM 26), in Third World cinema the speech-act must create itself as a foreign language in a dominant language (C2 215). Also in Proust and Signs, Bogue points out, the search or apprenticeship progresses not through narrative but through signs, and eventuates in a philosophical understanding of essences that transcends the sequence of events leading to that understanding.15 That is, this making up of new myths does not consist in a narrative movement at all, but is rather situated in the elements that rupture narrative, such elements as the crystalline signs, in terms of which we considered magic in the last chapter the signs characterized by non-human becomings and indiscernibility in opposition to an organic, human or motor-sensory narration. It is therefore the very fact that art leaves behind a narrative that represents the individual, the human, the historical, that gives art its greatest revolutionary potential for Deleuze. It is a revolution that cannot be found in any existing society. To Deleuze and Guattari,

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art and philosophy converge at this point: the constitution of an earth and a people that are lacking as correlate of creation [. . .]. The artist or the philosopher is quite incapable of creating a people, each can only summon it with all his strength. A people can only be created in abominable sufferings, and it cannot be concerned any more with art or philosophy. But books of philosophy and works of art also contain their sum of unimaginable sufferings that forewarn of the advent of a people. They have resistance in common their resistance to death, to servitude, to the intolerable, to shame, and to the present. (WIP 108,110) The effect of art in the here and now is thus a resistance, a forewarning or an imperative. Clearly, this approach sheds a new light on postcolonial magical realism. We cannot see magic in an anthropological light any longer, so much we already know. Defining magic as a pure simulacrum makes the debate about origins and authenticity redundant. We have to remember that becomings are born in history but are not of history. It is in this sense that we can recuperate, through Deleuze, Bhabhas concept of the hybrid signifier. If the hybrid signifier is a sign of art, meaningless and undecidable, the very extinction of the recognizable object of culture, then that is precisely why it has a Deleuzian revolutionary potential. We saw that the problem was that Bhabha, like many postcolonial theorists, attempted to bring this enunciatory moment back to the existing state of affairs: while the hybrid signifier entailed the act of erasing the politics of binary opposition (LC 256), such iterative unpicking was immediately followed by incommensurable, insurgent relinking (LC 265). Deleuze, however, allows us to take the hybrid signifier to its logical conclusion: rather than insisting on a return of the subject as agent, Deleuze finds the revolutionary potential of the sign of art precisely in the fact that the subject, the people, is missing. Deleuze thus enables us to both go beyond the limits of a Marxist approach, which cannot adequately articulate what it is that magic can do, as well as take the core ideas of postcolonial theory further, rather than attempting to reconcile it with a specific political programme.

Robert Kroetschs What the Crow Said (1978): The Stuff before the Stuff that is History or Culture or Society or Art
Robert Kroetsch is perhaps best known as, in Linda Hutcheons words, Mr Canadian Postmodernism.16 The novel What the Crow Said, Kroetschs flirt with magical realism,17 has often been overlooked in favour of his other works such as The Studhorse Man (1969) and Badlands (1975). However, it has featured in many considerations of magical realism, since much attention has been given to the genre in Canada. It is impossible to read about Anglophone

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magical realism without being struck by its flourishing in Canadian literature, the two examples mentioned most often being What the Crow Said and Jack Hodgins The Invention of the World (1977). Kroetschs novel is interesting partly because of the position it occupies in critical texts on Anglophone magical realism, but also because Canadian magical realism has been explicitly placed in a postcolonial context. In fact, Canadian critical approaches to magical realism as a postcolonial genre have been very influential on readings of magical realism in general. The most notable example is Stephen Slemons essay Magic Realism as Postcolonial Discourse, discussed in the Introduction. He reads What The Crow Said, among other novels, in an attempt to place magical realism within the context of English-Canadian literary culture in its specific engagement with postcoloniality (MRDP 409). To Slemon, What the Crow Said displays all the elements he believes are characteristic of a postcolonial magical realist text: the novels narrative opposition of magic and realism reflects the real conditions of speech and cognition within social relations of a postcolonial culture (MRDP 411), that is, the opposition between colonizer and colonized cultures. In addition, according to Slemon, its foreshortened time and local place of the novel, like the one hundred years and Macondo of One Hundred Years of Solitude, are representative of the postcolonial situation on a larger scale. Finally, it foregrounds the fragmentation and disjunction of the experience created by the colonial encounter by not allowing either magic or realism to become dominant. The text thus demands a kind of reading process in which the imagination becomes stimulated into summoning into being new and liberating codes of recognition (MRDP 421). In Slemons approach we can recognize both the influence of Jameson, and the idea of hybridity as cultural coexistence. However, the position of Canada in the postcolonial context perhaps necessitates a few notes. Stanley E. McMullin articulates the status of Canadian culture and literature in terms of heartland and hinterland. The Canadian West, with the exception of Vancouver, is the hinterland to the metropolitan East, but this heartland of Canada is also a hinterland: on the one hand, historically, relative to the British and French colonial powers, and, on the other, increasingly in the present, to the United States.18 A writer like Kroetsch, who writes about the Canadian prairie, is therefore doubly from the hinterland. The Canadian writer, especially one from the west, has to face some of the same issues of belonging and identity as other postcolonial writers. Of course, since Canada is largely a settler nation, as well as a major economic power, these issues are also very different. As Linda Hutcheon points out, the Canadian situation is certainly marginalized and ex-centric but as more a privileged than a denigrated position.19 However, the Canadians status as privileged white settlers does not preclude difficulties in coming to terms with a colonial legacy. In addition to the sense of marginalization from a home nation, settler Canadians face a certain disconnection from their own country. On the one hand, the place of the native inhabitants and their culture in Canadian national

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identity has to be negotiated after the fact of their decimation and marginalization by the settler population. On the other hand, while the native peoples had a connection to the land, settler Canadians still wrestle with their relationship with the vast empty spaces and raw nature of the Canadian hinterland. As a significant magical realist text with precisely such a Canadian legacy, What the Crow Said is particularly interesting in our context. As Marie Vautier says in her New World Myth: Postmodernism and Postcolonialism in Canadian Fiction, it is located in that space between so prized by postcolonialists.20 Such a space appears precisely as the in-between space of Bhabhas hybrid signifier. The colonial legacy is ever-present in Canadian negotiations of place and identity and Kroetsch is a writer who feels the dilemmas of identity keenly, exclaiming, To be a Canadian: a fate so barren and so complicated I can hardly endure.21 Lecker notes that Canadian writers, like other Anglophone postcolonial writers, have to commence a new literature in a mandarin language, and he quotes Kroetsch stating that the Canadian writer has to uninvent American and English homonyms that prevent him from hearing his own language.22 The Canadian writer approaching Canadian identity, whether as a settler community or in relation to native peoples and land, has first, as Hutcheon points out, to deconstruct British [or French] social and literary myths in order to redefine their colonial history.23 Indeed, Kroetschs work has often been seen in terms of the deconstruction of old myths in search of better expressions of Canadian place and identity, and many readers note that What the Crow Said opens with a version of the Greek myth of Zeus and Danae. Vera Lang is impregnated, not by a god turned golden shower, but by a swarm of bees in a prairie meadow. Gunilla Florby notes that the novel is full of such irreverent rewritings of myths, both western and indigenous. In What the Crow Said we encounter versions of the flood as well as of the Ark, and the Tower of Babel. The central female character, Tiddy Lang, is pursued by suitors like Penelope. Matings between animals and humans have many parallels in Native Indian myths, as has the talking crow that visits the characters of the novel.24 Some have seen this deconstruction of myth through magical realism from the usual postcolonial perspective: Since most history written by the heartland about the West appears fictional to readers in the hinterland, it appears that the western novelist has become the hinterland historian, and magic realism is one of the techniques of recording that history.25 However, it has also been noted that Kroetschs rewriting of myths through magical realism has been strangely apolitical, unspecific, ambiguous and even meaningless, echoing critical comments about magical realism as a postcolonial genre. Kathleen Wall says, What the crow actually said was not particularly important or insightful: what about what Kroetsch said?26 Other critics have also noted that what the crow says is meaningless, and that, in fact, most of the events in the novel are difficult to interpret in a coherent way. Wall finds that ultimately it is appropriately difficult, given Kroetschs preoccupation with the temptation of meaning to decide which causes actually operate meaningfully in Kroetschs

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border cosmos.27 Geert Lernout sees What the Crow Said as repetitive and operating outside history28 and Simona Bertacco notes that the novel prioritizes the irrelevant. Bertacco concludes that the words used in this novel, starting with the description of Vera being raped by a swarm of bees, underline two things at the same time: their being physical presences, and their inability to make any sense whatsoever.29 Yet again, we see how the magical realist text strains against any politically or culturally loaded readings the meaninglessness of the magic refuses to conform to the ordered interpretations necessary for such readings. Interestingly, Lecker finds that Kroetsch does not merely rewrite myths, but that he goes further, looking for the place of the un-created myth, the silent realm before the origins of myth. This, however, also implies a going beyond identity: Silence may return us to the condition preceding creation, but in doing so it also obliterates identity. To Lecker, Kroetschs first concern is not with the social, political, or economic phenomena which apparently define this country, but with the relationship between language and being.30 Lecker explains this concern as emerging from Kroetschs attempt to articulate the emptiness and silence that is, to Kroetsch, essentially Canadian. This emptiness expresses both the vast hinterland of Canada, and the sense that as Kroetsch says, colonial models of history and geography are telling us [the Canadians] that we didnt exist.31 Kroetschs statement recalls Deleuzes idea that the missing people start creating themselves precisely when the masters proclaim there is no one around. There may not be any shantytowns or ghettos in Kroetschs hinterland, but there is a place that lacks its own myths. Kroetschs magical realism is thus not merely about deconstructing or rewriting myths, but also about bringing a people into existence, precisely through the act of legending or myth-making. It is about finding that place of Bhabhas hybrid signifier, before culture, where culture is created or enunciated. As he says in an unpublished journal, Kroetsch is looking for the stuff before the stuff that is history or culture or society or art.32 However, like all magical realism, What the Crow Said is anchored in realism. In the published notes to the novel, The Crow Journals, Kroetsch describes the work as my own (rural?) experience, basically, expanded towards the tall tale, the mythological; but always the hard core of detail.33 It is this hard core of detail that constitutes the realism of the novel, and places it in a specific time and place. As Hutcheon notes, Kroetschs work is rooted very firmly in the geographical, historical, and cultural world of Alberta.34 Just as Macondo was clearly a coastal Colombian village during a century of transition from rural economy to early industrialization, Big Indian is a village quite obviously in the Canadian West, in the years after the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s and 40s. Just as in Macondo, the community seems to exist on the edge of modern society, yet slowly modern inventions such as telephones and televisions creep into their homes. The Municipality of Bigknife and village of Big Indian are located not only on the border between Alberta and Saskatchewan no one is sure to which province the place actually belongs but also on the border between

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agricultural and modern, between hinterland and heartland. It indeed appears to be a place where there is an overlap between pre-capitalist and nascent capitalist features la Jameson, where the prairie agricultural economy offers a certain model of Canadian identity specifically connected to the land, in contrast to the dislocated modernity of the metropolitan heartlands in the east. However, if we only consider the world of Kroetschs novel through Jamesons lens, we are likely to misunderstand its magic. Such an analysis would immediately suggest that the magic is to be connected with the agricultural, pre-capitalist way of life of the small community, when, in fact, it is anything but that. Indeed, it is not an opposition between different modes of production that lies at the heart of this novel, but an opposition between what is territorialized and what is deterritorialized. As a novel about a settler colony that What the Crow Said can be paralleled to One Hundred Years of Solitude, which revolves around a Spanish settler colony in Latin America (indeed, native communities are as conspicuously absent from Garca Mrquezs novel as they are from Kroetschs). The segmented territoriality of Macondo appears in contrast to the deterritorialized, smooth space of the jungle, while the agrarian, pre-capitalist phase of Macondo is as territorial as the later capitalist reorganizations of the village. What stands out, of course, is the magic, not as representative of a pre-capitalist society, but as divergent from the territorial order of any kind of society, and thus also altogether divergent from a Marxist analytic framework. Indeed, the realist narration of What the Crow Said gives us a wealth of detail about life on a prairie farm and the goings-on in the village. It is world organized by the convergent series of family ties and social functions much like Macondo, the territorial centre of which is the Lang farmhouse. Tiddys matronly character presides over the domestic order much like rsula over the Buenda household, and it is through her we get the wealth of detail about farm life: She sent her daughters out to pick beans, to shell peas, to thin the carrots and the beets, to dig under the potato stalks with their bare hands in the cool earth, for small new potatoes to be washed and then fried whole in butter.35 Everything on the farm has its order and place, the land is segmented by crops which are in turn used and stored according to traditional rules. However, from the very beginning of the novel the detailed realism of life in a small prairie town, where everyone has their place, is contrasted with a divergent magic. As Vera Lang is copulating with the bees, she lets out a cry that startles the regimented order of the town: Big Indian, at that hour was quiet. The train came into town from the west three days a week, returned on alternate days. But the clanging of cream cans being unloaded had not yet begun. The drayman had rattled his team and wagon through the gravel streets and stopped beside the platform. The egg crates were stacked and ready for loading. The farmers were sitting quiet in the spring sun, in front of the hardware store, in front of the pool hall. Doors were propped open along Main Street, the businessmen inside waiting for

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shipments of parts of machinery, waiting for the farmers to stir alive before going home to supper and chores [. . .]. They had expected a steam locomotives whistle, all those loafing and waiting men; they heard a sound that was almost human. (WCS 5) Veras cry is almost human, but not quite, as, overwhelmed by a swarm of bees, she finds herself in the throes of a magical becoming-animal: The hum of wings melded earth and sky into the thickness of her skin. She had no mind left for thinking, no fear, no dream, no memory. The bees closed her mouth, her ears (WCS 4). Like Pi and the tiger in Life of Pi, through the magical crystalline sign, Vera and the bees, as well as Vera and the earth and sky, become indiscernible. Vera can be said to become-bee, and become-earth and -sky through the bees. We can now read such a magical crystalline sign as a hybrid signifier. The incomprehensible inhuman cry, like the boum, ouboum of the Malabar Caves in Forster, emerges in the confrontation between colonizer and colonized land, the settler Canadian and the hinterland landscape, the woman and the bees, earth and sky. It is precisely the incomplete signification of such a sign that opens up the in-between space of the hybrid signifier. As we have already noted, such a magical moment makes no sense, has no particular meaning. It is an object = x in divergence to the set ways of the village. Indeed, as Bhabha says, it is in the very meaninglessness of the hybrid signifier that meaning and thus culture is articulated: it is the stuff before history and culture, in Kroetschs words. That is, the magic in What the Crow Said appears not in contrast to a modern or capitalist culture, but in contrast to culture itself. Importantly, however, it does not appear simply as an opposition to or negation of culture, but as the condition of culture. Thus, while the magic of What the Crow Said resists a political or historicist reading, it can be seen as a supplement to the historical, social and even political conditions of the text, precisely as the ahistorical condition of culture. The magic of Veras encounter with the bees is not only a rewriting of myth, but a return to a place where myths can be invented. The result of Veras magical coupling is a son that is part animal, who returns from the wild a young man, after his mother has had to abandon him to coyotes as a baby. However, this is another becoming-animal that does not follow the lines of any existing myths; the boy is not the monster we expect, but the monster of a Deleuzian simulacrum. He is not half-bee nor even half-wolf and half-man, but a rather neat boy who speaks only in pig-latin and can foresee the weather. On the one hand, Kroetsch is inverting the mythical figure of Cassandra here, just as, in one sense, he was rewriting the myth of Zeus and Danae in Veras rape by the bees. Veras boy is a soothsayer whom people actually believe when they manage to understand his strange utterances, but who does not tell the truth at all: The ercilessmay unsay shall urnbay us, he yipped and barked. Be reparedpay (WCS 128). Soon afterwards a deluge starts. On the other hand, then, we

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can read Veras boy and his nonsensical prophesies as another hybrid signifier, the in-between space that emerges as an effect of the confrontation between the settlers and a climate they cannot understand. It is as such that Veras boy is a part of the regime of the false or a new myth: he is a story without origins. The magic is not the revision of the mythical, but the act of legending in flagrante delicto as seen in Perraults film (coincidentally also about a Canadian hinterland community). What is at stake here is not a re-articulation of cultural knowledge through myth, but, to use Bhabhas terminology, the extinction of the recognizable object of culture (LC 180). Indeed, it is precisely this extinction, that is, the very meaninglessness of the hybrid sign or the ahistoricity of the magical event, that allows it to become new myth. Just as in One Hundred Years of Solitude, then, the lack of meaning in the magical signs is marked, and crucial, in What the Crow Said. Not only are the magical signs difficult to interpret; they seem without cause and effect. Liebhaber has the magical ability of remembering the future, but he is entirely unable to do anything about it, whether it is the death of Martin Lang or a flood that he foresees. Martin Langs ghost appears and disappears without much impact. A man makes a Lang daughter pregnant with genitals he lost in the war. Bees hail down frozen in ice after Liebhaber fires them from a cannon into the sky. Another man is taken up in the air by an eagle, survives the fall, but dies by drowning in the latrine he lands in. As in Macondo, there are numerous magical events that seem to be signs and omens that should have some significance, but which actually only appear strange and divergent from the reality around them. Most notable is perhaps the talking crow. Despite the title, the presence of the crow does not play a central role in the novel. The crow appears, hangs around Tiddys mute son JG and one day starts speaking. It almost exclusively deals out insults to the world, especially to the Big Indian men. Instead of being meaningful, what the crow said is as empty as the cawing that the men take up: Bugger off, the black crow said. Caw caw caw, Leo Weller said (WCS 76). Here we find another magical becoming-animal, where, while the crow appears to become human, the men become crows. As we saw in the previous chapter, becoming is precisely the zone of indiscernibility of the crystalline sign or sign of art, where beasts and persons [. . .] endlessly reach that point that immediately precedes their natural differentiation (WIP 173). Like Bhabhas hybrid signifier, becoming is an example of the very structure of difference or the in-between space where meanings are negotiated or created, prior to the individuation and differentiation of society or even species. Kroetsch is, indeed, explicitly concerned with the conditions of meaning in What the Crow Said, and it becomes clear that the magic of his text is, in fact, necessary for him to fully work through these concerns. Liebhaber, a writer and printer, is throughout the novel struggling with words and their meanings: He thought of the letter O, from his collection of wood type. He tried to let it become a mere circle. A cats eye. The perfect circle of a soap bubble. He would free the O from the O, let back into the world the zero of ought (WCS 64).

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However, Liebhaber, just like the realist narration describing his actions, fails to free himself from meaning: He set the word OUT, building from the T he had tried to mock out of meaning, He left the T on the table. He placed the U on a windowsill. He carried the O into his living room. But he knew the word OUT was still OUT (WCS 47). The realist narration here literally remains in an ordered domestic space, at the same time as language itself remains lodged in the regime of signs that makes out out. In contrast, the magic of the novel succeeds where realism and Liebhaber fail, taking us beyond meaning to the virtual conditions of meaning. The mens cawing, as a sign, or hybrid signifier, of their becoming-non-human, takes place during a 151-day Schmier card game. The card game starts in Tiddys parlour but moves on to the basement of a church and then a players poor shack of a home. The card players, having no time for anything else, ever more dirty, hungry and bedraggled, become progressively less human. The fantastically long game is a magical event, divergent from the ordered rural life of Big Indian, divergent, in fact, from any society predicated on a mode of production as it is, of course, non-productive: entirely fruitless and meaningless. Kroetsch, in The Crow Journals, notes the episode as The meaning that doesnt quite mean, the card players recognizing that all the numbers and pictures on the cards mean nothing, and that they are engaged in an endless game without significance.36 The magical episode of the game thus manages to do what Liebhaber could not: reveal the disconnection between signs and meanings, and liberate utterances from any significance, as in the mens caw caw. The lack of meaning of the magic as a hybrid signifier indicates its lack of productivity and territoriality, marking its removal from society, politics, history. John Skandl builds a lighthouse out of ice during the winter that lasts for over a year, but of course ultimately the beacon melts to nothing. The long winter is a magical occurrence that like the others above, has no particular meaning, but that does have a particular function: that of divergence from the ordered world of the real, with its four predictable seasons, in the same way as Veras magical coupling diverged from the ordered time and place of the town. Yet, as we know, the lack of meaning in the magic object = x is also an excess of meaning. All of these events can be given a range of meanings, in particular around symbolic values such as male and female, human and natural, settler and Native.37 Yet none of these are final or stable in any way. Indeed, all such meanings are, as Bhabha says, present all at once in the magical signs. Is the crow a symbol of Native Indian culture, conspicuously absent from Big Indian itself, the idiot savant voice of the retarded JG, or a representation of the vanity and uselessness of the men playing cards? The meaninglessness of these events ensures that as Bhabha says of his hybrid signifier, they do not constitute a return to anthropology or ethnic studies, or an accumulation of cultural knowledge. However, the fact that their lack of meaning is predicated on the moment of the present all at once, that is, in Deleuzian terms, the indiscernibility of meanings, is crucial. It is this

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indiscernibility that as we saw in the last chapter, reveals the sign of art as an act of new creation to Deleuze. It is therefore this indiscernibility that is key to the magic as a hybrid signifier appearing as the condition of culture. As Lecker says, Kroetsch searches to find the chaos before any sources, tries to make the world pre-fixtual, attempts to write the the un-named, the de-created, the un-invented, the de-mythologized.38 Like Deleuze and Guattaris art that embodies the virtual chaos, the magic in What the Crow Said thus works as a hybrid signifier, enacting the total ambiguity that Kroetsch suggests lies behind language, society and culture.39 It is in this place of ambiguity that new myths Vera and the bees, her soothsayer son, the mens becoming-crow, the Schmier game and so on are created. Nevertheless, the fact that the what the crow said of the title turns out to be nothing is indicative of the relationship of the magical events to the realism in the What the Crow Said. Like the crow, the novels hybrid signifiers are strangely detached from the everyday life of the community. These new myths seem to have little impact on Big Indian life in the end. Unlike One Hundred Years of Solitude, or Midnights Children, What the Crow Said does not end in apocalypse. There is a flood, but it does not spell wholesale destruction. In the penultimate scene of the novel, in a moment of magical coincidence, Vera on a floating house together with her admirer Martin Straw are saved, disappearing down the swollen river through a gap in the CN bridge, while Veras boy in a boat and Jerry Lapanne, one of Tiddys daughters admirers, in an aeroplane, simultaneously crash into the bridge. This semi-magical climax is a moment when as Jackman says, the world of Crow exists suspended in a moment when transformation is possible.40 However, the moment is also as meaningless and ineffectual as all the magical events in the novel: nothing actually changes in Big Indian. In the final part of the novel Liebhaber and Tiddy become lovers, in a scene of bliss and hope reminiscent of the endings of Nights at the Circus and Beloved. As in these novels, this scene of love is entirely realist, leading Slemon to argue that the fantastic element in the novel never quite manages to dominate an undercurrent of realism (MRPD 410). Somewhat incongruously, Slemon also finds that in the union of Tiddy and Liebhaber, the binary oppositions of the text, represented by the male and female, are resolved. To Slemon, this infinitely suspended moment that fuses the real with the numinous in the actuating imagination is what in postcolonial terms [. . .] represents an imaginative projection into the future, where the fractures of colonialism heal through a positive imaginative reconstruction of reality (MRPD 415).41 In fact, the final scene is a definite return to the territorial order of realism, after the climactic magical moment. There may be a healing of fractures, but it is not effectuated by any magic, but by return to daily life on the farm, in the same way that, in Beloved, Sethes personal healing could only start through a renewed engagement with human relationships. That is, as we have previously suggested, the reconstruction of identity can only take place within the order of society.

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Tiddys daughters are doing what they always have done: Rose is burying a chick, Theodora is playing ball, Rita is writing letters, Gladys is in the barn and so on. They are all engaged in the repetitive activities that have identified them throughout the novel, in their domestic, territorial setting. It is against the backdrop of this domestic idyll that Tiddy and Liebhaber finally find each other. It seems that in What the Crow Said, though Kroetsch begins to imagine new myths, it is not these myths but the territoriality of everyday life that provides a resolution. In the novel magic works as a hybrid signifier, which, in what Bhabha would call the colonial encounter, opens up a space where myths can be invented. While this encounter is made possible by a historical situation, the resulting hybrid signifier escapes history, entering the realm of the conditions of society and culture. As in Beloved, the magic of What the Crow Said can perhaps be seen as a catalyst to the healing restoration of relationships. However, if in Beloved such a restoration was a matter of life and death for Sethe, in Big Indian the magic seems to have little effect. Perhaps, in the privileged Canadian settler community there is simply no need fully to explore the possibilities of imagining a new people. As we have seen, Deleuze tells us that The artist or the philosopher is quite incapable of creating a people [. . .]. A people can only be created in abominable sufferings, and it cannot be concerned any more with art or philosophy (WIP 110). In Beloved, then, the magic of Beloved herself acted as a catalyst to a healing restoration of community and identity, but the strength of that community and identity actually came from the shared sufferings of the people. If in What the Crow Said the return to a domestic territorial order is merely a return to the conditions at the outset of the novel, implying no progress and change, in Beloved, we have to remember, the return to the territorial order of the domestic was, in fact, a progression from the despotic order of slavery. Perhaps certain real conditions, the sufferings of real people, are necessary in order for the magic to work properly as a catalyst for change.

Amitav Ghoshs The Circle of Reason (1986): The Reality of Migrants and Nomadic Magic
Amitav Ghoshs The Circle of Reason has inevitably been compared to Rushdies Midnights Children, as part of a recent genealogy of Indian writing in English commonly if loosely drawn together around a notion of magical realism,42 at the same time as its difference from the Rushdiesque model of magical realism has been noted. Ghoshs magical realism is more sparse than both Rushdies and Garca Mrquezs. In contrast to Midnights Children or One Hundred Years of Solitude, there is no steady stream of magical events, only a few magical moments, together with an intricate rambling narrative, often seemingly lacking in direction and logic, yet undoubtedly realist. It is actually this chaotic narrative that has led The Circle of Reason to be seen as more historically and socially anchored

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than Rushdies exuberant magic that threatens to slip into ahistorical playfulness,43 or as less lyrical and more responsive to the specificity and multifacetedness of experience than both Rushdie and Garca Mrquez.44 It appears that a richness in realist narrative together with a sparseness in magic is perceived as more historically specific, as might indeed be expected from our analysis of magical realism so far. John Hawley notes that Ghoshs realist prose betrays his anthropological background it presents us with a careful observation of characters, settings and history, with all its attendant realist detail.45 However, as we shall see, Ghoshs novel is not that different, after all, to its magical realist predecessors. While supernatural magical events are few in the novel, there are several elements in the narrative that, while not supernatural, perform a magical function as objects = x. Several elements of the realist narrative, such as sewing machines and carbolic acid, appear as repeated motifs which, while they seem to have significance or symbolic value, much like the magic omens in What the Crow Said or One Hundred Years of Solitude, are actually unsettlingly void of logic or meaning. In addition, Ghosh treats his postcolonial material differently to Rushdie. While Rushdie is thought of as celebrating the cultural diversity of diaspora and migrant communities, Ghosh provides a critical account of such a positive view of migration. As Kavita Dayia notes, Ghosh criticizes both postcolonial nationalism and globalization. He focuses on those in-between travellers that are not benefited by either: those who do not fit into any emergent national identity, and for whom global migrancy does not mean privileged cultural insights, but disempowerment, violence and poverty.46 Ghoshs novel is interesting as it is concerned with the physical deterritorialization of people, its actual removal from the territory of the nation state. Ghosh has expressed the view that the postcolonial or Third World does not have the nation as its central imaginative unit in contrast to both Jameson and Bhabha. Rather he argues that while the First World novel centres on the nation, the Third World novel centres on the family in all its forms.47 In The Circle of Reason the apparently haphazard movement of the protagonist, Alu, between various surrogate families, functions as a unifying thread in the chaotic narrative. Nevertheless, although Ghosh does not believe that the nation is key to Third World literature, The Circle of Reason can still be seen as an allegory in Jamesons sense, but of the migrants situation rather than that of an emergent nation, one in which the migrant drifts at the mercy of the currents of politics and economics, unable to control his or her own destiny. In fact, the novel can be seen as a representation of the dislocation of peoples as an effect of the struggle between pre-capitalist and capitalist modes of production. Such a reading would have to place the migrant as abject, removed from the possibility of controlling any modes of production, thus removed from any agency within this struggle. This analysis, however, would miss some of the key points of Ghoshs novel, for Alu, as we shall see, appears different to the majority of migrants in the novel.

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Robert Dixon notes that Ghosh understands that the routes of international trade are over-determined by economic forces; that they tell a history of imperial exploitation.48 Ghoshs narrative, indeed, in a realist manner, portrays the vicissitudes of the lives of the refugees and migrants resulting from such exploitation. However, Ghosh complicates the opposition between capitalist and pre-capitalist society, between imperialist exploitation and the exploited, and the main tool he uses to do so is the magic or quasi-magic in the novel. Much has been made of the contrast between reason and non-reason in the novel, but the conclusion has always been that it is impossible to say what the message of the novel is on this subject. Both Western reason and old Hindu beliefs are shown as arbitrary, both modern science and traditional life lead to disasters and disappointments. Indeed, Dixon goes on to note that Ghosh deconstructs the simple modernitytradition, occidentaloriental binaries.49 What Ghosh shows us is that for the people leading the chaotic life of the migrant or refugee, the order of a society, whether traditional or modern, appears crucial. Indeed, in a Marxist materialist analysis the participation in either pre-capitalist or capitalist modes of production would be necessary to gain some kind of political agency. However, in Ghoshs novel any organization of the migrants, whether based on a capitalist or pre-capitalist model, any attempt at imposing a territorial order on the chaotic world of their community, is doomed to failure. A simple Jamesonian reading of magical realism as a struggle between modes of production is clearly limited here, as this struggle is portrayed as not only destructive, but futile. Yet this failure to order society does not necessarily mean the loss of all hope, as Ghosh attempts, through the magic in his novel, to capture the possibility of a movement beyond territorial order. The magical elements in The Circle of Reason, as we would by now expect, cannot be seen as a representation of a particular mode of production, society or cultural world-view. Instead they appear as that which escapes such organization; escapes, that is, rather than those, who like the migrants, are excluded from the organization of society. As in What the Crow Said the magic is that which is by definition non-productive in a territorial sense, and therefore is also what a historicist analysis cannot but fail to define, but the magic is not therefore aligned with the abject powerlessness of the migrants in The Circle of Reason. In contrast to both society and those who are excluded from it, the magic appears as that which has neither territory nor a relationship to it. It is precisely as such that it has revolutionary potential. The magic of the novel centres on the protagonist, Alu, who seems to embody deterritorialization. The novel begins with the orphan Alu coming to stay with his uncle Balaram in the village of Lalpukur in India. Notably, Alu lacks a firm identity: with a prodigious talent for learning, he seems to take on the languages and skills of whatever community he finds himself in. Alus incredible ability to learn languages and his unbelievable speed at the loom are some of the first magical features in the novel. Alu learns not only Bengali, English and Hindi, but the difficult dialect of the Bangladeshi refugees in Lalpukur.

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Originally from remote Noakhali in the far east of Bengal, these refugees emigrated to India after partition, and Ghosh tells us that most of them had left everything but their dialect behind.50 The refugees dialect is a mark of common belonging and [. . .] a secret weapon to confuse strangers with (CR 27). That is, a last mark of identity, a vestige of territory clung on to by those who have been dispossessed of any territory. In contrast, the fact that tenyear-old Alu miraculously learns a dialect, which even his uncle after sixteen years in the village can barely understand, is a movement of deterritorialization. Alu does not gain any sense of belonging through his prodigious learning. He remains an outsider who, despite his knowledge of many languages, barely speaks or interacts with village life. Thus Ghosh contrasts the realism of the refugees situation with Alus magic, their painful loss of territory with his ease at learning their language. In the same way Alus incredible talent for weaving is pitted against a three-page politico-economic history of cotton and weaving (CR 5558). Interestingly, Ghosh, through the character of Alus uncle Balaram, connects both the learning of languages and weaving to reason, a faculty Balaram obsessively privileges. Balaram tries to find a place for his strange nephew in his world-view based on science and reason, but Alu, despite his ability to learn, seems always to escape his plans. Alus abilities have nothing to do with reason, logic or science. Instead, Alu appears as an empty sign throughout the novel, an object = x that can take on any value, just as he can learn any language or profession. Alu is not so much a migrant as a nomad in Deleuze and Guattaris sense. Whereas a migrant moves from point A to point B, that is, has a point of departure as well as arrival (even if it may never be reached), the nomad moves on a continuous trajectory where points A and B are merely temporary stops. The migrant always retains a connection to territory, even if only as a memory or aim, whereas the nomads journey is a complete deterritorialization (TP 380381). Indeed, in the novel, the physical deterritorialization of refugees and migrants, their loss of territory, is emphatically not equated with the deterritorialization of its magical elements and their lack of territory. The refugees in Lalpkur retain their dialect as the territorial marker of their point of origin, which for many is perhaps also a desired point of return. Alu, however, in his trajectory through The Circle of Reason, has neither firm origin nor goal. The families he temporarily becomes part of and the places he finds himself in are merely stopovers on a continual journey. In the same way, the skills he learns are merely pauses or stops in a continual movement through his own lack of identity. As we would expect, Alus deterritorialization always appears as divergent and different from the political specifics of the novel. While Ghosh tells us that Alus loom poured out rainbows of cloth with magical ease (CR 75), he also recounts two territorial battles going on around his protagonist. One battle is comical, between two equally extreme adherents of reason: Balaram believes the village can be saved by the disinfectant powers of carbolic acid, while his

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former friend, now nemesis, Bhudeb Roy, insists that straight roads are the answer to all their problems. However, alongside their absurd ideas of militant reason there is a much more violent struggle, for which the weavers son Rakhal is making bombs. Wars keep people busy, says Ghosh, as a rule the spectators are the busiest of all. Some keep busy helping armies with their business of murder and massacre, loot and rapine. Others are left with blood trickling their way and no choice but to join the flow or mop it up (CR 59). Most of Lalpukur consists of those who mop it up, taking in a new wave of refugees from Bangladesh. However, Rakhal is one of those who joins in, not because of any allegiance, but because he can make money by making bombs. It is the coming together of these two battles, of reason and of war, that leads to the loss of Alus family in Lalpukur. When the police get involved in the village rivalry, a warning flare ignites the explosives that Rakhal has stored in Balarams house. The resulting explosion wipes out all things that tie Alu to Lalpukur: his home, his family, his loom and his sweetheart. Alu, in himself lacking both identity and place, easily becomes labelled as a terrorist, and has to flee the police. While his family and friends lose their lives to the territorial struggles they are either spectators to or participants in, Alu literally remains on the outside by a quasi-magical coincidence he finds himself outside the house, itself predicated on territory, when it goes up in flames. Ghosh, here, on the one hand, uses the comical value of the rivalry between Balaram and Bhudeb Roy and its parallels to the ongoing war to indicate that wars are fought over apparently reasonable but actually arbitrary causes, and on the other, contrasts the territorial life and death struggle in Jamesons words, with the deterritorialized nomadic magic of Alu. The first movement belongs to the realist narration of the novel: the parallel between Balaram and Bhudeb Roys rivalry and the war can be drawn because they are both territorial struggles, essentially over how something should be ordered. While the war is directly about the division of land in one way or another, the fight in the village is about whether things should be divided into clean and dirty or straight and crooked. Both fights belong to the same regime of signs that governs realism: the territorial regime of signs of the State. However, in contrast to this realism, the magical deterritorialization of Alu allows the text to do something entirely different than articulating either the territoriality of social struggles, or, indeed, the human misery that is the fall-out of these struggles. Again, Bhabhas distinction between cultural diversity and hybridity is useful here. Ghoshs parallel between Balarams and Bhudeb Roys interpretations of Western science and the war is a matter of cultural diversity: the acquisition or accumulation of additional cultural knowledge is paralleled with the acquisition or accumulation of territory. The magic of Ghoshs magical realism, however, like Kroetschs, allows him to go beyond instances of culture to the conditions of culture. In Bhabhas terms, Alu, as a hybrid signifier appearing in the encounter between Western reason and Indian village life, becomes the very structure of difference that underlies any production of cultural identity in Ghoshs postcolonial text.

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As we shall see, it is precisely as such that he can become the site for making myths for a missing people, but with a very different effect to the disengaged myths in What the Crow Said. What saves Alu from immolation is one of the quasi-magical objects of the novel the sewing machine which his aunt asks him to dispose of, thus making him leave the house before the explosion. To Alus childless aunt the sewing machine is a child substitute, and to Alu it becomes a strange talisman for survival: his aunts plea that he buy her a better sewing machine stays with him, magically saving him from being killed yet again, and leading him on his trajectory towards the West. The sewing machine is another object = x, child to Tori-debu, talisman to Alu. Even its meaning as a sign for the industrialized West is ultimately deterritorialized Dont worry about the sewing machine; they make them better at home now (CR 422), Alu is told by an Indian countryman. What makes the sewing machine work as magic is the fact that it, like Alu himself, is a hybrid signifier, opening up that gap of signification in the encounter between India and the West. In Deleuzes terms, these hybrid signifiers, present the actual encounter between India and the West, colonizer and colonized as the set of almost negative conditions that make possible the experimentation of the magic, which in itself escapes both India and the West. In the second part of the novel the opposition between the territorial real and deterritorialized magic continues, as Alus magical, nomadic adventures are contrasted with other migrants continual search for territory and identity. On the boat from Calcutta to Al-Ghazira, Alu is plagued by mysterious boils, which appear inexplicably after the disaster in Lalpukur. Alu does not get rid of the boils until he is saved again by sewing machines, but what the boils signify is hard to say. It is suggested that the ghost of his uncle is haunting his body, but this suggestion is not sustained. The boils appear to have some significance, but Ghosh never allows them to assume it. In effect, they might be merely the physical symptoms of Alus lack of identity and belonging. In contrast to this magical aporia, one of the other passengers on the boat, Khartamma, in labour but desperately trying to prevent her baby being born, is a clear representation of the real dilemma of in-between travellers. She has been told that if her baby is born an Al-Ghaziri citizen it will have a better life, and is adamant that she needs to sign a form for this to happen: She says that she knows that the child wont be given a house or a car or anything at all if she doesnt sign the forms. Itll be sent back to India, she says, and she would rather kill it than allow that to happen (CR 177). It is clear that territory is crucial to the refugee or migrant, that it indicates the difference between a life worth living and one that is not. This consideration of territory and the loss of it is borne out in the second part of the novel by its realist setting and characters. Al-Ghazira is a fictional Arab peninsula oil state, but its history of struggle for territory between the ruling Malik, the British and the oil corporations clearly refers to a real historical and geographical situation. Al-Ghazira is a place that is strictly segmented: the territories of the Arab population, the corporate-owned Oiltown and the ghetto

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of migrant workers are clearly divided. The last, called Ras al-Maqtu, the Severed Head, provides Alu with a new community of migrants. He is taken in by Zindi, an entrepreneur, landlady and brothel madam, the various itinerant workers and prostitutes inhabiting her house becoming his new substitute family. These are realist characters, telling us about Al-Ghaziras past and enacting its present situation: the low-paid jobs, the prejudice and the poverty in the shade of riches that constitute a migrant workers life. Alu is nearly killed by one of the symbols of these riches: a new skyscraper shopping centre collapses while he is inside working on its construction. Again, in contrast to the migrants who are metaphorically crushed by the Al-Ghaziri inequality between rich and poor, Alu literally escapes the destructive exclusion from territorial belonging that the skyscraper stands for. He is magically saved by two cast-iron sewing machines preventing the rubble crushing him, and incredibly survives for several days without food or water until he is saved. In addition, his boils disappear, and he is inspired to preach to the inhabitants of the Ras about cleanliness. Having been rescued, he addresses the gathered crowd in tongues: Arabic with Hindi, Hindi swallowing Bengali, English doing a dance; tongues unravelled and woven together nonsense, you say, tongues unravelled are nothing but nonsense but there again you have a mystery, for everyone understood him perfectly (CR 279). This is another hybrid signifier, magical and nonsensical. Bhabha says that the hybrid signifier is a space of undecidability, where all possible meanings exist at the same time, and which opens up possibilities for other narrative spaces (LC 255). However, such narrative spaces do not mean the return of the subject as agent as Bhabha suggests, but the possibility of thinking Deleuzes new people. Alu himself is unsure of the meaning of what he is saying that money equals dirt and needs to be cleansed but he enables others to imagine a plan for the Ras and interpret his words into action. Soon the carbolic acid is flowing in the Ras, and all money is pooled. Alu, however, could no longer understand what hed started (CR 315). Recall how at the end of Sexing the Cherry, Dog Woman appeared as the virtual contemporaneous past of the chemist, and this simultaneity in time worked as a catalyst for revolutionary action. In the same way, the moment of simultaneous meanings in the hybrid signifier of Alus speech acts as a catalyst for the people of the Ras. The motley migrant community suddenly mobilize in a flagrant anti-capitalist movement, rejecting the each-to-their-own mentality, turning away exploitative labour contractors and setting up a system to share their assets. The unwanted people of the Ras are precisely people who, in Deleuzes phrase, live in a state of perpetual minorities, in a collective identity crisis, and who invent themselves, in shanty towns and camps, or in ghettos (C2 209). What makes these people invent themselves is precisely a crisis and trance similar to that which Deleuze finds in his Third World cinema?: Alus near-death experience and visionary insights. We saw that Kroetschs magic was an act of making new myths, myths that do not have

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an origin, that is, a people. Rather, these new myths are precisely what allow a missing people to appear, indeed, to become apparent in its very absence. For a moment, then, a missing people appears in Ghoshs novel as the possibility of thinking a future people. In Alus words: We will drive money from the Ras, and without it we shall be happier, richer, more prosperous than ever before (CR 281). Stephanie Jones sees Alus revelation as a typical magical realist clich, a moment of magical reason [that] quickly resolves into the reality of administration and the potential for corruption.51 Therefore she concludes that Ghosh does not offer a workable alternative to modernity. Clearly, Alus ecstasy does not offer a real, workable political agenda, but, in the revolutionary deterritorialization of his magical survival and nonsensical trance-like speech, he at least opens that space where a new people can be thought outside the cultural and historical constraints of the specific context. If in a Marxist Jamesonian analysis the relationship of historical conditions to the text is one of a limiting situation (PU 134), then in a Deleuzian theory the magic is an element of the text that escapes the limits of this situation. The power of this invention of a new people is attested by the fact that it poses an immediate threat to the territorial order of the Al-Ghaziri State. The people, having pooled their money, decide to go on a mass shopping trip to the rich parts of Al-Ghazira. They traverse the boundaries of the segmented state, leaving their proper place, entering the spaces they have previously been excluded from. However, this excursion from the Ras is interpreted as a coupattempt by the authorities, who react with force, massacring the shoppers. The State brutally reterritorializes those that have dared to cross the boundaries of its order. Despite this disastrous outcome, in The Circle of Reason the very thinking of a new people has a noticeable effect on the existing people, as opposed to the new myths of What the Crow Said. The question is, of course, why this should be so. Both the settlers of the Canadian hinterland and the people of the Ras can be said to be minorities with identity crises, but, clearly, their situations are also vastly different. The magical elements in the two novels may work in the same way, through deterritorialization, but, ultimately, the effect of the magic on the real will depend on the particular situation of the existing peoples, represented by the realism of the two novels, not the magic. A people can only be created in abominable sufferings, says Deleuze, and it appears that it is indeed the real sufferings of the migrants in The Circle of Reason that mean that the invention of a new people is translated into action. In What the Crow Said, the hinterland life may be territorial, but it is also reassuring and healing in its domesticity and order. That is, the magic may appear as the new myths of a missing people in any situation, but it is merely a conduit or leaven for the appearance of a new people, as Deleuze says. In Beloved the magic acted as a catalyst to a reconstruction of Sethes identity, by the very fact that it was antithetical to any identity. Similarly, in certain situations, such as the polluted London in Sexing the Cherry or, even more poignantly, the abject Ras in The Circle

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of Reason, the magic acts as a catalyst to political action, although, in itself, it is nothing so territorial as political action. It is important to note that the magical moment is not the actual burning of the chemical factory or London in Wintersons novel, nor the mass mobilization of the people in the Ras, but the moments of crisis that gives these actions their impetus instants of Bhabhas momentary extinction of culture. After the massacre, Alu yet again finds himself a suspected terrorist and is forced to flee, and again he is mysteriously afflicted: his thumbs have stopped working. In the final part of The Circle of Reason Alu is on the run in North Africa with Zindi, the prostitute Kulfi and Khartammas baby another strange familial unit pursued by Jyoti Das, an Indian policeman who has been on Alus heels since the events at Lalpukur. Pretending to be a married couple travelling with their nanny in order to obtain medical care for the baby, the group find themselves involved in the staging of a play, based on a legend from the Mahabharata, by a couple of Indian doctors. Ghosh here renews his exploration of the juxtaposition of reason and Hindu beliefs, modern thought and old traditions. While both are modern scientists, Dr Verma believes that staging the play will give everyone a glimpse of our country and our culture whereas her colleague, the sceptical Dr Mishra, counters that a realistic view of their culture would be to show them how all those fancily dressed-up brides are doused with kerosene and roasted alive when they cant give their grooms enough dowry (CR 379). However, Ghosh again goes further than just comparing various views on the subject of culture by making an apparently real object work in a magical way. When Kulfi unexpectedly dies of heart failure, Dr Verma is keen to give her a proper Hindu burial, and is again berated by Dr Mishra. He points out the lack of reason in the ritual of cleansing a body in the dirty waters of the Ganges, as well as in Vermas substitution of carbolic acid for holy water. Ghosh emphasizes the relativity of both religious beliefs and the tyranny of scientific facts: What does it matter if its Ganga-jal or carbolic acid? Its just a question of cleaning the place, isnt it? People thought something was clean once, now they think something else is clean. What difference does it make to the dead? (CR 411). Yet here Ghosh again moves away from merely considering what Bhabha would call cultural diversity towards another hybrid signifier. Carbolic acid becomes one of the quasi-magical elements of the novel, something that is able to take on different symbolic values for Balaram, the people of the Ras and Dr Verma. Ultimately, the presence of carbolic acid in Ghoshs novel cannot be reduced to any one message. Instead, it becomes a hybrid signifier, meaningless yet with a multitude of meanings: to Balaram the acid is a way of imposing order, to the inhabitants of the Ras a way of breaking down the monetary order that imprisons them. To Dr Verma it becomes a way of being an Indian abroad. In each instance the carbolic acid is the magical element, the moment of deterritorialization central to a new myth for a missing people, a people that are explicitly not the refugees of Lalpukur, the migrants of the Ras or the Indian diaspora.

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That is, a people that is new, precisely because it escapes the conditions of any existing people. These myths work as catalysts for action, although in Ghoshs novel more often than not this action ends in apocalypse the explosion in Lalpukur and the massacre in Al-Ghazira echoing the destructive results of magic in Midnights Children. However, the action that the new myth of carbolic acid inspires at the end of the novel, Dr Vermas funeral rites, lead to a hopeful ending for the novel, despite these disasters. As Kulfis presumed husband, Alu has to light the funeral pyre, something he fears he cannot do because of his defective thumbs. Magically, however, his thumbs have healed, as Dr Verma assures him: Your thumbs are all right [. . .]. Really. You can do whatever you like as long as you want to (CR 417). It may seem as if Alu has finally gained some individuality and agency, but Ghosh does not allow his magical protagonist such a straightforward ending. Alu is still going where he is directed: being given Kulfis ashes, he follows Vermas advice: She said it would give me a good reason to go home (CR 418). Where this home is, however, is never made clear. The end of the novel is merely the start of another journey, or rather, the resumption of the trajectory of a nomadic movement that has temporarily paused. On the one hand, Ghosh in his novel describes the bleak lot of the global migrant, realistically depicting the poverty, violence and restricted choices of people who fall between the independent postcolonial nations and the riches of globalization. As Joshi Ulka points out, the novel consists of a number of non-productive cycles of doomed loves and failed projects, from the death of Alus sweetheart Maya, to the sudden death of Kulfi just as Jyoti Das has fallen in love with her, from Balarams School of Reason to the commune in the Ras.52 On the other hand, Ghosh finishes his novel with the words Hope is the beginning (CR 423). As both Alu and his pursuer Jyoti Das set out on journeys once again, they are turning away from the past, the mocking grey smudge hanging on the horizon, pointing to continents of defeat defeat at home, defeat in the world (CR 423); and, despite everything, believing in a future. As nomads, rather than migrants, they are the perpetual minority, always a missing people, who can always be thought outside the constraints of such a defeated world, not realistically, perhaps, but magically. The novel ends, as Prasad suggests, not with any explanations, but with a renewed search for meaning.53 While the novel cannot be said to end on a particular political message, or even a particular vision of the future, in contrast to Midnights Children or One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Circle of Reason does not end in apocalypse and destruction, but renewal and hope. Ghosh himself does not want to be categorized as a political writer, and although he deals with historico-political situations he is distinctly not a polemical writer. However, as Brinda Bose notes, he does engage in an intellectual exploration of the contexts of modern history, foregrounding the dilemmas of diaspora that are engendered in the margins of history.54 This is a possible description of the politics that Deleuze finds in minor literature and we have

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found in magical realism, while it references historical conditions, it also goes further than these, intellectually exploring the possibilities of the future. Magical realism thus allows Ghosh both to articulate the specific situation of global migrants, and to think a new people, a thought that is revolutionary precisely because it is not territorial.

Ben Okris The Famished Road (1991): The Aesthetic of Possibilities


After Salman Rushdies Midnights Children, Ben Okris The Famished Road is perhaps the postcolonial novel that has most frequently been labelled and read as a magical realist text. While Okris novel shares with Rushdies a focus on an emerging nation, the use of magic, and indeed the use of a magical child as a national allegory, it is a very different book, both stylistically and thematically. There is a strong political and historical current in the novel, but the magic of The Famished Road is so pervasive that it has inevitably been seen as problematic. The narrator is Azaro, an abiku or spirit-child. In the lore of the Yorb people of West Africa the abiku is a mischievous spirit child that dies and is reborn repeatedly, bringing grief to its parents. Azaro, however, decides in one of his cycles of rebirth to hang on to life. Nevertheless, his link to the spirit-world, which wants to lure him back, is never broken, and allows, or perhaps forces, Azaro to perceive a magical spiritual realm that coexists with the human world around him. The novel has little in the way of a conventional plot, but traces Azaros episodic adventures in the Lagos ghetto where he lives. The majority of these adventures are in some way magical, and the book may give the impression of being set in a quasi-magical world. In fact, however, as Derek Wright puts it, the setting of the Lagos ghetto provides the harrowing social realism used to present the grinding poverty, squalor, disease, and brutality in which the hapless slum dwellers pass their days.55 Azaro furnishes us with detailed descriptions of daily life in the ghetto, centred on his small family and the room they inhabit in a squalid compound. The magic in The Famished Road may be much more prevalent and intense than in One Hundred Years of Solitude or Midnights Children, but the realist elements of family life, domestic settings, and the village of the ghetto are unambiguously present, as are the historical and geographic markers that place the novel in Nigeria just before Independence. It is easy to see how the realism of The Famished Road is structured in a segmented way, similar to the novels we have considered previously: through the ordered series of family, the domestic world and the ghetto. However, perhaps more poignantly than in any of these other works, it becomes clear in Okris novel that such segmentation is what constitutes the political field. Recall that the State is characterized by a rigid segmentarity. Thus the movement towards independence as a nation-state is inevitably a movement of territorialization. In Okris novel the territoriality of politics is particularly apparent in the efforts by the two political parties to gain power literally territory in the ghetto.

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Ghosh implies that both pre-capitalist and capitalist world-views impose arbitrary rules on a chaotic world. Okri shows that the Party of the Rich and the Party of the Poor work in the same way: through intimidation and bribes they segment the population of the ghetto according to political allegiance. The realism of The Famished Road also allows us to read it in Jamesonian terms. The novel represents the constant struggle for survival by Mum and Dad, a hawker and a day labourer. The everyday repetition of Mum and Dad going out to toil, bringing back barely enough money, of making do with too little food in a rat-infested room, indicates the way they are caught, in Jamesons terms, in the conflict between the remnants of a pre-capitalist way of life and the increasing hold of capitalism. In Deleuzian terms, Azaros family is caught in a rigidly territorial State by the struggle for that territory by various interests: what Deleuze and Guattari would call a molar politics. The realism of the novel depicts not only the fight for domination between the two opposing parties and their various followers and cronies, but also between the landlord and his tenants, and the rise in social status and change in allegiances of Madame Koto, the bar owner. It deals with the struggle for independence, as well as the clash between the modern and the traditional in the opposition between the building of roads by white men and the ancestral forest on the edge of the ghetto. Indeed, The Famished Road can be seen as a national allegory, dramatizing the vicissitudes of a Nigeria about to be born on several levels, personal and collective. The constant births and deaths of the abiku can be posited as a metaphor for this process. So a Jamesonian Marxist reading of The Famished Road is valid to some extent, but it does not fully incorporate the magic of the novel. Reading the abiku as an allegory is far too simple an interpretation of Azaros magical adventures. The magic of the novel is so overwhelming that it is difficult to read it merely as a tool to enhance a political message in Jamesons sense. Numerous critics have noted the impossibility of squaring Azaros spiritual encounters with any one reading, in particular with any political agenda. Much has been made of the fact that Okri uses Yorb mythology heavily in the novel: figures such as the abiku, as well as witches and wizards, demons and grotesquely-shaped spirits, and images such as the road and the forest. These have often been read, in the vein of Carpentier or Jameson, as an African aesthetic56 or expression of precapitalist society. However, on closer inspection, Okris use of this material is idiosyncratic to say the least. The magic in his novel is by no means restricted merely to Yorb mythology. In fact Okris magic is not reducible to simple symbolism or allegory, as Jo Dandy notes: Much of the imagery used by Okri in The Famished Road [. . .] defies easy interpretation by the reader; that is, it deliberately avoids closure and specific meaning.57 It is worth considering a longer passage as an example of the novels magic episodes. Here Azaro goes through one of his near-death experiences: But deep inside that darkness a counterwave, a rebellion of joy, stirred. It was a peaceful wave, breaking on the shores of my spirit. I heard soft voices

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singing and a very brilliant light came closer and closer to the centre of my forehead. And then suddenly, out of the centre of my forehead, an eye opened, and I saw this light to be the brightest, most beautiful thing in the world. It was terribly hot, but it did not burn. It was fearfully radiant, but it did not blind. As the light came closer, I became more afraid. Then my fear turned. The light went into the new eye and into my brain and roved around my spirit and moved in my veins and circulated in my blood and lodged itself in my heart. And my heart burned with a searing agony, as if it were being burnt to ashes within me. As I began to scream the pain reached its climax and a cool feeling of divine dew spread through me, making the reverse journey of the brilliant light, cooling its flaming passages, till it got back to the centre of my forehead, where it lingered, the feeling of a kiss for ever imprinted, a mystery and a riddle that not even the dead can answer.58 Such esoteric language, with its mix of Yorb elements (abiku myth, spirits) as well as other mystical images (third eye, divine light) abounds in the frequent magical passages of The Famished Road. It not surprising then that Wright finds that the result is such a confusing superabundance of features that they are, paradoxically, rendered featureless [. . .] links between the books disparate images rivers and highways, dreams and hunger, nation and road-building, political stasis and abikus become too tenuous to be meaningful in any interpretative way,59 and Maggi Phillips complains of a confusing excess of data which is at times counter-productive in effect.60 Counter-productive, that is, to a traditionally conceived political reading of the novel. Wright concludes that, for Okri, redemptive energy is finally not a political but a purely visionary, imaginative quality, and the reader can be forgiven for seeing Azaro as an image of literary self-absorption, a figure for the romantic artists solipsistic immersion in a world of his own making.61 There is a clear difference in The Famished Road between old myths and magic. The fact that the abiku can be seen as a national allegory indicates that the act of thinking the nation in traditional, mythical terms is also an act of territorialization by the State, a way of creating a territorial national identity, as it was in Midnights Children. Like in Rushdies novel, in The Famished Road myths are not opposed to the nation-state, although magic is. Myths are a way of reigning in the purely different and divergent element of magic by giving it meaning. In fact, in one sense the elements of Yorb myth that Okri uses in his novel are reterritorialized magic: the road, the forest, the spirit world, the abiku all have specific symbolic meaning in Yorb cosmology. This is what makes possible a Marxist materialist political reading of the abiku myth: precisely because the abiku myth is territorial, can it stand as a national allegory, exposing the stasis of the politics of the existing State. In contrast to these old myths, the missing people heralded by the entirely new myths of magic exist only in the future, and the future is always uncertain.

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Some critics, however, attempt to redeem Okris aporetic magic either as a postcolonial aesthetic or as a kind of spiritual hope. Edna Aizenberg sees the magic as an enactment of the deliriums of a colonized world [. . .] the foregrounding of such deliriums emphasizes the texts constant engagement with sociopolitical and economic issues.62 Phillips feels that through the multiplicity of images in his novels, Okri advocates a deepened, more inclusive perceptual sense as the means by which the underprivileged peoples of the world may effect a regenerative future.63 Neither of those alternatives is particularly convincing, echoing Bhabhas insistence that an uncanny hybrid moment can somehow become a subversive strategy of subaltern agency. In the same way that Bhabhas thought, as singular in Hallwards terms, precluded such a subversive strategy, so Okris magic, as a virtual sign of art, precludes the sociopolitical engagement and inclusion that Aizenberg and Phillips want to attribute to it. The delirium of the colonized world is indeed present in the novel, but is described quite adequately by Azaros realist observations. Compare the above passage with this one: As I walked down our street, under the persistence of the yellow sun, with everything naked, the children bare, the old men with exhausted veins pumping on dried-up foreheads, I was frightened by the feeling that there was no escape from the hard things of this world. Everywhere there was the crudity of wounds, the stark huts, the rustic zinc abodes, the rubbish in the streets, children in rags, the little girls naked on the sand playing with crushed tincans, the little boys jumping about uncircumcised, making machine-gun noises, the air vibrating with poisonous heat and evaporating water from the filthy gutters. (FR 189) As an abiku, Azaro may be an allegory for a nation about to be born before its time, but it is the realism of Azaros surroundings that allows us to perceive the material conditions of its situation. It is difficult to see how the delirium of Azaros spiritual episodes can be linked to such sociopolitical or economic issues. In both Aizenbergs and Phillipss statements we can detect the theoretical double bind of magical realism: the idea that magic realism, as multivalent and hybrid, can somehow not only enact but also provide a solution to the postcolonial situation. This double bind, as well as its origins, is clearly apparent in Brenda Coopers book Magical Realism in West African Fiction, which delivers perhaps the most extensive reading of The Famished Road as magical realism. As discussed in the Introduction, Coopers work is indicative of the way magical realism has been approached in a postcolonial context, in particular with reference to Jameson. Interestingly, Cooper also uses Bhabhas theory. In fact, she notes the contradiction between the politics of national struggle and the concept of hybridity, and makes it her explicit aim to unite the two, to reintegrate liminality, diversity,

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multivalency with the explanatory historical force of Marxism (WAF 12). However, Okris The Famished Road thwarts Coopers ambitions insofar as she finds a surfeit of ambiguity in the novel that seems irreducible to any social reality. On the one hand, she sees Okri as dramatizing cultural encounters, both the opposition of Western ideas to the pre-colonial past and the celebration of the transformation and interaction of cultures (WAF 74). On the other hand, she realizes that Okri resolutely refuses to reinforce the most obvious polarities such as that between technological progress in opposition to the past (WAF 80). Thus Cooper asserts that although The Famished Roads critique of the decadence of Nigerian society is trenchant and brave (WAF 99), the national allegory of the abiku carries no political hope: The purpose of Azaros heroic escape [from the spirit world] is not to be found in the awakening of the poor. They are depicted in the novel as misguided or downtrodden (WAF 93). Certainly, if one wishes to read the magic of The Famished Road as constitutive of a plain political message, one will be disappointed. In contrast to the territorial field of politics, the magic appears as distinctly different because of its inherent deterritorialization. In the magical episodes, Okris language is esoteric and impressionistic; close, in fact, to that pure and intense sonorous material (KM 6) of Deleuze and Guattaris minor literature: In the bright white smoke I saw spirits turning into air, spirits of plants and herbs and things I didnt yet know about; I saw their brightness of blues and yellows, shapes and sad faces, legs brilliant with oil becoming soot, golden eyes melting into vibrant space (FR 283). Rather than presenting a particular magic event as an object = x, the novel at times becomes a kind of narration = x. The spirit world in itself is a site without territory, present everywhere. It is a realm of the proliferation of series of images, where all things are linked (FR 553) very much a Deleuzian virtual realm, or Bhabhas moment of undecidability. As Deleuze says, lines of flight have no territory. Writing carries out the conjunction, the transmutation of fluxes, through which life escapes from the resentment of persons, societies and reigns (DII 38). Thus Azaros adventures appear as lines of flight not only from the grim reality of his life but also from the ruthless territorial politics that shape this reality. Okris magic has been criticized precisely as excessive, idiosyncratic and devoid of specific messages, but if we consider it in Deleuzian terms, it is neither a solipsistic vision nor an enactment of the deliriums of a colonized world, but experimental and revolutionary in Deleuzes ahistorical sense: what Okri is doing is contributing to the invention of a missing people. Many have noted Azaros lack of agency in the spiritual adventures he narrates, and it is clear that while the magic in The Famished Road is hybrid in Bhabhas sense: an anxious contradictory place between the human and the not-human, between sense and non-sense (LC 178), it certainly does not imply the return of subjective agency that Bhabha associates with this hybrid moment. Rather, as a magical abiku, Azaro can become Deleuzes collective agent or leaven, an element through which a new people can be thought, precisely because, like

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Alu in The Circle of Reason, he never gains the coherent human identity of a proper subject. In their book on Kafka, Deleuze and Guattari state that his literature is not a voyage through the past but one through our future (KM 83). The road that appears to Azaro time and again in the spiritual world is a kind of virtual double of the real road, leading him to numerous, different, often contradictory visions of a future, new people. It is a road that is continually destroyed and then rebuilt, sometimes appearing as a kind of paradise, esoterically beautiful, sometimes as a force for the destruction of nature and life itself. Like many of Azaros other uncountable visions, the road is where the magic becomes a crystalline sign, where, as we saw in What the Crow Said, the writing of myths without origin takes place. Azaros visions have a strong element of Yorb myth, but crucially, Okri also deviates from these myths, inventing entirely new legends. It is a matter, as Perrault said, not of returning people to their old myths, but allowing them to create their myths, and thus themselves, anew. The magic as opposed to the realism of magical realism is not a national allegory, then, not a political fiction; for the opposition is not between the atrocities of the real and the liberation of fiction, but between a writing that refers to the territoriality of the real, and a writing that makes up legends and thus allows us to think a new people. One of Azaros vivid visions is of the market place populated by spirits. Here he is able to hear the voices of the spirits speaking about him: I felt myself being lifted up by the darkness, pushed on by invisible hands. And the voices followed me, voices without bodies [. . .]. Strange things are happening. The world is turning upside down. And madness is coming. And hunger is coming, like a dog with twelve heads. And confusion is coming. And war. And blood will grow in the eyes of men. And a whole generation will squander the richness of this earth. Let us go. Look at him. Maybe what is to come is already driving him mad. (FR 196197) Indeed, Azaros visions of a new people, both in the sense of a spiritual people, and a Deleuzian missing people, appears as a kind of hallucinatory madness that is, a crisis or a trance, like Alus speech in The Circle of Reason. In The Famished Road it is this new people that is the true opposite of the exploitation of the land: the actual building of a road and the destruction of the forest without any consideration for the inhabitants of the area. Again, as in the Ras al-Maqtu, at the very moment their existence is ignored, the people begin to invent themselves.

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In Ghoshs novel we also saw how the magical element is only a leaven or catalyst for action, not the political action itself. Indeed, in The Famished Road this becomes clear again, in two ways. First, we see how the presence of the real, actual suffering of the people, as opposed to the lack of it in What the Crow Said, that is, the need for action, has to be present for the magic to act as such a catalyst. Second, the magical catalyst, because it is entirely deterritorialized, does not in any way determine the action which it initiates. As we noticed already in Sexing the Cherry, and as is the case with Azaros vision of the road, the magic is the virtual double of an actual state of affairs, but as Deleuze emphatically reminds us, every object is double without it being the case that the two halves resemble one another, one being a virtual image and the other an actual image (DR 209). Thus the action that is initiated by the magical event is in no way guaranteed to be liberatory or even beneficial. To Deleuze and Guattari the deterritorialized line of flight is a line of escape, yes but not a refuge (KM 41). It rather points to a coming collectivity, a new assemblage without our knowing yet what this assemblage will be: fascist? revolutionary? socialist? capitalist? (KM 85). The missing people are not yet territorialized in any such social formation. It becomes clear in The Famished Road that the line of flight of deterritorialization can take different directions, and that the people to come can take different shapes. In addition to Azaro, other characters in the novel are also involved in making up new myths. The photographer appears as an artist-figure, who with his photographic art is able to imagine a new people, and who is therefore seen as an enemy by the political, territorializing forces of the novel, and often set upon by cronies: His camera flashed and thugs in dark glasses appeared from the flash and proceeded to beat him up. The camera fell from the photographers hands. I heard people screaming inside the camera. The thugs jumped on the camera and stamped on it, trying to crush and destroy it. And the people who were inside the camera, who were waiting to become real, and who were trying to get out, began wailing and wouldnt stop (FR 204). Without the photographer, the people continue to be missing, despite the riots in the ghetto and the vigilante attacks on its inhabitants: And because the photographer hadnt been there to record what had happened that night, nothing of the events appeared in the newspapers. It was as if the events were never real (FR 214). The photographers power, however, lies not in making what has happened real by recording it, but in inventing the real. I have a lot of powers, he tells Azaro, like flying to the moon. What else can you do? I can change peoples faces. How? With my camera. Into what? I can make them ugly or beautiful (FR 271). The photographers art, his magic, is one that brings a new people into existence, but as with all invention, the people can be imagined as either ugly and beautiful, good or bad. Madame Koto is another central character in the novel, steeped in magic, but one who seems to herald what Deleuze and Guattari call the diabolical powers

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that are knocking at the door (KM 41): the possibility that the new people are defined by corruption and greed. Throughout the novel, Azaro observes Madame Kotos rise to power from humble bar owner to party crony. As this rise takes place, his visions in and around her bar are of increasingly demonic spirits: I realised for the first time that many of the customers were not human beings. Their deformations were too staggering and they seemed unaffected by their blindness and their eyelessness, their hunched backs and their toothless mouths. Their expressions and movements were at odds with their bodies. They seemed a confused assortment of different human parts. It occurred to me that they were spirits who had borrowed bits of human beings to partake of human reality. (FR 161) These grotesque spirits could be read as an allegory of the corruption of Nigerian society. However, as with all magic, the visions Azaro has at Kotos bar do not add up to anything so simple. Instead, Madame Koto, and the spiritual pregnancy that Azaro perceives in her, are instances of Okri imagining a new people. As Madame Kotos powers reach their high point at the end of the novel, and her colossal form took wings at night and flew over the city, Azaro realises that [Madame Kotos] dreams gave the children nightmares [. . .] drawing power from our sleeping bodies [. . .]. That was when I understood that conflicting forces were fighting for the future of our country in the air, at night, in our dreams, riding invisible white horses and whipping us, sapping our will while we slept (FR 568). In contrast to these demonic powers, Dad offers an alternative way of imagining a new people. As Mariaconcetta Costantini points out, Dad goes from corporeality, drunkenness, dirt and stink, to abstinence, visions and storytelling.64 Dad takes up boxing, gains fame, and goes through fights with ever more fearful opponents. His fights are his forays into the realm of magic, as his opponents turn out to be from the spirit world. Although Dad never enters the completely deterritorialized world of spirits as Azaro does, his bouts seem to give him a strange inspiration: He talked of grand schemes. He talked of buying enough corrugated zinc to roof the whole ghetto. He talked of buying enough cement to build houses for all the large families who lived in one room. He spoke of tarring all the roads and clearing away all the rubbish that had accumulated in the consciousness of our people. (FR 467) Dads plans are never fully realized, and he is increasingly seen as a madman, trying to mobilize a band of beggars to clean up the ghetto, believing that he can change the world, and ranting against the peoples weakness of will when

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they ignore or destroy his plans. Thus many readers, like Felicia Oka Moh, have seen Okris novel as carrying a message about the futility of political struggle.65 However, while Dads visionary madness is not political in the Marxist materialist sense, it is a moment of crisis that is revolutionary in the Deleuzian sense, which pushes everything into a state of aberration (C2 211). In fact, a number of the novels critics come to conclusions interpretable in Deleuzian terms. Costantini reads Azaro as a figure akin to the lonely visionary artist, the poet who discovers a hidden beauty through art, stripping the veil of appearances.66 David Lim also proclaims Okri political in a strangely singular way: Okri [. . .] goes a step beyond the kind of intervention that operates within the framework of existing socio-political relations. His brand of creative politics is the art of the impossible, a politics that seeks to change the very parameters of the possible in the existing constellation.67 Indeed, Okris own words bear out this position. His particular hope for Africa lies in art: Africa has an incredible capacity to not die and not be destroyed [. . .] resilience of the spirit, great dreaming capacities, the imaginative frames that are visible in the art, and art that has not remotely been understood. He goes on to say that in our age we have to posit a different conception of history, because the facts of history alone are not enough to give an account of our consciousness and what we need to do with our age. Such a conception must lead to infinity, to endless possibilities. To Okri this is the aesthetic of possibilities, of labyrinths, of riddles [. . .] of paradoxes. I think we miss this element when we try to fix it too much within national or tribal boundaries.68 We see that Okris project can be paralleled with Deleuzes, where art is a way to revelation and redemption, but in a manner that leaves historical specifics behind. The magic in The Famished Road is certainly not a case of cultural diversity, hybridity or cultural interdiscursivity, 69 as some critics have read it. Neither, however, should it be identified with politics of postcoloniality or the nation as proposed by Elleke Boehmer: The pathology of contemporary national society, it seems, is not to be comprehended except partially, under the flickering light of magical vision and through the medium of gnomic narrative.70 Okri does not simply present an indigenous African rationality as a solution to the postcolonial condition, and the pathology of national society is more than adequately described through the realism of The Famished Road. The magic in the novel, however, does offer a glimpse of the infinity, endless possibilities, both good and bad, of a new people. Certainly from a Marxist materialist or historicist point of view, the magic of magical realist works may appear as ineffectual and a failure a Jamesonian romance. However, Deleuze enables us to read the magic as revolutionary outside the framework of Marxist materialism and the usual sense of politics. Deleuze states that philosophy and art can forewarn of the advent of a people. They have resistance in common their resistance to death, to servitude, to the intolerable, to shame, and to the present (WIP 110). Quite apart from the

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realism of the novels, the magical elements of these three authors works Kroetschs articulation of the stuff before the stuff that is history or culture or society or art, Ghoshs intellectual exploration and Okris visionary aesthetic of possibilities are all acts of such resistance, precisely because they are the acts of thinking a new people. Ultimately, it is only because they exist, as Deleuze would say, as creations of the new and not representations of the past or present situation, that they can betoken such a revolutionary resistance.

Chapter 6

Conclusion

Perhaps because of the double nature of the term itself, magical realism has most commonly been thought of as a genre that brings together two differing paradigms, the real and the magic. The default approach has been to focus on the coexistence of these on seemingly equal terms. Indeed, the power of magical realism has often been presumed to lie in the way it erases the differences between these incompatible elements. Gilles Deleuzes ontological model in which Being is univocal and yet nonetheless has two sides, the actual and the virtual, provides a framework for reconsidering this double nature of magical realism. Rather than seeing magical realism as equalizing the real and the magic, this model shows us how the genre inserts a radically divergent element into a mode of writing that depends on similarity and coherence. The potential of the genre lies precisely in the fact that real and the magic always remain different, even when they appear indistinct, and can therefore act as complimentary facets of the text. Readings of magical realism that stress the coexistence of real and magic as equal have often either failed to consider the full potential of one or the other, or ended up caught in uncomfortable contradictions. Such readings have been based on the assumption that the erasure of the differences between the real and the magic also implies the subversion of the world-view projected by realism, thereby defining magical realism as a particularly suitable mode of writing for the postcolonial world. An influential definition of the genre by Amaryll Chanady makes clear that this assumption rests on a paradox. Chanady, like many other critics, defines magical realism by its resolution of antinomy between the real and the magic. However, she also notes that for magical realism to work the real and the magic have to be distinguished as different and that it is, in fact, the dominant realist narration of magical realism which sets up a rational, empirical world-view that determines both what is seen as real and what is seen as magic. If that is so, magical realism is paradoxically dependent on realism for both the creation and the resolution of the antinomy between the real and the magic. This paradox is clearly the root of many of the problems faced by critics who consider the equivalence of the real and the magic to be at the heart of magical realism, in particular those that see a political implication in such equivalence.

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In the majority of postcolonial readings, the real and the magic are seen as expressions of the different and conflicting world-views of capitalist and precapitalist societies, and their equivalent coexistence as a representation of the cultural mix of the postcolonial world and even the undoing of colonial hierarchies. Yet it is undoubtedly the realism of the text that differentiates the real from the magic. Not surprisingly then, many postcolonial readings of magical realism see it as a problematic, if not failed, mode of writing, escapist and ineffectual at best, and neo-colonial and exoticizing at worst. In fact, there cannot be any equivalence between the real and the magic in a text that depends on the two being distinguished by realism. Instead, the structural difference of the magic from the real, or rather, from the organized image of the world set up by the realist narration, is central to magical realism. Gilles Deleuze enables us to rethink the relationship between the real and the magic radically, by inverting the hierarchy of different and same. The usual approach to magical realism privileges the creation of unity and equivalence between two elements that are seen as incompatible and unequal, that is, as two altogether different modes of being. However, taking Gilles Deleuzes ontological imperative of the univocity of Being as a starting point forces us to consider how both the real and the magic could be seen as part of the same ontological principle, but still appear as structurally different. Magical realism, rather than bringing together the disparate, enacts a divergence of the same, something that is one of the unique powers of art to Deleuze. A reading of magical realism using Deleuzes concept of series reveals that the structure of the real and the magical corresponds to Deleuzes fundamental distinction between two sides of Being: the actual and the virtual. Indeed, the realism appears as real precisely because it reflects the convergent, ordered structure of all actual things, all things in the here and now. The magic appears as different because of its divergence from such a structure. Analysed in this way, the realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude emerges as a part of a regime of signs. The structured order that governs meaning under this regime, and makes realism appear as a transparent representation of an external reality, is the same order that underpins the social organization of the State with its rigid segmentation of territory and people. Magic, in contrast, is not bound by this order, and thus appears as deterritorialized, able to move across the boundaries of the segments of the State as embodied by the convergent series of realism. However, as it is without territory, the magic is removed from, even antithetical to, the structure of society, history and identity. So much so, that the deterritorialization of the text effected by the magic leads to apocalyptic endings in One Hundred Years of Solitude and Midnights Children. Indeed, in Life of Pi we saw that the magical sign is precisely a non-human becoming, a stripping away of the human organization that characterized realism. There is therefore no political message encoded by the magic in magical realism, rather it is the realism of the genre that reveals the structure of a particular social organization. The magic does not negate the realism of the magical realist text, however, but

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rather complements it by allowing us to think the virtual. This thought of the virtual is precisely the creation of the new, embodied in magical realism in its magical elements. The magic functions in the way that a sign of art uniquely does to Deleuze, that is, it reveals the nature of univocal Being as actual and virtual, and the virtual as a double or supplement to the actual. As the endings of Beloved and Sexing the Cherry suggest, the magic can have a catalytic function in the realist order of society and history. Such a function, however, is far from the postcolonial political engagement that some critics attempt to define in magical realism. Together with his approach to Deleuze, Peter Hallwards analysis of postcolonial theories provides a clue to the implications of a redefinition of magical realism in the above Deleuzian terms. In a few brief but influential statements on postcolonial literature by critics and writers we found the imperative to reading magical realism in specific historico-political terms confused with theoretical approaches that precluded such specific engagement. Hallward has identified a similar predicament in postcolonial theory as a whole, suggesting that the problem was grounded in the fact that postcolonial theories are based on philosophies of what he called the singular and thus incompatible with the historical specificity often called for by their proponents. Importantly, Hallward also identifies Deleuzes thought as one of singularity where all things and individuals are predicated on one creative, impersonal and non-relational force virtual Being making all specifics secondary and redundant. Hallwards thesis thus makes it apparent that the structural difference between the realism and the magic in the magical realist texts invites two very different ways of reading. The realism can clearly be read through a Marxist or historicist perspective, highlighting the specific politics of the text. However, such a reading does not fully account for the magic, which simply cannot be reduced to any coherent representation of the real conditions of society and politics. Instead, the magic needs to be read through a singular theoretical model to be fully understood. While the postcolonial theory provides one such model, Bhabhas hybrid signifier, it is limited in its insistence on reintroducing historical specificity and subjective agency. A Deleuzian approach, however takes a singular reading of magic to its logical conclusion. To Deleuze, the absolute deterritorialization that characterizes the virtual is revolutionary, insofar as it allows thought to escape the limits of the rigid structure of the actual. The creative act of Being that the virtual embodies in the sign of art can become a revolutionary act as the invention of a new people. This is a people that is necessarily missing, that is, not yet actual, and thus not yet determined or limited by any real historical situation. If the realism of magical realism articulates the vicissitudes of a real culture and people, the magic emerges from a place and moment where culture is articulated, through the invention of new myths myths whose origins, or people, are as yet missing. However, since the virtual is not an image of the actual, this thinking of a new

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people through magic cannot determine the nature of this people in any way: in The Famished Road magic acted as a catalyst to various visions of a new people, some heralding freedom, some heralding corruption and greed. When freed from the yoke of being a genre that erases the differences between the real and the magic, and therefore simply subverts realism and all that it stands for, magical realism can truly become the literature of replenishment that One Hundred Years of Solitude exemplified to John Barth. Rather than indicating Barths simple synthesis of straightforwardness and artifice, realism and magic myth, political passion and non-political artistry,1 inverting the hierarchy of the same and different by means of Deleuzes ontology exposes the real and the magic as apparently indiscernible yet radically different. The order of realism is the expression of the territorial field of history and politics, and reveals this realms inherent structural rigidity as its limit. It defines the magic as that which escapes this limit, and becomes a supplement to realism, not by negating it, by adding fanciful elements, or supplying an alternative world-view, but as an element which allows for the imagining of a new people unfettered by the constraints of existing politics, society and culture; unfettered, indeed, by the real.

Notes

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Peter Hinchcliffe and Ed Jewinski, Introduction, Hinchcliffe and Jewinski (eds), Magic Realism and Canadian Literature: Essays and Stories (Waterloo: University of Waterloo Press, 1986): 510, 6. Roberto Gonzles Echevarra, Alejo Carpentier: The Pilgrim At Home (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977), 108. Franz Roh, Magic Realism: Post-expressionism, Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris (eds), Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995): 1532, 23. Out of the very few critics who have actually applied his concept to literature, Seymour Menton is perhaps most notable. However, his Magic Realism Rediscovered, 19181981 (Philadelphia: Art Alliance Press, 1983) overwhelmingly focuses on painting and offers only loose parallels to a range of authors including Franz Kafka, Natalie Sarraute, Alain Robbe-Grillet, and Bertold Brecht, as well as Garca Mrquez. Alejo Carpentier, On the Marvelous Real in America, Zamora and Faris: 7588, 84. Carpentier, Baroque, 106. Angel Flores, Magical Realism in Spanish American Literature, Zamora and Faris: 109118. Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis, trans. Willa and Edwin Muir, Nahum N. Glatzer (ed.), The Complete Short Stories of Franz Kafka (London: Minerva, 1992): 89139, 89. Flores, 115116. Gonzles Echevarra, Carpentier, 113123. William Spindler, Magic Realism: A Typology, Forum for Modern Language Studies, 29/1 (1993): 7585, 7980. Hereafter MRT and page number. Stephen Slemon, Magic Realism as a Postcolonial Discourse, Zamora and Faris: 407426, 409. Hereafter MRPD and page number. Wendy B. Faris, Ordinary Enchantments: Magical Realism and the Remystification of Narrative (London: Eurospan, 2004), 136, 140. Wen-chin Ouyang, The Politics of Magic, Stephen M. Hart and Ouyang (eds), A Companion to Magical Realism (Woodbridge: Tamesis, 2005): 153154, 153. Fredric Jameson, On Magic Realism in Film, Critical Inquiry, 12/2 (1986): 301325, 311. Hereafter OMRF and page number. Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (London: Verso, 1991), 6.

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Brenda Cooper, Magical Realism in West African Fiction: Seeing with a Third Eye (London: Routledge, 1998), 1516. Hereafter WAF and page number. Jean-Pierre Durix, Mimesis, Genres, and Post-Colonial Discourse: Deconstructing Magic Realism (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998), 2. Hereafter MGP and page number. Frederick Luis Aldama, Postethnic Narrative Criticism: Magicorealism in Oscar Zeta Acosta, Ana Castillo, Julie Dash, Hanif Kureishi, and Salman Rushdie (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003), 78. Hereafter PNC and page number. Theo L. DHaen, Magic Realism and Postmodernism: Decentering Privileged Centres, Zamora and Faris: 191208, 193. Linda Hutcheon, A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction (London: Routledge, 1988) and The Politics of Postmodernism (London: Routledge, 2002); Brian McHale, Postmodernist Fiction (London: Methuen, 1987) and Constructing Postmodernism (London: Routledge, 1992). Hutcheon, Poetics, 5773. DHaen, 195. Linda Hutcheon, Circling the Downspout of Empire: Post-Colonialism and Postmodernism, ARIEL, 20/4 (1989): 149175, 151152. Hutcheon, Downspout, 153. Aijaz Ahmad, In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures (London: Verso, 1992), 65. Ahmad, 69. Wendy B. Faris, Scheherezades Children: Magical Realism and Postmodern Fiction, Zamora and Faris: 163190, 163. John Barth, The Literature of Replenishment, Barth, The Friday Book: Essays and Other Nonfiction (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1984): 193206, 204. Faris, Scheherezades, 163. Faris, Scheherezades, 167174, 174. Tzvetan Todorov, The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre, trans. Richard Howard (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980), 26. Amaryll Beatrice Chanady, Magical Realism and the Fantastic: Resolved Versus Unresolved Antinomy (New York: Garland, 1985), 5. Hereafter MRF and page number. Gabriel Garca Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, trans. Gregory Rabassa (London: Penguin Books, 1972), 243. Hereafter OHYS and page number. Amaryll Beatrice Chanady, The Origins and Development of Magic Realism in Latin American Fiction, Hinchcliffe and Jewinski: 4960, 50. Brenda Cooper, Does Marxism Allow for the Magical Side of Things? Magical Realism and a Comparison between One Hundred Years of Solitude and The House of Spirits, Social Dynamics, 17/2 (1991): 126154, 149. Timothy Brennan, Salman Rushdie and The Third World (London: Macmillan, 1989), 54. Salman Rushdie, Midnights Children (London: Vintage, 1995), 300. Hereafter MC and page number. Brennan, 114. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris, Introduction: Daiquiri Birds and Flaubertian Parrot(ie)s, Zamora and Faris: 111, 6. Zamora and Faris, 3. Robert R. Wilson, The Metamorphoses of Space: Magical Realism, Hinchcliffe and Jewinski: 6174, 68. Hereafter MS and page number.

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Zamora and Faris, 3. Michael Valdez Moses, Magical Realism at Worlds End, Literary Imagination, 3/1 (2001): 105133, 118. Christopher Warnes, Magical Realism and the Postcolonial Novel: Between Faith and Irreverence (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), 5. Warnes, 7. Warnes, 152.

Chapter 2
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10

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Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton (London: Athlone Press, 1994), 50. Hereafter DR and page number. Gilles Deleuze, The Logic of Sense, trans. Mark Lester and Charles Stivale (London: Continuum, 2004), 243. Hereafter LS and page number. Alain Badiou, Deleuze: The Clamor of Being, trans. Louise Burchill (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), 11. Hereafter DC and page number. Gilles Deleuze, Bergsonism, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (New York: Zone Books, 1988), 85. Hereafter B and page number. Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, trans. Hugh Tomlinson (London: Continuum, 2006), 2223. Gilles Deleuze, Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza, trans. Martin Joughin (New York: Zone Books, 1990), 332. Hereafter EP and page number. Peter Hallward, Everything is Real: Gilles Deleuze and Creative Univocity, New Formations, 49 (2003): 6174, 61. Peter Hallward, Out of This World: Deleuze and the Philosophy of Creation (London: Verso, 2006), 153. Peter Hallward, The Singular and the Specific: Recent French Philosophy, Radical Philosophy, 99 (2000): 618, 9. Peter Hallward, Deleuze and the Redemption from Interest, Radical Philosophy, 81 (1997): 621, 18. Constantin Boundas, Editors Introduction, Boundas (ed.), Deleuze Reader (New York: Columbia University Press, 1992): 123, 1314. Michael Hardt, Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), xvii. Brian Massumi, A Users Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Deviations from Deleuze and Guattari (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1992), 117. In particular Gilles Deleuze and Flix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, and Helen R. Lane (London: Athlone Press, 1984) and A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi (London: Athlone Press, 1987). Hereafter AO or TP respectively and page number. Hallward, Out, 82. Hallward, Redemption, 6. Peter Hallward, The Limits of Individuation, or How to Distinguish Deleuze from Foucault, Angelaki, 5/2 (2000): 93111, 98. Hallward, Limits, 97 (quoting DR 37).

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Gilles Deleuze and Flix Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, trans. Dana Polan (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986), 48. Hereafter KM and page number. Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2: The Time-Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta (London: Continuum, 2005), 67. Hereafter C2 and page number. Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs, trans. Richard Howard (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000), 41. Hereafter PS and page number. Hallward, Everything, 63. Lewis Carroll, Preface to The Hunting of the Snark, The Complete Illustrated Works (London: Chancellor Press, 1993): 730731. See for example Raymond Williams, Realism, Keywords: A Vocabulary for Culture and Society (London: Fontana Press, 1990), 257262. Lilian Furst, Introduction, Furst (ed.), Realism (London: Longman, 1992): 123; Erich Auerbach, Mimesis, trans. Willard R. Trask (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), 554557; Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding (Berkley: University of California Press, 2000), 934. Roland Barthes, The Reality Effect, Tzvetan Todorov (ed.), French Literary Theory Today, trans. R. Carter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982): 1117. Philippe Hamon, Major Features of Realist Discourse, Furst: 166185, 172183. Hallward, Redemption, 14. Peter Hallward, Absolutely Postcolonial: Writing between the Singular and the Specific (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001), 119, 247253, 329335. Hereafter AP and page number; Hallward, Singular: 618. Hallward, Singular, 8. This statement, of course, echoes Aijaz Ahmads critique of the postmodern referred to in the Introduction, raising the interesting question, beyond the scope of this volume, to what extent postcolonial and postmodern theories have developed concomitantly. Hallward, Singular, 8. Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 2004), 101. Hereafter LC and page number. Edward W. Said, Orientalism (London: Penguin, 2003), 72. Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin (eds), The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-colonial Literatures (London: Routledge, 1989), 38.

Chapter 3
1

Regina Janes, One Hundred Years of Solitude: Modes of Reading (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1991), 106. Mario Vargas Llosa, Amadis in America, Robin Fiddian (ed.), Garca Mrquez (London: Longman, 1995), 62, 60. Doris Sommer and George Yudice, Latin American Literature from the Boom On, Michael McKeon (ed.), Theory of the Novel: A Historical Approach (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000): 859881, 864. Shannin Schroeder, Rediscovering Magical Realism in the Americas (Westport: Praeger, 2004), 123126.

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Lois Parkinson Zamora, One Hundred Years of Solitude in Comparative Literature Courses, Mara Elena Valds and Mario J. Valds (eds), Approaches to Teaching Garca Mrquezs One Hundred Years of Solitude (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1990): 2132, 2930. James Higgins, Gabriel Garca Mrquez: Cien aos de soledad, Gene H. BellVillada (ed.), Gabriel Garca Mrquezs One Hundred Years of Solitude: A Casebook (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002): 3353, 38. Edwin Williamson, Magical Realism and the Theme of Incest in One Hundred Years of Solitude, Bernard McGuirk and Richard Cardwell (eds), Gabriel Garca Mrquez: New Readings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987): 4563, 45. Janes, 86. Williamson, 46. Janes, 121. Gerald Martin, On Magical and Social Realism in Garca Marquez, McGuirk and Cardwell: 95116, 115. Martin, 110. Janes, 81; D. P. Gallagher, Gabriel Garca Mrquez (Colombia, 1928), George R. McMurray (ed.), Critical Essays on Gabriel Garca Mrquez (Boston: G. K. Hall & Co, 1987): 113129, 114; and Gene H. Bell-Villada, Introduction, Bell-Villada, Casebook: 316, 8. Michael Wood, Gabriel Garca Mrquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 19; Myron I. Lichtblau, In Search of the Stylistic Key to Cien aos de soledad, Kemy Oyarzn and William W. Megenney (eds), Essays on Gabriel Garca Mrquez (Riverside: University of California, 1984): 103112, 106. Robin Fiddian, Introduction, Fiddian: 128, 1213; Gene H. Bell-Villada, Garca Mrquez: The Man and His Work (London: University of North Carolina Press, 1990), 107. Bell-Villada, The Man, 98. Bell-Villada, The Man, 102. Hallward, Redemption, 14 (quoting TP 304). McMurray, Mrquez, 90. George R. McMurray, The Aleph and One Hundred Years of Solitude: Two Microcosmic Worlds, in Charles Rossman and Yvette E. Miller (eds.), Special Issue: Gabriel Garca Mrquez, Latin American Literary Review, 13/25 (1985): 5564, 60. Lichtblau, 105. Avril Bryan, Virginity: Contrasting Views in the Works of Miguel de Unamuno and Gabriel Garca Mrquez, La mujer en la literature caribea: Proceedings of the Sixth Conference of Hispanists (St Augustine: University of West Indies, 1983): 168184, 180183. Arnold M. Penuel, Intertextuality in Garca Mrquez (York: Spanish Literature Publications, 1994), 67. Gabriela Mora, An Approach Using Ideology and History, Valds and Valds: 7988, 8687. McMurray, The Aleph, 61. Hallward, Everything, 72. Helen Carr, Introduction: Genre and Womens Writing in the Postmodern World, Carr (ed.), From My Guy to Sci-fi: Genre and Womens Writing in the Postmodern World (London: Pandora Press, 1989): 314, 7.

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Damian Grant, Salman Rushdie (Plymouth: Northcote House, 1999), 1. Hutcheon, Politics, 5. Nyla Ali Khan, The Fiction of Nationality in an Era of Transnationalism (London: Routledge, 2005), 46. M. D. Fletcher, Introduction: The Politics of Salman Rushdies Fiction, Fletcher (ed.), Reading Rushdie: Perspectives on the Fiction of Salman Rushdie (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1994): 122, 14. Elleke Boehmer, Neo-Orientalism, Converging Cities, and the Postcolonial Criticism of Rushdie, Liselotte Glage and Rdiger Kunow (eds), The Decolonizing Pen: Cultural Diversity and the Transnational Imaginary in Rushdies Fiction (Trier: WVT, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, 2001): 1523, 16. Brennan, 32. D. C. R. A. Goonetilleke, Salman Rushdie (Basingstoke: Macmillan Press, 1998), 3536. Massumi, 102. Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam (London, Continuum, 2005), 69. Brennan, 99. Brennan, 117. Angela Carter, Notes from the Front Line, Lindsey Tucker (ed.), Critical Essays On Angela Carter (New York: G. K. Hall & Co., 1998): 2430, 30. Carter, Notes, 29. Carter, Notes, 29. Carter, Notes, 29. William Spindler, Magic Realism: A Typology, Forum for Modern Language Studies, 29/1 (1993): 7585, 8082. See my Introduction for a synopsis of Spindlers typology. Aidan Day, Angela Carter: The Rational Glass (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998), 169, 173174. Andrzej Ga siorek, Post-War British Fiction: Realism and After (London: Edward Arnold, 1995), 134. Mary Russo, Revamping Spectacle: Angela Carters Nights at the Circus, Alison Easton (ed.), Angela Carter (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000): 136160, 143. Paulina Palmer From Coded Mannequin to Bird Woman: Angela Carters Magic Flight, Sue Roe (ed.), Women Reading Womens Writing (Brighton: Harvester, 1987): 179205, 198. Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus (London: Vintage 2003), 15. Hereafter NC and page number. Day, 186. Clare Hanson, The Red Dawn Breaking over Clapham: Carter and the Limits of Artifice, Joseph Bristow and Trev Lynn Broughton (eds), The Infernal Desires of Angela Carter: Fiction, Femininity, Feminism (London: Longman, 1997): 5972, 66. Linden Peach, Toni Morrison (London: Macmillan, 2000), 19. Rafael Perez-Torres, Knitting and Knotting the Narrative Thread Beloved as Postmodern Novel, Nacy J. Peterson (ed.), Toni Morrison: Critical and Theoretical Approaches (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1997): 91109, 106. Maggie Sale, Call and Response as Critical Method: African-American Oral Traditions and Beloved, Barbara H. Solomon (ed.), Critical Essays on Toni Morrisons Beloved (New York: G. K. Hall & Co., 1998): 177188, 183.

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Barbara Hill Rigney, Breaking the Back of Words: Language, Silence, and the Politics of Identity in Beloved, Solomon: 138147, 146. Peach, 15. Marc C. Conner, From the Sublime to the Beautiful: The Aesthetic Progression of Toni Morrison, Conner (ed.), The Aesthetics of Toni Morrison: Speaking the Unspeakable (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2000): 4976, 7172. Peach, 2324. Bernard W. Bell, Beloved: A Womanist Neo-Slave Narrative; or Multivocal Rememberances of Things Past, Solomon: 166176, 167168. Toni Morrison, Beloved (London: Vintage, 2005), 67. Hereafter BD and page number. Hutcheon, Politics, 5. Marianne DeKoven, Postmodernism and Post-Utopian Desire in Toni Morrison and E. L. Doctorow, Peterson: 111130, 125. James Phelan, Toward A Rhetorical Reader-Response Criticism: The Difficult, the Stubborn, and the Ending of Beloved, Peterson: 225244, 230. Trudier Harris, Beloved: Woman, Thy Name Is Demon , Solomon: 127137, 134. Denise Heinze, Beloved and the Tyranny of the Double, Solomon: 205210, 208. Conner, 51. Susan Corey, Toward the Limits of Mystery: The Grotesque in Toni Morrisons Beloved, Conner: 3148, 43. Conner, 7071.

Chapter 4
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Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Norman Kemp Smith (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 132. Jorge Luis Borges, Dreamtigers, trans. Mildred Boyer and Harold Morland (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999); Julio Cortzar, Bestiary, Blow-Up and Other Stories, trans. Paul Blackburn (New York: Collier, 1968): 6784. Sabine Sielke, The Empathetic Imagination An Interview with Yann Martel, Canadian Literature, 177 (2003): 1232, 14. Steve Street, Review of Life of Pi, The Missouri Review, 27/1 (2004): 179180, 179. Yann Martel, Life of Pi (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2002), 192. Hereafter LP and page number. Tom Burns and Jeffrey W. Hunter, Yann Martell, Burns and Hunter (eds), Contemporary Literary Criticism, Vol. 192 (Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2005), 212; Pankaj Mishra, Review of Life of Pi, New York Review of Books, 50/5 (2003): 1718. W. R. Greer, Review of Life of Pi, at http://www.reviewofbooks.com/life_of_pi/review. Kafka, 89. Agusto Monterroso, El dinosaurio, Obras completa y otros cuentos (Mexico City: Juaqun Mortiz, 1971): 77 (my translation).

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Francie Lin, Floating on Faith: Review of Life of Pi, Los Angeles Times Book Review (16 June 2002): 7. Florence Stratton, Hollow at the core: Deconstructing Yann Martels Life of Pi, Studies in Canadian Literature, 29/2 (2004): 521, 10. Stratton, 19. Werner Wolf, Migration Towards a Rewarding Goal and Multiculturalism with a Positive Centre: Yann Martels Life of Pi as a Post-Postmodernist Attempt at Eliciting (Poetic) Faith, Klaus-Dieter Ertler and Martin Lschnigg (eds), Canada in the Sign of Migration and Trans-Culturalism (Frankfurt: Peter Lang Verlag, 2004): 107124; Charlotte Innes, Review of Life of Pi Nation 275/6 (2002): 2529; Gary Krist, Taming the Tiger: Review of Life of Pi, The New York Times Book Review, 107/27 (2002), http://tinyurl.com/afr3a3; Lin, 7. Francis King, A Ghastly Crew: Review of Life of Pi, Spectator, 288/9067 (2002): 43. June Dwyer, Yann Martels Life of Pi and the Evolution of the Shipwreck Narrative, Modern Language Studies, 35/2 (2005): 921, 12 James Mensch, The Intertwining of Incommensurables: Yann Martels Life of Pi, Contributions to Phenomenology, 56 (2007): 135147, 139. Dwyer, 16. Mensch, 135136. Andr Brink, Interrogating Silence: New Possibilities Faced by South African Literature, Derek Attridge and Rosemary Jolly (eds) Writing South Africa: Literature, Apartheid, and Democracy, 19701995 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998): 1428, 15. Brink, Interrogating, 2122. Brink, Interrogating, 27. Brink, Interrogating, 15. Elleke Boehmer, Endings and New Beginning: South African Fiction in Transition, Attridge and Jolly: 4356, 57. Brink, Mapmakers, 221. Mlanie Joseph-Vilain, Magic Realism in Two Post-Apartheid Novels by Andr Brink, Commonwealth, 25/2 (2003): 1731, 26. Lorna Sage, Escape from Paradise: Review of Devils Valley, New York Times (21 March 1999), http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/03/21/reviews/990321.21 sagelt.html. Andr Brink, Devils Valley (London: Vintage, 2000), 1819. Hereafter DV and page number. Ute Kauer, The Need to Storify: Re-inventing the Past in Andr Brinks Novels, Anne Holden Rnning and Lene Jogannessen (eds), Readings of the Particular: The Postcolonial in the Postnational (Amsterdam: Rodopi 2007): 5770, 61. Joseph-Vilain, Magic, 29. Brink, Mapmakers, 118. Mlanie Joseph-Vilain, Andr Brink and the Afrikaner Heritage Author, Commonwealth, 27/1 (2004): 2737, 37. Kauer, 62. Joseph-Vilain, Magic, 22. Joseph-Vilain, Magic, 21. Joseph-Vilain, Magic, 20.

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54

55

Kauer, 66. Brink, Mapmakers, 169. Susana Gonzlez, Wintersons Sexing the Cherry: Rewriting Woman through Fantasy, Chantal Cornut-Gentille DArcy and Jos Angel Garca Landa (eds), Gender, I-deology: Essays on Theory, Fiction and Film (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1996), 293. Elizabeth Langland, Sexing the Text: Narrative Drag as Feminist Poetics and Politics in Jeanette Wintersons Sexing the Cherry, Narrative, 5/1 (1997): 99107; Lucie Armitt, Storytelling and Feminism, Sonya Andermahr (ed.), Jeanette Winterson: A Contemporary Critical Guide (London: Continuum, 2007): 1426; Laura Doan, Jeanette Wintersons Sexing the Postmodern, Doan (ed.) The Lesbian Postmodern (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994): 137154. Michiko Kakutani, A Journey Through Time, Space and Imagination: Review of Sexing the Cherry, New York Times (27 April 1990): C33. Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry (London: Vintage, 1989), 910. Hereafter SC and page number. Philip Tew, Wintersonian Masculinities, Andermahr: 114129, 126; Langland, 103. Susana Onega, Jeanette Winterson (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006), 80. Tiziana Giordano, Hybrid Fictions and Bodies: Jeanette Wintersons Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit, The Passion, and Sexing the Cherry, Michele Bottalico and Maria Teresa Chialant (eds), Studi di letteratura (Napoli: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, 2003): 225246, 226. Giordano, 246. Lynne Pearce, Written On Tablets of Stone? Jeanette Winterson, Roland Barthes, and the Discourse of Romantic Love, Suzanne Raitt (ed.), Volcanoes and Pearl Divers: Essays in Lesbian Feminist Studies (London: Onlywomen Press Ltd, 1995): 147168, 148. Lynn Pykett, A New Way with Words? Jeanette Wintersons Post-Modernism, Helena Grice and Tim Woods (eds), Im Telling You Stories: Jeanette Winterson and the Politics of Reading (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1998), 4860, 60. Jeanette Winterson, Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery (London: Vintage, 1996). Jeffrey Roessner, Writing a History of Difference: Jeanette Wintersons Sexing the Cherry and Angela Carters Wise Children, College Literature, 29/1 (2002): 102122, 112. Pykett, 60. Shena MacKay, The Exotic Fruits of Time: Review of Sexing the Cherry, Times Literary Supplement, 4511 (21 September 1989). Doan, 153. Cath Stowers, Journeying with Jeanette: Transgressive Travels in Wintersons Fiction, Mary Maynard and June Purvis (eds), (Hetero)sexual Politics (London: Taylor and Francis, 1995): 139154, 148. Maria Lozano, How you Cuddle in the Dark Governs How You See the History of the World: A Note on Some Obsessions in Recent British Fiction, Susana Onega (ed.), Telling Histories: Narrativizing History, Historicizing Literature (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1995): 117134, 129, 133. Pykett, 56.

Notes
56

159

57 58

59 60

61

62

63 64 65

Paulina Palmer, Foreign Bodies: The Grotesque Body of Fiction of Jeanette Winterson, Gramma: Journal of Theory and Criticism, 11 (2003): 8193, 82. Roessner, 110. Cath Stowers, No Legitimate Place, No Land, No Fatherland: Communities of Women in the Fiction of Roberts and Winterson, Critical Survey, 8/1 (1996): 6979, 72. Roessner, 111. Bente Gade, Multiple Selves and Grafted Agents: A Postmodernist Reading of Sexing the Cherry, Marianne Bengtson, Marianne Brch and Cindie Maagaard (eds), Sponsored by Demons: The Art of Jeanette Winterson (Copenhagen: Scholars Press, 1999): 2740, 31. Paulina Palmer, Contemporary Lesbian Writing: Dreams, Desire, Difference (Buckingham: Open University Press, 1993), 104. Kim Middleton Meyer, Jeanette Wintersons Evolving Subject: Difficulty into Dream, Richard J. Lane, Rod Mengham and Philip Tew, Contemporary British Fiction (Cambridge: Polity, 2003): 210225, 217. Middleton Meyer, 218. Gade, 38. Winterson, Objects, 28.

Chapter 5
1

4 5

7 8 9

10 11

12

13

14

Ahmad, 142; Benita Parry, Problems in Current Theories of Colonial Discourse, Oxford Literary Review, 9 (1987): 2758. Salman Rushdie, Gabriel Garca Mrquez, Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 19811991 (London: Penguin Books / Granta, 1991): 299307, 301. Fredric Jameson, Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism, Social Text, 15 (1986): 6588. Hereafter TWL and page number. For an articulate example, see Ahmad, 95122. Homi K. Bhabha, Introduction: Narrating the Nation, Bhabha (ed.), Nation and Narration (London: Routledge, 1990): 17, 7. Jacques Derrida, Dissemination, trans. Barbara Johnson (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), 221. Bhabha, Introduction, 4. Grant, 15. Liselotte Glage and Rdiger Kunow Introduction: Rushdie and the New International Theme, Glage and Kunow: 714, 7. Faris, Ordinary, 25, 29. Fredric Jameson, The Political Unconscious (London: Routledge, 2002), 66. Hereafter PU and page number. Gilles Deleuze, Negotiations, trans. Martin Joughin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), 173. Ronald Bogue, Bergsonian Fabulation and the People to Come, Bogue, Deleuzes Way: Essays in Transverse Ethics and Aesthetics (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007): 93105, 99. Bogue, Essays, 99100. Bogue quotes critures de Pierre Perrault, actes du colloque Gens de paroles, 2428 mars 1982, Maison de la Culture de La Rochelle (Montreal: La Cinmathque qubcoise et ditions dilig, 1983), 56.

160
15 16

Notes

17

18

19 20

21 22

23 24

25 26

27 28

29 30 31 32

33 34 35

36 37

38 39

40 41

42

43 44

Bogue, Essays, 102. Linda Hutcheon, The Canadian Postmodern: A Study of Contemporary EnglishCanadian Fiction (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1988), 160. Simona Bertacco, Out of Place: The Writings of Robert Kroetsch (Bern: Peter Lang, 2002), 159. Stanley E. McMullin, Adams [sic] Mad in Eden: Magic Realism as Hinterland Experience, in Hinchcliffe and Jewinski: 1322, 1315. Hutecheon, Canadian, 175. Marie Vautier, New World Myth: Postmodernism and Postcolonialism in Canadian Fiction (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 1998), 20. Robert Kroetsch, The Crow Journals (Edmonton: NeWest Press, 1980), 60. Robert Lecker, Bordering On: Robert Kroetschs Aesthetic, Journal of Canadian Studies, 17/3 (1982): 124133, 125, 131. Hutecheon, Canadian, 6. Gunilla Florby (ed.), The Margin Speaks: A Study of Margaret Laurence and Robert Kroetsch from a Post-Colonial Point of View (Lund: Lund University Press, 1997), 76. McMullin, 19. Kathleen Wall, What Kroetsch Said: The Problem of Meaning and Language in What the Crow Said, Canadian Literature, 128 (1991): 90105, 103. Wall, 91. Geert Lernout, Twenty-Five Years of Solitude, Canadian Literature, 104 (1985): 5264, 59. Bertacco, 172. Lecker, 127. Lecker, 128. Peter Thomas, Keeping Mum: Kroetschs Alberta, Journal of Canadian Fiction, 2/2 (1973): 5456, 55. Kroetsch, Journals, 11. Hutcheon, Canadian, 175. Robert Kroetsch, What the Crow Said (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 1978), 74. Hereafter WCS and page number. Kroetsch, Journals, 69. Christine Jackman, What the Crow Said: A Topos of Excess, Studies in Canadian Literatures, 16/2 (1992): 7992, 79. Lecker, 132. Shirley Neuman and Robert Wilson, Labyrinths of Voice: Conversations with Robert Kroetsch (Edmonton: NeWest Press, 1982), 124. Jackman, 90. Quoting Dash, J. Michael, Marvellous Realism The Way out of Negritude, Caribbean Studies, 13/4 (1973): 5770, 66. Stephanie Jones, A Novel Genre: Polylingualism and Magical Realism in Amitav Ghoshs The Circle of Reason, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 66/3 (2003): 431441, 433. Jones, 434. Pradip Dutta, A Voice Among Bullet Holes: The Circle of Reason, R. K. Dhawan (ed.), The Novels of Amitav Ghosh (New Delhi: Sangam Books, 1999): 3945, 42.

Notes
45

161

46

47 48

49 50

51 52

53

54 55

56

57

58

59 60

61 62

63 64

65

66 67

John C. Hawley, Amitav Ghosh: An Introduction (Delhi: Foundation Books, 2005), 164. Kavita Daiya, No Home But in Memory: Migrant Bodies and Belongings, Globalization and Nationalism in The Circle of Reason and The Shadow Lines, Brinda Bose (ed.), Amitav Ghosh: Critical Perspectives (Delhi: Pencraft International, 2003): 3655, 37. Hawley, Ghosh, 10. Robert Dixon, Travelling in the West: The Writing of Amitav Ghosh, Tabish Khair (ed.), Amitav Ghosh: A Critical Companion (Delhi: Permanent Black, 2003): 935, 15. Dixon, 14. Amitav Ghosh, The Circle of Reason (London: Granta Books, 1998), 27. Hereafter CR and page number. Jones, 440. Ulka Joshi, The Circle of Reason: Caught up in Circles, Indira Bhatt and Indira Nityanandam (eds), The Fiction of Amitav Ghosh (New Delhi: Creative Books, 2001): 2533, 32. G. J. V. Prasad, Rewriting the World: The Circle of Reason as the Beginning of the Quest, Bose: 5666, 66. Brinda Bose, Introduction, Bose, 18. Derek Wright, New Directions in African Fiction (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1997), 152. John C. Hawley, Ben Okris Spirit Child: Abiku Migration and Post-modernity, Research in African Literatures, 26/1 (1995): 3039, 30. Jo Dandy, Magic and Realism in Ben Okris The Famished Road, Songs of Enchantment and Astonishing the Gods: An Examination of Conflicting Cultural Influences and Narrative Traditions, Stewart Brown (ed.), Kiss and Quarrel: Yorb/ English, Strategies of Mediation (Birmingham: Centre of West African Studies, 2000), 63, 56. Ben Okri, The Famished Road (London: Vintage, 1991), 266267. Hereafter FR and page number. Wright, Directions, 158. Maggi Phillips, Ben Okris River Narratives: The Famished Road and Songs of Enchantment, Derek Wright (ed.), Contemporary African Fiction (Bayreuth: Breitinger, 1997): 167179, 170. Wright, Directions, 160. Edna Aizenberg, The Famished Road: Magical Realism and the Search for Social Equity, Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature, 43 (1995): 2530, 29. Phillips, 178. Mariaconcetta Costantini, Behind the Mask: A Study of Ben Okris Fiction (Rome: Carocci Editore, 2002), 220. Felicia Oka Moh, Ben Okri: An Introduction to his Early Fiction (Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishers, 2000), 87. Costantini, 203. David C. L. Lim, The Infinite Longing for Home: Desire and the Nation in Selected Writings of Ben Okri and K. S. Maniam (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2005), 8788.

162
68

Notes

69

70

Jane Wilkinson, Ben Okri, Wilkinson (ed.), Talking with African Writers: Interviews with African Poets, Playwrights & Novelists (London: James Currey, 1992): 7789, 8788. Olatubosun Ogunsanwo, Intertextuality and Post-Colonial Literature in Ben Okris The Famished Road, Research in African Literature, 26/1 (1995): 4052, 50. Elleke Boehmer, Stories of Women: Gender and Narrative in the Postcolonial Nation (Manchester: University of Manchester Press, 2005), 153.

Chapter 6
1

Barth, 204.

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Wellek, Ren, Concepts of Criticism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963). Werlock, Abby (ed.), British Women Writing Fiction (Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2000). Wilkinson, Jane (ed.), Talking with African Writers: Interviews with African Poets, Playwrights & Novelists (London: James Currey, 1992). Williams-Wanquet, Eileen, Towards Defining Postrealism in British Literature, Journal of Narrative Theory, 36/3 (2006): 389419. Williams, James, Gilles Deleuzes Difference and Repetition: A Critical Introduction and Guide (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2003). Williams, Patrick and Chrisman, Laura (eds.), Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader (London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1994). Williams, Raymond, Keywords: A Vocabulary for Culture and Society (London: Fontana Press, 1990). Williams, Raymond L., Gabriel Garca Mrquez (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1984). , The Modern Latin-American Novel (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1998). , The Postmodern Novel in Latin America: Politics, Culture, and the Crisis of Truth (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1995). , and Miller, Yvette E. (eds), Special Issue: The Boom in Retrospect A Reconsideration, Latin American Literary Review, 15/20 (1987). Winterson, Jeanette, Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery (London: Vintage, 1996). , Sexing the Cherry (London: Vintage, 1989). Wisker, Gina, Key Concepts in Postcolonial Literature (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). Wood, Michael, Gabriel Garca Mrquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990). Woods, James, Credulity: Review of Life of Pi, London Review of Books (14 November 2002): http://www.lrb.co.uk/v24/n22/wood02_.html. Wright, Derek (ed.), Contemporary African Fiction (Bayreuth: Eckhard Breitinger, 1997). , New Directions in African Fiction (Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1997). Young, Robert, and Hollaman, Keith (eds), Magical Realist Fiction: An Anthology (New York: Longman, 1984). Zamora, Lois Parkinson, The End of Innocence: Myth and Narrative Structure in Faulkners Absalom! Absalom! and Garca Mrquezs Cien aos de soledad, Hispanic Journal, 4/1 (1982): 2340. , The Myth of Apocalypse: Human Temporality in Garca Mrquezs Cien aos de soledad, Symposium, 32/4 (1978): 34155. , Writing the Apocalypse: Historical Vision in Contemporary U.S. and Latin American Fiction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989). , and Faris, Wendy B. (eds), Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995).

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Index

la recherche du temps perdu 31, 68, 77 Anti-Oedipus 152n14 A Thousand Plateaus becoming 24, 27, 64 human identity 60 literature 112 multiplicity 61, 112 nomads 129 the possible 50 regime of signs 478 segmentarity 45 signs 51, 69 the State 456 abiku 136, 13740 Absolutely Postcolonial 378, 58, 1034, 1067 abstract machine 23, 26 actual 1923, 738, 112, 142, 1468 and counter-actualization 103 and crystalline sign 748, 81, 86, 93, 101, 122 and literature 36 in The Famished Road 142 and the human (and motor-sensory schema) 735, 81, 86, 98, 100 in Life of Pi 81, 86 and the missing people 11315, 148 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 45, 47, 52, 545 and realism 33, 38, 712 and redemption 238 and series 2832 in Sexing the Cherry 98, 1002 and Signs of Art 51, 778, 98, 113, 148 and the State 45, 47 and territory 11213 and time 54, 76, 1002 actualization 201, 76

affects 74 Africa 5, 867, 134, 1367, 139, 144 agency 4, 109 creative 38, 106, 111 lack of 60, 127, 135, 140 political 60, 101, 128 subaltern 38, 107, 109, 139 subjective 107, 1121, 140, 148 Ahmad, Ajiaz 9, 153n31 Aizenberg, Edna 139 Aldama, Fredrick Louis 78, 12 allegory in Devils Valley 89 in The Circle of Reason 127 in The Famished Road 1369, 141, 143 in Life of Pi 81 in Midnights Children 108 and Third-World literature 105, 115 anthropological magical realism 3, 5, 12, 63, 105 antinomy see also contradiction 3, 68, 1012, 1417, 36, 146 apartheid 867, 8990 apocalypse 13, 43, 62, 657, 71, 125, 135 apprenticeship of signs 46, 51, 55, 68, 77, 116 arborescence 23 Aristotle 1920 art see also signs of art; superior viewpoint Ben Okri on 144 and Beloved 6768 Deleuze and Guattari on 268, 735, 99,102, 11214, 1256, 144 Deleuze on 556, 735, 778, 93, 102, 103, 11217, 144, 1479 and Devils Valley 91, 93 and The Famished Road 142, 144

182

Index
and crystalline signs 93 de-specified 37 and difference 20, 22, 289, 49 and Kroetsch 120 orientation of 23, 43, 71, 112, 116 and Romanticism 97 and signs 49 and signs of art 47, 51, 556, 62, 78, 93, 102 as univocal 1929, 47, 73, 76, 78 and the virtual 1930 , 257, 56, 73, 76, 78, 102, 106, 142 belief in fiction or stories 83, 92 in God 83 Hindu 128, 134 in magic 23, 34, 50, 110 traditional 6, 109 Bell-Villada, Gene 44 Beloved 6672, 102, 113, 1256, 133, 148 memory 6770 slave narrative 67 slavery 679, 71, 126 Bergson, Henri 21, 757, 94, 99 Bertacco, Simona 120 Bestiary 15, 79 passim Bhabha, Homi K. cultural difference 106, 130, 134 colonial discourse 39 hybrid signifier 1069, 117, 148 hybridity 38, 1069, 130, 140 in-between space 1069, 119 magical realism 9, 105, 107 postcolonial literature 127 in What the Crow Said 11920, 1224, 126 in Circle of Reason 130, 132, 134, 139 body without organs 23 Boehmer, Elleke 57, 87, 144 Bogue, Ronald 116 Borges, Jorge Luis 3, 6, 79 passim Bose, Brinda 135 boom, Latin American literary 12, 41, 57, 81, 105 Boundas, Constantin 22 Brennan, Timothy 14, 57, 62 Brink, Andr 8694

art (Contd) and Life of Pi 823, 86 Koetsch on 120, 145 painting 12, 150n4 powers of 56, 823, 86, 73, 78, 99, 102, 115, 147 and Sexing the Cherry 99100 and What the Crow Said 125 Winterson on 96, 98 assemblage 23, 26, 45, 478, 112, 142 Asturias, Miguel ngel 3, 10 passim authorial reticence 1113 Axolotl 3 passim Badiou, Alain 212, 246, 29 Bakhtin, Mikhail 5 passim baroque 2 Barth, John 9, 149 Barthes, Roland 324 becoming 24, 26, 27, 60, 62, 64, 77, 86, 147 animal 24 in Life of Pi 834 in The Metamorphosis 35 in Midnights Children 60, 62 in Sexing the Cherry 98 in What the Crow Said 1225 and Being 55 and history 113 imperceptible or indiscernible 245, 27, 77 in Life of Pi 856 missing people 114, 117 molecular 62 non-human 78, 102, 116, 147 in Devils Valley 88, 92 in Life of Pi 826 in Sexing the Cherry 100 in What the Crow Said 124 other 55, 60, 66 being as actual and virtual 1930, 51, 73, 76, 78, 102, 11213, 142, 1467 and art 28, 47, 74, 78, 113 and Bergson 767 conditions of 56, 62, 73, 102, 11213 as creative agency or force 22, 78, 93, 102, 103, 106, 111, 113, 116

Index
Canada 8, 11718, 120 capitalism in Circle of Reason 1278, 132 in The Famished Road 137, 142 magical realism as complicit with 16 in Nights at the Circus 63 and pre-capitalist society (economy, modes of production) 45, 16, 1045, 108, 110, 121, 1278, 132, 137 in What the Crow Said 121 and writers of magical realism 12 carnivalesque 5, 9, 57, 634 Carroll, Lewis 31, 35 passim Carpentier, Alejo 24, 7, 10, 41, 57 passim 104, 137 passim Carr, Helen 56 Carter, Angela, 8 passim 56, 636, 98 catalyst also conduit, leaven 72, 102, 115, 126, 1325, 140, 142, 149 Csaire, Aim 103 Chanady, Amaryll 1012, 1418, 323, 48, 146 chaos 26, 734, 78, 80, 93, 125 Cinema 2 crystalline sign 747, 81, 91, 93, 101, 116 missing people 11415 motor-sensory schema 747, 81, 116 Third World cinema 11416, 132 cinema see also film 27, 116, 132 The Circle of Reason 12636, 141 apocalypse 135 family 127, 130, 132 migrants 1279, 1335 political action 1335 reason 1289, 1335 Coetzee, J.M. 8 passim Cogito 20, 478 colonialism see also postcolonialism 4, 8, 17, 41, 43, 147 in Bhabha 1068, 126 and Canada 11820 and realism 12, 39 Conner, Marc C. 67, 701 convergence (of series, systems, lines) 29, 312, 75, 778, 147 in Beloved 70 in Devils Valley 89, 92

183

in Life of Pi 802 in Midnights Children 60 in Nights at the Circus 65 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 4450, 524 and realism 334, 36 in What the Crow Said 121 Cooper, Brenda 57, 1213, 13940 Cortzar, Julio 3, 6, 15, 79 passim Costantini, Mariaconcetta 1434 counter-actualization 201, 23, 35, 49 and becoming 60 and cinema 74 and indiscernibility 76, 78, 103 and redemption 25, 28 and series 32 crisis see also trance 114, 116, 1324, 141, 144 contradiction see also antinomy between the real and the magical 3, 5, 1012, 36, 73 in definitions of and approaches to magical realism 1, 12, 16, 57, 146 in Devils Valley 90 in Nights at the Circus 65 in Midnights Children 58 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 62 in Sexing the Cherry 95 The Crow Journals 120, 124 crystalline image 748 crystalline sign 77, 116 in Devils Valley 88, 913 in The Famished Road 141 in Life of Pi 813, 86 in Sexing the Cherry 101 in What the Crow Said 122 crystalline narration 75 Cuban Revolution 41 culture Canada 115, 118, 1206 clash or conflict of 46, 12, 105, 1078, 110, 140, 147 conditions of 109, 122, 1256, 130, 145 encounter or meeting of 56, 8, 1059, 130, 140 extinction of 1067, 117, 120, 123, 134 and memory 90

184

Index
Dialogues II actual and virtual 25 identity 60 writing 27, 49, 55, 62, 140 Dib, Mohammed 38 passim diffrance 106 difference in Bhabha 38, 106, 1089, 130 in Deleuze in Beloved 68 in Devils Valley 923 in Midnights Children 60 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 49 and ontology 18, 1923, 25, 28, 334 and postcolonial theory 38, 103 in series and systems 282 and signs of art 51, 68, 778 Difference and Repetition Being also actual and virtual 1921, 28, 142 cogito 47 laws of nature 33 series 2931 The Dinosaur 81 disjunctive synthesis 2836, 38, 49 divergence also divergent element 2934, 72, 1467 in The Circle of Reason 129 in Devils Valley 8990, 924 in The Famished Road 138 in Life of Pi 81, 83, 86 in Midnights Children 5960 in Nights at the Circus 64 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 44, 4950, 52, 54 in Sexing the Cherry 113 and signs of art 778 in What the Crow Said 1214 Dixon, Robert 128 Doan, Laura 97 double bind 13, 40, 43, 73, 103, 107, 108, 149 Dream Tigers 79 dreams in Devils Valley 91, 93 in The Famished Road 138, 143 in Sexing the Cherry 101

culture (Contd) non-Western culture also native culture 1516, 43, 63, 90, 118, 121, 124 104 and politics see politics and religion 85 Western culture 3, 56, 12, 1518, 63, 96, 105, 109, 128, 130, 140 and world-view also versions of reality, experience 3, 68, 12, 1517, 434, 108, 128, 147 as superstructure 11011 cultural difference 106, 1089, 127, 130, 134, 144, 147, 147 cultural diversity also pluralism, mix 92, 85, 87, 1089, 127, 130, 134, 144, 147 cultural hegemony 4, 11011 cultural hybridity 58, 12, 16, 57, 96, 1069, 118, 130, 144 cultural identity 378, 86, 92, 130 DHaen, Theo 8 Day, Adrian 656 Dayia, Kavita 127 Decolonization 41, 43 Defamiliarization 3 Derrida, Jacques 105 Descartes, Ren see also Cogito 20 despotic regime 47, 6971, 126 deterritorialization 246, 35, 76, 116 and assemblages 112 in Beloved 67 in Circle of Reason 12730, 133 in The Famished Road 140, 142 in Midnights Children 5962 in Nights at the Circus 656 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 45, 52, 546 in postcolonial theory 38 as revolutionary 113, 146 Devils Valley 6694, 96, 100 Great Trek 879 history 879, 91 myth 8892 stories 8894 women 87, 89, 91, 93

Index
duration 768, 94, 99102 Durix, Jean-Pierre 67, 13, 109 Dwyer, June 835 economics in The Circle of Reason 127, 1289 in Deleuze and Guattari 223 in The Famished Road 139 and Jameson 105, 110 and Kroetsch 120 and postcolonial theory 38 and series 33 lan vital 76 empiricism also positivism 7, 15, 19, 324, 73, 7980, 95 epistemology 9, 108 Esquivel, Laura 1 passim essence 28, 49, 51, 53, 55, 68, 106, 116 ethnic see native Europe 2, 6, 8 ex-centricity 89, 118 Expressionism 2 eyewitness 58, 79, 89 fairy tales 2, 11, 110 family 15, 33, 35 in Beloved 69, 71 in The Circle of Reason 130, 132, 136 in Devils Valley 889, 91 in The Famished Road 137 in Midnights Children 58, 60 in Nights at the Circus 63 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 423, 523, 54 in Third World literature 127 in What the Crow Said 121 The Famished Road 13645 abiku 13640 allegory 1369, 141 independence 1367 myth 1378, 1412, 149 spirits 13641, 144 Fanon, Franz 103 the fantastic 6, 9, 34, 49, 87, 95, 125 Todorov 1011, 15 fantasy 74, 91, 111

185

fantasy (genre) 2, 11, 1416 in Midnights Children 567, 109 in Sexing the Cherry 94, 96 Faris, Wendy 4, 910, 1415, 109 feminism 63, 94, 97, 101 film 4, 1045, 111, 115, 123 flight also flying; see also line of flight in Devils Valley 92 in The Famished Road 1423 in Nights at the Circus 64 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 50, 53 in Sexing the Cherry 95, 989, 101 Flores, Angel 2 focalizer 1112, 34 folklore 13 Forster, E. M. 106, 122 Fowles, John 8 passim Furst, Lillian 32 future and Bergsonian duration 94 Brink on 87 in The Circle of Reason 125, 133, 1356 in The Famished Road 1389, 141 in Midnights Children 58 possibilities of 113, 133 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 54 in Sexing the Cherry 1002 in What the Crow Said 123, 125 Gade, Bente 1001 Garca Mrquez, Gabriel and definitions of magical realism 1, 3, 6, 912 One Hundred Years of Solitude 4156 Ga siorek, Andrzej 64 gender 37, 92, 949, 135 geography in The Circle of Reason 131 and definitions of magical realism 3, 6, 18 in Devils Valley 88 in The Famished Road 136 in Life of Pi 80, 82 in Midnights Children 58, 71 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 445 and realism 32, 72

186

Index
the real and the magical 11, 16 of the State 58, 634 West and non-West 3, 13, 105 Higgins, James 42 Hinchcliffe, Peter 1 historicism see also Marxism 109, 111, 113, 122, 128, 144, 146 historiographic metafiction 57, 889, 101 history also a-historicity colonial also imperial 4, 119 in Beloved 678, 71 in The Circle of Reason 1269, 131, 133, 1356 in definitions of magical realism 5, 12, 16 in Deleuze (and Guattari) 22, 46, 11314, 11617 in Devils Valley 8691, 93 in The Famished Road 136, 140, 1445 and Federic Jameson 1045, 10711 in Life of Pi 80, 82 and magic 72, 1479 of magical realism 12 in Midnights Children 578, 62, 71 in Nights at the Circus 63, 66, 71 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 414, 46, 54, 56 and realism 323, 72 in Sexing the Cherry 946, 989, 1012 and the singular 378 in What the Crow Said 120, 1224, 126 Hodgins, Jack 118 human and animal 35, 60, 64, 69, 805, 98, 119, 1223 deterritrialization of 35, 60, 70, 77 and fiction 57, 68 and God 85 non-human also in-human; surpassing of; going beyond 27, 71, 724, 778, 102, 116, 147 in Beloved 6872 in Devils Valley 92 in The Famished Road 1401, 143 in Life of Pi 806 in Sexing the Cherry 98100 in What the Crow Said 1224

geography (Contd) in Sexing the Cherry 95 in What the Crow Said 120 Ghosh, Amitav 87, 137, 142, 145 The Circle of Reason 12636 ghosts in Beloved 70 in The Circle of Reason 131 in Devils Valley 90, 92, 94 in Midnights Children 59 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 50 in What the Crow Said 123

Giordano, Tiziana 96 Glage, Liselotte 109 Glissant, Eduard 38 passim globalization 127, 135 Gonzles Echevarra, Roberto 13, 7, 9 Gonzlez, Suzana 84 Goonetilleke, D. C. R. A. 60 Grant, Damian 100 grotesque 64, 989, 137, 143 Guattari, Flix see A Thousand Plateaus?; Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature; What is Philosophy Hallward, Peter see also Absolutely Postcolonial, singular, specific, specified
and Deleuze 215, 28, 36, 47, 56, 71, 148 and postcolonial theory 369, 58, 62, 1034, 1079, 148

Hamon, Philippe 323, 44 Hanson, Claire 66 Hardt, Michael 22 Harris, Trudier 70 Harris, Wilson 3 passim Hawley, John 127 heartland see metropolis Heinze, Denise 70 hierarchy also non-hierarchy of Being 25, 106, 112
colonial 147 human, animal and God 85 identity and difference also same and different 19, 21, 147, 149

Index
order also culture, society, life, reason 38, 45 in Beloved 689, 125 and history 57, 68 in Life of Pi 806 in Nights at the Circus 64, 801, 84, 86, 1245, 143, 147 in One Hundred Years of Solidtude 50, 53, 55 and realism 72, 73, 836, 102, 130, 136, 147 and segmentarity 45 and spirit 99, 136, 1401, 143 suffering also misery 117, 126, 130, 133, 142, 136 human rights 13 Hutcheon, Linda 89, 57, 11720 hybrid signifier 1069, 117, 148 in The Circle of Reason 130, 132, 134, 139 in What the Crow Said 11920, 1224, 126 hybridity 58, 12, 16, 103, 118, 139 Bhabha on 38, 1069, 130, 13940 in The Famished Road 144 in Midnights Children 57 in Sexing the Cherry 96 identity in Beloved 6772 in Bhabha 1068, 130 black 67, 69, 92 in Canadian literature 11821 in The Circle of Reason 12733 cultural 38, 41, 856, 92, 1078, 130 in Devils Valley 87, 923 and difference 1921, 2931 in The Famished Road 138, 141 in Life of Pi 856 loss or lack of 31, 50, 602, 656, 712, 108, 12831, 147 in Midnights Children 5662 national or regional 34, 41, 43, 5662, 87, 105, 108, 114, 118, 127, 138 in Nights at the Circus 646 personal also subjective 47, 5762, 646, 701, 108, 125

187

and postcolonial texts and theory 378, 1068, 118 reconstruction of 65, 712, 125, 133 and series 2931, 34 in Sexing the Cherry 94, 1012 sexual 37, 63, 101, 106 as specified 646, 69 in What the Crow Said 1256 illusion of representation 20, 336, 68, 478 Imaginary Homelands 104 immanence 19, 224, 26, 356, 68, 82, 104 imperceptibility see indiscernibility in-between 1046, 107, 119, 1223, 127, 132 incompossibility 91, 93 independence 4, 46, 58, 105, 1357 India 13, 126 in The Circle of Reason 12831, 134 in Midnights Children 5762, 108 indigenous see native indiscernibility also imperceptibility between actual and virtual 27, 76, 86 in art 27, 78, 123, 125 and becoming 24, 27 in the crystalline image or sign 768, 92, 123 in Devils Valley 92 between human and non-human 64, 77, 86, 923, 98, 102, 116 between imaginary and real 77, 86, 88, 913 in Life of Pi 83 of meaning 124 between real and magic 86, 88, 92 in Sexing the Cherry 100, 102 in time 100 intertextuality 68 involuntary memory see also Proust 68 Jackman, Christine 125 James, Henry 3 Jameson, Frederic influence 45, 7, 9, 12, 16, 104, 1089, 118, 144 on magical realism in film 45, 104 The Political Unconscious 11013

188

Index
The Location of Culture 1067, 109, 117, 123, 132, 140 Logic of Sense counter-actualization 21 disjunctive synthesis 289, 32 language 30 nonsense 31 object = x 2931, 52 series 2832 time 54 Lozano, Maria 98 MacKay, Shena 97 macropolitical 23 major language 35 Martel, Yann 7886 Martin, Gerald 43 marvellous 2, 1011 Marxism see also superstructure, modes of production and The Circle of Reason 128, 133 and The Famished Road 1378, 140, 144 Jameson 1045, 10811, 117 and postcolonial theory 1034, 109 and realism 10448 and What the Crow Said 121 Massumi, Brian 22, 60 matter-of-fact (narration) in Beloved 69 in definitions of magical realism 3, 1112, 14, 1617 in Life of Pi 81 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 44, 50 and realism 323, 49 in Sexing the Cherry 95 Max and the Cats 78 McHale, Brian 89 McMullin, Stanley E. 118 Menton, Seymour 150n4 Mensch, James 845 metamorphosis 98 The Metamorphosis 23, 36, 81 metaphysical magical realism 3 metatextuality 78 metropolis also centre, heartland 89, 634, 104, 11819, 121 Meyer, Middleton 101

Jameson, Frederic (Contd) on Third-World literature 1045, 1078, 11415 in The Circle of Reason 1278, 130 in The Famished Road 137, 138 in What the Crow Said 121 Janes, Regina 413 Jewinsky, Ed 1 Jin, Meiling 106 Joseph-Vilain, Mlanie 8891 Kafka, Franz 23, 81 Deleuze (and Guattari) on 26, 31, 356, 81, 116, 141 Kafka: Toward A Minor Literature 26, 31, 356, 81, 114, 116, 1403 Kant, Immanuel 20, 74 Kauer, Ute 88, 902 King, Francis 83 The Kingdom of this World 2 Kroetsch, Robert 11726, 130, 132, 145 Latin America 14, 6, 10, 12, 414, 57, 62, 789, 81, 1045, 121 literary Boom 12, 41, 57, 81, 196 laws of nature 15, 334, 53, 60, 645, 74, 81 Lecker, Robert 11920, 125 legending 11516, 120, 123 Lernout, Geert 120 Lvi-Strauss, Claude 30 Life of Pi 7886, 88, 90, 923, 98, 100, 102, 147 culture 856 religion 81, 83, 85 time 80, 82 Like Water for Chocolate 1 passim Lim, David 144 line of flight 234, 27, 140 in The Famished Road 140, 142 in Kafka 356 in Life of Pi 80 in Midnights Children 60 in Nights at the Circus 64 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 53 literature of replenishment 9 Lo real meravilloso 2

Index
micropolitics 23 Midnights Children 1, 8, 5667, 69, 79, 111, 136 apocalypse 13, 62, 65, 67, 135, 137 hybridity 108 identity 5660, 62, 656, 712, 108, 138, 147 Indian writing 126 migrants, migration 12, 46, 1269, 1316 minor literature 26, 356, 38, 114, 135, 140 minority see also minor literature 7, 11416, 135 mise-en-abyme 55 missing people, new people 111, 11415, 117, 148 in The Circle of Readon 131, 1335, 138 in The Famished Road 138, 1402 mode of production see also Marxism 10912, 121, 124, 1278 modernism 9, 96 Moh, Felicia Oka 144 molar 23, 137 molecular 234, 62 monkey 189 Monterosso, Augosto 81 Morrison, Toni 6672 motor-sensory schema 747, 116 in Life of Pi 80, 82, 86 in Sexing the Cherry 98, 100 multiplicity 5, 19, 212, 57, 602 myth 3, 5, 9, 105, 111, 11516, 1489 in The Circle of Reason 1315 in Devils Valley 8892 in The Famished Road 1378, 1412 in Midnights Children 13, 57, 5960 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 413, 53 in Sexing the Cherry 94 rewriting of 111, 11920, 122 and the State 5960, 89, 133, 138 in What the Crow Said 11920, 1223, 1256 Naipaul, V. S. 104 nationalism 1213, 62, 67, 108, 127 Nation and Narration 105

189

native culture or world-view also indigenous, ethnic 3, 7, 1112, 1516, 37, 114, 144 in Devils Valley 90 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 41, 43 in What the Crow Said 11819, 121, 124 neo-colonialism 43, 147 Nietzsche, Friedrich 21 Nights at the Circus 8, 637, 712, 96, 125 nomads, nomadism 23, 112 in The Circle of Reason 126, 12931, 135 in Midnights Children 61 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 456, 545 object = x 2931, 34, 38 in Beloved 70 in The Circle of Reason 127, 129, 131, 134 in Devils Valley 92 in The Famished Road 140 as hybrid signifier 106, 108 in Life of Pi 81 in Midnights Children 60, 108 in Nights at the Circus 646 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 524 in What the Crow Said 122, 124 Okri, Ben 4, 87, 13645 omens also premonitions 41, 501, 59, 123, 127 One Hundred Years of Solitude 1, 9, 11, 13, 4156, 72, 147, 149 apocalypse in 13, 43, 55 and Beloved 67, 70 and The Circle of Reason 1267, 135 and Devils Valley 88, 92, 94 and The Famished Road 136 indiscernibility in 78, 94 and Life of Pi 79, 82 and Midnights Children 579, 62 and Nights at the Circus 63, 65 and Sexing the Cherry 96 time in 46, 48, 535, 58, 75 and What the Crow Said 118, 121, 123, 125 Onega, Susan 95 ontological magical realism 23, 9, 12

190

Index
in Sexing the Cherry 956, 98, 1012 in What the Crow Said 11920, 122, 124 positivism see empiricism Post-Expressionism (painting) 12 postcolonial literature and Canada 11819 and definitions of magical realism 3, 410, 1213, 10311, 148 Hallward 3740, 1034, 109 Jameson 47, 9, 12, 1045, 107, 109, 111, 118, 127 and South Africa 87 postcolonial theory 368, 1039, 117, 139, 148 postmodernism 1, 410, 12, 69, 105, 117, 119 Pour la suite du monde 115 Prasad, G. J. V. 135 premonitions see omens pre-capitalist society also pre-capitalist economy, modes of production 45, 16, 1045, 108, 110, 121, 1278, 132, 137 Proust and Signs art 56, 68, 77, 78, 102, 106, 113 essence 106, 113 involuntary memory 68 signs 49, 51 superior viewpoint 578, 91, 113 time 77, 100 unity 778, 93 Proust, Marcel 31, 345, 68, 77 pure time also pure past 54, 758, 94, 99100, 102 Pykett, Lynn 968 reader belief or non-belief in magic 7, 1011, 15, 32, 34, 49 hesitation 7, 1011 realist narrative in Beloved 68 in The Circle of Reason 1268, 130 in definitions of magical realism 5, 12, 1416, 18, 1467 and Deleuze 326, 489, 75 in Devils Valley 89, 91, 93 in The Famished Road 136

ontological orientation 71, 112, 116 ontology 910, 1718, 1929, 47, 56, 737, 102, 11213, 116, 1467, 149 organic narration 757, 812, 88, 116 Orientalism 39 Ouyang, Wen-Chin 4 Palmer, Paulina 64, 98, 101 paradox (in magical realism) 1819, 144, 146 paradoxical object 29 Parfume 1 patriarchy 92, 97 Peach, Linden 67 Pearce, Lynne 96 percepts 74 Perrault, Pierre 115, 123, 141 Phelan, James 70 phenomenological magical realism 23 Phillips, Maggie 1389 philosophy Badiou 212, 245, 28 Bergson 75 Deleuze 1928, 36, 103, 11112, 116 Deleuze and Guattari see also What is Philosophy? 23, 267, 73, 117, 126, 144 Hallward 213, 25, 28, 37, 103, 109, 148 plane of immanence also plane of consisitency 19, 234, 26, 104 Plato 20 pluralism see also multiplicity 19, 22, 92 The Political Unconscious 11011 politics Andre Brink on 867 in The Circle of Reason 1279, 1335 in definitions of magical realism 45, 9, 1213, 1718, 412, 1469 in Deleuze 214, 27 in Deleuze and Guattari 223, 267, 35 in The Famished Road 13642, 144 in Midnights Children 57, 60 in Nights at the Circus 63 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 414 postcolonial 3740, 1035, 10717 and realism 33, 712, 73

Index
in Life of Pi 7982 in Midnights Children 61 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 44, 489, 51, 53 and postcoloniality 39 in Sexing the Cherry 96 in What the Crow Said 118, 121, 124 reality effect 32, 45, 478, 51, 75, 79, 89 reason also rationality 1415, 17, 33 in Beloved 69 in The Circle of Reason 12835 in Life of Pi 80, 834 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 478, 501, 545 and the State 478, 512 redemption 248, 82, 138, 144 referentiality 31, 335, 51, 55, 76, 116 representation see also illusion of representation in The Circle of Reason 1278, 131 and the Cogito 47 in Midnights Children 58, 60, 62 in minor literature 26, 35 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 412, 45 and postcoloniality 39 of reality also of the world 8, 14, 61, 71, 104, 112, 114, 145, 1478 and realism 35, 93 in Sexing the Cherry 101 and the signs of art 74, 77, 90 in What the Crow Said 124 regime of signs 4651, 534, 77, 11516, 147 in Beloved 69, 71 in The Circle of Reason 130 in Devils Valley 89 in Life of Pi 856 in Midnights Children 589 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 4750, 534, 147 in What the Crow Said 1234 relationality 22, 28, 37, 39, 56, 62, 756, 103, 112, 114, 148 and assemblages 112 and identity in Beloved 668, 71 in Midnights Children 62

191

in Nights at the Circus 646 in What the Crow Said 1256 and Marxism 110 in series 2930 social 22, 37, 39, 110, 112, 11415 in The Circle of Reason 126, 128 in The Famished Road 144 in What the Crow Said 11820, 125 religion 5, 79, 81, 835, 89, 116, 128, 134 Christianity 79, 85, 878 Hinduism 79, 85, 128, 134 Islam 79, 81, 85 Remedios the Beauty 11, 49, 534 resistance 12, 117, 1445 resonance 2932, 345, 38, 778, 112 in Beloved 68 in Devils Valley 92 in Nights at the Circus 66 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 523, 55 reterritorialization 356, 49 in Beloved 66, 69 in The Circle of Reason 133 in The Famished Road 138 in Midnights Children 59 in Nights at the Circus 656 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 512, 55 revolution Cuban 41 in The Circle of Reason 128, 1323, 136 in Deleuze (and Guattari) 24, 26, 109, 11314, 11617, 142, 145 in The Famshed Road 140, 142, 144 in Jameson 11011 in Sexing the Cherry 1012 rhizome 23 Robinson Crusoe 79, 834 Roessner, Jeffrey 96, 989 Roh, Franz 12 romanticicm 2, 967, 110, 138 Rushdie, Salman 1, 34, 6, 8, 13, 5662, 67, 1045, 1089, 1267, 136, 138 Sage, Lorna 88 Said, Edward 389

192

Index
signs of art 51, 62, 72, 738, 102, 106, 113, 11617, 148 in Beloved 68 in Devils Valley 93 in The Famished Road 139 in Life of Pi 823, 856 in Midnights Children 59, 62 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 556 in What the Crow Said 123, 125 simulacrum 77, 11617, 122 the singular 22, 3640, 56, 1034, 1067, 148 in Beloved 701 in The Famished Road 139, 144 in Midnights Children 60, 62 in Nights at the Circus 65 slavery 679, 701, 87, 106, 115, 126 slave narrative 67 Slemon, Stephen 4, 17, 118, 125 The South 3 passim South Africa 868 the specific 224, 3740, 66, 1034, 107 the specified 379, 646, 69, 71, 103 Spindler, William 3, 5, 9, 1112, 17, 63, 105 Spinoza, Baruch 21 Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty 38 stories in Beloved 71 in Devils Valley 8894 in The Famished Road 143 Latin American 10, 41 in Life of Pi 83, 86 in Sexing the Cherry 956, 101 in Third World literature 11516 Stowers, Cath 989 Stratton, Florence 82 Street, Steve 79 subaltern 38, 104, 107, 109, 139 subject see also Cogito 22, 62, 65, 102 absence or negation of 9, 60, 745, 84, 112, 117, 132, 141 and agency 60, 107, 112, 128, 140, 148 and postcolonial theory 379, 58, 105, 107

Sale, Maggie 67 science 5, 267, 54, 73, 7980, 12830, 134 Scilar, Moacyr 78 passim sedentary 23, 112 segmentarity 24, 457, 72, 112, 147 in Beloved 69 in The Circle of Reason 131, 133 in Devils Valley 89 in The Famished Road 1367 in Life of Pi 80, 82, 85 in Midnights Children 589 in Nights at the Circus 635 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 457, 525 in Sexing the Cherry 99 in What the Crow Said 121 series see also convergence; divergence; disjunctive synthesis 2836, 72, 767, 147 in Devils Valley 89, 92 in The Famished Road 136, 140 in Life of Pi 80, 82 in Midnights Children 60 in Nights at the Circus 64 in One Hundrd Years of Solitude 446, 4850, 524 and postcolonial theory 38 proliferation or ramification of 2931, 346, 38, 44, 49, 52, 140 in Sexing the Cherry 99 in What the Crow Said 121 Sexing the Cherry 94102, 113, 132, 142, 148 gender 948 history 946, 98, 1012, 148 political action 1012, 1324 sexuality 94, 968 time 948, 1002 transformation; flight; body; Sexuality 94, 968, 106 signification 301, 51, 109 gap in or incomplete 1057, 122, 131 regime of signs of 48, 69, 77 signifier and signified 301

Index
and the regime of signs of subjectification 478, 501, 55, 58 subjectivity 23, 22, 37, 91, 96 Deleuze on 47, 512, 56, 68, 74, 76, 91, 106, 112 sublime 701 supernatural 23, 5, 1015, 79, 95, 127 superior viewpoint 55, 77, 91, 93, 102 superstructure see also Marxism 11012 supplement 73, 78, 97, 102, 122, 1489 surrealism 104 Sskind, Patrick 1 passim symbols 30, 35, 41, 51 in Beloved 68, 70 in The Circle of Reason 127, 132, 134 in The Famished Road 1378 and Jameson 113 in Life of Pi 812 in Midnights Children 59 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 526 in What the Crow Said 124 syncretism also syncretization 5, 12, 57, 108, 109 territory also territorialization; see also deterritorialization, reterritorialization) 27, 35, 45, 72, 73, 11214, 116, 1479 and apartheid 867 in Beloved 67, 6971 in The Circle of Reason 12734, 136 in The Famished Road 1368, 1403 in Life of Pi 80, 82 in Midnights Children 59 in Nights at the Circus 65 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 46, 489, 51, 534, 56 in What the Crow Said 121, 1246 Third World 9, 13, 63, 127, 132 in Deleuze 11416, 132 Third World literature 1045, 107, 111 tiger 15, 7884, 93, 122 Todorov, Tzvetan 1011, 15 trance see also crisis 116, 1323, 141 The Turn of the Screw 3 passim

193

Ulka, Joshi 135 uncanny 3, 1011, 34, 106, 139 United States 7, 118 Univocity of Being 1929, 378, 47, 76, 104, 1467 unreal 3, 67, 15, 75, 92 Valdez Moses, Michael 16 Vargas Llosa, Mario 41 Vautier, Marie 119 virtual and Being 1930, 35, 49, 51, 56, 736, 78, 93, 102, 106, 112, 113, 1468 as chaos 26, 734, 78, 93, 125 and counter-actualization 201, 235, 28, 32, 36, 49, 39, 74, 76, 78, 103 and the crystalline sign 748, 86, 934, 101 as double of actual 27, 78, 102, 1412, 148 and language 301, 33, 356, 38, 812, 106, 108, 1245 and ontological orientation 23, 71, 112 and redemption 2328 and resonance 301, 345, 38, 77 revelation of 51, 778, 102, 113 and revolution 24, 26, 1012, 11314, 132, 140, 148 and series 2836, 38, 77, 140, 147 and signs of art 51, 778, 139 and time 54, 758, 94, 1002, 106, 132 Voyage to the Seed 3 passim Wall, Kathleen 119 Warnes, Christopher 1617 Weltanschauung see world-view the West see culture What is Plilosophy art 267, 74, 99, 117, 123, 126 becoming 61, 102, 113 new people 113, 117, 126, 144 philosophy 23 protective rules 745 revolution 113

194

Index
in Nights at the Circus 634 in One Hundred Years of Solitude 534 in Sexing the Cherry 958 in What the Crow Said 119, 1245 world-view also Weltanschauung 3, 1112, 1516, 334, 43, 105, 108, 1289, 137, 1467, 149 Wright, Derek 136, 138 Yorba 1368, 141 Zamora, Lois Parkinson 1415, 42 zones of indiscernibility see indiscernibility

What is Plilosophy (Contd) ways of thought 26, 73 writing 612 What the Crow Said 11726, 1278, 131, 133, 1412 apocalypse 125 myth 11920, 1223, 1256 Native Indians 11819, 121 Williamson, Edwin 42 Wilson, Robert R. 1417 Winterson, Jeanette 94102, 134 women becoming-woman 24, 60 in Devils Valley 8793 in Midnights Children 59, 60