Beyond Binaries

Revision with unchanged content. Magical Realism, recognized for years as a valid genre in literature studies, till now has dealt in discussions of binarism, bringing magic and real together in such a way that distinguishing between the two becomes almost impossible. Currently, most studies of this genre have neglected to take into account works from the popular fiction and children’s literature genres, relegating these instead to other preestablished categories within the canon. This study, by focusing on the concept of borderlands as described by Gloria Anzaldua in Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, argues that these studies of magical realism have been overly exclusive. It argues for a new, more inclusive form of magical realism, called borderland magical realism. This study should help answer these questions: How are borderlands and magical realism currently defined, and how can we combine these current definitions in a new working definition of magical realism? How/why have magical realist associations been transposed onto borderlands, and are these transpositions valid? Can determining the presence of pop culture and children’s novels within the magical realist genre be supported through an examination of these borderlands as they function as magical real spaces within the works? This book is addressed to professors and students of Literature and cultural studies, and researchers in these fields.
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