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Title: Expressing the condition of estrangement through magical realism : a comparative analysis between the Amanda Lee Koe’s Ministry of Moral Panic and Yeo Wei Wei’s These Foolish Things & Other Stories
Authors: Pang, Annabel Shi Min
Keywords: Humanities::Literature::English
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: Previously understood to be the most influential literary movement exclusive to Latin America, magical realism has since gained popularity and attention to become an international phenomenon. Its growing acclaim can be attributed to the concept of resistance encoded within the foundational feature of the mode. Specifically, the combination of realism and fantastic elements contest the nature of reality and its representation to offer an alternative to the accepted conditions. It is therefore no surprise that magical realism is gaining ground in the local art scene and has arguably become the preeminent form of fiction in our contemporary literature. In a highly regulated society such as Singapore, magical realism provides authors an oblique approach to controversial topics and a means to deliver social critique (qtd. Jason Erik Lundberg in Oliva Ho’s article). More importantly, Kim Sasser has drawn attention to the mode’s constructive capacity for addressing contemporary concerns of home and belonging. She highlights “magical realism’s ability to construct narrative arguments about how sense of being and belonging in the world are (not) and ought (not) to be developed among individuals and groups.” (42) Reading this alongside critical essays by local academics that have identified alienation as characteristic of our literature, this paper intends to investigate how Singaporean authors engage magical realism to express the condition of estrangement in Singapore. It will employ Wendy B. Faris’ magical realist framework to undertake a comparative reading of Amanda Lee Koe’s Ministry of Moral Panic and Yeo Wei Wei’s These Foolish Things & Other Stories. Ultimately, the paper hopes to shed light on the two new novels and the emerging narrative mode that has been largely unexplored in Singapore literature.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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