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Angela Carter ( – ) “The amazing thing about her, for me, was that someone who looked so much like the Fairy Godmother [ ] should actually be so. Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber. London: Vintage, Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. Page 8. Page 9. Page Page Page Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber: Rethinking the Gothic. Examine Angela Carter's writing process and her treatment of the Gothic and fairy tale genres. PDF.

Sage She had an instinctive feeling for the other side, which included also the underside. Peach However, the material is not represented in a realist way, in steady, middle-distance focus. Carter concentrates on the decay of houses, and municipal parks and gardens, to the point where you can glimpse a shamelessly symbolic setting — the Gothic mansion, the weedy Eden of paradise lost.

MEAT Female bodies being reduced to meat; meat as a metaphor for bodies that are being consumed as food; sexually; visually. Donna Haraway: These could be counted, organized into a conceptual framework and so form a kind of check list for the verification of all phenomena, instantly available by means of an information retrieval system.

Hybrid characters and mobile identities are always featured in texts that question the definition of literary genre. But fairy tales are not like that, nor are their makers. Who first invented meatballs? In what country? Is there a definitive recipe for potato soup?

Think in terms of the domestic arts. Through the ostensibly sound surface of society creep and leak contradictions and alternatives which undercut that neat surface. These contradictions provide an opportunity to analyze and criticize relationship of power and money affecting gender, identity, and the way people live their lives. Wisker Alice in Wonderland p. Was it because she had only looked at her own face, reflected there? Or, on the contrary, like a man who retains the sense of his nudity?

Who am I, therefore? Who is it that I am following? Whom should this be asked of if not of the other? And perhaps of the cat itself? It has its point of view regarding me. It is invented by Roh first to be applied to visual arts so as to "capture the mystery of life behind the surface reality" Bowers 2. The second phase witnesses the modification of the term into lo real maravilloso or "marvelous realism" introduced by Alejo Carpentier in Latin America in It is virtually applicable to Latin American literature indicating "an expression of the mixture of realist and magical views of life in the context of the differing cultures of Latin America expressed in its art and literature" 2.

The third term realismo magico or Magical Realism ending with al developed in the s and s. It is used to refer to "narrative art that presents extraordinary occurrences as an ordinary part of everyday reality" Since then Magical Realism was adopted as the main term in literary writing and criticism. Moreover, Magical Realism is not established as a settled mode or device of narration until almost s.

Recent endeavors are made to establish Magical Realism as a cosmopolitan, transcultural and international mode that, according to critics such as Maggie Bowers, it mixes two different worlds but understood by all cultures equally: Bowers 29 Furthermore, in contemporary literary criticism, both Magic Realism and Magical Realism are sometimes interchangeably used and juxtaposed.

Maggie Bowers, a well-known critic in this field, uses "Magic al Realism" as an umbrella term to discuss the artistic concept that encapsulates aspects of both Magic Realism and Magical Realism Ann Hegerfeldt prefers the label "Magic Realism" to emphasize the equality and balance between two nouns rather than favouring a label in which an adjective modifies a noun.

Generally, there is an analogy between what characterizes fantastic literature or surrealism in one hand and Magical Realism on the other. Critics, however, ascribe unique aspects to magical realist works that single them out as a separate mode of narration. In his Magical Realism and Postcolonial Novel, Christopher Warnes points out five features that describe the magical realist fiction that Wendy Faris, the well-known critic in this field, has repeatedly adopted and stressed.

Warnes sums up Faris's aspects of Magical Realism as follows: But her coverage of the characteristics of the term is insufficient since these elements are open to controversial interpretations and they are not entirely and equally applicable to all works of magical realism.

However, the major features of the Magical Realism can be briefly explained as follows: As the most significant feature that envelops magical realism, hybridity is a keyword where opposites such as male and female, urban and rural, Western and ingenious are intertwined. It refers to the way where cultures coexist and are transferred with one another. However, Brenda Cooper argues that the hybrid nature of literature does not only "share a declaration of cultural hybridity".

She goes on to say that it is "a hybridity claimed to offer certain advantages in negotiating the collisions of language, race and art" Cooper Cooper asserts how magical realism, as a distinct trend in postmodern literature, moves away from the ethnic into the miscellaneous, from the marginal into mainstream and from the rigid into the dynamic. Hybridity, therefore, highlights the avoidance of any literary or linguistic contradiction with other world literatures and cultures.

In their The Routledge Dictionary of Literary Terms, Childs and Fowler reveal that hybridity is first theorized and popularized by Homi Bhabha who abolishes multicultural differences by inventing a new dimension that he calls the "Third Space". According to those two critics, hybridity is defined as: Childs and Fowler Childs and Fowler believe that the ingredients that constitute Magical Realism are based on the discrepancies of this world.

They assume that Bhabha's "Third Space" is accessible by matching diverse cultures in real life and then it is applied to literary texts. Magical Realism lies in the very center of a new dimension of the worldview. In other words, Magic Realism is how conflicting codes shape a new mode of looking at reality. Besides, hybridity does not only refer to the mingling of the so- called native and Western traditions and cultures.

It can also encompass the mixture of the different modes and genres of narration Hegerfeldt In her Magical Realism and the Fantastic, Amaryll Chanady states that authorial reticence is the "deliberate withholding of information and explanation about the disconcerting fictitious world. In addition, the author shows that the narrator is indifferent, hesitant and doubtful about the supernatural.

In this respect, there is a reliance upon the reader to follow the example of the narrator in his or her acceptance of the realistic and non-realistic perspectives on the same level.

When authorial reticence is activated, the unusual events or characters are deliberately hidden, blurred and less focalized so as to decrease the level of irrationality of fiction. Hence, authorial reticence is a magical realist device that "naturalizes the supernatural" so that it "does not disconcert the reader" Faris Magical realist writers often use tricky devices in presenting their magical plots, settings and characters.

In this case, magical realist writers avoid this sensibility and extravagance by presenting a handful of normal and down-to-earth details. These factual and elaborate details create a fictional world that resembles the one we live in because these details represent a clear departure from the thorough restraints of realism Faris Ronald Barthes claims that detailed descriptions endow the text with what he calls "reality effect", a term that conveys no particular information but only to make the story seem real.

In addition, irreducible details can also lead to the opposite direction. This means that Barthes's "reality effect" of exaggerated details can lead to supernatural consequences. Such plentitudes or detailed accounts facilitate the virtual movement of the reader from reality to fantasy and vice versa.

The vehicle that magical realist writers use to create fantasy within reality is the baroque, an artistic style that functions heavy and rich details and ornamentation to achieve their objectives in presenting a large scale of complexities, beliefs and cultural systems Bowers This magical realist novelist communicates the notion that real life is heavily panoramic, emotional, interactive and metamorphic and that it, therefore, can be reflected in works of fiction.

Magical realist writers are believed to be inspired by Ammanuel Kant's philosophy in that the world consists of a thesis and antithesis which he describes as the apparent contradictions in speculative cosmology Honderich Furthermore, this dichotomy between these laws or principles contains the idea that these contrastive elements are reconcilable Cuddon Magical Realism is, consequently, situated in between Kant's dialectical opposition of free will and the laws of nature Honderich Putting that in practice, Magical Realism writers presume that the former achieves reality whereas the latter fulfills high artifice and illusion.

Abrams asserts that the deconstructist, Jacques Derrida regards binary opposites as "… oppositions [that] constitute a tacit hierarchy, in which the first term functions as privileged and superior and the second term as derivative and inferior" The hierarchy of opposites upon which the society built is undermined and revolted by the inferior.

This notion of conflicting values, codes or entities is favorably resorted to by magical realist writers to show how the weaker party could triumph on the stronger one. Metafiction is an artistic term popularized in the s and it finds its way in Magical Realism afterwards.

David Mikics defines metafiction as "fiction that is about fiction: Two points can be concluded from Mikics's definition. First, there are multiple narrators in metafictional narratives and this makes the work more authentic and objective. Second, such an artifice conveys a fable or a moral message that the author announces. Consequently reality is not directly stated to the reading public but it subtly lurks within the margins of metafiction.

The technique of metafiction in Magical Realism erases the boundaries between fact and fiction. It is a self-reflexive technique drawing the reader's awareness of the narrator's role in the text.

Metafiction, then, intermediates between the author, the text and the reader, placing the act of reading and writing at the heart of the narrative Acheson and Ross Defamiliarization is another literary device recently employed by magic realist writers where the commonplace is made strange.

Cuddon sheds lights on this device: Through defamiliarization the writer modifies the reader's habitual perceptions by drawing attention to the artifice of the text. This is a matter of literary technique. What the reader notices is not the picture of reality that is being presented but the peculiarities of the writing itself. This makes the reader more possessed and obsessed with the magical quality of the "words on the pages".

In his Art as Technique Victor Shklovky clarifies this point assuring that: The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived, and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects 'unfamiliar', to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty of length and perception, because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged.

Art is a away of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important. Exemplified by Formalists and Structuralists first, this method of textual analysis has recently appealed to the contemporary magical realist writers.

The magical realist readers do not question the sensational validity of characters, settings, symbols or events as they are more indulged in the aesthetic suggestions of the work itself. Such a method of schism and estrangement brings the unfamiliar to the very heart of reality. Is Magical Realism a matter of escapism or is it dedicated to pose a certain degree of political critique?

Maggie Bowers notices that the majority of magical realist writers understand the world as ruled and controlled by "the predominantly male and white Western elite" As a result, the public community is politically, socially, geographically and economically marginalized.

Therefore, Magical Realism is perceived as a political critique that appeals to practise some subversive and revolutionary supremacy against such dominant forces.

If it is related to colonization and imperialism in Garcia Marquez's novels, magical realist criticism refers to British political hollowness and injustices in most of John Fowles's and Angela Carter's magical realist works.

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Magical realism, therefore, is concerned "not only with the continuing influence of empire in the postcolonial world but also with the corruption of political authority", as stated by Eva Aldea 4.

Intertextuality is a term coined by Julia Kristeva to simply mean a text within a text Baldick Intertextuality reveals the fact that works of art are co-existent in the sense that one refers to the other. Childs and Fowler give a brief hint on this term: Intertextuality is the name often given to the manner in which texts of all sorts oral, visual, literary, virtual contain references to other texts that have, in some way, contributed to their production and signification… that is, the pattern of interconnected fields within which its meaning is transmitted to the reader through already-known vocabularies of generic and discursive formation.

The more the artist is aware of and acquainted with other literatures, the better his or her work. Catch phrases or words become more effective when they are put in a new context.

The final result of this method creates a broad and aesthetic sense of comprehension on the part of the reader. In the same manner, magical realist writers intertextualize literary works, histories or ideologies. For example, Angela Carter borrows from Shakespeare to evoke the wholeness of a play in a simply single sentence. Carter also parodies popular romances to reverse the themes of those tales.

It is often difficult to distinguish between the two philosophical forms of Magical Realism since they are mostly intersected in many spots. These two literary movements, however, mark the criteria by which Magical Realism is categorized.

It is, therefore. He proposes that this epistemological Magical Realism contains marvels that stem from an observer's vision Faris These marvels are not necessarily situated within the same cultural context of the fiction.

It rather takes its inspiration from a variety of traditions and cultures. Magical Realism is like a tree that has its roots in Modernism and its branches and leaves in Postmodernism especially in relation to time, space and identity.

If Postmodernism is concerned with the questions of being and myth, Modernism is fascinated to the questions of knowledge and scholarliness Faris This is why Frank Roth's Magic Realism is epistemologically constructed and oriented. Martin Coyer argues that the text has no room for deconstructive reading. This means that the epistemological questions or the values of truth and falsehood stand on the contrary of fiction and myths.

He proposes that: This does not mean that there can be a true reading, but that no reading is conceivable in which the question of its truth or falsehood is not primarily involved. Coyer goes on to say that logicality is the realm that has to be emphasized over aestheticism. This reverse in thought turns works of fiction towards epistemological skepticism, a disability to know anything, which and will end in misbalanced fiction. He relates ontology to "the philosophical study of those things related to belief" The ontological aspects of Magical Realism lie in the invisible realm.

Critics and theorists, such as Brenda Cooper who advocate ontology, believe that the existence of science and knowledge distract the focus of the reading public. Such critics presume that readers must discard with the world of intellects for the spiritual world which must pertain their fiction Cooper Thus, in their The Companion to Magical Realism these critics believe that: If Borges intends his works to contain unnamed tangible objects, Marquez's works have the ontological effect of transcendental reality.

This is why most of the Postmodernist Magical Realism is associated with the ontology of fiction. Consequently, fantasy and folklore are decisive means that celebrate the contemporary magical realist narratives. It is very crucial to know that the term fantastic literature is a comprehensive spectrum in literature included within the wider speculative literature. Many readers make no difference between magical realist fiction and the fantastic considering the former as part of the latter.

Recent criticism marks Magical Realism as a separate mode distinguishable from other categorizations or forms of fantasy. The International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts IAFA has proposed the fantastic is part of the broader speculative literature that "covers both modern fantasy and modern science fiction, taking in as well the ancestor genres of fairy tale, romance, myth, legend, ghost story, and many others" Kelleghan 1.

Consequently, stories of the fantastic are agreed upon to be defined as: The result is a series of archetypes that combine fantasy and verisimilitude, that conform to the moral and aesthetic principles of an imaginary universe, and that constitute a continuously developing literary mosaic.

These elements are "contrasted to everyday reality" to attain a sense of bewilderment and amusement on the part of the reader. Moreover, the definition illustrates that reality is subordinated to fantasy through presenting non-realistic plots, characters, settings and subjects. The two facades of the world are consequently depicted through exploiting mysterious elements to seek the reality of things. The main function of magical realism, then, is to make everyday reality seem fantastic.

Tzvetan Todorov's Introduction to The Fantastic ascribes certain aspects to the fantastic. Todorov argues that "fantastic narratives involve an unresolved hesitation between the supernatural explanation available in marvelous tales and the natural or psychological explanation offered by tales of the uncanny" In this respect, the fantastic is differentiated from Magical Realism in that it lacks the harmony, certainty and resolution between the natural and supernatural. Magical Realism juxtaposes, intertwines and amalgamates the natural with the supernatural in a way that results in harmony, certainty and resolution.

Moreover, Jesus Bentto's Uncertain Mirrors sheds light on fantastic literature emphasizing the notion that it has a direct link to Falsism, the antithesis of Realism and Idealism.

He argues that fantastic literature is: The representation of the irrational, the imaginary, the fantastic, the fairytale-like, the allegorical and the symbolic, the improbable, the extraordinary, or the possible: These Classical epics incorporate impossible plots and sometimes resort to use the technique of "dues ex machine".

These works of fiction have very little bases to reality and, therefore, are attributed to Falsism. Magical Realism as a distinct fantastic mode is based on supernatural and often unreal tales as if the events in them were commonplace and possible to occur in reality. These tales have no "improbable" elements in them. Supernatural elements are used just to consolidate the reality without violating logic.

Therefore, magical realist works cannot be attributed to Falsism. Fantastic literature constitutes "a revolt against all restraints on free creativity, including logical reason, standard morality, social and artistic conventions and norms" Abrams , whereas Magical Realism standardizes itself within the confines of logic and norm. One prominent feature that distinguishes magical realist fiction from marvelous literature and fiction is the use of antinomy, "a kind of division or contradiction between laws or principles, yet the term also contains the idea that the contradictions are reconcilable" Cuddon This means that there is an immediate presence of two mutually incompatible codes magic and realism that have the possibility to be intertwined and compromised.

In fantastic literature, the supernatural or the magical is used as the primary and dominant element of the plot, setting and theme.

Thus, the use of the supernatural increases the gaps between reality and fantasy and decreases the sense of credibility. Consequently, Magical Realism differs from fantastic literature in that the former features the fantastic in a way that does not distinguish between realistic and nonrealistic events of the plot.

However, one of the most influencing trends that has its dominion upon magical realist fiction, and is sometimes confused with magical realism, is Surrealism.

Basically originated and developed in Europe during the s and s, this art movement is highly influenced by Sigmund Freud's theories of psychoanalysis at the turn of the twentieth century.

In Surrealism, forms and images give full play to imagination, dreams and the subconscious. However, Surrealism is much concerned with placing familiar objects in unfamiliar surroundings Bohn Both Surrealism and Magical Realism use a mixture of realism and fantastic elements. The main differences lay in the content itself. The objective of the Magical Realism is to present the everyday world we live in. The writer may use "unusual points of view, mysterious juxtapositions or common objects presented in uncanny ways" "Surrealism vs Magical Realism.

However, all mysterious events or characters that we see lie within the realm of the possible and placed in a realistic setting. Surrealism, on the other hand, takes us to another world, one which is unreal and exists only in our mind. It presents the impossible, using both traditional and experimental artistic techniques.

In his Glossary of Literary Terms, M. Abrams makes a difference between the two terms, Magical Realism and fantastic literature. Henry James's The Turn of the Screw is an instance of fantastic fiction deliberately designed by the author to leave the reader in a state of uncertainty whether the events are caused by natural or supernatural factors Abrams On the other hand, magic realist fiction make no separation between both worlds and that the characters move in between the two worlds without being questioned about the authenticity of their being.

Fantastic literature tackles a variety of fictional accounts to accomplish a sense of ecstasy or even an escape from reality. Modern criticism sometimes labels fantastic literature as escapist. It transfers the reader to an extraordinary, bizarre and exotic lands because of the unsettled social and political affairs. Escapism is a means that writers use to remote themselves from the deficiency of everyday reality.

Fantasists used to write about exotic settings because they find local settings inflict them with a sense of trauma and anxiety. On the contrary, magic realists treat the very heart of their native societies. They believe in the Greek concept of homeopathy where one treats the patient by the cause of that disease Abdulla The nineteenth century gothic, fantasy and mystery literature is included in fantastic literature. The fantasists of the twentieth century are influenced in one way or another by the Romantic and Victorian irrationalism and supernaturalism.

Thus, Mary Wollstonecraft's Frankenstein and Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in the Wonderland are gothic and mystery novels written in different ages and have their authority over the development of fantastic literature. These works pose impossible worlds and characters in their awkward plots. Frankenstein features the abnormal and grotesque synthesis of a humanity with animalism whereas Carroll's Alice is an occult vision of a magical world that can only be true in dreams.

The "impossible probability" that Aristotle rejects is built upon haphazard events or plots. Fantastic literature, apart from Wollstonecraft and Carroll, is more concerned with metaphysics of either science or fantasy as separate entities. There is no agreement or compromise between full knowledge and the questions of being. In Magic Realism, as Wendy Faris believes, the modernist epistemology of knowledge is intertwined with the postmodernist ontology of being.

It is like a tree where its roots are in the Modernism and its branches are in the Postmodernism Faris proposes that fantastic literature contradicts reality through pushing it away from reason and pragmatism. Magic Realism is, therefore, neither contradictory nor unreasonable.

It is also worth- mentioning that if fantastic literature is solely related to fiction and the text, Magic Realism goes to the very heart of our socio-cultural reality.

In other words, Magic Realism replicates and imitates life and society. Magical Realism surprises us when the unreal becomes part of everyday reality. It, indeed, "combines realism and the fantastic so that the marvelous seems to grow organically within the ordinary, blurring the distinction between them" Faris 1. The invasion of the phantasmagoric and unbelievable elements to the detailed and mundane setting builds a new sense that is not felt earlier.

Moreover, Magic Realism reflects the postcolonial society through the cross amalgamation of the cultural environment with the narrative mode 1.

The final result is narrative multiculturalism ultimately referred to as the international form of magical realism. Angela Carter is a highly respectable and noticeable modern English writer since s onwards. She is a prolific and productive literary icon whose recent works of fiction contain innovative experimentations and new devices of expression.

Carter is the hallmark of the "New Novel" which made itself obvious from the postmodernist to contemporary Britain. The originality of Carter lies in reshaping and retelling the convectional versions of popular myths, fables, superstitions, legends, folk and fairy tales. In order to make her "new retellings" up-to-date, Carter endows her plots and characters with most touching cynicism and vulgarity "Angela Carter", n. An essayist in The Guardian describes these retold tales as "… stories [that] remain as vivid as fresh blood on white snow.

Although the superficial reading public see Carter's fictions, nonfiction and journal essays as mere rumination on common tales, her way of relating these tales opens a new vista to new knowledge and vision: Malcolm Innocent and straight tales solely achieve amusement on the part of the readers especially children. This renaissance movement vastly functions magical realist styles and techniques exclusive to Latin American regions, histories, cultures and subjects.

On the contrary, Carter's magical realist methods are more universal in subjects and themes that reflect the collective consciousness of transcultural and intercultural lives. As a result, Carter's experimental narrative style attracts the attention of modern criticism that The British Times grants Angela Carter the tenth position in its list of the fifty greatest British writers since "Angela Carter" n.

Despite her tragically premature death at the age of fifty-one, this notable winner of Somerset Maugham Award, contributes a great deal to modern English fiction. The countless essays written about her outrageous and dandy style impart vast depths and new dimensions to the contemporary fiction where the static, moral and political codes of western society are violated n.

In order to achieve this objective, Carter wears a cunning mask that lurks satire, cynicism and sarcasm. Stephen Connor comments on this: Carter attempts to reinvigorate the novel by enlarging its range and repertoire of effects. This way of physical-spiritual unity brings about plausibility because our world is vaguely diverse and somewhat chaotic. Likewise, Carter invents a unique unity of pattern by exaggerating some aspects of human behaviour. Throughout the depiction of her protagonists, she eschews conventional versions by invigorating the novel's space through transformation from determinism, and submission into individualism and self-determination.

Carter is the most celebrated British radical writer of the s and the s who composes magical realist narratives influenced by broad cultural movements and transnational authorship.

She is the feminist and revolutionist author who calls for the role of gender and its metamorphosis from the moral, cultural and political confines. Carter's early works address such general issues as the lives of the working classes in Britain. These fictional products tackle issues and themes that incarnate "an alternative front line in which women battle against poverty for survival and suffer the traumas of rape, murder, abortion, and prostitution" Shaffer Carter's Magical Realism is a cosmopolitan phenomenon that includes both nationwide and local concerns at home: Hart and Ouyang Carter's magical realist narrative works tackle interior questions like national and domestic decadence, discrimination and malevolence not in the colonized countries but in the independent world nations and empires.

Self-criticism of high culture is commonly ascribed to subjectivity and prejudice. The British reading public reject the deficient self-reference and lack of verisimilitude. Hence, Fowles conforms that there must be an objective referee to judge and evaluate Britain's internal anxieties. According to Carter everything, whether in our physical or celestial world, is to be counted as uncomfortable: Carter uses such common motifs in her writings to translate our introspective imagination into reality assimilating them to conclude what is called "microcosmic" world.

This complicated spectrum is Carter's new world; "believe what you want to believe [and that] what you want to believe is the truth" to quote Carter's words Munford vii. Angela Carter's narrative style is influenced by some notable precursors whose extensive imagination is of seminal significance to nourish Carter's vision and contemplation.

As You Like it is Shakespeare's pastoral comedy that incorporates two dissimilar settings to denote how life is dichotomous. Shakespeare juxtaposes everyday life at court with that of imagination and mystery in the Forest of Arden. When the characters move between the two settings, the audience or readers feel that there is no shift in thought on their part.

The two worlds are entangled together and that each one illuminates the other. In the same way, Angela Carter ruminates on Shakespeare's style in this comedy to show how her narrative techniques are situated in between the chaotic reality and the idealistic fantasy. Another pivotal literary model that has his inspiring impact on Angela Carter is William Blake. Carter is highly moved by Blake's mystic thoughts in imagination especially his Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience This Pre-Romantic poet shows deep concern for the world of spirits and the binary opposition of life in his The Marriage of Heaven and Hell In fact, Blake sees the transcendental and corporal worlds unified in one eye: Consequently, Carter exploits and intertextualizes William Blake's personal mythology in how man's free imagination achieves reality.

According to Carter, then, there is no distinction between the two contrary worlds where each completes the other. Carter's inspiration is taken from miscellaneous theories, nations, traditions, histories and cultures of different regions and periods in Europe and outside.

She is highly stimulated and inspired by her wide travels to Japan, Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States that make her adopt "the view from everywhere". Moreover, Carter's vast knowledge, imagination and inspiration reflect her interest in English Medieval literature which she studied at the University of Bristol "Angela Carter" Britannica, n.

Through her broad acquaintance, Carter defamiliarizes the British culture so as to make it more panoramic, mosaic and glamorous. The Gothic or the Romance novel, flourishing in Britain from s to the s, is the most apparent influence on Angela Carter and magical realism in general. This eighteenth century novelistic tradition is full of terror, macabre, gloom and suspense elements analogous to Carter's magical realist fictions.

Abrams comments on the gothic setting, characters, events and subjects: The locale was often a gloomy castle furnished with dungeons, subterranean passages, and sliding panels; the typical story focused on the sufferings imposed on an innocent heroine by a cruel and lustful villain, and made bountiful use of ghosts, mysterious disappearances, and other sensational and supernatural occurrences.

Magical realists writers imply the phantasmagoric within the realistic in the same way gothic novelists wed unbelievable horrific scenes with realistic gothic castles.

In the same vein, for instance, the final scene of Heathcliff and Catherine's spirits meeting at the cemetery is an ordinary incident within the gloomy atmosphere of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights This gothic romance novel triggers Carter's mind with how both the romance and the grotesque are brought to the very heart of the realism. The vampire literature, as a part of the gothic, also plays a seminal role on Carter's fictions.

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The undertones of blood, sex and death are common themes in the Victorian inflected era of tuberculosis and syphilis. Bram Stoker's Dracula is the model novel that triggers the modern age with such grotesque themes.

In vampire fictions, the black evil of bats is merged with the romance of human relationships. Skilful writers resort to involve stylistic techniques in their writings for rhetorical effects. These techniques enhance the piece of writing with aesthetic, emotional and intellectual appeal. Writing in a too simple and direct style results in monotony and dullness. But an excellent writer who can organize his or her ideas in a unique and provocative way can wonderfully increase his or her writing's allure.

Hale Angela Carter's ingenious techniques and her distinct style are vast and deliberate. The function of these technical and stylistic methods is to accomplish a new perspective where the tangible and the intangible are interchanged. Carter is Britain's most celebrated exponent of magical realism. In fact, she endows her new version of folk tales with elements of suspense and surprise.

Stephen M. Hart and Wen-chin Ouyang assert that Carter's Magical Realism is conveyed by cunning means to achieve different goals: What is true is multiple and slippery. Carter's Magical Realism is "multiple and slippery". It drifts the reader into a sense of loss leading him or her whether to consider the plot, characters, setting or dialogue as factual or mirage. Carter's narrative approaches stem from her sensibility and taste in treating folk, romance and fairy tales in an experimental manner as Susan Sellers argues in Myth and Fairy Tale in Contemporary Women's Fiction.

Sellers points out how Carter understands innovation of personal style via the way these popular romances and fairy tales are uniquely presented and undertaken. Carter once acknowledges that "fairy tales are rather like potato soup. No one knows who first invented it, there are a million subtly different recipes, and all we can do is tell our own version" This is why she has been classified as not only prolific but instructive as well.

She uses her special tools to issue her moral lessons and themes. The variety of her contemporary works marks her as one of the avant-garde writers whose life objectives are solely achieved by radically subversive means.

Throughout her style, she demystifies new facts about the modern world. Carter once admits her own mode of writing, stating that; "I am all for putting new wine in old bottles especially if the pressure of the new wine makes the old bottles explode" to quote Carter's own words The only way to instruct and rectify society is to undermine the established social codes which she believes as false.

Technically, Angela Carter's narrative works are replete with Mikhail Bakhtin's literary theories of the carnivalesque and heteroglossia. The Carnivalesque is a style that relies upon a reversal of categories in which the magical becomes real and the real becomes magical. It also demonstrates the hybridity of opposition where "the sacred is treated as a profane and the profane as a sacred" Bowers Heteroglossia is the expression of multiple perspectives in a single work of fiction where the voice of the narrator clashes with that of the characters To achieve sociopolitical justice, Carter uses such Bakhtinian elements in order to attack the accepted social and gender options especially those associated with categorization and imperialism In the same vein, Carter uses the narrative technique of ventriloquism.

In her matchless depiction of reality, a female author speaks in a male voice to reveal how women are trapped by the male sadistic, misogynistic and patriarchal society Munford Carter purposely operates this trick in several of her magic realist fictional works to make a rapid shift between the two facades of the world.

She also adopts this view-point to attack the patriarchal world by the male voice which confesses "his" defects and faults. Intertextuality is a term that has been subject to various definitions and functions.

It was coined by Julia Kristeva in her discussion of Mikhail Bakhtin's theories of dialogism and carnival in the late s 5. Rebecca Munford comments on intertextuality: The text is dialogic in respect with its openness to diverse cultures and voices. It is also carnivalized so as to "allow alternative voices to dethrone the authority of official culture. We have conceived that a text is a multi- dimensional space in which a variety of writings blend and clash. In other words, it is a tissue of quotations drawn from countless centres of traditions and cultures.

Consequently, to follow the example of this Russian theorist, Carter's unique technical and stylistic devices adapt the way "to mix writings, to counter the ones with the others, in such a way as never to rest on any one of them" Munford 6.

I have always used a very wide number of references because of tending to regard all of western Europe as a great scrap-yard from which you can assemble all sorts of new vehicles … Basically, all the elements available are to do with the margin of the imaginative life, which is in fact what gives reality to our own experience, and in which we measure our own reality.

In this sense. Gothicism is another aspect that distinguishes Carter's style. In her first novel, Shadow Dance , Carter deconstructs the horrible castles, dungeons, disguises, damsels in distress and vampires in such a way as to demystify masochism and sadism of a contemporary world Tavassoli and Ghasemi ; Friedman 1. In the forward of her novel, Fireworks she affirms that "we live in Gothic times". Metaphorically, Carter's revival of the gothic elements is seen as "a revival of the marginalized subgenres of the past which have to become to replace the dominant modes of modern discourse" Brian Shaffer argues that Angela Carter's works are fraught with hybrid combinations of languages and tongues.

Technically, Carter's magical realist fictional works are: It also involves a miscellany of vulgar and official foreign tongues. A magic realist writer must have a wide knowledge of different mouths and discourse to transport the reader to different times and realms forcing this reader to lose conscious of his or her mother- tongue. Animal imagery is another stylistic device that often confuses the reader with the innocent contents of the original stories. Animal carnage commonly reflects the harsh reality of modern life.

In her Bloody Chamber , for instance, Carter's images of the animals are somewhat associated with love, lust or violence. Carter uses bestial animals such as wolves, tigers and lions in order to portray masculine figures of authority. Another fictional device that Carter purposely uses is the sixteenth century Spanish and eighteenth century English picaresque convention Abrams The picaresque narrative is realistic in manner, episodic in structure and satiric in aim. This technique inflicts physical damage on their characters, and the damage is a sign of experience.

Angela Carter frequently re-writes other males' tales so as to both entertain and instruct. Carter's fiction contains Rabelaisian characters and events which offer laughter, bawdy jokes, songs and playfulness that imply robust satire and sardonicism.

The aim of this playful humour or caricature is to substantiate the reality of being to hallucination and dream-vision Rajaram 7.

Carter re-contextualizes the utopian fairy tales of the old days in such a way as to broaden them not only with intellectual insight but also she endows them with cultural, historical, social, moral and political connotations. Sarah Sceats states that Carter "makes promiscuous use of European and other cultures; drawing on philosophy, fairy tales, high art, kitsch, Shakespeare and cinema, she [Carter] juggles England with the rest of the world without batting an eyelid" Hart and Ouyang Her [Angela Carter's] branching and many-layer narratives mirrored our shifting world of identities lost and found, insiders versus outsiders, alternative histories and utopias postponed.

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In her stories there's a magical democracy - no class distinction between probable people and improbable even impossible ones, or between humans and animals and allegories. All her writing was at odds with conventional realism. Sage Carter is "at home" when pleading or defending the rights of the weak just like what Lorna Sage has herself done. She seeks to find a new utopia by breaking the impossible through any means available.

She is a passionate believer in the possibility of transformation and metamorphosis. The dystopian or the apocalyptic world is capable of cure. She sees "facts and their shadows, co-existing so closely and menacingly" 2.

Realism has no room in Carter's world unless it is enveloped in rational fantasy and metamorphosis. This is why all of Carter's novels and short stories have interestingly happy endings. The final result of the conflict of her novels is poetic justice where the good are rewarded and the evil are punished. In her essay "Flight of Fancy" edited by Hart and Ouyang, Sceats claims that Carter is a drastic writer drifted by significant themes as race, class and gender discrimination: Carter's perspective is fundamentally political, emphatically and often subversively on the side of the disempowered and the disenfranchised … She rejects essentialist notions and focuses on the forces and processes that position us in society.

She seeks to subvert received truths and conventional thinking in many levels and in diverse areas. This is particularly so in gender relations and their intersections with class and race and also in terms of the radical potential of literary and popular genres. Carter, accordingly, sides with "the disempowered and the disenfranchised" who live in separate locations around the world. In this way, Carter sets and standardizes the British code of equality through breaking the established and popular codes of inequality among races, classes and genders.

Likewise, Angela Carter is set at the head of a group of British writers who engages her works with Magical Realism to advocate those who have been removed from the geographical, ethnic, social, cultural, economic or political arena. Being female or being black means that once you become conscious, your position Hegerfeldt The issue of gender, race and class are fundamental aspects to postmodernist and even contemporary writers.

Carter appeals to these themes to fervently parody on the totalitarianism of modern beliefs, values and cultures. Carter's melancholy and pessimism is already present in her magic realist fiction that presents "the world as a chaotic, merciless, and inhumanely cruel place" For instance, she exhibits the holocaust as a premeditated offence of humans against humans in such a way as whether to consider it as fantasy or reality Carter believes that the ontological and imaginative laws are crucial parts that ought to permeate over human nature.

Carter's novels offer a critique against extreme indulgence in epistemology and rationality. The intellectual worldview must not be entirely replaced but supported by a spirit of phantasmagoria and contemplation In her Night at the Circus for example, Carter disrupts the dominant scientific extravagance of modernization by some fantastical tricks within the setting of the circus itself as standing for the world.

It is how the binary opposition between the artificial and the real are dissolved in a single realm to interpret the postmodern world. This novel is, as Rajaram Zirange states, "a battle between an encyclopedic and a poet" 4. However, Carter shows the weakness of the modern Enlightenment view of the extreme positivism which denies imagination One of the most recurrent themes of Angela Carter's fictions, especially those dealing with magical realist elements, is sexual liberalism.

Matrimony is looked upon as a form of women's slavery and submissiveness. Amitt Carter envisages the world as totally misogynistic, masculine, aggressive and canonical. This worldview categorizes the woman as "a dumb mouth from which the teeth have been pulled" as Carter once articulates When she was interviewed in , Carter told her interviewer that, "I was using the latent content of those traditional stories, and that latent content is violently sexual.

Sigmund Freud's theories about sexual instincts, freeing repressed desires and the workings of the mind in dreams have their heavy presence in Carter's magical realist works. In his Literary Criticism, Charles Bressler sheds light on this point claiming that "in the interaction of the conscious and unconscious working together, argues Freud, we shape both ourselves and our world" This shows that the text is the ultimate product and creation of the writer's mind and his or her freedom to shape society.

Carter exploits Freud's thoughts by placing the reader between fact and fiction. In this sense, Carter's magical realist narratives demystify the negotiation between the metaphysical vision of the world and the propriety of the social norms. Angela Carter states that "the pleasure principle met reality principle like an irrespirable force encountering an immovable object and that the reverberations of that collision are still echoing about us" Rajaram 2.

It is quite noticeable that the pleasure principle is already operative in Carter's licentiously speculative fiction such as Heroes and Villains , The Infernal Desire Machine of Doctor Hoffman and Bloody Chamber Freudianism, consequently, exists to convey Carter's themes of sexual liberty and feminist identity.

Vulgar and pornographic accounts are disguised in the form of free desires within the unconscious that defines the actual human character. Sadism, chauvinism, sexual violence and cold-blooded homicide are common motifs that sometimes Carter deliberately interweave to show how the female is marginalized, objectified and dehumanized.

Carter rejects Rousseau's romantic picture that the society is based on the "noble- savage" theory which proves not to be very innocent. Rajaram 5 Their being helpless in cages transforms them into fierce monsters. Nobility and chivalry are dedicated and ascribed to masculinity and they, therefore, do not fit Carter's magical realist world. In addition, Carter is obviously impressed by the feminist standpoint popular in Elaine Showalter's gyno-criticism.

This feminist critic believes that biological, linguistic, psychoanalytical and cultural backgrounds are essential models to appreciate and understand feminist writings. Bressler Showalter rebels against the literary canon and its motto where certain works of "dead, white, European, males" Peck and Coyle deserve criticism, Carter, on the other hand, revolutionizes against women devaluation through uncovering and declaring her unique feminist concerns and traits.

A dystopian world is another theme associated with modern existentialism. Carter is skeptic of any romantic relationship that connects human individuals. She rejects the utopian principle exposed by popular fairy tales. This melancholic obsession is conveyed in grim science-fiction narratives that deal with the future and have been the focus of fictionists especially in the latest years. For instance, Carter's quasi-science-fiction novel, The Passion of New Eve depicts "the motif of the world after the holocaust or some apocalyptic breakdown recurs" McHale This cynic or skeptic vision shows that America is deteriorating and that the whole world is under erasure and doom.

Hart and Wen-chin Ouyang point out some features that ornament the British magical realist fictions in general and Angela Carter's in particular. Sociopolitical justice is one of these elements that colour most of Angela Carter's magical realist narratives. Hart and Ouyang comment on this question blaming not only the public but the authority as well: The denunciation of social injustice and criminality, which are fostered by the lack of an effective civil law in the region and the arbitrariness of the political administration on both sides of the frontier …[and] that a writer [Angela Carter] modifies our conception of the past, as it will inevitably modify the future As a left-sided instructor and moralizer, Angela Carter criticizes the world and its "social injustices and criminality".

The "political administration" is not excluded from this irresponsible civil law.

Carter defamiliarizes these tales through "the demythologization business … [that] make[s] evident what is buried in the stories we read to our children" Turner, Jenny n. British feminist politics or radical feminism is a key theme that Angela Carter repeatedly extolls. She [Angela Carter] seemed to be nourished by this wave of activism. Always happy to acknowledge the politics implicit in her fiction.

Carter viewed her challenge as to communicate her feminism in such a way as not to compromise her creative energies. This strategy of agitation and subversion is referred to as not only experimental in fiction but also transformative and provocative in reality.

Carter is an activist writer revolting against the excessive political authority of the modern world regimes Shaffer Her fiction "reflected the political activism of the period, representing social injustice and thematizing conflicts arising from ethnic, gender, and sexual identities" to show how Carter's themes are widely interchanged Carter's fictions are not solely political in content but these narrative novels and stories sometimes reflect domestic and social subjects.

Feminist activism is exclusive to the queer theory of homosexuality which rises some debate during the s on both sides of the Atlantic. Internationalism is a key aspect in Angela Carter's life which is enthusiastically reflected in her fictions, argues Helen Stoddart: She was widely travelled and, as well as her teaching engagements in the USA and Australia, she spent three years living in Japan [reflecting] European cultures and non-Western traditions of literature and philosophy.

Fevver, the protagonist, takes a global journey that familiarizes the reader with other literatures, philosophes and cultures or the "complex cosmology of their own". Carter is, therefore, "possessed a life experience and intellectual inquisitiveness that also made her an enthusiastic and curious internationalist" 5 , explains Stoddart.

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Manipulation or deception of women as "the other" is another theme that characterizes most of Carter's magical realist fictions. Women in general and wives in particular are duped, subordinated and made puppets by the "tyrannical" men or husbands. These women are brutally victimized just because of their gender and physical fairness as Rebecca Munford makes this point overt; "Carter rediscovers and reveals the potentially terrible consequences of domestic incarceration and family tyrannies, nevertheless, re-working motifs linking sex, beauty and death" She wrote forty two short stories spanning twenty years before her death in Stoddart 3.

It is quite noticeable that not all of Carter's works contain Magical Realism in them. The degree of magical realist elements varies from one work to another. It is also noted that Carter's fictional works are not purely linked to one mode of writing and she inaugurates different aspects within a single work. Science-fiction elements may, for instance, be combined with gothic elements to form a mutli-dimensional novel. Fantasy, allegory, grotesquery, apocalypticism or the picaresque are all present in her novels and short stories with different concentrations.

The Magic Toyshop is an allegorical profane novel suggesting some mystical implications. The magical beauty of the journey marks the visionary quality of Carter's depiction of the plot VanderMeer 3. Although the Bible has some preliminary impact on Carter, she is more attached to popular and secular legends and tales in her later literary career so as to distance herself from the bounds of theology. Hoffman , Carter depicts "The fantasy war between the minister of determination and Dr.

Hoffman dramatizes the philosophical question of the relationship between reason and imagination, the real and the illusory, the objective and the subjective" Kellegan Reality is altered in such a way that many people in the capital cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is not. At one extreme stands Dr. Hoffman, the professor of metaphysics who has besieged the anonymous "South American city". This diabolical doctor aims at "demolishing the structure of reason by his gigantic generators" "Angela Carter's Biography", par.

He recalls the anarchic Breton, the founder of the surrealist movement who conquered France with imagination Vander Meer On the other extreme stands his counterpart, Desiderio, a shrewd agent to the Minster of Determination. The novel exhibits a magical atmosphere where science and hallucination are paradoxically united within the same world.Even hot water does not erase this blood stain. This is an early hint to the fact that this young pianist has probed into the ominous world of cruelty and banishment.

It is a self-reflexive technique drawing the reader's awareness of the narrator's role in the text. The multiple reflections of the narrator's figure on the golden mirrors on the walls show the contrast between the reality of the girl's being and the hallucination of her aspiration. Beauty now is the one who recues her husband claiming her rightful title, for she too is a strong Mrs.

Discovering Literature: These recurrent shifts of narrative perspective "creates an intimate sense of the protagonist's experience of losing herself" "Introduction", par.

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