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Abandoning Imagination: The Genealogical Aberration in Magical/Realism and Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange

SEONJOO PARK 1

1인하대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the constitutive relationship between realism and magical realism using a genealogical approach. Georg Lukács’s The Theory of Novel and Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, as two founding texts of each genealogy, meet each other obliquely, sharing the most essential features. Even if realism and magical realism appear in opposition to each other in their political, cultural, epistemological outlooks, they in fact constitute the same truth regime in two different guises. Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange interrogates this discursive regime of magical/realism, refusing to be contained within it. Her novel de-emphasizes the current idea of solidarity based on identity politics because it cannot resist effectively against the all-reifying power of globalization. Instead, she abandons the idea of imagination itself, and thus, tries to cease the dominant operative of magical/realism. On the temporary vacuum caused from such a conscious act of abandoning imagination, Tropic of Orange posits the urgent need to rethink ‘solitude’ and ‘community’, which already have been hopelessly compromised in the history of literary imagination as a global governmentality.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.