Manifestations of magic realism in novel of Elena Kurklietytė “Šešėlių Verpėja” 1

Vilija Virkutytė, 2013-10-28
Steven Kenny. "Magic Realism". From

In brief: More and more works of literature are published recently that could be attributed to magic realism. Such works involve, provoke and surprise the reader by the harmony of antitheses.

Manifestations of magic realism may be traced in the works of the Lithuanian journalist and writer Elena Kurklietytė. She and her husband, writer Vytautas Bubnys, have published the book of travel essays “Slaptingoji Prema” (2001). As for the magic realism, two of her novels “Lyla” (2004) and “Šešėlių verpėja” (2009) (“Spinner of Shadows”) should be mentioned. The article is dedicated to the more detailed analysis of the latter novel.

The second novel of E. Kurklietytė “Šešėlių verpėja” turns to the deepest roots of Lithuanian history, the present is intertwined with mythical times. There is much of ancient mythology and reflections of paganism in the book. The author of the book looks at the times of confrontation of matriarchate and patriarchate through the eyes of the archaeologist Benediktas.

In the novel magic realism manifests via the mythical code. Therefore, this work may also be considered to be a mythological novel. The chosen special place, swamp, is constantly compared with a woman. Characters of the novel have magical qualities. History and present, reality and fantasy are intertwined in the novel without any borders.

In fact, every work of magic realism is a certain game with the reader as such literature needs “game rules”. In this case the reader has to have cultural education that would help to recognise mythological structures.

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