n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Fiktion Fleisch werden lassen. Von magischen Ansprüchen erzählender Literatur

Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1273



The paper deals with materialization of fictional entities, seen as the specifically literary version of magic. Examples are taken from late-modernist literature to show the different functions of the motif. Generally, three forms of magical materialization can be distinguished. The first is a literal transformation of book contents into 'real' objects depicted within the boundaries of fiction. The second is connected with the recognition of the textual status of some fictional objects which in their manifestation are perceived as material and thus transcend the limits of fictionality. This kind of transition may be part of a fictional world but also become object of an author's performance. In the latter case the third form of materialization is established which is a factual passage from fiction to reality: a reader is presented with the insight that the object s/he is reading about may at the same time be perceived sensually. The number of such magical artefacts is confined to pieces of self- or reader-referential discourse; besides, their materiality has a permanent status and does not imply a prior magical transformation. However, only in this reduced form the literary magic can be accepted by a rationalist episteme.

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