This dissertation opens with a critical introduction on the “sur-realismo” of historical fantasy that expands the paradigm for the genre offered by Ramon Saldivar in “Historical Fantasy, Speculative Realism, and Postrace Aesthetics in Contemporary American Fiction”. The examination of Fanny Billingsley’s Chime (2012), Charles deLint’s Widdershins (2007), Neal Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013), and Alice Hoffman’s Green Heart (2012) demonstrates how historical fantasy can use “historiographic metafiction”, transcendental buffoonery, and the “commodification of sadness” to interrogate socially accepted constructions of history, spirituality, and gender and offer more opportunities for culturally based self-definition through a questioning of the literary aesthetics that blend history, fantasy, and realism. The introduction is followed by the novel In the Garden of the Soul, which is an historical fantasy that attempts to emulate the cultural agenda and genre innovations of the four novels examined in the introduction. This novel chronicles the battle of five witches fighting to prevent the overtaking of a portal between heaven and hell within an ancestral manse in a small New England village in the nineteenth century.
|Commitee:||Dorwick, Keith, Richard, Charles|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Creative writing, Literature|
|Keywords:||Cultural representation, Gender, Historical fantasy, History, Novel, Spirituality|
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