Magical Realism in Ghādah al-Sammān's The Square Moon

in Journal of Arabic Literature
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Abstract

This study focuses on the use of magical realism as a means of investigating reality in Ghādah al-Sammān's collection of short stories entitled The Square Moon (al-Qamar al-Murabba'). While her stories suggest new perspectives for what is normally considered "real" through their evocation of "wonder" (al-dahshah), al-Sammān's ultimate goal is to critique contemporary Arab society. Each of her stories targets several problems which are the result of cultural, social, and economic conditions in the Arab world. Conceiving al-Sammān's work in a postmodern/postcolonial context, the study tackles themes of the supernatural, exile, identity, and gender. In conclusion, it is argued that al-Sammān perceives herself as a medium whose conjuring of the magical and the supernatural infuses new energy into our apparently exhausted world.

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