Imagining the real-magical realism as a post-colonial strategy for narration of the self in Zakes Mda's Ways of dying and the Madonna of Excelsior
Ngara, Kudzayi Munyaradzi
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The thesis examines the role of magical realism as a postcolonial trope in Ways of Dying and The Madonna of Excelsior. It begins by stating that the author uses magical realism as an alternative strategy for self narration in the face of the dominant ideologies of colonialism (apartheid) and nationalism. Chapter One examines the absurd taxonomies of colour that were legislated under apartheid in South Africa and, using ideas of postcolonial deconstruction, locate Toloki and Niki as characters in existing in incongrous circumstances. Chapter Two shows the strategies adopted by Toloki to fashion his own reality as opposed to accepting a place within a predetermined objective reality. Chapter Three examines the examination of sex as a physical act and the gendered rolesof women. The thesis concludes by considering the place and possiblities of Mda's writing in the canon of Southern African Literature in the light of the rich heritage of elements that are magical on the sub-continent of Africa.