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"I,I have Caused a Miracle": The Textual Politics of the Fantastic in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye

Majeed U. Jadwe
Published January 2019

Abstract

This research examines critically Toni Morrison's use of the fantastic in her first novel The Bluest Eye (1970). This aspect of Morrison's text did not receive due attention in the critical reception of the novel. In fact, the term 'fantastic' appears nowhere in the ever-expanding bibliography of Morrison's oeuvre in general and The Bluest Eye in Particular. This aspect, instead, is treated under other headings like characterization or dialogue and epistolary elements. This research, therefore, addresses Morrison's fantastic in The Bluest Eye through the critical methodologies of the leading contemporary theorists of the fantastic, notably; Tzvetan Todorov and Rosemary Jackson. Because these theorists align the fantastic with the act of reading, this research invokes a wide range of reader's response, deconstructive, and phenomenological approaches in its reading of the inherent, and subversive, ambivalence of Morrison's fantastic. Morrison uses the fantastic in The Bluest Eye as a textual space where reader's response and expectation are negotiated to break the passive pattern of the process of reading and pushes her reader to actively engage in the production of meaning.

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