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If a postcolonial literary author can be defined as a writer who re-examines classical literature with a particular focus on the social "discourse” that shaped it, Chilean writer Isabel Allende can be considered as a representative postcolonial author, especially when she cultivates magical realism, as in The House of the Spirits (1982), where she tries to exorcise the ghosts of the Pinochet dictatorship.
The genre of magical realism, which has been cultivated by Isabel Allende –but also by García Marquez and Toni Morrison– can be considered as an example of post-colonial narrative because of its departure from literary conventions, and, more precisely, because of its departure from traditional models of literary structure. In magical realism, the ultimate narrative authority does not rely upon rational knowledge, but upon “the voice of collective memory.” This collective memory –a collective memory of superstition, archetypes, and myths– triumphs over the colonialist legacy.
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