Literary Precedents for Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom

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An interviewer once asked Elkin what other writers were doing the kind of thing he was doing, and Elkin answered that, as far as he knew, none was; he continued, "I hope nobody else is doing what I'm doing. I hope I'm doing what I'm doing." The Magic Kingdom is like that. Although it resembles other traditional and modern novels in minor ways, it is a thoroughly original and unique work of fiction.

The hard fates of children was a popular subject in Victorian fiction, and Dickens portrayed child victims sentimentally, as, to a lesser degree, did Hardy. Elkin's child victims are presented with compassion, but not sentimentally. In fact, some of them are quite nasty and hostile because of their condition.

Cultural icons have been the fictional stock of such contemporary novelists as Max Apple (The Propheteers [1987] studies the creation of Disney World) or E...

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This section contains 191 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom Short Guide
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Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.