Writing Techniques in Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom

This Study Guide consists of approximately 8 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom.
This section contains 252 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom Short Guide

The Magic Kingdom is among Elkin's less technically innovative novels, but it is brilliantly constructed around the paradox of a commercial enterprise called a "magic kingdom" in which little that we can call magic really happens, and in which the real magic is finally something we need to travel inward, not outward, to discover. Unlike his typical books, however, this is divided among the narratives concerning many of the care-givers as well as the eight dying children.

He does, moreover, interpose two distinctive narrative techniques in a book rich in purple passages, Whitmanian catalogues, and powerful metaphors. As the group rides to America, what appears to be a collective dream occurs, in which the dream of one character merges with those of another.

The narrative offers the somewhat facile explanation that smoke from Cottle's cigarette causes each to dream a shared experience. In fact the episode foreshadows Elkin's...

(read more)

This section contains 252 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom Short Guide
Copyrights
Gale
Stanley Elkin's The Magic Kingdom from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.