Ontological Magical Realism as a Mode of Resilience: Reading Akhtaruzzaman Elias’s Novel Khwabnama

Conference: The European Conference on Arts & Humanities (ECAH2022)
Title: Ontological Magical Realism as a Mode of Resilience: Reading Akhtaruzzaman Elias’s Novel Khwabnama
Stream: Literature/Literary Studies
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Ishrat Ara Khatun, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India


Natural and social calamities are the key factors affecting the Indo-Pacific region and have drawn manifold concerns from environmentalists and activists globally. The publication of the translated version of Khwabnama in English in the year 2021 reasserts and justifies the ecocritical and postcolonial concerns, in the context of the twenty-first century when religious extremism and global warming stand together as the two major impending threats upon the region. Outcomes of global warming such as torrential rain, flood, and cyclones have pushed the quality of the life of the people to the nadir. The vulnerability of these people is being exploited, and the seeds of intolerance, hatred, discrimination based on caste, class, and religion are being sown by the Machiavellians to reap personal and political benefits. Khwabnama addresses such prevalent crises and attempts to decentralize the established hegemony, dogmas, and grand narratives and refigures the micro-narratives etched in the cartography of Bangladesh. The recent translation from Bengali, further, aids in amplifying their visibility in the global cultural map by adopting the globally empowered medium of the English language.
In the light of critic Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria’s concept of ontological magical realism, my paper aims to explore the indegenious habits and world views that reflects Elias's unique non-western aesthetics of magical realism and constructs resilience against the aforesaid calamities.

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