Locating infinity in small things : remapping Little, Big’s magical realist, Gothic, and eco-critical contexts.


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John Crowley's 1981 novel Little, Big has struggled to receive the academic notice it deserves in part because critics categorize it only as a fantasy novel, when it in fact draws on a wide range of conversations and traditions. First, Little, Big is intimately connected to the magical realist movement, particularly in how it shows how magic comes from technology and cultural exchange. It also descends from the Gothic tradition, with Edgewood functioning as a haunted family manor which declines over the whole novel. Finally, Little, Big is an unexpected response to the ecological crisis, where natural processes are inevitable and human agency is small yet still meaningful. Crowley's post-modern, liminal text suggests revitalizing new ways of constructing an American narrative and caring for the land.



Fantasy. American fantasy. Magical realism. Gothic. Eco-criticism. Environmental literature.