The relationship between magic realism and exoticism is ambivalent, characterised by mutual cross-fertilisation and exploitation. As a fashionable label on the global literary market, magic realism has amply proved its potential as a marketing strategy for the “alterity industry” (Huggan vii) by serving as a buzzword that has been exploited for the quite unjustifi able homogenisation of postcolonial literatures as a commodity. Hailed as marking the emergence of an emphatically indigenous and genuinely “other”—that is, non-Western-form of literature, magic realism has been eagerly appropriated as the representative mode of postcolonial literatures by such disparate groups as literary critics and publishing houses. Homi Bhabha, for instance, has termed magic realism “the literary language of the emergent post-colonial world” (“Introduction” 7), and together with Alejo Carpentier’s construction of “lo real maravilloso” as the only authentic perception of Latin American reality this is indicative of the occasionally rather sweeping manner in which literary criticism has co-opted magic realism as postcolonial. This is mirrored by the fervency with which magic realism has been promoted as the paradigm of postcolonial literatures by publishers, as evident in the hyperbolic New York Times statement that “Midnight’s Children sounds like a continent fi nding its voice,” reproduced on the back cover of the 1995 Vintage edition of that novel. This tendency is observable also in the ascription of a “magical” quality to many postcolonial novels, irrespective of whether they actually are magic realist or not, as well as in their implicit or explicit comparison with what is arguably one of the canonical texts of orientalism-The Arabian Nights.1