October 26, 2010

Magic realism

Magic realism or magical realism is an aesthetic style or genre of fiction in which magical elements are blended into a realistic atmosphere in order to access a deeper understanding of reality. These magical elements are explained like normal occurrences that are presented in a straightforward manner which allows the "real" and the "fantastic" to be accepted in the same stream of thought. It has been widely considered a literary and visual art genre; creative fields that exhibit less significant signs of magic realism include film and music.
Quote: from Wikipedia 

Characteristics of magic realism

*Plenitude style
Stratifying elements (themes, stories), different styles.

*Characters can have fantastic attributes
'Pleasant, but extraordinary strange.' 

The author doesn't tell everything, and doesn't explain if the events are accurate or authentic OR whether he/she agrees with the characters.
The difference between fantasy/sci-fi and magical realism is that the latter doesn't even explain the most fantastic/impossible occurences.

*Sense of mystery
The reader has to look for hidden meanings in the text. A higher awareness in regard to life's contradictions and hidden meaning.

*Collective consciousness
It maps society in the novel, characters relate to that world (and in turn).

*Political critic
Implicit critique of society, particularly the elite.

Magical realism is a post-modern characteristic; realism, surrealism, related to fantasy and science fiction. The first 20 pages are decisive ones.
A few examples: One Hundred Years of Solitude (by Gabriel García Márquez), Salman Rushidie's several books, Toni Morrison, etc. We can see Kaffka as the precursor of magical realism.

No writing excercise in this lesson :( 

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