Magical Realism Magical Realism is the blend of
Magical Realism is: • the blend of reality and fantasy so that the distinction between the two is erased • Transformation of the common and everyday into the awesome and unreal • Elements of dreams, fairy tales, or mythology combined with the everyday
The term magic realism, originally applied in the 1920 s to a school of painters, is used to describe the prose fiction of Jorge Luis Borges in Argentina, as well as the work of writers such as Gabriel García Márquez in Colombia, Gunter Grass in Germany, and John Fowles in England. These writers interweave, in an ever-shifting pattern, a sharply etched realism in representing ordinary events and descriptive details together with fantastic and dreamlike elements, as well as with materials derived from myth and fairy tales.
These novels/stories violate, in various ways, standard novelistic expectations by drastic -- and sometimes highly effective -- experiments with subject matter, form, style, temporal sequence, and fusions of the everyday, the fantastic, the mythical, and the nightmarish, in renderings that blur traditional distinctions between what is serious or trivial, horrible or ludicrous, tragic or comic.
How is this different from the fables we encountered when we were children?
ANCIENT FABLES MAGIC REALISM Symbolic characters (flat Realistic characters (round caricatures of good and bad) Fantastic elements (talking animals) Clear, explicitly stated moral lesson Purpose: present allegory for real life and complex) Realism and fantasy combined Ambiguous moral lesson; hidden in symbols or no definite lesson - raises questions/ issues Purpose: challenge realism - what is real?
WHO DICTATES WHAT IS REAL OR NOT?
Realism in literature = mostly Western perception of reality Something is real if we perceive it to be real Magic realism or modern day fables that question reality (by mixing fantastic elements) show us that Western Lit is just ONE WAY of perceiving the world. It is not the ONLY world.
"Magical realism expands the categorizes of the real so as to encompass myth, magic and other extraordinary phenomena in Nature or experience which European realism excluded" - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Gabriel Garcia Marquez He lived in Aracataca, Colombia, a banana town by the Caribbean. His grandparents were his most important relatives, and influenced him and his writing later on. His grandfather was a general, a hero and a great story teller. His grandmother was very superstitious. She filled the house with stories of ghosts and premonitions.
El Peluquero Zurdo (1949) by Emilio Baz Viaud
Examples of Magical Realism in Art Self Portrait with Monkey (1940) by Frida Kahlo