Research Paper on Magical Realism

Magical magic elements are a natural part In an otherwise mundane, realistic environment. (Far Is, Wendy & and LOIS Parkinson Zamora, Introduction to Magical Realism: Theory, History, community, pp 5) Although It Is most commonly used as a literary form, magic realism also applies to film and the visual arts. Professor Matthew strecher defines magic realism as “what happens when a highly detailed, reallstlc setting Is Invaded by something too strange o believe.

Magical realism Is often the vehicle used to Introduce a non-western point of, and begs the question of which mode of reality Is considered correct In understanding the world (Arva). Magical realism expands Ideas on how we can understand the world and Its events. As Arva says, the genre “rejects the notion of one mode ot truth, one reality,” and leads to greater cultural expression. In magical realism the writer contronts reality and tries to unravel it, to discover what is mysterious in things, in lite, and in human acts.

It’s about the discovery ot the mysterious relationship between man and his circumstances. Most ot the events that occur in magical realism have no logical or psychological explanation, since it doesnt try to copy the surrounding reality or harm it but seizes the mystery that lives behind things. Magical realism is a blend of magical or fantastical elements with reality, Literary works that lend themselves to the magical realist form usually have the following characteristics: Have mythical characters with superficial characteristics.

Fantastic attributes given to characters in such novels”levitation, flight, telepathy, and telekinesis”are among the means that magic realism adopts in order to encompass the often harsh political realities of the 20th century. Secondly, magical realists sometimes create spaces or vacuums to illustrate or demonstrate societal divides like ethnic or class divides. Others use hybrid multiple planes of reality that take place n “Inharmonious arenas of such opposites as urban and rural, and Western and Indigenous Others however engage the reader in their story line and Involve them In the plot.

Also common In magical realist genre Is deliberate withholding of Information and explanauons about the disconcerting fictitious world that creates suspense. T he narrator does not provide explanations about the accuracy or credlblllty of events described or views expressed by characters In the text. Further, the narrator Is Indifferent, a characterlstlc enhanced by this absence of explanation of fantastic events; the story proceeds with “logical precision” as If nothing extraordinary took place. Magical realists usually love layering mystery after ystery keeping their readers on edge as the complicated plot unfolds and twists.

Another common charactenstlc ot magical realism Is a crltlclsm ot society and politics. The extent to which the characteristics above apply toa given magic realist text varies. It is however important to note that every text Is different and employs a expect from a magic realist text. Magical realism is often attributed to Latin American writers who made it popular as a literary form; however it is an international movement with a wide-ranging history and a significant influence among the iteratures of the world.

In fact if you look closely at Greek mythology it holds the main aspects of magical realism. In the 1920s an exhibition of pictures titled Neue Sachlichkeit (“New Objectivity or New Matter-of-Factness”) was presented in Mannheim, Germany. Franz Roh coined magical realism in his article Magischer Realismus (“Magic Realism”), describing the works shown at the event (Gary Martin). The paintings in the exhibition were considered magic realism because they tried to capture the mystery of life behind surface reality.

Latin Americans then adapted the erm in the early 1930’s as an expression of the mixture of realist and magical views of life. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is arguably one of the most influential writers within the magical realist movement with a publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), his most critically acclaimed work, and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985). Isabel Allende is a popular Chilean magical realist with her first novel, House of Spirits (1982) that won Chile’s Best Novel of the Year award. Carlos Fuentes is a Mexican magical realist.

He’s popular throughout many Latin American countries for is novels like Where the Air is Clearer (1958) and his New York Times bestselling novel The Old Gringo (1985), a novel about the writer Ambrose Bierce. Toni Morrison is widely thought of as a magical realist author, with her novel Beloved (1987). T©a Obrent with her first novel, The Tiger’s Wife (201 1), is one of the latest authors whose work has been placed under the heading magical realism. No matter the origin or roots, magic realism has become a more universal term with many writers’ works, past and present, being designated to this writing mode.

Beloved by Toni Morrison is novel about a woman, who is an escaped slave, and her daughter being haunted by the ghost of the daughter she tried to save through death. In Beloved the reader experiences the blurring of what is real and what is supernatural. The reader automatically begins to assume that when the mysterious young woman shows up that she is Sethe’s baby brought from the beyond. Seathe and her daughter are the reality of the story while Beloved the ghost is the supernatural being that has come from the past to hunt them.

In conclusion, it is important to note that an art form can end itself to various genres, it should therefore not be right to assume that the art forms cited above are strictly magical realism. Secondly, while magical realism is usually attributed to the 20th Century, it is still very much alive in various art forms. The features cited above that normally lead to the cauterization of an art form as leaning towards magical realism can still be seen in new art forms today as depicted in soap operas, cartoons, horrors, video games etc. The effort to attribute life to a supernatural force still holds an attraction to us today.

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