Magic realism

Magic realism (also known as magical realism or marvelous realism) is a 20th-century style of fiction and literary genre. The terms were influenced by an eponymous German painting style in the 1920s.[1] As a literary fiction style, magic realism paints a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements, often dealing with the blurring of the lines between fantasy and reality.[2] Magical realism, perhaps the most common term, often refers to literature in particular, with magical or supernatural phenomena presented in an otherwise real-world or mundane setting, commonly found in novels and dramatic performances.[1]: 1–5  Despite including certain magic elements, it is generally considered to be a different genre from fantasy because magical realism uses a substantial amount of realistic detail and employs magical elements to make a point about reality, while fantasy stories are often separated from reality.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Magical realism is often seen as an amalgamation of real and magical elements that produces a more inclusive writing form than either literary realism or fantasy.[4]

The term magic realism is broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous, and Matthew Strecher (1999) defines it as "what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe."[10] The term and its wide definition can often become confused, as many writers are categorized as magical realists.

Irene Guenther (1995) tackles the German roots of the term, and how an earlier magic realist art is related to a later magic realist literature;[11] meanwhile, magical realism is often associated with Latin-American literature, including founders of the genre, particularly the authors María Luisa Bombal, Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Rulfo, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Elena Garro, Mireya Robles, Rómulo Gallegos and Arturo Uslar Pietri. In English literature, its chief exponents include Neil Gaiman, Salman Rushdie, Alice Hoffman, Nick Joaquin, and Nicola Barker. In Bengali literature, prominent writers of magic realism include Nabarun Bhattacharya, Akhteruzzaman Elias, Shahidul Zahir, Jibanananda Das and Syed Waliullah. In Japanese literature, one of the most important authors of this genre is Haruki Murakami. In Polish literature, magic realism is represented by Olga Tokarczuk, the 2018 Nobel Prize laureate in Literature.

  1. ^ a b Bowers, Maggie Ann (2004). Magic(al) Realism. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-26854-7.
  2. ^ "What Is Magical Realism? Definition and Examples of Magical Realism in Literature, Plus 7 Magical Realism Novels You Should Read". MasterClass.
  3. ^ Cornés, Eladio (1992). Dictionary of Mexican Literature. Greenwood: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 397. Magical realism is not pure fantasy because it contains a substantial amount of realistic detail (...)
  4. ^ a b Wexler, Joyce (2002). "What Is a Nation? Magic Realism and National Identity in Midnight's Children and Clear Light of Day". The Journal of Commonwealth Literature. 37 (2): 137–155. doi:10.1177/002198940203700209. S2CID 161325155. The oxymoron "magic realism" (...) It is a more inclusive form than realism or fantasy.
  5. ^ Hegerfeldt, Anne C. (2005). Lies that Tell the Truth: Magic Realism Seen Through Contemporary Fiction from Britain. New York: Rodopi. p. 6. (...) clearly insufficient shorthand definition of magic realism as an “amalgamation of realism and fantasy”
  6. ^ Shultz, Christopher. "How Is Magical Realism Different From Fantasy?". Litbreaker. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  7. ^ Davidson, Lale (16 May 2018). "The Difference Between Magic Realism and Fantasy". Luna Station Quarterly. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  8. ^ Allmann, Emma (8 February 2018). "What is magical realism?". Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  9. ^ Evans, Jon (23 October 2008). "Magic realism: Not fantasy. Sorry". Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  10. ^ Strecher, Matthew C. 1999. "Magical Realism and the Search for Identity in the Fiction of Murakami Haruki." Journal of Japanese Studies 25(2):263–98. p. 267.
  11. ^ Guenther, Irene (1995). "Magic Realism, New Objectivity, and the Arts during the Weimar Republic". In Lois Parkinson Zamora; Wendy B. Faris (eds.). Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community. Duke University Press. pp. 33–73. ISBN 0-8223-1640-4.

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