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Encyclopedia > Magic Realism

Magic realism (or magical realism) is an artistic genre in which magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic or even "normal" setting. Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Emblem-important. ... For the gay mens lifestyle magazine, see Genre (magazine). ...

The Summitt, a giclée on canvas by Michael Parkes

As used today the term is broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous. The term was initially used by German art critic Franz Roh to describe painting which demonstrated an altered reality, but was later used by Venezuelan Arturo Uslar-Pietri to describe the work of certain Latin American writers. The Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier (a friend of Uslar-Pietri) used the term "lo real maravilloso" (roughly "marvelous reality") in the prologue to his novel The Kingdom of this World (1949). Carpentier's conception was of a kind of heightened reality in which elements of the miraculous could appear while seeming natural and unforced. Carpentier's work was a key influence on the writers of the Latin American "boom" that emerged in the 1960s. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 463 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (484 × 627 pixel, file size: 39 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 463 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (484 × 627 pixel, file size: 39 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Peter Paul Rubens The Hippopotamus Hunt printed on paper and canvas stock with the seven Epson pigmented ink printer cartridges used to produce it (printer and prints commonly called Giclée). ... Michael Parkes (1944 – ) is an American-born Magic realism artist specializing in fantasy painting and stone lithographs. ... Franz Roh (1890 - 1965), German historian, photographer, and art critic. ... The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Spanish: República Bolivariana de Venezuela)1 is a country in northern South America. ... Arturo Uslar-Pietri Arturo Uslar-Pietri (May 16, 1906 - February 26, 2001) was one of the most prominent writers and intellectuals of twentieth century Venezuela. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ... Alejo Carpentier y Valmont (December 26, 1904 – April 24, 1980) was a Cuban novelist, essay writer, and musicologist who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its famous boom period. ... The Kingdom of this World is a novel by Alejo Carpentier. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

Contents

History

The term magic realism was first used by the German art critic Franz Roh to refer to a painterly style also known as Neue Sachlichkeit. It was later used to describe the unusual realism by American painters such as Ivan Albright, Paul Cadmus, George Tooker and other artists during the 1940s and 1950s. However, in contrast to its use in literature, when used to describe visual art, the term refers to paintings that do not include anything fantastic or magical, but are rather extremely realistic and often mundane. Franz Roh (1890 - 1965), German historian, photographer, and art critic. ... Die Neue Sachlichkeit (The New Objectivity) was an Expressionist art movement founded in Germany in the aftermath of World War I, by Otto Dix and George Grosz. ... Ivan Le Lorraine Albright (February 20, 1897-1983) was a magic realist painter and artist, most renowned for his self-portraits, character studies, and still lifes. ... Paul Cadmus photo taken by Carl Van Vechten, 1937 Paul Cadmus (December 17, 1904 - December 12, 1999) was an artist born in New York City. ... Government Bureau (1956), egg tempera on panel George Claire is harry Tooker (born August 5, 1920) is one of Magic Realisms most prominent visual artists. ... The 1940s decade ran from 1940 to 1949. ... The 1950s decade refers to the years 1950 to 1959 inclusive. ...


The term was first revived and applied to the realm of fiction as a combination of the realistic and the fantastic in the 1960s by a Venezuelan essayist and critic Arturo Uslar-Pietri, who applied it to a very specific South American genre, influenced by the blend of realism and fantasy in Mário de Andrade's influential novel Macunaíma.[citation needed] However, the term itself came in vogue only after Nobel prize winner Miguel Ángel Asturias used the expression to define the style of his novels.[citation needed] The term gained popularity with the rise of the Latin American Boom, most notably Alejo Carpentier, Jorge Luis Borges, Jacques Stephen Alexis, Juan Rulfo, Carlos Fuentes, and Gabriel García Márquez, who confessed, "My most important problem was destroying the lines of demarcation that separates what seems real from what seems fantastic." More recent Latin American authors in this vein include Isabel Allende and Laura Esquivel. The 1960s decade refers to the years from the beginning of 1960 to the end of 1969. ... Arturo Uslar-Pietri Arturo Uslar-Pietri (May 16, 1906 - February 26, 2001) was one of the most prominent writers and intellectuals of twentieth century Venezuela. ... Painting of Mário de Andrade (1927) by Lasar Segall, a Lithuanian painter in Brazil whom Andrade befriended; Andrade wrote a book about him in 1935. ... Macunaíma is a 1928 novel by Brazilian writer Mário de Andrade. ... The Nobel Prize (Swedish: ) was established in Alfred Nobels will in 1895, and it was first awarded in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature, and Peace in 1901. ... Miguel Ángel Asturias (October 19, 1899 – June 9, 1974) was a Guatemalan writer and diplomat. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Alejo Carpentier y Valmont (December 26, 1904 – April 24, 1980) was a Cuban novelist, essay writer, and musicologist who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its famous boom period. ... Borges redirects here. ... Juan Rulfo (16 May 1917 [not 1918 as he often told people after 1936, see note below] – 7 January 1986) was a Mexican novelist, short story writer, and photographer. ... Carlos Fuentes Carlos Fuentes Macías (born November 11, 1928) is a Mexican writer and one of the best-known living novelists and essayists in the Spanish-speaking world. ... Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez, also known as Gabo (born March 6, 1927[1] in Aracataca, Colombia) is a Colombian novelist, journalist, editor, publisher, political activist, and recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. ... For the Chilean politician and daughter of Salvador Allende, see Isabel Allende Bussi. ... Laura Esquivel (born September 30, 1950) is a Mexican author. ...


Subsequently, the term has been applied both to earlier writers such as Jorge Luis Borges, Mikhail Bulgakov, or Ernst Junger and to postcolonial and other contemporary writers from Salman Rushdie and Günter Grass to Janet Frame and Angela Carter. Borges redirects here. ... Mikhail Afanasievich Bulgakov (Russian: Михаил Афанасьевич Булгаков; May 15 [O.S. May 3] 1891, Kiev – March 10, 1940, Moscow) was a Russian novelist and playwright of the first half of the 20th century. ... Ernst Jünger as a soldier in World War I Ernst Jünger, Juenger or Junger in English, (March 29, 1895 - February 17, 1998) was a German author of novels and accounts of his war experiences. ... Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie (born June 19, 1947) is an Indian-British novelist and essayist. ... Günter Wilhelm Grass (born October 16, 1927) is a Nobel Prize-winning German author and playwright. ... Janet Paterson Frame, ONZ, CBE (August 28, 1924 - January 29, 2004), a New Zealand author, published eleven novels in her lifetime, together with three collections of short stories, a book of poetry, an edition of juvenile fiction, and three volumes of autobiography. ... Angela Carter (May 7, 1940 – February 16, 1992) was an English novelist and journalist, known for her post-feminist magical realist and science fiction works. ...


Literature

In literature, magic realism often combines the external factors of human existence with the internal ones: it is a fusion between scientific physical reality and psychological human reality; it incorporates aspects of human existence such as thoughts, emotions, dreams, cultural mythologies and imagination. Through this amalgamation, magic realism can be more exact in depicting human reality. Nonetheless, a certain person's or group's perception of reality may differ from another's: to the insider, a given magical-realist text can be a relatively accurate depiction of his reality; the same text, however, may appear rather unreal to the outsider, whose perception of reality may differ greatly from the insider's. Despite this, the reader (often the outsider) can bridge the gap by momentarily suppressing his perception of reality and adopting the reality presented in the text. This, in turn, equips the reader with the necessary tools required to decode the text. This can be described as the 'evolved duties' of the reader. In their works, magical-realists describe a specific concept of reality: to them, culture, history and geography are thus of great concern. In fact, magical realism can be considered as one of the literary manifestations of 'the other great tradition'. In the twentieth century, the ideal of homogenisation caused societal dissonances within the world's communities and social groups and between them to reach fever pitch: thus the blood-stained history of the twentieth century. In the aftermath of conflict, some have tried to assimilate history in order to aid the healing process of a particular community or social group and to re-define their identity. In literature, this manifested itself as magic realism, a dissident and dialectical discourse strategy which can provide a more accurate representation of human reality as a whole. Indeed, magic realism can also be seen as the story of the 'other'. Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... For other uses, see Literature (disambiguation). ... For the philosophical movement, see Existentialism. ... For other uses, see Reality (disambiguation). ... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... This article is about the study of the past in human terms. ... Homogenization (or homogenisation) is a term used in many fields such as Chemistry, agricultural science, food technology, sociology and cell biology. ... Look up Identity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the Pearl Jam song, see Dissident (song). ... Broadly speaking, a dialectic (Greek: διαλεκτική) is an exchange of propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses) resulting in a disagreement. ...


Magic realism is a world-wide phenomenon; the geographical, historical and cultural contexts in which it has evolved are extremely diverse. This has given rise to an abundance in discourse strategies. Nevertheless, six features of the many that have been associated with magic realism tend to be found in all magical-realist texts: 1) the perspective is that of 'the Other'; 2) the duties of the readers, in decoding the texts, have 'evolved'; 3) the setting has a relatively specific historical, geographical and cultural context; 4) reality is presented as the human experience of the universe, and elements such as dream and imagination are consequently present; 5) a free, post-structuralist style of writing; and, finally, 6) the inexplicable, in its many shapes and forms, plays a major role in all magical-realist texts. Although 'magical realist' literature varies in its structure and presentation, one universal theme is the use of the fantastical to highlight and challenge the setting's paradigm, rather than merely as a plot device or setting. The Other or constitutive other (also referred to as othering) is a key concept in continental philosophy, opposed to the Same. ... Post-structuralism is a body of work that followed in the wake of structuralism, and sought to understand the Western world as a network of structures, as in structuralism, but in which such structures are ordered primarily by local, shifting differences (as in deconstruction) rather than grand binary oppositions and...


Some well-known authors of magical realism and their works:[citation needed]

NB: For a more extensive and eclectic list see under Category: Magic realism novels and Magic realism writers. For the Chilean politician and daughter of Salvador Allende, see Isabel Allende Bussi. ... The House of Spirits is the first novel written by Isabel Allende. ... Miguel Ángel Asturias (October 19, 1899 – June 9, 1974) was a Guatemalan writer and diplomat. ... Hombres de maíz (translated as Men of Maize) is a novel by Guatemalan Nobel Prize in Literature winner Miguel Ángel Asturias (1949). ... Miguel Ángel Asturias (October 19, 1899 – June 9, 1974) was a Guatemalan writer and diplomat. ... Borges redirects here. ... Ficciones is the most popular anthology of short stories by Jorge Luis Borges, and is considered by many to be the best introduction to his work. ... For other uses, see Aleph (disambiguation). ... Mikhail Bulgakov Mikhail Afanasievich Bulgakov (or Bulhakov, Михаил Афанасьевич Булгаков; May 15 (May 3 Old Style), 1891–March 10, 1940) was a Soviet novelist and playwright of the first half of the 20th century. ... The Master and Margarita book cover. ... Italo Calvino, on the cover of Lezioni americane: Sei proposte per il prossimo millennio Italo Calvino (October 15, 1923 – September 19, 1985) (pronounced ) was an Italian writer and novelist. ... Invisible Cities is a book by Italo Calvino that sets out to explore the meaning and symbols of cities that as the title indicates, exist on another level of perception, via interpretation of symbols, or signs. ... Peter Philip Carey (born May 7, 1943) is an Australian novelist. ... Illywhacker is a novel by Australian writer Peter Carey. ... Alejo Carpentier y Valmont (December 26, 1904 – April 24, 1980) was a Cuban novelist, essay writer, and musicologist who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its famous boom period. ... The Kingdom of this World is a novel by Alejo Carpentier. ... Angela Carter (May 7, 1940 – February 16, 1992) was an English novelist and journalist, known for her post-feminist magical realist and science fiction works. ... The Magic Toyshop, a modern British novel written by Angela Carter, was first published in 1967. ... Seline redirects here. ... Journey to the End of the Night (Voyage au bout de la nuit, 1932) is the first novel of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. ... José Donoso was a Chilean writer. ... The Obscene Bird of the Night (Spanish: El obsceno pájaro de la noche) is Chilean writer José Donoso’s most acclaimed novel which was finally published in 1970, and contributed to the Latin American literary boom and the literary movement knows as Magical Realism. ... Ralph Ellison (March 1, 1913[1] – April 16, 1994) was a scholar and writer. ... For the H.G. Wells novel, see The Invisible Man. ... Laura Esquivel (born September 30, 1950) is a Mexican author. ... Like Water for Chocolate is a popular novel, published in 1989 by first-time Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel. ... Janet Paterson Frame, ONZ, CBE (August 28, 1924 - January 29, 2004), a New Zealand author, published eleven novels in her lifetime, together with three collections of short stories, a book of poetry, an edition of juvenile fiction, and three volumes of autobiography. ... The Carpathians is a novel by Janet Frame published in 1989. ... Carlos Fuentes Carlos Fuentes Macías (born November 11, 1928) is a Mexican writer and one of the best-known living novelists and essayists in the Spanish-speaking world. ... The Death of Artemio Cruz (original Spanish--La Muerte de Artemio Cruz) is a novel written in 1962 by Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes and is considered to be a contributor to the Latin American literary movement knowns as Magical Realism. ... Sara Gallardo (1931 - 1988) was an influential[1] Argentine author, noted, among other things, for her magical realism. ... Sara Gallardo (1931 - 1988) was an influential[1] Argentine author, noted, among other things, for her magical realism. ... Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez, also known as Gabo (born March 6, 1927[1] in Aracataca, Colombia) is a Colombian novelist, journalist, editor, publisher, political activist, and recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. ... One Hundred Years of Solitude (Spanish: ) is a novel by Nobel Prize winning Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez that was first published in Spanish in 1967 (Buenos Aires: Sudamericana), with an English translation by Gregory Rabassa released in 1970 (New York: Harper and Row). ... Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Russian: ; IPA: ; Ukrainian: ) (April 1, 1809 — March 4, 1852) was a Russian-language writer of Ukrainian origin. ... The Nose is a satirical short story by Nikolai Gogol, subsequently made into an opera by Dmitri Shostakovich. ... Günter Wilhelm Grass (born October 16, 1927) is a Nobel Prize-winning German author and playwright. ... The Tin Drum (German: Die Blechtrommel) is a 1959 novel by Günter Grass. ... Nalo Hopkinson (born December 20, 1960) is a Jamaica writer and editor living in Canada. ... Brown Girl in the Ring is a childrens ring game thought to have originated in Jamaica. ... Hans Henny Jahnn (17 December, 1894 in Stellingen - 29 November, 1959 in Hamburg) was a German playwright, novelist and organ-builder. ... There are several notable people called William Kennedy: William Nassau Kennedy, second Mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba. ... Ironweed book cover Ironweed is a 1983 novel by William Kennedy. ... Promotional shot for the Dead Dog Cafe Comedy Hour radio program, showing stars Tom King, Edna Rain (as Gracie), and Floyd Favel Starr (as Jasper) in front of the CBC microphone. ... Truth and Bright Water is a coming-of-age novel by Thomas King set in the Canadian Prairies on the U.S./Canadian border. ... Hubert Lampo (born in 1920 in Antwerp) is a Belgian writer, one of the founders of magic realism in Flanders. ... De komst van Joachim Stiller (The Coming of Joachim Stiller) is a novel by Belgian author Hubert Lampo, first published in 1960. ... Curzio Malaparte Curzio Malaparte (June 9, 1898 - July 19, 1957), born as Kurt Erich Suckert, was an Italian journalist, dramatist, short-story writer, novelist and diplomat. ... Yann Martel (born June 25, 1963 in Salamanca, Spain) is a Canadian author best known for the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi. ... Life of Pi is a novel by Canadian author Yann Martel. ... For the Louisiana politician, see deLesseps Morrison, Jr. ... Song of Solomon (ISBN 0-452-26011-6) is a novel by Pulitzer-prize and Nobel-prize winner Toni Morrison, published in 1977. ... Haruki Murakami , born January 12, 1949) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. ... Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World ) is a 1985 novel by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. ... Ben Okri (born on March 15, 1959) is a Nigerian poet and novelist. ... The Famished Road is the Booker Prize-winning novel written by Nigerian author Ben Okri. ... Suzanna Arundhati Roy[1] (born November 24, 1961) is an Indian novelist, writer and activist. ... The God of Small Things (1997) is a semi-autobiographical, politically charged novel by Indian author Arundhati Roy. ... Juan Rulfo (16 May 1917 [not 1918 as he often told people after 1936, see note below] – 7 January 1986) was a Mexican novelist, short story writer, and photographer. ... Pedro Páramo is a short novel written by Juan Rulfo, originally published in 1955. ... Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie (born June 19, 1947) is an Indian-British novelist and essayist. ... Midnights Children is a 1981 novel by Salman Rushdie. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Baltasar and Blimunda (1987) is a novel by José Saramago. ... Patrick Süskind (born March 26, 1949) is a German writer and film script author. ... Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is a 1985 literary historical cross-genre novel (originally published in German as Das Parfum) by German writer Patrick Süskind. ... Michel Tournier (born 1924) is a French writer who was born in Paris. ... Jeanette Winterson OBE (born August 27, 1959) is a British novelist. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Zadie Smith (born October 27, 1975) is an English novelist. ... White Teeth is a 2000 novel by the British author Zadie Smith. ...


Magical-realist writers use many devices, or 'special effects' to accommodate a particular discourse strategy. Although many of these tend to recur in the writings of authors with very different backgrounds, it is possible to isolate the ones which all magical-realist texts tend to have in common.


Most common Archetypes

The following elements are found in many magical realist novels and films, but not all are found in all of them and many are found in novels or films that could fall under other genres.

  • The fantastic elements may be intuitively "logical" but are never explained
  • Characters accept rather than question the logic of the magical element
  • Exhibits a richness of sensory details
  • Uses symbols and imagery extensively. Often phallic imagery is used without the reader/viewer consciously noticing it.
  • Emotions and the sexuality of the human as a social construct are often developed upon in great detail
  • Distorts time so that it is cyclical or so that it appears absent. Another technique is to collapse time in order to create a setting in which the present repeats or resembles the past
  • Inverts cause and effect, for instance a character may suffer before a tragedy occurs
  • Incorporates legend or folklore
  • Presents events from multiple perspectives, such as those of belief and disbelief or the colonizers and the colonized
  • Uses a mirroring of either past and present, astral and physical planes, or of characters
  • Ends leaving the reader uncertain, whether to believe in the magical interpretation or the realist interpretation of the events in the story

Note: that it is common in some fantasy stories to include a frame story, in which the central, fantastic story is explained as a dream. Because the main story works equally well with or without the frame story, and since either way the reader feels no ambiguity about choosing between the magical and the real interpretation, these are usually not included in the category of magical realism.


As regards the author-text-reader relationships the following is commonplace: the author's perspective is that of 'the Other'; the narrator(s) is (are) idiosyncratic; the 'evolved duties' of the reader require him to put their perception of reality on hold in order to decode the text. Common themes are: family history, relationships and family life; life, death and the afterlife, spiritism; multiple realities (see multiverse); social and natural catastrophes or cataclysms. This page is a candidate to be moved to Wiktionary. ... For other uses, see Death (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Afterlife (disambiguation). ... This article is about Kardecist spiritism. ... For other uses, see Multiverse (disambiguation). ...


The characters are often idiosyncratic, possess unusual, historic or symbolic names and are heavily characterised. The plot often is nonlinear, labyrinthine, circular or spiral-like, intertwined, anachronic or sporadically chaotic; sometimes parallel, double, co-existing or multiple plots or subplots occur. The setting usually refers to a rather specific historical, geographical and cultural context. There often is a peculiar representation of time and space: time-shifts between co-existing plots, flash-backs and flash-forwards; the creation of a 'mythical' place, such as the archetypal Macondo. In literature, a plot is all the events in a story particularly rendered towards the achievement of some particular artistic or emotional effect. ... In fiction, the setting of a story is the time and location in which it takes place. ... Macondo is a fictional town described in Gabriel García Márquezs novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. ...


There is a miscellaneous use of myths, legends, fairy-tales, the oral tradition of storytelling, folkloric customs, magic, the obscure, astrology, mythology, spirituality and, naturally, religion. Elements of the human experience of reality are often emphasised: dream, imagination, sentience, feelings and emotions, the subconscious and the spiritual. There is often a lack of definition between humour and disgust: on the one hand there is surprise, the absurd and the comical and on the other shock, the grotesque and the macabre. For the computer game, see Myth (computer game). ... A legend (Latin, legenda, things to be read) is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude. ... A fairy tale is a story, either told to children or as if told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. ... Oral tradition or oral culture is a way of transmitting history, literature or law from one generation to the next in a civilization without a writing system. ... For the 2001 film, see Storytelling (film) Storytelling is the ancient art of conveying events in words, images, and sounds. ... Not to be confused with Magic (illusion). ... Hand-coloured version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888). ... For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... For other uses, see Dream (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Imagination (disambiguation). ... Not to be confused with sapience. ... Feelings are most generally INFORMATION that biological beings are capable of sensing in the situations they are in, exposed to or depending on. ... Its over and done But the heartache lives on inside And who is the one your clinging to instead of me tonight And where are you now Now that I need you Tears on my pillow Wherever you go Cry me a river that leads to your oceans Youll never... See also: Unconscious mind. ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... For other uses, see Humour (disambiguation). ... This article is about the word itself. ... For other uses, see Macabre (disambiguation). ...


The free, post-structuralist style of magical-realist writing characterises itself by unconventional spelling, punctuation and collocation, a use of regionalisms, surrealist and expressionist descriptions, and a variety of genres and registers. Some of the most commonly used rhetorical devices are synaesthesia and descriptions involving the five senses; an isolation or meticulous detailed description of objects; original metaphors and similes, frequent juxtaposition; hyperbole and litotes; repetition; symbolism; sardonic irony, oxymorons and paradoxes; and anthropomorphism. Post-structuralism is a body of work that followed in the wake of structuralism, and sought to understand the Western world as a network of structures, as in structuralism, but in which such structures are ordered primarily by local, shifting differences (as in deconstruction) rather than grand binary oppositions and... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Surrealism is an artistic movement and an aesthetic philosophy that aims for the liberation of the mind by emphasizing the critical and imaginative powers of the subconscious. ... On White II by Wassily Kandinsky, 1923. ... A genre is any of the traditional divisions of art forms from a single field of activity into various kinds according to criteria particular to that form. ... Historically, a register was a sign or chalkboard onto which people would write cash transactions for later bookkeeping, often with chalk. ... A rhetorical device is a technique, sometimes called a resource of language, used by an author or speaker to induce an emotional response. ... Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which one or more sensory modalities become linked. ... In language, a metaphor is a rhetorical trope where a comparison is made between two seemingly unrelated subjects. ... Simile is an Italian musical term meaning similarly; it indicates that the performer should continue to apply the preceding directive, whatever it was. ... Look up juxtaposition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Not to be confused with Hyperbola. ... In rhetoric, litotes is a figure of speech in which a speaker, rather than making a certain claim, denies its opposite; for example, rather than call a person attractive, one might say shes not too bad to look at. Litotes can be used to weaken a statement — Its... Ironic redirects here. ... 7th millennium BC anthropomorphized rocks, with slits for eyes, found in modern-day Israel. ...


Of course, what is most striking to the reader often is the 'inexplicable': coincidences, serendipity, consequentialism, and poetic justice or divine justice; supernatural or wondrous powers, abilities, beings or events; prophecies, omens and premonitions. Coincidence literally describes two or more events or entities occupying the same point in space or time, but colloquially means two or more events or entities possessing unexpected parallels, such as thinking about someone and then receiving an unexpected phone call from that person, when it is clear that there... Look up Serendipity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Consequentialism refers to those moral theories which hold that the consequences of a particular action form the basis for any valid moral judgment about that action. ... Poetic Justice is a 1993 drama/romance film starring Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Regina King and Joe Torry. ... For other uses, see Supernatural (disambiguation). ... This article refers to the topic of prophecy as the purported telling of future events or supernatural revelations. ... Omens or portents are signs encountered fortuitously that are believed to foretell the future. ... A premonition occurs when future events, often calamitous in nature, are foreknown via individual psychic experience. ...


The Inexplicable in Magic Realism

The characters' reactions to the 'inexplicable' is key to the definition of Magic-Realism: inexplicable phenomona occur in extremely mundane circumstances and the character(s) tend to not respond adequately (or at all) to the supernatural or magic nature of the event. On the contrary, they often treat the magical event as an annoyance, a setback, or an unwanted obligation. An example from Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude is Remedios the Beautiful's ascent into heaven while removing laundry from the clothes line. This provokes the disproportionate reaction from her aunt, who, simply annoyed, prays to God for the return of the bed linens. Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez, also known as Gabo (born March 6, 1927[1] in Aracataca, Colombia) is a Colombian novelist, journalist, editor, publisher, political activist, and recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. ... For other uses, see Heaven (disambiguation). ...


Indeed, this blasé response to the supernatural is what distinguishes Magic Realism from other more traditional representations of magical phenomena in narrative fiction. It is also what gives Magic-Realism its characteristically ironic and humorous quality. More examples in Gabriel García Márquez can be found in his two short stories: "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" and "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World." Imitators of García Márquez, such as the early Isabel Allende and Laura Esquivel, also share this trait. Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez, also known as Gabo (born March 6, 1927[1] in Aracataca, Colombia) is a Colombian novelist, journalist, editor, publisher, political activist, and recipient of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature. ...


Visual art

Magic realism is a style of visual art which brings extreme realism to the depiction of mundane subject matter. For other uses, see Realism (disambiguation). ...


In painting, magical realism is a term often used interchangeably with post-expressionism. In 1925, art critic Franz Roh used this term to describe painting which signaled a return to realism after expressionism's extravagances which sought to redesign objects to reveal the spirits of those objects. Magical realism, according to Roh, instead faithfully portrays the exterior of an object, and in doing so the spirit, or magic, of the object reveals itself. The New Objectivity, or neue Sachlichkeit (new matter-of-factness), was an art movement which arose in Germany during the 1920s in opposition to expressionism. ... Year 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Franz Roh (1890 - 1965), German historian, photographer, and art critic. ... For other uses, see Realism (disambiguation). ... The Scream by Edvard Munch (1893) which inspired 20th century Expressionists Portrait of Eduard Kosmack by Egon Schiele Rehe im Walde by Franz Marc Elbe Bridge I by Rolf Nesch On White II by Wassily Kandinsky, 1923. ...


Other important aspects of magical realist painting, according to Roh, include:

  • A return to mundane subjects as opposed to fantastical ones.
  • A juxtaposition of forward movement with a sense of distance, as opposed to Expressionism's tendency to foreshorten the subject.
  • A use of miniature details even in expansive paintings, such as large landscapes.

Artists associated with magic realism include:

Ivan Le Lorraine Albright (February 20, 1897-1983) was a magic realist painter and artist, most renowned for his self-portraits, character studies, and still lifes. ... Amelia Alcock-White is a Canadian magic realist painter. ... Paul Cadmus photo taken by Carl Van Vechten, 1937 Paul Cadmus (December 17, 1904 - December 12, 1999) was an artist born in New York City. ... Hon. ... Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquis of Púbol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), was a Spanish surrealist painter of Catalan descent born in Figueres, Catalonia (Spain). ... Paul Delvaux was a Belgian painter, famous for his surrealist paintings with female nudes staring at the horizon. ... Antonio Donghi (March 16, 1897 – July 16, 1963) was an Italian painter of scenes of popular life, landscapes, and still life. ... Maurits Cornelis Escher (June 17, 1898 – March 27, 1972), usually referred to as M. C. Escher, was a Dutch graphic artist. ... American Artist 1952- David Em is a pioneer in the use of computers in art. ... Example Of early Philip Evergood self portrait sketch, Circa 1930s, Private Collection Of L.S. Morgan, St. ... Jared French (1905-1988) was a painter who specialized in the ancient medium of egg tempera. ... Gregory Gillespie (November 29, 1936 – April 26, 2000) was an American magic realist painter. ... An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: If you are familiar with the subject matter, please expand the article to establish its notability, citing reliable sources, so as to avoid it being considered... Walter Gramatté (born January 8th, 1897 in Berlin; died February 9th, 1929 in Hamburg) was a German expressionist painter who specialized in magic realism. ... Pedro Antonio Ipiña (Born 1956) is one of El Salvadors most celebrated living artists, having gained international recognition capturing the spirituality of life by painting the harsh reality of his country history and its people in a beautiful mysterious world of magic dreams where the fantasy of a... Born in 1944 in Prague, Czech Republic, Lukáš Kándl is a well-known artist in Magic Realism. ... There are several notable people called William Kennedy: William Nassau Kennedy, second Mayor of Winnipeg, Manitoba. ... Kenneth C. Knowlton (born 1931 in Springville, New York), is a computer graphics pioneer, artist, mosaicist and portraitist, who worked at Bell Labs. ... The Treachery of Images (La trahison des images) (1928–1929) René François Ghislain Magritte (November 21, 1898 – August 15, 1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist. ... Mike Mignola (born in Berkeley, California on September 16, 1960) is a American comic book artist and writer. ... István Orosz (b. ... Michael Parkes (1944 – ) is an American-born Magic realism artist specializing in fantasy painting and stone lithographs. ... Paula Figueiroa Rego, GCSE, pron. ... Wim Schumacher (1894 - 1986) was a Dutch painter and designer. ... Government Bureau (1956), egg tempera on panel George Claire is harry Tooker (born August 5, 1920) is one of Magic Realisms most prominent visual artists. ... Albert Carel Willink (7 March 1900 - 19 October 1983) was a well known Dutch surealist painter External Links Official website Carel Willink Ten Dreams Galleries ... Chris Van Allsburg (born June 18, 1949 in Grand Rapids, Michigan) is an American author and illustrator of childrens books. ... Tilia ora(2006) oil on canvas, 120x80 cm. ...

Film

Though the term itself is not particularly well established within film theory, many films can be said to follow the conventions of magical realism. Film theory debates the essence of the cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for analyzing, among other things, the film image, narrative structure, the function of film artists, the relationship of film to reality, and the film spectators position in the cinematic experience. ...


For example, in Tim Burton's Big Fish, unlike earlier, more fantastical works, the entire story takes place fairly grounded in reality with the memories and stories including magical elements that, most of the time, seem semi-plausible. Timothy Tim William Burton (born August 25, 1958) is an Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated American film director, writer and designer notable for the quirky and often dark atmosphere in his high-profile films. ... Big Fish is a 2003 fantasy drama film, directed by Tim Burton and written by John August. ...


In film, like with the rest of the movement, magical realism has strong ties with expressionism and could be said to have developed out of it as a recent development influenced by older, German Expressionism. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


However, as mentioned above - within film, the genre is not well established and therefore it is hard to come up with references to particular films that follow the conventions particularly strictly. For this reasons one must draw tenuous comparisons, rather than solid conclusions magical realisms place in film theory.


Two films that have been called magical realist works are Daughters of the Dust and Antonia's Line. Rooted in both historical detail and myth, these films incorporate symbolic rituals, legends, and folklore. They include multiple standpoints, weaving together different ways of seeing with the camera as well as narrative voice over. These are fluid films, where the real and the magical meet, and the narrative allows for unexpected moments to occur at almost any time without the story becoming full-on fantasy. Like many novels in the magical realist tradition, these films have political and post-colonial themes. Daughters of the Dust is a 1991 independent film written and directed by Julie Dash. ... Antonias Line (original title Antonia) is the award winning Dutch film about living a liberal life in a small Dutch town. ...


Other films that have been called magical realist works include Federico Fellini's Amarcord and And the Ship Sails On, or John Boorman's Excalibur, Pan's Labyrinth, Time of the Gypsies, Underground, Life Is a Miracle, The Fisher King, Magnolia, Field of Dreams, Urchin, Kala, Orphée, The Night of the Hunter, Amélie, An Autumn's Tale, The Science of Sleep, Apocalypse Now, The Tin Drum, El Norte, The Lake House, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Divine Intervention, Across the Universe, Nuovomondo, Beloved, Barton Fink, The Milagro Beanfield War, Arizona Dream, Intacto and Charleston & Vendetta. Amarcord (1973), directed by Federico Fellini, is a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale that combines poignancy with bawdy comedy. ... E la Nave Va (English:And the ship sails on) is a 1983 film by Federico Fellini. ... Excalibur is a 1981 film which retells the legend of King Arthur. ... Pans Labyrinth (Spanish: , literally The Labyrinth of the Faun) is an Academy Award-winning Spanish language fantasy film[2][3] written and directed by Mexican film-maker Guillermo del Toro. ... Time of the Gypsies (Serbian: Dom Za VeÅ¡anje) is a 1988 film by Serbiann director Emir Kusturica. ... Underground (Serbian: Подземље, Podzemlje) is a 1995 award-winning film directed by Emir Kusturica with a screenplay by DuÅ¡an Kovačević. It is also known by the subtitle Once Upon a Time There Was a Country (Serbian: Била једном једна земља, Bila jednom jedna zemlja), which was the title of the story shown on... Life is a Miracle (Serbian: Живот је чудо, Život je čudo) is a Serbian drama movie directed by Emir Kusturica in 2004. ... The Fisher King is a movie from 1991 written by Richard LaGravenese and directed by Terry Gilliam. ... Magnolia is a 1999 American drama film, written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. ... URCHIN is a fictional film about a homeless boy living in an NYC underground mole people community called Scum-City. ... Kala (Dead Time: Kala), or also known as (The Secret) is a 2007 Indonesia thriller and film noir directed by Joko Anwar and starring Fachri Albar, Ario Bayu, Shanty, and Fahrani. ... Orphée (also known as Orpheus) is a 1949 movie directed by Jean Cocteau starring Jean Marais. ... The Night of the Hunter is a 1955 film noir, starring Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters, and the only film Charles Laughton ever directed. ... For other uses, see Amélie (disambiguation). ... An Autumns Tale (traditional Chinese: 秋天的童話) is a Hong Kong made romantic movie set in New York City starring Chow Yun Fat, Cherie Chung and Danny Chan. ... The Science of Sleep, or (literally The Science of Dreams), is a 2006 surrealist film, written and directed by Michel Gondry. ... Apocalypse Now is a 1979 Academy Award and Golden Globe winning American film set during the Vietnam War. ... The Tin Drum (German: Die Blechtrommel) is a 1978 film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Günter Grass. ... El Norte is an American and British film, directed by Gregory Nava. ... The Lake House is a 2006 romantic drama film remake of the Korean motion picture Il Mare (2000). ... The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada is a 2005 drama film directed by Tommy Lee Jones (debut) and written by Guillermo Arriaga. ... Divine Intervention DVD cover Divine Intervention (Arabic: yadun ilahi يد إلهي) is a 2002 film by the Israeli Palestinian director Elie Suleiman, which may be described as a surreal black comedy. ... Across The Universe is a 2007 Academy Award-nominated musical film produced by Revolution Studios and distributed by Columbia Pictures. ... The Golden Door (Nuovomondo) is a 2006 drama based around a familys migration from Italy to New York during the beginning of the 20th Century. ... Beloved, originally Toni Morrisons Pulitzer-Prize-winning 1987 novel, was released as a Hollywood film in 1998. ... Barton Fink is a 1991 film by Joel and Ethan Coen. ... The Milagro Beanfield War is a 1988 American film drama based on the John Nichols novel of the same name. ... The 1993 epic Arizona Dream was directed and co-written by Serbian (Bosnian) film maker Emir Kusturica and is Kusturicas first — and so far only — English language movie. ... Intacto is a film first released in 2001, directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. ...


And lest we forget, "Being John Malkovich", and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", written by Charlie Kaufman, eagerly challenge the thin line that separates reality and the otherworld.


Music

Magic realism has very recently become a little known but rapidly developing genre of music. Music of this genre is regarded as particularly expressive of its creator's emotions through the use of modern instruments as opposed to traditional instruments. In some cases "instruments", as they are traditionally thought of, are not used at all, with the musician fusing certain noises with others (such as the gentle rustling of leaves with the harsh noise of a kettle whistling) to create a surreal listening experience that is deeply emotive. Juxtaposition of sounds, like in the example mentioned above, is a common trait of magically realistic music.


See also

This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... A recent Latin American literary movement that seeks to distance itself from Latin Americas long-dominant magic realist literary tradition and to pull itself out from the shadow of literary giant Gabriel Garcia Marquez. ... The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism was a group of artists formed in Austria in 1946. ... Hysterical realism, also called recherché postmodernism or maximalism, is a literary genre typified by a strong contrast between elaborately absurd prose, plotting, or characterization and careful detailed investigations of real specific social phenomena. ... Photography, Jerry Uelsmann Digital Art, George Grie Fine Art, HR Giger Neosurrealism in architecture Neosurrealism in pop-art Neosurrealism or Neo-Surrealism is a term that has been given to the reappearance of well-known surrealism movement in the late 1970s. ... Metarealism is a direction in Russian literature and art that was born in the seventies – eighties of the last century. ... The term Postmodern literature is used to describe certain tendencies in post-World War II literature. ...

Relation to other genres and movements

Magical realism often overlaps or is confused with other genres and movements.

  • Postmodernism – Magical realism is often considered a subcategory of postmodern fiction due to its challenge to hegemony and its use of techniques similar to those of other postmodernist texts, such as the distortion of time.
  • Surrealism – Many early magical realists such as Alejo Carpentier and Miguel Ángel Asturias studied with the surrealists, and surrealism, as an international movement, influenced many aspects of Latin American art. Surrealists, however, try to discover and portray that which is above or superior to the “real” through the use of techniques such as automatic writing, hypnosis, and dreaming. Magical realists, on the other hand, portray the real world itself as having marvelous aspects inherent in it.
  • Fantasy and Science fiction – Fantasy and science fiction novels, using strict definitions, portray an alternate universe with its own set of rules and characteristics, however similar this universe is to our world, or experiment with our world by suggesting how a new technology or political system might affect our society. Magical realism, however, portrays the real world minus any definite set of rules. Some critics who define the genres more broadly include magic realism as one of the fantasy genres. The fantasy author Gene Wolfe sardonically defined magic realism as "fantasy written in Spanish."
  • Slipstream – Slipstream describes fiction that falls between "mainstream" literature and the fantasy and science fiction genres (the name itself is wordplay on the term "mainstream"). Where science fiction and fantasy novels treat their fantastical elements as being very literal, real elements of their world, slipstream usually explores these elements in a more surreal fashion, and delves more into their satirical or metaphorical importance. Compared to magical realism the fantastical elements of slipstream also tend to be more extravagant, and their existence is usually more jarring to their comparative realities than that which is found in magic realism.
  • McOndo – McOndo is a literary movement favored by several younger Latin American writers. It seeks to distance itself from magic realism and the stereotypes about Latin literature that some McOndo writers argue were perpetuated by magic realists and magic realism.
  • Bizarro fiction - Bizarro is a genre of transgressive, often surreal literature. Bizarro literature encompasses many writing styles, including magic realism.

Postmodernism (sometimes abbreviated Po-mo[1]) is a term originating in architecture, literally after the modern, denoting a style that is more ornamental than modernism, and which borrows from previous architectural styles, often in a playful or ironic fashion. ... Look up hegemony in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Max Ernst. ... Alejo Carpentier y Valmont (December 26, 1904 – April 24, 1980) was a Cuban novelist, essay writer, and musicologist who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its famous boom period. ... Miguel Ángel Asturias (October 19, 1899 – June 9, 1974) was a Guatemalan writer and diplomat. ... For the article about the album by Ataxia, see Automatic Writing (album). ... For other uses, see Hypnotized (song). ... For other uses, see Dream (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fantasy (disambiguation). ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Parallel universe or alternate reality in science fiction and fantasy is a self-contained separate reality coexisting with our own. ... Gene Wolfe (born May 7, 1931, New York, New York) is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. ... Slipstream is a kind of fantastic or non-realistic fiction that crosses conventional genre boundaries and doesnt sit comfortably within the confines of either science fiction/fantasy or mainstream literary fiction. ... A recent Latin American literary movement that seeks to distance itself from Latin Americas long-dominant magic realist literary tradition and to pull itself out from the shadow of literary giant Gabriel Garcia Marquez. ... Cover of The Bizarro Starter Kit - a sampler anthology series that introduces and defines the bizarro genre. ...

External links

  • Ten Dreams Galleries - A comprehensive discussion of the historical development of Magic Realism in painting

  Results from FactBites:
 
Magical Realism: Definitions (1524 words)
Magical realism, unlike the fantastic or the surreal, presumes that the individual requires a bond with the traditions and the faith of the community, that s/he is historically constructed and connected.
Magical realism refers to the occurrence of supernatural, or anything that is contrary to our conventional view of reality [it is] not divorced from reality either, [and] the presence of the supernatural is often attributed to the primitive or 'magical' Indian mentality, which coexists with European rationality.
Magic realist novels and stories have, typically, a strong narrative drive, in which the recognizably realistic merges with the unexpected and the inexplicable and in which elements of dreams, fairy story, or mythology combine with the everyday, often in a mosaic or kaleidoscopic pattern of refraction and recurrence.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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