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MAGICAL REALISM "Reality is not always probable, or likely." ----Jorge Luis Borges ----Jorge Luis Borges.

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Presentation on theme: "MAGICAL REALISM "Reality is not always probable, or likely." ----Jorge Luis Borges ----Jorge Luis Borges."— Presentation transcript:

1 MAGICAL REALISM "Reality is not always probable, or likely." ----Jorge Luis Borges ----Jorge Luis Borges

2 I attribute no special value to the title “magical realism.” ---- Fritz Roh In 1925, Fritz Roh coined the term “Magischer Realismus” to describe a new impetus in art, which eclipsed Expressionism, and represented a return to realism, albeit with a new emphasis. He adds that in this new realism “the mystery does not descend to the represented world, but rather hides and palpitates behind it…”

3 Roh identified many artists as “magical realists.” Though all unique, Roh provided a unifying definition for this group of artists. Magical Realism--We recognize the world, although now--not only because we have emerged from a dream--we look on it with new eyes. We are offered a new style that is thoroughly of this world, that celebrates the mundane. This new world of objects is still alien to the current idea of Realism. It employs various techniques that endow all things with a deeper meaning and reveal mysteries that always threaten the secure tranquility of simple and ingenuous things. This [art offers a] calm admiration of the magic of being, of the discovery that things already have their own faces, [this] means that the ground in which the most diverse ideas in the world can take root has been reconquered--albeit in new ways. For the new art it is a question of representing before our eyes, in an intuitive way, the fact, the interior figure, of the exterior world. (Franz Roh, Magic Realism: Post-Expressionism (1925).Magical Realism. Ed. L. P. Zamora and W. B. Faris. Durham: Duke UP, 1995. p. 15-32.)

4 De Chirico The Disturbing Muses The Child’s Brain

5 George Schrimpf

6 George Grosz The Hero Three Human Beings

7 Otto Dix Suleika, The Tattooed Wonder At The Mirror

8 The Triumph of Death

9 From Art to Literature Fritz Roh’s 1925 essay made its way across the Atlantic in translation, and was appropriated by Latin American writers to describe a literary form that seemed peculiarly New World.

10 Connecting Art and Literature Irene Guenther states “This appropriation of a pictorial term by literary critics has been facilitated by the pliant meanings of both ‘magic’ and ‘realism’ and the ambivalence with which Roh first presented Magic Realism.”

11 Lo Real Maravilloso Americano – Alejo Carpentier “The marvelous begins to be unmistakably marvelous when it arises from an unexpected alteration of reality (the miracle)… The marvelous real that I defend and that is our own marvelous real is encountered in its raw state, latent and omnipresent, in all that is Latin American…” “dictionaries tell us that the marvelous …is extraordinary, excellent, formidable. And that is joined to the notion that everything marvelous must be beautiful,lovely, pleasant, when the only thing that should be gleaned from the dictionaries’ definitions is a reference to the extraordinary…The extraordinary is …neither beautiful nor ugly… it is amazing because it is strange.”

12 More from Carpentier “Everything strange, everything amazing, everything that eludes established norms is marvelous…” “After all, what is the entire history of America if not a chronicle of the marvelous real?”

13 Angel Flores “In magical realism we find the transformation of the common and the everyday into the awesome and the unreal. It is predominantly an art of surprises. Time exists in a kind of timeless fluidity and the unreal happens as part of reality. Once the reader accepts the fait accompli, the rest follows with logical precision.” Richard Prehn/ZXORB

14 Luis Leal In magical realism the writer confronts reality and tries to untangle it, to discover what is mysterious in things, in life, in human acts. The principle thing is not the creation of imaginary beings or worlds but the discovery of the mysterious relationship between man and his circumstances. In magical realism key events have no logical or psychological explanation. The magical realist does not try to copy the surrounding reality or to wound it but to seize the mystery that breathes behind things. Appia

15 Amaryll Chanady “Magical realism offers a multifaceted fiction that incorporates metropolis thinking, rejects some components of it, and also incorporates and shapes the traditions of indigenous cultures”

16 Scott Simpkins “Garcia Marquez maintains that realism is a kind of premeditated literature that offers too static and exclusive a vision of reality. However good or bad they may be, they are books which finish on the last page. Disproportion is part of our reality too. Our reality is in itself all out of proportion. In other words, Garcia Marquez suggests that the magic text is, paradoxically, more realistic than the realist text.”

17 Fredric Jameson “Magical realism--is not a realism to be transfigured by the supplement of a magical perspective, but a reality which is already in and of itself magical or fantastic.” Kathleen Toelke

18 Patricia Merivale “Rushdie sees 'El realismo magical, magic realism, at least as practiced by [Garcia] Marquez, [as] a development out of Surrealism that expresses a genuinely Third World consciousness. [Magical realism] is a way of showing reality more truly with the marvelous aid of metaphor.” Thomas Woodruffe

19 David Mikics “Magical realism turns out to be part of a twentieth- century preoccupation with how our ways of being in the world resist capture by the traditional logic of the waking mind's reason.The magical realists' project to reveal the intimate interdependence between reality and fantasy is shared by modernists, but magical realism and modernism proceed by different means. Magical realism wills a transformation of the object of representation, rather than the means of representation. Magical realism, like the uncanny projects a mesmerizing uncertainty suggesting that ordinary life may also be the scene of the extraordinary.”

20 Struggling for Definition 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. (Oxford Companion to English Literature) Magic realism--the result of a unique fusion of the beliefs and superstitions of different cultural groups that included the Hispanic conqueror, his criollo (creole) descendants, the native peoples and the African slaves. Magic realism, like myth, also provides an essentially synthetic or totalizing way of depicting reality. It was firmly grounded in daily reality and expressed man's astonishment before the wonders of the real world,[and] convey[s] a vision of the fantastic features of reality. (Encyclopedia of World Literature in the Twentieth Century) Magic realism--a fantastic situation is realistically treated [discussed only in terms of German Literature] (Macmillan Guide to Modern Literature, Martin Seymour-Smith, ed.)

21 …And Struggling Magic realism--a kind of modern fiction in which fabulous and fantastical events are included in a narrative that otherwise maintains the 'reliable' tone of objective realistic report. Designating a tendency of the modern novel to reach beyond the confines of realism and draw upon the energies of fable, folk tale, and myth while maintaining a strong contemporary social relevance. The fantastic attributes given to characters in such novels--levitation, flight, telepathy, telekinesis--are among the means that magic realism adopts in order to encompass the often phantasmagoric political realities of the 20th century. (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms) Magic realism--[is characterized by] the mingling and juxtaposition of the realistic and the fantastic, bizarre and skillful time shifts, convoluted and even labyrinthine narratives and plots, miscellaneous use of dreams, myths and fairy stories, expressionistic and even surrealistic description, arcane erudition, the elements of surprise or abrupt shock, the horrific and the inexplicable. (A Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory) Magic realism--the capacity to enrich our idea of what is 'real' by incorporating all dimensions of the imagination, particularly as expressed in magic, myth and religion. (Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia)

22 Wendy Faris suggests five primary characteristics of Magical realist fiction The text contains an “irreducible element of magic, something we cannot explain according to the laws of the universe as we know them Descriptions detail a strong presence of the phenomenal world. The reader may hesitate… between two contradictory understandings of events – and hence experiences some unsettling doubt. We experience the closeness or near-merging of two realms, two worlds. These fictions questions received ideas about time, space and identity.

23 Making Connections Magical realist texts tend to occur at points of intersection – at margins – at disputed spaces – in zones which lack comfort – in places where the familiar coincides with the uncanny; with the accompanying frisson of fear that comes with suddenly being lost.

24 Margins exist between human cultures and technology… Besides black art, there is only automation and mechanization. The two elements the traveler first captures in the big city are extrahuman architecture and furious rhythm. Geometry and anguish. At first glance, the rhythm may be confused with gaiety, but when you look more closely at the mechanism of social life and the painful slavery of both men and machines, you see that it is nothing but a kind of typical, empty anguish that makes even crime and gangs forgivable means of escape. ---Frederico Garcia Lorca Frank Rosazy

25 …Between the mind and the body The human head is bigger than the globe. It conceives itself as containing more. It can think and rethink itself and ourselves from any desired point outside the gravitational pull of the earth. It starts by writing one thing and later reads itself as something else. The human head is monstrous. ----Gunter Grass

26 …Between the past and the future R eality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems --but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems incredible. ---Salman Rushdie

27 …Between Science and Imagination On a day like today, my master William Faulkner said, "I decline to accept the end of man." I would fall unworthy of standing in this place that was his, if I were not fully aware that the colossal tragedy he refused to recognize thirty-two years ago is now, for the first time since the beginning of humanity, nothing more than a simple scientific possiblity.

28 …Between finite and infinite time "I am the one who never has unraveled the labyrinth of time.“ ----Jorge Luis Borges (Image by the Great Quail)

29 In Conclusion Magical realism is not limited to specific political or cultural identity. It emerges out of the anxiety surrounding cultural interaction, political unrest, technological advances, and the angst of human uncertainty about the universe. “I Told You So” – Ed Miracle


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