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Magic Realism A literary mode rather than defined genre

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Presentation on theme: "Magic Realism A literary mode rather than defined genre"— Presentation transcript:

1 Magic Realism A literary mode rather than defined genre
Focuses on paradoxes and union of opposites. For example: Framework may be conventionally realistic, but contrasting elements such as the supernatural, dreams, myth, fantasy invade the realism. Differs from fantasy or sci-fi because setting is a normal, modern world with authentic descriptions of humans, society, and conflicts.

2 Background: Magic Realism
The term “magic realism” was first introduced by a German art critic, Franz Roh, who considered it an art classification. Term evolved to apply to Latin American writers in the 1940s whose work “was a way to express the realistic American mentality and create an autonomous style of literature” at the same time.

3 Characteristics of Magic Realism
Hybridity Settings are inharmonious opposites such as urban and rural, Western and indigenous. Plots involve issues of borders, mixing, and changing. Characters are fluid i.e. in a constant state of change or flux.

4 Characteristics of Magic Realism
Authorial Reticence/ Distance Refers to the lack of clear opinions regarding the accuracy of events and the credibility of the characters. This technique encourages acceptance in magic realism i.e. explaining the supernatural elements would ruin the magic

5 Characteristics of Magic Realism
The Supernatural and the Natural Supernatural is never displayed as questionable. It is dealt with as a factual state. The use of supernatural events does not seem strange or disconcerting to the reader because the supernatural world is integrated into the norms and perceptions of the narrator and characters.

6 Themes: Time Time is displayed as cyclical instead of linear.
Patterns and events repeat themselves. Lots of flashbacks and events presented out of order

7 Themes: Carnivalesque
The concept of carnival celebrates the body, the senses and relations between humans. The presence of fools, madmen, clowns, and jesters. Represents the idea of revolution or being on the margins of society. Incorporates entertainment: dance, music, theater, art.

8 Themes: Naming Stresses importance of naming and how things are labeled. For historically oppressed cultures such as African and Latin-American naming is a subversive practice that allows them to have agency in their own culture. Reappropriation (renaming) allows for redefining imposed categories.

9 Marquez on Magic Realism
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.  (Simpkins)

10 Simpkins, Scott. “Sources of Magic Realism/Supplements to Realism in Contemporary Latin American Literature”. Magical Realism. Ed. Zamora and Faris.

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