Themes

What is Magical Realism definition/concept

In the context of Latin American literature in the second half of the 20th century, a descriptive term was used to refer to the literary style of some works: magical realism.

Historical context and some of its representatives

This literary style is closely linked to the world of Latin America and, in parallel, to the historical context of the 60s and 70s. Until then, the world was experiencing a moment of technological optimism and, at the same time, a period of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union (the so-called cold war and the space race are two examples that show the tension between the two countries). Magical Realism

Among the most outstanding authors of magical realism are the Colombian Gabriel García Márquez, the Guatemalan Miguel Angel Asturias, the Argentine Julio Cortazar and the Cuban Alejo Carpentier.

The writers of magical realism incorporated popular superstitions into their novels and short stories as an element of reality itself.

The characters in the novels live in a real world, but that world is steeped in magic and fantasy. This fusion of myth and reality is the synthesis of magical realism. The supernatural and the rational are naturally combined and, consequently, the characters are not surprised by strange phenomena, as they are part of their daily lives.

The magical elements that are part of the narration (for example, a man floating above a church in front of many people) are not explained as something strange or paranormal ; they are totally everyday and normal.

The description of reality has a chaotic ingredient and everything that is sensory is out of common sense , just as the senses of taste, hearing and smell can become characters in the narration.

Narrative time is distorted in such a way that past and present are repeated and the temporal dimension is circular

The boundary between life and death is blurred , so characters can die and then come back to life as something absolutely normal. Magical Realism

There is a realistic main segment within the narrations, but everything is involved in the form of magic, eternal life and amazing miracles.

The reader is trapped in two dimensions (in magic and in reality itself) and these stories can enter a world that seems remote and ancestral, but that is part of life in Latin America. Magical Realism

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