Thursday, January 31, 2013

Romanticism + Realism = Magical Realism?

I was thinking about the shift from realism to romanticism and the pros and cons of each genre. Romanticism shows an idealistic society, an emotional society, but not an industrialist, capitalist society. Realism covers the industrialism and capitalism. So if you combine both styles of writing you could cover rural and urban life: industrialization of the city through realism and the more simple conservative lifestyle through Romanticism. The city worker in the textile mills and the farmer would both be subjects within one piece. One Hundred Years of Solitude springs to mind when I think of simple romantic lifestyle overcome by a more industrial society. Again in Kafka's novel, which is not magical realism but is close, a very humdrum realistic lifestyle is smashed aside by Gregor's transformation into a beetle- which is of course not Romantic, emotional response that Kafka provokes is.


wkuehne said...

I'd like to clarify, I don't believe that Romanticism and Realism combined creates magical realism, but I do think that if Romanticism and realism are overlapped they have some characteristics of magical realism.

Madeline Davis said...

I see where you're coming from. Whenever we learned about magical realism regarding One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Tin Drum, I'm pretty sure we classified it as a story that seems very realistic and plausible and pretty normal, except something completely ridiculous happens and it's treated so nonchalantly. Many romantic works are fantastic and magical and not realistic, while realist works focus on the objective reality and are founded in the everyday reality of realistic, often mundane characters. Combined, I would agree that elements from both literary movements seem to create the gist of magical realism.