Thursday, September 8, 2016

Magical Realism

I think the term and idea of "magical realism" is very interesting. The term itself is kind of like an oxymoron. How can something be magical and real at the same time? We generally regard magic as something that is made of tricks and illusions. To some extent, it could also be applied to things we cannot explain in the real world. We think of "realism" as something that reflects reality, what is true and known in the world. These words seem to be opposites, but Marquez brings them together. Magical realism is a dream-like state of writing. Sometimes it seems to make no sense, just like dreams. While it mostly sticks to reality, there are some supernatural elements thrown in. I think the oxymoronic word reflects it meaning. This genre intrigues me and I look forward to learning more about it.

4 comments:

Rickeia Coleman said...

I don't think the two words in the term magical realism necessarily contradict one another and I think it's a brilliant way for Marquez to describe the current state of affairs in Macondo. Macondo is meant to be a fictional place that Marquez can use almost as a playground for his ideas about what is going on in the real world of Columbia. Instead of expressing his ideas with straightforward thoughts about Columbia, Marquez makes whats going on in the real world mystical and fairytale-ish. Although the book was very dense and somewhat hard to understand in certain areas, I understand the basic idea of what Marquez was going for which is to simply display his homeland of Columbia in an artistic way which he accomplished through his use of magical realism. In the end, Marquez successfully combined what seems to be two oppositional words and showed how magic and realism could come together hand in hand.

Luke Jeanfreau said...

I also think that magical realism is a very interesting concept. Since it is a very common thing in Latin American literature, we have studied a lot of it In Spanish over the last few years. Over the summer, we read a book called El Alquimista in Spanish. It contained many elements of magical realism, including one part when the main character turned into the wind. It also contained many other magical aspects, including alchemy as well as dreams telling the future. To me, magical realism does a really good job of making stories relatable while containing elements that are so utterly fantastical that they keep the story interesting for the reader.

Bailey Taylor said...

Magical realism is defined as "a literary or artistic genre in which realistic narrative and naturalistic technique are combined with surreal elements of dream or fantasy." I agree with Savannah in that this is oxymoronic, but I also think they compliment each other. Combining realistic ideas with fantasy and dreams blurs the line between reality and fiction. I think this is a very interesting concept that Marquez is considered to be the father of. The way he uses this in the novel is very interesting.

Brooke Williamson said...

I really like how Bailey describes magical realism as complimentary because I think this perfectly describes Marquez's attempt in portraying Macondo & it's inhabitants in a very ambiguous manner. I think this allows for the reader to have some flexibility of interpretation when it comes to deciding what is reality and what is fiction. I really enjoy this narrative writing style because it allows for the imagination to take control at some points while reading the book. Overall, even though confusing, I think Marquez's use of magical realism in his novel is one way his book stands out as unique and different from other works.