Magic Realism

One of the most unique literary movements of the twentieth century, magic realism is a type of story that makes the real world seem like it has a little magic or fantasy in it, making it hard to tell what is real and what isn’t. In a work of magical realism, the world is still based in the real world, but there are also a lot of fantastical elements in the story.

It’s not the same with fantasy, however. In a fantasy setting, things are very different from reality. While magic realism takes place in a largely genuine world, fantasy takes place in an unreal world with unreal characters. It’s not uncommon for fantasy to take place in an imaginary setting with characters that don’t exist.

When individuals or objects in a story are given supernatural abilities, this is referred to be magic in fiction. For example, magic realism components can be seen in the Harry Potter books, despite the fact that they are not considered to be part of the genre. A mixture of facts and imagination, it is the type of writing that works both within and against the aesthetic rules of realism.

Most often used by authors in Latin America, magic realism is an approach to storytelling that includes mythical elements in stories that seem to be real. It’s not just Latin American authors who have made a big impact on the genre, though. Authors from all over the world have made a big impact on the genre.

According to Gabriel García Márquez, the concept of “real” varies among cultures and regions. This is where magical realism excels, as it allows for the integration of a non-traditional worldview because it uses magic to make a point about reality. The text itself has a distorting impact that makes the reader wonder what is genuine and often offers up new vistas of reality that they may not have considered previously.

Further Reading

What is Magical Realism in Literature? by Eric Esposito, Books on The Wall

What We Talk About When We Talk About Magical Realism by Fernando Sdrigotti, Los Angeles Review of Books

Magic Realism – History and Concepts by The Art Story

An Introduction to Latin American Magic Realism in 6 Novels by Emma Weeder, The Culture Trip

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