1. Avelino de Castro

    Avelino de Castro Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2020
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2

    What is Magical Realism? Can anybody define it?

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Avelino de Castro, Mar 20, 2020.

    I write a lot of stories that could be fantasy or could be magical realism and sometimes I don't know how to categorize them. If anybody can help me with some kind of explanation of the differences I'd appreciate it.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Not the Territory

    Not the Territory Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2019
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    351
    I wasn't sure of the difference either, so I plugged it into the old search engine.

    Reading the definition of magical realism made me think of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and maybe The Green Mile.

    Here's a sort of summary definition of magical realism, from this article by Emma Allman:
    It sounds like the "magic" in magical realism is mysterious and very significant to the theme, while magical things in fantasy more exist to serve setting and plot. Generally speaking, of course.
     
    Xoic, Cdn Writer and Malisky like this.
  3. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,003
    Likes Received:
    2,054
    Typically, the magic is unquestioned. You have the normal world with a fantastic element within it, and nobody seems at all bothered by it being there. Well, they may not like it, but they don't doubt its reality.

    I was watching this the other day. It's about movies but it really nails the genre.



    I've read the short story of that movie "Border" somewhere . . . It was actually pretty good. Seems like it could be by Lindqvist, but I'm not sure.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
  4. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    23,837
    Likes Received:
    20,795
    Location:
    El Tembloroso Caribe
    There are three specific elements contained in Magic Realism.

    1) It takes place in the normal, real world. It may be a made up country or city, but it's an Earthly country or city.

    2) There will be one (1) element taking place in the story that falls outside the bounds of reality. This is the magic referenced in Magic Realism. Don’t look for wizardie warlockie witchie Hogwartsie magic. No.

    3) The above element will serve as a kind of metaphor that asks the reader to engage a particualr cultural element in a sympathetic light.​

    In Jose Saramago's book Blindness, the blindness itself is the element. It has no explanation that science can offer, and it's not blindness in the sense of darkness. What the people see is whiteness, like a blank page of paper. The metaphor in question is one that appeals very strongly to Latin American sentiments. The blindness is there to talk about the cultural decline concerning community orientation, helping your neighboring, loving one another.

    In the film Perfect Sense, the element is a loss of all the senses, one by one, each presaged by a kind of outburst of emotion (rage, panic, fear, etc.) and the people learn to live with each loss, one by one, until only touch is left. Again, though one of the characters is in fact a scientist trying to find out what's up, the event is not a thing that answers to reason or science. They learn through their losses to appreciate what remains.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2020
    Seven Crowns likes this.
  5. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    Messages:
    8,642
    Likes Received:
    15,519
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    The others pretty much covered it. Something magical/spiritual/paranormal exists in the world, but it's not noteworthy. It's totally ordinary... like the sun rise. Which kind of doesn't make it magical at all. Hence magic realism.
     
  6. Avelino de Castro

    Avelino de Castro Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2020
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    WOW! Thanks everybody! So much useful information. You've really answered my question with diligent, and thoughtful research. I really have a much better understanding of it all now. So glad I joined this group!
     
    Wreybies and Seven Crowns like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice