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Magical Realism

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Jessica Swagger

on 25 October 2013

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Transcript of Magical Realism

Magical Realism
Style Analysis of Literary Periods For...
What Is It?
What Is Its Purpose?
To change the way in which one thinks or acts
To show a different viewpoint of life
To explore possibilities of the very real world that serves as the usual framework
Not to be escapist, but rather to engage the reader into confrontations that deal with real issues and situations
What Is Its Origin?
Basic Questions
Before going on further, I will explain these two important figures first
Before going further, I will talk about these two important figures first
Franz Roh...
Born 1890 in Apolda (Thuringia), Germany
An art historian, photographer, and art critic
In 1946 he was awarded a professorship at the University of Munich, a position he held for the remainder of his life.

Alejo Carpentier...
Born 1904 in Lausanne, Switzerland
Though born in Europe he claimed he was Cuban-born since he was taken to Havana as an infant
Wrote several opera librettos and ballet pieces with Afro-Cuban themes, and in 1933 he published a novel
An exhibition of pictures titled Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) was presented in Mannheim, Germany.

Magical realism was then coined by Franz Roh in his article Magischer Realismus ("Magic Realism"), describing the works shown at the event.
Magic Realism (El Realismo Magico) was a term first coined by the Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier to describe the combination of the fantastic and everyday in Latin American fiction. He mentions this term in the introduction of his novel "Kingdom of This World."

About the same time it was also used by European critics to describe a similar trend in postwar German fiction exemplified by novels. Magic Realism has now become the standard name for a major trend in contemporary fiction that stretches to works of Latin America.
A literary genre in which magical features and storylines appear and are accepted as everyday reality.

Magical realist stories often have a dream-like landscape and call on folk-lore and myth to question the true nature of reality.

Fantastical elements that are never explained
Characters accept rather than question the logic of the magical element
Sensory of details
Use of symbols and imagery extensively
Emotions and the sexuality developed in great detail
Inversion of cause and effect
Distortion or collapse of time creating a setting in which the present repeats or resembles the past
Mirroring past against present; astral against physical planes; or characters one against another
Incorporated legend or folklore
Presentation of events from multiple standpoints
Open-ended conclusion
Writers Influenced By This Style...
Gabriel García Márquez
Born in the small town of Aracataca, Colombia
After college, he became a journalist
Introduced readers to Magical Realism
Won a Nobel Prize in 1982
“A trickle of blood came out under the door, crossed the living room, went out into the street, continued on in a straight line across the uneven terraces, went down steps and climbed over curbs, passed along the Street of the Turks, turned a corner to the right and another to the left, made a right angle at the Buendía house, went in under the closed door, crossed through the parlor, hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs, went on to the other living room, made a wide curve to avoid the dining-room table, went along the porch with the begonias, and passed without being seen under Amaranta's chair as she gave an arithmetic lesson to Aureliano José, and went through the pantry and came out in the kitchen, where Úrsula was getting ready to crack thirty-six eggs to make bread.

"Holy Mother of God!" Úrsula shouted.”
― Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Love in the Time of Cholera
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Kurt Vonnegut
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana
Merged as a novelist and essayist in the 1960s
Known for his satirical literary style, as well as the science fiction elements in much of his work
Cat's Cradle
Breakfast of Champions
The Sirens of Titan
“The letter said that they were two feet high, and green., and shaped like plumber's friends. Their suction cups were on the ground, and their shafts, which were extremely flexible, usually pointed to the sky. At the top of each shaft was a little hand with a green eye in its palm. The creatures were friendly, and they could see in four dimensions. They pitied Earthlings for being able to see only three. They had many wonderful things to teach Earthlings, especially about time. Billy promised to tell what some of those wonderful things were in his next letter.
Billy was working on his second letter when the first letter was published. The second letter started out like this:
The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "so it goes.”
Jorge Luis Borges
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
First published book was a volume of poems
In 1938, he suffered a severe head wound
In the next eight years he produced his best fantastic stories.
Book of Imaginary Beings
“Gradually, the concrete enigma I labored at disturbed me less than the generic enigma of a sentence written by a god. What type of sentence (I asked myself) will an absolute mind construct? I considered that even in the human languages there is no proposition that does not imply the entire universe: to say "the tiger" is to say the tigers that begot it, the deer and turtles devoured by it, the grass on which the deer fed, the earth that was mother to the grass, the heaven that gave birth to the earth. I considered that in the language of a god every word would enunciate that infinite concatenation of facts, and not in an implicit but in an explicit manner, and not progressively but instantaneously. In time, the notion of a divine sentence seemed puerile or blasphemous. A god, I reflected, ought to utter only a single word and in that word absolute fullness. No word uttered by him can be inferior to the universe or less than the sum total of time.”
― Jorge Luis Borges, LABYRINTHS
Isabel Allende
Born in Lima, Peru
House of the Spirits and City of the Beasts, are written in the style of magic realism, which uses fantasy and myth to override time and place
House of Spirits
Eva Luna
City of the Beasts
Daughter of Fortune
“At times I feel as if I had lived all this before and that I have already written these very words, but I know it was not I: it was another woman, who kept her notebooks so that one day I could use them. I write, she wrote, that memory is fragile and the space of a single life is brief, passing so quickly that we never get a chance to see the relationship between events; we cannot gauge the consequences of our acts, and we believe in the fiction of past, present, and future, but it may also be true that everything happens simultaneously. ... That's why my Grandmother Clara wrote in her notebooks, in order to see things in their true dimension and to defy her own poor memory.”
Art Inspired By This Style...
Modern Examples...
In Conclusion...
Magic Realism first appeared as a term for the visual arts, introduced in the 1920's by Frans Roh, a German art critic. It identified a kind of art that claimed to be a return to realism, but which nonetheless tried to approach objects in new ways, as if seeing them for the first time. It was an attempt to uncover a magic found in ordinary objects but hidden by too long a familiarity with these objects.

When Roh's book was translated into Spanish in the late 1920's, the term magic realism began to be bandied about in South America, soon becoming a way of speaking not only about art but about literature.
Magical Realism has the most effect on the masses. Although most people might not realize they are being affected by Magical Realism, in actuality they are dealing with it everyday.
Paul Bond
Rob Gonzalez
Andrew Wyeth
Steven Kenny
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