What is magical realism?

What Does magical realism Mean

The notion of magical realism was first used by the German art critic Franz Roh , who devised this expression to refer to a painting that reflected a modified reality .

However, the concept gained greater significance when the Venezuelan Arturo Uslar Pietri used it to describe the work of certain authors of Latin American origin. Since then, magical realism is considered to be a literary genre of wide artistic scope that reached its peak in the middle of the 20th century .
Among the main characteristics that usually appear within the novels of magical realism, is the content with fantastic or magical elements that are perceived as normal by the characters. On the other hand, the presence of the sensory is highlighted as part of the perception of reality.

Magical realism also encompasses myths and legends , which can be presented by multiple narrators (thus combining the first, second, and third person).
It is not possible to speak of Latin American literature without naming magical realism, because from the Latin American Boom to the present day, it has been nourished by elements belonging to fantasy. However, it is necessary to clarify that it is not the same to speak of fantasy than of magical realism, because for a work to be contained in the latter it must not be exclusively fantastic, but rather contain elements of fantasy in a realistic story, where these elements are taken as natural for the characters.
The texts that belong to magical realism meet certain conditions that make them characteristic.

* It has a theme with realistic characteristics but that has unreal elements that have to do with Latin American memory, the search for identity and sensitivity.

* A particular, minimal space where all the actions take place that has an atmosphere of intimacy where the figures that give life to the story unfold.

* Characters a bit "crazy", with an almost dreamlike vision of life and who plan and make time and space travel without leaving the place. Trance states that allow them to experience intense events and resolve conflictsthat they carry since childhood. They are beings who are always at the forefront of the political and social events of their time.

* Time is perceived in this framework as cyclical or appears distorted, so that the present can be repeated or is similar to the past. As for the scenarios, they are usually related to the Latin American reality , which is why poverty and social marginalization appear.

Among the main exponents of magical realism, there are two authors who were awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature : the Colombian Gabriel García Márquez and the Guatemalan Miguel Ángel Asturias .
Magic realism was the ideal response for authors who, living in countries where dictatorship and censorship corrupted all areas of society, were able to express themselves fluently, allowing through fantasy to explain those elements of reality that with the exact words they would have been sentenced to death.
It should be noted that the main book of magical realism is "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by García Márquez , a work that during the IV International Congress of the Spanish Language was chosen as the most outstanding in Castilian after the always remembered "Don Quijote de la Mancha ” .
Finally, we want to make it clear that when analyzing a work belonging to this genre we must bear in mind that the main objective of the author is to know the truth , instigate to find the origin of life or understand certain issues that make the life of its characters or the society to which it belongs; In this search for truth, supernatural elements appear, because superstition, the landscape of dreams and fantasy are part of reality, enriching everyday life and allowing it to acquire a sense of transcendence .

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