magic realism

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magic realism,

primarily Latin American literary movement that arose in the 1960s. The term has been attributed to the Cuban writer Alejo CarpentierCarpentier, Alejo
, 1904–80, Cuban novelist and musicologist. As a political exile in Paris between 1928 and 1939, Carpentier was strongly influenced by Antonin Artaud, Jacques Prévert, and the surrealists.
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, who first applied it to Latin-American fiction in 1949. Works of magic realism mingle realistic portrayals of ordinary events and characters with elements of fantasy and myth, creating a rich, frequently disquieting world that is at once familiar and dreamlike. The movement's best-known proponent is the Colombian novelist Gabriel García MárquezGarcía Márquez, Gabriel
, 1927–2014, Colombian novelist, short-story writer, and journalist, b. Aracataca. Widely considered one of the great Latin American masters of narrative and one of the finest literary stylists of the 20th cent.
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, who has used the technique many times, most famously in his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967). Other magic realist writers include Guatemala's Miguel Ángel AsturiasAsturias, Miguel Ángel
, 1899–1974, Guatemalan novelist, poet, and diplomat. Living in Paris in the 1920s, Asturias was influenced by Romain Rolland, Valéry, and the surrealists.
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, Argentina's Julio CortázarCortázar, Julio
, 1914–84, Argentine novelist, poet, essayist, and short-story writer, b. Brussels. Moving permanently to France in 1951, Cortázar gradually gained recognition as one of the century's major experimental writers.
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, and Mexico's Carlos FuentesFuentes, Carlos
, 1928–2012, Mexican writer, editor, and diplomat. He was head of the department of cultural relations in Mexico's ministry of foreign affairs (1956–59) and Mexican ambassador to France (1975–77).
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. Non-Latin American writers whose fiction often employs magic realism include Italo CalvinoCalvino, Italo
, 1923–85, Italian novelist. Calvino was one of the most popular novelists of the 20th cent. Although loneliness is an essential condition in his writings, he imbues his stories with passion and celebrates the human capacity for love and imagination.
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 and Salman RushdieRushdie, Sir Salman
, 1947–, British novelist, b. Bombay (now Mumbai, India). He is known for the allusive richness of his language and the wide variety of Eastern and Western characters and cultures he explores.
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.