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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References in periodicals archive ?
By the time of writing several decades had passed since the Latin American Boom of the 1960s and 1970s; the genre has long become popular with the wider public and spread to other countries: to judge by the same collection of essays, Salman Rushdie, a British Indian, came to be regarded as a prototypical magical realist.
Allende's second novel, like her first, is a highly political allegory of postdictatorship Chile, though it adopts a journalistic, rather than a magical realist, style.
Hall's own study moves seamlessly from the material to the documented record, from the South American literature of the magical realist imagination to contemporary politics.
The geography of these novels is not gothic but magical realist.
There is also the environmental justice fiction of novelist Karen Tei Yamashita, whether one uses the magical realist black comedy, Through the Arc of the Rain Forest (1990), or the postmodern multi-narrated novel set in Los Angeles, Tropic of Orange (1997).
Of all these characteristics, the irreducible element of magic (as opposed to empirically based knowledge of events) figures more prominently in Faris's deliberations of whether a text can be considered magical realist or not.
Gabriella Belli sees two tendencies in Italian art at work during this time, the frenetic Dionysian impulse that animated futurism, and the calmer, more reflective Apollonian of the metaphysical, magical realist and novecento movements that quickly succeeded the futurists in a return to the traditional classical sources of Italian art.
Arturo and Catherine seek redemption at the ocean's edge in a beautifully staged climactic scene that was presaged by a brief reference to magical realist Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the first act.
It is also bursting with spirit and grandeur, although adapting a fairly complex Mexican magical realist novel for the stage is not without its difficulties.
Gilbert's stories, set in the fictional Central American village of Palomar, are known for their magical realist bent and this second volume has the arrival of a serial killer in Palomar and the village's response to modernity, hotels and phone lines.
The title pays homage to the 2001 magical realist film Le fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulin, known in the United States as Amelie.
Gaylard suggests that, using techniques of identification, defamiliarisation and extrapolation, African magical realist authors enable readers to think more clearly and empathise more deeply through their imaginative entry into "sceptical heterotopias" (317).