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 ?
My current work is about magical realism in Arabic and Hebrew.
Magical realism is largely absent from academic discussions of Latin American literature today, and Cosmopolitan Desires in fact opens little new ground on it as a topic.
Although "magical realism" derives from Franz Roh's term to describe German post-expressionist art in 1925 (see Bowers 9), it was not applied as a literary label until the late 1940s and early 1950s by critics, scholars, and writers such as Arturo Uslar-Pietri, Alejo Carpentier, and Angel Flores (on magical realism in Russian literature see, e.
It is a platitude among post-Boom critics and writers with a narrow Latin American focus to accept, following the model of the exhaustion of the avantgarde, that magical realism lost its artistic and political power after the end of the utopian era in Latin America, giving way to commercialization.
Midnight's Children is also considered to be the most famous example of magical realism outside Latin America, usually cited together with Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, particularly when scholars try to emphasize the global nature of magical realism.
Wendy Faris (2004), in her book Ordinary Enchantments: Magical Realism and the Remystification of Narrative, remarks on the smooth incorporation of the fantastic and the realistic, the latter characterized by detailed descriptions of the phenomenal world: "In other words, magical realism expands fictional reality to include events we used to call magic in realism.
Through a Utopian vision of the city, Rodriguez blends in with Mexican-American idiosyncrasy combining urban fantasy elements--where everyday aspects are intertwined and interact with fantastic elements--and magical realism details, reaping the benefits of a prolific Chicano and Mexican traditional literary genre.
Marquez helped change the landscape of Latin American literature and became a master of magical realism with his short stories and novels.
Magical realism Outside, thousands of yellow paper butterflies were blown into the air, a nod to the fluttering insects that follow a man in his masterpiece of magical realism, "One Hundred Years of Solitude.
It was through the beauty of magical realism that the great Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez once appeared in the armchair, even though he was still alive.
The author was considered one of the greatest Spanish-language writers, best known for his masterpiece of magical realism, One Hundred Years of Solitude.