So That’s What Magic Realism Is

Over at Bright Weavings, Guy Gavriel Kay is talking about the use of the fantastic in literature. The post includes the following:

Yesterday, in the New York Review of Books, I am reading a review of a major bio of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and encounter this sentence:

“Martin [the biographer] helpfully defines magic realism as a story in which the world is as the characters believe it to be … without any indication from the author that this world-view is quaint, folkloric or superstitious.

Oh dear. I laughed too. Thank you, Guy.

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3 Responses to So That’s What Magic Realism Is

  1. Terry Weyna says:

    I must agree with the estimable Mr. Kay on this point: “Well, damn.” And I further agree that it’s magic realism when it’s fantasy plopped into an otherwise realistic novel — because “magic realism” sounds so much tonier, don’t you know? (Sticking out my pinky finger here.)

  2. Neil in Chicago says:

    I wish someone had told John Updike and Saul Bellow they were writing “magic realism”. I would very much love to have seen their reactions.

  3. V says:

    I find it telling to consider which authors’ works get labeled “magical realism”; what may be called fantasy when written by a Finnish writer will be called “magical realism” when written by a Caribbean author.

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