What is the meaning of magic realism? Concept and Definition of magic realism

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Definition of magic realism

With this label is known to a Spanish-American literary movement emerged in the mid-20th century, characterized by its commitment to incorporate great or wonderful elements in a narrative sharply realistic; However, the magical realism had curdled in Europe in the 1930s, after a first reference to this artistic trend by German scholar Franz Roh in 1923; soon, Italy would make his that aesthetic Massimo Bontempelli paint program, at the end of that decade. In the years that we are dealing with, more exactly since 1928, Alejo Carpentier, father of Latin American magical realism, lived in Paris and Madrid, which allowed him to come into contact with the literary currents more innovative. In this environment, not only saw the light magical realism that Carpentier would reflected in about the "real" wonderful"(1949) and that would follow other authors such as García Márquez, but also another form of writing often tagged in the same way but with distinct hallmarks: the magic of two great writers gallegos, Álvaro Cunqueiro, with its Celtic myths and realism medieval, and Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, with its literary recreation of a Galician society between the nearest and most prosaic reality and a world of fiction full of myths and legends.


Meaning of magical realism

The notion of magical realism was employed for the first time by the German critic specializing in art Franz Roh, who devised the term 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, it is considered that magical realism is a literary genre of broad artistic range that had its heyday in the middle of the 20th century.
Among the main features that usually appear in the novels of magic realism, the content is fantastic or magical elements that are perceived as normal by the characters. On the other hand, stands out the presence of the sensory as part of the perception of reality.
Magical realism also encompasses the myths and legends, which can be presented by multiple narrators (which combined first, second and third person).
You can not speak of Latin American literature without naming to magical realism, because from the Latin-American Boom to the present day, she has nurtured by elements belonging to the fantasy. However, it is necessary to clarify that it is not the same talk of magic realism to fantasy, because so that a work can be contained in the latter should not be exclusively fantastic but contain elements of fantasy in a realistic story, where these elements are taken as natural by the characters.
Texts belonging to magical realism meet conditions that make them distinctive.
It has a theme with realistic features but that has surreal elements that have to do with the Latin American memory, the search for identity and sensitivity.
* A space, minimum where all actions are developed which possesses an atmosphere of intimacy where they operate the figures that give life to the story.
* Characters a little "crazy", with an almost dreamlike vision of the life they planned and carried out travel time and space without moving from the place. Trance States allowing them to live intense events and resolve conflicts that carry from childhood. They are beings that are always at the forefront of the political and social events of his time.
* Time is perceived in this context how cyclical or distorted, so that you can repeat is present or is similar to the past. In terms of scenarios, they tend to be associated with the Latin American reality, so are poverty and social marginalization.
The main exponents of magic realism, include two authors who were awarded the Nobel Prize for literature: Gabriel García Márquez Colombian and Guatemalan Miguel Ángel Asturias.
Magical realism was the ideal answer for authors who live in countries where the dictatorship and censorship corrupted all areas of society, could express themselves fluently, allowing through fantasy explain those elements of the reality that with the exact words would have condemned them to death.
It should be noted that the main book of magical realism is "One hundred years of solitude" by García Márquez, a work which during the IV International Congress of the Spanish language was chosen as the most outstanding Spanish 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, instigating to give with the origin of life or understand certain issues that make the lives of their characters or society to which it belongs; in this quest for the truth are supernatural elements, because superstition, the landscape of dreams and fantasy are part of the reality, enrich everyday life and allow this copper a sense of transcendence.

Concept of magic realism

Magical realism is an artistic current that magical elements or illogical situations, compared with other more realistic or normal considered works. Developed in the mid-20th century, his expression was especially through literature, although it also included painting and filming.
The term magic realism was used for the first time in 1925, by the German critic Franz Roh, which referred to a particular style of painting. Later, it was used to describe the style of some American painters like Paul Cadmus, Ivan Albright and George Tooker, among other artists of the decades of 1940 and 1950. It is important to mention that, unlike the use of the term in the literature, when he describes the Visual Arts, not refers to paintings with elements of magic and illogical, but realistic in extreme and, at times, worldly.
Important were the writers Alejo Carpentier, Jorge Luis Borges and Juan Rulfo, who with his first works were able to influence the Latin American Boom of the 1960s. It is said that the first work of magic realism was Pedro Páramo de Juan Rulfo. Important were also the work of Isabel Allende, "House of spirits", and Gabriel García Márquez, "One hundred years of solitude", which were hits for sale around the world. In fact, the latter is often considered the best exponent of magical realism, also including his works "The autumn of the Patriarch" and "Chronicles of a death announced". Outside Latin America, magical realism influenced the works of authors such as Italian Italo Calvino, Czech Milan Kundera, and Salman Rushdie English.
As for filming are some stories by Woody Allen which can be seen within the magical realism. Highlights "Zelig", "The Purple Rose of Cairo", "Alice", "Shadows and Fog" and "The Curse of the Jade Scorpion".
The works of magical realism are characterized by certain elements present in them: there are magic items that characters considered normal; the magical elements can guess but not explained; It contains multiple narrators who may be first, second, and third persons; the time may be distorted and is perceived as cyclical and not linear; the everyday is transformed in experiences that can be supernatural; the characters can revive; the scenes are mostly American. The above are just some of the elements of magic realism.
Magical realism features include the following: on issues, there is diversity of historical epochs, a cultural essence of miscegenation and pre-Columbian elements to their mythological values. As for the characters, they often have journeys that are not only physical, but also change of space time. As to the time, it can be chronological (with a logical course), static (time stops as if it were not important), inverted (night, day is), and there may also be a rupture of the planes of the time (the present is mixed with the past and the future).

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