Friday, November 22, 2002

Magical Realism

Macondo is a nice site dedicated to the work of master author Gabriel García Márquez (via plep).

Growing up in South America first introduced me to the literary tradition of magical realism, and a few years ago I had the pleasure of teaching a course in Latin American Studies for which I assigned One Hundred Years of Solitude as one of the textbooks. Sometimes it was much easier getting students to think about things through a work of fiction, and this is one of the greatest.

On magical realism - something close to my heart: "These writers interweave, in an ever-shifting pattern, a sharply etched realism in representing ordinary events and descriptive details together with fantastic and dreamlike elements, as well as with materials derived from myth and fairy tales... These novels violate, in various ways, standard novelistic expectations by drastic -- and sometimes highly effective -- experiments with subject matter, form, style, temporal sequence, and fusions of the everyday, the fantastic, the mythical, and the nightmarish, in renderings that blur traditional distinctions between what is serious or trivial, horrible or ludicrous, tragic or comic."

Brilliant and beautiful writing...

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