Magic Realism is a literary movement. It is associated with a style of writing or a technique that incorporates magical or supernatural (fantasy) events into a realistic event without questioning the unlikelihood of these events taking place together. Magic Realism is best described as literature and art combined. This combination of fantasy and fact is there to question the nature of reality. Magic realism made lived experiences appear extraordinary. By creating this feeling, the magical realist writers have all contributed to a re-envisioning of the Latin American culture as a vibrant and complex one.
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Magic Realism is a movement that has been misunderstood for many years by many people. It still remains a vague term today though. A large part of the problem of this movement being misunderstood is related to applying the term, Magic Realism, to different art forms and in different periods. Magic realism is applied to two main movements, art and literature, and has recently been applied to works in cinema.
The term Magic Realism was applied to paintings from the early 1920’s through to the end of the 1950’s. Magic Realism is realism that incorporates mysterious or fantastic elements but it still portrays everyday life. The time period of the 1960’s was when Magic Realism was applied to literature. At first Magic Realism was only used in reference to works of Latin American writers, such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Miguel Angel Asturias, Isabel Allende and Jorge Luis Borges.
The usage of Magic Realism has recently been expanded to include works of different origins and works of earlier periods. These include those of Ernst Juenger, Mikhail Bulgakov and Salman Rushie. Most of this literature features considerable amounts of fantasy therefore it is a different type of Magic Realism to the one that had been established in art in the 1920’s.
Recently some writers of this movement have expanded Magic Realism to apply to Motion Pictures. Examples of these works are films like American Beauty, Big Fish, Chocolat, The Red Violin, and Whale Rider. It is a lot easier in cinema to develop the difficult and complicated combination of realism and fantasy that together makes up the foundation of effective Magic Realism.
Magic realism is starting to develop an interest today that it had never commanded during the movement’s first half of the 20th century. Different sets of standards are used today to define Magic Realism in literature; this is causing confusion about what criteria is applied to contemporary work.
The counter movement to Magic Realism came to be known as the “Return to Order” or the “Call of Order”. The default approach of Magic Realism is to focus on the coexistence of the real and fantasy on equal terms. The power of Magic Realism has often been assumed to “lie” to the viewer in the way that the differences between these incompatible elements are erased/not shown.
One should always remember that Magic Realism cannot be seen as Science Fiction. Magic Realism is everyday life and it is all around us, all the time. Magic realism has changed the way that people think. Magic Realism brings a spark of life to the imagination instead of people seeing the boring and ordinary, and this then in turn brings excitement to the minds of the reader or the viewer.
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Magic realism has touched on almost every facet of life, from art to television. There is not one thing that is missing Magic Realism within it. If a viewer can look at an art work and see that there is more than just a picture of an inanimate object in the art work then they have finally grasped the concept of, and are able to appreciate Magic Realism.
Some sub topics of Magic Realism are those of literature, fashion, advertising and cinema. Magic Realism is NOT Science Fiction, but, Fantasy and science fiction are alike in the sense that both require the creation of a completely new world. When it comes to advertising, fantasy is great for entertainment but fantasy is not however always so great when it comes to trying to sell a product or service. When it comes to selling a product, there needs to be an element that hooks us to reality. It helps for advertising when a detail is added that can easily be imagined by the listener, viewer or reader. Magic Realism works in advertising for exciting the imagination of the viewer, listener or reader, but there should be an attachment or hook to reality to keep things realistic.
Magic Realism is all about fantasy meeting reality. When it comes to racial and gender ideologies, one does not have to worry about any of these ideologies within Magic Realism. Magic realism is about fantasy, there is not discrimination or rights or wrongs. There are no gender or racial ideologies used in any form or sub topic of magic realism. Women and men are equal in these works and all races are equal. Magic realism has no race and no gender; it is about fantasy meeting reality. Magic Realism creates the perfect fantasy world that we would all love to live in.
Magic Realism is the key to the decline of racial and gender ideologies. Through the combination of fantasy events with realism it allows for the study of alternate perceptions of the world, offering different views of history and identity, and also giving voice to cultural minorities. People view the world differently; they see a fantasy that has been made up. Magic realism allows people to express what they really feel and what they imagine a world to be like.
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