02 July 2019

magical realism

Magical realism is another genre that's a little difficult to pin down. One possible definition is: modern-world fiction with magical or fantastic elements added. Often it's quite liminal, just on, or over, the boundary of the fantastic. Sometimes, the prose itself can be distorted or unreal in some way, e.g. utilizing nonlinear time.

Traditionally, its goal has been to make the reader question reality, to make some point (often political or social) about reality. I think this intention is crucial for something to be classified as magical realism. Of course, the most famous magical realism novel is One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Latin American literature has a rich history with magical realism.

How do you create it? One way is to create a story with a very detailed realistic setting and let the strange invade. This strange could be fable or folk tale brought to life. Alternately, it could include supernatural powers such as telepathy or telekinesis. You begin to see how this could be difficult to differentiate from straight fantasy.
What do you think? What is magical realism? What's the best way to create it?

Consider sending us your magical realism story before July 15, 2019 if you want to get in our awsome August 2019 issue!

No comments: