What is Magical Realism?: An Explanation of a Literary Style

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This is the first book to carefully show the ways that magical realism emerged in the twentieth century in places other than Latin America. For example, the definition is given that works must contain elements of the neo-fantastic along with re-casting history. Gabriel García Márquez being the acknowledged representative author of the genre contains both in his novels. Authors like Gunter Grass, Franz Kafka, Jorge-Luis Borges, and Alejo Carpenter all contain some but not all elements of the genre. They can be considered early progenitors but not fully within the same classification as magical realism. Today in its fully developed form, magical realism is often viewed as being purposefully vague with determining the lines between fact and magic.


“A significant new study which offers an innovative interpretation of how the ingredients of magical realism came together over time in Latin America, the United States, Europe, and Asia.”

-Prof. Stephen M. Hart,
University College London

“This study is a needed addition to the critical bibliography about magic realism because it demystifies it and proposes an objective definition for the genre according to the fiction production itself.”

-Prof. Michele C. Dávila Gonçalves,
Salem State University

“One has sympathy with the idea of attempting to define more sharply a term that has become so loose and broadly applies as to be virtually meaningless.”

-Prof. Philip Swanson,
University College London

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Magical Realism: A Problem of Definition

Chapter Three: Magical Realism in Latin America

Chapter Four: Midnight’s Children and the Postcolonial Potential of Magical Realism

Chapter Five: Three Aspects of Today’s Magical Realism

Works Cited

Other Literature: Multiple Categories Books