Literature Meme: (2/3) Genres
↳ Magic Realism / Magical Realism

Magic realism or magical realism is a genre where magic elements are a natural part in an otherwise mundane, realistic environment. Although it is most commonly used as a literary genre, magic realism also applies to film and the visual arts.

The term is broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous: Professor Matthew Strecher defines magic realism as “what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe”. This critical perspective towards magical realism stems from the Western reader’s disassociation with mythology, a root of magical realism more easily understood by non-Western cultures.

Western confusion regarding magical realism is due to the “conception of the real” created in a magical realist text: rather than explain reality using natural or physical laws, as in typical Western texts, magical realist texts create a reality “in which the relation between incidents, characters, and setting could not be based upon or justified by their status within the physical world or their normal acceptance by bourgeois mentality”. (x)

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