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1. Definicion
Magical realism, which of all the terms has had the most critical
consideration, relies most of all upon the matter-of-fact, realist tone of
its narrative when presenting magical happenings. For this reason it is
often considered to be related to, or even a version of literary realism. (Bowers 2004: 3)
One of the unique
features of magical realism is its reliance upon the reader to follow
the example of the narrator in accepting both realistic and magical
perspectives of reality on the same level. It relies upon the full
acceptance of the veracity of the fiction during the reading experience,
no matter how different this perspective may be to the readers nonreading
opinions and judgements. (Bowers 2004: 3)
Because it breaks down the
distinction between the usually opposing terms of the magical and the
realist, magical realism is often considered to be a disruptive narrative
mode. (Bowers 2004: 3)

2. Termino: origen
Dificil de encontrar la historia del concepto de realism magico
The consensus amongst the majority of contemporary critics, such as
Amaryll Chanady, Seymour Menton, Lois Parkinson Zamora and
Wendy Faris, is that the German art critic Franz Roh (18901965)
introduced the term to refer to a new form of post-expressionist painting
during the Weimar Republic. In his 1925 book Nach-Expressionismus,
Magischer Realismus: Probleme der neusten europischen Malerei
(Post-expressionism, Magic Realism: Problems of the Most Recent
European Painting) he coined the term that is translated as magic
realism to define a form of painting that differs greatly from its
predecessor (expressionist art) in its attention to accurate detail, a
smooth photograph-like clarity of picture and the representation of the
mystical non-material aspects of reality. (Bowers, 2004: 8)
primero se refiere a la pintura y despues entra en la esfera de la literatura
hay una conexion entre la histora, el periodo politico y econopmico en el que aparecio la
corriente , porque reflecta la sociedad: The historical context in which magic realist
painting developed was
that of the unstable German Weimar Republic during the period
191923. This era followed the German defeat in the First World Warand the abdication
and flight into exile of the Kaiser in 1918. It was a
period of political fragility when the vacuum of power that was created
following the abdication of the Kaiser was fought over by right-wing
and left-wing revolutionary groups, including the National Socialist
German Workers Party of Adolf Hitler, founded in 1920. It was an era
of political violence (the Minister for Reconstruction was assassinated
in 1922) and extreme economic difficulty due to the destruction of the
economy of Germany by the war and the demands for reparation by
their victors (Davies 1996:9412). (Bowers, 2004: 9)
dos influencias en el termino: primero el escritor Massiomo Bontempelli, que fondo la
revista 900, y su idea de realismo magico coincide con la de Roh, solo que aplica en
termino a la literatura (Bowers 2004: 12) y la influencia de Roh, del post-expresionismo y
surrealismo en America Latina (Bowers 2004: 12)
It is

Carpentier who, having immersed himself in European art and literature

in the 1920s, has become most widely acknowledged as the originator
of Latin American magic(al) realism. After returning from Europe to
Cuba and having travelled in Haiti, he instigated a distinctly Latin
American form of magic realism, coining the phrase lo realismo
maravilloso (marvellous realism) (Bowers 2004: 13)
While both magic realism and marvellous realism refer to distinct and
different versions of magic(al) realism, a new term magical realism
has emerged in criticism following the 1955 essay Magical Realism in
Spanish American Fiction by the critic Angel Flores. This term can be
used to refer to the versions of magic(al) realism that have aspects of
both magic realism and marvellous realism. (Bowers 2004: 13)

3. Influencias: que paises, como apareci

The key
figures in the development of the term are the German art critic Franz
Roh best known for his work in the 1920s, the mid-twentieth-century
Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier, the Italian writer Massimo Bontempelli
from the 1920s and 1930s, the mid-twentieth-century Latin American
literary critic Angel Flores and the late twentieth-century Latin
American novelist Gabriel Garca Mrquez. (Bowers, 2004: 7)
Asociacion con el modernismo, porque no esta de acuerdo con la idea de claridad y
quiere encontrar nuevos modos de expresar una cierta vision de la realidad:
Although it is now most famously associated with Latin America, many
of its influences can be traced to European literature, particularly of the
modernist period at the beginning of the twentieth century. Magic
realist painting shares with modernism an attempt to find a new way of
expressing a deeper understanding of reality witnessed by the artist and
writer through experimentation with painting and narrative techniques. (Bowers,
2004: 7)
Much of the confusion concerning magic realism arises from the
fact that it was contemporary with surrealism. Surrealist manifestos
were written in 1924 and 1930, and some claim it is a branch of this
art movement. There are similarities between the two movements, and
it is important to note that at a later date magic(al) realist writers,
particularly Alejo Carpentier, were influenced by both Roh and the
surrealists. The similarities are significant, not least the surrealists
desire to draw out the hidden psychic aspects of life into art, their
desire for newness following war, and their attempts to harmonize
contradictions and paradoxes. (Bowers 2004: 11)

Magical realism radically modifies and

replenishes the dominant mode of realism in the West, challenging its basis
of representation from within. That destabilization of a dominant form
means that it has served as a particularly effective decolonizing agent. Very
briefly defined, magical realism combines realism and the fantastic so that
the marvelous seems to grow organically within the ordinary, blurring the
distinction between them. Furthermore, that combination of realistic and
fantastical narrative, together with the inclusion of different cultural traditions,
means that magical realism reflects, in both its narrative mode and its
cultural environment, the hybrid nature of much postcolonial society. (Faris 2004:
mai mult si in Ordinary enchantments p 35- 39

4. Periodos
The first period is set in Germany in the 1920s, the second
period in Central America in the 1940s and the third period, beginning
in 1955 in Latin America, continues internationally to this day. (Bowers, 2004: 7)

5. Caracteristicas + diferencias con otras Corrientes

Most essential among my criteria for inclusion in the

mode of magical realism is the existence of an irreducible element that
is unexplainable according to the laws of the universe as they have been
formulated by modern, post-enlightenment empiricism, with its heavy
reliance on sensory data, together with a preponderance of realistic event,
character, and description that conform to the conventions of literary
realism. (Faris: 102) => elementos magicos/ fantasticos nunca explicados,
percibidos por los personajes como parte de la normalidad

Opposition between the centre and the margin :

In his seminal article on Magical Realism as Postcolonial Discourse,

Stephen Slemon provides the basis for considering why magical realism
has been such a central element of postcolonial literatures. He proposes
that in the language of narration in a magic realist text, a battle between
two oppositional systems takes place, each working toward the creation
of a different kind of fictional world from the other. Since the ground
The Question of the Other 103

rules of these two worlds are incompatible, neither one can fully come
into being, and each remains suspended, locked in a continuous dialectic
with the other, a situation which creates disjunction within each of the
separate discursive systems, rending them with gaps, absences, and
That type of sustained opposition between two opposing
discursive systems forestalls the possibility of interpretive closure
through any act of naturalizing the text to an established system of
(409-10) (Faris: 103_
For whatever a realist text may say, the fact
that realism purports to give an accurate picture of the world, based in
fidelity to empirical evidence, and that it is a European import, have led
to its being experienced by writers in colonized societies like Harriss as
the language of the colonizer. From this perspective, to adopt magical
realism, with its irreducible elements that question that dominant
constitutes a kind of liberating poetics. (Faris: 103)

Narrative primitivism: myths, legends and cultural practices

Because magical realism often gives voice in the thematic domain to

indigenous or ancient myths, legends, and cultural practices, and in the

domain of narrative technique to the literary traditions that express them
with the use of non-realistic events and images, it can be seen as a kind of
narrative primitivism. (Faris: 103)

hidden or silent voices, voices of the other (even if they are not
voices of decolonization): In a 1982 review of Garca Mrquezs
Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Rushdie states that El realismo magical
[sic], magical realism, at least as practiced by Mrquez, is a development
out of Surrealism that expresses a genuinely ThirdWorld consciousness.
It deals with what Naipaul has called half-made societies, in which the
impossibly old struggles against the appallingly new (Faris: 107)
dead people that come to life

Presencia de lo sensorial como parte de la percepcin de la realidad.

El tiempo es percibido como cclico, no como lineal, segn tradiciones disociadas de la

racionalidad moderna.
Se distorsiona el tiempo, para que el presente se repita o se parezca al pasado.

Transformacin de lo comn y cotidiano en una vivencia que incluye experiencias

"sobrenaturales" o "fantsticas". (narrativa....mai bn caut citate altundeva)

creation of material metaphors (Faris, 2004: 3)

narrator: I then discuss the way in which magical realism destabilizes
realistic representation by means of what I call its defocalized narrative.
As I explain in more detail there, because it reports events that it does not
empirically verify through sensory data, within a realistic, empirically based,
fiction, the narrative voice seems to be of uncertain origin, and the narrative
is defocalized. In addition, because it witnesses and reports events that
humans ordinarily do not, and therefore suggests the existence of forces that
are not encompassed by reference to ordinary human perceptions of a strictly
material reality, magical realism is also imbued with a certain visionary power.
us the mode constitutes what we might term a remystification of narrative
in the West (Faris, 2004:3)
In that context, magical realism
continues the process of patriarchal cultures disenchantment with itself
and its dominant forms of realistic representation begun by surrealism. It has
therefore adopted what can be regarded in this context as various traditionally
female ways of being and knowing. For example, feminist theoreticians,
including Julia Kristeva, Luce Irigaray, and Elaine Showalter, among others,
have proposed that to speak with a voice that is not one within patriarchal
culture is a female strategy, so that the multivocal and defocalized narrative
of magical realism, which bridges the diverse worlds of realism and fantasy,
is double-voiced in the way that female voices have been, integrating both
a dominant and a muted mode in a given text. However, like surrealism,
magical realism also perpetuates some of patriarchal cultures stereotypes,
using female bodies as a bridge to the beyond, for instance. Because of the
importance of these gender issues, in Chapter I investigate whether it is
possible to discern the presence of a female voice in magical realism. In addition

to considering novels by women, I also investigate the use of women

as narrative enablers in the texts of male magical realists. (Faris 2004: 4)
Faris identifica cinco caracteristicas del realism magico: First, the
text contains an irreducible element of magic; second, the descriptions in
magical realism detail a strong presence of the phenomenal world; third, the
reader may experience some unsettling doubts in the effort to reconcile two
contradictory understandings of events; fourth, the narrative merges different
realms; and, finally, magical realism disturbs received ideas about time,
space, and identity. (Faris 2004: 4)
1. The irreducible element is something we cannot explain according to
the laws of the universe as they have been formulated in Western empirically
based discourse, that is, according to logic, familiar knowledge, or received
belief, as David Young and Keith Hollaman describe it. 1 erefore,
the reader has difficulty marshaling evidence to settle questions about the
status of events and characters in such fictions. (Faris 2004: 7)
implied author : suspends conventional norms of reason and logic and therefore
the reader has to do the same (Faris 2004: 8)
como los eventos maravillosos, magicos suceden al mismo tiempo como los
elementos reales, posibles, esto significa que al nivelo del texto esas cosas
realmente suceden (Faris 2004: 8), pero lo magico no es tatalmente absorto por
su realismo porque al mismo tiempo los personajes no estan choqueadas por lo
magico In short, the magic in these
texts refuses to be entirely assimilated into their realism; it does not brutally
shock but neither does it melt away, so that it is like a grain of sand in the oyster
of that realism. (Faris 2004: 8)
In the light of disruptions of cause and effect and irreducible elements of
magic recounted with little or no comment, in conjunction with accounts
of extraordinary but actual phenomena and events, the real as we know it
may seem amazing or even ridiculous.13 As Erik Camayd-Freixas expresses
it, summarizing the thesis of Irlemar Chiampi, magical realism contains the
coexistence of the natural and the supernatural in a narrative that presents
them in a nondisjunctive way, in which the natural appears strange, and the
supernatural pedestrian. (Faris 2004: 11): interchange between natural and
2. A second characteristic of magical realism is that its descriptions detail a
strong presence of the phenomenal world. is is the realism in magical
realism, distinguishing it from much fantasy and allegory. It appears in several
ways. Realistic descriptions create a fictional world that resembles the
one we live in, often by extensive use of detail. On one hand, this attention
to sensory detail continues and renews the realistic tradition. On the other
hand, in addition to including magical events (such as Beloveds appearances
and Frances Phelans conversations with the dead) or phenomena (such as
Melquadess manuscript, Saleems transmitting and receiving radio head,
and Grenouilles nose), magical realist fiction includes intriguing magical
details. Because these magical details represent a clear departure from realism,
detail is freed from a traditionally mimetic role to a greater extent than
it has been before. (Faris 2004: 12
If we focus on reference rather than on description, we may witness
idiosyncratic recreations of historical events, but events grounded firmly in

historical realities, often alternate versions of officially sanctioned accounts. 24

is grounding in history grows out of realisms frequent embedding of random
persons and events in the general course of contemporary history, as
Erich Auerbach expressed it. (Faris 2004 15)
Historical anchoring is well demonstrated in what John Foster calls felt
history, whereby a character experiences historical forces bodily: Anna Karenina,
for instance, is crushed by a train, which in this context represents
European modernizing forces in Russia (Faris 2004: 16) sa vad daca gasesc ceva)
3. A third quality of magical realism is that before categorizing the irreducible
element as irreducible, the reader may hesitate between two contradictory
understandings of events, and hence experience some unsettling doubts. e
question of belief is central here, this hesitation frequently stemming from the
implicit clash of cultural systems within the narrative, which moves toward
belief in extrasensory phenomena but narrates from the post-Enlightenment
perspective and in the realistic mode that traditionally exclude them. Faris 2004:
We hesitate on three accounts, most important, because we wonder whether
the events the novel narrates are possible and therefore could be true. at
initial hesitation increases the intensity of the two other, more pragmatic,
speculations about whether Garca Mrquez actually witnessed the phenomenon,
and whether the introduction is fact or fiction. With Aura, we
hesitate at first and then begin to comprehend slowly, because the details of
Felipe Monteros transformation into General Llorente are given camouflaged
and piecemeal, so that the awareness of the transformation dawns on the
reader in the same way it does on Felipe, bit by bit.
In many instances, however, the magic in magical realism is clear and we barely
hesitate (Faris 2004:19)
Another possible strategy for the reader is to interpret a particular instance
of magic in an otherwise realistic fiction as nothing more than allegory. (Faris
Defocalization: In magical realism, the focalizationthe perspective from which
events are presentedis indeterminate; the kinds of perceptions it presents
are indefinable and the origins of those perceptions are unlocatable. 1 at
indeterminacy results from the fact that magical realism includes two conflicting
kinds of perception that perceive two different kinds of event: magical
events and images not normally reported to the reader of realistic fiction because
they are not empirically verifiable, and verifiable (if not always ordinary)
ones that are realisms characteristic domain.2 us magical realism modifies
the conventions of realism based in empirical evidence, incorporating other
kinds of perception. In other words, the narrative is defocalized because it
seems to come from two radically different perspectives at once (Faris 2004: 43)
4. Merging realms: we experience the closeness or nearmerging of two
realms, two worlds (Faris 2004:21)
a confrontation between real-world norms (the laws
of nature) and other-worldly, supernatural norms. 40 In terms of cultural
history, magical realism often merges ancient or traditionalsometimes
and modern worlds. Ontologically, within the texts, it integrates
the magical and the material.41 Generically, it combines realism and the
fantastic. (Faris 2004: 21)
5. Disruptions of time, space and identity: disturb received ideas about time,
space and identity

The multivocal nature of the narrative and the

cultural hybridity that characterize magical realism extends to its characters,
which tend toward a radical multiplicity (Faris 2004: 25)
Space: Magic realism in south america and the rest of the world??? 2 types of
magic realism: These two strains of scholarly and mythic roughly coincide with
the two
types of magical realism that Roberto Gonzlez Echevarra proposes: the
epistemological, in which marvels stem from an observers vision, and the
ontological, in which America is considered to be itself marvelous (Alejo
Carpentiers lo real maravilloso[the marvelous real]) (Faris 2004: 27)
The ineffable: is combination of divinity and absurdity characterizes
magical realism as it attempts to bridge the gap between ancient divinity
and modern absurdity, which often includes scientifically created atrocity.
is bridging function motivates many of the magical realist techniques we
examine in this chapter. ese narrative techniques enhance the defocalization
of magical realism discussed in Chapter and hence particularize how
magical realism constitutes a narrative space of the ineffable in-between. (Faris
2004: 88)
Magical Details, Nave Narrators,
Indeterminate Spaces and Times, the Oneiric Optic : One of the most immediately

striking ways in which magical realism imbricates

the extraordinary within the ordinary is the accumulation of realistic
details to describe an impossible event. (Faris 2004: 90)- probabil cand moare
bunica erendirei
is stance is often characterized as childlike or nave because magical
events are accepted by the narrator as children seem to accept such events in
stories, without questioning their reality. And it detaches us to some extent
from realisms conventional reliance on sensory verification. (Faris 2004: 94)
A variation on the childlike stance occurs when the narrator reports the
doubts of other characters but registers none of his or her own, a technique
that causes the reader to hesitate about what attitude to take. (Faris 2004: 96)
In addition to the accumulation of realistic details around an impossible
event, and variations on the nave or reticent narrator, magical realism employs
several other techniques that create a sense of indeterminacy. In One
Hundred Years of Solitude, both the space of the text and the time of its telling
are indeterminate. (Faris 2004: 97)
The poetics of magical realism involves various bridging techniques that enable
the narrative to conflate different physical and discursive worlds. (Faris 2004:
Frequently, as in some shamanistic curing ceremonies, the narrative
bridge magically conflates the worlds of the living and the dead, joining the
worlds of the present and the past(Faris 2004: 105)
Linguistic magic in these fictions sometimes thrives on the presence
of intertextual bricolage in postmodern writing; allusion provides a special
variety of literalizationmaking the verbal realwhen it makes already created
characters into new ones. (Faris 2004: 105)
e interchange in magical realism between different worlds and kinds of

discourse is embodied on a larger scale than that of linguistic magic in what

we might call a two-way-street phenomenon. is verbal traffic maneuver
arranges events or objects in the text along an imaginary spectrum running
from the improbable to the impossible, or, in other words, from the uncanny
to the marvelous, and back again, concentrating its energies near the
mid-point. e spectrum ranges from events that are not impossible but so
improbable as to be nearly magic to magical occurrences that are nearly real,
so that the effect is to blend those two worlds; in some instances near the
middle it is virtually impossible to decide to which end of the spectrum an
event belongs.
terminos diferentes: realismo magico/ realismo maravilloso
It follows that a definition of magic(al) realism relies upon the prior
understanding of what is meant by magic and what is meant by
realism. Magic is the less theorized term of the two, and contributes
to the variety of definitions of magic(al) realism. In fact, each of the
versions of magic(al) realism have differing meanings for the term
magic; in magic realism magic refers to the mystery of life: in
marvellous and magical realism magic refers to any extraordinary
occurrence and particularly to anything spiritual or unaccountable by
rational science. The variety of magical occurrences in magic(al) realist
writing includes ghosts, disappearances, miracles, extraordinary talents
and strange atmospheres but does not include the magic as it is found in
a magic show. Conjuring magic is brought about by tricks that give
the illusion that something extraordinary has happened, whereas in
magic(al) realism it is assumed that something extraordinary really has
happened. (Bowers 2004: 19)
Realism vs magic realism: By accepting that there is a
reliable link between our senses and the world in which we live, realism
assumes that the external world is real, and that our senses give us a
true report of it (Watt 1992:89). (Bowers, 2004: 20)
However, twentieth century theories of realism in literature, including
those by Henry James, emphasize the involvement of the imaginative
process in literature (...)In this understanding of realism it is the reader
who constructs the sense of reality from the narrative rather than the
text revealing the authors interpretation of reality to the reader. (Bowers 2004: 21)
This approach to literary realism is the most
relevant to magical realism, as magical realism relies upon the
presentation of real, imagined or magical elements as if they were real. (Bowers,
2004: 21)
surrealism vs magic realism :
Both surrealist and magic(al) realist writing and
art could be called revolutionary in their attitudes since surrealists

attempted to write against realist literature that reflected and reinforced

what they considered to be bourgeois societys idea of itself, and magic
(al) realism holds immense political possibilities in its disruption of
categories. (Bowers, 2004: 22)
surrealism :conexion with the psychological, not just material and with the unreal :
Surrealism is most distinct from magical realism since the aspects that
it explores are associated not with material reality but with the
imagination and the mind, and in particular it attempts to express the
inner life and psychology of humans through art. (Bowers, 2004: 22)

The extraordinary in magical realism is rarely presented in

the form of a dream or a psychological experience because to do so
takes the magic out of recognizable material reality and places it into
the little understood world of the imagination. The ordinariness of
magical realisms magic relies on its accepted and unquestioned
position in tangible and material reality. (Bowers, 2004: 23)
fantastic writing vs magic realism (hesitation to believe vs total belief )
These differing interpretations of the same novel exemplify the
subtlety of the distinction between the two terms. Chanady explores this
problem in her study of magical realism and the fantastic, in which she
follows the majority of critics who adopt the seminal definition of the
fantastic by the contemporary theorist and critic Tzvetan Todorov.
Todorov defines fantastic literature as a piece of narrative in which
there is a constant faltering between belief and non-belief in the
supernatural or extraordinary event presented. For Todorov, the
fantastic relies upon the readers hesitation between natural and
supernatural explanations for the fictional events in the text. This may
be a hesitation that is shared with a character in the novel, or it may be
emphasized in the text to produce a theme of ambiguity and hesitation (Bowers,
2004: 24)
science- fiction vs magic realism
The science fiction narratives distinct
difference from magical realism is that it is set in a world different from
any known reality and its realism resides in the fact that we can
recognize it as a possibility for our future. Unlike magical realism, it
does not have a realistic setting that is recognizable in relation to any
past or present reality. (Bowers, 2004: 28)

Porque el realism magico es tan popular en America Latina:

Postcolonial, en la margen de Europa:
Porque describe cultural displacement (Hart 2005: 7)
Latin America has a form of postcolonial relationship with
Europe, and particularly in relation to the colonial power of Spain from
whence many of its inhabitants migrated, it has had, until the midtwentieth
century, a relationship with Europe that placed it on the
margins of European perception, knowledge and culture. The shift away
from a position of marginal cultural production in which all things
European were esteemed, coincided with the development of magical
realist fiction in Latin America. (Bowers, 2004: 29)
For Carpentier, this context of a mixture of cultures, the criollo, or
the mestizaje, is what he considers to be at the heart of the spirit of
Latin America that makes magical realism such an apt mode of fiction
to express its culture. As he claims, the cross-cultural influences of
the indigenous population, the Europeans and the African Caribbean
and multi-racial peoples of the Latin Americas, and particularly his
Caribbean region, lend an excess and exuberance of detail that he
claims is baroque in spirit: (Bowers, 2004: 34) barroque style of the amerindian
populations seen in the work of magic realism writers
Gabriel Garcia Marquez y el realismo magico
there are three sources for Garca
Mrquezs magical realism: a confusion of time scales that suggests a

mythic time; a mixture of superstition, gossip and exaggeration; and the

shock of the new. (Bowers, 2004: 38) mai citeste de la pagina asta pt caracteristici
in marquez