Perspective Series: #11 Magical realism

Perspective Series: #11 Magical realism

Have you ever read a description of the real world embellished with magical, enchanted details? If the answer is yes, you’ve stumbled upon what writers call Magical realism. It is this Magical realism that we talk about in this article of the perspective series.

What is Magical realism?

This perspective narration was born first in figurative language than written language. It was a device used as early as the 1920s to make real-world photographs magical. Thus, urban backgrounds were depicted with a music box, a magic lamp, a magician’s wand, or any other detail that could distract the viewer’s gaze from everyday reality and make him focus on the magical element.

Some examples of Magical realism in narration

It seems that magical realism in literature began to spread later, particularly after the mid-1900s. One of the first to use it was Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His work, “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, described the vicissitudes of a well-to-do Colombian family by inserting magical elements such as local beliefs and tales of superstition.

Even in Italy, we had an author who extensively used this perspective technique, Dino Buzzati. In many of his stories appear magical and enchanted objects.
When reading “The bewitched jacket”, the reader does not ask himself why there is a magical jacket but accepts its presence in everyday reality as it could be his own and follows the story with attention. One forgets that the whole story revolves around elements that do not exist.

Magical realism: what is it all about?

Magical realism aims to bring the reader into a world other than the everyday. The magical elements, which are intertwined with the real world, are described so carefully and naturally that the reader accepts them without asking too many questions. The initial reaction is one of amazement and estrangement. What is a magic lamp doing in the desert? But as the story continues, these objects become a part of the narrative reality that they seem almost real and natural.

Characteristics of Magical realism

One of the first features of this perspective is that it distorts time.
The author manipulates it, reverses it, and no longer has a timeline. Similarly, the cause-and-effect binomial no longer exists. Some events can happen before their cause.
Then, of course, the presence of at least one magical element is crucial.
Legends, folk beliefs, spirits, and animate objects, become part of the narrative naturally.

I couldn’t tell if I was living in a dream, if I was happy or if I was suffocating under the weight of a fatality that was too great. On the street, through the raincoat, I was constantly groping at the magical pocket. Each time I breathed with relief. Under the fabric, the comforting crunch of paper money answered.

Dino Buzzati- The bewitched jacket

Magical realism: when to use it?

To decide what style to give your narrative and whether to use Magical realism, bibisco can help you.
Thanks to its innovative book writing software, you can easily figure out what story to write, how to describe your characters, what narrative technique to use, and even keep track of all the magical objects you decide to include in your story.

Perspective Series- Magical realism- bibisco's object section - bibisco blog | useful resources by your novel writing software
bibisco’s object section

Conclusions

Magical realism is a narrative perspective that the author can use to create a different narrative from the usual while keeping the real world as the setting.
It is the magical objects, the details, and the outline of the story that is enchanted. And it is these same details that draw the reader into the story, accepting the existence of magical objects in the real world.

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