Magic Realism, Magical Realism

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Anne Hegerfeldt (Independent Scholar - Europe)
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Used as a literary term, magical (also: magic) realism refers to a mode of writing that may most briefly be characterized as an “amalgamation of realism and fantasy” (Flores). The term in its present sense was first applied to Latin American literature from the 1960s, with Gabriel García Márquez’s novel

One Hundred Years of Solitude

(1967) generally being regarded as paradigmatic of the mode. Other magical-realist writers from Latin America include Márquez’s contemporaries Julio Cortázar and Alejo Carpentier, and more recently, Isabel Allende. Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) has also been labelled a magical-realist; however his work differs considerably from fiction considered exemplary of the mode. Starting in the 1980s, the concept of magical realism began to be more broadly…

2510 words

Citation: Hegerfeldt, Anne. "Magic Realism, Magical Realism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 February 2004 [, accessed 15 July 2024.]

682 Magic Realism, Magical Realism 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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