Monday, 15 April 2013

M is for Magical Realism

This is something that I personally have not had a lot of contact with in my reading. Oddly enough, the one and only time I read a story with magical realism in it was not for English, but Spanish: Like Water For Chocolate (Como Agua Para Chocolate)

I read it for Spanish class, as we had to study a novel of Spanish origin. We got both the book in both Spanish and English.

For those of you who may not know magical realism is where strange and 'magical' things happen without explanation or reaction. They are things that are perceived as completely normal, without even magic being mentioned once. I'll give you an example:

Tita, the main character of the book is the youngest of three sisters. Her lover Pedro, marries her sister Rosaura because he wanted to be close to Tita, but couldn't marry Tita because the youngest sister in a Mexican family at that time cannot marry but instead must look after her parents and family. Rosaura and Pedro have a child, Roberto, but Rosaura cannot breastfeed him. Seeing her nephew in such distress, Tita discovers that she can breastfeed him even though she has never been pregnant. This is all perceived as completely normal.

Magical realism takes a while to get used to. When you read it for the first time, it assaults the logic portion of your brain and you just have to put your head down and trudge on through. It makes for a very interesting, unusual, and refreshing read.

It's something that I must look more into. A change of scenery in my reading habits as it were.

Have you ever read or watched anything with magical realism in it?

Sarah x


  1. This is interesting, I don't know if I've come across it.

  2. I can't think of anything off the top of my head... perhaps this is because I stick to the sci-fi/fantasy genre... where they just keep it "magical" and hold the "realism" :) which is just how I like it. hahah

  3. My own newly-out on amazon novel is almost magical realism in that each main character has a 'spirit guide'(guardian angel) who is affecting the action a bit, but the characters do not see them. Only the reader is aware of them. Have a look and tell me if it fits the definition! ('Despite the Angels')


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