Magical realism combines realism and the fantastic in such a way that magical elements grow organically out of the reality portrayed.1
The secret of magical realism lies in its ability to depict reality objectively but with a magical dimension.2
Magical realism is what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe.3
Magical realism is … an attitude towards reality … the writer confronts reality and tries to untangle it, to discover what is mysterious in things, in life, in human acts.4
With the word ‘magic’, as opposed to ‘mystic’, I wish to indicate that the mystery does not descend to the represented world, but rather hides and palpitates behind it.5
Who we are
We are a collective of artists, writers and creative people based mainly in Brighton, but with members throughout the UK:
- Peter Vincent-Jones (artist, photographer, website owner) email@example.com
- Alice Ash (writer, filmmaker, performance artist) http://www.aliceash.com
- Madeline Denny (writer, disability activist) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sam Dodson (artist, collagist) email@example.com
- Harrison V. Perry (writer, programmer, IT consultant) https://warpedandtorn.io
- Karen Vincent-Jones (writer, translator) https://www.proz.com/profile/573990
- Maggie Bowers (Senior Lecturer in English Literature, University of Portsmouth) https://researchportal.port.ac.uk
- Felicity Gee (Senior Lecturer in Modernism and World Cinema, University of Exeter) http://humanities.exeter.ac.uk
- Rodanthi Tzanelli (Associate Professor of Cultural Sociology, University of Leeds) https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/sociology/staff/54/dr-rodanthi-tzanelli
What we do
We explore the intersection of art, film and fiction in relation to the cultural phenomena that comprise ‘magical realism’. While there are other platforms investigating such boundaries (see e.g. Siglio) our venture is unique in its intersectional focus on magical realism, and in our academic as well as practical engagement with it as writers and artists.
- We depict scenes of natural and social life in our original fiction and artwork drawing on magical realist traditions in literature and art.
- We challenge assumptions about the nature of ‘reality’ in visual and literary media.
- We explore the relationship between visual images in artistic work and mental imagery in fiction.
- We question whether and in what sense our original art and fiction can be considered ‘magical realist’.
- We discuss theoretical questions and investigate the enduring appeal of magical realism in representations of fact and fantasy in post-modern society.
Redefined focus on Creative Process and Pragmatic Utopianism, June 2020
Navigating the website
The pages in the column to the left of this webpage contain resources for understanding magical realism.
Fiction provides links to magical realist book titles, short stories, and reviews of recently published/forthcoming novels, and to associated websites. Cinema contains links to resources on all aspects of magical realism in film involving moving images, including video and more recent developments in streaming and long-form productions (Netflix etc.). Photomontage provides links to the growing variety of websites and on-line platforms devoted to magical realism in this ‘hybrid’ form (combining photography and art), which has gained in popularity in recent years due to the advent of digital processing. Academic writing consists of a selection of brief extracts from articles and books focusing on magical realism, highlighting points that we consider particularly relevant to our project and approach. Discussion contains a number of short essays on topics relevant to the project, exploring reasons for the contemporary appeal of magical realism and difficulties involved in rendering magical realist fiction in visual media. News/Events includes news of exhibitions, recent developments, and announcements.
The sections in the row at the top of the Home page contain links to original artwork and fiction produced by members of the collective, showing how the intersectional approach to magical realism works in practice.
Before providing a basic introduction to magical realism, we explain what we mean by the ‘intersection’ of Art, Film and Fiction, and suggest how our multi-disciplinary approach might cast light on contemporary developments within and across these different cultural forms.
Intersection of Art, Film and Fiction
The Venn diagramme (below) represents the general relationship between Art, Film, and Fiction.
For present purposes ‘Art’ means painting, sculpture and collage, so excluding ‘non-visual’ arts such as music. ‘Film’ refers to any recording of still or moving images (whether on celluloid or tape, or in digital form) the purpose of which is to express an idea reflecting the vision of the photographer or film-maker.6 ‘Fiction’ is understood in the conventional sense as referring to a particular form of literature, including the modern novel and short stories but excluding plays, poetry, and classical texts.
While in any given era these forms are the product of the same or similar social conditions, they may develop in completely different and unrelated directions. Where one type of work directly influences another, however, the forms may be said to intersect.
(1) Film and Fiction. The most obvious example of this symbiosis is the cinematic adaptation of books or other fictional media.7 Less common are instances of the reverse influence, as in books derived from/based on films – sometimes referred to as novelisation (today novels of major films may be written in conjunction with an early draft of the film’s script, and be used as part of a marketing campaign for the film, as with Godzilla).8
(2) Fiction and Art. There are many examples of the direct influence of fiction on art (Salvador Dali’s Mad Tea Party based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland; Pablo Picasso’s Don Quixote portraying Cervantes’ Don Quixote de la Mancha) (here). In the other direction, examples of art influencing fiction include Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring based on Vermeer’s famous painting with the same name, and Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch about the eponymous painting by Carel Fabritius (here).
(3) Art and Film. The relationship between art and film is closer than any involving fiction in that they are both visual media. Many directors choose deliberately to derive the look and atmosphere of their films from styles of painting or particular works of art (Martin Scorcese’s Mean Streets inspired by Caravaggio’s The Calling of St Matthew;9 Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner drawn from Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, and his film Alien modelled on Francis Bacon’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X) (here).
As well as describing the influence of one form of cultural expression on another, ‘intersection’ has a further and deeper meaning, referring to the hybrid combination of two or more forms.10 Hence the graphic novel is a hybrid of fiction and art, each component being of more or less equal importance. Similarly photomontage is an amalgamation of collage and photography.
At the centre of the Venn diagramme, and therefore at the intersection of all three forms (Art Film and Fiction), are photomontages inspired by fiction. The Images Inspired by Fiction section of our website showcases magical realist photomontages representing specific scenes drawn from magical realist writing.
Magic Realism: Art
Maggie Ann Bowers usefully distinguishes three terms with different origins.11 First, ‘magic realism’ (Magischer Realismus) was used in 1925 by art critic Franz Roh to describe the reaction against Expressionism which he observed in contemporary European painting. Second, ‘marvellous realism’ (lo real maravilloso) became associated in the 1940s with the art and literature of Central America, reflecting its distinctive culture. Third, ‘magical realism’ (realismo magico), while initially associated with Latin American fiction in the 1950s, has more recently become established as a global mode of narrative fiction.
Roh was not alone in recognising the ‘post-Expressionist’ trend in Weimar Germany at the end of World War I. A touring exhibition organised by Gustav Hartlaub in 1923, presenting artworks which Roh would describe a year later as ‘magic realist’, bore the title Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity): ‘The movement proposed a new focus on reality, portraying an objective understanding of life and art, often using political themes with satirical connotations to bring awareness to ongoing issues of society.’12 Roh emphasised how the new painting differed from Expressionism in its attitude to objects:
(Whereas) Expressionism shows an exaggerated preference for fantastic, extraterrestrial, remote objects … (in the new painting) it seems to us that this fantastic dreamscape has completely vanished and that our real world re-emerges before our eyes, bathed in the clarity of a new day … The religious and transcendental themes have largely disappeared … In contrast, we are offered a new style that is thoroughly of this world, that celebrates the mundane.13
George Grosz, a central figure in the Magic Realist/New Objectivity movement, captured the disillusionment that had displaced the emotion and sentimentality of Expressionism in his drawings of Berlin in the 1920s:
My drawings expressed my despair, hate and disillusionment, I drew drunkards; puking men; men with clenched fists cursing at the moon … I drew a man, face filled with fright, washing blood from his hands … I drew lonely little men fleeing madly through empty streets. I drew a cross-section of tenement house: through one window could be seen a man attacking his wife; through another, two people making love; from a third hung a suicide with body covered by swarming flies. I drew soldiers without noses; war cripples with crustacean-like steel arms; two medical soldiers putting a violent infantryman into a strait-jacket made of a horse blanket … I drew a skeleton dressed as a recruit being examined for military duty. I also wrote poetry.14
Grethe Jürgens, a less well-known exponent of New Objectivity, described the new sense of wonder (the ‘magical’ element) which she perceived in objects and material reality.
(New Objectivity) … is the discovery of a totally new world. One paints pots and rubbish piles, and then suddenly sees these things quite differently, as if one had never before seen a pot. One paints a landscape, trees, houses, vehicles, and one sees the world anew. One discovers like a child an adventure-filled land. One looks at technological objects with different eyes when one paints them or sees them in new paintings.15
A modern definition of magic realism in art – true to Roh’s original meaning – refers to ‘a type of realism using contemporary subjects, often in cool detachment and sometimes injecting an eerie atmosphere … (in which) juxtapositions of sharply rendered and detailed elements, both in the foreground and background, are used to develop an air of mystery or ambiguity. Although the paintings may incorporate everyday objects … they attempt to show us the everyday world in new and unfamiliar ways. They remind us that there are still many mysteries in life.’ http://www.tendreams.org/magic-art.htm
See APPENDIX at the end of this section containing Roh’s famous list of key characteristics distinguishing New Objectivity/Magic Realism from Expressionism.
Magical Realism: Fiction
Following its origins in inter-war Germany, ‘magic realism’ crossed the Atlantic and took root in Latin America via the Spanish translation (in 1928) of selections from Roh’s book in José Ortega y Gasset’s Madrid-based journal Revista de Occidente.16 In subsequent decades, as Latin American intellectuals searched for a distinctive literary style for Spanish-speaking America, the connection with Roh and European painting became obscured.17
Alejo Carpentier’s reinterpretation of magic realism as lo real maravilloso was particularly influential in this process: the essence of magical realism became associated with the inherently ‘marvellous’ character of Latin American culture and geography, and its people and politics. For Carpentier, the term represented ‘the mixture of differing cultural systems and the variety of experiences that create an extraordinary atmosphere, alternative attitude and differing appreciation of reality in Latin America.’18 In 1955, Angel Flores’ essay ‘Magical Realism in Spanish American Fiction’ cemented the association. Magical realism in this form evolved into a distinctive Latin American style of narrative fiction combining elements of marvellous realism with other influences, leading to its adaptation as a ‘tool of postcolonial expression’19 in the critique of colonialism and its effects in Latin America, the United States, India, and countries throughout the world.
By the early 1990s this interpretation of magical realism had begun to be questioned. Critics within various disciplines were rediscovering the origins of the movement in European Art and painting, and arguing for a more nuanced understanding of the literary mode. In one critical account, the ‘rational’ and ‘magical’ elements in the ‘marvellous real’ tradition were rendered non-contradictory by reference to ‘the myths and beliefs of ethnocultural groups for whom this contradiction does not arise.’ This was in contrast to the original usage, which referred to a type of literary or artistic work in which the natural and ordinary were supernatural, ‘while structurally excluding the supernatural as a valid interpretation.’20 A further step in the rehabilitation of Roh’s original understanding was taken in 1995 with the publication of Zamora and Faris’s edited collection Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community, which brought together essays tracing the evolution of the mode, including translations of key works by Roh, Guenther, Carpentier, Flores and Leal. Nevertheless, confusion regarding this evolution persists,21 and magical realism continues to be popularly associated with its fictional (Latin American) form.22
Contemporary magical realist fiction takes various forms, though the boundaries with fantasy and surrealism are often blurred and poorly understood (particularly in publishers’ promotional material and website glosses). According to Welsh,23 magical realist fiction is marked by the following traits: first, the action typically occurs in a real-world setting, rather than in a wholly made-up world (even if places within the world are made-up); second, the narrative may include references to myth and folktale, or the writing may take this form; third, fantastical or supernatural happenings are treated as everyday occurrences; fourth, there may be mysteries in the story which are never resolved; finally, there is ‘color’ in the sense of vividness of description and imagery, even where the story is dark and tragic. Craven’s24 list of ‘characteristics’ overlaps to a degree but adds some further features: situations and events defy logic (anything can happen, however unlikely or improbable); historic context and societal concerns (fantasy is entwined with real world history in exploration of issues such as racism, sexism, and intolerance); distorted time and sequence (characters move backwards and forwards in time); and matter-of-fact tone (bizarre events are described in an offhand manner).
Many commentators have pointed to the critical capacity and potential of this narrative mode:
Magic realism pays particular attention to places and communities that have been marginalized. Magic, in this context, becomes a tool for challenging power structures and may facilitate the metamorphoses of characters and communities. For instance, the breaking of sexual taboos is a part of many magic-realist texts. Such acts of deviance can represent a rebellious attack on authority and challenge dominant paradigms of what is “appropriate” behaviour by inverting established rules. 25
According to Eugene Arva and Hubert Roland, the writing mode is particularly suited to exploring ‘histories of violence such as slavery, colonialism, wars, the Holocaust, genocide, and dictatorships.’26 Arva has shown how historical traumas of all kinds have been reconstructed in the literary works of ‘traumatized or vicariously traumatized’ authors, such as Jean Rhys, Alejo Carpentier, Maryse Condé, Salman Rushdie, Gabriel García Márquez, Bernard Malamud, Joseph Skibell, Günter Grass, and Tim O’Brien: ‘The traumatic imagination accounts for the relative prevalence of magical realist writing in postmodernist fiction.’27
An obvious contemporary example is the trauma likely to be associated with climate change and environmental catastrophe, which is only just beginning to be understood. Ben Holgate explores the links between magical realism and eco-criticism, showing how this literary form ‘enables writers to portray alternative intellectual paradigms, ontologies and epistemologies that typically contest the scientific rationalism derived from the European Enlightenment, and the exploitation of natural resources associated with both capitalism and imperialism.’28
Arva and Roland argue that ‘trauma’ does not occur only in the form of sudden historical events involving extreme violence and disruption at the macro-societal level, but may also be expressed at the level of individual relationships in domestic situations, through ‘gradual exposure to tense, stressful, or even life-threatening circumstances, such as living in an oppressive police-state or a dictatorship, being the victim of domestic abuse, etc.’29
Magical Realism: Film
While film has an important place in the evolution of magical realism, it has tended until relatively recently to be ignored in critical commentary. Neither Zamora and Faris, nor Hart and Ouyang’s edited collections include essays on film. In part this absence has to do with the difficulty of evaluating film in the same terms that art critics use to analyse painting, due to the difference between the medium (in its recording of images and their projection on a screen), and paint on canvas.
However, ‘it is possible to analyse films as magical realist narratives, as stories told through the medium of film, using similar skills as those used to analyse literature.’30 Bowers considers several film adaptations of magical realist novels in this vein, for example Alfonso Arau’s 1991 film of Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate, and Wim Wenders Wings of Desire based on the novel ‘Heaven over Berlin’ by Peter Handke.
Felicity Gee’s forthcoming monograph Magic Realism: Cinema and the Modernist Avant-Garde (Routledge 2019) will be the first book-length analysis situating cinematic magical realism fully in the context of its historical background in painting, photography and literature. Building on recent scholarship which has countered the over-emphasis on fiction since the 1960s, this analysis promises full reconciliation with Roh’s original observations of artistic trends in painting and camera-based art in the early twentieth century.31
We use the label ‘magical realism’ to refer non-dogmatically to all three phases of development of the mode identified by Bowers (magic realism, marvellous realism, and magical realism). Rather than describe our original artwork and fiction as representative of this mode, we prefer to think of it as influenced by, or incorporating elements of, magical realism. This leaves open the question of how precisely the term should be understood.
In answer, we subscribe to Zamora and Faris’s view32 of the essence of magical realism, some eighty years after the term was first used. While their summary refers explicitly to ‘fiction’ and ‘text’,33 it is just as appropriate in the context of visual art.
Magical realism is a mode suited to exploring – and transgressing – boundaries, whether the boundaries are ontological, political, geographical, or generic. Magical realism often facilitates the fusion, or coexistence, of possible worlds, spaces, systems that would be irreconcilable in other modes of fiction. The propensity of magical realist texts to admit a plurality of worlds means that they often situate themselves on liminal territory between or among those worlds – in phenomenal and spiritual regions where transformation, metamorphosis, dissolution are common, where magic is a branch of naturalism, or pragmatism. So magical realism may be considered an extension of realism in its concern with the nature of reality and its representation, at the same time that it resists the basic assumptions of post-enlightenment rationalism and literary realism. Mind and body, spirit and matter, life and death, real and imaginary, self and other, male and female: these are boundaries to be erased, transgressed, blurred, brought together, or otherwise fundamentally refashioned in magical realist texts.
We conclude by summarising key features in our understanding of magical realism, which have informed (at least to some degree) our practical work as artists and writers, and by clarifying the purpose of our intersectional approach.
First, the idea of magical realism as a ‘mode suited to exploring boundaries’ is suggestive of both a methodology for apprehending ‘reality’ on the one hand (‘deconstruction’), and a particular way or style of representing what has been perceived on the other hand (‘reconstruction’). The perceptual and representational dimensions are of equal importance: ‘Magical realism constitutes an attitude toward and a way of approaching reality—a reality that is rarely what it seems and is seldom perceived in the same way by subjects in different places or in different times.’34 As the quotation from Zamora and Faris make clear, this mode is particularly suited to breaking down boundaries and challenging binary categories.
Second, the claim that magical realism resists the basic assumptions of post-enlightenment rationalism and embodies alternative intellectual paradigms that contest its dominance35 implies that the mode is particularly well suited also to the critique of current economic, political and environmental crises in the ‘rational’ (and hitherto relatively stable) forms of national and international governance that have dominated the latter half of the twentieth century.
Third, our intersectional focus on Art, Film and Fiction, as defined above, aims to explore in new ways the relationships between these different cultural expressions,36 building on recent scholarly re-interpretations which situate the evolution of magical realism in the context of its origins in visual arts. This should contribute to the deeper understanding of all aspects of magical realism,37 and to wider appreciation of the potential of this mode as a critical tool for engaging with social, environmental and political issues of current national and global concern.
Finally, this website is intended to serve as an evolving resource on all aspects of contemporary magical realism, with the purpose of stimulating interest among writers and artists, as well as posing questions and suggesting ideas for the academic community in a form transcending traditional disciplinary boundaries.
Magical Realism vs Expressionism (Roh’s 15 differences)38
1. Sober subjects
2. Object clarified
4. Puristically severe
8. Close and far view
11. Thin paint surface
13. Effacement of painting process
15. External purification of object
Suppression of object
Thick color texture
Visibility of painting process
Magical Realism: Examples
- Wendy B. Faris, ‘Scheherazade’s Children: Magical Realism and Postmodern Fiction’, in Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris (eds.), Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community (Duke University Press, 1995), 163-190, p 163.
- Stephen M. Hart, ‘Magical Realism in the Americas: Politicised Ghosts in One Hundred Years of Solitude, The House of the Sprits, and Beloved’ (2003) Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, Vol. 9 (2) 115-123, p 115.
- Matthew C. Strecher, ‘Magical Realism and the Search for Identity in the Fiction of Murakami Haruki’, (1999) The Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 25 No. 2, 263-298, p 267.
- Luis Leal, ‘Magical Realism in Spanish American Literature’, in Zamora and Faris (eds.), 119-124, p 121.
- Franz Roh, ‘Magical Realism: Post-Expressionism’, in Zamora and Faris (eds.), 15-31, p 16.
- Where the purpose of taking photographs or recording moving images is simply to provide a visual record of the subject, the results cannot be described as ‘artistic’. This is not to deny the creative nature of much documentary work, or its discursive significance – see Liam Devlin, ‘Myth, Montage and Magic Realism: Rethinking the Photograph as a Discursive Document’ (2019) Photographies, Vol. 12, No. 1, 3–18.
- See Maggie Ann Bowers, Magic(al) Realism (Routledge, 2004) for an analysis of film adaptations of magical realist novels, 110-12.
- Arthur C. Clarke wrote a film novelisation of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey after cooperating with Kubrick in adapting his short stories for the film.
- Scorcese told The Guardian: ‘I was instantly taken by the power of [Caravaggio’s] pictures. Initially, I related to them because of the moment that he chose to illuminate in the story. You come upon the scene midway and you’re immersed in it. It was like modern staging in film: it was so powerful and direct. He would have been a great filmmaker, there’s no doubt about it. He sort of pervaded the entirety of the bar sequences in Mean Streets. It’s basically people sitting in bars, people at tables, people getting up. The Calling Of St Matthew, but in New York!”
- Other kinds of inter-relationship take a different form. For example, a film may be analysed either in the same way an art critic evaluates a painting, or in the way a literary critic evaluates fiction, i.e. as narrative – see Bowers, pp 109-110.
- Maggie Ann Bowers, Magic(al) Realism (Routledge, 2004).
- Art Story
- Franz Roh, ‘Magic Realism: Post-Expressionism’, in Zamora and Faris (eds.), 16-17.
- Otto Friedrich, Before the Deluge (1986) USA: Fromm International Publishing Corporation. p37. ISBN 0-88064-054-5
- Grethe Jürgens, quoted in Irene Guenther, ‘Magic Realism, New Objectivity, and the Arts during the Weimar Republic’, in Zamora and Faris (eds.), p 36.
- For a full account, see Bowers, pp 14-16; this summary draws also on Nabila Naimi, ‘Magical Realism: A Problem of Definition’ https://www.academia.edu/11590463/MAGICAL_REALISM_IN_LITERATURE
- Bowers, pp 16-19.
- Bowers, p 15. ‘Because of the virginity of the land, our upbringing, our ontology, the Faustian presence of the Indian and the black man, the revelation constituted by its recent discovery, its fecund racial mixing [mestizaje], America is far from using up its wealth of mythologies. After all, what is the entire history of America if not a chronicle of the marvelous real?’, Alejo Carpentier, ‘On the Marvelous Real in America’, in Zamora and Faris (eds.), 75-88, p 88. [Originally part of Preface to Carpentier’s novel, El Reino de Este Mundo (The Kingdom of this World, 1949)].
- Naimi, ‘Magical Realism: A Problem of Definition’ (p 74)
- William Spindler, ‘Magic Realism: A Typology’ (1993) Forum for Modern Language Studies, Vol. XXIX, Issue 1, 75–85. https://doi.org/10.1093/fmls/XXIX.1.75
- There remains a widespread assumption that ‘magic(al) realism is specifically Latin American … the fame … has propelled the rapid adoption of this form of writing globally’, Bowers p 18.
- Another collection of academic commentary, by Stephen M. Hart and Wen-Chin Ouyang, A Companion to Magical Realism (Tamesis, 2005) focuses entirely on fiction. Felicity Gee, The Critical Roots of Cinematic Magic Realism: Franz Roh, Alejo Carpentier, Fredric Jameson (PhD Thesis, Royal Holloway: University of London, June 2013) considers Zamora and Faris’s collection as also having emphasised the literary variant.
- Jennifer Andrews, ‘Rethinking the Relevance of Magic Realism for English-Canadian Literature’ (1999) Studies in Canadian Literature / Études En littérature Canadienne Vol. 24 (1). https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/scl/article/view/12849/13883
- Eugene Arva and Hubert Roland, ‘Writing Trauma: Magical Realism and the Traumatic Imagination’, Interférences littéraires/Literaire interferenties, October 2014, 14, 7-14, p 9
- Eugene Arva, The Traumatic Imagination: Histories of Violence in Magical Realist Fiction (New York, Cambria Press, 2011). http://www.cambriapress.com/cambriapress.cfm?template=4&bid=475
- Ben Holgate, Climate and Crises: Magical Realism as Environmental Discourse (Routledge 2019) https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315148625
- Eugene Arva and Hubert Roland, p 13.
- Bowers, Magic(al) Realism (Routledge, 2004), 109-110.
- Felicity Gee, The Critical Roots of Cinematic Magic Realism: Franz Roh, Alejo Carpentier, Fredric Jameson (PhD Thesis, Royal Holloway: University of London) June 2013, p 29
- Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris, ‘Introduction’, in Zamora and Faris (eds.), pp 5-6.
- This emphasis rather supports the view that the book did little to displace the dominant association of magical realism with fiction, despite the presence in the collection of essays devoted to discussion of art – see Gee, above
- Eugene L. Arva, ‘Writing the Vanishing Real: Hyperreality and Magical Realism’ (2008) Journal of Narrative Theory, vol. 38 no. 1, 60-85.Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/jnt.0.0002, p 68.
- Holgate, Climate and Crises: Magical Realism as Environmental Discourse (Routledge 2019)
- The presentation of material and resources on magical realism in this website format may also be considered somewhat novel, enabling connections between aspects of the subject to be made in ways not possible with more traditional forms of publication
- Writers of magical realist fiction might benefit from reflecting on the different (though related) ways in which artists create visual media, and vice versa. Art and literary critics also might reflect on how the stylistic traits that mark magical realism are ‘translated’ between different media: ‘Whether Borges consciously identified with the magic realist tendency in painting or not, some of his better stories share the same stylistic traits indicated by Franz Roh and may therefore be better appreciated in this context’, Seymour Menton, ‘Jorge Luis Borges, Magic Realist’ (1982) Hispanic Review, Vol. 50, No. 4, 411–426, p. 426.
- Franz Roh 1958, in Guenther, op. cit., pp 35-36. For simplicity here we substitute ‘Magical Realism’ for ‘New Objectivity’ – the term originally used by Roh in making the comparison.