Discovering a Culture through Magical Realism Essay

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Discovering a Culture through Magical Realism

Every culture has a memorable type of literature. When one thinks of English literature, one thinks of William Shakespeare or Charles Dickens. The American writers Thoreau, Clemens, and Emerson bring to mind the days when America was still proving herself to be equal to the European countries. France had her own artists, such as Voltaire and Hugo, as did Spain with Cervantes and Dante. However, when one thinks of Latin America, what writers come to mind? Very few of these authors are as well known as those mentioned. However, through the concept of a previously unknown literature, the world is viewing Latin America in a new light. Magical Realism seems to have flourished in the warm, …show more content…

Europe once cast out
America, the world once cast out Germany and Austria, and the literary world once cast out Latin America. This culture, just like so many others, was criticized to extreme levels and yet prevailed to bring to the world this remarkable new literary movement: Magical Realism.

The purpose and definition of Magical Realism are not easily reached as so many writers disagree upon so many aspects. For instance, Roh believes Magical Realism takes an aspect of society, usually overlooked, and adds a special essence that makes one truly appreciate the beauty of life (17). Roh states, “The point is not to discover the spirit beginning with objects, discover objects beginning with the spirit” (24).

As Leal points out, Flores gives no definition or purpose specifically in his text. Flores does, however, discuss many examples of Magical Realism and recites lines from the works to exemplify how different each work is. Leal states in his work:

In magical realism key events have no logical or psychological explanation. The magical realist does not try to copy the surrounding reality (as the realists did) or to wound it (as the surrealists did) but to seize the mystery that breathes behind things. (123)

This excerpt from Leal is in keeping with the theory of Roh. They agree that one should capture an idea or a feeling beginning with the spirit of that same subject.


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