Magic realism

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Magic realism or magical realism is an aesthetic style or genre of fiction [1] in which magical elements are blended into a realistic atmosphere in order to access a deeper understanding of reality. These magical elements are explained like normal occurrences that are presented in a straightforward manner which allows the "real" and the "fantastic" to be accepted in the same stream of thought. It has been widely considered a literary and visual art genre; creative fields that exhibit less significant signs of magic realism include film and music.

As used today, the term is broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous: Matthew Strecher has defined magic realism as "what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something 'too strange to believe'".[2] However, it may be that this critical perspective towards magical realism stems from the Western reader's disassociation with mythology, a root of magical realism more easily understood by non-Western cultures.[3] Westerners' confusion regarding the style of magical realism is due to the "'conception of the real'" created in a magical realist text; rather than explaining reality using natural or physical laws as in typical Western texts, magical realist texts create a reality "'in which the relation between incidents, characters, and setting could not be based upon or justified by their status within the physical world or their normal acceptance by bourgeois mentality."'[4] Today, there are many varieties of writers whose work is categorized as "magical realist", to such an extent that critics and readers alike are confused as to what the term really means and how wide its borders are.[5]


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