magic realism

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

magic realism

magic realism, primarily Latin American literary movement that arose in the 1960s. The term has been attributed to the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier, who first applied it to Latin-American fiction in 1949. Works of magic realism mingle realistic portrayals of ordinary events and characters with elements of fantasy and myth, creating a rich, frequently disquieting world that is at once familiar and dreamlike. The movement's best-known proponent is the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez, who has used the technique many times, most famously in his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967). Other magic realist writers include Guatemala's Miguel Ángel Asturias, Argentina's Julio Cortázar, and Mexico's Carlos Fuentes. Non-Latin American writers whose fiction often employs magic realism include Italo Calvino and Salman Rushdie.

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