Magic Realism

Magic Realism appeared as a critical term for the arts and it later extended to
literature. The term was first used by the German critic Franz Roh in 1925 to
characterize a group of Post-Expressionist painters. Franz Roh described it as a
form in which "our real world re-emerges before our eyes, bathed in the
clarity of a new day." It was later replaced by "New Objectivity." Magic

Realism survived to define a narrative tendency in Latin America during 1949 to

1970. It can be defined as a preoccupation or interest in showing something
common or daily into something unreal or strange. A magic realist narrator
creates the illusion of "unreality," faking the escape from the natural, and
tells an action that even if appears as explainable it comes across as strange.

In strange narration’s, instead of presenting something as real, the writers
reality becomes magical. The writer suggests a supernatural atmosphere without
denying the natural, and the style is distorting the reality. The intention of
the narrator is to provoke strange feeling. The explanations are not clear or
logical. There also is no innuendo or psychological analysis of the characters,
instead they are well defined almost in opposition, and never appear confused or
surprised about the supernatural. Gabrial Garcia Marques says for him it is the
supernatural and the natural peacefully co-existing and showing themselves
through magic realism. It is the encounter of strangeness and familiarity.

During colonization, Europeans found a land full of strange and supernatural
things and their records were based on their interpretations which lead to a
uncertainty of Latin America. Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the Conferencia Nobel

1982 (the year in which he was awarded the Nobel Prize): "La Soledad de

America Latina", tells of a Florentine sailor named Antonio Pigafetta who
wrote about his expeditions around the world. This sailor described strange
creatures, which many can be found today, but his interpretation created a
supernatural rendition of Latin America in the European point of view. Overall,

Latin American culture is a combination of many other cultures that came during
colonization. Garcia Marquez, born into poverty studied law and journalism at
the National University of Colombia in Bogota, and at the University of

Cartagena. He began his career as a journalist, and demonstrated a unique
interest in cinema and dedicated much of his early career to film criticism.

Garcia Marquez began writing short stories in the late 1940s. His first major
publication was "La hojarasca." In this story, Marquez describes the first
fictional Colombian village of Macondo--the setting of much of his later
work--and the combination of realism and fantasy characteristic of his style.

His early journalistic writings clearly reflect his fascination with William

Faulkner. Garcia Marquez’s Monologue of "Isabel Watching it Rain in Macondo"
offers us an example of the dangers of the "authoritarian nature of
technological systems" and an example of the ways in which political and
cultural systems are shaped by technology. "Then it rained. And the sky was a
gray, jellyish substance that flapped it’s wings a hand away from our heads"
is a form of magic realism described in his short story. Garcia Marquez carries
out his distortion of direct historical time through the internal monologues
that record the narrators’ thoughts, and through the complex effect of many
monologues. The extent of the narrators’ structure of social and historical
reference differs significantly, and is almost immediately outlined by their
reactions to the first historical sign, the sound of the train’s horn, which
marks 2:30. Garcia Marquez employs to overturn the passage of time at the level
of the stories structure. The reader must read backwards and forwards at once in
order to locate all of the emphasis of a strain and establish the relative
historical order of the monologues in which they appear. It is remarkable over
the family setting and the weather with the new season. The narrator and the
family in this short story seem to be the upper class and the Indians as the
servants. The second extravagant image comes when the narrator and her
stepmother are talking about having the Indians put the flowerpots on the
veranda "and that was what they did, while the rain grew like an immense tree
over the other trees." Everyone is down due to all of the rain as the narrator
talks about her father’s eyes being "lost in the labrynth of the rain."

Giving a demoning presence, their house was soon flooded "the floor covered by
a thick surface of viscious, dead water." Everywhere things were getting worse
especially when the water got to the cemetary and broke open tombs