Definitions for magic realism
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
(or mag′ical ) re′alism
an artistic style in which often fantastic images or events are depicted in a sharply realistic manner.
Category: Fine Arts, Literature
a literary or artistic genre in which realistic narrative or meticulously realistic painting are combined with surreal elements of fantasy or dreams
a literary style or genre that combines naturalistic details and narrative with surreal or dreamlike elements
Magic realism or magical realism is a genre where magic elements are a natural part in an otherwise mundane, realistic environment. Although it is most commonly used as a literary genre, magic realism also applies to film and the visual arts. One example of magic realism occurs when a character in the story continues to be alive beyond the normal length of life and this is subtly depicted by the character being present throughout many generations. On the surface the story has no clear magical attributes and everything is conveyed in a real setting, but such a character breaks the rules of our real world. The author may give precise details of the real world such as the date of birth of a reference character and the army recruitment age, but such facts help to define an age for the fantastic character of the story that would turn out to be an abnormal occurrence like someone living for two hundred years. The term is broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous: Professor Matthew Strecher defines magic realism as "what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe." 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. Western confusion regarding magical realism is due to the "conception of the real" created in a magical realist text: rather than explain 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." Many writers are categorized as "magical realist," which confuses what the term really means and how wide its definition is.
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"magic realism." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2013. Web. 5 Dec. 2013. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/magic realism>.