A great old post about one of my favourite book genres…
I am a fan of magical realism ever since I discovered Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez about 20 years ago.
In autumn I was determined to do a Future Learn course about the latter however, it was too time intensive and I had to stop.
But the course made me read “One Hundred Years of Solitude” again and even though it needed me nearly half a year to finish it I enjoyed it again.
Wikipedia describes Magical Realism like this:
Magical realism, magic realism, or marvelous realism is literature, painting, film, and theater that, while encompassing a range of subtly different concepts, share in common an acceptance of magic in the rational world. It is also sometimes called fabulism, in reference to the conventions of fables, myths, and allegory. Of the four terms, Magical realism is the most commonly used and refers to literature in particular:1–5 that portrays magical or unreal elements as a natural part in an otherwise realistic or mundane environment.
The terms are broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous. Matthew Strecher defines magic realism as “what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe.” Many writers are categorized as “magical realists,” which confuses the term and its wide definition.Magical realism is often associated with Latin American literature, particularly authors including Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, Miguel Angel Asturias, and Isabel Allende. In English literature, its chief exponents include Salman Rushdie and Alice Hoffman.
About Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Video Credit: Democracy Now via YouTube
“….when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.”
My Goodreads review of “One Hundred Years of Solitude”
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Gabriel Garcia Marquez creates stories and characters full of life and fantasy. His novels challenge your reading experience as time has a different way of existing in his universe.
However, if you are open to lots of characters with the same name, with moving forwards and backwards and all around in time and finding realism tinged with fantasy then you are at the right place.
This novel is the story of the fictional town of Macondo from the beginning to the end. It is also the story of the rise and fall of a family from founding Macondo, to being involved in the wars and new developments of their time to the end.
I have enjoyed every minute of it even though I needed to be in the mood to read it. It certainly is worth a try.