Magical Realism: a literary or artistic genre in which realistic narrative and naturalistic technique are combined with surreal elements of dream or fantasy.
(According to Google)
So magical realism is a dynamic genre of art in general, but I’ll be talking here about literature because that’s what I know about. Magical realism has a story set in the real world with magical and unreal elements.
Personally, when I write I lean towards realism. Any ‘unreal’ element of the story is followed by a rational explanation of why it happened, because the real world is the only world, right? It’s a stifling habit, really, because sometimes things don’t require explanation.
The power and intrigue of reading and writing fiction is the needlessness of explanation.
Magical realism is a valuable grey area somewhere between the boundaries of realism and the responsibility of immersive world building, there is magical realism to inject strange, unsettling and thought provoking elements into what is otherwise a realistic setting.
Realism is my crutch, but often isn’t doing me any favours. On the other side of the spectrum, is there somebody out there just throwing around nonsensical stuff in their writing and playing it off as magic?
There’s a balance to be found for sure, but magical realism is an interesting genre which we’re all quite familiar with in practice, but I didn’t know existed as its own concept, in theory.
You learn something new every day, and magical realism is what I learned today. 🙂