Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thoughts about Magic Realism and the semester so far~

I think most of us have a prior knowledge of magic realism and its founders, but it's nice to have a class which focuses on this literary technique in such detail. This course so far has helped me to understand the many ways in which magic realism can be implemented into a story. I feel that the most important thing that I have learnt so far is that magic realism is not indented to define Latin America as a place where the people are childlike and believe in magic, but rather a place that itself is magical, a place where "lo real maravilloso" es lo real. In these works the native and popular beliefs are presented as true knowledge rather than as foreign, unbelievable folklore.

I believe that these writers attempt to bring the past back to life to show the reader that the past is a vital part of human beings. If were want to understand a people, we need to understand their history.

For me this belief in the unbelievable, is just another way of looking at the world that surrounds you. Moreover, I myself had to attempt objectivity when reading these texts. I had to accept the marvelous within the story as reality, otherwise I would not be capable of experiencing the magical. Magical realism is just a different approach to looking at things.

Still, I am aware that since I am born of Haitian decent or Aztec decent, that I will never be able to fully understand or experience this approach. I admire it, but it is not my reality.

I think that magic realism is a wonderful thing, sometimes very confusing, but non the less beautiful. However, I do see some danger of it being abused. I have learnt in other courses that some see it as a hindrance to Latin America rather than I help. If people do not understand its purpose, it can work against the people and make them appear to be naive and uneducated.

So to conclude, I think this course is very important. Considering the fact that magic realism is such a huge part of Latin America and its literature, and many of us are Spanish majors or minors, it is vital to have a solid understanding of magic realism and its purpose.

Hope everyone had a good weekend! One more week guys!!!! :O)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Maria,

    I really liked your blog entry – I agree with you that although we have some prior knowledge of magic realism and its founders, this class allows us a detailed approach into the topic by exploring some of the most important works of the Latin American literary world. I like your comments on Latin America as a place that has an intrinsic magical quality, I got this sense especially from Carpentier’s prologue, which I found to be a very useful explanation of “lo real-maravilloso”. I also found it very interesting that you were talking about the approaches of Astuarias and Carpentier as a reality that can’t really be your reality because you are not of Haitian or Aztec descent, and I think I know exactly what you mean and how you feel – I am not of either of those descents myself so I feel the same way, but I do think reading and analyzing this literature is perhaps the most beneficial thing we can do in order to get closer to their perspectives and gain a better understanding of this phenomenon.