Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Magical Realism and Fantasy

In class today as we were discussing the natural and supernatural events in The Hobbit I was reminded of the author Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his famous book “100 Years of Solitude.” I was curious if any of you have read it. It is a deeply beautiful work, intricately layered and complex. Marquez sort of created this genre of magical realism in the same way that Tolkien did fantasy- sort of by accident, it would seem. Basically the idea is that the story flawlessly incorporates magical events and elements, things that would seem absurd in our realm of normal reality but the characters and storyline are not overly affected by them. Magic is just part of the narrative and is treated the same as any other element in the work.

I was wondering then what Tolkien would think of this method of subcreation- it is not the creation of an internally consistent reality but rather the embellishment of this reality with magic. I suppose that this is exactly what happens in stories like “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” Is this the creation of a new reality, entirely? I was just curious about the connection between these two genres and what you all thought of it. Have you read any of Marquez’s work? If not, I sincerely recommend it. Very different from Tolkien in style and content but incredibly moving and gorgeously made.

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