Linking Magical Realism and the Sublime in A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

1013 Words5 Pages
Linking Magical Realism and the Sublime in A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" links Magical Realism and Sublime literature to one another in such a way that Magical Realism seems to be a genre of the Sublime. This short story was published with a collection of other stories entitled Leaf Storm and Other Stories in 1955. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a native Columbian, has accomplished a great deal in the field of Magical Realism. This particular short story fulfills the requirements for Magical Realism and, at the same time, the Sublime. This fact leads one to believe that Magical Realism is, in fact, a genre of the Sublime instead of the Fantastic. The characteristics of Magical Realism match those of the Sublime much more extensively than those of Fantastical literature. "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" includes many aspects, which may be described as magical. In the story, an old man with a very poor set of wings is found and kept as a pet for several years. These wings were described by the doctor in the story as "...so natural on that completely human organism that he couldn't understand why other men didn't have them, too" (528). The fact that the old man had wings in the first place seems very acceptable to the characters, and this nonchalance is conveyed to the reader. To take an idea or an object that one is familiar with and distorting that image into something unfamiliar is called defamiliarization (Simkins 150). This use of defamiliarization is a very important characteristic of both Magical Realism as well as the Sublime. An angel is something with which most are somewhat familiar; however, Marquez's angel is a completely different type of angel. One e... ... middle of paper ... ...between Magical Realism and Sublime literature seems very obvious when one examines the criteria for each. Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" links Magical Realism and Sublime literature to one another in such a way that Magical Realism seems to be a genre of the Sublime. This short story fulfills the requirements of each. However, the requirements are the very same ideas and principles. Thus Magical Realism should be classified as a type of the Sublime. Works Cited Loginus. On the Sublime. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1995. Sandner, David. The Fantastic Sublime. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1996. 51-55. Simpkins, Scott. "Sources of Magical Realism/ Supplements to Realism in Contemporary Latin American Literature." Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community. Ed. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham, N.C.: Duke UP, 1995: 145-159.

    More about Linking Magical Realism and the Sublime in A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

      Open Document