"Magical realism was first used by the art critic Franz Roh to designate the pictorial output of the Postexpressionist period, beginning around 1925" (Leal 120). Later, this term was applied to forms of literature. This type of literature contains characteristics such as real and unreal elements, no hesitation, and hidden meanings. Given these and other characteristics, it is easy to see that magical realism can be applied to things outside of literature, such as psychology.
In magical realism stories, the places and things are real and unreal at the same time. Luis Leal states that "what used to be called empirical reality, or the world, seems to have become more and more unreal, and what has long been regarded as unreal is more and more turned to or studied as the only 'true' or 'another equally valid' reality" (153). Brooke-Rose says that the "inversion of real/unreal is perfectly logical" (qtd. in Leal 153). This quote seems to coincide with Faris' statement that the "wonders are recounted largely without comment, in a matter-of-fact way, accepted - presumably - as a child would accept them, without undue questioning or reflection" (177). From class discussion, I have found that there are also many ways to interpret the meaning of magical realism stories.
"A dream is a sequence of moving images, based on a significant thought which may be either conscious or unconscious" (Hearne and Melbourne 42). Anthony Stevens says, "from the standpoint of dream psychology, the most extraordinary capacity of the human psyche is it's genius for fabricating images" (176). He states an image becomes a symbol when it is endowed with meaning (176). According to Stevens, "Dream interpretation...is an art,...
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...reams. Magical realism has probably become popular due to its ability to transport the reader into a new world and make him or her forget about reality.
Borges, Jorge Luis. "The Circular Ruins". A Hammock Beneath the Mangoes. Ed. Thomas Colchie, N.Y.: Plume Printing, 1991. 25-29.
Faris, Wendy B. "Scheherazade's Children: Magical Realism and Postmodern Fiction". Magical Realism Theory, History, Community. Ed. Lois Parkison Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham Duke U.P., 1995. 163-190.
Hearne, Keith and David Melbourne. Understanding Dreams. London: New Holland Publishers, 1999.
Leal, Luis. "Magical Realism in Spanish American Literature". Magical Realism Theory, History, Community. Ed. Lois Parkison Zamora and Wendy B. Faris. Durham Duke U.P., 1995. 119-124.
Stevens, Anthony. Private Myths Dreams and Dreaming. Cambridge: Harrard U.P., 1995.
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